Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!! I am thankful for each and every person reading this blog post.   I'm currently snuggled up on the couch at my folks' house with my hubby and our Doxie, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'll not be doing any of the cooking today, which makes my family very thankful. =D

I love fall. I love the traditions of Thanksgiving. I love having a day set aside that's all about family being together. I love the mashed potatoes, Pillsbury crescent rolls, and pumpkin pie.


Now those of us who celebrate Thanksgiving often only see it at its face value – a great excuse to eat plenty of food and to appreciate everything that we have. But there is much more to this crazy holiday and the stories and history behind it are definitely worth remembering. Here are some interesting facts about this traditional holiday that you might not know.

The First Thanksgiving was only eaten with Spoons and Knives

Forks are something that most people take for granted but imagine eating your turkey with a spoon instead of a fork this year. The reason for the fork being absent was because it was not brought by the pilgrims in 1620. It was introduced ten years later by Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts but it was not brought into popular use until the 18th century.

Steel French forks dating from the late 1500s to the early 1600s,
with mother-of-pearl and beads.

Thanksgiving is not only celebrated in the United States

For those of you who don’t know, the Canadians also celebrate their own form of Thanksgiving. They however celebrate it on the second Monday of October. Throughout their history the Canadians have been known to celebrate days of thanks but it was after the American Revolution, when Americans who were still loyal to Britain moved to Canada. They brought their traditions of Thanksgiving with them and the Canadians began celebrating Thanksgiving as an end to the Harvest. 

It is a Presidential Tradition to pardon one turkey each year

President Truman started this tradition in 1947. He handpicked a turkey and then sent it off to live the rest of its days at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. It has become tradition that two turkeys be pardoned (in case the first turkey become unavailable). The people of the United States actually get to vote on the name of the turkey. This year President Obama pardoned a turkey named Cobbler and his alternate called Gobbler.


Benjamin Franklin wanted the Turkey to be the national bird of the U.S.

Luckily for those of us who prefer the Eagle, Thomas Jefferson was opposed to this idea and fought Benjamin Franklin on it. It has been rumored that Benjamin Franklin named the male Turkey “Tom” in retaliation. Franklin’s reasoning was that the turkey has a much greater significance to the American people (being the main food source for the Pilgrims) and he claimed that the Eagle had “bad moral character.”

The best way to check if a Cranberry is ripe is to bounce it

If you want to know if a cranberry is ripe then all you need to do it throw it at the ground and measure how high it bounces. As long as it bounces higher than four inches it is ready to be picked. Who knew that is what it takes to make the perfect cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving. The cranberry is actually one of only three fruits that are native to North America and it is served at 94% of Thanksgiving dinners.


Thanksgiving has not always been the fourth Thursday of November

It was Abraham Lincoln that slated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thanksgiving of November. In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week in the hope that it would move up the Christmas shopping season and be fruitful to retailers. The move was proven to be very unpopular and it was changed back two years later.

Thanksgiving brought about the creation of T.V. Dinners

Part of the reason that Swanson started creating T.V. Dinners in 1953 was because they needed to find something to do with 260 tons of frozen turkeys that were left over from Thanksgiving. Talk about a lot of Turkey dinners!


Think you have it rough imagine feeding 140 people for 3 days!

The first Thanksgiving was comprised of the surviving 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. This was definitely an endeavor because there were only 5 surviving women. Just imagine the amount of food that would involve and cooking trying to keep that many men well-fed for three straight days.

Turkeys in Space

Turkeys as food have become such an important staple and comfort food of Americans that Turkey has even been served in space. The first meal in space was a Turkey dinner and Thanksgiving has been celebrated on a number of space shuttles including the Columbia and the Mir.


 Americans eat the weight of Singapore in Turkey every Thanksgiving

According to a study done by the National Turkey Association Americans ate 690 million pounds of turkey during Thanksgiving 2007. That is equal to the weight of the entire population of Singapore. If that isn’t enough to make you feel stuffed then nothing will.

