I love quotes. You can do so much with them in writing fiction. I also find taking literature courses to study history is one of the most revealing ways to uncover cultural details for reconstructing a moment in time for the reader. Or I studied archaeology too long. [Note here: one must have deciphered the ancient text of extinct cultures to pluck details such as the one I am about to share with you. Without historical documentation, we have no evidence of what the culture's members thought. But I'm going with Shakespeare here. So, we're not in need of a Rosetta Stone.] Although, I have learned that it's truly difficult to understand period metaphors without guidance. I learned that truth while researching for my time traveling Druids in my Time Guardian series.
Just how in the heck do we even know what people did to snare their heart's desire? Well, I'm always on the hunt for great research books. Today, I'm sharing LOVE POTIONS by Julia Jones and Kenneth Ames. I've pulled this one out before when posting about love and romance. And since it's the month of love, why not revisit this treasure?
"Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell,
It fell upon a little western flower, Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it Love-in-Idleness.
Fetch me that flower - the herb I showed thee once;
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid Will make a man or woman, madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees."
~William Shakespeare, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Jones & Ames, p. 17)
Jones and Ames note how legend describes pansies as initially being white but shot with Cupid's bow now wears the colors of the wounds caused by love. Pansies were called "heartsease" by the Celts and thought to cure the broken heart through the 17th Century (p. 16). They've provided a potion for those considering its use...
2 tsp heartsease
2-3 cloves 1 Tsp clear honey
1/2 pint red wine
Cover the herbs and spice with boiling water, cover, steep 10 mins. Strain. Sweeten with honey. Add wine. Warm and serve. (p.16). If your wip deals with a broken heart before the 17th Century in a culture affected by the Celts, this quote and potion can add an authentic romantic ambiance.
Now, my Celtic Time Guardians don't use heartsease. My humanitarians are from the future. My heroines use cinnamon incense to control their spouses. The burning incense triggers a hypnotic state in male time guardians. I figured girls need an upper hand! *wink* However, both the male and female order members use Highland Heather incense to attract spirits in hopes of receiving news of who their soul mates are during time-travel jaunts through history. Long story... But Highland Heather incense is known for ghost conjuring. And that just leaves open way too much conflict with all the things that could go wrong. *snicker* I'll just add everything else is history! Thanks for having me over, Karen. ~Skhye
"Arthur is a masterpiece..." HE OF THE FIERY SWORD's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio
"A story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and telling others to leave you alone until you're finished... spine-tingling suspense. Her words are so visually written. I didn't feel like I was reading at all, I felt like I was living the story myself. The story is dynamite; it explodes off the pages and leaves you breathless for more." FORBIDDEN ETERNITY ~Tulip, LASR
“THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller. 5 books" ~Snapdragon, LASR
"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR
HE OF THE FIERY SWORD available at www.thewildrosepress.com
"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi