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The Magical, Mystical Moon Gate

By Marilyn Baron

When I visited Bermuda for the first time, I fell in love with the moon gates, which is why a moon gate is featured on the cover of my new novel from The Wild Rose Press, Under the Moon Gate, a contemporary and World War II romantic thriller/historical set in Bermuda. The words Moon Gate are also featured in the title of the book and moon gates are an integral theme throughout the story.

Legend has it that people who step through a Moon Gate, an arch, especially young lovers and honeymooners, are blessed with good luck. They are a very special tradition of Bermuda. According to the jeweler, Astwood Dickinson, where I bought my moon gate pendant, from their Bermuda collection, to celebrate the launch of my new book, it is said that when a newly married couple “steps through a moon gate,” arm in arm, they are completing the circle of life. This is supposed to bring lifelong prosperity and happiness.

The Moon Gate is considered mystical because it is believed that the design and the legend of the Moon Gate originally came to Bermuda from the Orient. The first plan for a Moon Gate in Bermuda was brought from a Chinese garden in 1860 by a local sea captain (and a sea captain is also featured in my book). He drew the design of a circular, ornamental wooden gateway to a garden or place of inner repose and, once back in Bermuda, built one of his own. It was copied. It has since been adopted by Bermuda as a national symbol. There are many Moon Gates in Bermuda. The Bermuda version is built of Bermuda stone and often, but not always, used as an entrance to a garden. The Bermuda Moon Gate is slightly different from the original Chinese design, as it is often left free-standing or attached to low wall.

No one is exactly sure when or how, but the first Moon Gate in Bermuda is believed to have been built between Par-la-Ville gardens and those of the former Bermudiana Hotel grounds. That was long before Par-la-Ville Road was built, when the former gardener of the Duke of Westminster in the United Kingdom was employed to design the formal gardens for the British shipping organization Furness Withy.  That was in the 1920s and it was the first of the Bermuda Moon Gates in hotel properties. Today you will find the same design—with its enlarged keystone at the top—a decorating the entrance to many Bermuda gardens, homes, patios and pool areas.

Some of Bermuda’s most famous moon gates go nowhere, but the legend of their magical powers remains. So if you should see a mystical, magical Moon Gate while you are in Bermuda – step through it and make a wish.

Have you ever seen a Moon Gate? Where was it? I saw my first Moon Gate at the Marriott Castle Harbour Hotel (now closed) in Bermuda, one of the settings mentioned in Under the Moon Gate. I’ve stayed at this property many times.

If you would like to read Under the Moon Gate, (Kindle or print version) click this link

The prequel to Under the Moon Gate, Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story is now out on Amazon

Both books are set in Bermuda. Both are historicals. Here are the blurbs:

UNDER THE MOON GATE

Dashing sea captain Nathaniel Morgan sails into the life of prim and proper Bermuda heiress Patience Whitestone and threatens to expose her family secrets. The two are immediately at odds when Nathaniel moors his vessel in front of her estate and refuses to leave until he finds the cache of Swiss gold he’s convinced was buried somewhere on the property during World War II. Can Patience save herself and her family’s reputation when she finds herself reluctantly drawn to this determined “pirate”? Or will someone from the past make good on his threat to destroy them both? Their fate is inextricably linked to Nazi plots and to the beautiful moon gates of Bermuda in this compelling tale of love and intrigue.

DESTINY: A BERMUDA LOVE STORY

Prequel to UNDER THE MOON GATE

The relationship of star-crossed lovers Elizabeth Sutton and Edward Morgan founders off the coast of Bermuda with the shipwreck of the Sea Venture in the seventeenth century. Edward is seduced by the captain’s daughter and trapped into an unhappy marriage, but he and his new wife continue the voyage to Virginia to rescue the starving Jamestown Colony. Elizabeth, still in England and pregnant with Edward’s child, receives Edward’s letters telling of the shipwreck but knows nothing of his marriage. When her child is old enough, Elizabeth follows Edward as far as Bermuda. Will he return and will the lovers be reunited, or will their eternally entwined souls search forever to fulfill their destiny?

