Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trendy Shoes & Hoop Skirts: Hazardous To Your Health


Photo source: tumblr

Women wearing hopped skirts in the 1700's could not walk through doorways, and they had to kneel on floors of carriages. In 1737, Madame de Bussy tripped over her hooped skirt and died.

 Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

Michelle Pfeiffer as Madame de Tourvel, Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

The six-inch-high heels women favored scrunched their toes and thrust their entire foot forward, making for bad posture and bone formations.

18th century silk shoes protected by pattens
Photo source: janeaustensworld.wordpress.com

Italian shoes, 1700's
Photo Source: Indiashoes.wordpress.com

Marie Antoinette's green-and-pink silk slippers
Auctioned for $65,570 by the Paris auction house Druot
Photo source: luxuryhomes.com

 Marie Antoinette's actual shoe collection
Photo source: Pinterest

Buckle shoes with silk upper, circa 1780's
Photo source: fuchsias18thcdress.wordpress.com

Satin shoes, circa 1770
Label inside shoes indicates these were made in London by Thos. House, 
Shoemaker, Lombard Street
Photo source: Pinterest

To walk at all in these shoes, women developed the inelegant, semi-crouching stance.
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Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: How to Handle a Highlander

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...


HOW TO HANDLE A HIGHLANDER
The Sutherlands, Book 3

Author
- Mary Wine
Genre
- Historical Highlander Romance
Publisher
- Sourcebooks Casablanca
Expected Pub Date
- November 5, 2013



Moira Frazer is betrothed to a man who is old enough to be her father, but it's her duty to her clan to marry him, and she's determined to see this through...until she meets Gahan Sutherland.

Gahan knows this match is designed to start a feud between the clans which is why he decides to stop the wedding. But when Moira awakens a passion within him that he never knew existed, he realizes that the outcome of this perilous situation will determine the future of his own happiness.

As trust and honor clash with forbidden attraction, manipulations, rivalries, and schemes will threaten to blow the Highlanders sky high...


 
Mary Wine's Highlander historicals always feature sexy alpha heroes.

 -- Book blurb from author's website --
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Unfed



It's Teaser Tuesday time!
Hosted by Should Be Reading
 
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.


 MY TEASER

"The roof looms up at me, and for the first time I wonder what will be waiting for us. I don't relish being met by a dribbling fiend. There's a crash below, and a shattering of glass. Crap. They're through the door. I chance another look. A flow of Undead, big and small, stream into the courtyard. It doesn't take them long to spot us."
 
~ page 69 of Unfed by Kirsty McKay



This killer sequel to Undead is fast-paced and the dialogue is super funny. I'm loving it!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Workshop: Herbs and Medicines on the British Isles

Interested in ancient Scottish hospitals and Celtic medicine? How about a Medieval herb gardens and sacred herbs to guard against Evil? Want to know how to knock yourself out, ward off the Plague, or create a love potion? Then this workshop is for you!


HERBAL LORE AND MEDICINES IN THE BRITISH ISLES
Celtic Hearts Romance Writers

In this class on Herbal Lore and the Historic Medicinal Uses of Herbs in the British Isles, you will gain a deeper appreciation of these plants and find ways to use the knowledge in your writing.

Dates:
October 1 - 30, 2013
Instructor: Beth Trissel
Fee: $20 for non-members; $10 for CHRW members.

Click here to for the complete course description, instructor bio, and to register.

Note: Workshop registration generally opens a week to ten days prior to the class starting.

Courtesy of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers
Photo source: lightstaysretreats.com

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Friday, September 20, 2013

My Friday Love (11)

Happy Friday!


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

  ----------------------------------------------

Designated Writing Time. About a week ago I came up with the idea of writing once a day with my CP, Natalie Murphy. She thought the idea was wonderful. =) 



 Photo source: featherandbranch.com

Ever since then we've been writing for one hour, M-F. I really like having a set time to write. And being accountable to someone else. Now, writing actually feels like a job instead of a chore.

Yum-e Yogurt. I had a coupon for a free frozen yogurt at our local Yum-e Yogurt shop, and I used  it this week. It's an awesome shop. The setting is bright and fun yet cozy. There is a TV above the fireplace (!), comfy, apple-green colored chairs, and small tables by the windows. There are a lot of yogurt flavors and toppings to choose from. This time, I tried cake batter. It really was yumm-e!

Football Season. I like waking up on Sunday morning and watching football with my husband. Football is like comfort food. It's like warm sunshine on a crisp autumn day. It's like a mini party in your living room. And it's an excuse to dress up my Doxie, Sawyer, in our team's colors and rah-rah gear and snap photos like a crazed Paparazzo.

