Feb 15

Winner of the Love Historicals Valentines Day Blog Hop!

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Congrats to Sheryl Stanley Nyary for winning the $100 Amazon Gift Card from the Love Historicals Valentines Day Blog Hop!

Thank you to everyone who participated. We hope you all had fun and discovered new authors to read.

We hope your Valentines Day was filled with romance!

Feb 13

Valentine’s Day Blog Hop and Giveaway

 Enter for your chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

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Welcome to the Love Historicals Valentine’s Day Blog Hop and Giveaway!  The Love Historicals authors know how romantic Valentine’s Day is and we are pleased you’ve chosen to spend part of your day with us! 

We’ve designed a fun way to enjoy this special day.  All you need to do is follow the links to each participating Love Historical author’s website where they have answered the question – What is the most romantic scene in our featured book? 

Get the name of the hero from each featured novel. (You’ll find the list of blogs to visit by using the “Click Here” link under the Powered by Linky Tools heading below.) Then come back here and enter them all into the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.  Easy!  And fun!

But there’s more!  Each author will be giving away more prizes and goodies on their websites. 

Enjoy this super romantic Valentine’s Day Blog Hop and Giveaway!  Good luck!


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Click here to view the links to other Love Historicals authors participating in the hop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 13

Courtship Through The Ages

By Iulia Pironea (http://500px.com/photo/58109660) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Iulia Pironea (http://500px.com/photo/58109660) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

These days, public displays of attraction are in our faces. Skin is bared, bodies and lips touch across every media from advertising to YouTube. But what was a couple a century or ten centuries ago allowed to do? How could a man show his lust and a woman show her willingness to be lusted after?

Our Love Historicals authors tell us about courtship through the ages!


Courting – Medieval Style – Anna Markland

In the 11th and 12th centuries, there was little courting as we know it today. Women often met their husbands for the first time at the altar, their fate having been decided by their parents in some cases before they were born. Marriage was for procreating heirs, not for love.

In several of my books, I describe betrothal ceremonies where the man and woman meet to agree to be married. We might call that an engagement. If these ceremonies took place at all, they were formal affairs. Often neither the noble nor his intended bride could write, and so they made their mark, witnessed by a scribe or scrivener, normally a religious of some kind.

It was considered inappropriate for unmarried men and women to be alone together. Women’s bodies were covered from head to toe, including the hair.

Yet this was an age when illegitimate children were the accepted norm. The notion of love in a marriage was laughable. The men of my medieval Norman family jokingly refer to the “curse of the Montbryces”. They consider themselves cursed because they are that most unusual of medieval things-noblemen in love with their wives.

King Henry I of England sired two legitimate children, but he openly flaunted almost twenty mistresses (most of them married to men in his court) and had untold numbers of royal bastards.

While it was acceptable, even expected, that a man would take a mistress, if a married woman so much as looked at another man…unless that other man was a king.

Visit Anna’s page


Detail from Half Moon ledger book, MS Am 2337, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Courting – Lakota style – Nancy Morse

Aside from chance meetings, brief conversations, and a well-aimed plum pit tossed at a girl to gain her attention, a young Lakota man a hundred years ago had little opportunity to get to know the girl of his dreams.To win her heart he might have obtained a love potion from the Elk Dreamer, a shaman skilled in such magic. But the love medicine was very powerful, and if not handled properly, it could make the young man very sick. So, most likely, he made himself as attractive as possible in his finest clothes and beaded moccasins and headed for the girl’s tipi with a blanket draped over his arm. Enfolded in the blanket, their heads covered from view, he and his heart’s desire could converse privately in public, shielded from the girl’s over-protective parents and curious onlookers. The custom was called ina aopemni inajinpi, or “standing wrapped in the blanket”. A popular girl might have several young men waiting for their turns beneath the blanket with her. She could, of course, refuse a man’s embrace or cut the “date” short which, in essence, gave her control overthe courting ritual. Because of close relationships within small bands, courtship was infrequent. It was only when many bands came together, as with the annual Sun Dance for instance, that courtships flourished. The practice continued into the reservation period, but faded in the late 19th century when young people began going away to boarding school. Today, although young Lakota lovers no longer stand wrapped in the blanket, the charming practice is kept alive through oral tradition and ledger drawings depicting scenes of the daily Plains life of their ancestors.

