Jan 15

Hat Tricks

Big HatI’m not talking about magic tricks. I’m talking about hats. Although, there is something magical about a fine-looking hat. Just think about all those stylish ones that show up at Churchill Downs the first Saturday in May for the Kentucky Derby.

Today being National Hat Day, I thought I’d share a few little-known facts about hats and hat accessories.

• In the early1900s women liked their hats big. To keep those big hats anchored to their heads they needed big hatpins, some up to a foot long. As women became more emancipated they were seen around town unchaperoned. The result was wolf whistles and outright harassment. The hatpin used as more than a means to keep a hat securely on the head began in 1903 when a young woman was sitting in a New York City stagecoach and a fellow passenger got fast and loose with his hands. When she could not stop him, she did the only thing she could. She reached for her hatpin and jabbed it into the lecher’s arm. Soon after, women began putting their hatpins to similar good use. This led to lawmakers in some cities passing laws limiting the length of hatpins. I’m just guessing, but do you think all those lawmakers were men? I can’t help but wonder if some of them bore the scars of injurious hatpin pricks. Anyway, by World War I women were sporting shorter hairstyles like the jazz-age bob, and the lowly hatpin fell out of fashion.

• Fairy princesses weren’t the only ones to wear the hennin, that tall pointy party hat. The hennins of Mongolian warrior queens of the 13th century were often seven feet tall. The better to be seen from a distance by the hordes of Genghis Khan, I guess.

• The ominous black hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West may have dated back to the Salem Witch Trials when witnesses claimed to have seen the devil wearing a high, crowned hat. Or even further back than that to 15th century Hungary when people convicted of sorcery were forced to wear them, as were heretics during the Inquisition. You might want to think about this before choosing that witch’s costume next Halloween.

Now, let’s put some myths to rest.

• Myth: Daniel Boone wore a coonskin cap.

According to his son, he hated raccoon fur caps and didn’t wear one himself.

•Myth: Vikings donned horned helmets.

The Teutonic knights, Celtic warriors, samurai, late Roman armies, even Conan the Barbarian did. But Vikings? No.

•Myth: All cowboys wore cowboy hats.

Uh, no on that one, too. The classic Stetson came into being around 1865, but it looked more like a flattened sombrero than the stylish Stetson we know and love on our cowboy heroes. And even in its pancake version it  wasn’t the most popular hat on the range. Back in the day, most cowboys wore sailor’s caps, top hats, and bowler hats. But it’s okay to imagine the cowboy hero from your favorite romance novel wearing the sexy Stetson. No matter how good-looking a cowboy hero is, I don’t want to see him coming to the aid of heroine in a top hat.

When I was a kid, my mother used to take me and my sister to buy new outfits for Easter, and we’d always get new hats. I wasn’t crazy about the hats I wore then. They made no sense to me. These days I do wear hats to shield me from the unscrupulous South Florida sun. I have floppy-brim hats and hats with turned-up brims, fedoras and the always-reliable baseball caps.  What about you? Do you wear hats?


Jan 14

Hot Pastrami

pastrami sandwichImagine my surprise when I logged on to my computer and discovered that today is National Pastrami Day. So, naturally, that got me to thinking about pastrami.

Pastrami is actually corned beef. Although it has nothing to do with corn, it got its name by using a granular salt the size of a kernel—corn to a Briton—of wheat to process it. It was then smoked which added flavor to the meat and turned it into pastrami.

Now that we know what pastrami is, let’s look at its history. It is thought that the first versions of this meat date back to the Ottoman Empire, where Turkish people wind-dried and salted beef and called it basdirma. The word “pastrami” is of Yiddish origin, borrowed from the Romanians who, in turn, borrowed it from the Greek, who took it from the Turks. Many people think the Irish brought corned beef to America, but actually, they didn’t start eating it until they immigrated to New York in the 19th century.

