I suppose the word diamond has always evoked the memory of Marilyn Monroe's famous song from her movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I've also had the privilege of viewing the Crown Jewels in London a few times, as well as some stunning pieces in Paris museums. So generally, my personal connection with diamonds has been as an outsider. Diamonds, in my world, are for the extremely wealthy and privileged.
Therein lies the glamour of diamonds. Other than my engagement ring and another beautiful ring my husband gave me for our fifteenth anniversary, I don't wear diamonds. Frankly, I don't wear a lot of jewelry. But diamonds are the traditional symbol of love. And this is the symbol of love that ties all all of the fifteen stories together in Love and Diamonds, the Valentine Anthology published by Astraea Press.
Each of us was challenged to write a short story for Valentine's Day. The only requirements: it had to be a romance, and it had to include diamonds. We could interpret that any way we wished. Of course, I wanted my story to stand out, so that it would be included. I didn't want the typical wealthy gentleman showering a woman with bling. So I started thinking about other types of diamonds. Like baseball diamonds. I love to watch baseball, but there are authors who are more into sports than me. And then there's the phrase "diamond in the rough." I could write a story about a tough character who suddenly transforms himself into a polished gentleman!
But time was short, and when that happens, you write what you know. I taught elementary school for many years, and in that setting, the word diamond is simply a shape. Could I write a story set in a school setting, using the diamond shape as a vehicle for my two characters to get together? Suddenly, my high school geometry kicked in, and I remembered that a rhombus can also be described as a diamond shape. And so my imagination conjured up Paul Cramer, a high school math teacher, who needs help to ask his girlfriend to marry him. His plan for executing this momentous endeavor is called Operation Rhombus. Here's what it's about:
Valentine's Day is coming up and all Ellie Hartwell wants is to spend time with fellow teacher Paul Cramer, but he's too busy with his new project. It seems like everyone at Willow Run High School knows about Operation Rhombus and is rooting for his success. Ellie would be happy to offer her support, too—if she only knew what it was.
Operation Rhombus and fourteen other Valentine stories are available now from Astraea Press! You can get it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other ebook outlets!
Now it's prize time.
Six book bundles (each contains five ebooks from various AP authors) are offered. To get a chance at one of them, look back through this post for a certain word that might pop out at you (hint: it's on the roses and diamonds banner at the top of the page). When you know what my keyword is, click HERE to enter it in the secure form. Fourteen more keywords (and fourteen more chances to win) can be found by visiting the blogs of the rest of the authors below. Click on the picture below to find the links of the other participating authors.
The Valentine keyword scavenger hunt ends on Friday night, February 14, at midnight. Winners will be posted on the Astraea Press Facebook page on February 15.