Friday, February 09, 2007

Chris Waldherr GuestBlog: Valentine's Day -- Or Cupid's Revenge?

I've loved Kris Waldherr's "The Lover's Path" from the moment I opened it's gorgeous, fanciful cover and explored the maps, tarot, love letters, and more within that tell the novel's beautiful love story. Similarly, I've enjoyed e-meeting Kris, and was really happy when she agreed to visit today. I know you'll welcome her with a buongiorno fit for the setting of "The Lover's Path..."

It's the most happiest -- and the most awful -- time of the year. That fellow Cupid is impossible to avoid, as he smiles down from the displays lining the seasonal aisle. Is he laughing at you? Or promising a box of chocolate-covered happiness?

In other words, is Valentine's Day really Cupid's revenge in disguise?

Valentine's Day brings out extreme reactions. Even if you're happily encoupled with your soul mate, the pressure of finding ways to make this Valentine's Day better than the last can make you feel lacking in some way. And if you're not in the midst of soul-searing passion, it's even worse. The holiday that claims to celebrate love can make it seem like the entire world is in love -- excerpt for you.

Yup, Valentine's Day can be naughty rather than nice -- and not "naughty" in a "nice" way. This, among other reasons, is why I created the Museum of Love website ( The Museum exists to offer romantic inspiration, as well as solace to those less than enchanted with Cupid. The Museum of Love takes the form of a virtual palazzo set in Renaissance Italy, and is inspired by my recent publications, the Lover's Path Tarot and The Lover's Path: An Illustrated Novel.

While I believe that the Museum of Love offers many attractions -- retellings of famous love stories, beautiful art and more -- I'm most excited about the free interactive Lover's Path Tarot oracle.

My relationship with love and tarot goes back some time. As the creator of the Lover's Path Tarot, I'm often asked to give tarot readings regarding love: how to find love, how to keep it, and how to keep passion burning. And in my novel The Lover's Path, my heroine, Filamena Ziani, is given a tarot reading which grants her the romantic clarity she so desperately needs. In The Lover's Path, Filamena falls in star-crossed love with Angelo -- a love forbidden to her by both Angelo's powerful father and her sister, who happens to be the most famous courtesan of sixteenth-century Venice.

In other words, Filamena can use all the relationship advice she can get, tarot or otherwise.

While you may not be the lovestruck sister of a courtesan or reside in a palazzo overlooking the Grand Canal, you can have a tarot reading like Filamena's. I invite you all to visit the Lover's Path Tarot oracle at to see what the cards have in store for you. While you're there, you can also read the first chapter of The Lover's Path and view other "artifacts" from the Museum of Love's romantic archives. Oh, and if Cupid has been less than friendly lately, just ignore the winged guy in the corner of the webpage.

In the meantime, I can't help but wonder how all of you bellas deal with the impossible expectations Valentine's Day can bring. Or are you happily anticipating Cupid's revenge, with your plans and presents all squared away? Since I'm an overscheduled full time work at home mom of a toddler (or a FTWaHMoT for short), I think my ideal Valentine's Day would be an hour-long bubble bath accompanied by a bottle of Moet -- and no interruptions.
Encore! Grazie, Samara O'Shea, for a lovely GuestBlog yesterday!
Encore due! Congratulazion Tessa Dare! Samara writes: "Tessa Dare come on down! Your need for a love letter is a greatone. Samara would love to offer her services to help you write your husband the ultimate Valentine. If interested, please e-mail her
Encore tre! Monday, Lori Foster GuestBlogs!
Encore quattro! Big day, Valentine's Day: I'm at RidingWithTheTopDown.bspt, Anna DeStefano's here, and we'll be bouncing around her place, too!


amy kennedy said...

Kris, what a lovely site--I hopped over there and will again. I've always been so drawn to Tarot, the artwork, the names...

My husband and I decided in the beginning that Valentine's day was not a big deal, if we couldn't show each other how much we loved each other throughout the year, one day would not make it all better.

We give each other cards and small tokens--we have a nice dinner (at home) and that's it.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Kris!!!

