Do you know what I love? Seeing an elderly couple still in love. Holding hands. Kissing. The secret smile between the two of them. The way they joke with each other but remain respectful. The way they never tear each other down in front of others. I’ll bet at home she makes a special dinner and he brings her a token gift to show they are thinking of each other. I’m working on a short story called Rainbow Sprinkles that has this sort of couple in it. The romance genre is my favorite. Old, young I don’t care. I just want everyone to get their Happy Ever After.
But what is Romance?
I was shocked when I googled the definition of romance, and one of the first hits I found was in Collins dictionary.
A romance is a relationship between two people who are in love with each other but who are not married to each other.
My friend Donna answered my question, “Lol, not that I have a good record here, but my thought is romance is like buttering up the other person to show them you are interested. Love is being comfortable just being with someone. Lol, usually romance stops once the honeymoon is over.”
But, darn it! I want both. I want the butter and the bread. And lucky for me, I found a man who wants the bread and butter too! No, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. We have our dust-ups also. However, there is a solid base of respect, affection, and caring that makes it easier to get over.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and so many have expectations of enchanting candlelight dinners, flowers, chocolate. Heartfelt cards. Maybe an engagement ring. But so often we set ourselves up for disappointment. So let’s change this around. Romance shouldn’t be relegated to one particular day on the calendar. You’ve heard the expression Christmas in July, right? Let’s make a conscious effort to have Valentine’s Romance every day. Yep, even when you don’t feel like it.
How do you keep the romance going? It takes work. Wait, you say. Work? Romance should just happen shouldn’t it? Uhm, no. Remember when you fell in love? The little things you did for each other? A note here. A kiss there. Holding hands. Didn’t you make time for each other? I know. I know. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy.
But really let’s break this down. How long does it actually take? There are 86,400 seconds in a day.
One second. A kiss on the cheek.
One second. “I love you.”
One second. “You look nice.”
One second. A pat on the tush when you pass each other.
So what are YOU going to do for the other 86,396 seconds?
One man’s choices—One woman’s impact
Rock House Grill
Coming in 2020
Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.
Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.
Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?
“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.”
“Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.”
“You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “Hold still, okay?”
“’K.” A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight.
“You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving, and you injure yourself further.” She continued to talk to him.
The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo-like an angel.
“It’s dark because we’re covered while we extricate you. The noise is from the rescue crew cutting the car away.”
Even in his pain, Aden winced at the thought of his baby being chopped up. The voice was busy shuffling something around. While she worked in the dark, he tried piecing together what happened. He grabbed at her hand when she began to place something over his face.
“Stop. It’s just an oxygen mask. It won’t hurt.” The steady order was backed up by compassion in the tone.
His angel meant business.
“Hold on, Shannon. We’re going to pop the lid.” A man’s voice called from outside their inky cocoon.
“Told him not to call me that,” she muttered under her breath.
Shannon, my angel’s name is Shannon. A loud pop came from the front end, and then scree. Some metal-eating monster was taking a big bite out of his baby. The car jostled, sending a flame of pain shooting up his legs. He moaned.
“Shh, I’m sorry. There’s no way to make this not hurt.”
His car screamed again, and the steering wheel pinning him began to pull free of his legs. Even in the dark, there were spots of light before his eyes. Bile burned in the back of his throat. Everything started to fade away, as he recognized her taking his blood pressure.
He felt muddy. Then tapping at his face.
“Aden!” The tap came harder. “That’s his name, right?”
“Yeah, it’s who the plates are registered to,” a male voice answered.
“Aden, come on, open your eyes. You need to stay with me.”
He forced his eyes open but could barely make out any features behind the helmet’s shield. He latched onto the woman’s voice like a lifeline.
“We’re almost ready to move you, Aden. I don’t want you to fight us or try and help. Let us do all the work.”
After a few more minutes of torturous screeching, the tarp covering him pulled up and away. Glass tinkled to the ground and crunched under boots. The air was thick with the smell of diesel.
He couldn’t lift his head. Right, they’d strapped it to a board. His gaze skittered around, taking in red, yellow, and blue flashing lights. At first, he was grateful when they uncovered him. But when they began to remove him from the remains of the car, the pain grew unbearable. He groaned.
There were moments of clarity as he slipped in and out of consciousness. The noise and the flashing lights gave a dreamlike quality to the scene. The world slithered by in slow motion. Flat on his back, he floated through the air as they carefully carried the stretcher toward the flashing red-and-blue lights of an ambulance.
“Angel?” He’d lost her.
She grasped his flailing hand.
The warmth of her hand and sound of her voice cut through everything else, calming and encouraging him. Things he could lock onto. Her face now visible, free from the protective shield, held his gaze. Worry creased the space between her eyes.
“Yeah.” He licked his split lip and could taste the metallic tang of blood. A man’s shout cut through the increasing buzz in his ears.
“Hold on, Aden.”
For the first time since he initially heard her voice, she sounded unsure—shaky.
I’m dying. Visions of what this would do to Olivia filled him with regret.
When they loaded him into the ambulance, the pain in his legs overwhelmed all other thoughts. Darkness seeped back into the edge of his vision. The last thing he heard was his angel curse.
Meet D.V. Stone
Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. Recently, Rock House Grill, a contemporary romance, has been signed with Wild Rose Press. I host Welcome to the Campfire, a weekly blog. I am also a multi-genre author of two independently published books. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy romance. Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is a mid-grade paranormal.
Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County. They adopted Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter, who is still working things out with their cat Baby.
D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women’s state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks, and she ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital.
During the poor economy, she was laid–off from a long-time position she cared about. Devastated, D.V. wondered what to do with her life. Finding comfort in her love of reading, she realized it was now time to follow her dream of writing. It’s been a long road but worth every minute of it. Now a published author, she also works in a people medical office again.
“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you’ll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.”