Thursday, August 13, 2015


Belle (2014)
The broad skirts of the mid-1700's needed necklines to match, and the most popular style was wide and low, trimmed with a band of fine lace called the tatez-y or "touch here". A bow at the neck was called parfait contentment, or "perfect contentment".

Kirsten Dunst, Marie Antoinette (2006)
Amazing Grace (2006)
But clotheshorses who thirsted for a little more decoration gussied up the fronts of the gowns, either by wearing wraparound bodices, with a teasing ruffled dickey peering out from the deep vee; or more commonly, by adding robings.

These ornamenta trimmings lined the edges of the bodice, from the shoulders to the waist, where it meets the stomacher -- still around and tormenting its wearers after two centuries. Since women often designed their robings and stomachers themselves, bodices became a showcase for personal taste.

Marie Antoinette (2006)
Belle (2014)
By the 1760's, many women abandoned stomachers, but not to increase their circulation. Instead, they pressed their corsets into double duty -- now covered with elegant fabrics and trimmed with metallic lace just begging for display.

18th Century corsets via Pinterest.
Not only fashionplates wore corsets. In the eighteen century, there were styles for every occasion -- including pregnancy and horseback riding -- for everyone, including young boys.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Releases


Victorian Adventures, Book Three
By Lillian Marek
August 4, 2015

Safe in the embrace of her loving family, Lady Emily Tremaine longs to feel more intensely alive. Surely the magic and mystery of Assyria and the fabled ruins of Nineveh will bring about the transformation she seeks.

Scarred by his past and estranged from his noble grandfather, French adventurer Lucien Chambertin desires neither a home nor the chains of emotional attachment. He seeks only to explore the far reaches of the world. But he did not know the world contained the likes of Lady Emily-whose curiosity and sense of wonder match his own.

I've yet to read a book by Lillian Marek, but I really want to read this historical romance. It sounds like the perfect summer escape.

Castles Ever After Series, Book Three
By Tessa Dare
August 25, 2015

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

I can't wait to read this book! I adore Tessa Dare romances. 

The Oxenburg Princes, Book Two
By Karen Hawkins
August 25, 2015

Max Romanovin, Oxenburg’s warrior prince, is escorting his grandmother to a house party deep in the Highlands when he and his entourage are robbed at sword point by a group of ruffians led by a man the locals have dubbed “The Scottish Robin Hood.” The battle-savvy prince instantly realizes there’s something different about this thief, and it’s not just the Scottish accent— it’s the fact that “he” is really a “she.”

Lady Murian, a young widow out for revenge against the powerful earl who killed her husband and stole his birthright, is now living in the woods with her family’s banished retainers. To stay alive, she and her band of men rob rich nobles coming to visit the evil earl. But when she ambushes the Prince of Oxenburg’s golden coach, she gets far more than she expected. For when the prince uncovers her true identity, she’s afraid that he might be the real thief…of her heart.

I need to read the first book in this series ASAP, so I can read book two.

Scandalous Scots
, Book Two

By Sue-Ellen Welfonder
August 25, 2015

Proud, passionate Lady Gillian MacGuire is known as the Spitfire of the Isles. She can take care of herself and hasn't yet met a man who could impress her . . . especially not Donell MacDonnell, the odious older man she was promised to five years ago. She's been dreading his return, but when her intended comes back to claim her, she's stunned at how different he seems. The man she swore she would spurn forever now invades her thoughts, her dreams, and her heart.

When Roag agrees to assume the identity of the recently deceased MacDonnell chieftain, no one warns him that the man was betrothed. As a member of the King's Fenris Guard, he is oath-bound to embark on whatever mission the crown gives him. Of course, he was expecting a battle-not a bride. Yet after sharing one kiss with Lady Gillian, the powerful Highlander becomes the one seduced and captivated. Now giving in to temptation could ruin them both . . .

Hooray for Highlanders!


Devil's Isle, Book One

By Chloe Neill
August 4, 2015

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused…

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack — in full view of the French Quarter — Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs—even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

As more and more Sensitives fall prey to their magic, and unleash their hunger on the city, Claire and Liam must work together to save New Orleans, or else the city will burn…

I don't normally read urban fantasy novels, however this one interests me. Why? Well, it's set in the French Quarter (!), the hero's name is Liam (swoon), and it has paranormal elements. Me likey.


By Alexandra Sirowy

August 18, 2015

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.

Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.

Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.

And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

Oooo, creeeepy!

By Katie Alender
August 25, 2015

Delia's new house isn't just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females -- an insane asylum nicknamed "Hysteria Hall." However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep "troubled" girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia becomes trapped. And that's when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the hallways in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia learns that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, too, harbors shocking truths within its walls -- truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

And she'll need to act quickly -- before the house's power overtakes everything she loves.
 Oooo, yeah! I like Katie Alender's creepy tales.

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

Book blurbs from authors' websites.