A very Valentine’s #WritingChallenge!

WritingChallenge imageThe #WritingChallenge is back with a bang for the most romantic holiday of the year – Valentine’s Day!

This one is short and sweet – you can make it funny, sexy, romantic, dramatic, and from any part of your hero and heroine’s relationship you like… Just as long as it’s Valentine’s Day-tastic!

Give us your best Valentine’s encounter between your hero and heroine!

Happy writing, and we’ll be checking in on Monday to see what treats you’ve written for us!

The SYTYCW Editors


54 replies on “A very Valentine’s #WritingChallenge!”

Ellie closed her eyes as the lift headed upwards through the metal work of the tower. She hated heights at the best of times but how could she tell Josh she really hated the ride in this lift when all that was between you and the outside world was a lump of metal. Making her feel worse was that it was dark outside, why they were going up in the dark she didn’t know. Josh was being romantic in his own way taking her to the place they had met a year ago and she knew she was being ungrateful, but she would have been happy anywhere down on the ground. What Ellie really wanted was for Josh to propose and then they could plan their life together, she sighed thinking that it wasn’t to be.
It was Valentine’s Day and she should be happy that he was being romantic but the tower she really wanted to visit was in Paris not Blackpool. She closed her eyes and tried to breathe through her rising panic.
Josh pulled her closer and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “We’re nearly there sweetheart.”
She nodded her head against his shoulder and smiled at him. She should be happy that he remembered where and when they met; her last boyfriend would forget every year.
The lift slowed and the doors opened with annoying slowness. Ellie just wanted her feet on something firm again; she certainly wouldn’t be stepping on the glass where you could see the town below. The corridor was dimly lit, the moonlight was the only thing lighting the corridor. Unusually there were no other visitors today, Ellie hadn’t thought about that until they walked around. She noticed candles at the far end of the floor, which confused her. Josh grabbed her hand and pulled her along. He was quiet and the tension radiated from him like a beacon.
They stepped around the corner and Ellie let out a gasp there were candles glistening everywhere and petals sprinkled on the floor. Near the viewing platform nestled a small tabled with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. She turned to Josh confused, they must have walked in on someone else’s romantic valentines date and she felt so embarrassed.
Josh wasn’t by her side, he knelt before her. His face was apprehensive but his hand was held out towards her.
“Ellie I know this isn’t the tower you wanted to visit this Valentine’s Day. When you walked into me twelve months ago I couldn’t believe my luck, I had seen you across the platform, your blonde hair escaping the messy knot you had tied it into. You looked so scared and I wanted to pull you into my arms, especially when I felt you shaking.” He took her hand in his and smiled. She looked at him with a mixture of shock and embarrassment on her face. “I love you more than life its self and I would do anything for you. Would you please make me the luckiest man in the world and agree to be my wife?”
He held a ring with his other hand, the three diamonds glistened in the candle light and she recognised it as the one she had shown him in the local jewellers a couple of weeks ago, he hadn’t shown any interest in it.
“Please say yeah. This floor is freezing,” he said.
“Yes, yes of course I will marry you.” The tears flowed down her cheeks, his proposal was perfect, and it had been everything she dreamed of. The flowers and the candles had all been in her dreams but she couldn’t remember discussing them with Josh, only Dana knew.
He slid the ring on to her finger and pulled her into his arms. “I love you Ellie and I know it’s not Paris…” She put her finger to his lips.
“Shush. Everything is perfect how did you know?”
“I do listen sometimes you know and Dana did give me a few pointers. I will take you to Paris one day.”
He wrapped his hands around her face and kissed her.
“I love you Josh. Thank you for making it so perfect, who needs Paris. Anywhere with you would be perfect.”
His arms slid around her and they moved towards the viewing platform, watching the lights twinkling below. Ellie was so caught up in her excitement that she forgot all about her fear of heights. The pop of the bottle being opened made her jump and Josh poured two glasses of bubbly handing one to Ellie. She took a sip and the bubbles tickled her nose.
“To us,” he said and touched his glass with hers.
“To us,” she replied. “How did you manage to pull all this off? It’s amazing.”
“Let’s just say I have friends in high places, now let’s enjoy our moment.”
He wrapped his arm around her and she snuggled into his chest.

Jo, I love that he’s such a dark horse! There’s something so romantic about a man who is prepared to admit what isn’t quite perfect (it’s Blackpool, not Paris), and still manage to make it swooningly romantic. Plus I loved the detail about how he wants her to hurry up with the answer as the floor is so freezing… very touching, very real and still wonderfully escapist!

The SYTYCW Editors x

A top-of-the-tower proposal–unique by the very thought of it; one of a kind by the very act of it. Nice scene, Jo! I loved the “hidden” apprehension that you gave to Ellie, regarding the “height,” and how that didn’t stop her with Josh at her side–and was no doubt forgotten, after the carry through of love in the end.

