Showing posts from November, 2014

Hottie Hunt Giveaway Hop: Meet Adam Becker from Ashfall (The Wasteland Trilogy #1) by Denise A. Agnew

Welcome to my stop on the Hottie Hunt! Before I put this Hottie on the hot seat, I should let you know about all the potential perks of reading this post:

STOP GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away an electronic copy of my own historical romance, Tyburn, as part of this hop. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment here, working in the name of the hero I’m interviewing. This comment also counts as one of the entry options in the....

HOTTIE HUNT HOP GIVEAWAY: We've got a $10 Gift Card up for grabs. The lucky winner will be announced shortly after the hop’s end. The Rafflecopter at the bottom explains all the fun entry options.

But wait, there's more!

HOTTIE HUNT $100 HOLIDAY BONANZA: Entries in the Hottie Hunt Hop earns you bonus entries in our Holiday Bonanza. In addition to a $100 Gift Card, there's a ton of eBooks and other goodies up for grabs. Find out how to enter on our Hottie Hunt Landing Page.

With the admin stuff out of the way, let me scoot a little bit closer to...

What do…

Featured Author: Suz deMello

And now for something a little different (and very naughty!), I am pleased to introduce you to Suz deMello, author of Perilous Play. This fictionalized memoir is part of the eighth What to Read After Fifty Shades of Grey boxed set of "squirm-inducing, edgy erotic fiction." Sounds like fun! Read on for a special excerpt...
Perilous Play by Suz deMello

One woman's journey into the contemporary kink underworld, Perilous Play is Suz deMello's explosive personal account of her experiences with BDSM. Engaging and honest, this groundbreaking memoir will grab you and never let you go. 


Trapper and I spent the rest of the day together. We went to a vegan restaurant and two bars, including one dive so obscure that even Trapper got a little lost in the vast transit system despite his wealth of knowledge about the east bay. As we went back to school so he could pick up his bike, he started a conversation about sex.

Bondage sex.

BDSM sex.

My heart raced. I said I was interested.

One Night at the Rose & Crown: A Time-Travelling Introduction to Upcoming Character Interviews

When I was given the task of interviewing the characters of Tyburn ahead of its December release, I was both excited and daunted. Excited because I would get to talk to some of my favorite people, or course, and daunted because I would have to find a way to get myself back to London in 1671.
Although I’m sure that you are aware that authors have magical powers capable of transcending both time and space, this one had me stumped. Restoration London was hopelessly confusing to seventeenth-century tourists, not to mention visitors from the twenty-first. Nevertheless, the temptation to meet Sally, Nick, and --dare I hope?-- Mark, has outweighed my terror of falling into the Fleet or being flung into Bedlam, and after calling in a favor from an old friend with a TARDIS, I find myself on Love Lane in Southwark peering into the wide open entrance of the Rose and Crown.

To my modern eyes, the Rose is terrifying. Four or five rickety stories high with a top floor overhanging the street by some f…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Contraception in History will be back next week with another fun installment. I hate to miss one, so you know that whatever it is I'm doing must be very important. So what is it?

I am celebrating Thanksgiving with my husband and friends by eating the rest of my rose macarons and watching Legend. 

Macarons + Tim Curry = Success

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful day with the ones you love. Today I am especially thankful for my family, friends, the 5 pounds of roasted sweet potatoes in the fridge, and Tim Curry. God bless us, everyone. 

I am also very thankful to Redz World for hosting me today with a surprisingly serious blog post about some of the other things I'm thankful for (life experience, writing, and so on). Be sure to visit Redz World for this post and more thankful posts from some other really great authors. 

Stop back tomorrow for a very special time-travelling post to see the Rose and Crown through modern eyes! I'll be introducing you to some of Tyburn'…

Cover Reveal: Dawning of Light by Tami Lund (Lightbearer Book 2)

Dawning of Light is a great new Paranormal Romance coming out on December 15th from my fellow Liquid Silver Author, Tami Lund. I am thrilled to be able to share the cover with you! Isn't it pretty? Read on for more about the book, the author, and some exciting giveaways.


