• On This Valentine’s Day, LOVE

    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Today is what life is all about, people: LOVE. And it’s not always romantic love—just love in general. I’ve spent years writing books with love as a core theme. Love for a father, a mother, a grandmother, a grandfather; love for a daughter or son; love for one’s work; love for dear friends; love for life; and letting go of one love to begin another. . We’ve all been there. We’ve experienced euphoric relationships and devastating ones. We’ve felt the waves of a new love and the crushing sensation of a broken love. . People often ask me how much of “me” goes into the…

  • A Valentine’s Poem

    What the heck. How about a little Valentine’s poem written by yours truly? Happy Valentine’s Day, you all. I hope it’s a great one. * * The Part That Came After | by Stephanie Verni Lovely, lovely… Thoughts of you gallup through my mind On a rollercoaster of ifs and whats And then there was then The part that came after The heart and its mend. * Memories, Memories… Linger beyond the time we spent Laughing and fighting and laughing some more Until our sides split The part that came after A silliness fit. * Faraway, Faraway… Places we went are in my mind Visions of you in the sun…

  • Don’t Have Money To Spend This Valentine’s Day? Take A Cue From St. Valentine and Write A Letter

    First, a little historical perspective… St. Valentine lived during the time of Claudius the Cruel in Rome. Under his rule, Claudius was not fond of men who would not join his military leagues due to their devotion to their wives and families. Therefore, Claudius banned marriages and engagements in Rome. However, Valentine defied the emperor and continued to perform marriage rituals for people in love in secret. When Claudius discovered what Valentine was doing, he ordered him put to death. The sentence was carried out on February 14. While in jail and prior to his death, Valentine wrote a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become a friend.…

  • In Celebration of Valentine’s Day — Book Giveaways This Week

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday! After the BIG GAME is over, I figured it may be time to hunker down with some reading as we wait for winter to get the hell out of town. Plus, VALENTINE’S DAY is coming up, and I wanted to give away some love in the form of my contemporary fiction novels. I’ve completed reading four terrific books since January, and am presently reading numbers 5 & 6. I’m posting my reading list on the blog for you as it’s always nice to see what others are reading. Likewise, I’d love for you to share what you’ve read that you’ve enjoyed. BOOK GIVEAWAYS I’ll be posting…

  • A Word of Love—And Thanks—This Valentine’s Day

    *** Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my faithful followers and supporters! I wanted to just take a moment to thank you for being loyal, checking in periodically, and indulging me in my silly, sentimental, and inspirational writing posts. I love writing and sharing things with you, and I am incredibly excited to publish my third work of fiction in a matter of days. Inn Significant will be out NEXT WEEK, and I’ll be posting updates throughout the weekend of exactly when it will become available. I know I couldn’t and wouldn’t be a writer if it weren’t for all of you encouraging me to continue down the path of pursing…

  • Opening The Door to Love or Closing the Door to Love

    * * * In celebration of Valentine’s Day this weekend, instead of a little Friday Fiction, I’m featuring two poems I wrote. I don’t write poetry as much as I did when I was younger, but every once in a while I’m moved to write something. The first poem is about opening up to love in Dr. Seuss rhyming style, and the second is about closing the door to love and being brokenhearted in prose style. I figured I’d cover both bases. Hope yours is rather more like the former and less like the latter.  Happy Valentine’s Weekend… If Only You Dare | by S. Verni Love can grow from…

  • Five Inexpensive Ways to Make This Valentine’s Day Special

    Egad! I’m really about to do this. (And did I really just used an expression that is as archaic as I feel lately?) The answer is, yes. I’m about to end my push to write mushy Valentine’s cards and create something truly magical this year and by wooing those you love in a different manner. (But if you do want to write a mushy Valentine to go along with an inexpensive night, that’s not a bad idea either. Click here for some suggestions). If you’re struggling for that perfect Valentine, rest assured. Your Valentine is really just hoping that the special day gets to be spent doing something together. That’s…

  • On the Fear of Change & Valentine’s Cards

    When I put a call out to blog readers about what they wanted to see me write about this week, I received two good directions: blog about change and blog about Valentine’s cards. When I weighed the options, I liked them both, and since I’m heading out of town this weekend for a getaway with my girlfriends, I decided to write about both because, well, I aim to make everyone happy. The idea of change can create fear, and in some cases, an extremely real phobia called metathesiophobia; the word is derived from the Greeks and is a combination of the word “meta” which means “moving” and the word “phobos”…

  • Fictography #7 – The Valentine Postcard

    /FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). This week’s selected photograph comes from Mary Werzinsky Best. Mary and I have known each other for a few years, and she is the sister of one of my former colleagues and a dear friend, Chrissie Werzinsky. Both of these lovely ladies were big supporters of Beneath the Mimosa Tree, and I can’t tell you what that meant to me. Mary was a huge help today in getting the photo I needed for today’s Fictography post. I put out a notice on Facebook requesting a photograph of a street in Paris, and within minutes, Mary…

  • Low-Budget Ideas That Your Valentine Will LOVE

    Last year, my Valentine’s blog post was about putting some effort into your Valentine’s cards and that sending a Valentine’s text just won’t do. Sorry, but in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” So this year, I thought I’d provide some ideas that your Valentine will LOVE without breaking your bank, or lack thereof. I’m a firm believer that it’s the effort one gives towards a gift that counts more than the actual gift itself. That said, here are some low-budget ideas in the name of LOVE. Hearts of LOVE. One year, when my husband and I were first together, I cut out about 50…

  • Romantic Comedies for Valentine’s Day

    *** If you don’t want to fight-fight for a reservation at a restaurant or if you happen to be spending the holiday solo, have no fear. We can laugh and giggle at some great rom-coms that have been made over the years for our viewing pleasure. They may be light and airy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a touch of sweetness to them all. Now, I realize not everyone has the same sense of humor, nor does everyone have the same taste in romantic comedies. That said, I decided to post a list of my favorite romantic comedies—ones I either own or have bought for someone else to own…

  • For Valentine’s Day: Text Messages Are Not Substitutes For Cards

    *** As Valentine’s Day approaches, let’s just set the record straight—and not just for Valentine’s Day, but as a year-round clarification. Sending “lovey-dovey” text messages are not permitted as a substitute for sending a heartfelt card or letter to someone you care a great deal for this holiday. There, I’ve said it. (And I promise you, I do not work for Hallmark, nor am I employed by the U.S. Postal Service). Months ago I offered instructions on how to write a love letter (click here to see it). How often do we really take the time to pen something in our own hand, scrawl heart-felt words on paper, and give…