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Showing posts from April, 2015

Z is for @WendiZwaduk's #NewAdult #Romance, Stealing Home

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Stealing Home by Wendi Zwaduk
Book 3 in the Complicated Series
M/F, New Adult Romance, Contemporary
Novella
From Resplendence Publishing

The last person she expected to fall for her just might be the one she’s been looking for all along.

Bliss McMahon isn’t looking for love. She’s got a degree to complete and a life she wants to live. Besides, love isn’t looking for her. The last and only time she’d tried dating, the whole situation had ended in disaster. Being twenty-one and never going beyond second base doesn’t exactly endear her to the guys, but the one guy she never expected to notice her has. Will she give him a shot or run the other way?

Evan Phillips has a way with the ladies. He can charm them just as easily as he hits homeruns, but this ballplayer has a problem. He won’t be able to pass art history without help. Enter Bliss. Sure, he’s dated her roommate, and yes, Bliss can’t stand him, but he’s not about to back down from the challenge of getting her help. She’s spunky, out of his…

Ye Olde Historical Anachronism: How 'The' became 'Ye'

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"Ye" is a peculiar word, isn't it? It's used in the titles of pubs, shops, Renaissance festival booths, or any other establishment going for an old world vibe, frequently followed by 'olde.' In fact, it's usually a good way to tell when something is most definitely not olde, with the exception of Nottingham's Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a twelfth century pub that claims to be the oldest drinking establishment in England. So where did it come from, and what does it mean? 

In Early Modern English, 'the' was often written as þe. þ was an Old English letter called thorn, which was a single character for the 'th' sound. þ and y look so similar in blackletter that they were often mistaken for each other, so when þ fell out of use in favor of th, we ended up with the occasional 'ye' replacing 'the.' 

'Ye' has been used in place of 'the' to evoke a certain nostalgia since the eighteenth century. (Funnily enough, th…

John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Madame X

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"I have a great desire to paint her portrait and have reason to think she would allow it and is waiting for someone to propose this homage to her beauty." -John Singer Sargent

Portrait of Madame X is an oil portrait painted by John Singer Sargent for the Paris Salon of 1884. The model was Virginie Amelie Avegno Gautreau, an American socialite and "professional beauty" who epitomized the ideal of sophisticated feminine beauty prevalent at the time.
Gautreau was a difficult model, and it took Sargent the better part of a year to complete the portrait. Nevertheless, it was received badly. In the original painting, Gautreau's right strap hung off of her shoulder, and this was taken to indicate that the rumors of her infidelities were true. Furthermore, her pose was considered too suggestive for polite society. People were scandalized. Gautreau was humiliated, and her mother demanded it be withdrawn from the exhibition.

Disheartened by the poor reception of his work, S…

W: John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester: Satirist, Poet, and Libertine

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John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, was a Restoration courtier, poet, satirist, and libertine. He was lauded by Andrew Marvell and Voltaire, who described him as a man of genius and translated some of his work into French. Entertaining and offending with works such as Signior Dildo and Panegyrick Upon Cundums, his life was no less exciting than his verse. He inherited his title at age eleven, kidnapped his future wife at seventeen, trained one of the period’s most famous actresses, and fell in and out of the King’s favor until his death from syphilis at age thirty-three. A rake and accomplished wit, his actions and works would impress and offend in equal measure for centuries to come, and he even received the compliment of being banned in the Victorian period. 

So who was he? 


Were I (who to my cost already am One of those strange, prodigious  creatures, man) A spirit free to choose, for my own share What case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear, I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear, Or an…

Nicole Hurley-Moore's New Small-Town Romance, McKellan's Run

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Today I am delighted to welcome author Nicole Hurley-Moore to the blog, all the way from Australia! Her new romance, McKellan's Run, sounds absolutely wonderful, and is it me, or does the man on the cover look a bit like Daniel Craig? Let's take a good, long look just to be sure:


Mmmmm. 

Ladies, Gentlemen, Creatures of the Night, Nicole Hurley-Moore! 


Thanks so much, Jessica for letting me drop by!

I’ve always loved small town romances. There’s something special about growing up in a place where everyone looks out for each other. Rural towns will differ depending on the place or even the country they’re in but there’s a sense of community which makes them universally the same. 

