As little girls, we loved to play dress up.  Mama’s pretty dress,  shoes, and jewelry could transport us into the magical land of ballroom dancing and fairy tales.  Today, Disney  has a full line of paraphernalia to complete any budding dreams of Princesses to meet every taste.

In high school we dressed up for prom and possibly other school dances, metamorphosing into beautiful damsels, setting our jeans and t-shirts aside for one night of glitz and glamour.

As an adult, what opportunities do we have to dress up?  Sure there are weddings, but I mean really glammin’ it up.  My sister is involved in SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, a Renaissance group.  She has a variety of medieval wear from barmaid, to serving wench to elegant lady in waiting.  I think she even has one for sorceress, although she would have been burned as a witch.

During a visit she showed me her costumes and talked about her experiences.  At the same time I was reading a romance set in medieval times, and they had a huge ball to celebrate the oldest sons betrothal to the daughter of a neighboring clan.  It got me to thinking about the Ren Fairs and how they would compare to the real medieval experience.

A few days later I came across my DVD of Phantom of the Opera with Gerard Butler.  My hand was forced I had to watch it!  It was Gerard, and it was a good story!  If you click on the link above for ‘Masquerade’; you’ll see one of the things that inspired the masquerade ball at the beginning of my work in progress, “Kiss of The Dragon”  (copyright 2012 Ellie Mack)

I decided to share an excerpt from my own masquerade ball.  Click on the link first because it sets the mood,  plus it’s a brilliantly choreographed piece.  Go on, click; I’ll wait.  Some of the language used is PG-13; and the topic is mature.

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                When her gaze rested upon the eyes, she was met with a sultry, heated gaze. The eyes were vivid green and promised passion in unending measure.

A crisp ocean breeze wafted over her accompanied by the faint sounds of waves crashing onto rocks. A vision of this man shirtless, his hair windblown leaning in, to kiss her on a high parapet overlooking the sunset flashed in her mind. Her fingers moved to her lips, feeling the slightest brush of his lips against hers. She surrendered to the sensation of his strong arms surrounding her.

“Izzy? Would you come on already?” Mel snapped, tugging on her arm.

Izzy looked at her friend. The vision disappeared and the clattering of glasses, and a buzz of several conversations started up again. She glanced back at the painting. “I’ve got to find out who he was.”

Mel moved closer and squinted up at the painting. “Wow! I’d do him” she placed her hand on her hip. “In a heartbeat.”

Izzy let out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding. “You’d do anyone Mel!” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “He’s just so . . .” she chewed her bottom lip where the imagined tingling remained.  “Everything you could ever imagine.” Adjusting her gown she added “And of course, he’s dead. Figures!”

“Can you do it with a ghost?” Melody asked as she stared at the eyes. “I’ll bet he was hung.”

“Mel! Is that all you ever think about?” She grabbed her friend’s arm, pulling her back towards the hallway.

“I’ll bet you don’t have to use protection for a ghost.”

Izzy sighed. It was a good thing they were on a charter bus. Mel had already had too much to drink. She felt a little tipsy herself, but there was no way she was going to miss this masquerade ball. As they approached the ballroom, a man stepped out of the shadows in front of them.


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Have you ever attended a masquerade or a Renaissance Fair?  Have you read books that had masquerade scenes in them?  What do you like about masquerades?  I distinctly remember two scenes from movies, the one for Phantom, and a Vincent Price horror movie, The Masque of the Red Death. Weird I know, but my parents let me watch Sunday monster movie matinée and I was glued to that set for Sunday afternoons, a ploy I later learned to keep me from getting too messy when we had guests coming for Sunday dinner. I’ve since read many books set in medieval and renaissance times.

The funnest party I ever attended was a masquerade.  I think this is one reason for the popularity of Halloween parties, we still like to play dress up.

Leave me a comment and share your experiences, and let me know what you think of the excerpt from Kiss of the Dragon.   

Write On my friends, write on!