Go Hawks! 

That's my boy. He's such a good sport. ;) 

What are you loving this week?
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan

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 TEMPTATION OF LILA AND ETHAN
Author - Jessica Sorensen
Genre
- New Adult E-book
Expected Pub Date - October 22, 2013



On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect facade. She'll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden--which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there's only one person who's there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.

Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn't do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila's pretty princess image, Ethan can't deny they have a deeper connection than he's used to. If he's not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached--and he's leared the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.

When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help his friend? or is he also getting close to falling...for her?



I'm glad these two characters get their own book. 
  -- Book blurb from author's website --
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Taken by the Border Rebel

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.


 MY TEASER

"Rob's hand circled her arm and they left the parapet, both still breathing as if they had run a long, long way. Somehow, something more than his body seemed to surround her. Even where he did not touch her, even though they did not look at each other, they moved as one."
 
~ page 102 of Taken by the Border Rebel by Blythe Gifford


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Tut-Stuff



In the days before hosterly heath clubs and cable-in-every-room, Tut knew travel in the afterlife could be boring. So he made sure to pack some bard games to do a little gambling just to while away the afterlife.

 
 Ten Commandments (1956)

  Game of "Hounds and Jackals", 12th Dynasty, Reign of Amenemhat IV
Photo source: ancientpeoples.tumblr.com

Ancient Dice
Photo source: historyforkids.org


To ensure a good night's sleep he brought along his own pillowa full-sized headrest made of ivory, carved with two protective lions to ward off nightmares during his long sleep.



Photo source: ancient egypt.co.uk

Of course Tut was too famous to need prestigious credit cardsthe boy king was recognized everywhere. But since every traveler risked trouble, he was careful about insurance: To guard against the robbers who pillaged the pyramids, he sealed up his tombwith a deadly Mummy's Curse.

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Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Thursday, September 12, 2013

In My Mailbox (37)

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


WON


Courtesy of The Season for Romance

I'm looking forward to reading these books. All are from new-to-me authors.


Courtesy of Jeannie Lin

I love, love, love Jeannie Lin's historicals!


Courtesy of Laura Navarre

Magick in the Tudor court. Okay! =)


BOUGHT



I really like Jessica Sorensen's writing style. I'm not a fan of her cliffhanger endings, though, so I'm hoping this book doesn't have one. Either way, it's an e-book steal at 99 cents.

Did you win or buy any good books this week?
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Wicked Little Secrets

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...


WICKED LITTLE SECRETS
Prep School Confidential, Book 2

Author
- Kara Taylor
Genre
- Young Adult
Publisher
- St. Martin's Griffin
Expected Pub Date
- March 4, 2014



Anne Dowling is back for her second semester at the Wheatley School. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne’s still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.

When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. 

Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

I just read the first book in this series. It was awesome! I can't wait to read book 2!!

 -- Book blurb from author's website --
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Reign



Castles, corsets, and sword fightsoh my!

I'm looking forward to The CW's Reign. The new fall show is worldsnot to mention centuriesaway from the network's many vampires and superheroes. But just because the period drama, based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, takes place way back in 1557 doesn't mean it won't be filled with The CW's signature ingredients of romance, drama and yes, even horror.

"It's not the History Channel," star Adeliade Kane, who plays Mary, recently said at the Television Critics Association fall previews. "We trying to make a show that people will really enjoy and connect with."


The CW, Reign centers on the young monarch just as she is preparing to marry Prince Francis of France (Toby Regbo) in hopes to creating a strategic alliance for Scotland. Although history buffs already know that - spoiler alert! - Mary and Francis do wed, in the series, their courtship is threatened by the Prince's controlling mother Queen Catherine de' Medici (Megan Follows).



"She's got a deep and incredible sense of loyalty and love for her son," Follows said. "I think her motivation is always coming from a really sincere place, and it's a dark world and heads do roll in this world. I love that she has this power but she has to live through other people's powers and I think that's what makes it complex for her."


Also complicating their impending marriage is the seer Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland)a close ally of Queen Catherine's, who gets a premonition upon first meeting Mary that her marriage to the Prince will cost him his life. "He gives us a little bit of a genre element to the show," executive producer Laurie McCarthy said. "The show has many facets: it's a love story, there's some horror to it."


True to the DNA of The CW, the series will also set up a love triangle by adding Francis' handsome bastard half-brother, a completely new character named Bash (Torrance Coombs). "I for one am thankful for a little bit of creative license because historically I don't exist," Coombs joked.