Lottie had put on white pyjama bottoms with a pink bunny pattern and a pink tank top after her bubble bath. She left her long acorn brown hair piled loosely up on her head. She was feeling relaxed and the soreness in her muscles was receding.

It had been a gruelling day of training. The ten kilometre full pack hike hadn’t been too bad but the fitness stations every kilometre had been killer. She figured her ass would be the last thing to heal from all the squats Zav had made them perform.

Lottie’s thoughts hung on Zav as she padded to the fridge to figure out something for supper. He was the tastiest thing she could think of right now. Maybe some day she would gird her loins and approach him about the attraction she had for him.

Maybe ask him out. Maybe not. She frowned at her hesitation.

Lottie had no trouble tackling any part of a security detail, including unloading her pistol into the bad guy. Why was she such a coward about talking to Zav about her feelings for him.

You know why. Fear of rejection.

Lottie’s was a tall, muscular woman. Her broad shoulders and physical presence intimidated pretty much every guy she had encountered. Which was fine for the job but not great for her love life. She had never had a date on Valentine’s Day and this year was no exception.

Lottie sighed as she opened the refrigerator.

The door bell rang.

Frowning, Lottie closed the fridge and went to her front door. She glanced out the side window, Zav was on her front porch and he was wearing a tuxedo.

Eyebrows raised in surprise, Lottie opened the door. She got a hit of expensive aftershave, musky and soft.

“Happy Valentine’s Day Charlotte.” Zav’s black hair was combed back and damp from the shower. He black eyes twinkled with mischief as he offered her a bouquet of red roses.

“I, I mean, what is this?”

“This is me pay court to a beautiful woman on this day of romance.” Zav’s light Slavic accent tickled her ear and he gave her a slow sexy smile. “These are for you,” he said.

“Thank you,” Lottie said automatically and accepted the bouquet. “Please come in.” Why was she sounding so formal, she wondered as Zav entered her small house. It felt several degrees smaller with him standing with her in the foyer.

“I am not interrupting anything am I?” Zav asked closing the door.

“No I was just going to make some dinner.” She couldn’t help staring at the impressive and sexy picture Zav made in his tux.

“Ah. I have that taken care of.”


“Yes, it will be served by candlelight. But first, even though you look tempting as you are dressed, I might suggest a few more clothes for dinner. We have people delivering it and I would respect your modesty.”


“Duck a l’Orange.” His eyes were traveling over her body as he spoke. Lottie got the feeling he wasn’t thinking about food right now.

“Alright, just give me a moment to put these in water.”

“No,no. I’ll handle that while you dress.” She offered him back the roses but instead of taking them Zav grasp Lottie’s wrist and gently pulled her forward. As his arms came around her He head lowered and his warm lips pressed Lottie’s. He kissed her gently at first then his control slipped as he tasted her for the first time and she willingly opened her mouth to deepen the kiss.

The door bell rang again, damn it. They broke the kiss.

“I have to answer that,” Zav said. His eyes were burning as he looked into hers.

“I should dress.” Lottie agreed and Zav reluctantly released her.

They watched each other, eyes locked until Lottie closed her bedroom door. She reached for a clingy red dress in her closet and thought about untying Zav bow-tie.

I like his formality against her bunny pj softness, especially when he exceeds her casual Friday expectation of pizza with duck a l’orange, that really works for me

He’s a keeper 😉
Love the original heroine, and how Zav is clearly man enough to be attracted to, not intimidated by, her strength. Also, some nice hints at her emotional backstory too. Great!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Prince Bastian’s yawn almost knocked the podium over. He hated award ceremonies. The vapid golfer who won sports person of the year expected to go out afterwards for a night’s drinking along with eminent footballers and their wags.

The autocue indicated next award was for some swimmer he never heard of who did her country proud. Thankfully his secretary prepared something for him to say. He shuffled his notes and found the one marked important swimmer. He read without bothering to process the usual insincere platitudes.
‘Before I announce this prestigious award, I want to mention today is Valentines day, a celebration we should be proud of as it celebrates love and romance.’ Good one Dottie he muttered under his breath. This brings a sentimental note to the awards and also reminds the public that golfer is three timing his wife. He hid his smile and read on.
‘In the spirit of this special day, I wish to announce that Dottie Dunford, my very personal assistant just accepted my proposal. Come on up here Dottie.’
He dropped his pile of cards on the floor. What on earth?
Dottie appeared from whereever she lurked while he was busy. ‘Thank you sir, I intend to do the country proud, as Princess Dot. ‘
‘What on earth?’ Bastian mouthed.
‘It’s the only way I could think of to save your life. I don’t want it any more than you do.’ Dottie handed him a card. ‘Read this next. The swimmer wants her five minutes of fame.’