Back in the days before there were refrigerators, our ancestors had to preserve the meat. When a large animal like a pig or a cow was killed, they either had to invite the whole neighborhood over to eat it at once before it spoiled, or they had to find a way to preserve it. The only way to preserve meat prior to the 20th century was by salting. This helped kill the bacteria in the meat. The meat was coated on the outside with dry salt, or it was left to soak in a salty brine. Both methods took several weeks, and there was always the possibility of spoilage. The easiest solution was to take advantage of nature’s refrigerator—winter—during which time to do the salting.

While both corned beef and pastrami come from the brisket cut and are cured in salt, corned beef is boiled and pastrami is smoked and slowly steamed. Other than that, there’s not much difference.
The pastrami sandwich we know today appeared in NY in 1887 when Jewish immigrants flocked to US shores,and a Lithuanian miller came up with the idea based on a recipe from a Romanian friend.

So, the next time you sink your teeth into a hot pastrami sandwich on rye, think of the circuitous route it took from Turkey, to Greece, to Romania, to New York City’s lower east side, to your plate, and enjoy!

Do we have any pastrami and/or corned beef lovers here?

Jan 02

A Chat With Love Historicals Authors

Hi there!  Lana Williams here again taking over the LH blog to continue our chat with our amazing Love Historicals Authors! This is a continuation of a series of blog posts with the hope of getting to know you, the reader, better as well as the LH Authors. Please grab your favorite beverage and join us for some casual conversation!

Today’s Topic: Please share your resolutions/goals for 2015.


Laurel O’Donnell: I don’t like to make resolutions.  They are very fleeting for me.  Goals are more my style.  My goals are to get my next series out (Tentatively titled Beauties with Blades).  I’m going back in time, farther then I usually go, to the time of the Templar knights and their rumored treasure.  For this coming year, I’m going to try to write more.  I don’t know how or when, but I’m going to make it a priority.  That and getting healthier.

Sydney Jane Baily: Too many things that I’d like to do better or differently in the new year, but I do intend to write more and somehow engage with more readers. I will not change my chocolate intake as it is perfect.

Jill Hughey: I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I have enough self-imposed guilt in my life about the little things I don’t do on a day-to-day basis. I really don’t want to set myself up for twelve months of failure.

Anna Markland: For my writing goals this coming year, I want to concentrate on garnering more reviews for my books. I’ll also be contemplating whether the amount of time I spend on social media is actually worth it. I’m hoping to write three novels in a new series set in Scotland, and work on a project LH has in mind about following successive generations of one family.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 2015.

Cynthia Woolf: My resolutions this year are simple. Take better care of myself and write faster and shorter. To that end, my husband and I are starting Weight Watchers after the first of the year and joining the recreation center so we can work out several times a week.

As for writing, in today’s market, with KU and the other subscriptions services and in order to keep my income the same, I need to produce at least four books a year. I did that this year but even for me, who does write fast and writes relatively short, it was difficult. And rather than getting shorter, my last two books were actually longer than I normally do.

Adrienne deWolfe: New Year’s resolutions for 2015:

  1. Stay happy
  2. Focus on gratitude
  3. Celebrate the publication of DEVIL IN TEXAS.(Book 1 in my new Romantic Suspense series)
  4. Finish writing SLEUTH SLAYER (tentative title of the sequel to DEVIL IN TEXAS)


Nancy Morse: Every year I make the same New Year’s resolution, and that is to make no resolutions. If I make a resolution that I can’t keep, I’ll be disappointed, and life is already filled with disappointments. So, this is one resolution I can keep. I don’t set long-term goals for the same reason, but my short-term goal is to publish 2 more books in 2015, and it looks like I’m on target to meet that goal.

Lana Williams: I like to choose one word to concentrate on rather than making a resolution. For me, that word this year is GRATITUDE. 2014 was an awesome year that pushed me in ways that I didn’t think I was ready for, but have worked out amazingly well thus far and I am so grateful for all that’s happened. I look forward to an amazing 2015!Gratitude

Bronwen Evans: Goals this year:

  • To remember that life is short and that each day is precious.
  • Not to take people for granted and to stay in contact with friends and family better.
  • To remember that we are what we eat and drink.
  • To be nice to everyone (you never know what’s going on in other’s lives).
  • To enjoy what I am doing or don’t bother doing it.
  • To continue my love of telling stories.
  • And finally, to be happy.

