Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take a Chance--and WIN Death by Chocolate!

Ahhh, Valentine's Day, the one day a year we think about love. Or about not having it. Or about how we hate Valentine's Day.

I understand, I really do. Love is hard. It's work, and it often doesn't work out. I've been really lucky, though. Twenty-two years ago (sheesh, but I'm old), the hubby and I had just started dating (Jan. 19th was our first day, if you remember, the Eve of St. Agnes). Nearly a month later, we were going to a party together at a friend's house, and I spent a panicked week trying to figure out what to give him.

Flowers? I didn't know at that point that he liked flowers. Chocolates? What kind of chocolates did he prefer? I didn't know him well enough to know that, either. A stuffed animal? Surely not. (I was totally right about this one--stuffed animals are totally not his thing).

So I gave him the only gift I could think of: a poem. Yup, I less than a month after we'd started dating, I wrote him a love sonnet. And not just any old sonnet. A sonnet that said I wanted to grow old with him, spend the rest of my life with him. You know the kind--the stalking sonnet that would scare any sane guy away in a heartbeat (or a quick read-thru, anyway).

I wrote it on parchment, using my calligraphy pens, rolled it up and tied it with a red ribbon. And, yes, I gave it to him.

"Woah!" you might exclaim, "and he married you?" Yup. He thought the poem was fantastic, and he showed it to everybody at the party. And some people were actually jealous. Nobody ran away. Pretty weird, huh? And AWESOME, too!

Now, before you say, with that sarcasm in your voice, "Oh, sure, we're just supposed to take that chance--but what if we get hurt?" don't think for a moment that I don't know the risk I took. In fact, before there was the hubby, I wrote several sonnets--more tentative ones, mind you--to another guy at college. Yup, that's right. This was already my MO.

That interaction didn't go so well. In December, the guy wrote me a nice card saying he was flattered by the poems, and he wished me the best, but please don't write again. I was crushed, but I respected his request and didn't write another poem for him. I took the chance, and I failed at it.

But so what? Love doesn't always work out. But I still have those sonnets--all of them--the ones I wrote the first guy, the MANY sonnets I wrote to the hubby. And, even better, I have the hubby. And it all started with that little Valentine's Day love sonnet, which he still keeps framed right next to his bed after 22 years.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm giving away a copy of the anthology Death by Chocolate, which contains 6 stories of love and chocolate, along with a box of chocolates for your enjoyment. You need to live in the U.S., since I don't want to pay through the nose to send this little package out (sorry!).

To enter, all you have to do is chime in below, telling me your own thoughts on love and taking chances. I'll draw a name out of a hat and announce the winner by FRIDAY (so comment before then!). Also, today I'm posting in THREE other places as part of the Death by Chocolate blog tour, and each post is different, so check 'em all out:

All three give you another opportunity to win the book (and some chocolates), so feel free to comment everywhere, including at my post on today's Death by Chocolate blog. Remember to comment for your chance to win! And happy Valentine's Day!


  1. Mmmmm.. must do something about this - Death by Chocolate, my favourite sweet at the local restaurant!

  2. I have it on my tablet, but I'd love to give it as a gift.

    In my opinion, love is all about trusting your heart to someone, being willing to do anything for the happiness and well-being of the person you care about, whether it's the relief you feel when your child's fever breaks or opening your heart to the one who can damage it most. It's about sharing who you are with someone and trusting they'll accept you as part of them, that they'll cherish you just as you are while still encouraging you to grow.

    It's about someone mattering to you more than you do yourself.

    Even if it's not reciprocated.

  3. ooh i want to win. my thoughts on it all. part of me yells dont do it, dont take chances.. the other half says what the hell you only live once.

  4. Carol, are you saying there's a Death by Chocolate cake in your area? When can I visit? I've been feeling the need lately to cross the Atlantic, you know. Okay, so I've been feeling the need FOREVER to do this. Definitely on my bucket list, though I'd rather visit Great Britain twice a year. I am SUCH an anglophile!

    Stephanie, call me an optimist (you'd be right), but I think you SHOULD have done that. The future is open now, and who knows what it will bring this time?

    AmyOops, your enthusiasm is catching. Perhaps chances are scary for that very reason, so that the leap is more amazing...

    1. I so hope you make that visit, and with our changing seasons it's always an adventure - we live in Shropshire, one of the most beautiful counties in England.

  5. Thanks for all the comments! And the winner is....

    Amy Oops!

    I'll contact you at your site to get your info. Thanks to everybody for playing, and, Carole, I will DEFINITELY find you when I get there! I'll let you know when I'm coming, even if it's (unfortunately) years from now.