Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog

  • Happy Valentine’s Day

    February 14, 2014

                       Roses are red, violets are blue . . .

    Rose On Wood BW

    we’ve all heard and most likely written one or two of these poems for a past valentine. Since most of you may be busy celebrating with your friends and loved ones today, I’d like to keep this post simple, sickly sweet, and utterly romantic!

    For those of you who love romance, I thought we could refresh our minds to that special night when Ren asked Kelsey out for their first Valentines date ever (from Tiger’s Quest).

    Leading up to this romantically unparalleled Valentines date, Ren and Kelsey were officially and properly courting. Naturally with courting, there was quite a bit of flirting. Both left quotes about love and kisses for the other to find, desperate to get the other one to give in to the temptation and kiss the other first. The intensity was almost too much for either one to resist. Here are some of those short quotes from Houck’s book, Tiger’s Quest,

    From Ren for Kelsey, “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true  happiness.” ~ Betrand Russell

    From Ren for Kelsey, “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” ~Barbara DeAngelis

    From Kelsey for Ren, “The soul that can speak through the eyes can also kiss with a gaze.” ~Gustavo Aldolfo Becquer

    From Kelsey for Ren, “Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

    From Kelsey for Ren, “Once he drew, with one long kiss my whole soul thro’, My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.” ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

    From Kelsey for Ren, “Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score; then to that twenty, add a hundred more; A thousand to that hundred: so kiss on, to make that thousand up a million. Treble that million, and when that is done, let’s kiss afresh, as when we first begun.” ~Robert Herrick

    From Ren for Kelsey, “You know you are in love when you see the world in her eyes, and her eyes everywhere in the world.” ~David Levesque

    From Ren for Kelsey, “If a king owned a pearl without price, a gem he cherished above all, would he hide it away, bury it from sight, afraid others would take it? Or would he display it proudly, set it in a ring or crown, so that all the world could behold its beauty, and see what richness it brings to his life? You are my pearl without price,” ~Ren

    Now on to Ren and Kelsey’s Valentine’s Day Date

    rose petals and candle

    The book describes Kelsey as, “wearing a claret-red chiffon dress with a trumpet skirt . . . strappy red shoes, red lipstick, and hair curled in ringlets with one side swept back with a jeweled comb”.  Ren is described wearing, “a brilliant white shirt with a grey vest and a red satin tie that matched my dress. His black tuxedo jacket was thrown casually over his shoulder, and his hair fell appealingly over one eye.”

    (I put together some ideas to give you a visual)

    Kelsey’s physical description,

    Kelsey's valentines dress

    Kelsey’s Valentine’s dress

    Red strappy shoes. *I like the ribbon to go with Kelsey

    Red strappy shoes. *I like the ribbon to go with Kelsey

    hair perfectly curled to side

    hair perfectly curled to side

    Diamond hair pin to sweet hair back on one side

    Diamond hair pin to sweet hair back on one side

    More fun ideas for trumpet skirt

    More fun ideas for trumpet skirt


    Ren’s physical description,


    Pravesh, Rana a possible Ren candidate . . . mmmm…

    tyson b. as Ren

    Red satin tie

    Red satin tie

    Grey vest

    Grey vest

    love the dark grey pants with the grey vest

    love the dark grey pants with the grey vest

    When Ren arrived at Kelsey’s door he dazzled her with 2 dozen red roses and offered Kelsey a beautifully wrapped box from his pocket. It was a pair of “diamond and ruby drop earrings set in gold starbursts.”

    man giving flowers

    Gorgeous ruby earrings

    Gorgeous ruby earrings

    Kelsey presented Ren with his Valentine’s gift and inside the wrapping paper was a hardbound copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.

    Ren also shared a poem during their romantic dinner for two.

    “What’s this?” I opened it and recognized his handwriting. “You wrote me a poem?”

    He grinned. “I did.”

    “Will you read it to me?”

    He nodded and took the page. He began speaking, and the timbre of his voice warmed me. He read,

    I lit a candle and watched the flame.

    It danced and twisted

    Wild and unfettered.

    It captured me and flickered in my eyes.

    When I passed my hand over it

    It stirred.

    The flame rose higher, burned hotter.

    When I pulled my hand away the heat diminished,

    Grew fainter, and extinguished.

    I stretched out my hand again to savor the burn.

    Would it singe and scald? Blister and blaze?

    No! It tingled and warmed,

    Smoldered and glowed,

    Setting me ablaze, body and soul.

    It was glimmering, luminous, radiant,

    The fiery blush of her cheek.