From all of the Love Historicals Authors, we wish you an amazing and brilliant 2015! May it be a fabulous year for you!

Please share with us your goals/resolutions for 2015!

Dec 31

A Chat With Love Historicals Authors

Hi there!  Lana Williams here again taking over the LH blog to continue our chat with our amazing Love Historicals Authors! This is a continuation of a series of blog posts with the hope of getting to know you, the reader, better as well as the LH Authors. Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us for some casual conversation!

Today’s Topic is: How are you spending New Year’s? Note – Bronwen has already had her celebration as she’s in New Zealand!

Adrienne deWolfe: I like to take time on New Year’s to reflect on my achievements for the previous year and my goals for the upcoming year. Traditionally, I go on a personal retreat, commune with nature, or participate in a Burning Bowl ceremony with like-minded friends.

Cynthia Woolf: We always stay in on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If we’re lucky we’ll manage to stay away until midnight to watch the ball drop. Even though I have insomnia, I’m usually asleep by 11 pm for a couple of hours anyway.

Bronwen Evans: It’s actually already NY Eve for me in NZ. I have a bunch of about 8 girlfriends coming round this afternoon to sit by the pool in the sun and I’m cooking rack of lamb and fresh salads for our dinner – it’s summer here about 80F. We plan to gossip and chat and probably nibble and drink bubbly to see the NY in. I hope we make it!

Nancy Morse: On New Year’s Eve my husband and I get dressed up and go to a restaurant where we sit at the bar, have some wine and appetizers, and talk about the past year and what we hope for the new year. We’re home by 9 and in bed before the ball drops in Times Square. New Years Day is family dinner at my house. This year I’m making lasagna, meatballs, roast pork, garlic bread, salad, and a key lime pie for dessert.Happy New Year

Laurel O’Donnell: I plan to spend New Year’s Eve with family.  We will have dinner and count down the New Year, both here in Illinois and in NY!  One of my neighbors usually sets off fireworks.  Then, it’s on to planning the upcoming year.

Anna Markland: I will spend a quiet New Year’s Eve with my husband. We may stay up long enough to welcome 2015 if we don’t fall asleep beforehand!

I like to continue a tradition begun in my childhood in England. The person with the darkest hair or complexion goes out just before midnight and then enters with the New Year bringing bread and coal. Since my husband no longer has hair, and I am blonde, the decision is usually that he goes out (despite that he secretly thinks the tradition is hokum!) It should be a male anyway. I remember a time when every father on the street I lived on was outside waiting for new year’s. A few moments of shared camaraderie.

The bread of course represents sustenance for the coming year and the coal (replaced by a piece of wood in today’s day and age) represents warmth.

Sydney Jane Baily: I was told that you need to feel on New Year’s Eve the way that you want to feel in the new year, so will spend it with friends and be cheerful. However, most likely I’ll be in bed before midnight because who wants to start the new year tired?

Lana Williams: We love to do fondue on New Year’s Eve. It slows down dinner and makes for some great fun! We have a variety of food, from shrimp to steak to chicken with some yummy dipping sauces, and a salad to give us something green on our plate.LOL. Whether we actually stay up until midnight or not is debatable, but we’ll celebrate it one way or another.

Your turn! How about you? We’d love to hear from you. How are YOU spending New Year’s?

Dec 24

Peace In No-Man’s Land

christmas-truce-large2This Christmas Eve marks the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Eve truce. While this has nothing to do with romance, it says a lot about love and kindness and humanity.

Five months into World War I, with nearly a million lives already lost, the Germans pushed through Belgium into France and stopped short of Paris, then fell back and met the combatants again at the First Battle of Aisne. With neither side budging, the men began to dig in, creating the infamous trench system that ran from the Swiss border to the English Channel. Occasionally, through November the killing abated as men from both sides exchanged greetings and cigarettes. But on Christmas Eve 1914 many of the guns along the Western Front fell eerily silent.

