BEAUTY is All Day and All Night Writing Divas theme for April. My contribution will be about the goddess of Beauty, Aphrodite (Greek) or Venus (Roman).
I thought I’d look over my books to see how often Aphrodite/Venus, as the goddess of Beauty, appeared in my writing.
Here’s a snippet from my Regency romance, PAGING MISS GALLOWAY.
Lady Yancy turned her attention to her daughter. “Millicent, in that blue gown, you look as fresh as Aphrodite rising from the sea.”
As the figure sited in Botticelli’s masterpiece was notoriously undressed, Millicent blushed. “Mother, that was Venus.”
Waving the ever-present handkerchief, Lady Yancy shook her head. The large feather plume from her turban fluttered in the wake of her movements. “Venus, Aphrodite. Roman, Greek, what is the difference?...”
The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, 1484.
Evidently, I like this image because I used it again in my paranormal romantic suspense, GRAVE FUTURE.
Slamming his eyes shut to cut off the tantalizing sight of exposed, silky skin and white, soapy bubbles, Dan clenched his fists hard—to drive away his inner pain.
But he couldn’t keep his eyes shut all night. He permitted himself another glimpse. Jocelyn looked as lovely as Botticelli’s Venus on a half-shell—all innocence and femininity.
The Birth of Venus, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1879
Beauty goes hand-in-hand with longing. Try this snippet from my Regency time-travel, TIMELESS DECEPTION.
For his own sake and for his son’s, Richard could not allow himself to be fooled by the aristocratic, appealing,... and adulterous Aphrodite whose bedchamber adjoined his.
Alicia did not keep him waiting long. Good. He was in no mood to enact a scene so she would dance attendance on him. Entering the room, she glided as Aphrodite might, poised and confident in her beauty. She wore a simple gown with ivory ruffles high on the neck. Matching ruffles encased her slim wrists. As always, she looked exceedingly lovely and feminine. Indeed, she appeared as if she passed a restful night. Would that she had passed it with him.
Sometimes, because the goddess Venus is also connected with sexual pleasure, her name is used as a synonym for a house of ill-repute.
From my time-travel Regency, LORD DARVER’S MATCH.
Simon slammed the door shut. Rosebud Tavern--a notorious temple of Venus. A place so vile by reputation that he had never felt the urge to visit inside its walls.
He shrugged, then explained, “By the bye, any establishment with the sign of a woman’s hand pouring coffee means that inside rests a temple of Venus.”
An Allegory with Venus and Cupid, Agnolo Bronzino, 1550
Venus/Aphrodite is an archetype--the epitome of Beauty. To be compared to Venus is an honor, indeed.
SOJOURN THROUGH TIME, time-travel Regency romance.
“True, but just look around you, everything is perfect. The spherical hedges, the winding stone pathways, the budding roses, the-- I say, who’s that picture of Venus?”
From my paranormal romantic suspense, PAST INDISCRETIONS.
“Oh, Ah dunno, ol’ buddy. Breeding tells, Ah always say. Why would a veritable Venus among women want to tether herself to someone who has tainted blood?”
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, Regency romance.
The woman’s midnight hair was piled gloriously high on her head, and one lone ringlet curled over her bare shoulder. She might have given the Greek goddess Aphrodite cause for envy.
FOREVVER, science fiction futuristic romance
His thoughts turned to a story he’d learned about in childhood. A Greek or Roman tale where a man, Pygmalion, breathed life into an ivory statue. Or requested a goddess, Aphrodite/Venus, to make the statue live. Pygmalion then married his creation, and had a happily ever after ending, an ending that was unusual in mythology.
Jason had saved Flavia; he’d breathed life into her. Maybe their destinies were intertwined--
Regency romance, THE MAGIC TOKEN
In his enthusiasm, Pritchard dug his stirrups into his horse’s ribs and leaped forward. As eager as Marcus was to meet this diminutive Venus, he had to wince. One did not mistreat good horseflesh.
Short story fantasy romance, “Special Delivery”
She drifted toward me, uncertain, as if a sudden gust might blow her away. I figured this was a dream... and she was my dream woman--plucked from the innermost recesses of my mind.
Draped in a dress of filmy chiffon, my dear Ms. Venus sashayed across the street. The sheer fabric was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and boy, did it do justice to her figure. Every curve was enticingly displayed. I’ll make no bones about it;I lusted for her.
Short story fantasy romance, “Zeus And The Single Teacher” (in my anthology LUCKY THIRTEEN)
If anyone knew about attractive guys, it was Venus. Maybe it was because of her name, but her growing list of boyfriends was the talk of the entire school.
Cupid Complaining To Venus, Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530s
Hope you enjoyed this foray into my Romance Writing with a Twist!
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!