My Funny Valentine

This month on CRC we’re talking about holiday romances, and I’m pretty sure the holiday most people are thinking about is Christmas. But this year I’ve got Valentine’s Day on my mind. My novella CHILL OUT is set to release in time for the most romantic day of 2016. CHILL OUT is part of a series of short, fun novellas, and each one is named after a saying on one of the most popular Valentine candy. You know the ones I mean – the heart-shaped candy that says “I love you” or “Love me Tender” or some other heartfelt adage.  I was surprised to discover the range of sayings on these candies, and yes, CHILL OUT is one of them!

Candy hearts

Writing this story was fun because a) Who doesn’t like Valentine’s Day? And candy. b) It’s short and sweet. Well, not too sweet, I hope. c) I had a chance to exercise my funny bone in the writing of this story. And d) I got to create one of my all-time favorite characters. He’s big, muscular, and of the canine persuasion.

My hero Noah’s English Mastiff, who goes by the name of Spike, was inspired by my colleague’s Mastiff Indigo. Indy, as she prefers to be called, comes to work most days and hangs out with us. Actually, she mostly sleeps. And drools. She’s slow moving, but if she decides she wants to go in a direction you don’t want to go, it’s pretty hard to stop her because she’s very strong. Luckily, Indy is about as laid-back a dog as you’ll ever meet. Her sweet and affectionate nature makes her a favorite in the office. It’s lovely to visit with her during a day at work and get my doggie fix.

Indy isn’t the only dog who comes to work. There’s Huey, the poodle cross, Aero, the pure-bred Standard poodle, and Abby, the Pomeranian. But now that Indy, or a dog like her, is featured in one of my stories, my colleagues say their dogs deserve their own story, too. So I guess I’ll be working on that in the future!

Without further ado, here’s the cover of CHILL OUT and the blurb. I hope you like it!

Chill Out by Jana Richards

Renata Cabral needs to hide for the weekend. Her cousin’s Valentine’s Day wedding means she’ll face embarrassing questions from her large, extended family. Questions like “Why aren’t you married yet?”  Since the breakup of her last relationship, she’s not ready to answer that question. She invents a work-related excuse and escapes to a friend’s lakeside cottage.

Noah Brownlee has been hiding for two years. But now he’s ready to come home and mend his broken relationship with his brother. When a friend offers the use of his lakeside cottage, Noah arrives in the middle of a blizzard with his English Mastiff, only to find the place is already occupied. With her big brown eyes and quirky sense of humor, Renata stirs feelings he thought long dead.

As the blizzard rages, the candy hearts predict love. Can Valentine’s Day work its magic between them?


I don’t have a release date yet, but when I do I’ll be back with an excerpt from CHILL OUT!



My Funny Valentine — 2 Comments

  1. My director has in the past brought at least one of her cats to work. Much as I love cats, it was a little unnerving when he snuck up behind me, jumped up onto my desk and walked across the keyboard. Stealth cat, that one! I also had one colleague who brought her rabbit Doris to work on occasion. Doris got out of cage one time, made her way into my office and bit my phone cord in half! Well, at least it wasn’t the computer!

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