10 Bridal Attire Superstitions

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Catherine Castle to the Power of 10 series. Today, Catherine discusses ten bridal attire superstitions and shares her new release, A Groom for Mama.

Here’s Catherine!

In my romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, the minute Mama finds a suitable man for her daughter’s groom, she begins urging the heroine, Allison, to start looking for her wedding dress. So, I thought it would be fun to discuss 10 superstitions about bridal attire. Maybe I can come up with some you’ve never heard before.

Did you know…?

1. White wasn’t always the preferred color for a bride’s dress. The white wedding dress didn’t come into vogue until Queen Victoria wore white. Until then many women were married in their Sunday best. But to avoid problems in their marriages they had to be careful which colors they chose to wear. Here’s a handy rhyme they used to make sure they got the color scheme right.

Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead. Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow. Married in Green, ashamed to be seen. Married in Pink, your spirit will sink. (Some sources disagree with pink, stating ‘Married in Pink, of you he will think.) Married in blue, you’ll always be true. Married in Grey, you will go far away. Married in Black, you will wish yourself back.

Additionally, brown was not a favorite choice, because “Married in brown, you’ll never live in town.” A statement that meant to say their husbands would never rise in business or acquire riches that would enable the family to move on up. Purple was also out because it was considered a mourning color, favored by widows from their second year of bereavement on.

2. A bride should never make her own dress. This wedding superstition states that for every stitch of the wedding dress the bride sews herself, she’ll shed one tear during her marriage. Considering the amount of fabric that goes into a wedding dress, I’d think this could be a considerable amount of weeping. Best to let someone else shed those tears on your account.

3. The material the dress is made from is also important to the marriage’s success. Satin brings bad luck, and velvet threatens the wearer with poverty. A dress constructed with a silk, unpatterned fabric is best. If you use a patterned material, avoid birds or vines. Don’t ask why, because I could find the answer to why you avoid birds or vine patterns.

4. Finding a spider inside your wedding gown before you walk down the aisle is good luck. According to English legend, this creepy arachnid is actually a “best of luck omen.” Personally, this would freak me out.

5. Wearing pearls with your wedding attire can be a good thing or a bad thing. This wedding superstition goes both ways. For those with a glass half-empty view, pearls represent future tears. Wearing them will bring many tears and heartache in the marriage. For the glass half-full kind of gal, the luckier version of this states that the pearls take the place of the bride’s real tears, thus she’ll have a happy, tear-free wedding and life.

6. Just as pearls on your neck or ears can bring bad luck, so can an engagement or wedding ring made with pearls. The tears the pearls represent bring bad luck.

7. Once your man gives you that engagement ring, don’t let your girlfriends, or anyone else, try it on. If you do there’s a chance your wedding will never happen because the person who tried it on will steal all your happiness and luck—as well as the heart of your husband. I remember my mother telling me this superstition when my sister asked if she could try on my engagement ring.

8. If you’re thinking about going veil-less consider this: your wedding veil offers you protection from evil spirits, according the ancient Roman tradition. Hiding the bride’s face keeps evil spirits away. And if you wear flowers in your hair without a veil, you’ll be sorry you married.

9. Never try on your complete wedding outfit before the big day. To do so tempts fate. If you just have to see how you look in the whole ensemble, leave some piece off. Consider leaving a stitch open in the dress, or slip on just one earring, or one shoe. That might keep the fickle fates away, since the wedding outfit won’t be complete.

10. No wedding attire is complete without the bouquet, but take care in the flowers you choose. Brides are destined for happiness if the first flower they see on their wedding day is white. But if you see a red flower first you will have unhappiness and heavy care in your married life. You might want to consider the meaning of the flowers you choose, too. Flowers have a language of their own which has been used throughout history to express emotions from the giver. Roses represent love, that’s why they are a favorite of brides. A bouquet of yellow carnations could symbolize rejection or disdain. White carnations stand for pure innocence and love, and would make a lovely addition to a bouquet of red roses. So choose wisely when fashioning your bouquet and create the language of love you want for your special day.

I know I said I was going to give you 10 Bridal Attire superstitions, but I just can’t leave without talking about the one wedding attire superstition we all know and have probably followed to the letter in our marriages and the marriages of our daughters:

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.”

Something old represents the couple’s desire to hold onto important memories, something new represents the new union, something borrowed should be from a woman who has had a long and happy marriage, so her luck will transfer to your marriage, and something blue represents fertility in the marriage. And if you can find a sixpence for your shoe, stick it in that sole. You’ll have good fortune if you do.

Blurb

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

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About the Author

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. Her most recent release, A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing. Both books are available on Amazon.