Visit Nancy’s page


Courtship in the Victorian Era – Christy Carlyle

Just as women today are sometimes advised not to “try too hard” or pursue a guy when he’s just not that into you, women during the Victorian Era were expected to let the man take the lead when it came to courtship. In most cases, men called on women, not the other way around. Etiquette books of the period encouraged young women to behave with modesty, propriety, and refrain from too much exuberance. Laughing too loudly, winking, or putting your hand on the person with whom you’re conversing would have been considered immodest. Ladies were expected to be chaperoned when they met with gentlemen or took a walk outside, but young people expected to conduct their courtship under the watchful eye of chaperones. Such a custom was meant to protect the young lady’s reputation. Only after a couple was formally engaged were they allowed a modicum of privacy and could hold hands, walk arm in arm, or even share a modest kiss.

Though flirtation was difficult within the constrained world of rules and chaperones, some guides provided ladies with tips on how to signal their interest, or disinterest, in a man through the use of their gloves, handkerchiefs, fans, or parasols. According to one guide, holding one’s gloves with fingertips down could indicate you desired to make a certain young man’s acquaintance. It seems young men would have had to do a good deal of studying the various secret languages of fans and gloves in order to read a young lady’s signals correctly. And you can easily imagine a comedy of errors in which the wrong gentleman receives a message that wasn’t intended for him at all. Interestingly, the etiquette manuals were quite vehement about being clear in one’s intentions and never leading a member of the opposite sex on or doing anything that might cause them to misconstrue your interest or disinterest. Some manuals provided wording examples of notes you could send to reject a suitor properly.

Another fascinating aspect of the Victorian period is that the companionable love match became a popular notion. Of course, couples fell in love in every era, but finding a beloved companion, a soul mate (to use a modern phrase), was never so much an objective of marriage as in the Victorian popular imagination. Victorian literature of the period contributed to the notion of the perfect romance, and such ideals actually made courtship a bit more challenging for young men and women. Conduct manuals, etiquette books, and newspaper articles advised women how to embody the feminine ideal and guides for men laid out just as many expectations for gentlemanly conduct. It was a lot to live up to! Still, despite the rules and rituals, Victorians couples managed to meet, fall in love, and marry. Indeed, the marriage rate and population/fertility rates increased in Britain throughout the Victorian period.

Visit Christy’s page


Courting in Charlemagne’s Empire – Jill Hughey

What courting?

Like many aristocratic societies, those in the upper echelons of the Carolingian Empire married to make connections, and often those matches were arranged by parents, with no regard for the youngsters’ preferences. This seems archaic now, but children were raised to expect such a marriage.

There is very little history left for us regarding the lower classes in the 800s. We know they lived in a much smaller world than the aristocrats, and may have at least been able to marry someone they knew. I like to imagine young couples meeting at mass or dancing together at a community holiday. However, small landholders or merchants might also benefit from arranging favorable alliances and probably would have followed the lead of the upper classes where possible.

So, as some of us anticipate cards or flowers for Valentines Day, and others might be getting together with good friends, we should remember the ideas of romance, courtship and marrying for love are not universal concepts. Entire empires  were built by couples who barely knew each other!

Visit Jill’s page


untitled (36)Our Valentine’s celebration is just beginning at Love Historicals. We’re having a blog hop and $100 gift card giveaway tomorrow, so make sure to come back, or subscribe to us so you never miss a thing!

Jan 28

Who Died? Notable Demises in History


By GO69 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

This may seem like a bleak topic. You can blame it on Charlemagne. The anniversary of his death is today, January 28th, and that got me thinking about how the deaths of some people change history, and that got me thinking about all the Love Historicals authors who know their time periods so well, and the many interesting facts they have in their back pockets.

So why not ask them? Who died in your time period and what is interesting about them? I’ve decided to present their answers in reverse chronological order: most recent first.





1877 – Crazy Horse – author Nancy Morse

There will always be debate about the Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse. What impact did he have on the outcome of the Battle of the Little Bighorn? Why was he such a private person? One thing, however, cannot be debated—his leadership. He was not the biggest or strongest of the Lakota fighting men, but what he lacked in size and strength he made up for in courage. He led by example, by being the first to meet any challenge. As one of his close Lakota friends said of him, “When he came on the field of battle, he made everybody brave.”

Yet he was a humble man who wore plain clothing and sacrificed his own ego and reputation for the sake of his people. He was a good husband, a loyal son and brother, and a loving father. In many ways he was like other Lakota men of his time. But it was his fierce defense of his people during a tumultuous time that made this unrelenting warrior unlike other men. He was driven by loyalty, anger and patriotism, qualities that made him a threat to his white enemies and led to his killing by bayonet at Fort Robinson in 1877. No known photograph of Crazy Horse exists, and his burial place is unknown. Perhaps his remains are buried among the clay buttes along the White River, or at Wounded Knee, or in the Pine Ridge hills. Wherever his bones lie, his spirit lives on in the best place for him to be—the hearts and minds of the Lakota people.