Finnegan Hennigan meets his match in spunky Cecilia Druthers, a woman he can barely stand. Cecelia’s opinion of Finn? He’s an oaf and a killjoy. But, opposites can’t resist each other in Dawning of Light by Tami Lund. You’ll love Book 2 of Tami’s hot fantasy series, Lightbearer, a saga about lightbearers and the shifters who hate to love them. 

The Lightbearers are a group of magical beings who have lived for five hundred years hidden away in their warded and protected coterie. Now that the princess of the Lightbearers is mated to a shifter, their peaceful lives have been turned upside down. 

In this second installment of the Lightbearer Series, shifter Finnegan Hennigan is doing his damnedest to keep…

Five More Common Ways to Die in Restoration London

This is a page from John Graunt's Natural and Political Observations Made Upon the Bills of Mortality listing some of the recorded deaths from 1662. Here we have Excessive Drinking, Executed, Grief, and Leprosy, as well as "French Pox" and the King's Evil (both of which I covered on Kimber Vale's blog yesterday). Although some people did die of "Itch" (12, to be precise), most deaths were caused by much scarier things. To follow up from yesterday's piece, here are five of the most common (but no less horrible) ways to die in Restoration London.

Childbirth and Puerperal Fever (Childbed Fever) - Complications and infections related to childbirth were the number one killer of women. Puerperal fever could be contracted during or after childbirth or miscarriage, and was often caused by genital tract sepsis from improper hygiene. Of course, they might not even get the chance to contract it: if it took too long for the afterbirth to come out, impatient mid…

Excerpt #2 and Blog Tour Kickoff

Today is a very exciting day for at least three reasons:

1) It's my birthday! I am ringing in my twenty-ninth year in my husband's pajamas with a piece of pecan pie and a nearly empty bottle of sparkling cider. No, you didn't just crash land into Bridget Jones, this is my actual life. Anyway, who needs the normal stuff that normal people do (cake + ? = birthday) when I have the best and most exciting second and third reasons ever? Here they are:

2) I have started my blog tour as a guest of the marvelous Kimber Vale! My post will appeal to my fellow fans of medical history: Five Horrible Ways to Die in Restoration London. Oh, honey... they were way more than five. Read about the King's Evil, Jail Fever, and my personal favorite, Syphilis. I know you'll love it.  Read it, share it, and leave a comment for Kimber because she's amazing. Thanks, Kimber! 


3) I have another excerpt for you! I wasn't sure which one to pick, but because today is my birthday, I…

An Expedition to Replacements

My name is Jess, and I collect tea cups.

Antiques have fascinated me since I was a kid. Blame it on being a writer, but I would look at the pieces and I try to imagine who they belonged to and what they’d been through. Now when I look at antiques, I wonder about the history, the origins of the patterns, and sometimes one object is enough to give me and idea for a whole story.

If every piece tells a story, Replacements is a library.

For my birthday this year, my best friend, Jen, took me to Replacements to buy a teacup. She’s not into china like I am, she’s just a really good friend. Nevertheless, we had a great time.

It was my first time visiting Replacements and impressed just doesn’t cover it. Facilities of half a million square feet house the world’s largest inventory of old and new china, crystal, silver, and other collectibles. That’s right -- that’s eight football fields full of china. As large as that sounds, the whole place is cleverly designed so it feels warm and inviting.

