As a child, I had many unforgettable memories sitting behind this vanity. If we were at my grandmother's house (which in those days was quite often) you could find me and my cousins at this gorgeous piece of furniture putting on grandma's bright pink and red lipstick or splashing on gobs of her cologne. No one was safe from getting all dolled up. Even my younger male cousins were susceptible to our relentless beauty make-overs. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo to prove it, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
On the furniture itself, you can see why I love it so much by the intricate carvings rounding the mirrors and base, to the antique drawer pulls decorating the face. It really is a work of art by itself, but knowing this once belonged to my dear, beloved grandmother, Lorraine, makes it twice as precious.
One such place was the Stave church of Rapid City, South Dakota which was erected and completed in 1969 as an exact replica of the Stave church in Borgund, Norway. I have always wanted to journey and immerse myself in this cultural landmark. To my utter dismay, my grandmother had already been there.
Ræliksen.) I told her "it was going" but the research is pretty intense as I wanted to make sure EVERYTHING was accurate for its time in 10th century Ireland. She generously offered to help me with the research as she said, and I quote, "I know a few Irish folk." Trying not to laugh, I expressed my thanks but explained that I doubt she knew any Irish folk in 916 AD when the Vikings were making their "rounds."
"Vikings, huh?" she muttered, a cute spark lighting up her eyes. "I have some information on Vikings."
Disbelief ran rampant through me. "You do?"
"Yeah, look in that drawer," she said, pointing to a cabinet near her kitchen. "I went to one of their Stave churches and I think there's some history in the pamphlet you could use."
Sure enough, the pamphlet and all its history (both on the one in South Dakota and in Norway) existed. I think my jaw dropped as I leafed through it. While I didn't necessarily NEED that kind of information for my book research, it was certainly an OMG moment.
She told me to take it with me and use it as I needed it for my book. Looking back, I know my grandmother felt she'd just aided me in a profound way when it came to something as important as writing my first romance novel. I was content to let her think that. The excitement that lit up her face as she talked about the church and how she was able to walk inside was absolutely beautiful. I will never forget that day or the way she made me feel. My only regret is that I never got to go to the church myself while she was still alive, so we could sit together and talk about it.
So, what about you? Are there any objects or heirlooms that hold a special sentiment for you as you've conducted thorough research for your romance novels? Have you brought any of those objects to life in your books? I'd love to hear your stories.