The German troops began to decorate their trenches with candles. The British, who could see the lights from their own trenches a hundred yards away, were confused. Then, a sound arose, drifting across no-man’s land on the cold night air. The Germans were singing Christmas carols. The Brits, longing for hearth and home, responded with their own songs. It is generally believed that the German hymn Stille Nacht (Silent Night) was sung by both sides together, but there’s little evidence of that. In fact, the British soldiers had never heard it before and it wasn’t until after the war that Silent Night became a popular Christmas song in England. The hymn most likely sung by both sides was O Come All Ye Faithful, the Brits in English, the Germans in Latin. Many Germans had lived in England before the war and spoke the language, so calls of “Merry Christmas” were shouted back and forth across the trenches.

It was understood that peace was declared for a day. Little by little men began to climb out of their trenches and venture tentatively into no man’s land where they exchanged small gifts, shook hands, and forgot for a while about being enemies. Throughout the night they sang carols together. The next day some of the British soldiers were treated to a barrel of beer rolled out to them from a German-occupied brewery.

It must be said, however, that the Christmas Eve truce was not typical. In some places many men lost their lives that day, gunned down as they emerged from their trenches. For the lucky ones the truce lasted a few hours, for some a few days. But it was war, and the killing started again and went on for almost four more years. Still, it is worth remembering that in the midst of a brutal war brave men on both sides put down their guns to promote peace on earth and goodwill to men.

Surely, if they did it then, they can do it now.

Dec 01

Lost in a Kiss on Sale — Only 99 cents!

DRAFT_LHBoxedSEt_v2From now until the end of 2014, less than a month away, the boxed set Love Historicals presents Lost in a Kiss is on sale for the paltry sum of 99 cents. That’s eight novellas by critically acclaimed and bestselling authors for only 99 cents.

Be transported back in time and all over the world, from the middle ages of Europe to the Scottish highlands to 19th-century America. Knights, Native Americans, riverboat gamblers, and lords vie for the hearts of ladies, damsels, and even brothel madams. This rich collection contains all new historical romance stories.

Get Lost in a Kiss today!

Purchase Links:





Nov 11


Sergeant_StubbyDue to a policy that has existed since World War II, and despite the protests of armed forces personnel, the United States military refuses to formally recognize the accomplishments of its canine soldiers, stating that such recognition is demeaning to servicemen. So, I’ll do it here. These are just a few of the thousands of DOG HEROES that served in our armed forces.

JACK, Bull Terrier mix, Union army, U.S. Civil War.

GENERAL, Saint Bernard, 14th North Carolina Infantry, Confederate Army, U.S. Civil War.

STUBBY, Bull Terrier mix. The most decorated war dog in U.S. history. That’s him in the picture.

SMOKY, 4 pound Yorkie. WWII’s littlest soldier.

DUDE, Collie Mix, Sentry Dog, WWII

CHIPS, German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix, WWII, Tank guard dog and the most decorated dog in WWII being awarded the Silver Star for Valor and a Purple Heart.

RONNIE, German Shepherd, WWII, U.S. Coast Guard Dog Patrol.

BOB, Collie mix, WWII, led more forays into German territory than any other U.S. soldier in WWII, human or canine.

DUG, Belgian Shepherd, Korean War.

PRINCE 347E, German Shepard, Vietnam. He served our country his entire adult life.

NEMO, German Shepherd, Wounded in Vietnam. Despite losing an eye to gunfire, he threw himself on 4 Viet Cong to save his handler in 1966. Both survived. One of the few Vietnam war dogs given passage back home to the United States.

TROY, Alaskan Malamute, served the U.S. Air Force in the early 1980’s.

CARLO, Belgian Malinois, Desert Storm.

SSD COOPER, Yellow Lab, July 6, 2007, 94th Mine Dog Detachment, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On March 13, 1942, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson signed a letter that authorized the Quartermaster General to officially induct dogs into the war effort. The K9 Corps trained 10,425 dogs up to 1949 to protect and save thousands of lives in WW II. Nearly 4000 dogs served in Vietnam performing scouting and sentry duties. Today, 2300 dogs serve. It used to be that most of the dogs that served overseas never returned home. The military has changed their policy due to overwhelming protests from both the public and the dog handlers themselves. Military dogs are now returned to the U.S. and are no longer euthanized, but instead are given to their handlers when they are retired.

