Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stupid Cupid

By Ellen Byerrum

First of all, let me thank you for inviting me on The Stiletto Gang today. I’m thrilled to be among such great writers. And now. . .

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays. Love it or hate it. I have generally hated it. First, my birthday is far too close to Cupid’s Day for comfort, so I never received anything special for hearts and flowers day. If anyone thought about it, it was, “yeah, this is for your birthday, and. . . uh, yeah, Valentine’s Day.” Or there were the guys who went on a rant: “It’s just a stupid Hallmark-manufactured holiday and I refuse to take part in crass commercialism. I mean seriously, flowers, candy. What’s the point?”

I guess the point was “good bye, Joe.”

Before I met my husband, Bob, my Valentine’s Day traditionally featured Cupid sticking out his tongue, laughing hysterically, mocking me, flying upside down, smacking into walls, shooting arrows, and missing. Or, hitting me in the you-know-what. Before Bob, I had my more than my fair share of romantic disasters that happened on Valentine’s Day. Including, but not limited to, two regrettable boyfriends who married other people on the 14th day of the second month of the year. Different years, but still.

My history is unfortunate for Lacey Smithsonian, the heroine of my Crime of Fashion novels. Because I like to share the misery. And sometimes, Lacey has the advantage—or disadvantage—of my experience. The latest book in my series, Shot Through Velvet, takes place in February and ends on Valentine’s Day. As we all know, the course of true love never runs smooth, so I’ve given Lacey a major case of Valentine jitters.

Her past history has Lacey convinced that that this Valentine’s Day will be another disaster. She wants to ignore the whole thing, but her sexy boyfriend Vic Donovan, has other ideas. But Lacey doesn’t have time to worry about hearts and flowers when a strange and colorful murder at a dying velvet factory in Southern Virginia takes her attention. Lacey dodges Cupid’s yearly disaster attack while delving into a murder where the victim has been dyed blue.

While she interviews and follows up on possible suspects at the factory, she also dances around an invitation to attend a Valentine’s party given by Donovan’s mother. The race is on to see whether the grim reaper or Cupid captures Lacey this February.

As for me, my luck changed when I came home one night from a long trip and found my husband had chilled champagne and spread a dozen red roses on my pillow. My heart danced a jig. And it wasn’t even Valentine’s Day.

Do you have any Valentine’s Day stories to share?

Ellen Byerrum is a Washington, D.C., news reporter, novelist and playwright. She also holds a Virginia private investigator's registration. Her bestselling Crime of Fashion mysteries star a savvy, stylish sleuth: Lacey Smithsonian, a reluctant fashion reporter in Washington D.C., "The City Fashion Forgot."


  1. Ellen, thanks for coming by! It's always wonderful when you visit the Stiletto Gang.

    My daughter's birthday is the day after Valentine's Day so we always make an effort to separate the two events. I know what you mean about the 14th, though: so many expectations, always disappointed in the past. Fortunately, my husband is very romantic and never forgets so there is always something for me on that day. Wonderful guy. Maggie

  2. Hope you have a lovely birthday and a happy Valentine's Day, Ellen! I know Bob makes every day a holiday! He's such a great guy (and he's got a great gal in you!). Thanks again for guesting with us. I hope SHOT THROUGH VELVET sells oodles!

  3. It's a pleasure to be here today. I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day. No dead roses. Happy Birthday to your daughter, Maggie.

  4. I love that your new book coincides with Valentine's Day. And I love your series, Ellen! I hope you have an extra-special birthday- it's deserved!

    I don't really have an opinion either way on the holiday. It's sweet... I dislike the color red but LOVE pink... This year my husband & I are are slathering our love on our 22 month old, Gabriel... because no matter what the holiday stands for, Gabriel IS the true love of our lives. I cook & bake with love every day so I don't need an "extra special day" to "force" me to remember... I am reminded everyday in little actions... & big ones.

  5. Lishie, I think you've go the perfect attitude toward Valentine's Day. Of course, I am lucky to have Bob, who is the cat's pajamas in my life.

  6. That was a fun post. I don't really care one a or the other about Valentine's Day now. My favorite memory of Valentine's Day, though, was making Valentine's at my auntie's when I was a kid out of construction paper, paper doilies, sequins and all sorts of goodies.


  7. It could have been worse. The two regrettable boyfriends could have married each other on February 14.

    No Valentine's Day stories from me. In fact, I'm all for capturing Cupid, chaining him to a rock, and having an eagle gnaw at his liver every day, only to have it regenerate overnight.

  8. I was like you with Valentine's Day before I met my husband. I never hated the Holiday, although it is a bit over rated.

    My best Valentine's Day was in 2006. My husband and I had been together for nearly three years and not even married a year yet. I was working as a CNA in a Nursing Home. I requested off for the holiday well in advance because it was going to be the first Valentine's Day that my husband and I would be Mr. and Mrs. Hatfield. Well, I got a phone call from work on Valentine's Day evening that they didn't not have any CNA's on the floor so I did what any good employee would do and went to work. I was prety bummed because not only did I miss out on our special occasion but we were so busy because we were so short handed BUT a couple hours later I seen a person walk in with a huge dozen roses bouquet and they were for me. It made my night.

  9. Aw, Tiffany, that's so sweet! What a wonderful hubby! Hope you both have a lovely Valentine's Day tomorrow.

    So, purpleranger, I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that you don't like Cupid much, eh? (Hee hee! You are too funny!)

  10. Thanks Susan, he may not be perfect to anyone else but he is my puzzle piece.
    I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and to those of you who have not found true love; I hope that you keep your hearts open you never know when the opportunity will come your way.

    Remember, Valentine's Day does not always have to mean you have to be with someone. It is about Love and sharing that Love with anyone you find special: Children, friends, and/or family.

    A Happy birthday to all the Valentine babies!!! What special gifts you have brought to your parents.

    Be Blessed