Friday, February 13, 2009

Tunnel of Love Week Guest Blogger: Jessica Andersen

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congrats to our winner Rebecca Chastain. Please email your physical address to contests(at)knightagency(dot)net!

Leave a comment and enter to win an autographed copy of Dawnkeepers!

On Valentine’s Day, many of us turn our thoughts to love and romance, and reaching out to the people we care about. And I find myself thinking more than usual about the concept of marriage. Or, as the guy in the Princess Bride calls it, “Mawwiage…”

My Novels of the Final Prophecy are paranormal romantic thrillers about the Nightkeepers, modern-day men and women who find themselves caught up in a series of ancient Mayan prophecies surrounding December 21, 2012. To fight the coming apocalypse, these descendants of ancient magic users must find their destined mates, unlock their hidden powers, and defend the barrier separating the earth and underworld. But while many of the Nightkeepers’ rituals parallel those of the ancient Maya, their marriage rituals diverge.

In the ancient Mayan empire, marriage was less about love and more about negotiating bride prices and work debts, and determining whether the omens were propitious. The Nightkeepers, though, are all about love matches. . . or at least spontaneous combustion. Because while they might be crazy-hot for their destined mates, these modern men and women aren’t too keen on having their relationships determined by destiny and prophecy. And while three couples now wear their mated marks, only one mated pair is married. . . and they met and married long before they knew who- or what- they are.

Which gets me thinking about what sort of a wedding Strike and Leah from NIGHTKEEPERS would have, or Nate and Alexis from DAWNKEEPERS. And it makes me think back on some of the better weddings I’ve been to. Probably my favorite was held this past summer- the bride had apparently been envisioning her wedding since girlhood… and she’d always seen herself wearing bright red. So she did! The groom’s rather traditional parents took it pretty well- they were just happy their son was wearing shoes this time.

But at the same time, the ceremony wasn’t at all lighthearted- it was two people very much in love, promising to make a life together. I’m not much of a girly girl, but it moved me.
So, as we look Valentine’s Day in the teeth, tell me. . . what are some of the best marriage rituals you’ve seen or heard about? Have you been to a really great wedding? Do you know of a really esoteric marriage ritual you’re willing to share? On this Valentine’s Eve, let’s talk mawwiage!

The fine print. (Okay it’s not fine print, really, more just added info.) FMI on NIGHTKEEPERS, DAWNKEEPERS and other upcoming NOVELS OF THE FINAL PROPHECY, as well as more on the Maya, the 2012 end-date, and other cool stuff, please visit!

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Blogger Lisa F. said...

I live in the south and I've always though outside weddings were the best. The pictures turn out great and the atmosphere is much more relaxed. I had the traditional church wedding with white gown and huge wedding party, but the highlight was the outside events - throwing the garter and bouquet and leaving in the highly tacky decorated car.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 9:21:00 AM EST  
Blogger Natascha said...

I really enjoyed Nightkeepers and Daykeepers and hope things work out for Rabbit. I am definitely looking forward to the next book this August. I appreciate your imagination and writing style. I am going to try my best to be present at the Book Club Meeting that I heard about throught the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Should be a good time with V.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 10:14:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Amy N. said...

Most of the weddings I've been to have been in a church. Very traditional, which is nice and all, but doesn't really suit the image of the Nightkeepers. My sister's wedding was put together in about 3 weeks and held within our home. I think of all the weddings that was the most personal. The most important thing in a good wedding is really the joy of having family around you. Granted it's stressful of the bride and groom, but having those closest to you right there helps. In my opinion I think a wedding by the ceibia tree would be beautiful. The tree has so much meaning to them and being outside would be symbolic of the kind of freedom they love so much.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 11:16:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Jessica Andersen said...

Lisa- Now that you mention it, my two favorite weddings were outdoors, one by a lake and the other on the beach. And LOL on the tacky decorated car. That's a ritual that totally makes me smile :)

Natascha- Hi, and thanks for the props on the books! Hope to see you next Tuesday for the book club, it should be a Vhery fun time!

Amy N.- Ooh, love the idea of a wedding under the cieba tree! Again with the outdoors, and additionally significant because the tree represents community and the continuity of life to the Nightkeepers (and the Maya before them). Yep, that works :)

I haven't done the wedding thing yet, but suspect there will be a mechanical bull involved. Perhaps not during the actual ceremony (lol- now there's an image) but during the reception, at the very least.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 11:44:00 AM EST  
Blogger Reeva said...

i'd love to win a copy of dawnkeepers!

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 12:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger donnas said...

I havent been to any non-traditional weddings. And the only marriage type rituals I know of are the traditional ones - wear white, something borrowed, something blue, etc. But I would love to read some new and unusual ones.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 1:59:00 PM EST  
Blogger tetewa said...

I'd like to be included, count me in!

