Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dye, Dye My Darling

The first dyes emerged around 30,000 B.C.

Blue dye was squeezed out of bloodwort berries, lilac color was extracted from myrtle, and yellow came from an artichokelike plant called reseda.  But in the belief that it would ruin the process, hot-blooded cavemen were forbidden from gazing on their womenfolk while they were actually dyeing fabric.

~ Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cover Swoon Sunday: Red Dawn

I discovered Red Dawn, book 2 in the Crossroads Academy Series, a YA paranormal romance written by J. J. Bonds, while browsing on Amazon.  I was immediately captivated by the cover art.  It's stunning.  The red is so vibrant!  And the masquerade mask is just lovely.

Do you like it? 
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Give Me Liberty!


Hats off to the Persians for adopting the soft cap of the Phrygians in the sixth century B. C.  

Not only did it strike an impressive chord in the hearts of the tribes they conquered, it inspired the headdress of the doges of Venice.

And, two thousand years later, the French revolutionaries' red cap of liberty

The Phrygian hat (felt)

Le Bonnet Rouge, 1792

The red cap was worn by representations of the Goddess Liberty in the fledgling United States, as well as by prototypes of the famous statue now standing in New York Harbor - though in the final version, it was replaced by a crown.

Throughout the early twentieth century, it appeared on the head of the goddess pictured on the American Liberty dime.  


Ironically, though the word Phrygian means "free" in Greece, the first Phrygians came to Greece as slaves.  The most famous Phrygian is the legendary King Midas, who ruled about 700 B.C. and turned all he touched into gold.

~ Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Workshop Wednesday: Withces, Kelpies and Faeries, Oh My

Step into the unknown and explore the supernatural Scottish Highlands.

Hearts Through History Romance Writers

In this workshop you'll learn about the difference between the Highland and Lowland witches; second sight and seers; water creatures; portents of death; the world of fairies and elves; other supernatural beings; and ghosts.

Date: October 2-26, 2012
Instructor: Cindy Vallar
Fee: $15/HHRW members; $25/others

Click here for workshop details, instructor bio, and to register.

~ Courtesy of Hearts Through History Romance Writers
Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cover Swoon Sunday: Stealing the Bride

Alpha Highlanders are one of my all-time favorite heroes.  Historical romance author Mary Wine not only knows how to write a sexy Highland hero, her book covers are always smokin' hot. 

That's one swoon-worthy cover! *wipes drool off mouth*  Don't you think so?
Friday, September 14, 2012

Body Heat

In the 1930's clothes were lighter, skimpier, and freer than the days of the Gibson Girl.  

 Kate Winslet as Mildred in HBO's Mildred Pierce

By 1938 it was reported that the average woman's summer costume weighed one pound, eleven ounces.  It consisted of a dress, slip, shoes, girdle, hat, and stockings.

 Evan Rachel Wood as Veda in HBO's Mildred Pierce

Barbara Stanwyk

Madeleine Carroll in Chanel

Although men's clothes were also lightening up, the male summer burden amounted to a heafty five pounds, nine ounces for: a suit, shirt, drawers, shoes, a hat, socks, a belt, and necktie.

This data made a strong case for weighing men in the nude.  And, it lead the prestigious Harvard University School of Public Health to an unprecedented discovery...

 Guy Pearce as Monty Beragon in HBO's Mildred Pierce

"Men," it announced in a widely attended press conference, "can't stand the heat because they are overdressed." 

Maybe that's why they got out of the kitchen?  Based on the facts, the Harvard experts concluded that newly invented air conditioners should be set at 72 degrees for men and 80 degrees for women.

~ Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Workshop Wednesday: Writing Scary Scenes

Are your frightening scenes scary enough?

Learn practical tricks to turn up the suspense.  Make your readers' hearts hammer with suspense, their breaths quicken with excitement, and their skins tingle with goosebumps of delicious fright.  Whether you're working on a ghost story, a thriller, a paranormal romance, an urban fantasy or a romantic suspense, this workshop is perfect for planning or revising your scary scenes.

Date: October 1-31, 2012
Instructor: Rayne Hall
Fee: $10/HHRW; $20/others

Click here for workshop details, instructor bio, and to register.

~ Courtesy of Hearts Through History Romance Writers
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Four Stages of Writing

I saw this cartoon on Facebook and just had to share.

Can you relate?  I sure can! =D
Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cover Swoon Sunday: Easy

I've heard good things about the New Adult novel Easy, written by Tammara Webber.  The cover art intrigues me as much as the book's plot.  I like how the hero is about to move in for one steamy kiss.  What girl doesn't love a steamy kiss from a sexy guy?  Am I right or am I right?! =)

So what do you think?
Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shady Business

In 1591, sunglasses were invented when lenses of amber were saturated in linseed oil for protection against the sun's rays.

Chinese 15th Century
18th Century tinted lenses invented by James Ayscough

Gary Oldman in Dracula

Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

~ Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Releases

It's time to face reality: Summer is practically over.  Though it makes me sad to think about packing away my beach chair, sunscreen, and grill, there are some good things about the month of September, such as...

1) It's the start of autumn, my favorite season. Makes me want to buy school supplies (even though I don't have to go back to school).

2) All of the best holidays are just around the corner.

3) The crisp, sunny weather. 

4) The new Fall TV season.

5) This month's fashion trend is all about purple, my favorite color.

6) It's a new month, which means new books will be released.

Here are the novels I'm want to read:


 A Perfect Knight For Love by Jackie Ivie ~ Sept. 4

Temptation in a Kilt by Victoria Roberts ~ Sept. 4

What's not to love about a Highlander romance?!


Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster ~ Sept. 1

I'm looking forward to reading Kiss of Steel,Bec McMaster's debut and the first book in the London Steampunk series, because Steampunk is cool.  


Desire the Night by Amanda Ashley ~ Sept. 4

I plan to read Desire the Night, in part because of the glowing review in RT Book Reviews.


 Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz ~ Sept. 1

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin ~ Sept. 1

I discovered these new-to-me authors in RT Book Reviews magazine, and thought both books sounded good enough to add to my must-read list.  I'm especially interested in reading With Every Letter, because I love books and movies set during WWII.


Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr ~ Sept. 4

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater ~ Sept. 18

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter ~ Sept. 25

As a fan of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, you can bet I'll be reading Carnival of Souls.

Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite YA authors.  I'll read any book she writes.

Alice vs Zombies.  Oh, yeah! 

What's on your must-read list this month?