Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Wrap-Up

Summer's almost over and yet there's still plenty of sunny days left for pool parties, movie nights, and beach days. July started out strong, but once again I my muse took a hike the second I left town. My muse is a fickle witch. C'est la vie. So here's what went on in my neck of the woods... 


~ Participated in CampNaNoWriMo with the intention of writing every day. I did...for approximately 2.5 weeks. Then I went out of town with my BFF, and (like I said above) my muse abandoned me. She's finally returned, thank heavens, all eager and desperate to get to work.    

~ Joined some of my Celtic Hearts sisters in 1k1hr writing sprints Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I almost never write 1k by the end of the hour. That's fine. The sprints are teaching me to write with abandon, something that's very difficult for me. I like to edit as I write. You may think that's a big no-no, but it's what feels best for me.  

~ Natalie (my awesome CP) and I decided to take a break from critiquing our WIPs in July while we focused on CampNaNoWriMo. 

~ Started critiquing a friend's manuscript this week. 


~ A week before her birthday, my BFF's father passed away. =(  Two days after the funeral, we took off for a beach/birthday getaway to Birch Bay up near the Canadian border. We relaxed, rested, and renewed our spirits. 

~ My girl Doxie had a minor setback three days before her follow-up vet appointment. It was very disappointing, especially since she was showing such great signs of improvement. Turns out she tweaked her back a bit. So she's back on meds and kennel rest. She's doing well. Her next vet visit is in about two weeks.

 ~ I read 3.5 books this month. I started two other novels, but couldn't finish them. 

~ I won an ARC of Never Desire a Duke, the debut by Lily Dalton due from Grand Central on September 24, 2013. I look forward to reading it. 

~ I saw The Conjuring. It scared me silly. That was one creepy doll!!

How was your month? Do share!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


An enterprising Egyptian invented the first scale in 5000 B.C.a balance beam with equal arms. However, the Egyptians used the new device only to weigh material goods like lapis lazuli rings and gold collars, not people. Apparently no one was worth his weight in gold. Or lapis, or wheat or...

Image Source:

Many centuries later, in 1772, John Clais of London invented the dial weighing machine.

 The very first public weighing machine, based on his creation, was opened in Bath in 1799.

In 1831 Vermonter Thaddeus Fairbank contributed the platform scale and Percy Everlitt weighed in with the first coin-operated scale on December 13, 1884. It was such a huge success that the scale finally took its rightful place next to the fortune teller's booth at the circus.

Image Source:

1940's. Image Source: Pinterest.

Today, the scale can be found in doctors' offices, posh health club locker rooms, and under bathroom sinks, collecting dust.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chain, Chain, Chain

In 1965, Paco Rabanne created a fad with his plastic dressa mini made of linked plastic discsand followed up with garments made of metal discs and chains. 

Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road (1967).

The concept may have scored big back in the Middle Ages when knights needed protection against dueling opponents. But in the laid-back Sixties, the last thing either side wanted in the Battle of the Sexes was women dressed in armor.

Leather dress, 1967.

Other Rabanne offerings included dresses of aluminum.
Left: Evening Mini Dress, 1967.
Right:  The "Metal Worker" silver Mini Dress made of aluminum plates and brass wire, 1967.

And for a softer look, toweling material held together with Scotch tape.

Geometric Mod dresses, 1966.

Images: Pinterest. Text: Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Lone Warrior

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...

Once Upon a Time in the West, Book 3
- Lori Austin

- Historical Romance

- Penguin Publishing
Expected Pub Date - January 7, 2014

Rose Varner needs a man…

But not just any man. The one known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire.” He may be the only way to rescue her daughter, Lily, from the Cheyenne. Legend has it he was once the Cheyenne’s captive, but his courage impressed them so much that they accepted him as one of their own. Yet the man Rose finds seems far from legendary…

Luke Phelan’s tortured past has driven him to live as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas. Having vowed to keep his distance from the Cheyenne, Luke refuses to accompany Rose on her rescue mission. But her bravery in the face of dangerous odds changes his mind. Now as they ride toward their destination, they’ll battle outlaws, bounty hunters, and their own rising desires before finding Lily. 
But the cost to Rose will be high, and her budding love for Luke will be put to the test…

I can't wait to read this one!! I loved the first two books in the series. 