You can read more about my books and stories at www.marilynbaron.com.

 

 

Mary Preston - June 25, 2013 - 4:40 am

I’ve never seen a Moon Gate, but what a beautiful idea. I must say that is a beautiful cover.

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2013 - 6:38 am

Mary,
Thank you. I love the cover, too. It has my favorite color green and of course, the moon gate, which I think is so symmetrical and peaceful. I just found out that the book is now available on Amazon in print form so I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.

Maxine - June 25, 2013 - 8:12 am

Wonderful story, and your book sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to read it. I want to see the moon gate jewelry you bought. Good luck with the book!

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2013 - 8:36 am

Thanks, Maxine. It’s a small gold pendant in the shape of a moon gate. I emailed you the link because I can’t seem to copy the picture into the comment box. I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks for your good wishes.

Sandy Elzie - June 25, 2013 - 9:29 am

Hi Marilyn,
Love the cover…and love the idea of a moon gate….sort of whimsical sounding. I love the idea that you’ve set your story in a magical place (Bermuda) and that I can learn a bit of history while I enjoy the story.

All my best for tremendous sells.

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2013 - 9:50 am

Thanks, Sandy. There is quite a bit of history woven in there, although I tried not to be too heavy handed. There’s a lot of information about Bermuda and it really is such a lovely place I want everyone to know about it. Many people think it’s in the Caribbean, but it’s not. It has a totally different flavor.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - June 25, 2013 - 11:09 am

Thanks for sharing the story behind the story. I found it intriguing. When I visit a new place, learning these tidbits of history make the place come alive.

Congrats on your new release. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2013 - 11:30 am

Thanks, Carol. I like writing about places I’ve visited. Last week my husband and I took a cruise to the Mediterranean for our anniversary and I took a behind the scenes tour of the ship for a psychic mystery I’m writing, book three in a series that takes place on a ship. I got a lot of great background information.

Connie Gillam - June 25, 2013 - 12:26 pm

Just the name, Moongate, sounds mystical and romantic.

I have the book in my TBR pile. Can’t wait to get to it.

Congratulations on the release.

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2013 - 1:46 pm

Thank you, Connie. It is a romantic book and it has plenty of intrigue.

Susan Carlisle - June 25, 2013 - 10:48 pm

I had no idea about Moon Gates. Thanks for sharing. It makes a beautiful cover.

Anna Doll - June 25, 2013 - 11:45 pm

Never been to Bermuda, and your book is the first I’ve heard of moon gates. Your cover is beautiful!

Marilyn Baron - June 26, 2013 - 3:11 am

Susan,
I’ve never seen a Chinese moon gate but the Bermuda moon gates are very pretty. I would love to have one in my garden. I guess I’ll have to look at my book cover if I want to see one.

Marilyn Baron - June 26, 2013 - 3:17 am

Thank you Anna. My editor had never heard of them either. I think the artist did a great job. Before I went to Bermuda I hadn’t heard of them either. I wish someone would import the idea to the US.

Linsey Lanier - June 26, 2013 - 12:23 pm

Interesting information, Marilyn. Your books sound sooo romantic. Hope they get optioned for a movie some day. :)

Marilyn Baron - June 26, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Wouldn’t that be nice? My husband wants me to send it to Michael Douglas who has a home in Bermuda. Under the Moon Gate has two romances.

Pam Asberry - June 27, 2013 - 5:30 am

I have been to Bermuda but I’ve never seen a moon gate. I have your book on my Kindle and need to read it asap!

Marilyn Baron - June 27, 2013 - 6:16 pm

Pam,
Did you like Bermuda? I’ve seen a lot of moon gates and they look just like the one on my cover. I hope you like the book.

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