Welcome the lovely LM Brown to Friends Friday today, we’re getting ready for Valentine’s day!
How Traditional do you want it?
Valentine’s Day, the holiday of lovers is often celebrated these days with flowers, chocolates and romantic dinners by candlelight. It seems quite traditional don’t you think?
Or is it?
For the second day of my blog tour we’re going way back in time to when there was no actual Valentine’s Day, but a rather different tradition taking place around the 14th February.
It sounds like it should have a werewolf connection, doesn’t it?
Back in Pagan times Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February. It doesn’t bear much resemblance to our modern Valentine’s Days though.
The ceremonies included the sacrifice of two goats and a dog along with other blood ceremonies. Not a festival for the faint of heart, I’m sure you will agree.
In my personal opinion, it was the women who had the worst end of the deal. Firstly there was the whipping to ensure fertility and ease the pains of childbirth. I can’t even begin to fathom the logic behind that one.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, the teenage girls had the unfortunate task of being chosen at random from the men in the village. The girls’ names would go into a box and whichever man chose your name would be your sexual partner for the next year.
It sounds even worse than being picked for team sports at school. At least then it was over in an hour or two.
I imagine I would have been the chubby girl hiding at the back, praying for the ground to open up and swallow her. The best you can hope for is the handsome young man you’ve gazed at from afar for months picking your name and looking at you in utter disappointment. More likely is that he will pick someone else entirely. More worrying would be the possibility of ending up tied to someone vile and cruel.
Though you could always hope there were more girls than men in the village and that your name wouldn’t be picked out at all. Unless some lucky man got to pick more than one girl if that happened. Who is to say?
Thankfully for us paranoid self-conscious modern day girls, the church banned this lottery of women, and only the idea of men (and these days women) picking their mates on Valentine’s Day remains.
Unfortunately, for Nick, one of the heroes of my Valentine’s Day story, the man he wants to pick for his Valentine is already spoken for…
Can a wrong number lead to Mr Right? Nick Davis’s life takes an unexpected turn when a stranger starts leaving messages on his answer machine. Is there hope Nick can become more to Connor Hayes than just a wrong number?
Nick Davis stumbled from his bedroom into the kitchen, cringing at the bright sunlight of the January morning. He snapped the blinds down, causing him to simultaneously sigh with relief at the more subdued light and groan at the sound, which echoed far too loudly for his liking. Every step he took was careful and measured, so as not to make his aching head pound any more than necessary. He spared a glance at the blinking red light on the answering machine: a new message. Suspecting it to be a slightly belated Happy New Year greeting, and probably a loud one, Nick left it for the moment. He headed for the fridge and a hangover cure in the form of hair of the dog, also known as a nice cold beer.
Damn, what did I do last night? He remembered meeting his mates at The Red Lion for a night out on the town. They’d had a few drinks there before moving on to The Royal Oak. Then they’d headed out to the city, where things started to get a little hazy. He did recall Marc screaming Happy New Year down the phone at least an hour early, but midnight itself was a complete blank. He supposed he should be thankful he’d made it home in one piece, and hadn’t woken up to find a strange man in his bed this morning.
After nursing his hangover until mid-afternoon Nick finally remembered the message and hit the play button.
“Hey, baby! Happy New Year! Missing you already. I can’t wait to see you again. Give me a call to let me know you got back safely. Love you.”
Nick frowned at the answer machine. He didn’t recognise the voice of the soft-spoken man on the other end of the phone. Chalking it up to someone too inebriated to dial correctly, he deleted the message and promptly forgot about it.
Available for pre-order from Silver Publishing (release date 11th February)
You can also enter a draw to win a copy of the anthology during the With Love, Valentine’s Day Blog Hop which is running on my blog from 11th February to 14th February.
Where to find L.M. Brown
Website – http://lmbrownauthor.webs.com/
Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.blogspot.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001471647696
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/lmbrown