Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Wrap-Up

Summer is herewhoo-hoo! It often truly doesn't feel like summer in the Pacific Northwest until after July 4th, but we're currently in the midst of a glorious heat wave and I, for one, am basking in the golden glow of the sun. Yes, my mood is tied to the weather. Yes, I'm a sun worshiperthough you wouldn't know it by the look of my lily-white skin. Hey, I grew up in California. Sunshine is what I know and love.

But enough about that! It's time to find out what I did all month long. So here it goes...


~ I wrote and scheduled the majority of my blog posts for June, July and August. It was a lot of work and time consuming, but in the end it's a real time-saver.

~ I critiqued chapter four of my CP's Highlander romance. It was fabulous! Keep your eye on Natalie Murphy, because her romance stories are destined for your keeper shelf!

~ I finally finished the chapter one revisions of my Highlander novella. Nat loved the changes I made to ramp up the action and increase the tension. =)

~ I joined some of my Celtic Hearts sisters for two 1k,1hr writing sprints. I struggled at first trying to write with abandon, but I'm learning. We're going to do weekly sprints from now on, so I have plenty of opportunities to practice writing faster with the help of my wonderful, supportive friends. ❤

~ I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. It's like November's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), only in July.


~  June is going to go down as one of my worst months ever. Just days in, disaster struck: my six-year-old girl Doxie, Ripley, ruptured a disc in her back and had to have emergency surgery. It was a horrible, emotional, heartbreaking experience I hope I never have to repeat. Thankfully, Ripley is doing well. She's 3 days away from being released from her kennel after a month long confinement. She's walking very well with the help of a sling, and is expected to make a full recovery. She's such a brave, strong girl! ❤

~ Due to Ripley's health crisis, I had to cancel my annual vacation to the Oregon coast to see my sister and her family over the 4th of July holiday. My hubby and I are disappointed. We're both in desperate need of a beach getaway and family time. We hope to reschedule our trip for sometime in August or September.

~ Yesterday I found out my long-time hairstylist is moving to another state. *sniff* The move is totally unexpected and I'm still in shock. I wish him the best of luck in his new ventures, of course, but...I'm going to miss him!!! He cut my hair for so long, he's more of a friend than a hairstylist. Thankfully he's referred me to another stylist at the salon. I hope I like him.

~ I only read 2 books this month. It was hard to focus on reading, writing, or much of anything after Ripley was injured. Now that life is getting back to normal, I'm anxious to read more books.

How was your month? Did you do anything fun or noteworthy? Do share!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (M-Q)

Methinks something on The Tudors is amiss!
Surely when they speak of "codpiece", 
They speaketh not of fish!
I'm sorely troubled by the words they speak,
And have trouble figuring it out each week!


Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Maidenhead - virginity.

Mayhap - maybe, perhaps

Mead - an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey.

Methinks - another way to say "I think".

Mummery - a performance of Mummers (masked or costumed merrymakers/actors).

New Learning - Humanism; the study of the ancient writers on every aspect of life spread throughout Europe by the invention of the printing press making such studies available to more of the population. Both Queen Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were patrons of the New Learning.

Oratory - chapel.

 The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace
Photo Source:

Papal Bull - a decree from the Pope.

Paramour - mistress, concubine.

Partlet - a high necked chemise.

Privy Chamber - a private apartment.

The King's Privy Chamber, Hampton Court Palace
Photo Source:

Physick - a medicine, especially a purgative.

Plight - pledge of promise.

Poke - bag, sack ("a pig in a poke").

Poppet - a little doll; this is also where we get the word "puppet".

Potage - soup.

Praemunire - In England a charge of appealing to a foreign power, e.g. the Pope for matters in England that were under the king's jurisdiction. Henry used the charge and the threat of this charge to abrogate the English clergy's loyalty to the Pope after he asserted his supremacy over the Church of England.

Precontract - a previous contract, especially one which bars the making of another, as, formerly, a betrothal, which in the Tudor era was as binding as marriage.

Privy - in private, discreet, secretive.

Quit - free.

Quoth - said.

Courtesy of
Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Pocketful

In 1565 Charles IX of France outlaws purses because, a) they're too easy to hide daggers in, and b) a truly useful fashion advance, the pocket, is invented.

