Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Blog Hop: Is It Love?

Welcome to the Swept Away Valentine's Day Blog Hop. As a lifelong romantic, I decided to celebrate the holiday and the hop with a couple of fun prizes:

  • First Prize is a $10 Amazon gift card
  • Second Prize is your choice of any one of my books [TALI'S BOOKS]

To enter, leave a comment on this post and (optional) an answer to this question: What are your plans for Valentine's day? You must include your email address so I can contact you if you win. If I cannot get in touch with a winner, I will pick another winner for that prize.

So here are my thoughts on Valentine's Day.

Love is such a crazy thing. The part about skyrockets and hot fevered dreams isn't even love at all, it's infatuation. It's sex. It's true...we're hardwired for sex. The continuation of the species is written into our genes and we fall easily, madly, and continually in...lust.

It goes like this. We see another member of the species and our brains send a signal down the reproductive superhighway to our genitals. Straight or gay is all in the wiring, but the signal is old as the ages:

"Jump on that!"

Yep. Mother Nature has no patience. Our brains, which have evolved so as to be not completely under the control of our gonads, often try to put on the brakes. Why? Because it's the brain's job to do complex calculations like risk-reward or cost-benefit analysis. The gonads don't care about benefits and costs. They're completely on board with "Jump that!"

The signal to the gonads takes microseconds. Often the brain has no chance in hell of completing its analysis of the prospective partner, our complex needs and assets situation, and predictions for success or failure. It simply cannot meet the demand for information fast enough, with the result that we find ourselves hopelessly confused and being controlled by our gonads and a pair of endocrine glands with which the gonads are in cahoots.

We fall hard.

pic by Carolyn Sewell
Take an example from my own admittedly sheltered and boring life. One day I'm minding my business in high school, contemplating geometry...when Alan Brown talks to me. He's tall, cute, genuinely nice and a senior! He plays football! He never even knew I existed and now, for the first time in my hormone-flushed life, I exist. My gonads get the signal to jump that. My breathing gets faster in tandem with my heartbeat and I'm feeling all flushed and excited, and, has to be love!

No. That's confusion. But the flush in my genitals and on my cheeks is very real and I'm a goner if Alan isn't a nice guy in better control of his gonads than I am. As it turned out, we were both kind of new at the whole thing and never did much other than kiss and touch. My father got a new job and we moved away the next month, darn it.

I was devastated.

My brain, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as disappointed, because its cost-benefit analysis predicted disaster. Let's look at the many things against us:

  • I was sixteen. 
  • Alan was eighteen. 
  • Neither of us had a way to support ourselves or the possible child Mother Nature was determined to cause. 
  • There was an excellent possibility of one or both of us relocating in the near future (as indeed it turned out). 
  • There was a really excellent chance of him going off to war. (As it also turned out).
Gonads have tunnel vision and care about none of those things.

Which brings me to love. Alan and I didn't have a chance to find out if love was in the cards. Which is too bad because, you see, love changes the whole cost-benefit thing. We start to consider the other person's well-being, for example, as well as what we want. We make plans to address the risks and bring about higher reward outcomes. We truly care for the other person, as a person and not an object. But we still want to roll around in the nude and do undignified things with each other.

It took some mistakes, and a lot of pooh-poohing my brain's clamorous warnings (having a creative brain has its drawbacks), but I finally did find my true love. Having found him, I would never want to live without, not ever. Especially the lust part. Even my brain is on board with that now.

Tonight, for Valentine's Day, my husband and I are going out to eat. Every year he surprises me with where...and I surprise him with what I wear. Today's a great day to celebrate lust and love.

So...What are your plans for Valentine's Day? For a chance to win one of the prizes above, all you need to do is comment with your email address. My pretty poodle Cate and I will pick a winner on the morning of Monday, February 18th.

Thanks for stopping by! And you can go to the Blog Hop link [HERE] for more blogs and prizes.


  1. Hi I came through the blog. My first visit with you.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Hi, Tali,
    I love your writing and haunt DSP, so I was familiar with you before the hop.
    My plans for today: keep reading some yummy, romantic m/m books. They put a smile on my face!

    corieltauviqueen (at)

    1. Sounds like a great plan to me, Sue. :) I read a couple books a week because I just love reading so much!

  3. Hi Tali,

    I know your writing thru DSP, which I love! My plans include taking my geriatic cat to the vet, as he is the love of my life.


    1. Hi Susan. I have a geriatric dog, so know what you mean. You love 'em so much it's scary sometimes, but you can't imagine life without them.

  4. Finished Captive Heart recently, Fantastic. Adora's story should be another winner. Plan to watch Project Runway.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    1. Aw, glad you liked the book. :D I'm writing the final chapters of Adora's story right now, in fact.