Intriguing! Love how you use the details of Dot’s speech notes to Bastian to set up both their relationship, but also her sparkiness, so quickly. Would love to know what happens next!
The SYTYCW Editors x

They were deep in their own world, the noisy skating rink meant nothing to them. They might as well have been on the moon, but that was fine with Eloise.
She had never learned to skate and he had insisted that she try it once.
He was a good skater, strong and sure, tracing her name on the ice and laughing at the funny combination of letters in it. He spelled it wrong first, bowing his apology and starting over with a flourish of ice spray, adding a heart at the end of it.
His hand in hers kept her upright as she tried to make the turn at the far end of the rink. and shenheld it tight.
At some point, she would have to let go of it if she was going to throw her arms around him and kiss him full on the lips. Her funny, funny valentine, he was worth the chanc of falling on her face in front of the whole group.

Lovely – pure romance! My heart melted when he carved the heart for her in the ice 🙂
The SYTYCW Editors x

The rap on the door made Carrie drop the paintbrush, splattering paint over the tiled floor. No-one ever came here. Apart from the private physiotherapist who came once a week. Only her agent knew she was here and he knew his life wasn’t worth giving her away.

The knock came again and she struggled to her feet, dismissing the crutch that leaned against the back of the chair. It had been a year. Time enough for her to stand on her own two feet.
By the time she unlocked the door, the visitor had rapped again, a brisk and impatient tattoo.
Keeping the right side of her face averted she stared at the massive arrangement of dark red roses.
“Ms. Blake?” A stranger’s voice, young and male.
“Special delivery. Happy Valentine’s Day.” He thrust them at her and she took them automatically, inhaling the lush scent. *Valentine’s Day?* She’d lost track. His rapid steps rattled the old fashioned timber stairs and in moments, he was gone, the wheezy sound of his van fading down the street of this small country town.
She limped into the kitchen and sat the roses in their glass vase on the bench. A small envelope emblazoned with a heart sticker and her name in curly script taunted her. It could be from her agent. Al liked the personal touch. But red roses wouldn’t be the touch he’d choose for her. Not when she was unlikely to work again on film. He’d been suggesting voice-over work. A Disney script was sitting on the couch waiting for her to make up her mind.
With a swift movement, made awkward by the brace on her right hand, she opened the envelope. A plain card, this time with her name in bold spikey characters. She recognised it instantly. *Max.* Her heart did a crazy spin, pounding against her ribcage. *He’d found her.* The words froze her insides. “Happy Anniversary, Baby, I’ve got you on my mind.”

She’d handed him back the ring, all those months ago in her hospital bed. Her face and arm were still bandaged, her leg pinned and plastered, but she knew the prognosis. The beautiful Carrie Blake, cover model turned actress, would be beautiful no longer, even after extensive plastic surgery. A sheet of ice, a fuel truck, and Max, unable to avoid the conflagration on their way home from the Valentine’s Day dinner where he’d asked her to marry him.

Putting the card down, she saw more words on the back. “You can run, but you can’t hide. See you soon.”
Her hand crept to her cheek, rubbing the hard ridges of scar tissue. He’d loved her skin, worshipped her beauty. Said it so many times. He was an artist, a cinematographer known for the stunning splendour of the images he took for the screen.
Uncertain, she looked at the half finished painting. Therapy, to help limber up the tendons in her damaged hand and presumably heal the scars in her soul. Nothing could do that. Not without Max in her life.
A sudden thump on the door sent her heart racing.
He was here. Always she’d dressed up for him and now she was standing around in denim cut-offs and a paint spattered Ramone’s t-shirt.
*Suck it up.* This is reality and it was time he knew. She reached for the knob, chest tight, heart hammering.

Such a beautiful, beautiful and incredibly emotional and very moving piece of writing, Fiona! Wow. Your writing is very powerful. You have such an amazing ability to paint vivid imagery with words which makes the scene and surroundings come to life for the reader. Loved this, Fiona. 🙂

