In our house we refer to Valentine’s Day as the (insert name of famous card maker)holidiay. My husband really isn’t that into what he considers to be ‘made up holidays ‘ and Valenetine’s Day falls into that catagory. We do acknowledge it. Some years there have been flowers, some years just a card, with gifts sprinkled in here and there. One year he was in Chicago on February 14 and came home the next day with a beautiful cameo necklace, which was well appreciated. One year we both picked out what we wanted from a catalog and ordered it. We usually do use it as an excuse to go out dinner without our children. (Not that we don’t enjoy dinner with our children, but date night is date night.)

Just because my husband isn’t all that into Valentine’s Day does not mean he doen’t have his romantic moments. He proposed during a lakeside sunset picnic. He occassionally brings home flowers for no reason. There have been some romantic gifts too. Once we passed an antique shop window and I exclaimed over a brightly colored quirky birdcage (I collect them) and it showed up as my mother’s day gift. The most romantic thing I remember is when our anniversary fell just before my first book signing and he gave me a beautiful purple Waterman pen to use to sign books. I loose nearly every writing utensil that crosses my desk, but that pen is carefully tucked away in a safe place and comes out for signing.

People always ask me if my husband is the model for my male characters in the romance novels I write. The answer is…no, not really. I love my husband dearly, and while I do take some of his character traits and apply them to my characters, they really don’t reflect him. Niether do I write about situations that reflect our lives. I will also admit that while I find my husband very attractive I have yet to make a character look like him either. (Since he really doesn’t get the whole romance genre anyway, preferring books by philosophers and sci fi , I don’t think he is really offended.)

I think the appeal of fiction, and especially romance fiction, is a story that doesn’t necessarily mimic our own lives. It’s a bit of an escape. So while I will continue to write romance, I doubt that much of my real life will creep over into my story lines. I have no idea what Valentine’s Day will be like this year or who will give who what, aside from the fact that my son away in college asked for some oreo bon bons (which if you haven’t had, you should) in a care package, a request I will honor.

If you are looking for something more permanent and less expensive than roses and with infinitly less calories tha chocolate, hop on over to www.bookbylynnmurphy for a romanctic gift, or a treat for youself.

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