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Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world. But what are it’s origins? There are many legends surrounding this wonderful day, however most are centered around at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. The legends surrounding them are fascinating. One tells of a priest named Valentine who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. This Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Though tragic this one is my favorite, because it is the most romantic and valiant.
Another story suggests that another man named Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Brave, but not very romantic. However, another legend, tells of a man name Valentine who was imprisoned and had actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.
But the day we know today was not associated with love in the second and third centuries like it is now. As you know, today people give flowers, cards and chocolates along with candle light dinners and romantic dates, among other things, to show their affection for one another. This day became definitively associated with love during the Middle Ages. Back then, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14th was the beginning of the birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.
The best Valentines are the ones that aren’t exclusive to February 14th. Cards, candy and a romantic meal are great, but showing some one you love them any day of the year is the best way to go. Sometimes the best way to show love is the tiny sacrifices we do for the people we treasure the most. I call that Romance In Action. And that’s what we romance writers specialize in. All of our work centers on the growing romance between the main characters in our books. But we can’t just have our characters say that they love each other and end the story. They have to show it, not just tell it. And they do it by sacrificing a part of themselves in the name of love.
In my latest book Wolf’s Blade, wolf shifter Callum Blake lives out his love for his pack by going after a madman from his own pack who is determined to rule all of wolf kind. Despite the fact that no one in his pack believes him that this rogue member- Eryx Leva is a threat, Callum goes after Eryx because he loves his family even though they don’t see eye to eye. And the sacrifice he makes grows when he falls in love with Samantha Dixon, another wolf shifter, who turns out is his true mate. Callum will do anything to protect her from Eryx, who has set his sight on her, and Callum must protect her from himself. For he carryies a dark secret inside of himself that could possibly kill her.
The question is- will their love be strong enough to conquer all? Below is an excerpt from “Wolf’s Blade” demonstrating Callum’s desire to sacrifice in the name of love. Enjoy!
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Samantha Dixon rescues a wounded wolf shifter in the woods near her home … and unwittingly gets drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a murderer. Callum Blake is on the trail of an evil man who would be king of all wolf kind, no matter the cost … it’s up to Callum to stop him. How can Callum fulfill his duty to protect his pack and save the woman who is destined to be his mate?
Author Clare Dargin
Series The Paladins
Book # 1
Genre Contemporary, Paranormal, Shifters, Wolves
Heat Level 4
Content Notes Intense, Extreme Violence, Non-Sexual Physical Assault
Publication Date 12/28/2015
Excerpt from Wolf’s Blade-
He panted as his heart pounded in his chest. The change was happening again. He whimpered as he tried to stop it. He clawed the wall as his fingers extended, turning into long claws, leaving their human side behind. Sweat formed on his brow as he pushed the beast back.
“Hey, you’re up,” Samantha said, walking toward him. “Are you hungry?”
He turned to look at her.
“What’s wrong?” She rushed to him. “You’re covered in sweat.”
She led him out of the hall to the living room. She brushed the moisture off his brow and looking at him sweetly. He smiled weakly. He thought about how she’d rescued him and was able to bring him back to her house single-handedly. Strong and courageous, she bore the will of a Paladin.
She was such a good woman, she didn’t deserved to be dragged into this mess between him and Eryx. I need to warn her. She has to get as far away from me as possible. “You need to run. Get as far away from me as you can.”
“Shhhhh…” she said, stroking his hair.
“No, you don’t understand. Eryx, he’s—” He grabbed his chest, feeling the beast arise again.
“He ain’t coming in here,” she said, soothing him. “I told you I can protect us.”
“It’s not just him, it’s me. I may harm you.”
She shook her head. “You are a good man, I see it in your eyes. I know you won’t harm me. You’re just upset, that’s all.”
He wanted to believe her. He tried to believe her. But could he trust himself since his mating heat had become so consuming.
Liquid Silver Books- http://www.lsbooks.com/wolfs-blade-p1090.php
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Clare Dargin is a multi-published romance author. She has written for several publishers in different genres, including erotic romance, military romance, contemporary, paranormal, and sci-fi. She lives in the mid-west, and when not surfing the web, she is hard at work writing her next romance novel. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Amazon.
Clare’s Blog 2 The Haven- http://claresblog2thehaven.blogspot.com
The Embraced: Scribal Love- http://theembraced.blogspot.com