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Thanks so much for visiting this stop on the Valentine Blog Hop!  We’re talking about love, and I’ll be delving into my family history.  Comment below, and you could win a free e-copy of my medieval romance, Flight of the Raven, the first of The Novels of Ravenwood.  So without further ado…

This October, my husband and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary.  Last April, my parents celebrated their 50th.  But as Valentine’s Day approaches, I want to focus on the marriage of my maternal grandparents, better known as Nanny and Poppy.  Their bond was true and as strong as they come.

When Poppy’s naval ship sank during World War II, Nanny received word he’d been killed in action.  She ignored the telegram and remained calm, but not out of denial.  Her keen intuition—passed down to my mom, me, and my twins—insisted he was alive.  Months later, her belief was vindicated, and they spent the rest of their lives together in Virginia, Peru, and finally, Florida.

After 68 years of marriage, Nanny passed away.  Shortly thereafter, Alzheimer’s seized Poppy, and he moved into a nursing home.  His health plummeted, and my parents rushed to his side.  The nurse told them he was comatose and hadn’t spoken for four days.

My mom took his hand.  “Poppy, I love you.”

 “I love you too,” he replied.

It was a miracle of sorts.  Not only did he speak, but he recognized my mom.  She stayed in his room from that point on.

Two days later, throughout the day, his gaze darted around the room and up to the ceiling.  He repeatedly raised his arms toward what he saw.

The next day, my mom, her best friend, and the nurse witnessed an incredible reunion.  Something unseen lifted Poppy and held him so he sat up in bed.  Though his muscles were dormant, the movement was quick.  He could never have accomplished the feat on his own.

An expression of intense love transformed his features.  My mom sensed another presence in the room and was certain he gazed upon the person he loved most in the world, Nanny.

The next morning and afternoon, seven hawks circled outside his window.  His time had come; still, he hung on.  Toward the end of the day, my mom grabbed the phone.  Her gut told her Poppy needed to hear from his other daughter, so she called her sister and held the phone to his ear.

 “It’s okay to go,” my aunt said.

He murmured his last words, the only ones he’d spoken—besides “I love you too”—for nine days.  “Bye-bye.”

Two hours later, he died.  It was November 23, five months to the day after his wife’s death.  The next night, my three-year-old sons woke me and my husband from a sound sleep to report that Nanny and Poppy had appeared in their bedroom.  My grandparents came together to check on the boys while they slept.

Their love lasted a lifetime and then transcended it.  That’s the kind of love I write about in The Novels of Ravenwood series.  Physical attraction is great, and it abounds in Flight of the Raven, Soul of the Wolf, and the three books to follow.  But you’ll also find something deeper:  the meeting of minds, the interplay of souls.  These are the things which pave the way for true and lasting love.  And on that note, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s the scoop on Flight of the Raven!

FlightoftheRaven_w10928_750How eager would the bridegroom be if he knew he could never bed the bride?

Lady Emma of Ravenwood Keep is prepared to give Sir William l’Orage land, wealth, and her hand in marriage.  But her virginity?  Not unless he loves her.  The curse that claimed her mother is clear:  unless a Ravenwood heir is conceived in love, the mother will die in childbirth.  Emma is determined to dodge the curse.  Then William arrives, brandishing raw sensuality which dares her to explore her own.

William the Storm isn’t a man to be gainsaid.  He’ll give her protection, loyalty, and as much tenderness as he can muster.  But malignant memories quell the mere thought of love.  To him, the curse is codswallop.  He plans a seduction to breach Emma’s fears and raze her objections.  What follows is a test of wills and an affirmation of the power of love.

for the next stop on the valentine hop, click below:

1. A Time For Love ~ Casi McLean 2. Spunk & Hunks ~ Anna Durand
3. Love in the Month of February ~ Mary Morgan 4. Love Potions and Charms ~ Sorchia Dubois
5. He said he wasn’t the romantic kind of guy, but… ~ Peggy Jaeger 6. Love and War ~ Gini Rifkin
7. Sexy Chocolate Cakes ~ Kayden Claremont 8. 50 Great Date Ideas ~ Devon Mckay
9. Hearts Abound ~ Tena Stetler 10. Love Every Day ~ Darlene Fredette
11. Importance of Valentines Day ~ Maureen Bonatch 12. Souls Forever Bound ~ Judith Sterling
13. Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day ~ Barbara Bettis 14. A Romantic Valentine Dinner ~ Jana Richards
15. Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense ~ Kathryn Knight 16. Book Bling ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks
17. Sweet Romances ~ Katherine McDermott 18. Historical Heartbeats ~ Brenda B. Taylor
19. An Awesome Bewitching Author Valentines Day ~ Lisa Voisin 20. Idea City ~ Kitsy Clare/Catherine Stine
21. Welcome to the ABA Valentine Hop ~ Linda Nightingale 22. Bridie Hall YA Author ~ Bridie Hall
23. A Time For Love Valentine Blog Hop ~ Amber Daulton 24. ‘Out Of This World’ Romance ~ Hywela Lyn
25. Time Travel For Love ~ Karen Michelle Nutt 26. Valentine’s Day – A Family Tradition ~ Holland Rae
27. Historical Heartbeats