Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (21)

Here are the books Santa (a.k.a Hubby) put under the tree for me this Christmas...

He also gave me an Amazon gift card, so I could download these books to my Kindle...

Thanks Santa!

I received these books from my Besties...

I ♥ my friends.
Monday, December 26, 2011

My Favorite Reads of 2011

The TOP 10 BOOKS I READ IN 2011 
In no particular order


Honorable Mentions 

Friday, December 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way to share your  new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won or received for review.


E-reads from Amazon

I'm a big fan of the Midnight Breed series.  Can't wait to read this novella!

This author is new to me.  I love a good pirate story, so I decided to give this book a try.

A YA novel that's been on my must-read list for some time.

 Cool cover.  Story sounds good too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fair Play

What did the simple folk do for recreation in the Middle Ages?  
And what did they wear?

Sports clothes and team uniforms had not been invented yet, so they made do with the fashions of the times for an afternoon of ice-skating, bearbaiting, tennis, ninepins, a  lawn game with mallets that was either cricket or croquet, and blindman's bluff - a favorite with adults as well as children.

Indoors they indulged in a round of cards, backgammon, chess or dicing, although local authorities frowned on gambling.

In Portugal, the penalty for cheating in any game or playing with dishonest dice was death.  By the fifteenth century the penalty was reduced to flogging, exile, or payment of a fine.
Thursday, December 15, 2011


After years of confining tailored blouses women celebrated 1910 as the  year of the neck - a plunging reaction to the previous decade's decorous necklines.

Kate Winslet as Rose in Titanic.

 Evening Gowns circa 1910

The vixenish V was denounced by prudish preachers; doctors warned that the new low line would cause pneumonia.

But women loved the seductively low-cut bodices which flaunted bold shoulders, and went to great lengths to make sure their skin was smooth and creamy white.  A favorite beauty treatment was to sit for hours with clothes soaked in lemon juice wrapped around their necks.

In 1920, London surgeon Sir James Cantlie warned that insufficient clothing about the neck and throat of women was causing an increase in goiter.  As a less dire consequence, he asserted the underclothed would develop puffy necks.  And in 1921, Virginia passed a bill forbidding women from displaying more than three inches of their throats.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Vengeance Born

Happy Hump Day!
It's Wow time once again.  Here's my can't-wait-to-read selection:

A debut book I discovered in the latest issue of RT Book Reviews magazine.


A Novel of the Light Blade
Author: Kylie Griffin
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Expected Pub Date: February 7, 2012

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy.

With the Na’Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons—and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council—and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war…
Monday, December 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way to share your new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won or received for review.


 A birthday gift from my DH


 99 cent Amazon e-book.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shoe Sizes

The Middle Ages found both noble men and women in shoes of soft leather ornamented with jewels, gold and silver medallions, and embroidery. 


By the 12th century, the upper classes wore shoes of silk and velvet, some ornamented with pearls - brought back to Europe in Crusader's pouches - which became the favorite accessory of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Shoes were blue, green, or even pink, but red was the favorite with both sexes.

Peasant footwear was much more down to earth, sometimes just a piece of leather tied around the foot and gathered at the ankle, like a pouch. 

  15th century child's shoe

  1300s Dutch leather shoe

In the 11th century French and Belgian peasants wore a wooden shoe called a sabot.  When angry serfs trampled their lord's crops, a new word was born to mean "intentional destruction" of the lord's crops: sabotage

By the 1300s, men took to poulaines or pointed shoes, inspired by the long, stuffed toes of chain mail. 

In 1386, Austrian knights fighting in the Battle of Sempach were forced to break the points off their shoes before leaping from their horses and battling on the ground.  Made of leather or sometimes velvet, poulaines could be 15 inches long or more.  Toes were stuffed with hay and wool; points were shaped with whalebone. 


The ultimate pointed shoe was the crackow (named for the Polish city), which was ridiculously long - up to 24 inches - but it was no joke.  Introduced by the courtiers Isabella of France brought with her when she married Richard II or England, the crackow grew so popular that it prompted a new sumptuary law - the wealthier the man, the longer the toes of his shoes could be.

Like men's footwear, women's shoes also got pointer during the Middle Ages,  and many took to soft, inner socklike liners to protect their feet from pinching. 

 Outdoors, both men and women wore loose pattens or galoches, thick wooden platforms attached to the feet with buckled straps. For a while these clunkers were worn indoors at the fashionable court of Burgundy. 

Both sexes also liked loose-fitting boots made of leather that were trimmed with lace, and stylish men often sported thigh-high, deep-cuffed models complete with cowboy spurs.

After hours (and for Christmas gift-giving) the well-heeled switched to slippers, which were invented in 1479 and so named because they were easy to slip on and off. 

 Shoes worn by Anne Boleyn

 Silken slipper mule

1600-1625 English Mule (house slippers)

The favorite colors were vermilion, purple and scarlet.