Everyone Needs A Bedtime Story

Tag: history

I Blame Chaucer

If it hadn’t been for Geoffrey Chaucer, then it is unlikely that we would connect the celebration of St Valentines Day with romance and love.

Brace yourself for a brief history lesson…

Chaucer

In 1382 Chaucer wrote the Parlement of Foules to honour the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia, when they were both only 15 years old. The poem contained the lines…

For this was on seynt Volantynys day, Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

[“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]

Prior to the publication  of Chaucer’s poem, Saint Valentine’s Day had been a religious celebration of a martyr (either Valentine of Rome or Valentine of Terni), and held no romantic links at all. However, writing at a time when romance and courtly love was at its most fashionable, Chaucer’s work quickly caught the public imagination.

Despite February being an unusual month for Chaucer to have written about birds mating, he wasn’t the only medieval author to have positioned such Spring-like antics so early in the year. Three other medieval authors centered their love poems on the allegory of birds mating in connection with St. Valentine’s Day around the same time; Otton de Grandson from Savoy, a knight called Pardo from Valencia, and the English poet John Gower.

Although it is unclear which of these other early Valentine poems came first, they were all widely read, and the connection between St Valentine’s Day on 14th February, and the joys of chivalrous romance strengthened and grew so much, that soon, the martyred saint himself was all but forgotten.

Courtly Love

By the Eighteen century in England, the 14th February had firmly evolved into an occasion when partners express their love for each other by presenting flowers, chocolates, and other gifts.

In the Nineteenth century, the sending of Valentines cards was so popular that they were becoming a mass produced item; especially in America and Europe, where the tradition continues to expand to this day.

I’m not entirely sure that Mr Chaucer would be that pleased with the manner of literature which I have to tempt you with as a Valentine’s treat…or maybe I’m wrong. He wasn’t exactly backwards at coming forwards with his saucy suggestions.  In The Wife of Bath, for example there are many thoughts on the sex- for example-

Telle me also, to what conclusioun
Were membres
maad of generacioun
And of so parfit wys a wright y-wroght?
Trusteth
right wel, they were nat maad for noght.”

OR- to clarify!!!

The argument above is that the genitals must serve some purpose. The Wife goes on to reject the idea that they are only made for urinating and distinguishing between males and females, saying her experience teaches her otherwise. Using the physical evidence apparent on the human body, as well as her own life experience, the Wife separates her argumentative strategy from the more abstract, learned type found in the books of “auctoritees,” or authorities. (Thanks to http://www.shmoop.com/the-wife-of-baths-prologue/sex-quotes.html for that!!)

So perhaps then, there won’t be too many medieval blushes, if I suggest that perhaps you’d like to secretly load your loved one’s Kindle with all manner of kinkiness while he or she isn’t looking….There’s nothing like mutual bedtime reading on Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday on Thursday

Happy Valentine’s weekend reading,

Kay xxx

Time Tracking with Samantha Winston

I’m delighted to be joined by Samantha Winston. She is with me today to share a little from her latest erotic adventure Time Tracking.

Over to you Samantha…

Hi Kay, and thank you for having me as a guest blogger! I’m really pleased to be here today to talk about my favourite thing : (well, favourite thing besides chocolate!) time-travel!

What would happen if a man from the past were brought to life in the present – a man frozen for centuries..? That’s what happens when Kell’s body is found in the Arctic, sold to the US Army, and reanimated in an ultra-secret base in Alaska (that everyone knows about).  In order to communicate, the army hires Allie, an expert in ancient languages. But the scientists don’t want Kell as an anthropological case – they want to study his brain and body for cryogenics. Not good news for Kell, who is basically a prisoner about to be executed. Allie decides to save him, and they set out in the Arctic with nothing but some high-tech snowsuits (thank you, US Army corps) and Kell’s knowledge of survival in the wilderness.

