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The Christmas Salon - & Birthmarks

The Christmas Salon is AVAILABLE NOW

It’s Out! My Regency holiday novella is now available for purchase. You can find Kindle links (and a larger extract) here, and other formats here.

While I was writing The Christmas Salon, I ran a poll on Twitter. I posed the following question:

What shape birthmark is the sexiest?

As per all Twitter polls, I was only able to offer four ‘shape’ options:

1. Heart

2. Arrow-head

3. Lips

4. Rose

The heart won out in the end which is not surprising, given most of my followers are dedicated to romance and love. Heart-shaped birthmarks received over 60% of the votes, while the others all hovered around 12% or so.


Birthmarks:

Without giving anything away, it’s safe to say that the heroine’s birthmark plays a fairly significant role in this holiday reunion novella. In the end, while heart-shaped marks won out by a huge margin, I opted for an entirely different shaped mark on Louisa’s skin. (Sometimes, polls just don’t deliver the results we want – and most of us accept the results and move on…).

I gave her a butterfly in the end, as a nod to Psyche (see my previous post regarding the mirroring of my lovers with the famous Grecian mythological couple here). The butterfly has long symbolised the soul.

This led me down a bit of a research rabbit hole, because while looking into birthmarks, I was reminded of naeviology, a kind of fad that raced through the parlours and drawing rooms of Regency London, and in fact held people’s interest right up until the Victorian era. The practise enjoyed widespread popularity in the 1700s and 1800s, but fell out of favour in England soon after

Naeviology is the ‘science’ of future-telling, using the markings on one’s body. It is most commonly associated with moles, but also includes birthmarks and rather random scars. It was taken quite seriously in Georgian England, and ‘systems’ were devised to enable naeviologists to better study, learn and interpret these markings for the believers (or the gullible, depending on your point of view).

Now, this research did not play any part in this story, but it was fascinating nonetheless. At first I was tempted to scepticism, imagining the credulity of the clients of these soothsayers who used recently-garnered bodily scars to tell one’s future. However, naeviology has a long tradition in both India and China – and I was interested to learn that there are now apps available that allow you to photograph your moles and other marks, and upload them for divination purposes, by a qualified ‘moleologist’ or ‘moleososphist’.


I am quite sure that this needs to be in a story – and soon. What do you think?

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