Valentine in Winter

You probably know that I am involved in submitting and publishing stories in The Bowman’s Inn anthologies. I write under both DL Hungerford and Roxanna Haley. I just finished my first draft of the story for the Winter anthology, and I am tickled with how well it flowed.

Believe it or not, the two stumbling blocks I had were finding time to write in the holiday season, and then the sex scene. Really, if I am going to call myself a writer of erotic romance, I can’t flail around when things get hot and serious. Hmm, that gives me some ideas for the next one!

123115 Irish Val
Val/Eros in 1311 Wicklow Mountains, Ireland

Where was I? Oh, Winter for Valentine and Mandy. Readers of the anthologies will know that Val is Cupid/Eros, and Mandy is his Psyche. He follows her through life after life and earns the right to live that lifetime with her. They run The Bowman’s Inn in present time, in a mythical city (Get it? Mythical! LOL) called Anteros.

The Bowman’s Inn is both a pub and a hotel, with special B&B suites and shops in the basement. It totally rocks. There are craft brews available, the kitchen gets better all the time, and you never know when a god or shape shifter might drop in. Mandy bought the place with an inheritance, and Val applied to be the bartender. Now they share the duties and continue hiring new people as business gets better.

123115 Irish Mandy
Beautiful Mia Tyler inspired Irish Mandy

In the story I just finished (and will no doubt have to repeatedly edit and rewrite), there’s a huge snowstorm blowing outside the pub. No customers have shown up and Mandy is curled up near the fireplace. She asks Val to come sit with her and tell her about one of their past lives.

When I started thinking about this story, I wondered if it would be set in the US Civil War era, or Africa before European intrusions, or during the Crusades. Someday those lives might be shared, but I found a photo of a man in a snowbank, and knew I had to set the story in Ireland.

But also, this wasn’t going to be a happy ever after story, not really. For some reason, Eros misjudges the years, and arrives when Mandy’s Irish self is at her deathbed.

123115 cottage
An Irish Cottage

I know, lots of writers cry over their own writing, and this story had me sniffling many times. I also had fun introducing some Irish gods to make things more difficult for Val. I ended up with a story in a story in a story, and thankfully didn’t need a road map to keep track. I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I did. Watch for The Bowman’s Inn Book 4, Winter, in early February.

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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