Guest Post

Guest Post: A Love Story

Somehow, I managed to find yet another guest for this special feature, (and all readers and frequent commenters should beware, it might not be you today, but your day is coming!). Today, I have wrangled Angieleigh who runs the Once Upon A Book blog to come and share her love story. So enough of my words, and here are hers:

My husband and I’s love story may not necessarily be unique, but it’s a true testament to the power of the love we share and the love that God has for us both.

When I was eighteen I had a heck of a time finding a job and saw an ad in the paper for a job that sounded just perfect; earn lots of money, travel around the country, meet all sorts of new people…I was too naive to realize that it simply was too good to be true.

I ended up getting talked into the job traveling the country as a door to door magazine salesperson. To be honest, I was good at it because people could see how naively enthusiastic I was about my job. It truly was fun to meet people and see more of the country than I ever would have on my own.

Wayne* was my somewhat-boyfriend’s roommate. He was older – 26 to my 18 – and I didn’t really pay him much attention other than to talk about music – we’re both lovers of hair bands and everything 80’s – and whatever was on TV at the time. Tom and I didn’t work out, but we parted as friends. A few weeks later my roommate and her boyfriend locked me out of our hotel room and I had nowhere to go and didn’t feel like sleeping on the floor in the hallway. Wayne offered to let me stay in his room and that was that…we have been together since May 7th, 1996.

Though I truly believe in love at first sight, our relationship has been anything but easy; our road has had more mountains to climb over, more bumps than I ever dreamed possible. But I would not trade these eighteen years and two children for anything else in the world. Through trial and tribulation, countless separations and reconciliations, we have weathered the storms and come out even more in love than we ever thought possible. I have always known that God chose me to be this man’s wife for one huge reason – to save him from himself. My husband will tell you that the only reason he’s alive is because of me, and my pride will tell you that that is true.

In three years, on our twentieth wedding anniversary, we plan to renew the vows we made to each other. I simply cannot wait.

{*Name changed to protect my husband’s privacy}

Thanks so much for sharing your sweet story, Angieleigh! Be sure to visit her blog Once Upon A Book, there might be something of interest on the front page…

Guest Post

Guest Post by Author Suzie Grant: To Love or Not to Love

Today for my Something-New-Sunday, I have wrangled a friend of mine, author Suzie Grant, to come share a bit about the vikings she loves to write about and appropriately, she’s chosen to discuss their traditions on love and marriage and divorce. 

Viking women were considered among the few who had any “real” rights as women before the women’s rights movement. The Vikings were so far ahead of their time in my humble opinion it’s astounding how little it’s been studied or written about over the years. This culture fascinates me for that very reason. I have a real passion for this particular time period and I hope to share that with you.

The Icelandic Vikings were opposed to a central state dependent on the authority of a lord or King. They founded the world’s oldest, surviving parliament while Britain was mired in feudalism. Indeed, they were far, far ahead of their time for that very reason alone.

But what really captured my interest was the way they treated their women. They gave them more freedoms than any other culture in the world during those times. Women were held in high regard and the men treated them with respect. They managed the finances of the family. They ran the farm and villages when the men were absent. And Vikings created laws that protected women. For instance unwanted attention from a man was forbidden by society and women were encouraged to protect themselves, with force if necessary. And it was considered shameful in the extreme to harm a woman for there was no honor in that. Viking men chose a challenge and looked down on men who chose easy targets like women or children. Should any man be seen striking a woman, he would often be challenged and killed for his actions.

Although marriage was arranged between two families, often created when women were just girls or babies, she still held quite a bit of power. Though she had no say in who she married, if a Viking wife were truly unhappy, divorce was allowed by either party. It was not unheard of for a woman to marry several times in her life. And a woman owned property and when the marriage was dissolved, she took her property with her to return to her family.

The basic procedure for obtaining a divorce was for the couple to declare their intention before witnesses. If only one of the two spouses wanted the divorce then witnesses were called in, the dissatisfied party declared him or herself divorced. The declaration had to list the reasons for the divorce and has to be repeated before witnesses in the couple’s bedroom, in the front entrance to the house, and before a public assembly. The division of property ensued and the woman received one third of their shared property and was allowed to return home with the property she entered into the marriage with.

Marriage was a much more complicated process. Marriages had two parts: the betrothal and the wedding. The betrothal was a commercial contract between the woman’s guardian and the suitor. Interestingly, there are a few instances of the woman turning down the marriage proposal in the Sagas.

The groom’s family agreed to pay a bride price called the mundr and the bride’s father agreed to pay a dowry at the wedding. The two parties shook hands, agreed on a date and the deed was done.