Detail of pocket on man's waistcoat, Britain, 1750's.
Image courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum.

Charles takes the name from the Anglo-Norman pokete (French: poche), which is already in use to signify a small pouch of purse. What Charles doesn't count on is the invention of the pocket knife!

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cover Swoon Sunday: American Bride

I'm quite enamored by the cover of The American Bride by Karla Darcy. Like all of the other artwork in the Sweet Deception Regency romance series, the model is fresh-faced and pretty with lustrous hair and a rich, stylish gown. 

What do you think of this cover? Does it make you swoon?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (H-L)

Historical romance starts with research. Getting the period right is so important. In my hunt for history, I uncover a lot of interesting and random facts. This month, I'm spotlighting the most common words and terms used during the 16th century, one of my favorite eras.


 Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Hap - chance or fortune.

Harlot - another term for a woman who was unfaithful or had slept with men other than her husband.

Hench boy - a page.

Hochhepot - a mixture, referring originally to a soup or stew.

Hose - clothing for the legs and loins.

Ire - anger, irritability, the deadly sin of wrath.

Jangler - chatterer, loud talker, teller of dirty stories.

Jangles - gossip.

Jape - to jest or joke.

Jerkin - a jacket worn over the doublet. 

Photo Source:

Jigmaker - a ballad writer.

Jobbernowl - a jocular term for the head, usually connoting stupidity.

Jointure - an arrangement usually concluded during marriage negotiations whereby a man set aside property to be used for support of his wife after his death. Many women had to fight for their jointures after the deaths of their husbands. Mary Howard was said to hold a grudge against her father, the Duke of Norfolk, for failing to defend her jointure with the king after the death of her husband, Henry's natural son, Henry Fitzroy.

Joust - one to one combat.

 Photo Source:

Jousting - a Medieval/Renaissance amusement where two men on horseback charge at each other with lances. For each hit a point is awarded, and if a player was unseated, his opponent won the game.

Kill-cow - a butcher, a murderous fellow, a great fighter.

Kim-kam - crooked, perverse.

Kirtle - consisted of a bodice and skirt sewn together and fell in ample folds which trailed on the ground.

Photo Source:

Knacker - a harness maker.

Leche/Leech - physician, healer.

List - to please, wish, or desire.

Luxury - lechery.

Courtesy of
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Lady in Red

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...

A Novel of Mad Passions, Book 2
- M
áire Claremont
- Historical Romance

- Signet
Expected Pub Date - October 1, 2013

Lady Mary Darrel should be the envy of London. Instead, all society believes her dead. For Mary holds a secret so dangerous, her father chose to keep her locked away...and have a grave made for her near her mother's. Driven to the edge of desperation, Mary manages to escape the asylum, only to find that her fate yet against rests in the hands of a man...
Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh, longs for some way to escape the torment of his father's crimes. In Mary's warrior spirit and haunted gaze—which so mirrors his own—he finally sees his path to redemption. He will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even as she seeks revenge. But will the passion they discover in each other be enough to save them from their demons?

I became a big fan of Máire Claremont after reading The Dark Lady, the first book in the Mad Passions series. It's a wonderfully written debut. I liked the dark Victorian setting, the creepy asylum, the angst and intense romance between two damaged lovers. I'm counting down the days until I can read Mary's story. 

 -- Book blurb courtesy of author's website --
Monday, June 17, 2013

A Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Body

At the beginning of the eighteenth century it seems to have been the prevailing opinion that nature had made the female waist greatly too large; to remedy which, the stiffest stays were laced in the tightest manner, lest young ladies should become clumsy, or grow crooked.

18th century stays. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Towards the middle of the century, it began to be discovered that, besides the uneasiness of such a situation, it frequently produced the very effect it was intended to prevent. Physicians and philosophers now declaimed the stays...

Stays from the third quarter of the 18th century. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

"We have discovered that our mothers had all been wrong, and that Nature had not made the female waist nearly so large as it ought to have been. But the ladies supplemented this defect so well with clothes that about the years 1759 and 1760 every woman, young and old, had the appearance of being big with child. In ten or twelve years the fashion began to take the opposite direction again, and small waists were now esteemed so great a beauty, that, in endeavoring to procure them, women had outdone all the efforts of their grandmothers in the beginning of the century.

