Friday, February 8, 2013

Great Expections
Where to Put Valentine's Day?

Dynamic writer Kenya Carlton joins us today with her Valentine's Dilemma!

Valentine’s Day is just too big of a star for romance.

Romance is the focus of all my stories. Whether it’s paranormal, mystery, or historical, an element of romance will always be intertwined within my stories. I can’t imagine writing a novel where the hero doesn’t get the girl and figure out the mystery; or the heroine doesn’t slay the dragon and ride off into the sunset with the man of her dreams (I know, I know. A feminist take, so sue me). But what I have managed to totally do without, is promoting that awe inspiring day that can never be lived up to in real life, and that’s Valentine’s Day.

In many of stories, I have left out that card and flower evening where my hero and heroine would have to stop solving the mystery to celebrate their undying love at a ritzy restaurant. Even if they were being chased by something nefarious, none of my love bugs would ever propose to take a time out for dinner theater  No, I’m sorry to admit that my characters are resolute in their task to find the murderer or take down the monsters, which means they are much too busy to buy perfume.

Now, I don’t want people to get the wrong impression; I’m not in any way a Valentine’s Day hater, not at all. It’s a holiday that celebrates every stage of love. The beginning blossoms of the warm fuzzies gets a nod, as well as people who have been together for awhile and want to spend a hectic day out during the work week. And let’s not forget those married troopers who really just want an evening without the kiddlets; it’s the best holiday to dump them with a babysitter, guilt free. Every level of relationship is welcomed to join in on the sweetest of this saint’s day to celebrate love.

Unfortunately, this day does not work with people who are in peril, or people who love each other but
aren’t sure their relationship is going to make it once the bullets stop flying. Sure every world saver needs a day to take stock and revaluate the state of their relationship, but I wouldn’t exactly plan that sit down during a gunfight. Do you see where I’m going here people? I don’t know where to put Valentine’s Day for it to make sense. At the end? Well, I must admit I have considered this, but usually my hero and heroine are too wiped after their adventure and worried they will never see each other again.

Maybe I could put it during the getting to know each other phase? Awkward, right? Expectation would be too high, and what if she orders the steak before the swords come out … then what? He just doled out all that money for that Grade A meat and he still won’t be getting any when the night comes to an end.

See how complicated this is. I find Valentine’s Day a bit of a mess in real life, most of the time nobody can agree upon the restaurant or the movie. Imagine the pressure fictional characters have to face, a room full of flowers and hot air balloons. Where the hell did that hot air balloon come from in the middle of February (shrug)?

So tell me where would you put the day for romance in a book? Would you start off with Valentine’s Day or finish with it? Or would you be bold enough to drop it dead in the middle of the story and watch the fireworks begin?

By Kenya Carlton


Charly Beaudliar has fooled many powerful
men. Completely discounted due to her good
looks, she makes for the perfect spy.

Unfortunately, FBI agent Leo Santos finds out the
hard way that he can’t make the beauty do
anything she doesn’t want to.

In desperate need to capture and destroy a man
who obliterated his childhood, Agent Santos tries
to enlist the femme fatale for help on a life-
threatening case, a request Charly reluctantly fills.

Together, heady emotions collide on a mission that not only jeopardizes their
hearts but also their lives, but Leo is determined to put his past to rest, even if it’s
with the help of a woman he doesn’t trust and is not entirely sure he even likes.

AWOL from their bureaus, Charly and Leo are forced to rely on each other
in order to right the wrongs from his childhood and catch one of the world’s
biggest drug czars. With no room for mistakes, these two agents must squelch the
soul-stirring chemistry between them in order to come out of the mission alive.

Author Bio

Kenya has a B.A. in Mass communication, Television and Radio. She has fifteen
years in production of television and film and five in television engineering. In
2009 Kenya Produced Dawn a short film and Executive Produced Destination
Everywhere the pilot for a travel series through her production company Black
R.O.K Productions established in 2008.