Monday, November 26, 2012

Cover Up

By the early eighteenth century, men bored with their full-bottom wigs (or tired of trying to keep hair out of their eyes) spurred a ponytail craze.

Barister's wig

Ponytail wigs came in a wide range of styles: a bunch of loose curls caught up in a band; a tasteful braid; or a smart pigtail ending in one curl (for majors), two (for brigadiers), or a knot called a catogan, formed by tucking the end of the tail into the band.
 Benedict Cumberbatch as William Pitt the Younger, Amazing Grace (2006)

For extra dash, the ponytail might be covered with a bag or dressed up with a large bow that might be accessorized with a matching small bowtie, called a solitaire, fastened to the wig in back.

 Ioan Gruffudd as William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace (2006)

Ralph Fiennes as the Duke of Devonshire, The Duchess (2008)

John Malkovich as Vicomte Sebastien de Valmont, Dangerous Liasons (1988)

Soon even these wigs grew tiresome, but no self-respecting man would ever bare his head.  So, for a quiet evening at home, he covered his locks with a lavishly embroidered cap edged with fur.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day!

I hope your Thanksgiving is bright with joy and warm with smiles.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Workshop Wednesday: Celtic Food Through the Ages

 If you're writing Celtic romance and your characters are eating, you might want to take this class.

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers

This workshop will cover food history and political history of food.  It will focus on the experience of writing about historical food in romance novels. 

Date: December 1-30, 2012
Instructor: Camryn Rhys
Fee: Free/CHRW members; $20/Non-members

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

~ Courtesy of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers
Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cover Swoon Sunday: Wed To A Highland Warrior

The cover models for Wed To A Highland Warrior -- the last book in the Warrior King Series by Donna Fletcher -- sure know how to strike a sexy pose.   

Me likey.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Workshop Wednesday: Edit Your Book in a Month

Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Get editing tips, learn the most common mistakes made in manuscripts, and find out what editors and judges are looking for in a polished manuscript.

Throughout the workshop participants will be able to post excerpts from their WIP for review and critique by instructor and fellow classmates.

Date: November 28 - December 21, 2012
Instructor: Eliza Knight
Fee: $15/HHRW members; $25/others

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

I've taken several workshops hosted by Eliza, my Celtic Sister, and can honestly say her classes are terrific.  You will learn lots of valuable information, so sign up today!

~ Courtesy of Hearts Through History Romance Writers
Monday, November 12, 2012


Just as the World War I metal drives finally freed women from the corsets that had afflicted them for 400 years, strictures and shortages during World War II also made their impact on fashion.

English Board of Trade Utility Clothes restricted the amount of fabric manufacturers could use, limiting firms to create at most fifty styles each year and issuing consumer coupons -- forty per person per year was the maximum clothing allowance.  One suit alone took eighteen coupons.

The U.S. government decreed that to conserve fabrics, men's suits must be manufactured without cuffs, pleats, or patch pockets. 

Women's dresses had to be short, with hems only two inches deep, and ruffles were forbidden for the duration.
Left, Rayon dress, 1945.
Center, Wool dress designed by Norman Hartnell, 1943.
Right, Linen dress designed by Moygashel, 1945.

The beret emerged as the favorite wartime hat, thanks to the shortage of elastic.

Lauren Bacall with Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (1946)

The wedgie shoe came into fashion, since its wooden platform sole helped conserve leather.

Peep toe wedge shoes, 1940's.

The shoulder bag was invented so women had more room to store bandages, medicine, and cotton swabs for wartime emergencies.

This calf-grained vinyl shoulder bag retalied for $4 in 1947.

Victory Fabrics -- Flag Red and Victory Blue -- were introduced.


One of the spinoffs of the war effort was the invention of aerosal -- the key indgredient in Helene Curtis's Spray Net, without which the beehive hairdos of the 1950's could never have existed.

The Eisenhower jacket -- waist-length, belted, with a turned-down collar -- named for the popular general, took center stage.


Dubbed a "wind cheater", the windbreaker became popular in the 1940's.  Adapted from the British Royal Air Force jackets, the waist-length windbreakers had fitted waistlines and were made from wool, gabardine, or nylon. 