Happy Turkey Day!!

Just remember that despite its crazy history and some of it’s strange traditions, Thanksgiving is all about family and being thankful. After all when the pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving they were just happy to be alive (over half of them died before the first Thanksgiving) and most of us have much more than that to be thankful for this year

-- Courtesy of --
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Dark Affair

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...


Mad Passions, Book 3

Author -
Máire Claremont
- Historical Romance
- Signet
Release Date
- March 4, 2014 

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….

I love this series! It's so dark and angsty and beautifully written.

 -- Book blurb from author's website --
Monday, November 25, 2013

Caught On The Cover (2)

This month RT Book Reviews blog featured several of my favorite celebrities "caught on the cover," their likenesses spotted on some November new releases. Check 'em out:


Angie Harmon does portray Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli on TV, so an Iris Johansen cover is a logical next step, right?


Jennifer Garner! Why are you canoodling with this historical hero when you've got the scruffy and adorable Ben Affleck waiting at home for you?


This Megan Hart doppelganger just makes us giggle. Right down to the hair! Megan, are you moonlighting?


Tell us you can't see Milo Ventimiglia as the hero in a Devon Monk novel. Synergy!


Zachary Quinto's Spock WOULD make an intriguing romance hero ...


Seems Kate Walsh has been busy since Private Practice went off the air. Get it, girl!


Leighton Meester's Blair would be wearing a headband here, the shade she's throwing is right on point. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Top Ten Hero Types

What is it about romance novels that make them so appealing? For some, it's the feisty heroine. For others, it's the Happily Ever After ending. Then there are those who love romantic stories because of the heroes. Heroes in romance novels combine awesome physical prowess with an overwhelming need to protect and care for their lady love. The package is often topped with an intriguing emotional vulnerability. Romance book heroes combine all the best traits, and are truly the best men we can imagine. Here are the top ten hero types:


Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
The Vampire Diaries (2009-)

The Bad Boy hero is in a league of his own. More heroines and readers/viewers have fallen for the Bad Boy than any other hero. He is the ultimate rebel: mysterious, seemingly indifferent, and hard to get. He starts off behaving badly and unrepentant. His inner good is revealed however by the end of the novel due to actions of the heroine or circumstances that force the Bad Boy to become the knight in shining armor.


Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
Supernatural (2005-)

Oh the Alpha Hero… how we love to hate and adore him. The innate leader in any situation, all look up to him and want to be him. He’s cool, confident, steady, strong, and sure. His ultimate role is to take care of the heroine. 


Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Mad Men (2001)

Our poor tortured lonely Brooding Hero, how we love to torment him! Aloof, angry, wounded, and ultimately one of the most vulnerable heroes out there, the Brooding Hero has captured the most hearts in very recent history with Edward Cullen and Stefan Salvatore. The Brooding Hero is a perfect foil for the Paranormal Hero.


Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella
Hart of Dixie (2011)

The Rogue, who by any other time period outside of Regency, is a promiscuous cad in need of a physical. Utterly charming, completely dashing, and carelessly carefree about life and love, the Rogue is ready to live life to the fullest. Commitment is not a word in his vocabulary until the heroine sweeps into his sphere of influence.


Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes
Elementary (2012-)

Another name for the Nerd Hero is the Beta Hero. He’s kind, sweet, and decent. He’s the best friend or the slightly awkward gentleman. The Nerd Hero almost always meets his full potential because of the heroine. He rises to the occasion… in more ways than one!


Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
The Great Gatsby (2012)

This hero type literally litters Harlequin presents. He can be a millionaire, billionaire, prince, sheik, or wealthy boss. Ninety percent of the time the Tycoon starts out isolated and jaded in the novel only to wind up happy and easygoing by the end.


Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
The Walking Dead (2010-)

The Protector Hero comes in many disguises and professions, most are obvious, but some not so much. You can find him playing the role of a cop, firefighter, spy, detective, bodyguard, part of the military, etc. The plot behind many Protector Hero stories involves a mystery where he almost loses the heroine while trying to save her.


