I’m quite positive we’re going to cry with this one…
Once Upon A Valentine: Imperfectly Yours Volume 2 released last week in the Collection Genre.
By His Side – Sheila Kell
Tonya Beck never got over her first love. So, when Hunter Stoneman loses his legs in combat, she steps up and ensures he has a canine companion. While they grow close again, Hunter tells her he wouldn’t saddle her with a cripple. Then they are thrust together during an ice storm where their hearts aren’t the only thing in danger.
Follow Her Heart – Teri McGill
Since his wife’s tragic death in a car accident two years ago on Valentine’s Day, Bryant Ripley has lived with unbearable guilt. The additional damage to his already impaired hearing was inconsequential compared to the dark secret he has kept hidden. Will the truth destroy his second chance at happiness? Gina D’Amato, born with a congenital heart defect, has been to hell and back more than once. Can her already broken heart survive falling in love?
Love on the Menu – Libby Kay
Jackson is devoted to his restaurant, but his MS flare-ups prove he needs help planning the perfect Valentine’s menu. Elsie is hungry to show her hometown, and a certain chef, what she can do. Their love of food brings them together, but the kitchen isn’t the only place heating up.
Defending the Drag Queen – Jen FitzGerald
Elijah Turner’s life revolved around diabetes and hockey, in that order. Mark Roncalli, mild mannered CPA during the week and drag queen on the weekends, keeps his two personas separate. When their two worlds meet — Elijah being the celebrity judge at the drag queen pageant Mark enters, both their lives take a turn for the better.
Take a Chance – Sage MacGowan
Skye Usry is a spitfire who doesn’t let cerebral palsy get in her way. She also recognizes a good man when she sees one. The problem is, Jason Stout is down on love; women seem to want him just for his money. Just as Jason and Skye’s friendship is growing, a “secret” of his is revealed. Will she accept his attempts at reconciliation?
Cup of Joe – Karen Chesley
Carly is surrounded by love and support to rein in her impulses while working at Lovi’s diner. Joe moved to Valentine, Nebraska to isolate himself and protect others from his ever-changing moods. That is until the adorable waitress crashes into his life. Will Carly’s impulsivity succeed against Joe’s emotional walls? Or will Joe shut her out and reject the help he so desperately needs to let love in?
A Long Line – Amarantha Reid
Bretta finds herself in pain, from both lupus and a divorce. Life is definitely changing, but she never expected the turn it would take to lead her to Gus. Will Cupid’s arrow have true aim, and bring them together on Valentine’s Day?
Look at Me – Joelle Casteel
During their second date on Valentine’s Day, Eve explains to Michael about the text-to-speech device she uses as a non-speaking Autistic person. They enjoy a wonderful evening together: dinner, exploring a bookstore, and watching TV at her home. Through it all, he learns to look at her face and support her way of speaking.
Hidden Assets – B.D. Anderson
Jazz Valentine is a beautiful woman with a secret. She was born without any body hair. Jazz didn’t think that there was a man out there who would accept her condition until she met Derrick Carrington, a man with a secret of his own. He was born with only a few permanent teeth. Like Jazz, he felt that he may not ever find “the one,” until that fateful day when he saved her from a runaway bike messenger. Jazz lost her wig and he lost his heart.
Best Hearts – Lucy Marker
Reluctant CPA Barry Owens knows he would be happier as a counselor for special needs families, especially since leaving accounting will allow him to pursue a romance with his assistant. But Kevin can’t afford to indulge his feelings for Barry. He’s too busy juggling work with the care he provides his older brother Matt, who has special needs. Matt has his own plans, and his wisdom challenges Barry and Kevin to find a balance between responsibility and desire.
Royalties will go to @PetsForVets
With us today is Sage MacGowan, author of Take a Chance.
My niche in romance fiction is writing stories featuring characters with disabilities. Twenty or so years ago, when I first fell into reading romance, the books I read shied away from the topic. If a disability was depicted, it was cured by the end. That didn’t sit well with me, but it took ten years for the spark of becoming a writer to find me.
A couple of years ago I stumbled across Disability and Romance Authors & Readers, a group on Facebook. The woman who started the group, Teri McGill, decided to put together anthologies of stories written by the members of the group. Once Upon a Valentine is the second such collection.
The theme of this anthology, as you might suspect, is Valentine’s Day. The stories are varied—different levels of heat and diverse characters and couples—but one thing they have in common is they end on Valentine’s Day. They portray people faced with difficulties, who come together to support one another. One of my favorite themes in my writing is friendship and mutual support. I wanted to write a story for this anthology because I believe in the magic of friendship and love, and that all people are worthy of a loving relationship.
While the length constraints of a novelette hindered fully-fleshed characterization, I hope I have successfully captured the spirits of my heroine and hero. Skye and Jason are both strong-willed and it is their tendency to jump to conclusions that puts a monkey wrench into their relationship. Luckily, they realize the errors of their ways. Take a Chance is a sweet story of two people who could stand alone if they needed to, but realize life is better when it’s shared.
Sage MacGowan is an experienced veterinary nurse who fits animals and medicine into her writing as often as she can. Her writing increases inclusivity in the romance genre by featuring characters with disabilities. Sage’s debut novel, Through Fire, was published in 2019. Her other passions include hiking, camping, Sudoku, and volunteering as the program director of an organization that pairs up military veterans with service dogs. She resides in beautiful central Oregon and is a member of Romance Writers of America.
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