 -- Book blurb from Amazon --
Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (U-Z)

Saturdays are for random fun facts. 
Here's the final installment of 16th century words and terms:


Usury - Money lending with exorbitant, often illegally high rates of interest tacked on.

Varlet - servant or attendant to a knight (related to the word "vassal"). Meant rascal or rogue by 1550.

Vassal - a young man-servant, or squire, from 1300's sense of "a tenant who swears fealty to a lord.

Wardship - care and protection of a ward; the right to the custody of an infant heir or a feudal tenant and of the heir's property. Wardships were valuable prizes bestowed by the king, upon deserving courtiers, e.g. Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, the boon companion of Henry VIII was granted the wardship of Catherine Willoughby, the daughter of Katharine of Aragon's Spanish lady in waiting, Maria de Salinas. Suffolk married Catherine Willoughby after the death of his wife, Mary, sister of Henry VIII. Margaret Giggs Clement was the ward of Thomas More who raised her with his children.

 Rebekah Wainright as Catherine Willoughby and Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon,
The Tudors (2007-2010)

Wench - girl or maid, female servant.

Whelp - dog or a pup.

Yeoman - free born servant.

Courtesy of
Friday, July 12, 2013

My Friday Love (9)

Happy Friday!


My Friday Love is a weekly meme, which spotlights the things you loved during the past week.

Deep Blue Sea. There are certain movies that my hubby and I watch every summer. One of them is Deep Blue Sea, which we watched this week. The movie is a good mix of thrills, underwater action, and hungry, sneaky sharks. There are amusing exchanges between LL Cool J and a bird. Samuel L. Jackson delivers one heck of a speech. The movie is nowhere near as good as Jaws—the CGI effects are mediocre and the dialogue is laughably bad at times. But the movie has its share of funny lines. And it stares Thomas Jane, who looks pretty darn hot in a wet suit. 

 As shark movies go, Deep Blue Sea is nowhere near as good as Jaws, but it’s entertaining.

Le Tour de France. My hubby and I are huge pro cycling fans. We watch the three week-long Tour de France every July. This year is the 100th edition.

 Photo source:

The 21 stage route is rife with tough mountain stages in the Pyrenees and Alps, fast sprints, and time trials as the riders battle for the yellow jersey on the way to Paris. 

 Photo source:

There is always a crazy scary crash (or two) to see...

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And there are miles of spectacular landscape and gorgeous chateaux to drool over. 

Chateau du Pian.
Photo source: Pinterest.

An Outlaw in Wonderland. This week I finished reading An Outlaw in Wonderland, the second book in Lori Austin’s Once Upon a Time in the West series. I loved the first book, Beauty and the Bounty Hunter.  

Outlaw was just as amazing. This love story of betrayal and redemption is chock-full of fast-paced action, sharply written dialogue, deep emotion, and unforgettable moments. The characters are so well-developed, they leap off the page. The plot twists and turns make for an exciting read. Lori Austin (aka Lori Handeland) is my new must-read author. She sure knows how to bring the Wild West to life. I’m totally hooked on this series, and can’t wait for the next installment. 

Slurpee. Slurpee marked its unofficial birthday yesterday with free 12 oz slurpees at 7-Eleven. My hubby and I picked up our free treat after he got home from work. 

I think half of the town turned out. The line was sooooo loooooong. The bell on shop door ding-donged non stop. The wait was worth the hassle. My banana slurpee was de-lish! 

What are you loving this week?
Monday, July 8, 2013


Take out your scissors, because...
 Image by Prada.

Skirts start out in the early 1920's at mid-calf.

 Adelaide Clemens as Catherine, The Great Gatsby (2013)

By 1925, they skim the knee.

Isla Fisher as Myrtle, The Great Gatsby (2013)

Angelina Jolie, Changeling (2008)

And by 1926, they are the shortest ever, coming—gasp!—right to the knee.

By 1928, dress designers are trying to use more material; they show dresses that are longer in the back, almost touching the ankles—but the bee's knees stay exposed in the front.

 Carey Mulligan in Vogue.

 By 1929, skirts come crashing back down to mid-calf.

Louise Brooks.

Carey Mulligan in Vogue.