Where to find Catherine…

Website | Blog | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Stitches Through Time | SMP Authors


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10 Things about Susan Hogan…and Cozy Heroines

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Judy Alter to the Power of 10 series. Today, Judy shares ten interesting facts about Susan Hogan, the protagonist of her latest release, Pigface and the Perfect Dog.

Here’s Judy!

Susan Hogan is the protagonist of my Oak Grove Mystery series. I meant her to be a bit different than the stereotypical cozy heroine. To some extent, I succeeded, because my main beta reader confessed he didn’t like her as well as the women in my other series, and one reviewer called her “prickly.”

With this list, I give readers a chance to judge for themselves, but I hope the list will make you want to read about Susan’s crime-solving adventures.

–Susan Hogan, associate professor of English at the fictional Oak Grove University, is thirty-five, single, and never married; she has, in fact, a bit of a fear of commitment that sometimes gets in the way of her relationship with Jake Phillips, chief of campus security.

–Susan Hogan’s romance with Jake pairis, a cop (pardon, law enforcement officer) and falls into the cozy cliché trap of heroine and police officer but works well for plot purposes.

–Susan is an energetic, stimulating classroom teacher; her field is American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

–Raised by a maiden aunt in Wichita Falls, Texas Susan would like to feel she’s a free spirit, but she clings to many of Aunt Jenny’s preachings about life, morals, and manners.

—-She can cut up a salad and set a proper table, but don’t ask Susan to cook. Jake is a master at the grill, and Aunt Jenny cooks everything from pots of soup to King Ranch chicken, but Susan can’t figure out Hollandaise sauce.

–Susan wears her hair in a spikey cut and runs her hands through it all the time. She can’t be bothered with hair-styling and prefers jeans or, at the least, slacks, hasn’t worn a skirt in years.

–Susan is not status conscious. She drives a battered, old Honda but would really love to go back and forth to campus on Jake’s moped. Since she once wrecked it, Jake fears for the safety of both Susan and his moped and has forbidden her to ride it.

–Susan was at odds with the former chair of the English department, and she finds university rules and regulations cumbersome and restrictive. Professors whose field is Renaissance literature seem to irritate her.

–Susan is cautious about warming up to people—the city police lieutenant, the sheriff—and she can get crosswise, as she does with Marge the waitress who thinks she’s guilty of murder, but she’s fiercely loyal to those she loves—Jake, Aunt Jenny and her paramour Judge John Jackson, her fellow teacher Ellen Peck, and newcomer to the series, Gus Conroy.

–Susan Hogan is, at best a free spirit, representing contemporary feminist thinking in moderation and without the extremes, but tempering her freedom with a bit of the traditional role of women.

In short, Susan Hogan is someone I’d like to meet and hang out with.

Blurb

Susan Hogan thinks she’s about to meet her maker when she confronts a rifle-carrying man, who looks like a pig, in a grocery store. Jake investigates the body of a young college student, shot in the back and found in an empty pasture. Aunt Jenny showers love on the new puppy a young man from the grocery gave her but she has to get rid of that heavy collar.

Susan is associate professor of English at Oak Grove (Texas) University; her partner, Jake, is Chief of Campus Security. Aunt Jenny, the maiden lady who raised Jenny, came to Oak Grove to help Susan, who was accused of murdering a coed in The Perfect Coed, first book in the series How much help Jenny was is debatable, but she made a fast friend in Judge John Jackson and stayed in Oak Grove.

Trouble in Oak Grove begins with the open-carry protestors in the store and leads to a shooting, breaking and entering, threats and an attempted kidnapping, a clandestine trip to the woods late at night. Will Susan Hogan land in trouble…or the hospital…again? Will Susan and Jake survive this as a couple? Susan is still prickly but she learns some lessons about life, love, and herself in this second Oak Grove Mystery.

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Bio

Judy Alter is the author of seven books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries, two books in the Blue Plate Café Mysteries; and two in the Oak Grove Mysteries. Pigface and the Perfect Dog follows The Perfect Coed in this series of mysteries set on a university campus. Judy is no stranger to college campuses. She attended the University of Chicago, Truman State University in Missouri, and Texas Christian University. For twenty years, she was director of TCU Press, the book publishing program of the university. The author of many books for both children and adults, primarily on women of the American West, she retired in 2010 and turned her attention to writing contemporary cozy mysteries.

The single parent of four and the grandmother of seven, she lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her perfect dog, Sophie.

Where to find Judy Alter…

Blog | Amazon | Facebook


Discovering Modern Dating Slang

I like to pride myself on keeping up with new terminology and expressions. So, I was disappointed to discover that I was unfamiliar with the new dating lexicon that seems to have suddenly popped up on social media. While reading Azzura Lalani’s article, Modern Dating is Learning to Speak a New Slang-uage, in yesterday’s Toronto Star, I encountered seven (out of ten) unfamiliar expressions.

