Goodreads Giveaway of THE ALOHA SPIRIT!

on July 9, 2020

“The poignant and atmospheric tale captures the pre–World War II diversity of Hawaiian culture,

a melting pot of religions and ethos… Evocative and engaging,

with a protagonist determined to keep the aloha spirit in her heart.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

ALOHA!

Win a copy of fellow Paper Lantern Writer Linda Ulleseit’s novel THE ALOHA SPIRIT and get it BEFORE it’s released August 18!

The Giveaway is here at Goodreads!

 

My Favorite Historical ZOOM Backgrounds

on June 28, 2020

We’re all on ZOOM these days, right?

I ZOOM in from my home office, which unlike everyone else’s beautifully-bookshelfed office, is really not that attractive. (No, I’m not going to provide photographic proof!)

So I often use the ZOOM virtual backdrop option and these are my favorite backgrounds so far:

Since I didn’t have a beautifully-bookshelfed background naturally, I went looking for my own bookshelf image. I found it in The Library at Edith Wharton’s The Mount.

 

When I feel like I want to be outside, I choose this Canal Street postcard. It’s not quite FANNY NEWCOMB’s 1889 New Orleans, but it’s close. 


Those are my two favorite virtual backgrounds. What’s yours? 

Lizzie Borden Acquitted!

on June 20, 2020

It happened TODAY in 1893.

Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders of her father & step-mother.

For a look at what happened “after Lizzie Borden took an axe”, here’s the podcast of my ghost story “Mr. Borden does not quite remem–

Thanks again, Lorie Ham, Kelly Ventura, & Kings River Life!

FREE First Chapters Collection from Paper Lantern Writers!

on June 15, 2020

I’m very pleased to announce that Paper Lantern Writers–a Historical Fiction Writers Collective that I belong to–is launching a store!

Our initial volume offers readers a sneak peek into the various historical worlds of our current members. Download Paper Lantern Writers’ FIRST CHAPTERS: VOLUME ONE on either a .epub platform or a .pdf platform for free!

Included is MY Gilded Age mystery FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER, C.V. Lee’s medieval work-in-progress ROSES AND REBELS, Kathryn Pritchett’s 19th century polygamous homesteader work-in-progress THE CASKET MAKER’S OTHER WIFE, Katie Stine/Edie Cay’s Regency historical romance A LADY’S REVENGE, and Linda Ulleseit’s 19th century Californian family saga UNDER THE ALMOND TREES.

Visit us at www.paperlanternwriters.com/store to download!

What She Wore…Wednesday March 11, 1914

on March 11, 2020

From the Washington (District of Columbia) Times…New Spring Silk Frocks!

“Choose from materials such as taffeta silk, charmeuse, and silk crepe in styles and colors suitable for street or evening wear. Among the colors are new blues, soft greens, wisteria, tango, elephant’s breath, burgundy: also the pastel shades for evening wear.”

Tango?

From the Pantene website (2012): “Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward. ‘Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it.’”

What She Wore…Wednesday February 26, 1908

on February 25, 2020

Fresh from New York City (and The Evening World newspaper), it’s Bloomingdales, selling $18 & $20 Taffeta and Satin Foulard Dresses at – – – $10.75!

 

 

What She Wore…Wednesday February 19, 1947

on February 25, 2020

Ladies! Here’s a Well-Cut Frock from the Fort Myers, Florida News-Press!

“Here’s a most attractive tub frock with just the practical features you need for workaday wear: Front-button closing, easy fullness below the shoulder yoke, action back, big pockets and a sash to fit the waistline.”

Just in time for Saint Valentine’s Day…Stinky Vinegar Valentines!

on February 14, 2020

The feast of Saint Valentine of Rome was designated in the year 496.

The date? February 14th, of course.

About 900 years later, Saint Valentine and his feast day (already celebrated with food, drink, jousting, poetry, singing, and dancing) somehow became associated with romance, passion, and love.

And so began the need to send Saint Valentine’s greetings—letters, cards, and books that were chock full of flowers, hearts, rhyming verse, sly suggestions and outright innuendos, and plump cherubs, puppies, and babies!

During the 19th century—when my historical mystery Fanny Newcomb & the Irish Channel Ripper is set—cards and postcards celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day reached a new height of romantic expression.

But in the mid-19th century and continuing into the mid-20th century, many valentines took a darker, meaner, and even stinkier turn for the worse.

What? You haven’t heard of Vinegar Valentines?

Bitter, caustic, and often downright nasty, Vinegar Valentines were created to offend and insult the recipient.

Vinegar Valentines consisted of two elements: first of all, they had graphics that included slimy animals like snakes and slugs or grotesque caricatures of men and women. Secondly, these missives included a rude rhyme or mean quotation.

And although my Fanny Newcomb would never ever, ever-ever-ever send out a Vinegar Valentine, I still thought you’d like to see a few stinkers for yourself.

The Serpent

The Saleslady

The Suffragette

Mr. Bald Head

(and I admit it! I’m glad that there were Vinegar Valentines for men also!)


 

The Surgeon

(A Civil War Vinegar Valentine)

 

Fortunately, Vinegar Valentines went out of style long ago, and today I can wish you a very happy Saint Valentine’s Day with a sweet postcard full of hearts and happy thoughts!

Happy Valentines Day from FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER!