Monday, August 29, 2011

Common Scents

At the turn of the century, "nice" girls didn't wear perfume.  The most it was proper to do was splash on a little Eau de Cologne; anything else was considered fast. 



Paul Poiret was the first clothing designer to create perfumes, and he worked with chemists to concoct mysterious, Oriental scents.


Before Poiret, cologne was likely to smell like lavender or rose.  But he created the POIRET WOMAN with Le Fruit Defendu, Nuit de Chine, L'Etrange Fleur, and Borgia. 


Instead of sweet, lady-like scents, the Poiret woman was a vamp, a seductress.





For a more natural allure, this was the era of the corsage.  

Not only did the lovely corsage a deb received from her beau spruce up her dress, its flowery aroma hid a multitude of scents. 


Alas, when the first commercial deodorant, Obdo-ro-no, went on the market in 1920, the sale of corsages declined.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday 56

Happy Friday!
Time to play FRIDAY 56, the great meme created by Freda's Voice.


THE RULES 

* Grab the book nearest you.  Right now.  Don't dig for your favorite, the coolest, or most intellectual book.  Use the closest book to you. 
* Turn to page 56
* Post any sentence from that page (plus 1 or 2 others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog.  If you don't have your own blog, feel free to post in the comments section of this blog.


MY FRIDAY 56

A NIGHT TO SURRENDER 
Spindle Cove, Book 1
Author:Tessa Dare
Genre: Historical Romance



Sally's cheeks were pink with excitement. "A band of officers have encamped on the bluffs."

"Is it true there's a lord in their party?" Violet asked.

Susanna removed her bonnet and laid it aside.  "Yes, some officers are temporarily encamped on the castle bluffs.  And no, there is not a lord in the party."  She paused.  "There are two."

The squeal of excitement occasioned by this pronouncement quite pained her ears.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read.
* Open to a random page.
* Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.  Be careful not to include spoilers - make sure what you share doesn't give too much away.  You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.


MY TEASER


 



"Morren laid back down, and he wondered suddenly why the monks had left them alone in the guest house.  In an intimate space such as this, it seemed too close."

~ page 48 of Surrender to an Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham.





Monday, August 22, 2011

3K-A-Day Writing Challenge

Need to get the words rolling on a new project?  Stuck in the middle of a novel and can't seem to push through?  Almost done and just need a few...more...words?

If any of these are you, then join author KERRI NELSON on Monday, August 22, for 5 days of writing fun! 


I participated in Kerri's last writing challenge.  It helped me to exceed my daily word count and work through several scenes I'd been struggling to finish. 

If you want to boost your word count and stay motivated for the week by sharing your daily word count, then join Kerra.  You won't regret it.  And you can even win prizes!!!  All you have to do is click here and join Kerri at her blog.  And then get ready, set, write!
Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday 56

This is my first time participating in Friday 56.  I heard about it on my friend Sarah's blog, Heart of Romance.  Here's how to play:


RULES

* Grab the book nearest to you.  Right now.  Don't dig for your favorite, the coolest, the most intellectual book.  Use the closest book to you.

* Turn to page 56.

* Post any sentence from that page (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog.  If you don't have your own blog, feel free to post your sentence in the comments section of this blog.


MY FRIDAY 56

OUTRAGEOUSLY YOURS
Her Majesty's Secret Servants #2
Author: Allison Chase
Genre: Historical Romance







"She brought them to a halt.  Some vital matter seemed to hang between them as she studied him feature by feature, as he might have studied a particle beneath a microscope.  'No, sir, I am not frightened of any judgement society might level upon the work we perform here.  I am subject only to the edits of my own conscience, and those I will never compromise.'"





Thursday, August 18, 2011

Going Baroque

By the mid-1600's, French styles reigned supreme, thanks to the passion for fashion of King Louis XIV.  His reign - 1643 to 1715 - rang in an opulent glamor called baroque that focused on fuss, rather than fabric. 

  Louis XIV

Let the Renaissance keep those magnificent textiles, those plundered jewels and gold.  Baroque fashionplates avoided such frank displays of wealth for sheer volume of ornamentation. Everything was gussied up with gleaming ribbons, rows of ruffles, bows, and buttons - and lace, lace, lace. 


In fact, lacemakers lured from Italy by Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, single-handedly revived the French garment industry.  Soon lace showed up everywhere - on collars and cuffs, trimming hems and seams, peeping out from low-cut bodices, adorning doublets, hats and boots.  And it soon wormed its way into chic French homes as well, where even the bathtub may be draped in lace.


Any space not trimmed with lace was embellished with embroidery.  Designs grew highly sophisticated, often derived from the paintings of contemporary artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck.  Favorite styles included stumpwork, with stitches etching patterns in padded white satin, and Richelieu work, named for the French cardinal, with cutout designs connected with embroidered bars. 