How many terms do you recognize?

Breadcrumbing

Sending out flirty, but non-committal, text messages (breadcrumbs) hoping to lure a partner without making much of an effort.

Catfishing

Creating a fake persona on social media with the intention of duping someone into an online relationship.

Cuffing Season

During the fall and winter months, some singles may wish to be “cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship.

Friends with Benefits

Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved.

Ghosting

Ending a relationship with a friend by cutting off all contact and not providing any explanations.

Hatfishing

Wearing a hat to cover up baldness, bad hair days, or other unfortunate hair situations. Goal: To trick people into thinking you’re more attractive.

R-Bombing

You r-bomb a friend when you leave a message as “read” but don’t reply.

Situationship

A relationship that is free of labels. It could be a friendship, partway between friendship and relationship, may include friends with benefits…It’s complicated!!!

Thirst Trap

Sharing a provocative picture on social media with the sole intention of getting attention. An ego-feeding exercise!

Zombie-ing

An old flame contacts you out of the blue.

Any others to add?


Honoring Louise Hay

Today, spiritual teacher Louise Hay died at age 90. One of the founders of the self-help movement, Louise has inspired millions of people with her positive philosophy and affirmations. The best-selling author of several books, among them, You Can Heal Your Life, she has helped facilitate–and often accelerate–the healing process.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from Louise Hay:

Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.

Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you. It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in.

Remember, in the vast infinity of life, all is perfect, whole, and complete… and so are you.

I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.

The point of power is always in the present moment.

I believe we create our own lives. And we create it by our thinking, feeling patterns in our belief system. I think we’re all born with this huge canvas in front of us and the paintbrushes and the paint, and we choose what to put on this canvas.

Learn from the past and let it go. Live in today.

Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

I have noticed that the Universe loves Gratitude. The more Grateful you are, the more goodies you get.

No matter where we live on the planet or how difficult our situation seems to be, we have the ability to overcome and transcend our circumstances.


Myths and Superstitions About Solar Eclipses

Today, millions of people across North America will gather to watch as the moon passes in front of the sun and casts a shadow over a 112-kilometer-wide cross-section of the continent.

Some cities will see the eclipse in its totality while others will see a partial eclipse. But everyone from Maine to Alaska will be able to experience it.

Throughout history, eclipses have evoked feelings ranging from morbid fear to avid curiosity. As a result, many myths and superstitions have sprung up, some of which still linger in 2017.

Here are ten examples:

1. According to Hindu mythology, the deity Rahu was beheaded by the gods for drinking their nectar. Rahu’s head flew off into the sky and swallowed the Sun, causing an eclipse.

2. Ancient Greeks believed eclipses were messages from the gods: You have done wrong.

3. The Pomo, an indigenous group of people who live in the northwestern United States, share a story of a bear that started a fight with the Sun and took a bite out of it. The Pomo name for solar eclipse is Sun Got Bit By a Bear. After resolving its conflict with the Sun, the bear then took a bite out of the Moon, causing a lunar eclipse.

4. Korean folklore suggests that solar eclipses occur because mythical dogs are trying to steal the Sun.

5. The Batammaliba, who live in Togo (Africa), used a solar eclipse as a teaching moment. According to their legends, a solar eclipse is an indication of conflict between the Sun and Moon. Humans can end this conflict by resolving all conflicts with each other.

6. The Arapahyo Plains Indians (Colorado and Wyoming) saw the celestial bodies as siblings—brother sun and sister moon—and were alarmed when they suddenly converged. An obvious question (from their perspective): Are they having sex in the sky?

7. The Mayans believed a solar eclipse that lasted more than a day would herald the end of the world. The Ch’orti predicted that the spirits of the dead would come to life and eat those on earth while the Lacandón expected the earth would split and jaguars would emerge and eat most of the people.

8. In India, people believe that any food cooked during an eclipse will be poisonous. To avoid any mishaps, they fast.

9. A popular misconception exists in many cultures: Solar eclipses can be a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children.

10. Italians believe that flowers planted during a solar eclipse will be brighter and more colorful than flowers planted any other time of the year.

Note: There is no scientific basis for any of these myths or superstitions. Nor is there any evidence that solar eclipses can affect human behavior, health, or the environment. But scientists do emphasize the need for proper eye protection.



Happy National Serendipity Day!

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Today is Serendipity Day, an officially recognized annual event and special day to celebrate unexpected and much appreciated grace.

