Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on A. F. Stewart's Bloody Valentine Blog Hop where we're celebrating heartbreak, love gone wrong, romantic mayhem and tragedy, hopefully with that little splash of humour and blood... Enjoy (and afterwards, please follow the scrolling list of links on the left for more Valentine's fun).



The children were drawing Valentine hearts on pink paper. Greg stared at his desk feeling fury pulling his eyebrows together. He knew his mom had told him to be good but really? Pink hearts? Doesn’t everyone know blood is dark?


“These are for Valentine’s Day,” the teacher said in explanation, as if some strange guy called Valentine needed milk mixed in with his Red Cross donation. It went against everything Greg believed, so he bent to open his backpack and took some crayons out from their box.


“Oh Greg, you’re such a stubborn soul.” The teacher wore that sickly smile that says I’m not going to tell you off just now, but you’d better watch out. Greg didn’t care. He colored the paper thickly with scribbles of red, adding black and brown, and a touch of navy blue.


“Really Greg. Aren’t you ready to cut your heart out yet?”


To cut whose heart?


It wasn’t just color, but texture and more—Greg wanted his heart to look right. And the shape—those idiot schoolkids were cutting a couple of arcs and a point as if the mere touch of symmetry gave them meaning. That’s not what a heart looks like! Greg’s furrowed brows made his head ache now and his eyes began to glow.


“Greg,” snapped the teacher, slapping the scissors down on top of his desk. “Will you do as you’re told?”


He answered “No!” screwed the paper into a heart-shaped dark red ball, and watched the teacher fall.

Okay, so much for my Valentine's contribution. Now for some book reviews with their own touch of broken hearts and love. Better put the coffee on.

Philip Nork's Life is a Balance tells the adventures of a child of divorce, determined to be good for women and learning it isn't all about him. A heady mix of alcohol, sexual encounters and more is told with pleasingly self-deprecating humor as the young man learns and grows, and some wise lessons are learned. There's romance, eventually, darkness and poignant heartbreak. Enjoy with a 5-star dark intense coffee.

Elise Grant's The Prince Charming Hoax tells the story of divorce from a woman's point of view, evoking that older classic of feminism, the Women's Room. Two women pursue happiness and find betrayal, learning along the way how mistaken self-identity leads them to miss those vital cues. The story's pretty graphic, dark in places, humorous, wise, and eventually even romantic--a wild ride, best enjoyed with a 4-star complex cup of coffee.

The Dad Connection, by Scott Hanley, describes how a single Dad builds bridges of connections with his two sons. Relationship lessons for all walks of life might be learned from this short self-help book, and the wisest, perhaps, is that every relationship is different, and learning is more important than rules. Drink some well-balanced 3-star coffee as you balance the thoughts in this book.

Finally, here are three Christian romance novels in one cover, A Kingsbury Collection. I requested it from  the publishers in exchange for my review since I'd recently read my first Karen Kingsbury novel and wanted to know more. If you're interested in the author, this collection certainly gives a taste for her different types of novels. I've decided my favorites are family dramas. Enjoy with some 3-star well-balanced coffee. And Happy Valentine's Day!

2 comments:

A. F. Stewart said...

Wonderful story, and those books look good too.

ptbertram said...

Very nice! That will teach that teacher not to teach everyone to be the same!