I’ve been lucky enough to spend most of my life in a rural town in the Central Victorian Highlands, Australia.  
The town is surrounded by bushland, old goldfields, farms, orchards and wineries. Like many of the other towns and cities in the area, modern melds with a historic past. The past is never very far …

Virtue's Lady Bonus Features: History, Setting, and Characters

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We are winding down to the end of the alphabet now, and the end of my blog tour for Virtue's Lady. I have been lucky enough to visit the blogs of some wonderful authors with interviews and guest posts, and for that I'm truly grateful. Just for fun, I've made a short list of some of these posts and some of my history posts closely related to the book so you can get the whole picture before (or after!) you read it. Be sure to start with the video at the top of the list -- it's amazing.

Introduction

See the Setting of the Southwark Saga (animated video)
Why the Restoration is a Great Period for Romance: Guest Post for Ute Carbone
Spotlight on Virtue's Lady on LOVExtra

Characters

Meet Mark Virtue: Working Class Hero
Character Sketch: Mark Virtue on Romance Lives Forever
Character Interview: Mark Virtue on Tami Lund's Blog (from Tyburn)
Character Interview: Lady Jane on Annette Mardis' blog
Can Working Class Heroes Work in Romance? Guest Post for Shauna Roberts

Related His…

U: Historical Underwear and the Surprising Thing used to Clean It (Hint: It Starts with a U)

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Okay, so we've had a lot of posts lately that have been on the serious side (fire, plague, syphilis, under-paying jobs), so for a change of pace, I thought I'd write about something a little more fun. 

Underwear!


What's not to like? Everyone knows that the best part of costume dramas in the historically accurate underwear (that can't just be me). Fans of historical anything will already be so familiar with corsets that you might feel like you know your way in and out of one, but what about the rest?

Underwear is a surprisingly tricky subject. You'll often hear that people just didn't wear any, but that wasn't the case. Charles II wore one of the world's first versions of silk boxer shorts to bed--would you expect anything less?--and Pepys' wife, Elizabeth, is noted to have worn "drawers." While it's true that seventeenth century undergarments were a long way off from Victoria's Secret, they were very common and almost always the clean…

T is for Private Domestic Tutors: Sitting Below the Salt in Early Modern England. Guest Post by Historian John Polsom-Jenkins

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I am delighted to welcome back historian John Polsom-Jenkins with an enlightening post about private domestic tutors in the seventeenth century. Tyburn's hero, Nick, works as a tutor in the Earl of Hereford's household, and this part of Nick's story was based on Dr. Polsom-Jenkins' fascinating research into the lives of tutors during this period, so we owe him a great deal! Here to tell you more about the subject in his own words, Dr. John Polsom-Jenkins: 

Private Domestic Tutors in Seventeenth Century England

Tyburn’s hero, Nick Virtue, earns his “dashing” credentials as a highwayman, but his day job, as tutor to the frightful sons of a tight-fisted nobleman, is rather more mundane. The sexy subject of highwaymen is explored in greater depth in the works of historians such as the excellent James Sharpe. Nick’s more boring-sounding occupation is loosely based on my own research in the field of educational history. However, tutors like Nick, living and working in the hous…

S is for Syphilis: Genius, Madness, and The Sickness of Naples

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I don’t mind telling you that I’ve been looking forward to this post. As you’ve probably noticed by now, I’m very interested in sex and contraception in history, so the history of venereal diseases is kind of where I live. Syphilis is my favorite. 

Okay, so if you were on the fence, now you've probably decided that I’m completely mental. How can someone have a favorite venereal disease? Stick with me here! Syphilis helped to shape the modern world through the measures taken to prevent it (such as the development condoms), and the effects it had on the mental health of influential people, both good and bad. No other venereal disease, as far as I’m aware, has ever been accused (with some justification) of creating genius

So let's take a look. 

History

The first known case of syphilis was documented by Dr. Pintor in 1493 in Rome. He called it the Morbus Gallicus (The French Disease), and assumed that it had been carried to Italy by the French Army. When the French began to notice i…

R is for The Restoration, a Brilliant Period for Historical Romance

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With so many British historical romances set in the nineteenth century, you would be forgiven for thinking nothing happened in England before the Regency. Although the nineteenth century was a time of progress and those famous balls at Almack’s, I decided to set my new historical series two hundred years earlier in the seventeenth century. 

The Southwark Saga begins in 1671, eleven years after the restoration of Charles II. The Restoration is an exciting period to read, write and research. It was a time of change and was characterized by cataclysmic events, such as the English Civil War that saw the execution of Charles I and the exile of his son with a significant part of the Court. The Plague killed more than a quarter of London's population between 1665 and 1666 and was chronicled in Defoe’s nightmarish Journal of a Plague Year. The last of that was wiped out by the Great Fire of London, which incinerated most of the medieval City of London over a four day period, destroying 13,…