In recognition of the unique contributions of our nation’s military dogs, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act in May which creates a system of care for their retirement. However, identical legislation, S.2134, is currently languishing in the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, with fewer than 20 Senate co-sponors. You can help push this legislation through by contacting your senator and urging him to gather support for S.2134. Our military pups deserve this!

This Veterans Day, please take a few moments to remember our animal vets, past and present. And if any of those vets could talk, I imagine this is what they might say:

When you think of liberty
and count the reasons you are free…
Don’t forget to think of me!
…From a poem by Kathy Anne Harris

Oct 31

Love Historicals presents Lost in a Kiss

Love Historicals presents Lost in a KissThe authors of Love Historicals released our first anthology, a boxed set entitled Love Historicals presents Lost in a Kiss on October 20. The Love Historicals authors who participated are myself (Sydney Jane Baily), Jill Hughey, Anna Markland, Nancy Morse, Laurel O’Donnell, Margery Scott, Lana Williams, and Cynthia Woolf. The eye-catching boxed set graphic was created by our own LH author, Christy Carlyle, and we already have a bunch of five-star reviews on Amazon. Thank you, readers!

We have a lovely trailer that shows all eight of our covers, created by our own LH author, Nancy Morse. You can watch it by clicking here.

Purchase Links





From Amazon:
I received an advanced copy of the 8 Amazing stories and I’m glad I did
By Florencia Fontanon October 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I received an advanced copy of the 8 Amazing stories and I’m glad I did!!! It’s the first time I read most of these authors and I was pleasantly surprised! Fast paced, heart warming, and full of action and romance!! I would greatly recommend this collection!! Happy readings!!!

Facebook Release After-Party: Tomorrow, November 1, 2014!!

Click here to come on over and have fun. There will be prizes all day long. Here’s the hostess lineup (all times are EST):

2 – 2:30 Jill Hughey
2:30 – 3 Christy Carlyle
3 – 3:30 Cynthia Woolf
3:30 – 4 Laurel O’Donnell
4 – 4:30 Catherine Kean
4:30 – 5 Lana Williams
5 – 5:30 Gina Danna
5:30 – 6 Sydney Baily
6 – 6:30 Nancy Morse
6:30 – 7 Anna Markland

Oct 24

A Chat With Love Historicals Authors

Hi there!  Lana here again taking over the LH blog to continue our chat with our amazing Love Historicals Authors! This is a continuation of a series of blog posts with the hope of getting to know you, the reader, better as well as the LH Authors. Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us for some casual conversation!

Today’s Topic is: What are you reading?

Catherine: Soulless by Gail Carriger.  I’m loving her author voice and the quirky characters.

Sydney: I just finished an absolutely excellent book by Irish author Cecilia Ahern called The Time of My Life. I must remember to give my review on Goodreads. Loved it. I’m also reading The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand for a light romantic read while I work out on my stationary bike in the mornings. Thoroughly enjoying it, too.

Christy: I’m always reading more than one book at a time. Some nights I’ll pick up one and then other nights go back to another. Right now I’m reading Throw in the Trowel by Kate Collins, a cozy modern mystery, and The Power of Point of View, a writing craft book by Alicia Rasley.

Margery: I’m reading Dead Weight by TR Ragan. It’s a thriller, the second book in the Lizzy Gardner series.

Adrienne: I am constantly conducting research for upcoming book projects.Since my plan is to finish the fantasy series (that disappeared along with my stolen computer in October 2013,) I have been enjoying the book, NATURAL WITCHERY by Ellen Dugan.  One of my favorite parts of the book is the section titled, “Discovering Your Psychic Abilities.” After taking Ellen’s 5 quizzes for clairaudience, clairvoyance, precognitive dreaming, intuition, and empathy — and getting stellar scores,I might add! — I think I should put up a new shingle and become a personal psychic to the stars!  ::snicker::

Laurel: I’m reading Kathryn Le Veque’s The Dark One: Dark Knight.