Images courtesy of Pinterest. Text courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnbereger.
Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cover Swoon Sunday: The Highlander's Triumph

The covers for Eliza Knight's Stolen Bride Series are gorgeous. The latest artwork for her new release The Highlander's Triumphdesigned by the uber-talented Kim Killion of The Killion Group no exception. Her Hot Damn stock photos are sooooo sexy! Her cover designs pop with vivid color, cool fonts, and stunning models.

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

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (R-T)

The glossary or Tudor era words and terms continues...


Reformation - an attempt begun by Martin Luther in 1517 to reform the abuses that were rife within the Roman Catholic Church and ending in separation of several reform groups from the Catholic Church; the basis of Protestantism.

Revelry - delight, pleasure.

Ribaldry - course jesting.

Rood - crucifix; often people would take an oath "by the rood".

Photo Source:

Sanguine - in health; too much blood, in personality: ardent or hopeful.

Silly - weak or deserving of pity.

Simony - the sale of Church positions.

Sire - father.

Sobre/Sober - serious, grave.

Photo Source: Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Sojourn - remain.

Sooth/Soothly - truth, truly.

Sorely - very.

Strange - in Tudor times, it meant "not the usual" rather than "odd". When Queen Jane first became ill after Edward's birth, she had chills from her fever and severe gastrointestinal distress. Her ladies were accused of "letting her take cold and letting her eat strange foods", by which they meant letting Jane eat rich foods that were not her usual fare.

Sumptuary Laws - laws which governed what each class could or could not wear and only persons of certain rank could wear velvet or silk. Sumptuary Laws are defined as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc." These laws dictated what color and type of clothing, furs, fabrics, and trims were allowed to persons of various ranks or incomes. In the case of clothing this was intended, amongst other reasons, to reduce spending on foreign textiles and to ensure that people did not dress above their station.

Sarah Bolger as Mary Tudor, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Sweating sickness - a virulent disease characterized by alternating bouts of cold chills and fever accompanied by excessive sweating and often resulting in death. The Sweat occurred in several epidemics between 1485 and 1551. Henry's older brother Arthur may have died of The Sweat. Henry lived in terror of it and fled the city whenever The Sweat emerged. Anne and George Boleyn became ill with it but survived. Anne's sister Mary's husband, William Carey did not. 

Swive - a Tudor era slang term meaning to have sexual intercourse, and is related to the word "swivel", unsurprisingly.

Tempest - storm.

Thou - you.

- a Medieval/Renaissance amusement where two men on horseback charge at each other with lances.

Tiltyard - area where jousting took place.

Trencher - a plate or bowl made of hard, stale bread.

Photo Source:

Troth - a phonetic variant of "truth", it's a promise, pledge, or vow.

Courtesy of
Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July


The hubby and and I had to cancel our annual 4th of July vacation to the Oregon coast to see my big sister and her family. Our sweet girl Doxie is recovering well after her back surgery, but she's not quite ready to travel just yet. So we're sticking close to home today to watch Le Tour de France and barbeque in the backyard. 

However you're spending the day, I hope you have a blast!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo

It's day two of Camp NaNoWriMo. So far, so good. I don't expect to write 50k by the end of July, although I'm going to work hard to reach that goal. More than anything, I want to learn how to write with abandon and also write every day. My Camper user name is Jena Lang.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Releases

Summer in Seattle doesn't truly start until after the 4th of July. That's when the rain stops and the days turn warm and sunny. I'm so ready for some sunshine and juicy beach reads.  

Wish I was here!

  Here are the books I'd love to be reading at the beach:


How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe July30
To Sin with a Viking by Michelle Willingham July 23 
How to be a Scottish Mistress by Adrienne Basso July 2 

Katharine Ashe's e-book won't be released in time for my beach getaway, but you can bet I'll be reading this one before summer is over. I ♥ Highlander romances!

Michelle Willingham is a must-read for me. Vikings rock!

This will be my first Adrienne Basso romance. It's such a swoon-worthy cover! And the Scottish setting is right up my alley.


Frigid by J. Lynn July 30
Dirty Little Secret
by Jennifer Echols July 16

Both authors are new to me. I'm quickly becoming a big fan of the New Adult genre, so I can't wait to read these books.


Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor July 30

A murder mystery at a boarding school. Awesome!

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