A to Z – Valentine’s Day or Slap Me with a Goat Hide

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]April 2016 A to Z Challenge – I’m writing about history.

V is for Valentine’s Day or Slap Me with a Goat Hide

 

 

 

 

heartAs with most holidays, Valentine’s Day is nested in pagan roots. February 15 was the pagan festival of Lupercalia. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci (an order of Roman priests) would gather at a sacred cave and sacrifice a goat which represented fertility. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips and dip the strips in blood. (Romantic so far, no?) They would then march through the town, gently slapping women with the goat hide. Instead of beating the priests to death with rocks, women actually welcomed the slap of the hide, believing it would make them more fertile in the coming year.

Fortunately for us girls, in the 5th century Pope Gelasius replaced the pagan goat-hide-slapping celebration with a Christian holiday – St. Valentine’s Day. It was still a celebration of love and fertility, but without all that goat nonsense. I’m sure the goats were happy about it, too.

Today, 150 million Valentine’s cards are exchanged every year, and not one goat hide in the bunch!

goat

 

 

 

♥♥♥ Hearts Through History Blog Hop ♥♥♥

Happy Valentine’s Day! Welcome to the Valentine’s Blog Hop!

24 Authors have united to tickle you with their favorite historical mushy anecdote. You can hop from page to page and enjoy the warm, fuzzy feelings. At the end of this post is a list of participants to help you hop from site to site.

You can also win prizes on each page. Be sure to comment on each page to win great stuff.

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Whether medieval times, tudor times, the old west, or today, nothing is as exciting as the promise of new love!

This is an excerpt from my new book, “An Orphan’s Heart.”

Texas 1884. Ellen has just arrived at her brother’s house for a visit and is playing with his daughters.

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I am so wrapped up the little girls, I don’t even notice him sitting quietly at the table.

“Ellen, I’d like to introduce you my brother. This is Sam Meek.”

The man rises from the table to greet me, and I am immediately taken aback by his rugged good looks and his warm smile. Our eyes meet and lock. Suddenly I feel as if I’m drowning in a pool of green—the richest green of a mountain side, the darkest green of the deepest water. Everyone and everything disappears. The only thing I see is him.

He offers me his hand. “It’s very nice to meet you.”

“And you, sir,” I take his hand and feel the warmth of electricity flow through every vein in my body. I pull my hand away from his heat and just as quickly regret the action. I wish to feel it again, but there is no way to touch him again now. I glance down and admire his tan forearm covered half way by his rolled-up shirt sleeve. “I am very sorry about the loss of your mother,” I offer my condolences as I try to compose myself.

He doesn’t respond for a moment. I look back up at his face and he gazes deeply into my eyes. “Thank you. It is very sad for all of us.” He doesn’t pull his eyes away. We are locked in eternity.

Mollie brings some coffee to the table, breaking the spell Sam Meek has created, and she motions for us to have a seat.

“Would you like something to eat?” she offers.

“No, thank you,” I shake my head, finding it hard to take my eyes off the stunning creature in front of me.

“Sam?”

“No, I’m fine, but thank you,” he says, not breaking our gaze. “I’m going to have to get to sleep in a little bit. I’m exhausted.”

I feel myself sink into the chair but have no idea if I’m actually sitting. The thought of him leaving the room is disheartening, and I am surprised a man I just met is having this kind of effect on me.

“So, how was your trip?” he turns his attention toward his coffee cup as Mollie fills it.

“It was amazing. When I was younger, I traveled through a small town in Alabama that had a train station. I was so enchanted by the women in their fancy hats coming and going, I vowed to myself I would someday travel on a train to a distant place.” I smile. “And here I am.”

“Sounds nice.” He takes a sip of his coffee, watching me over the brim of his steaming cup. His voice sounds like silk.

I can’t take my eyes off of him. I watch the way he sips his coffee. I watch his strong, callused hands place the cup back down on the table. I watch his tongue lick a stray drop from his lips. I watch his tanned throat as he swallows. He is stunning.

