Bookishlovers! I’m sad to say that today is the last day of my Rachel Harris showcase, but we’re about to have tons of fun because the darling Ms Harris has provided me with few fun things for today!
First up we have a Lesson in Renaissance Social Graces from Cat Crawford in My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.
A Lesson in Renaissance Social Graces….From the very UN-Graceful Cat Crawford
Okay, I admit it. I’m not exactly an expert on the subject.
In fact, I turned screwing up during my Renaissance vacay into an art form.
But the upside is I learned from my one or two (okay, maybe more like a bazillion) mistakes, and I’m here today to share my wealth of knowledge in the hopes I’ll spare you the drama I went through… you know, just in case you find yourself breezing through the flaps of a certain green gypsy tent.
So here my compiled list of handy-dandy tips—with possibly the world’s longest title ever:
Cat Crawford’s List of Traits Any Self-Respecting 16th Century Chica Should Know to NOT Look Like A Cultural Ignoramus:
- Sharpen That Tongue. Get your mind out of the gutter, people… I’m talking speech. Turns out, the art of flinging the right word or taunt at just the right time was a skill peeps respected back in the day. (Explains why Antonia thought she was all that.) They also liked cleverness, wit, good story-telling, and clever jokes, so maybe I don’t totally fail in this category—I have been told I’m quite humorous at times.
- Study Up. Did you know that the upper class actually had books they studied on how to act, what clothes to wear, and even how to stand properly? Yeah, me neither. And you better believe they used the info they gained to scrutinize everyone around them—even time-traveling chicas not exactly up on the latest intel. Just one example of a book to grab during your own adventure through time is The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione, but there’s several out there. It’s almost too bad we don’t use these today. Like, How to NOT Act Like Snookie. Oh, and while you’re studying, be sure to brush up on your art and music knowledge. There may be a quiz later.
- Unleash The Voice. Christina Aguilera you may not be, but that won’t matter. Without the modern conveniences of television, radio, or video games, people amused themselves by entertaining others, and that includes singing. If the very thought of singing in front of more than your favorite stuffed animal or toothbrush terrifies you, I’m right there with you…but there’s no getting out of this one. YIKES! All I can suggest is close your eyes, think a happy thought (such as a sexy pair of chocolate eyes), and belt it out, sister.
- Lose That Tan. Yep, it’s true. Those paintings you’ve seen with the uber-white faces are for real. People believed that pale skin made women look more prestigious because women with tanned skin often worked lowly jobs outdoors. The upper class women stayed inside all day. Can you imagine all the money we’d save if this was still the trend? Goodbye spray-tans and tanning beds, hello Snow White.
- Embrace Your Inner Rhythm. Dancing was a big thing back then, and we’re not talking those ‘drop it like it’s hot’ or grope and sway moves so popular on the dance floors today. These things had steps, lots of them, and everyone knew them. Luckily, the steps repeat after a while so you can pick it up pretty quickly. Or you can always make a break for it with a certain hottie and teach him a modern-day dance like me… (*grin*)
- Get Your Swoon On. This one is really just for fun and is all about the boys, but it’s good to know what sixteenth-century women want. Chivalry and knowledge of hunting, horses, and fighting were all very important qualities in any suitor, as well as knowing how to work a sword. Don’t believe me? Think about Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale. Yeah, it’s the wrong century, but still H-O-T. And hey, it’s an excuse to watch a movie with a cute boy. Enough said.
So there you have it, my quick list of must-know traits to blend in with the well-to-do of Renaissance society. Of course, there’s more to it then this short list, but if you can manage these things, you’re well ahead of where I was. Oh, and don’t forget to pack this handy-dandy list in your extra handy-dandy backpack, and keep that baby with you at all times. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.
So how do YOU measure up on this list? Are you a natural Sixteenth-Century Chica, or a Cultural Ignoramus like me? Let us know in the comments!
Okay are you all ready for a little game?? Let’s play some super fun Mad Libs from A Tale Of Two Centuries. Leave your words in the comments and have a ton of fun!
Inside, it’s _____(adjective), with only a few lit candles illuminating the space. The ____(noun) closes behind me, but for the effect, it may as well be a steel ____(noun)—the outside noise is completely muffled. I take a step, and gravel ______(verb) under my ______(article of clothing plural), sounding all the louder in this spooky setup.
I’ve officially walked into the ____(proper noun).
I stretch my hand out and _____(verb) a ledge. Opening my eyes wide, I struggle to read the framed sign perched atop some sort of _______(adjective) shelving system. It says to place any _____(noun) or _____(plural noun) on the top shelf, and to take off my shoes and ______(verb) them into the tray provided.
I really don’t get how Steve Madden gladiators will interfere with a psychic reading, but whatever. I’m being ______(adjective).
________(ing verb) farther inside, following the trail of dotted candlelight, I continue to be amazed at how large the space seems. It’s a freaking tent, and not even a big one at that, yet I feel as though I could walk _____(adverb) forever. One side is completely lined with shelves, and from the flickering flames of the candles, I can see rows of teacups, labeled vials, unlit candles, crystal ________(plural noun), and stacks of cards.
As I _____(verb) toward the back of the tent, the smell of patchouli incense tickles my nose, and I see a small card table with a black silk sheath draped over it. Resting in the middle is a large sapphire-colored candle, its flame a spotlight on the woman ______(ing verb) behind it.
Her entire face is covered by purple _____(noun); only her ______(body part plural) are visible.
I’d love to see how everyone’s Mad Libs turn out so please leave it in the comments!
And now for the very, very, extra special treat that Rachel has provided! A kinda kissy scene from her upcoming book The Fine Art Of Pretending.
First though, some info about it:
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.
“Dude, what’re you waiting for?” Carlos calls. “Plant one on her.” I lift my eyes and am shocked to see Brandon is staring at my mouth. He swallows audibly and flicks his gaze to mine. The emotions darkening the soft green color are too confusing to name. Does he want to back out? An exhale of breath leaves Brandon’s lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under me, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark green depths of his eyes. The cologne I gave him for his birthday fills my head. It’s woodsy and yummy, and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers; but on Brandon, it’s even sexier. My eyes flutter closed and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy. Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading the fingers of both through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight. When his mouth first meets mine, it’s hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart. Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip and I pull it, sucking on it gently. He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back.
Guys, I’ve had ton of fun this past week and I just want to thank Rachel for providing me with all the fun stuff and for being so awesome!
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