Before 1800 Valentine’s Day cards, which date back to the Middle Ages, were handmade notes. Some were works of art fashioned of lace and expensive fabrics which could be given with or in place of gifts. Later, less expensive valentines made of flat paper sheets, often printed with colored illustrations and embossed borders, became popular. The sheets, when folded and sealed with wax, could be mailed.
In 1850 Esther Howland, an American printer and artist, after receiving a card produced by an English company, published and sold valentines in the Unites States. Not everyone was happy with the practice. In 1856 a New York Times editorial complained "Our beaux and belles are satisfied with a few miserable lines, neatly written upon fine paper, or else they purchase a printed Valentine with verses ready made, some of which are costly, and many of which are cheap and indecent. In any case, whether decent or indecent, they only please the silly and give the vicious an opportunity to develop their propensities, and place them, anonymously, before the comparatively virtuous. The custom with us has no useful feature, and the sooner it is abolished the better."
Toward the end of the 19th century, many valentines were humorous. Which brings me to my ancestor’s ‘courting cards.’ My packrat family has boxes full of vintage postcards that my g-grandmother received from her friends and suitors. I share them occasionally on my webpage (ritabay.com). A few of the more risque (for the time) and humorous are featured there this week for a Valentine’s Day bloghop with a book giveaway.
I wonder what my ancestor would think of Her Teddy Bare, my fantasy erotic novella in Carnal Passion’s Aphrodite’s Island series. The humorous BDSM-with-a-chuckle story has evolved into its own series, Cupid’s Back in Business, with the first story, Conquering Cupid, my current work in progress.
“Diana will be his to serve if only he can convince her to play the game.”
After dumping her cheating fiancé, Diana Harper accepts an invitation to attend a private event at Miss A’s island retreat to experience her “most secret dreams and fondest fantasies.” Miss A gives Teddy to Diana as an “attendant.” Despite his best efforts, Teddy isn’t a submissive and the skimpy gold thong is ridiculous on a man his size. Although she’s not a domme, Diana plays his game to see where it leads. When Teddy offers her profound passion, the best sex ever, and the prospect of love, will she take a chance on another broken heart?
Theodore Bareston will do whatever it takes to win Diana’s love, even though “whatever” includes wearing a thong and posing nude in chains when Diana’s interest in her art revives. As the sexual tension builds and passions explode, can Teddy convince Diana that he is the only man for her?
Her Teddy Bare Excerpt - Bedtime
“Thank you for everything, Teddy. I must say this day tops my lifetime list for interesting and unusual.”
“Thank you, Mistress. The pleasure was mine.” He stood waiting expectantly.
“I look forward to tomorrow.”
“As do I, Mistress.” He didn’t budge.
“You are dismissed for the day, Teddy. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Yes, Mistress.” He turned to leave.
He stopped but didn’t turn around. The last rays of the setting sun outlined his body. The artist that had fallen silent last year emerged to appreciate the beauty of Teddy’s body silhouetted against the waning light.
“Where do you sleep, Teddy?”
“As close to you as possible, Mistress.”
“So, if you don’t sleep here. You …”
“… sleep outside, Mistress.”
“With the bugs?”
“And the snakes, Mistress.”
“You’ll sleep inside tonight, Teddy.”
“Thank you, Mistress.”
She looked around the living area. It was the floor or her bed. No one could get a decent night’s sleep on tile.
“You can sleep in my bed, but that’s not an invitation for anything else. You understand?”
She thought she detected a hint of laughter in his voice, but she would ignore it. She removed her robe in the dark that had fallen abruptly, then slipped into bed and pulled the thin sheet up to her chin.
She could hear Teddy arranging the mosquito netting around their bed, then something hit the floor. Teddy slipped into bed with her. The big guy’s bulk created a dip in the mattress. She fell against him, then scrambled away. Perched precariously on the edge of the bed, she realized what had hit the floor - his little golden thong.
Her Teddy Bare is available from Champagne Book Group’s Carnal Passions ($.99)
BIO: Rita Bay is the author of numerous contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance novels and novellas. She has lived and traveled extensively in the United States and Western Europe. Rita has worked as a Registered Nurse, educator, and school system administrator. She lives with her family on the Gulf Coast.
Webpage - http://ritabay.com/