Colin O'Donoghue as Hook
Once Upon a Time (2011-)

Pirates and superheroes compose the majority of the Daredevil Heroes. They love action, they love fights, and they love thrills. Give them a damsel in distress and they’re all over that like white on rice.


Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
The Walking Dead (2010-)

The Warrior Hero, funnily enough is a very reluctant hero. He thinks himself above it all. His mission in life is to fight and protect his home, his country, and his men. Then a woman gets thrown into the mix all kinds of chaos and havoc ensure and he fights it every step of the way only to get conquered by the heroine.


Tyler Hoechlin as Derek Hale
Teen Wolf (2011-)

Oh yes, the Paranormal Hero, when a normal man just won’t cut it the Paranormal Hero steps in prepared to win hearts and steal our very souls. He oozes sex with his otherworldly good looks and quickens our imagination with images of the extraordinary. Call him a vampire, a wizard, a lycanthrope, or any other kind of superhuman being it’s all the same to him.

Which Hero Wins Your Heart?

-- Courtesy of Keira from and from --
Monday, November 18, 2013

Only Skin Deep

Promise him anything but let him kiss your Aqua Toffana if you're not planning on coming through. 


The makeup made of liquid arsenic created by Signora Toffana in 1625 is said to be responsible for the deaths of over six hundred husbands.

Signora Toffana
Image: laphamsquarterly.tumblr

Less dangerous, but still daunting, was sulama, the herb Greek women of the 1600's used on their faces to give them a red glow. One man reported that breathing on a sulama-faced seductress after he'd eaten cloves turned her skin yellow.

~ Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger ~
Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cover Swoon Sunday: Fool Me Twice

Have you seen the cover of Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran? It's very pretty.

I love the bright orange gown against the gorgeous blue sky, and how the breeze has caught the untied ribbons. The heroine looks ready for mischief or an adventure, maybe even a passionate love affair with a tall, dark, and handsome duke.

What do you think? Does this cover make you swoon?
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Manor of 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...

- Katherine Longshore
Genre - YA Historical
- Point
Release Date
- January 28, 2014 

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure—and most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage—or the means—to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives...forever.

The perfect read for Downton Abbey fans!

 -- Book blurb from author's website --
Friday, November 8, 2013

My Friday Love (13)


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


Fuzzy Socks. I felt pretty blah this week. The cold I'd been fighting off kicked my arse yesterday. I did nothing but curl up on the couch with my Doxie and catch up on my favorite shows. 

Before I turned on the TV, I grabbed a pair of fuzzy socks. Something about putting on fuzzy socks comforts me. They're so warm, comfy, and cozy. They make me smile. 

Image: parkavenue-stacie.blogspot

The Paradise. On my lazy/sick day I started watching the Victorian-era costume drama The Paradise, airing on PBS. The Masterpiece Classic series is about the people who live and work in "The Paradise", Britain's glamorous first department store.
The series (which premiered in the UK last year) is based on the beloved Emile Zola classic novel. After watching the 2-hour opening episode, I'm hooked. There is love, intrigue, drama, tart dialogue, gorgeous costumes, and a plucky and resourceful heroine.

The Originals. Come for the hot guys, stay for the dark drama. I'm a fan of The Originals (The Vampire Diaries spin-off set in New Orleans) for one reason: Joseph Morgan.

Klaus, Klaus, Klaus. Swoon. He's the deliciously evil hybrid I love to hate. I can't get enough of his sexy British accent. Whenever he says "sweetheart", I melt. I'm glad he has his own show. It started out slowly, but things are finally getting good. Relationships are developing, the witches (who seemed to be the outside force driving the dramatic action and suspense) are more present as characters. There are shifting alliances and explosive battles. I love that Elijah is more involved. The scenes between Klaus and Elijah are so strong and exciting.
 What are you loving this week?