Monday, June 22, 2009

Stop and Smell the roses Blog Bouquet

Today you could not only be a romantic but a winner. Twenty two Wild Rose Press authors want you to visit their blog in today's blog bouquet and leave a comment. Each author will draw a winner tomorrow from those who have left comments. I am giving away a signed copy of On The Run, my romantic suspense that has received such great reviews. So leave me a comment and then visit each of the blogs listed below to do the same. We're a bouquet of winners.

Meanwhile, since we're talking about romantic cravings here. I thought it would be nice to take a look at the history of romance. A big thank you to for being such a great resource.
What was courtship and marriage like for our distant ancestors? Was it more formal than now? Less formal? Beginning with the ancient Greeks' recognition of the need to describe more than one kind of love, inventing the word "eros" to describe carnal love, and "agape" to mean a spiritual love, take a stroll back through romantic heritage with this timeline of romantic customs, dating rituals, and tokens of love.
In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice - when there was a scarcity of nubile women, men raided other villages for wives. Frequently the tribe from which a warrior stole a bride would come looking for her, and it was necessary for the warrior and his new wife to go into hiding to avoid being discovered. According to an old French custom, as the moon went through all its phases the couple drank a brew called metheglin, which was made from honey. Hence, we get the word, honeymoon. Arranged marriages were the norm, primarily business relationships born out of the desire and/or need for property, monetary or political alliances.
From buying a woman dinner to opening a door for her, many of today's courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry. During medieval times, the importance of love in a relationship emerged as a reaction to arranged marriages, but was still not considered a prerequisite in matrimonial decisions. Suitors wooed their intended with serenades and flowery poetry, following the lead of lovelorn characters on stage and in verse. Chastity and honor were highly regarded virtues. In 1228, women first gained the right to propose marriage in Scotland, a legal right that then slowly spread through Europe.
All the Nordic countries have courtship customs involving knives. For example, in Norway when a girl came of age, her father let it be known that she was available for marriage. The girl would wear an empty sheath on her belt. If a suitor liked the girl, he would put a knife in the sheath, which the girl now wore as a sign that she was betrothed.
The custom of bundling, found in many parts of 16th and 17th century Europe and America, allowed courting couples to share a bed, fully clothed, and often with a "bundling board" between them or bolster cover tied over the girls legs. The idea was to allow the couple to talk and get to know each other but in the safe (and warm) confines of the girl's house.
Dating back to 17th century Wales, ornately carved spoons, known as lovespoons, were traditionally made from a single piece of wood by a suitor to show his affection to his loved one. The decorative carvings have various meanings - from an anchor meaning "I desire to settle down" to an intricate vine meaning "love grows."
Chivalrous gentlemen in England often sent a pair of gloves to their true loves. If the woman wore the gloves to church on Sunday it signaled her acceptance of the proposal.
In some parts of 18th century Europe a biscuit or small loaf of bread was broken over the head of the bride as she emerged from the church. Unmarried guests scrambled for the pieces, which they then placed under their pillows to bring dreams of the one they would someday marry. This custom is believed to be the precursor of the wedding cake.
Many cultures throughout the world recognize the idea of matrimony as the "ties that bind". In some African cultures, long grasses are braided together and used to tie the hands of the groom and bride together to symbolize their union. Delicate twine is used in the Hindu Vedic wedding ceremony to bind one of the bride's hand to one of the hands of the groom. In Mexico the practice of having a ceremonial rope loosely place around both
So, what’s the romance like in your life? How did you and your other half meet? What’s the most romantic date you’ve ever had? Leave me a comment to throw your name in the hat for a signed copy of On The Run. And here's a taste of that for you.