The pencil skirt, cut in one straight line from hips to hem, was invented as a result of clothing rations: it used the least amount of material.


The Betty Grable pinup boosted the boys' morale and made women yearn for shapely legs and bottoms.


Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cover Swoon Sunday: Forever a Lord

Forever a Lord, the third book in the Rumor Series by Delilah Marvelle is due to be published in December.  The cover is oh so gold and gorgeous.  In other words, it's utterly swoon-worthy. 

I love it.  How about you?
Friday, November 9, 2012

First Line Friday: Alice In Zombieland

I teased you earlier this week with a snippet of Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter.  Today I'm going to give you another sneak peek at this YA zombie novel, the first book in the White Rabbit Chronicles.

Whenever I discover a new book, I cannot wait to read the first line.  That first sentence can tell a reader so much about what's to come in the story.  A great hook always pulls readers in, demanding they keep reading. 

When I opened Alice In Zombieland and read the first line, I knew the book was not going to disappoint. 

"Had anyone told me that my entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, I would have laughed."

The moment I read this first line, I wanted to know more.

How about you?  Does the first line make you want to read continue reading?          
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Forevermore

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released.  This week I choose...

Cindy Miles
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Release Date: June 2013 
~ Blurb from Cindy Miles website ~

What happens when you discover the one soul you can't live without has been dead for nearly two hundred years...
Set amidst the mist-shrouded crags and eerie moors of the Scottish Highlands, FOREVERMORE is a modern, haunting young romance tinged with mystery and ominous, gothic suspense.
The story unfolds through Ivy's eyes, and a desperate, intense, love forms between Ivy and the unlikely spirit of Logan Munro.  But a looming presence begins to shadow Ivy and she turns to  Logan for help.

Together they must work to decipher the sinister secrets hidden within the ancient walls of Ivy's new home, Glenmorrag Castle.  They must also figure out a way to be together, because how can they ever live apart?
I was a fan of Cindy Miles's romance ghost novels for adults, so I'm looking forward to reading her debut YA book.  
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Alice In Zombieland

It's Teaser Tuesday time!  
Here's how to play:

1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page.
3) Share two (2) "teaser" sentences (or more, if you like) from somewhere on that page.
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!  (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.


"The moment our eyes met, the moisture in my mouth dried up and I lost focus of my surroundings.  He was all that I could see, all that I wanted to see."
~ page 57 of Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

~ page 102 of The Warrior  by Margaret Mallory.
Monday, November 5, 2012

With Bells On

Every thirteenth century fashionplate who wasn't covered in buttons was sewing bells (the latest fashion accessory) all over his or her gowns. 

Lijsbeth von Duvenvoorde betrothal portrait, Amsterdam, 1430

The jingling made a wonderful counterpoint to the flip-flop of their long-toed shoes.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cover Swoon Sunday: Lord of Devil Isle

Like it or not, books get judged by their covers.  It's no secret that a sexy male model on a romance novel is an eye-catching way to grab readers' attentions. And it totally works.  One look at the cover of Lord of Devil Isle by Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe, and my interest was absolutely peaked.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Releases

I may not be a fan of the dark, dismal days of fall in the Pacific Northwest, but I do like November.  It's the time to wear your favorite chunky sweater, to eat turkey and pumpkin pie, and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with family and friends.  November is also the perfect time of year to bundle up and escape with a great book.

Here are the books I'm interested in reading this month:


  A Private Duel with Agent Gunn by Jillian Stone - November 27 
Warriors in Winter by Michelle Willingham - November 13

A Private Duel with Agent Gunn is the third book in Jillian Stone's The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series.  I've yet to read the first book in the series, though I do have it loaded on my Kindle.  If I like it, I will certainly read the next two books in the series. 
I adore Highlanders and books by Michelle Willingham, so you can bet I'll be buying her latest romance!


  Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler - November 13
Touched by Corrine Jackson - November 27
Witch World by Christopher Pike - November 13

Kassy Tayler and Corrine Jackson are both new authors to me. 
I used to devour Christopher Pike's YA thrillers.  I'm so excited he has a new book out!