“Did you sleep on the train or did you stop somewhere?”

“I spent the night in Mobile and New Orleans, but the rest of the trip was on a sleeper train that had bunks. The rocking motion of the train was actually very soothing.” I sip the strong, bitter coffee then glance at him as I place the cup back on the table.

“Well, I’m glad you had a good journey.” He stands. “I’m sorry to interrupt our coffee and conversation, but I really need to get some sleep. I can hardly keep my eyes open.” He is breathtaking. “It’s going to be a long day tomorrow with the funeral and all.” He grabs his hat from the side table. “Relatives have been coming into town all day.” He nods to me. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ma’am. I’d love to speak with you more about your journey, and I will see you again tomorrow.”

“Nice to meet you, too, Mr. Meek.” His movements are exquisite, like a stallion running through a field, like an eagle catching his prey, like a…

“Please, call me Sam.” He grins, showing the slightest dimple under the dark stubble on his cheek. His eyes sparkle in the firelight.

I nod and smile. I’m sure I’m blushing, but I can’t stop staring at him.

He bids a good evening to Mollie and Willie, and just as instantly as he appeared, he is gone.

I’m speechless. My heart is pounding in my ears. My palms are sweating. I can’t seem to catch my breath. I wish I could follow him. I look down at my coffee cup and shake my head. When I look up, Mollie and Willie are both staring at me. I blush with embarrassment.

“Well,” says Mollie, “You two seemed to have hit it off rather nicely. I’m glad you are here, Ellen.” She smiles.

I nod my head and sheepishly glance toward the closed door, wishing Sam would come back into the room with an excuse that he forgot something.

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“An Orphan’s Heart” coming May 2013 in paperback and eBook.

Click here to visit and LIKE “An Orphan’s Heart” facebook fan page to stay up-to-date 

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TWO GIVEAWAYS 

There are currently two books in the Rodgers family series – “Okatibbee Creek”  and “An Orphan’s Heart.” To win a free copy of either book please comment below. The books will be in eBook form in the format of your choice. Two winners will be chosen. Winners will be chosen and notified February 20. “Okatibbee Creek” will be delivered by email immediately. “An Orphan’s Heart” will be delivered by email on or about April 30. Winners will be posted on this page on or about February 20. Comments are set to moderation, so it may take a short time for your comment to appear.

FEBRUARY 20, 2013 UPDATE: Winners are Faye Johnson and Anna Belfrage. Congratulations! Please check your email and claim your prize.

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Thank you for stopping by. Please hop over and visit other authors! 

  1. Random Bits of Fascination (Maria Grace)
  2. Pillings Writing Corner (David Pilling)
  3. Sally Smith O’Rourke
  4. Darcyholic Diversions (Barbara Tiller Cole)
  5. Faith, Hope and Cherry Tea
  6. Rosanne Lortz
  7. Sharon Lathan
  8. Debra Brown
  9. Heyerwood   (Lauren Gilbert)
  10. Regina Jeffers
  11. Ginger Myrick
  12. Anna Belfrage
  13. Fall in love with history (Grace Elliot)
  14. Nancy Bilyeau
  15. Wendy Dunn
  16. E.M. Powell
  17. Georgie Lee
  18. The Riddle of Writing (Deborah Swift)
  19. Outtakes from a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)
  20. The heart of romance (Sherry Gloag)
  21. A day in the life of patootie (Lori Crane)
  22. Karen Aminadra
  23. Dunhaven Place (Heidi Ashworth)
  24. Stephanie Renee dos Santos

Valentine’s Blog Hop

historyhopicon2copyJust in time for Valentine’s Day, your favorite authors are hosting a Valentine’s Blog Hop.

All authors will reveal their favorite historical mushy anecdote along with a giveaway or two on each page. All pages will have links to the other pages. 

The Valentine’s Blog Hop is February 10-16, 2013.

Be sure to stop by and get mushy.

At present, there are 22 authors participating, so hop on through and win some prizes, and maybe learn a thing or two about love and romance in the process.