In the second part of the book, Bruce Steele, a tracker, wakes up in the far future. He’s been reanimated on a space station, somewhere in the Hera Galaxy. He’s alone – except for a very sexy, extremely pedantic android who is supposed to teach him all about modern society – except how can he concentrate with a raging hard-on? Apparently, when you’ve been frozen and thawed out – your extremities tingle…the scientists will be fascinated with that bit of info. Until then, Steele, a game tracker,  has to find a niche in an ultra-sophisticated technological world!

Time travel has always been my favourite subject – The Road to Alexander, published by Accent Press, is about a woman sent back to ancient Greece to interview Alexander the Great. So when I read about a man found in a glacier, and nearly intact, my mind started buzzing. Wouldn’t it be incredible to have him wake up and tell us about his life in the past? But how could he communicate? And from there, I imagined the story of Kell and Allie. But because I grew fond of the man tracking them, Bruce Steele, I made a story just for him, where he’s flung into the future and has to face the same sort of culture-shock Kell, the man from the Iron Age, did.

Excerpt:   
            Kell sat still, his eyes taking in her every move. As before, some things seemed familiar, while others made no sense. The brazier had a collapsible tube that fit into a hole in the tent. That made sense since smoke was a problem for tents. This brazier was made of white metal and stood on three sturdy legs. All that he had seen before. But this brazier had another, smaller tube that ran from the brazier to a small blue jug. The jug had a handle that turned, and a blue flame sprang from the top of the brazier so suddenly that Kell flinched.
            Allie turned and patted his arm. “I’m sorry. All this must seem so strange to you.”
            He closed his eyes. Strange was not the word. Everything he had known had become twisted and bizarre. Familiar things had mutated into frightening machines. Even horses had turned into rumbling machines that belched stinking fog and had one bright eye. No, that was untrue. He knew what was machine and what was alive. His world had its share of machines, but none that ran by themselves. A shiver ran over his body. Blindly, he put out his hand toward the warmth of the brazier. Fire still gave warmth.
            His hand brushed against soft skin and he froze. Eyes still closed, he ran his fingertips over Allie’s brow, over her cheeks and across her jaw. He drew a line with his fingers, following her neck to where her pulse beat strongly. She caught his hand in hers, holding it tightly. Pulling her to him, he pressed his lips to the soft skin on her temple. Her curly hair tickled his face, but he didn’t open his eyes.
            The feel of a woman…that hadn’t changed. The scent and taste of women hadn’t changed. A deep sigh escaped him as warmth crept into his bones. Soft and sweet, and strong and brave. “Allie,” he whispered. The tent leaned, buffeted by the wind, but the brazier warmed the air, and he opened his eyes to stare at the woman who had saved him from the prison.
            “What is it?” Her big brown eyes were questioning. Her lashes cast jagged shadows on her cheeks.
            “Thank you.” He slipped his hand behind her neck and pulled her to him.
A little hesitantly, she put her arms around his shoulders. “You’ve got such broad shoulders,” she said, a catch in her voice.
            He tugged at her chemise and lifted it over her head, then stopped, perplexed. He had seen brassieres like hers in Rome, but they’d been made of knitted wool. This one was made of silk that stretched like a supple skin. She took it off, a smile curving her lips. Then she stood and slipped off her pants.
            In the pale, blue light of the brazier, her skin took on the glow of polished marble. “You look like the statue of a nymph.” He got to his knees and cupped her buttocks in his hands. Holding her tightly, he pressed his face to her sex, letting the smell and feel of her soothe his shattered nerves.

Bio

Samantha Winston is the pen name for author Jennifer Macaire. Sam writes stories to warm your heart and…no, not really – she writes steamy hot sex that will make your heart pound and sweat pour down your chest – whatever you do, don’t read them at work! You’ve been warned – find a comfy chair, keep a cold drink handy, and warn your significant other that he’s about to be ravished. Those are the kind of books Samantha writes!

Visit Sam’s website, and pre-order now Time Tracker 
Coming April 11, 2017!

Many thanks Samantha! Good luck with your new book. Happy reading, 

Kay. xxx 

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