We all know February as the month for Valentine’s Day whether we love it or hate it, or don’t care one way or the other, but February is also American Heart Month. I have a special guest today sharing a personal reason for why February is important to her. (Grab a tissue)
On Valentine’s Day, Beloved will be seventy-seven years old. Common wisdom tells us not to broadcast age, but this is a case in which we want to shout it from the rooftops—and a good time to celebrate cardiologists. We love American Heart Month!
Here’s our story. When my Beloved was born, they baptized him in the hospital, but he hung on. Aortic Stenosis, a narrow poorly functioning aortic valve, had no treatment back then. His parents were warned he was unlikely to live past his teens if that. When he was eighteen, however, he was offered a remarkable new treatment, open heart surgery, to repair the valve. He was told it was experimental and he had only a fifty percent chance of surviving it—but, if he didn’t, he had maybe three years to live before his heart failed. While there had been attempts at such surgery in the mid to late fifties, in 1962 it was far from routine. More than once I’ve watched a young doctor look at his chart, start to walk away, and come back for a double-take on the date. Clearly it was a success.
It was twenty-four years later before the valve, which had been clipped to open it up, failed and had to be replaced with titanium. By that time, we were married with three children, one a rising Sophomore in high-school. It was traumatic, but I learned to respect cardiology. I watched by-pass patients come and go while he was in hospital. The repair and maintenance of our cardiovascular system is one of the wonders of medicine. Five more years passed, and we had a bigger crisis. The healthy valve stressed weak vessels, and he suffered an aortic aneurysm. Blessedly our doctors caught it before it could prove fatal, but his heart had to be opened again and recovery that time didn’t go quite as well, but with the help of early retirement, he bounced back.
Since then we’ve had three pacemakers. I joke he now has a plumber and an electrician to go with it. We’ve had other health issues most of which reinforce my admiration for cardiology, which is able to find problems, define them clearly, and go in and fix them. Other specialties—rheumatology, neurology, oncology—not so much. Once again, this Valentine’s Day we will celebrate Beloved, his heart, and the cardiologists who keep it ticking.
As you may have guessed, I have a special love for Valentine’s Day
Title: Fire & Frost
Author: Jude Knight, Rue Allyn, Caroline Warfield, Sherry Ewing, and Amy Quinton
Publisher: Kingsburg Press
Release date: February 4, 2020
Cover Artist: Jude Knight
Genre: Historical Romance: Regency
The Napoleonic Wars have left England with wounded warriors, fatherless children, unemployed veterans, and hungry families. The ladies of London, led by the indomitable Duchess of Haverford plot a campaign to feed the hungry, care for the fallen—and bring the neglectful Parliament to heel. They will use any means at their disposal to convince the gentlemen of their choice to assist.
Their campaign involves strategy, persuasion, and a wee bit of fun. Pamphlets are all well and good, but auctioning a lady’s company along with her basket of delicious treats is bound to get more attention. Their efforts fall amid weeks of fog and weather so cold the Thames freezes over and a festive Frost Fair breaks out right on the river. The ladies take to the ice. What could be better for their purposes than a little Fire and Frost?
Five all-new stories converge at the Frost Fair of 1814.
You can find the individual story blurbs here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/fire-frost/
Excerpt from Lord Ethan’s Courage:
Flo heaved a sigh of exasperation
and closed the distance between them, grabbing his shoulders, and meeting his
lips with her impatient ones. After a heartbeat he returned the kiss with an
achingly tender one, using his damaged arm to pull her close while he feathered
his graceful fingers across her cheek.
“Much better,” she sighed against his neck, “But know this. I can wait out my mourning and your illness, but do not ask me to be patient.” She spat each of the last words out one by one. “I am not a patient woman when I know what I want, Ethan Alcott, and I want you.”
He kissed her again, this time deeply, passionately, possessively. When she moaned and pulled him closer, he pulled back, tipping his forehead onto hers. “Your brother believes you deserve a Season. I agree. If you still want this in a year…”
“God save me from men and their honor,” she muttered into his cravat. “I’m not promising an entire year. My time of mourning ends September third. I expect to see you at Chadbourn Park that very day.” She grabbed his lapels and gave him a shake.
“I will court you properly,” he swore.
She rolled her eyes. “If you insist, you may make it a courtship, but Ethan, don’t be too proper.” Then she kissed him again, and he forgot to reply.
Meet Caroline Warfield
Award-winning author of historical romance usually set in the Regency and Victorian eras, Caroline Warfield reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the world. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart, because love is worth the risk.
You can stalk Caroline here:
A Victorian-era boy with aortic stenosis is a secondary character in the books of Caroline’s Children of Empire series, in which estranged cousins, one of them the boy’s father, find their way to reconciliation and home with the help of a trio of strong-minded women.
Her bookshelf is here:
Have you or a loved one suffered a heart attack or heart disease? My healing thoughts and prayers go out to all families and those of you that have.