Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Love Lives After Valentine's Day by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy
Valentine’s Day 2018 was special for me. No, John didn’t buy me a diamond tiara. Last summer, I’d been invited to be part of a Valentine’s Day romance collection of novellas. Cooking up Kisses has been out since the middle of January. Writing my novella and all the ensuing promotional activities have kept love and hearts and kisses before me constantly for the past several months.

Knowing the Cooking Up Kisses collection had released, a local reporter, asked if I would let him interview me for his Valentine’s Day article in a local newspaper. In one of his questions, he asked what was my definition of love.

My answer came easily. I had just published a blog post on how to show love in stories. I researched behaviors heroes and heroines would exhibit if they loved each other. I used behaviors associated with several traits listed in The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

No attribute showed up for loving in the book’s list. I was forced to decide which attributes fostered loving behaviors. Here’s the list I used: 

• Affectionate,
• Appreciative,
• Charming,
• Courteous,
• Empathetic,
• Gentle,
• Generous,
• Loyal,
• Nurturing,
• Patient,
• Supportive, and
• Trusting.

After perusing the twenty-five to thirty-five behaviors for each of my twelve attributes, I received a picture of what love is. I couldn’t tell a definition of love, but I could show examples of love between a hero and heroine. Not to leave anyone disappointed, here’s the best definition of love I’ve come across.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
How about you, what do you think should be included in depicting love?

About the Author
A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy, author of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk, writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. When she’s not writing, Zoe enjoys her five grandchildren, teaching Bible studies, leading workshops on writing, knitting and crocheting shawls for a prayer shawl ministry, gardening, and canoeing. She lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Zoe blogs regularly at www.zoemmccarthy.com.

Cooking Up Kisses
Five Sweetly Scrumptious Novellas
Cooking Up Kisses (Five Sweetly Scrumptious Novellas)

Alana Mulvaney’s life is in a holding pattern. Consumed by day-to-day operations of the family business, Alana has no time for fun or romance. But a little fun and a whole lot of romance is just what Alana’s sisters have in mind when they learn childhood friend Donovan O’Reilly has returned to town.

Toni Littlebird believes that when she meets the man God created for her, she’ll know—and she’ll love him in that very moment.
But then Dax Hendrick roars into Hummingbird Hollow on a noisy, crippled Harley, stinking up the air and chasing away her beloved hummingbirds. One look into the intruder’s eyes and her heart sinks. He’s “The One.” She’d been right about knowing, but wrong about something far more important: She will never love this man!

Cara Peyton is content with her life, her trendy Baltimore bookshop is perfect for her. But when her ex turns up to remodel the store, asking for a second chance, she’s torn and unsure about risking her heart again. Can he convince her to trust him, and God, before the job is finished?

Another Valentine’s Day and Quinn Randolph prefers to spend it with her sweet rescue lab. Who needs men and their broken promises? Especially Pierce Karson’s! Years ago, his desertion shattered her. Now he’s trying to steal the property she targeted to expand her florist shop! Pierce only wants to belong…and for Quinn to choose him. His Valentine Promise…

Candace Parks lives a passionless life in Richmond. The computer programmer returns to the empty family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains solely to evaluate her job, faith, and boyfriend. Her high school crush, Trigg Alderman, who barely remembers her, visits his Gram next door. Sorting her life out? How about nothing of the sort!

Zoe M. McCarthy is a regular contributor to Seriously Write. For more posts by Zoe, click here.


  1. LOVE that verse, Zoe! It really does say it all.

    1. Yes, Dawn, I think the verse fits all the behaviors I listed.

  2. "Laying down your life for . . ." in the definition of love, and in depicting love "listening"

    1. Marcia, whenever I read the verse you mention, I believe we can lay down our life and die or we can lay down many years of our living life for others. I used "listen" in my male example on my blog.


We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!