Cynthia: I’m doing audio books right now. I’m listening to JD Robb Origins in Death and Debra Holland’s Wild Montana Sky.

Jill: I just finished Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent series, and I have been scarred by the ending.

Lana: I’m re-reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler as I’m giving a class at one of the local high schools on The Hero’s Journey. I’m also reading the upcoming release of Lost In His Kiss, a collection of novellas from the Love Historicals authors.

Anna: I am re-reading Carrie Lofty’s Song of Seduction. Love that book.

Nancy: WARLORD by Angus McDonald and I’m about to start reading the Lost In A Kiss novellas.

Gina: LOL Outlander.

How about you? What are you reading now? Please leave a comment.

Oct 17

A Chat With Love Historicals Authors

Greetings! Lana here taking over the LH blog again to continue our chat with our amazing Love Historicals Authors! This is a continuation of a new series of blog posts with the hope of getting to know you, the reader, better as well as the LH Authors. Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us for some casual conversation!

Today’s topic: What project are you working on right now?

Nancy: I usually have two projects going at once. BENEATH AN IRON SKY is my next Native American historical focusing on women’s emancipation and Indian rights. LOVE REMEMBERS takes place in British East Africa in 1920 and features a photojournalist struggling to remember her past and a handsome coffee farmer struggling to save his future.

Gina: I’m working on the sequels to my Civil War novel (The Wicked North) & editing my prequel to my Rome novel Love & Vengeance.

Cynthia: I’m working on the first book in the Brides of San Francisco series. It’s actually a prequel series to my Matchmaker & Co series.

Bronwen: I’m finishing A Touch of Passion book #3 in Disgraced Lords then straight on to book #4 A Taste of Seduction.

Anna: Right now I am working on The Rover Defiant, Book Two of the Viking Roots Medieval Romance Series. The Rover Bold was Book One.

Jill: I’m working on the second book in my New Adult series about the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera. The series is called Yellowblown™ and the book is called Rhyolite Drifts.

Lana: I’m working on a Christmas medieval novella which will be the start of a new series for me.

Adrienne: I am trying my hand at a new genre — Romantic Suspense —and writing the first book in the series, THE GUNSLINGER AND THE REDHEADED SLEUTH.  For this series, I have brought back my favorite bad-boy, William “Cass” Cassidy (from SHADY LADY and SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL) and teamed him up with his on-again, off-again lover, Sadie Michelson. I like to describe this series as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith take on the Wild West.” Sadie is now working as a Pinkerton Agent, while Cass is finally wearing his Ranger badge (sort of.) Actually, Cass is working undercover, because his contacts in the criminal underground serve his law allies even better than his gunslinging skills! The first book is tentatively titled, DEVIL IN TEXAS, and is set in 1883. Wish me luck! I shall be shopping this book  to the publishing world later this year.

Christy: I’m working on the third Whitechapel Wagers Series novella, Reckless Wager, which will be available November 1st. I’m also working on a full length Victorian era historical romance featuring a viscount who’s a bit of a Scrooge and a bookseller suffragette who turns his world upside down. It’s tentatively titled The Worth of a Kiss.

Catherine: I’m finishing up a medieval Christmas novella called One Knight Under the Mistletoe.  This will be released  in a boxed set this winter along with stories by Laurel O’Donnell, Eliza Knight, and Denise Domning.

Margery: I’m working on two projects, which is normal for me – the next Morgans of Rocky Ridge novella, Jesse’s story, and a departure for me, a still-untitled cozy mystery.

Sydney: Book 4 (and likely the last) of the Defiant Hearts Series, tentatively titled An Inconceivable Deception.

Laurel: Presently, I’m finishing up an upcoming novella tentatively entitled Mistletoe Knight.  I’m doing a boxed set with the very talented Catherine Kean, Eliza Knight and Denise Domning schedule for release around the Holidays.

Wow! The LH Authors are busy ladies! Perhaps you’re not writing a book, but please do share if you have any projects that you’re working on! We’d love to hear about it!


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