  5. Pampering myself and blog hopping :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  6. No plans other than baking brownies for the grandsons.

  7. I'm having dinner out with my family. No SO, but this is nice just the same.


  8. No big plans for me. I've been at work all day and then I have to help the kids with their homework.


  9. I have no real plans for Valentine's Day. My fiance is away at grad school two states away. I suppose most women would be upset about that, but I have never been one for Valentine's Day. I always found it commercial. We will celebrate our love the next time we see each other and it will be special regardless of what day it is. Thanks for doing the hop!


  10. My plans for today included two long doctors' appointments and reading some romance. I pray I win, thank you!

  11. I have no plans for Valentine's. I have the kids tonight as well as my partner's out of country. Please count me in for the contest.


  12. I don't have any plans.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  13. I have no plans for valentines day.Thanks for giveaway.

  14. No major plans, but I made and ate some fabbo cupcakes!


  15. No plans until Sunday when we will be celebrating both my birthday and Valentine's (we did exchange cards this morning...)


  16. I have no plans for V-day. It's just another boring day for me. I don't even really consider it a holiday it's just a blah day... LOL...
    Heh, though, I am enjoying all the goodies that are coming thanks for this day, like the discounts and giveaways but other than that V-day is just stupid and a waste to me. :P heh... oh! But I can't deny all the yummy chocolates!! xD


  17. I will be home with my 4 guys (hubby, sons, and dad) in bed after having gallbladder surgery. Enjoyable as always!

  18. I made a great dinner for my daughter and I. Then we dipped strawberries in chocolate and watched a movie. It was a great date. LOL Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. I had no plans this year. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  20. no plans i'm single - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  21. I spent the holiday with my wonderful 18 month old niece. We watched Cinderella and when she took her nap I watched Pride and Prejudice. She made the day wonderful.


  22. Thanks for the giveaway! Sometimes I wish I was swept away by someone's love especially on Valentine's Day. Being young, I have yet to have the opportunity. If I could choose any man in the world to sweep me away, I would certainly choose Alexander Skarsgard. He's nice, funny, polite and well educated. If I could pick a fictional man, I would choose Jamie Fraser from "Outlander." With his rough physicality, loving sensibility, and fierce passion, I know I would be happy for the rest of my life. I wish I could be swept away to New Zealand or Scotland, somewhere beautifully green and primitive.
    Enough with my epic daydreams…
    Happy Valentine's Day!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  23. My plans revolved around my son. I spent Valentine's Day with him!

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  24. Valentines day was a normal work day for me. in the evening a nice meal at home with my hubby and watching tv.
    tessa dot bamberg at kolumbus dot fi

  25. Happy Valentine's day, Tali. PLease throw my name in the hat

    yinyang1062 at yahoo dot com


  26. I didn't have any plans and just stayed home and read for a while. I also watched some TV.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  27. Hope you had a happy valentine's day! We had a lovely homemade dinner at home, so glad we decided to avoid a crowded restaurant this year.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  28. I went to a friend's for dinner. Pot roast - yummy. :) Hope you had a great VD!


  29. We went to see our favorite band in concert. It was an amazing night!

    Sassychassy333 at gmail dot com

  30. We just stayed home, nothing special.


  31. We stayed home as usual! I got my dollar tree candy and card and so this year, I just made him a card. Which he actually seemed to really enjoy!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  32. I dragged my boyfriend to a musical. It was awesome, even though he wouldn't admit that. :D

    anasmith1919 at gmail dot com

  33. No significant other this year, so I was with my friends, having fun.

    anasmithblue AT gmail DOT com

  34. I loved your story on Gonads xD I'm single so I didn't do anything special for V-day. It was just like any other day.

    elyzabethmvaley AT gmail DOT com

  35. No plans. I stayed in and read a really good romance book! :) Thank you for the awesome hop and giveaway!!! :)

  36. No plans, I ate a ton of chocolate, read a good book and blog hopped lol.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!!
    Ashley A

  37. Just had a very relaxing night wit lots of chocolate. :)
    I loved the excerpt for Thick as Thieves. And I'm thrilled it will also be in print. I'd love to enter but I can't read e-books on this computer so I guess I can enter for the GC and books if they are print.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  38. I worked and then had dinner and spent time with my best friend. Thanks for the giveaway!


  39. For Valentines Day this year, I went to the movies with some girlfriends and then went out to dinner with my family. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  40. Valentine's Day this year was just like the last few years. No plans. Just reading.

    carolcobun @

  41. I spent the day watching DVRd History Channel shows. It was not romantic in the slightest. I may have wallowed in loneliness for a bit, but I snapped out of it! ;)
    OceanAkers @

  42. no plans