06 December 2010

Guest Blogger talks about Christmas in Bayeux

I'd like to thank Keena for having me on the blog and allowing me to visit today. Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army for a great adventure and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. I met a fair-haired California boy and we were married in Denmark in 1991. Little odd fact: I went to Berlin before the wall fell in 1988. Now, the adventure over, I work for LAPD as a 911 Operator.

I love Keena's historicals. I enjoyed Anam Cara and Ties that Bind. As I write this, I'm currently reading Enthralled. Keena really captures a vibrant authenticity of the period she's writing. When I learned about the Bayeux Tapestry, I knew I wanted to talk about it today.

I picked Bayeux, France as the setting for my Christmas story which is included in "A Christmas Collection, Stimulating." Why Bayeux? Because it is the closest city to the beaches of Normandy and I always wanted to visit the beaches.  A military cemetery is nearby and American soldiers are buried there from World War I and World War II. The land is considered American soil.  As I did my research on Bayeux, I discovered the tapestry.  And what a delicious discovery it was!

The tapestry isn't really a tapestry, it's an embroidery, but it depicts William the Conqueror's conquest of England in 1066. In William's time, people believed his wife commissioned the tapestry, but through modern day history detectives, it is believed William's half-brother, Odo, commissioned it.  It is believed to have been finished in 1077, just in time for the dedication of the Bayeux Cathedral.

The tapestry contains several panels and takes up the length of a wall. It begins with Edward the Confessor sending Harold Godwinson to Normandy. Harold tells William Edward wants him to be king after he dies.  A star with a tale appears on the tapestry. It's believed to be Halley's comet. According to astronomy, Halley's comet would have appeared 4 months after Harold was crowned king. (I'm not giving away the plot of the tapestry! –wicked evil grin)

Interesting note: 2 panels of the tapestry are missing and were reconstructed. 

The tapestry was first found in the Bayeux Cathedral in 1476. Remember William's brother, Odo? He was the Bishop of the Cathedral.

Several reproduction exist and can be found in England, Denmark, and New Zealand.

I wonder if any of Keena's characters have had a chance to see the tapestry…

BLURB: Aiden Seward is an Iraq war vet who has gone to the Beaches of Normandy to heal his wounded heart. Noel Rousseau was the girl he knew as an exchange student years ago. Can Noel help heal the ache in Aiden's heart?


Her cheeks reddened, but she only gestured toward the hall. "It's this way."
They entered the main room and he saw that the tapestry hung on the wall opposite of them. It filled the space entirely. Aiden stood stock-still, admiring its craftsmanship.
"We believe it commemorates the Norman conquest of England in 1066. We all call it a tapestry, but it's really an embroidery." She paused, then pointed. "Of course, the hero is William the Conqueror. His forces defeated those led by the English king, Harold Godwinson."
Aiden walked the length to the tapestry, marveling at the story and how the work had been well preserved for close to 1,000 years.
"Edward the Confessor had no heir so he sent Harold to tell William he would rule England once Edward died. Harold, however, usurped the throne."
Aiden pointed to a star with a tail. "Is that a star?"
She grinned. "Modern interpretation believes it to be Haley's comet. It was a bad omen for Harold."
"What happened next?"
Noel giggled. "William conquered him."
"Silly me. I should have known that." He grabbed her waist and pulled her against him. Their eyes locked, hers smoldering with desire. Damn. He wanted to kiss her. Right now. Screw his willpower. Aiden grabbed her hand and led her to the nearest hallway. Empty, thank God.

Buy Links:

Create Space, Print book: https://www.createspace.com/3494425

Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE
Find me on the web at: http://sgcardin.tripod.com

Goodie Time: Leave me a post and I'll pick out two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Tell me about one of your Christmas traditions and I'll pick a winner to a print copy of A Christmas Collection, Stimulating. I'll come back on 07 DEC to pick the winners.


Unknown said...

Steph--I love that tapestry--or embroidery. You're such an international author, using settings you've been to or would to visit. Very interesting, and a good hook, too. Good job, you do, all the way around, in everything. Congratulations on so many books! Celia

Maggie Toussaint said...

I wonder how long it took a bunch of women to sew that tapestry. Back in the day when I embroidered, it would take me a year to work on a 12 x 12 inch pillow front.

The hand work is gorgeous.

Thanks for telling us about it, Steph!


Morgan Mandel said...

That is one long tapestry. I never knew it existed.

I'm so insular, it's hard to believe so many other things exist in this world.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel. blogspot.com

Cheryl Pierson said...

Ah, better late than never! Here I am, y'all! My internet has been giving me fits for the last several days. But I made it! LOL I never knew about that tapestry either, Steph. Wow, you have been to so many cool places. That would sure give me a lot to write about if I'd traveled as much as you have. Very interesting stuff.
I love the cover for the stimulating edition. It's just gorgeous!


Stephanie Burkhart said...

Hi everyone. Thanks with your patience for me. I had yesterday off and it was catch up day. I wrapped all those packages I was going to mail and mailed them off. I worked on my Christmas cards and when Andrew came home, I helped him with school work. Phew... I was pooped!

Thanks, Celia, the tapesty sounds really cool. I firmly intend to visit one day!

Maggie Nice to see you, Sweetie. I think it took several years for them to put it together.

Morgan, I didn't know about the tapesty either. Amazing the stuff we find in the world to remind us of our history.

Cheryl, nice to see you pop in, Sweetie.

Since I didn't get a good chance to hang out on the net, I'm going to extend goodie time for another day and I'll announce the winners tomorrow.


Vivian Zabel said...

Boujour. Comment ally-vous?

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Oui, Bien, Vivian! It's nice to see you pop in!

Mona Risk said...

Bonjour Steph, merci pour ce blog. Such an interesting story. The tapestry is beautiful and I enjoyed reading about its story in the post and in your excerpt.

Diane Craver said...

Sorry I'm late. I'm like Cheryl - I have internet problems. I have called Time Warner so many times - I'm just thankful I can eventually leave comments. Certain times of the day seem to be better.

Keena, thank you for visiting the anthology authors and leaving a comment at my blog. You have lovely book covers and your books sound fantastic!

Steph, I loved your story in the Stimulating collection and also love the book cover. I always enjoy your unique pictures - thanks for sharing the tapestry one.

Liana Laverentz said...

I love how you include history in your stories :) It adds a wonderful depth to the writing, makes the reader feel like they are right there :)

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Hi everyone - it's goodie time!

Congrats to Mona & Morgan who won the autographed postcard.

Congrats to Liana who won the print copy of the book!

If you could send me an email to sgcardin1@yahoo.com or botrina_buchanan@yahoo.com with your snail mail, I'll get them right out!