    Their evening started with a private dinner for two and ended with hours of dancing at a formal Valentines Dance. They couldn’t kiss enough and I just loved Houck’s expression when she described Kelsey’s reaction to Ren that night, “Ren smiled, and my heart dropped down into my shoes where it flopped like a fish out of water.”

    better romantic dinner pic


    couple dancing

    silluette kiss

    The air was thick with sweet love in this chapter and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the romance of it all. Houck definitely spoils us in the romance department with perfect, and I mean purrrffect male love interests. I mean, what guy takes us dancing, buys us a dress, jewelry, flowers, and dines us with a secluded dinner for two? Oh, and let’s not forget that he puts the flowers in a vase, writes her a poem, showers her with adoration and compliments, and loves to get books just so he can sit and read with her? No wonder Kelsey doesn’t feel adequate at his side, who would??? Well, I for one am thankful when my sweet valentine actually remembers that it’s Valentine’s Day and makes some effort to do something nice, even if it’s just a note or some flowers. Something is all I hope for. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore and love my guy, he’s just not, well, he’s not Ren (or Kishan for that matter). But… he’s mine and I’m his and that’s perfect to me.

    kissing on valentines

    So, to leave you with a favorite love poem of mine, I give you, Love’s Language, written by the famous Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

    Love’s Language

    How does Love speak?
    In the faint flush upon the telltale cheek,
    And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
    The quivering lid of an averted eye–
    The smile that proves the parent to a sigh
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    By the uneven heart-throbs, and the freak
    Of bounding pulses that stand still and ache,
    While new emotions, like strange barges, make
    Along vein-channels their disturbing course;
    Still as the dawn, and with the dawn’s swift force–
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    In the avoidance of that which we seek–
    The sudden silence and reserve when near–
    The eye that glistens with an unshed tear–
    The joy that seems the counterpart of fear,
    As the alarmèd heart leaps in the breast,
    And knows, and names, and greets its godlike guest–
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek–
    The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender
    And unnamed light that floods the world with splendor;
    In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace
    In all fair things to one belovèd face;
    In the shy touch of hands that thrill and tremble;
    In looks and lips that can no more dissemble–
    Thus doth Love speak.

    How does Love speak?
    In the wild words that uttered seem so weak
    They shrink ashamed in silence; in the fire
    Glance strikes with glance, swift flashing high and higher,
    Like lightnings that precede the mighty storm;
    In the deep, soulful stillness; in the warm,
    Impassioned tide that sweeps through throbbing veins,
    Between the shores of keen delights and pains;
    In the embrace where madness melts in bliss,
    And in the convulsive rapture of a kiss–
    Thus doth Love speak.

    A very Happy Valentine’s from us to you!

    ~ ‘Till next time, Linda Louise


    Romantic Getaways by Private Jet

    In the fast-paced world we’re living in and with the strong influence of social media on many aspects of day-to-day life, it’s getting harder to make a big impact on romantic occasions. Our Facebook feeds are full of picturesque backdrops from friends’ travels and snaps of high-class restaurants at five-star venues. Luckily, there’s one trump card that will always top any romantic gesture: a private jet for two.

    Whether Valentine’s Day is around the corner or you simply want to show your significant other how special they are to you, arranging a private jet charter for a romantic getaway will always be a great idea. We’re presenting five suggestions of places to escape to if you’re planning a romantic private jet trip, but before learn the private jet rules. Each of these destinations will perfectly work during any time of the year, including February 14th.


    Ah, Paris! If you’re looking for the epitome of romance, the City of Love has to be on your list. Known for fresh croissants, fine wine, and accomplished poetry, Paris is certainly one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Spend your evenings wandering the streets of the French capital, lose yourself in the unique atmosphere or spend your time experiencing the many sights.

    Given the occasion, a visit to the Pont des Arts is a must. Follow tradition by inscribing the names of you and your partner on a lock, then add it to more than a million locks already residing on the bridge before throwing the key into the water below in a symbolic gesture of eternal love. Visit the Eiffel Tower at night for the most romantic view, as it sparkles gold every hour for five minutes.

    Paris is, of course, home to many of the world’s highest-rated restaurants. Experience three Michelin Star dining at the famous Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, then head in style to one of the spectacular hotels such as e.g. the Four Season Hotel George V.


    England has maintained its age-old reputation as the land of rainy whether and exquisite manners. Throw in the royal family, strawberries and cream, high-end tea and a distinct British charm and it’s easy to see why so many have fallen in love with Blighty. If you’re looking to visit England, consider its spectacular cosmopolitan capital which offers countless sights and hundreds of top-quality restaurants.

    Mingle with London’s best and brightest at The Ritz, or get first-hand experience of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s most accomplished fare at the slightly obviously named yet highly regarded Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. For Valentine’s, though, it’s difficult to look past The Shard with its killer views of the capital’s skyline. When it’s time to rest your head you can’t go wrong with the Four Season Hotel London at Park Lane, enjoying their prime location and splendid service.

    Traveling to London by a private jet charter, you’ll have the opportunity to land at the preferred airport in the city center from where all the major attractions will be easily accessible.

    This entry was posted in Articles, Tiger's Quest.

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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.