Although McCarthy called the show more of a "fictionalized recounting," she maintains that Reign will stay faithful to its true-life roots. "I think in each episode we'll educate people on what element of history helps our story. There is a certain amount of latitude in terms of dramatizing events," she said. "There are many things that happened that never made it on to the pages of history."


One historical event that the series won't be able to ignore is Prince Francis' death in 1560three years after the start of the series and just one year into his and Mary's marriage. "We won't shy away from that," McCarthy said. "We'll actually embrace that at a certain point in the series."

It just might take longer to get to his death in the fictional retelling than it did in real life. "Our show is like 24," Regbo quipped. "Every show is an hour."


Thankfully, there is much more to Mary's story beyond her marriage to the Prince. "She was an incredibly energetic, vivacious young woman," Kane said. "She was married three times and widowed twice by the time she was 26."

"I actually feel liberated by the actual facts of her life, by the fact that she was engaged so many times, that she found love in essentially what was an arranged marriage," McCarthy added. "Mary lived to her forties, and Catherine de' Medicishe continued to really have great influence over much of Europe for a long time so I feel like there are plenty of avenues to explore."


Reign premieres on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 9/8c on The CW.

Courtesy of wickedlocal.com
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cover Swoon Sunday: Oklahoma Nights, Book 1 & 2

Got six-pack abs? These Oklahoma Nights guys do...

 

I'm suddenly loving cowboys. Go figure. ;) 

What do you think? Do these covers make you want to go country?
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Celtic Torcs and Cuffs

One of my favorite things about writing historical romance is doing research. There are so many fun facts to discover on the Web and in research books. Here's what I recently learned:
CELTIC TORCS AND CUFFS

Photo credit: myvoyagethroughtime.wordpress.com

The mesmerizing swirl of repetitive patterns twisting and turning like waves and ropes capture the sacred look of Celtic jewelry. The patterns can be found on bracelets, necklaces and rings, or on belts, accessories and clothing. Fine art of yesterday and today depicts the famous Celtic knot work, and many pieces of modern jewelry draw from the inspiration of the once fashionable torc. Why, after thousands of years, is Celtic jewelry still popular in today’s world as a symbol of marriage, friendship and spirituality? It would help to first take a look at the Celtic people and their customs. - See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/life/style/accessories/the_unbroken_chain_of_celtic_jewelry.aspx#sthash.8fgtUNSk.dpuf
The mesmerizing swirl of repetitive patterns twisting and turning like waves and ropes capture the sacred look of Celtic jewelry. The patterns can be found on bracelets, necklaces and rings, or on belts, accessories and clothing. Fine art of yesterday and today depicts the famous Celtic knot work, and many pieces of modern jewelry draw from the inspiration of the once fashionable torc. Even a thousand years later, Celtic jewelry is still popular in today’s world as a symbol of marriage, friendship and spirituality. 

Celtic Torcs and Cuffs
The most famous jewelry of the Celts was the torc (also spelled torq and torque). These necklaces were symbolically powerful gold or silver rings that were made to fit tightly around the neck of warriors, druids and high-status women. The most common torcs look like thick tubes that wrap around the neck, remaining open in the back, but capped at both ends with a large, round ball. They were thought to be symbols of status and divinity. 

 Celtic neck-rings decorated in the ‘Vegetal’ or ‘Waldalgesheim’ style, 4th century B.C.
Photo credit: balkancelts.wordpress.com


In her book The Celts, Juliette Wood says, “Many finely wrought examples have been found in graves, at shrines, and also in buried hoards of treasure…where they would have been placed during times of danger as amulets to invoke the power and protection of the gods.”

It is noted in a number of historical depictions that the Celts would go naked into battle, with the exception of their weapons and torcs.
 
The torc has a distinct style and miniature versions exist for the arm in the form of an open cuff or bracelet. The decorated surface is highly recognizable and distinctly Celtic when there is intricate knot and interlacing designs present. 

Torcs are still worn today as fashionable jewelry, though usually thinner than the originals. Some body jewelry even has the look of tiny torcs, with earrings, nose rings and belly rings sometimes displaying the open curve with a ball at either end.
 
Photo credit: tumblr.com  post signature
Courtesy of Lifescript.com
The most famous jewelry of the Celts was the torc (also spelled torq and torque). These necklaces were symbolically powerful gold or silver rings that were made to fit tightly around the neck of warriors, druids and high-status women. The most common torcs look like thick tubes that wrap around the neck, remaining open in the back, but capped at both ends with a large, round ball. They were thought to be symbols of status and divinity. - See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/life/style/accessories/the_unbroken_chain_of_celtic_jewelry.aspx?_page=2#sthash.iq3yCbHJ.dpuf