18th century French gown. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

  Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swan,
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

About the beginning of the century it was highly indecent to be naked two inches below the neck; about the middle of it, she was dressed in the highest taste who showed the greatest part of her breast and shoulders; some years afterwards, every female of whatever condition was muffled up to the chin; at present the mode is discarded, and naked breasts and shoulders begin again to appear."

~ Notes from the 18th century physician, William Alexandra.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurngerger
Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cover Swoon Sunday: How to Marry a Highlander

I've never met a Highlander that doesn't make me swoon. 
This guy is no exception. He's one hawt Highlander!

What about you? Does this Highlander make you swoon?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (D-F)

The glossary of 16th century words and terms continues...


Daffysh - foolish.

Dagonet - a foolish young knight.
Dalliance - a flirtation.

Dame - mother.

Derrick - a hangman.

Doublet - a tight-fighting jacket.

Photo Source: Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Doxy - a vagabond's mistress.

Duckies - breasts; Henry in one of his letters to Anne Boleyn refers to her "pretty duckies".

Dutch Widow - a prostitute.

Farthingale - a hoop worn beneath the skirt. Also refered to as Verdingales.

Favors - Ladies of court sometimes gave knights "favors", usually a scarf or a ribbon, during jousting. It demonstrated that the lady's luck, or favor, was with him.

Fealty - fidelity, loyalty, and faithfulness.

Fingle-fangle - a trifle.

Flat cap - a London citizen.

Foolscap - a type of paper, originally watermarked by a jester's cap.

Fopdoodle - that piece of the underskirt that is revealed through the inverted V opening in the front of the kirtle.

Photo Source: Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, The Tudors.

Galliard - quick and lively, also the name of a dance done in triple time.

Gay - bright.

Gentil - noble, refined.
Girdle - belt.

Good fellow - a thief.

Goodly - gladly.

Gorebelly - fat paunch.

Courtesy of
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Clockwork Scarab

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...

Stoker & Holmes, Book 1
- Colleen Gleason
- Historical Young Adult

- Chronicle Books
Expected Pub Date - September 17, 2013

Two young women of similar age and standing have disappeared: one found dead and the other still missing. The only clue to connect them is a small Egyptian clockwork scarab. Only Miss Stoker and Miss Holmes are well-positioned enough—similar in age and stature as they are to the victims—to investigate.

An unlikely pair, the fierce Evaline Stoker and logical Mina Holmes must follow in the footsteps of their infamous families—Miss Holmes has inherited her Uncle Sherlock's keen investigative skills, while Miss Stoker has accepted her family calling as a hunter of the undead. The partners must find a way to work together, while navigating the advances of a strange yet handsome American, a clever Scotland Yard investigator, and a cunning thief, to solve the mystery of the clockwork scarabs.

YA + historical + intriguing premise = a must-read for me! And the cover is so cool!!
 -- Book blurb courtesy of Goodreads --
Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cover Swoon Sunday: Days of Rakes and Roses

The cover for Days of Rakes and Roses by Anna Campbell embodies the romance of the historical genre. It's pretty. It's pink. It's passionate. It's sexy. It's soft. It makes me swoon.

What do you think of this cover? Does it make you swoon?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (A-C)

Saturdays are for fun and random facts. This month and next I'll be throwing the spotlight on some of the common 16th century words favored by my favorite Tudors. 


 Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Almoner - a church official whose duty it was to distribute charity (alms). Thomas Wolsey had once been Henry VIII's almoner. That is, he oversaw the distribution of alms on the king's behalf.

Amiss - wrong, strange, incorrect. 

Anon - at once, immediately, straight away.

Apothecary - an Apothecary dispensed medicines derived from herbs, plants, and roots. The apothecary was a less expensive alternative to a physician in Tudor times and was often the only source of medical care for the poor; he was usually a priest or friar.

Arras - a tapestry wall hanging.

Bard - a poet or singer. A term of contempt among the Scots, who considered them to itinerant troublemakers, but a term of great respect among the Welsh.

Bawdes - pimps.

Betroth - to promise to wed. A phonetic variation of "by truth".

Bodkin - a dagger; also a long pin or needle-shaped instrument for fastening clothing or pinning up hair.