Great! A tragic backstory, but you’ve set up a complex, damaged yet fascinating heroine. Would love to know how Max handles her truth!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Piper made her way to the top of the Empire State Building. The slight warm breeze sifted gently through her hair as she held onto the railing surrounding the Observation Deck. She looked out at the incredible view unseeingly.
This, the setting for so many unforgettable movies, a home for romantics. Tears pricked at the back of her eyes. She had a heart full of love only her love didn’t have a home. The door had been firmly slammed shut in its face. Rejected.
She had fought for so long, hoping he would see how deeply her feelings ran for him. He must have been aware of how much she loved him. How could he not. She had made it obvious enough. But he had remained unaffected when she had told him, merely hours ago that she could no longer play the role of his fiancee in order to make his ex jealous enough to make her want to come back to him. Piper bit onto her bottom lip. Was she so undesirable? So unlovable? Even her mother had found it hard to show her affection. Was she never going to be able to curb this yearning to belong, to be wanted?
“I thought this is where I’d find you.”
The deep voice which came from behind her, startled her. Her slender frame stiffened but she didn’t turn to face him. Nick. He was close. Very close. She could feel the warmth radiating off his tall lithe muscular frame.
“What are you doing here?” She tried to keep her voice devoid of emotion. “It’s Valentines Day, shouldn’t you be celebrating with the love of your life?”
“That is my intention.”
“You’d better hurry along then, before she starts wondering where you’ve got to.”
“She knows where I am. I’m standing right next to her.”
Piper felt her breath catch. She felt heart heart do a crazy somersault and the blood began to pound in her veins. She didn’t dare turn to look at him. She must have misheard him. Unless he’d brought his ex along with him and she was stood here too, next to him.
“You see, when you told me you wanted out and I watched you leave. I realised that I was allowing the woman whom I loved and desired with all of my heart and soul to walk out of my life. The pain that feeling caused was unbearable.”
Hot tears streamed down Piper’s face as she turned to look up at him. There was no ex, it was only Nick who was stood stood there, next to her, looking into her eyes with a love which made her knees turn to liquid. The love she felt for him gushed through her and made itself known to him. There was no need to say the words. He knew. He could see it in her eyes, feel it in her touch as she threw herself into his arms and sobbed against his broad chest.
“Happy Valentine Day, my love.” He murmured before capturing her mouth with his.

Yay, she gets her Valentine’s Day HEA! You evoke her heartache well, and love how it’s her strength in walking away that makes him realise she’s what has been missing all along!
The SYTYCW Editors x

Can’t go wrong with a tender Empire State Building meet, Calida! I loved the touch of Nick knowing where he’d find Piper, and the sense that he had to make the trip there to win her over. 🙂

This comment was for Jo Hughes story and I’ve mistakenly posted it under my own! Will try again. 🙂

At the age of twenty-six, Morgan Rivers had the world on a string. Set with a great-paying job on Wall Street as a stockbroker, he could afford more than his share of luxury. And he entertained himself with that: first-rate city apartments, cars, chauffeur, designer clothes, custom jewelry, fine dining. Most of what he ever wanted in life—by way of monetary items—he obtained without trouble. Finding true love, on the other hand, had eluded him for years.

“Valentine’s Day, and, yet again, I’m without a date,” Morgan muttered, as his chauffeur pulled into the driveway of the house in which Morgan had grown up.

“Don’t worry, “Mr. Rivers,” said Douglas, the driver, handing him his overnight bag, one dozen wrapped roses, and a box of chocolates, after he had opened the back door of the limousine for Morgan. “A trip home on Valentine’s Day can do both mind and body good.”

“Not to mention satisfy the sweet tooth of my mother.”

“Your mother, Mr. Rivers?” asked Douglas, with a blank look on his oval face.

“Yes, mom. My mother. Why? Is something— ”

“Wrong, Mr. Rivers?” Douglas asked, with a twinkle in his eye.

“Yes,” said Morgan, bewildered, staring at Douglas. Was that a halo he saw over Douglas’s head?…

“Are you alright, Mr. Rivers?”

Morgan hesitated, quickly shaking his head, to knock out of it what he thought he’d seen. “Yes. Yes. I’m fine. But what about my mother?”

Douglas chuckled. “It’s not your mother who lives here anymore, Mr. Rivers,” he said, as he made his way back into the limo, pulled the driver’s side door closed, and started the engine. “It’s Tracy Banks. The woman you’re going to marry.”

Morgan’s mouth dropped open. He turned quickly into the direction of the quaint brick house that was just off the sidewalk. A woman with shoulder-length, dark hair was walking toward him. A second later, he twisted back to face the limo, but it had disappeared without a sound or a trace.

Before Morgan could have a second thought, the woman welcomed him with kisses and said, “Flowers? Candy? Oh, sweetheart, you’re the best guy a girl could ever have. Happy Valentine’s Day.” Then she lowered her voice to a whisper and added, “I have your gift waiting and ready inside the house.”

“B-But that’s my mother’s house,” he said, weakly pointing at it, and in a daze handed her the gifts.

“No, honey. Don’t you remember? You bought it for me. As a Valentine’s Day present. That’s why I was so surprised about these, since you had gotten me something already.”

It was here that Morgan’s eyes rolled back into his head, and he fainted into her arms.

Haha, poor Morgan – a real twist on the classic Valentine’s Day romantic surprise! Would love to know what Tracy and Douglas have cooked up between them! But you’ve got to love a hero who buys his mother a Valentine’s Day present 🙂
The SYTYCW Editors x

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