Visit Nancy Morse’s page


1868 – Jess Chisholm – Cynthia Woolf

Jesse Chisholm’s father was Scottish and his mother, Cherokee. He was an interpreter and aided in several treaties made between the Republic of Texas, the US government and the local Indian tribes. He was also in the Indian trade, where he traded manufactured goods for animal pelts and cattle.

During the Civil War he remained neutral. Fearing they would be massacred as an accident of the war, he led a band of refugees to the western part of the territory. The Indian trade dried up during the war and he moved to what is now Wichita so he could continue the trade.

During this time he built up what had been an old trail used mainly by the military and the Indians into a road capable of carrying heavily loaded wagons full of his goods for sale to the Indians. The road became known as Chisholm’s Trail. Later the folks who used it for the Texas to Kansas cattle drives renamed it The Chisholm Trail.

In 1868 he died and is buried at his last camp near Left Hand Spring, a well known watering hole in present day Oklahoma.

Visit Cynthia Woolf’s page



By Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867) (Own work, Yair Haklai on 21 August 2009) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867) (Own work, Yair Haklai on 21 August 2009) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

1861 – Prince Albert – author Lana Williams

Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria of England, died of typhoid fever in November of 1861. He was a well-educated man, of a serious nature and extremely hard working. Victoria was said to be instantly attracted to him during his visit to England in October of 1839. They were married in February of 1840. The couple was said to have a rather amorous love life, which is a bit shocking, considering how conservative Victorians were in general.

Prince Albert was said to be a devoted father with the exception of his oldest son, Albert Edward. A combination of worries about his son and a tendency to work far too much took a toll on his health, and he contracted typhoid fever.

The queen, only 42 when her husband died, did not take his death well and forever changed mourning by spending the rest of her days focused on her deceased husband. She ordered his rooms to be maintained to look exactly like they did when he was alive. The servants laid out his clothes every night on his bed and were also required to bring hot water to his dressing room for his morning shave, just as they did when he was alive.

Victoria wore black for the rest of her life. She stayed at Windsor Castle much of that time in seclusion, avoiding public appearances as much as possible, and became known as the ‘Widow of Windsor’.

Visit Lana Williams’s page



1087 – William the Conqueror – author Anna Markland

William, Duke of Normandy is one of the most important historical figures who ever lived. His impact on history cannot be understated. He changed the course of Britain’s destiny, and hence the world’s.

Yet he was born a bastard, inheriting his father’s dukedom at the age of seven. He was luck to survive the many plots against him, and eventually became king of England. Unfortunately, this noble figure died an ignoble death. During a military campaign in 1087 he fell forward heavily against the pommel of his saddle. Internal damage led to his death in agony at the age of 59.

His burial can only be called comical, although it’s doubtful those in attendance thought so. William’s wish was to be buried in the Abbey he had built in Caen. A citizen came forward to say his family had never been compensated for the land and objected to the burial. This was proven true and the man was paid. However, the worst was yet to come. William had become very obese. The tomb in which he was to be laid to rest was too small. During the efforts to shove his bloated body into it, his bowels burst and the stench was overwhelming.

A sad ending for a mighty man.

Visit Anna Markland’s page


Charlemagne-Albrecht_Dürer_047814 – Charlemagne – author Jill Hughey

Charlemagne died on January 28, 814, after four years of declining health. Born to rule the Franks, he’d been sole king since 771 when his younger brother died, and amassed such an impressive empire that in 800 the Pope named him Holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne crowned his son Louis as a co-emporer in 813. After Charlemagne’s death, the Carolingian laws for equal inheritance — along with the squabbling of Louis’s four sons — essentially doomed the vast empire. However, the eventual division of the empire into what we loosely know as France, Italy, and Germany; the wisdom of Charlemagne’s policies to unify divergent people, establish a common monetary policy, and support education; and the spread of the Church, laid the foundation for the Europe we know today. That is quite a legacy.

Visit Jill Hughey’s page

Your turn! What person’s death changed the course of history, and when did he or she die?

Next month, I’m going to ask the authors to describe how romantic interest could be appropriately expressed in the historical time of their books; i.e., the rules of courtship.


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!

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