The wedding was an elaborate ceremony. Feasting a drinking continued for several days usually at the home of the bride’s parents. There had to be at least six witnesses. The first part of the ceremony was used to invoke the God’s attention, often by sacrifice. The Groom would then present his bride with the sword of his ancestors, to hold this sword in trust for their future son. It signified the tradition of family and the continuation of bloodlines.

The bride then presented the sword which proceeded her to marriage from her father which represented the transfer of the father’s power of guardianship and protection to the groom. The exchange of swords was very ceremonial. Then came the exchange of rings. Then with joined hands on the hilt of the ancestral sword, they exchanged their vows.

The feast came next and the ceremonial wedding night. The most interesting thing about the Vikings was the morning gift. In the morning the two were separated for a short time and the woman was introduced into the “married woman’s coiffure.” Single women wore their hair loose. And then her hair placed in the hustrulinet. A long, snow-white, finely-pleated linen cloth.

The wife was escorted to her husband and in front of witnesses paid his wife a morning gift, signifying the marriage complete. She received the groom’s keys to his home which symbolized her new authority of mistress of the household.

It’s nice to see some form of woman power in history. It’s refreshing to know there are those who appreciated a woman for the real value she gave to society. Sadly, it took the rest of the world centuries to catch up. While it was unusual during the time period and often something we take for granted today, history has many secret gems like this in her grasp. We just have to take the time to peel back the folds and find them.

Thank you so much for coming by and sharing such fascinating details, Suzie. I have to admit I had no idea viking women of all people would have had so many rights and respect back then. Very neat.

Suzie writes a wide array of historical romances including westerns, including the Devil Ryder Series as well as a viking romance titled Valkyrie’s Vengeance.

If you’d like to know more about Suzie, please visit her website at and be sure to comment today for a chance to be one of two people chosen for an eCopy of one of Suzie’s backlist books.

Guest Post

Guest Post: Single’s Awareness Day

After begging and pleading with people for guest posts, I suddenly had a flood of them (but not too many so none of you are off the hook) and this one needs to go up today as it seems most appropriate after I acknowledged the married ladies who might not have super romantic husbands yesterday. Today, Karen who you may know from the comment section, has graciously shared a little about her Valentine’s Day traditions as a single young lady…

Happy Single Awareness Day!

I have a confession to make, out of the 30 Valentine’s Days AKA Singles Awareness Day, I have seen, I have had a “boyfriend” for one of them, and that is when I was 10 so I’m not sure how much that counts, but I’ll take what I can get. By the time I hit high school I was absolutely fed up with the holiday and would make all the typical bitter comments about it being a made up holiday by the card, flower, and chocolate companies.

All that changed my senior year of high school thanks to a friend looking out for me. That year I got a singing Valentine from Henry (not to be confused with Henry Banks!). Now, considering that I was not the most popular girl in school, my getting any kind of Valentine let alone a singing Valentine was going to cause quite a stir especially as people tried to figure out who Henry was. And at that point my snarky side came out and I would just play 20 questions about who Henry was.

When I went away to college, I would still have something waiting from Henry and it would always create lots of questions as to who Henry was. When FB came out I then posted the pictures of the flowers I received from Henry creating even more questions from all my FB friends. If I couldn’t have a boyfriend having people asking all kinds of questions and providing minimum answers became my way of enjoying Single’s Awareness Day.

roses from Henry

The last 2 years I have not been able to receive gifts from Henry for a variety of reasons, but later during the year it has been made up to me. But I continued to post things on FB to garner questions. This year I posted lyrics from the song “Taylor the Latte Boy”. And Rose took the bait and asked a bunch of questions causing me to just giggle as I would respond. After a couple of response I came up with the idea for a guest blog so here it is.

flowers from Henry

Now what I’m sure you a

re all wondering is who Henry is. Henry is the Crown Prince of Haragrace from the story Where to Begin by my best friend. Don’t bother looking for that story on Amazon; she never finished it, much to my annoyance as I have half the manuscript in my possession. But Prince Henry was courting my character in the story, and my best friend in turn would send me Valentines from him.

Valentine’s Day is day about love, but it doesn’t have to be Romantic Love. My best friend made sure that I felt loved on that day for 10 years and that has helped to change my perspective on Singles Awareness Day, as a day to show everyone in your life a bit of love.

monkey from Henry

A note from Rose—I sure did fall for it, and not just a little; when she mentioned “boy” in her post, I flat out asked if this was a cougar-type relationship! 

Thank you, Karen, for coming to post.