Here of ten of my favorite quotations about serendipitous events…

The universe is always speaking to us…sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more. Nancy Thayer

There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery. Jeff Bezos

Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns on the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure—do it well, enjoy it—and then, not now, think about what comes next. Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked. Elizabeth Berg

Unless you leave room for Serendipity…How can the Divine enter?
Joseph Campbell

History is an intricate web of timing, people, circumstances and serendipity. Don Rittner

In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts. Peter McWilliams

Serendipity: Look for something, find something else and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.
Lawrence Block

What people call serendipity is just having your eyes open. Jose Manuel Barroso

If you use it intelligently, Twitter can be a form of engineered serendipity.
Jason Silva


10 Things I Discovered When Researching 2006

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Susan James to the Power of 10 series. Today, Susan shares her research and her latest release, Maybe This Time. I’ve read and highly recommend both of Susan’s time travel novels.

Here’s Susan!

When writing time travel, it’s important to know what existed when. My characters in Maybe This Time jump forward to 2006 hoping to mend a glitch in time. I choose 2006 because computer technology leapt forward in the five years between 2001 and 2006. But there were a few things I thought existed in 2006 that didn’t.



Here are ten things I can’t imagine life without today that began their existence in 2006 and 2007.

1. LCD Flat Screen TV. Technically these were “around” before 2006. But that was the year they were made affordable for people to buy commercially, and now they’re everywhere.

2. Facebook. While it was available to college students in 2004 Facebook opened its doors to everyone aged 13 and older with a valid e-mail address on September 26, 2006.

3. Twitter was launched in July 2006. The world embraced the service which allowed only short bursts of information of 140 characters or less. Twitter grew from 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007 to 500 million tweets per day.

4. YouTube was launched in 2005. Every day people watch some of the hundreds of millions of hours worth of content, generating billions of views. It’s physically impossible to watch every video uploaded to the site as it would take over 1,000 years. I have a YouTube channel for videos of some of my acting roles. Not all of them, because shows like American Horror Story do not allow you to post scenes.

5. The iPhone. Released in March 2007. I thought it was earlier. But in 2006 the most advanced phone was the Blackberry Pearl. Jen, my heroine can’t understand why anyone would name a phone after a piece of fruit.

6. The selfie. Obviously we couldn’t take selfies until someone invented the reversible camera. Selfies as a sport, didn’t become popular until the invention of the iPhone. This selfie, taken at the 2014 Oscars, momentarily broke Twitter.

7. E-Readers. The first Amazon kindle was launched in 2007 priced at $400 and was immensely popular, selling out within five and a half hours and remaining out of stock for months.

8. Small Independent Publishers and Self-Publishing. The demand for content for new e-reader opened up new avenues for authors. Not only did a host of independent publishers spring up, I am grateful that Soul Mate Publishing was one of them. New options for self publishing proliferated. I haven’t tried this yet because I am too chicken, but I’ve discovered wonderful books by self-published Authors.

9. Amazon Prime. I have had Amazon Prime since it started in 2005. For a flat fee of $79.00 I could have free two-day shipping. I added up what I had been paying in shipping for my bookaholic habits and decided it was worth it. Amazon Prime wasn’t launched in the UK where my heroine lives until 2007.

10. AirBnB. This alternative traditional hotels for short term stays and vacation rentals started in 2007. I’ve used it several times and I love it. In 2006 when Jen needed to find a short term apartment rental in Los Angeles she asked her waiter. (I always got my best apartment tips from waiters)

Blurb

Their Happily-Ever-After is over before it begins unless they can change time.

London 2001

Forty-nine-year-actress Jennifer Knight would rather eat worms than face her first husband. But when her niece Kat accidentally time travels them to 1988, she needs his help.

Computer guru, Lance Davies is more comfortable with machines than people. He never knew how to handle his beloved, mercurial Jen. But now her future self is here in front of him and he wants another chance.

Jen’s torn. Her traitorous body insists that home is in Lance’s arms, but her heart has trust issues.

Can two people whose timelines are thirteen years apart find a future where they can be together?

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Author Bio

Susan writes second chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James and children’s books as Susan J. Berger.She writes older heroines because she is chronologically gifted and enjoys creating characters who remember that change is only on the outside. Inside our older shells is a much younger psyche.

In her debut romance, Time and Forever, two women in their sixties inadvertently travel back to London in 1969. Time and Forever was a 2015 Golden Quill finalist for Best First Book and a 2015 RONE finalist for Best Time Travel Book.

Maybe This Time, the companion book, came out July 12, 2017.

Susan’s other career is acting. Last year, among other things, she killed Kathy Bates on American Horror Story. This she, among other things, she got stabbed by a pen on Future Man and played the victim on Major Crimes. Karma? Who knows what’s next. The joy is in the journey.

Where to find Susan James…

Blog (Adult Books) | Blog (Children’s Books) | Facebook | Goodreads

Where to find Susan Berger…

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Website (Acting)