Usually in my novels, my characters get married off-scene. But I felt like I “owed” it to Sera in Seduced By An Angel (Book 3, Velvet Lies) to let my readers celebrate her marriage. After all, Sera waited for 13 years after the publication of His Wicked Dream for me to “get around” to finding her the right lover.
Or as Sera likes to describe the outlaw, Jesse Quaid: “A dashing stranger who is worthy to be kissed!”
The relationship of Sera and Jesse has to survive all kinds of trials, including a life-threatening flood, a treacherous love triangle, and a murderous bounty hunter. I didn’t actually set out to write a wedding ceremony into the book, but the idea started to grow on me-- especially after the outlaw, William “Cass” Cassidy (Jesse’s best friend, who tries to seduce Sera) leaves Kentucky for his own romantic adventure (which you’ll get to read in Devil in Texas.)
My inspiration for Sera and Jesse’s vow-sharing came from the traditional Cherokee Wedding Prayer. In the novel, Sera is a preacher’s daughter, and her true love, Jesse, is part Cherokee.
Needless to say, lots of complications revolved around such a union in Kentucky in 1882! Thanks to the closed minds of that era, I decided to make Sera and Jesse sneak off to get married, creating their own, private ceremony at Ywahoo Falls, in present-day Daniel Boone National Forest.
Ywahoo Falls is a sacred Cherokee burial ground, and Sera (who is clairvoyant) can see the ghosts of hundreds of Cherokee squaws and school children frolicking in the water. Other than Mother Earth and Father Sky – and my readers, of course! – no one else is invited to witness the wedding vows that Sera and Jesse share.
The Cherokees follow a matrilineal custom, which means that a groom leaves his Clan to marry into his wife’s. The mothers of the bride and groom are extremely important to the traditional ceremony. Since no humans were invited to Sera’s and Jesse’s ceremony, I had to get creative! I won’t be giving away any spoilers here, but let’s just say that Sera and Jess have a VERY interesting wedding processional!
I tried to make other parts of the Cherokee Wedding Ceremony authentic: Sera and Jesse burn 7 types of wood in their wedding bonfire to represent the seven Cherokee Clans; they each dress in Native American attire; they hand-make gifts to exchange with each other at the ceremony; and they hide themselves away in a special place, which Jesse adorns with furs and blankets for his bride’s romantic wedding feast.
I know it sounds sappy coming from the author, but . . . every time I read this scene, I get tears!
Sera’s and Jesse’s Native American ceremony celebrates love and life, and the interconnectedness of all living things. I want to thank Marianne for sharing the Wedding Prayer from Seduced By An Angel on the Romance Books '4' Us blog. May it inspire you to give and receive love today in new and profoundly beautiful ways!
Seduced By An Angel (Book 3, Velvet Lies Series)
Great Spirit, hear our prayer.
Before Father Sky and Mother Earth,
And all the wonders of the world,
We offer our deepest gratitude for Your guidance,
For the day that You helped us find each other,
For the moment when You reunited our Spirits,
And for this sacred morning now,
When we pledge our lives in love.
We ask that Father Sky embrace us,
That we may always know His wisdom
as we walk the Good Red Road.
We ask that Mother Earth nurture us,
That our union may always know plentitude and peace.
We ask that Sacred Fire warm our hearts,
And keep our love-flame burning bright.
We ask that Sacred Water purify us,
That we may always honor each other’s Truth.
We ask that Sacred Wind breeze us through the storms,
Refreshed and renewed in the commitment to our love.
Great Spirit, we pray that we may live
In harmony with your creations:
With our Cousins who are Feathered, Furred, and Finned,
With the Stone People and the Green Brothers,
And with all the Powers, both seen and unseen,
That orchestrate this world.
Great Spirit, we ask for Your blessing,
That we may find happiness with each passing season;
That our love may deepen with each rising sun and star;
And that we may always know Your truest guidance
As we walk each day as husband and wife.
Great Spirit, before You
And all the majesty that You have created,
We seal these marriage vows.
Adrienne deWolfe is a #1 bestselling author of action-packed Historical Romance novels, where feisty Heroines buck the conventions and true Heroes must be wickedly funny. Currently, she is writing Devil in Texas, the first book in her new Romantic Suspense series, The Gunslinger and the Redheaded Sleuth. For sneak peeks of her sassy ladies and sizzling rogues, visit http://ebookdiscovery.com.p8.hostingprod.com/AdrienneDeWolfe
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