I am a romance crazy person. I want it all. I usually warrant some flowers and a card but last year I didn't get anything. :o(
I gave my hubby a gorilla in boxer shorts that does that wolf whistle and says "I go bananas over you". I thought it was hilariously sweet but he didn't have the same reaction. This year I'm making a steak dinner with all the trimmings. I'm hoping for a different reaction. I'm working under the assumption that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. :o)

I haven't checked out your site yet, but I'm heading on over. I think I was a gypsy in my former life. I enjoy a good wander and am facinated by tarot cards and the like. :o)

Anonymous said...

Hi all -- and thanks for your nice comments!

Heh, that reminds me of the time I gave a pair of Pirates of the Caribbean boxer shorts to my hubby. No Johnny Depp on them, though the message around the waistband said, "A pirate's life for me." Shiver me timbers!

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Kris! How did he react to the boxers?
My dh gave me a bored look, like "why would you waste your money on this?" He really is a romantic at heart. You just have to dig a little... :P

BTW, I went to your site. I love the artwork you have up. It is bea-u-ti-ful.
I wonder why the Greeks and Italians were such romantics? I don't know of any other people that have more of a "romantic" history than they do.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

huh. You think Italians are romantic? Can't say'z I see it.

Just Kidding!!!

Maybe they've just had longer to think about how to woo women? Being the center of trade for so many centuries, Italian guys could hang around the dock asking sailors from all over the world what they found worked with women. Um, I'm making that up, too.

Valentine's Day has become one I really like for my kids, now, cause they really seem to love that materialistic display of affection. A silly little card and dopey little toy -- if Sponge Bob and/or a little gross, more's the better -- seems to go a long way.

But I hate the pressure that VDay puts on men (to get it right) and women (to feel they've got to have 'someone special' to share the Hallmark Holiday with). But I do like when Dave gives me a little token, as ames put it, to celebrate.

Buongiorno, Kris! Thank you for visiting, and I'll thank you publicly for the lovely tarot you gave me a while back when we worked together on another project. They are so gorgeous, and I love how so much of what you know about the mythology and stories behind the couples depicted is evident in the art. I also found it neat that so many of the stories you portray are often riffed in opera, and romance, too.

So, thanks again for joining us today.

Anonymous said...

Kris, I'm so glad you said it. We all think it! I'm a happy person—comfortable in my single skin—but something about the walking into the drug store and seeing a rack of cards and having no reason to go through them makes me feel bad. I'm trying to suppress it as much as I can this year. Cupid will not get me down!

My boyfriend in college and I used to protest the pressure put on us for V-Day and we'd do something cute and romantic on St. Patrick's Day instead (we're both Irish:)

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of choosing an alternative holiday for your romantic gestures. I've always referred to st. Patrick's Day as "amateur hour" -- meaning that's when the people who normally don't drink decide to chug green beer. Turning into your personal Celtic celebration of romance sounds like a far better way to honor St. Pat!

Anonymous said...

Oh, he still wears the boxers! They're too funny -- they have mickey mouse wearing an eyepatch on them. He says they're surprisingly comfy. Figures that the corporation of Uncle Walt would use cotton jersey for their intimate wear!

Dr. Bill Emener said...

My parents are deceased, yet I vividly recall one time asking my mother if my father did anything special for her for Valentine's Day. "Oh yes," she said, "he was very caring and loving all day."
I then followed with, "And what was special about it."
Mom smiled and said, "He basically did what he does every day."
She was a lucky woman.

Playground Monitor said...

The coolest Valentine's present my DH ever gave me was having 4 guys in tuxedos come serenade me at work. They were part of the local barbershop quartet association and they did this as a fundraiser. The receptionist called me to the front desk and the guys gave me a single red rose and then sang to me. Naturally it drew a crowd. Every woman in that office was green with envy and every guy probably hated my husband. *g* But I thought it was so sweet.

Now that we've been married almost 34 years, we don't get all holiday-intensive but rather spread stuff out through the year. For example, I doubt I'll get roses on Wednesday, but he might just surprise me this summer by buying me a couple rose bushes for the back yard so I can have fresh roses any time I want to go out and pick them. Or we'll be out shopping and I'll admire something and he'll go back and get it for me. Right now I'm decorating my office at home and he's been very generous about that (and I've been very good to shop the sales and mind my budget).

I'll have to check out your site. I just bought my first tarot set and am learning the cards. It's interesting.