ON THE RUN When Robin Fletcher saw her sister brutally murdered by her wealthy, abusive husband, she grabbed her five-year-old nephew and ran. Months late, living in Memphis with new names and a new life, their sense of security is shattered. First Andy is diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Then fate sends them directly into the path of the killer. Can Andy’s doctor who’s captured her heart protect her or will she again have to go ON THE RUN? Excerpt: Taking the highway into Oregon might have been easier on her, but she was sure that was the first route C.D. would check. Instead, she cut east immediately into Idaho. Besides, evading C.D., she had a specific reason for coming this way. Tomorrow they’d get to Helena, where she had important business to take care of. Things that would help keep her and Bobby safe. Robin had only a vague idea of how long they’d been driving but it felt as if she’d been doing it forever. Her eyes were gritty from lack of sleep and her muscles rigid with tension. It didn’t help that she was constantly watching for some ca to run her off the road or but her off. She’d been lucky enough to find a couple of drive-through’s where she fueled up with coffee. Caffeine raced through her system like a wild horse, revving her up and making her edgy. She slid a glance at Bobby, wrapped in a blanket and buckled into his car seat. What a lucky thing he was sleeping so heavily. Still, she knew they needed to find a bed pretty soon. And food. Starvation wouldn’t be a pretty way to die. By the time they reached Kellogg, Idaho, she was more than ready to stop. She pulled gratefully into a motel whose sign blinked ‘Vacancy’ in big red letters. It was the most welcoming site Robin had seen in a long time. Nervously she left Bobby in the car while she registered, keeping one eye on the parking lot, terrified that any moment she’d hear the screeching of brakes and C.D. would leap out of his car. At last they were in their room at the back of the motel, well hidden from the street. She toted in her duffel bag and laptop, then tucked the little boy into bed. After that she treated herself to a shower. Tired as she was, she still needed to wash away the strain of driving nearly three hundred miles at night. All she wanted was to wash the fatigue from her muscles before she climbed into bed. But as the hot spray beat down on her physically and emotionally exhausted body, her control disintegrated and tears began to cascade down her cheeks. She was thankful that the drumming of the water against the tiles drowned out the huge gulping sobs that wracked her body, so Bobby couldn’t hear. She cried as she had never cried before in her life, tears of despair and grief. And self-condemnation, that she hadn’t been able to do anything to save her sister. She didn’t think that particular guilt would ever leave her. Jamie! Oh, Jamie! How did I let this happen to you? The water ran cold before the last shudder died from her body. She drew in a long breath and blew it out slowly. Her heart ached unbearably, but she had a responsibility now. A mission, and she would not fail, no matter what. Keep Bobby safe and away from C.D. Create a whole new life for the two of them. This would be her tribute to her sister.

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lastnerve said...

This looks like an outstanding action packed book! I love the facts about romance through history. I wish my husband would have sent me gloves! I so would have worn them to church. That is sooo romantic!


Donna Michaels said...

Hi Judith!!

Hope all is well with you! Thanks for the great educational post. I have a wooden fork and spoon on the wall in my kitchen that I picked in Hawaii on my honey moon. ROFL

I'm probably one of the boring ones. I married the man I started dating my senior year in high school. We had been good friends until he graduated and went to Army boot camp. Our typing teacher had us all send him a letter and I was the only one he answered back seperately. He asked for my phone number and senior picture...and the rest is history. hehe

We've been married 23 years and have four wonderful children. I'm a firm believer that being friends with your significant other is very important. That, and a sense of humor. hehe

Have a super day!


Mona Risk said...

Judith, I agree with you. Chivalry is such a nice feature to find in a hero. I noticed that Europeans still lavish women with special attentions. As a resule my heroes are gallant French aristocrats, Russian generals, Latino doctors, Greek businessmen while my heroine are the all American girl.

On the Run is such a powerful book. I am glad I'm working my way down these blogs, smelling the roses and meeting the authors. My sweet and spicy medical romance, BABIES IN THE BARGAIN,a sort of Grey's Anatomy, is coming in two weeks to TWRP.

Erotic Horizon said...

Oh ladies...

All the goodness wrapped up in this one blog... how great it is to have found you...

Will be staying a while...

if you don't mind...


robynl said...

very interesting facts on romance;
I love the sound of your book-suspense, action, adventure, romance what more could one ask for.

Anonymous said...

Great post!! I enjoyed it.

Your book looks good too!!!!


Nicole McCaffrey said...

Sounds like a great read! And what an interesting and informative blog. I really enjoyed my visit here today!

Lauri said...

WOW! Very intersting blog! THANKS for participating in the blog bouquet!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi, I'll let you know that knife in the sheath thing reminded me totally of something else. Blush.

This is a great blog. I wrote at Petticoats and Pistols last Wednesday on the meaning of various flowers in courting and bouquets. Fun stuff.

Our first date was the Burt Reynolds movie, Deliverance. My choice. I can't believe he asked me out again...this this summer is 35 years.

Best wishes,
~Tanya (Cactus Rose)

Susan Macatee said...

Great post! And your book sounds like a wonderful, thrill-packed ride!!

Debra St. John said...

History fascinates me, but I never thought of researching romance before. Very interesting. I love how we got the term 'honeymoon'.

Ann Whitaker said...

I've heard good things about your book. And what a great cover!

Babyblue22 said...

Great Post!!!
I loved reading about all of the different ways people got together!

Well me and my other half meet in a class I was taking,it's funny because as soon as I walked in I thought he was so cute! We ended up facing each other from across the room. It was cute because he was so shy, I would smile at him and he'd blush and turn away.LOL And now it's seven years later and we're still going.

On the Run sounds like a Great Read!


The book seem very interesting and I'm ready to read it.

SiNn said...

I love your books and that one looks like an awesome awesome read would love to win it thats for sure ty for posting today have an awesome week

L M Gonzalez said...

Hi Judith,

I love your romantic suspense books.

I enjoyed the timeline of romance through history. I researched the marriage rituals when my younger sister was planning her wedding a few years ago. It's interesting to know where customs originated.


Kytaira said...

Thanks for all the info on courtship and wedding customs. Very interesting!

You book sounds wonderful. Very suspenseful1

lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

Desiree Holt said...

Thank you ladies for all the wonderful comments, and for stopping by the blog. I'm about to anounce the winner.