Photo Soucre:

Boggard - a privy.

Bonaire - cheerful and pleasant; it was a part of a wife's vows to promise to be "bonaire and buxom in bed and at board".

Board - dinner table.

Boss - a fat woman.

Botcher - a mender of old clothes.

Buxom - obedient, lively, yielding.

Cake - loaf of bread.

Carl - a fellow.

Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, The Tudors.

Carpet-Knight - a contemptuous term for a knight whose achievements belong to the carpet of a lady's boudoir rather than the field of battle.

Changeling - a half-witted person. Also, in European folklore, a faery or troll child that is left in the place of a human child taken. At first, the changeling looks just like the taken child, but gradually its true nonhuman nature becomes apparent.

Chapman - a merchant.

Clenchpoop - a contemptuous term for a lout of clown.

Close Stool - a cabinet with a seat and cover that held a chamber pot. A gentleman of the privy chamber attended the king when he answered the call of nature on his close stool.

Photo Source:  The Close Stool, Hampton Court,

Closet - a small room used as a private chapel or prayer-room. Henry VIII married Jane Seymour in The Queen's Closet at Whitehall Palace.

Photo Source: The Wolsey Closet, Hampton Court,

Cloth of estate - a canopy made of cloth that hung above and behind a person of importance or nobility and royalty.

Cod - a bag.

Cod's head - a stupid fellow, a block head.

Codpiece - an inverted triangular piece of material sewn into the hose around a man's groin and held closed by string ties. Later it would become padded and boned and over sized and used to carry a small weapon or jewels. (hence the term "family jewels").

 Photo Source:

 Courtesy of
Thursday, June 6, 2013


Curiously, World War II provided an opportunity for American designers (and designers working in America) to show their colors. With the Paris fashion world in limbo, Pauline Trigère fled Paris and opened a house in New York where she made crisp, tailored, classic clothes and pioneered the wool evening dress.

Cape from Cloak-and-Dagger collection. Image from Life magazine, 1947.
 Gray flannel suit skirt, 1949.


Wool suite, 1946 and Cocktail dress, 1955.
Images courtesy of Pinterest.

Norman Norell, who once designed movie costumes for Gloria Swanson, was hailed for the chemise, dolman sleeves, and glittery drop-dead all-sequined sheath dresses, still popular today.
Evening dress, 1949. Image courtesy of Pinterest.
Coats, circa 1955. Images courtesy of Pinterest.

Mermaid dress, 1962. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Englishman Charles James first came to American in 1927. He used the States as his base from 1939 to 1947, and then alternated between the two continents. Best remembered for his lavish sculpted evening gowns, he also designed culottes for Lord & Taylor in 1932 that were still being sold in the 1950's. 

Charles James with model, 1943. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Gown 1948 and Petal gown, 1951. Images courtesy of Pinterest.
Pouff dress, 1952 and Tree dress, 1955. Images courtesy of Pinterest.

Silk taffeta and net "Butterfly" ball gown (back detail), 1954. Image courtesy of Pinterest.
And probably the most famous of all was Claire McCardell, the Parsons graduate who invented "American Sportswear".
 Romper, 1942. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Sundresses, 1950's. Images courtesy of Pinterest.

Suimsuits, early 1950's. Images courtesy of Pinterst.
1955. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Text courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Demon Derby

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... 

The Sentinel, Book 1

- Carrie Harris
- Young Adult
Expected Pub Date
- March 2014

Casey hates being known as the girl who survived cancer. She  wants people to treat her like her old self, fearless and strong. And after a creepy encounter with a crazy guy in an alley, Casey is all about reclaiming her power.

So when she has a chance to try out for the Apocalypsies roller derby team, she jumps on it. Being a derby girl would prove that she doesn't need anybody's pity. It doesn't hurt that Michael, the team manager, is almost unnaturally hot. Which makes sense when Casey finds out that he's not even human.

Michael's got a secret: he trains demon hunters. That crazy guy in the alley? Demon. And the fact that Casey went head to head with evil and lived makes her a threat to demonkind. Casey thought she'd already fought and won the battle of her lifetime. But it's only beginning...

I adore Carrie Harris's witty YA books, so I'm looking forward to this one.

 -- Book blurb courtesy of author's website --