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 3:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger Rebecca Chastain said...

You've combined two of my favorite things in your novel--paranormal romances and 2012 Mayan prophesies (which I'm obsessed with)! Fabulous!

I've been to a minimum of two weddings a year for the last 7 years, and the most romantic I can think of was actually not a wedding at all, but a Commitment Ceremony. Rather than focus on following traditions, this couple centered their ceremony around love and friendship--and then had a really fun party afterward at a Moroccan restaurant.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 4:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger macbeaner said...

I'm honestly a traditionalist. I like the "til death do you part ceremines." However, I would love to do a Renessance style wedding some day. I think that would be lots of fun! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 5:33:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jessica Andersen said...

Reva and tetewa- you're entered!

Donna S- I was doing some research today and came across a description of a Maya ceremony in which the happy couple sits together on a woven mat wearing long robes, and the shaman-priest ties the ends of their robes together to symbolize their union. Literally tying the knot!

Rebecca- happy to hear the idea of the series appeals! Thanks for sharing that description- it sounds like a ceremony that gets back to the basics of love and honor. Very classy :)

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 5:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marie said...

I haven't really been to a lot of weddings. The best one I've seen was a small intimate wedding that took place in a beautiful garden.

I would love to win a copy of Dawnkeepers.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 6:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

I think my sister's wedding in June 2007 was pretty great. While it definitely carried the solemnity felt at most weddings, it was also definitely flavored by their personalities. Everyone in my family was part of the wedding. Our oldest brother played the piano for the wedding and our other brother and I were both part of the wedding party. But, the best, and probably most memorable, part of the wedding as after the ceremony was over and my sister and her new husband walked back down the aisle to 'Great Balls of Fire' played by our oldest brother.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 7:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Natascha said...

Please enter me too, Jessica.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 7:59:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mona said...

Haven’t been to lots of weddings. I'm not really clear on how I feel about weddings. But one time the bride happens to be my best friend and somehow I think happiness is a little bit contagious. I felt happy just feeling she is.
And I think that was the best wedding I ever attended.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 8:10:00 PM EST  
Blogger LuAnn said...

I find the ancient civilizations fascinating. Can you imagine living at a time when human sacrifice was the norm? How could someone let the person they love be subjected to torture and death?

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 9:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger housemouse88 said...

Please enter me in the contest. I don't have anything to say about weddings. Sorry. Nothing is coming to me right now.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 10:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kytaira said...

Weddings where I grew up in WI were long and basically a great excuse to drink and dance all night long. Then you started on round two the next day to drink and eat.

One thing with the tacky car, my brother in law is a mechanic. He was still dumb enough to use shaving cream on the paint job in 100+ degree weather. It discolors the paint job. I had to use an electric buffer for weeks on the roof in order to sell the car.

I've only attended one outside weadding and the weather was a major worry. It was overcast all day.

My sister in law laid out disposable cameras and requested people use them then leave them. Some walked but she got a wider variety of pics.

In WI we always do a huge dance. There's always a bride/father of the bride dance, the cicken dance, the hocky pocky and the congo line dance. Since drinking is such a big part of any WI celebration, dances can be hillarious!

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 10:32:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Jessica!

I really enjoyed reading "Nightkeepers" and would love to read "Daykeepers".

Glad to hear there is another book in the series coming in August.

Terri W.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 11:09:00 PM EST  
Blogger kimmyl said...

I've been to alot of wedding. Mostly church weddings. I went to one outside wedding and I loved it.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 11:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Lori T said...

Hi Jessica~

I have really only been to "traditional" church weddings and I have never been to an outside wedding before. I would love to entered.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009 at 11:33:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jessica Andersen said...

macbeaner- Ooh, I bet a Renaissance wedding would be very pretty... and very expensive, depending on how period-correct the couple wanted to be. But the pictures would soo rock.

Marie- another vote for an outdoor wedding- I love the garden idea. You're entered!

Karin- LOL! Love the personalization of the recessional (that's what they call the 'run away' song, right?)

Natascha- you're entered!

Mona- that's lovely, bringing it back to the emotion of the day :)

LuAnn- I know, huh? I will say that the Maya were more about bloodletting than actual all-the-way-to-death sacrifice. Letting blood (usually from yourself) was a way to give back to the gods, and communicate with ancestors. So, viewed from that perspective, it's more about returning a part of yourself to the earth than it is pain and death. Some of the other, neighboring cultures, though... yikes!

housemouse88- LOL! You're entered!

Kytiara- SNORT on your brother with the shaving cream. That's a definite d'oh! moment!

Terri W.- thanks for the shout out, and for loving the books! Yep, there'll be another in August, then March '10, and at least two beyond that, TBA :)

kimmyl and Lori T- you're entered, thanks for the shout out!

Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 7:46:00 AM EST  

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