Daily Archives: March 28, 2024

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Astronomical Events and Romance?

March 28, 2024 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as ,

Mr. Moon meets Mrs. Sun—or is it the other way around?

There’s a big solar eclipse coming on April 8th! It’s predicted to be a spectacular one, witnessed by over 32 million people.

We know that the paths of the moon and the sun will line up. The moon will block the sun and cast the earth into darkness, while “deep pink geysers of nuclear fire shoot from the Sun’s edge” as described in the link I just mentioned.

That amazing ring of fire!

A total solar eclipse is such a startling event that before the science of astronomy developed, humans came up with different ways to explain the sudden darkness.

Some cultures evoked gods, demons, dragons, and other mythological creatures to cope, while others explained the eclipse in terms of a romantic union between the moon with the sun. Check out some of the mythology in this post from Almanac.com.

The right place at the right time

Eclipses aren’t often visible where I live, due to either wrong geography or a lack of a clear sky. (Fog? Smog? Who knows?) The sky darkened noticeably during last October’s eclipse, but there was so much cloud cover, I couldn’t view what was only a partial eclipse in our area.

However, on April 8th this year, I’ll be on an airplane flying home above the cloud cover from a most romantic event, a family member’s wedding in New York City.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to witness something through the airplane window, or while I wait for my connecting flight. I’d better shop for some eclipse shades!

Year of the Comet

Comets are another astronomical novelty.

I don’t know of any romance relationships ascribed to comets, but there seems to have been a spectacular relationship between the comet of 1811 and the grapes–and wine–produced that year.

Vin de Comète (comet wine) is the name given to the 1811 vintage of wine. (There’s a 1992 movie about a chase across Europe for a bottle of Vin de Comète with Napoleon’s seal.)

One sparkling wine made during this era was made famous by a courageous and innovative French woman vintner, the Veuve (French for widow) Clicquot.

Astronomical, or perhaps Gastronomical Inspiration

The Veuve Clicquot, and the fabulous champagne she made helped inspire a story I wrote last year. The Veuve herself doesn’t appear until the epilogue, but it’s her demand that spurs the hero’s quest, and she also sends him home to England with a precious and very valuable case of Vin de Comète.

Under the Champagne Moon first appeared in the October 2023 Bluestocking Belles collection, Under the Harvest Moon, and tells the story of a young Frenchwoman and the ex-soldier who’s looking for her.

I’m happy to announce that it will be available in its own edition on April 16th! Here’s the beautiful new cover and a bit about the book. Buy link to follow, but you can find out more at my website, https://alinakfield.com/book/under-the-champagne-moon/.

Orphaned by the French Revolution and rescued by a British family, Fleur Hardouin didn’t—or wouldn’t—speak, until the jolly young Gareth Ardleigh crossed her path one summer and saved her from bullies.

Fifteen years later, Fleur and the beloved lady she serves return to Cheshire. Determined to rescue them both through an advantageous marriage, Fleur tries to brush off the attention she receives from Captain Gareth Ardleigh, who’s home from the wars and as handsome as ever. Her heart longs for him, but her head knows he can’t provide the security she needs.

Gareth’s excuse for visiting Cheshire is to deliver the personal effects of his best friend who perished at Quatre Bras. But his real purpose is finding the little French girl he met years ago, for marriage—not to him, but to the Frenchman who helped save his life.

Astonished to find that Fleur has grown into a beautiful—and still intriguing—young woman, it soon becomes clear, he must choose between honoring a promise or trying to win the hand of the woman he loves.

Except for the cover, all images are courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

Happy spring, everyone! I’ll be back in June with another Quarter Days post!

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