The st…

Contraception in History IV: Minos, Pasiphae, and the Most Metal Euphemism for V.D. Ever

One of the earliest mentions of condoms as we know them dates back to 150 CE to Antoninus Liberalis’ telling of the legend of Minos and Pasiphae. 
Minos was the mythological king of Knossos and the son of Zeus and Europa. He is probably best known for the labyrinth he used to feed children to the Minotaur, the lovechild (lovebeast?) his wife had with a particularly good-looking bull. Every nine years he would put fourteen Athenian children into the labyrinth to get lost and eventually eaten by this giant bull-creature until the Minotaur was eventually killed by Theseus with the help of Minos’ human daughter, Ariadne. 
His wife, Pasiphae, was the immortal daughter of Helios. As the daughter of the sun god, she had magical powers, and used these to cast a spell on Minos when she discovered he had been unfaithful to her. Instead of just turning him into a frog or a better-looking bull, she cursed him to have serpents and scorpions in his semen. 
(This was in no way an explanation for someth…

Sneak Peak: Chapter 1

I am thrilled silly to announce that Tyburn is now available for pre-order on This is really happening! By way of celebration, I am posting the first scene here for you to give you a little taster before the big day on December 8th. There are only two more Mondays between now and Tyburn's official release, so I'll be posting excerpts from the book on each one to tide us over until then, starting with this one. 


Chapter 1
Sally was there the day they hanged Claude Duval.      It was madness in the January snow, the stands filled to capacity and creaking beneath the weight of too many bodies. Spectators filled the pit surrounding the gallows shoulder to shoulder. The grounds were packed and still they let them in.
     The usual families with picnic baskets were disappointed at the lack of open ground on which to lunch. The vendors had sold out of hot potatoes and cakes and stood uselessly between the stalls, their hands in their pockets to protect their profits f…

Contraception in History, Part III. Silphium and the Origin of Love (or at least the heart-shape)

Silphium was a type of giant fennel that grew in Cyrenaica (present-day Libya) between the sixth century BCE and the first century CE.  It was so central to the economy of Cyrene that most of their coins had images of the plant or its seeds. It was delicious to eat, smelled wonderful, and could treat everything from sore throats and indigestion to snake bites and epilepsy. It was its other uses, however, that made its name and caused its eventual extinction.

What did it do?

Silphium was known throughout the Mediterranean as a highly effective contraceptive and abortifacient. It was regarded as “worth its weight in silver,” and was believed to be a gift of the gods. The Egyptians and the Knossos Minoans had a special glyph for it. Even Catullus, my favorite of all of the classical perverts, alluded to it in his naughty, naughty poems.

Pausanius’ Description of Greece leaves little doubt as to what it was used for in his story of Dioscuri meeting Phormion’s maiden daughter: "By the n…

Contraception in History Part II, Ancient Egypt: Hormonal Birth Control, Pregnancy Tests, and Crocodile Dung

Ancient Egypt was a remarkably advanced society. They had one of the first known written languages, the earliest form of paper, a 365-day calendar, toothpaste, and breath mints. Egyptians even invented eye makeup as far back as 4000 BC by combining soot and galena to create kohl. It was worn by both men and women for status as well to protect the wearer from the evil eye.
Preferring small families, they also invented enough different methods of contraception that you’d be forgiven for wondering if someone in a TARDIS gifted them with the secrets of the universe (or at least a modern health textbook).

For those who were really serious about avoiding pregnancy, hieroglyphs from the second century CE recommend castration for either gender. Surgeries such as the ovariotomy (the removal of the ovaries) were also available, if mercifully rare.

Most people depended on much less invasive forms of contraception. One of the most common was spermicide administered in a sort of tampon made of lin…

Guy Fawkes Day: 400 Years of Fire and Madness

“Remember, remember the fifth of November” is more than just a line from V for Vendetta. Also known as Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Day (or Night) is a holiday celebrated every year on the fifth of November in the UK. Bigger and more widely celebrated than Halloween, people get together after dark to drink mulled wine and watch massive displays of fireworks. But what is it, where did it come from, and what did Guy Fawkes do that was so great?
Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot was a conspiracy planned by a group of English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant James I and to replace him with a Catholic leader. On November 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives that had been stashed beneath the House of Lords for this very purpose. Fawkes was tortured into a confession and was sentenced to a traitor’s execution of hanging, drawing, and quartering, but managed to end his own life by throwing himself from the scaffold to avoid suffering the rest.
Why w…