In The Mood For Romance? Medieval Betrothals

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Since our contemporary anthology ‘Propose To Me‘ is coming out soon, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at where some of our rituals come from. So the first one is:

Engagement

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Did you know that, in the year 1215, Pope Innocent III decreed that there should be a waiting period between betrothal and wedding ceremony?

This also led to the two ring tradition we in the West have today. Previous to this, the custom of one ring had been prevalent for centuries. Apparently, according to some, Roman wives wore rings attached to a key, denoting their husband’s ownership. I wonder if they were engraved Property of Julius Maximus…Actually, others claim they were inscribed with the image of a key, denoting the key to half of his fortune, maybe? If anyone was around in Roman times and/or knows this, please let me know! Today rings are often inscribed with the husbands/wives names and/or date of the wedding.

The first recorded diamond ring was given in betrothal in medieval Italy, in 1477. Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. This was no small investment. They were hard to come by, so worth a small fortune. Today they are easy to come by, yet cost a small fortune.

Diamonds signify enduring love because of their strength and and beauty, and I think one of the reasons they began to be popular in the 15th century was because craft tools with rotary motion had been introduced, otherwise, a jeweller was limited to polishing the rough diamond – and they can’t have been anywhere near as pretty as sapphires or rubies.

 

 

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Character Madness Monday

When asked by Jena Baxter to join in her Character Madness Monday blog I jumped at the chance. This is a fun blog where her characters interview one of your own. What results can be a mix of mayhem and hilarity, as I found out when I sent Katie Giordano to be interviewed.

Katie

Katie is the female main character of a short story I wrote to be included in The Bowman’s Inn. If you lurve romance then this anthology is for you; it will be published in April – so very soon!

When she was sixteen, Katie Giordano left home and followed who she thought was the man of her dreams all the way to New York. Years later, having realized he is a loser, she feels trapped until a letter arrives from a lawyer in her home town with the news that she has inherited an ice cream parlor, along with the apartment above. After a long Greyhound bus ride, with nothing to show except a suitcase of clothes, she arrives in Anteros to discover the parlor has been usurped and the apartment devoid of all furniture.

Here is an extract to whet your appetite:

Mac shrugged. “They owe me a favor.”
“Hnh.” She cocked her head to one side. “You’re still here, so what do you owe me?”
He grinned. “Nothing.”
“Then why are you still here?”
“To make sure you owe me. Then I get free ice cream.”
“As long as you realize that’s all you’ll be getting.” Katie tugged on the door handle to go upstairs and, after a thought, held it open for Mac to go through first.
He raised an eyebrow. “You being polite?”
“Well, you know, roaches down here, might be one up there, too.”
“Ah. Don doesn’t live here, you know.”
“A man doesn’t have to live somewhere to leave his mark. Territorial beasts.”
He snorted with laughter. “And by letting me go first, you’re ceding the territory to me.” He paused in front of her, eyes crinkling at the corners. “I find that very interesting.”
His closeness kindled images of being pushed up against the wall and being thoroughly and slowly kissed. Her mouth dried. She swatted at him. “Go on. You’ll get the cobwebs first. I hate spiders.”
He climbed the wooden stairs. The magenta runner needed replacing. What else needed updating? Regardless, she had a home. What if it was full of her things? She shivered, and set off behind Mac, trying not to stare at his tight backside.
He whirled and threw something at her.

She screamed.

 

That’s all for now, please visit Jena’s excellent Blog, and if you liked the snippet, I hope you’ll buy the anthology, it’s a good, fun, romantic read.