Spanish Stumpwork

Madame du Pompador

The stitching craze became so extreme that, in 1656, French Cardinal Mazarin tried to curb excesses with a decree banning the use of gold and silver thread.  However, an outraged public bent on beauty threatened to storm the palace of Louis XIV - and so the edit was quickly rescinded.                     
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read.
* Open to a random page.
* Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.  Be careful not to include spoilers - make sure what you share doesn't give too much away.  You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.


MY TEASER







"Rose, her chest heaving, could not help smiling, the excitement of the dance thrumming in her blood.  She stared up at Rand, whose gray-green eyes blazed with desire."

~ page 131 of Vow of Deception by Angela Johnson





Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Finds

Take a look at the books I discovered this week...


LORD AND LADY SPY
Author: Shana Galen
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: September 2011
 
Meet Lord and Lady Smythe, England's preeminent spies.  Their identities are guarded even from each other.  After years of secrets and lies, their marriage is little more than a crumbling fa├žade.  But even love isn't as important as The Mission - to defeat Napoleon Bonaparte.  But what happens when the mission is complete?  
 
Meet Lord and Lady Smythe, out of work spies.  Lady Sophia Smythe will scream if she has to attend another tea party.  Lord Adrian Smythe will hit someone if he's forced to while away another evening at Parliament.  What are secret agents to do when the war is over?

There's one chance left to get back into the game.  The prime minister needs a murder investigated.  The problem?  Two spies.  One position.

All's fair in love and war.


SWEET ENEMY
A Veiled Seduction Novel, Book One
Author: Heater Snow
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 7,2012

Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty - take up the responsibility for his family's estates.  His mother's definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word - heirs.  
 
When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford.  But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom...and his heart.

Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn't want to be any man's wife, much less a Countess.  If she had tuppence for every time she'd been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge.  However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl's house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter - for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.

Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula.  But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...


SONG OF THE NILE
A Novel of Cleopatra's Daughter, Book Two
Author: Stephanie Dray
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 2011

Sorceress.  Seductress. Schemer.  Cleopatra's daughter has become the emperor's most unlikely apprentice and the one woman who can destroy his empire...

Having survived her perilous childhood as royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra.  Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.

Forced to marry a man of the emperor's choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name.  She quickly establishes herself as a capable leader in her own right and as a religious icon.  Beginning the hard work of building a new nation, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests. But it's the magic of Isis flowing through her veins that makes her indispensable to the emperor.  
 
Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra's daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power.  She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother's throne be more than she's willing to pay?
Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Looks of Love

Poor Henry VIII.  Always in and out of marriages.  Never sure what side of the bed his new bride will wake up on.  Always afraid he'll call out the wrong name - which is probably why he marries three Catherines and two Annes, don't ya think?!  Such confusion!  And pity his poor subjects, obliged to dress in the fashion of each new queen.  Since he weds internationally, they're never sure what the current lady will show up wearing.

So exactly how did the wives of Henry VIII dress?  Take a look...

1509: Catherine of Aragon


Catherine arrives at the palace with only two dresses to wear.  When Henry sends her out on a shopping spree, she repays the favor by introducting a long, stiff, fur-lined cape, the Spanish cloak, and the waist-squelching farthingale.  

 Spanish cape

 farthingale

 Thanks, Catherine.


1533: Anne Boleyn


Anne Boleyn first loses her head in the bedroom - she's wild about nightgowns and introduces lingerie to Henry's court.  Among her favorites: a hot black satin number trimmed in black velvet and an orange silk brocade.  


As depicted in The Tudors on Showtime



The second time Anne loses her head, it's for keeps.  For her date with the executioner, she dons a gray brocade with huge sleeves in gray squirrel and an undertunic of rose satin.

 From the feature film,The Other Boleyn Girl



1536: Jane Seymour


Jane gives Henry an heir to the throne, but she dies in childbirth - having had little time to make a real impact on fashions at court.

 As seen in The Tudors on Showtime


1540: Anne of Cleves


Anne directly influences her husband's style of dress.  He adopts the overpadded styles and huge puffed sleeves popular in Germany. 


This  marriage comes at a good time fashionwise, if not politically, as Henry is grossly overweight and this style minimizes his royal paunch.



1540: Catherine Howard


A pretty young thing, Catherine is treated like a treasure.  Henry gives her elaborate gold brooches studded with rubies, and diamond-encrusted gold collars. 



Catherine brings French fashions to the English court and sports a peaked, velvet headdress trimmed with brocade that makes her look like the Queen of Hearts.  


This is appropriate, since Henry dubs himself the King of Hearts.



1543: Catherine Parr


Catherine Parr is frugal: The only material she buys in all of 1544 is some velvet for a hood.  Since her predecessor's clothing fits her, she is content to wear hand-me-downs.  


She is more generous with the royal children, whom she dresses in handsome outfits of crimson velvet.  And she does give into to her one true passion - shoes. In one year alone, she purchases 47 pairs. 


Ahhh, a girl after my own heart!