Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
***All photos accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain -- NOT the property of History Undressed. If you'd like to obtain permission to use a picture from a post, please contact the author of the post.***

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Strike the Colors - Pirate Tactics

Pirates are known for their pillaging, plundering and rioting. But when chasing down ships under sail, pirates preferred tactical strategy over a bloodbath. What? That’s not the way they do it in Hollywood. Ah, but it’s true. Despite how pirates loved a good fight, most times they’d rather rumble in bar brawls than in a sea battle. The risk of losing limb or life was too high.

Once the pirates spotted a potential prize, they shadowed the quarry, following them for hours, and sometimes even days. They did this to determine several things—wh
at country the ship sailed under, where the ship was headed, how fast she sailed, and if the vessel was well-armed.  How did they determine all this? By being badass pirates, naturally.  The seas they hunted were their business. They weren’t just experienced sailors. They were knowledgeable of the trade routes, the going rate for goods, island politics, and they had rats, er, informants staked in every port. But that’s not all.


Armed with this intelligence, the pirate crew voted on whether they wanted to take a ship or let her pass.  Yes, they voted. Was the ship a better bucket than the one they sailed? Did she carry supplies and provisions the pirates needed? Perhaps she carried something, or someone, of value. Maybe even treasure! Should the pirate crew decide a ship was a worthy prize, they still didn’t attack. Engaging in battle was the last thing they wanted. What good was a prize if she was damaged, or worse, sinking? And no one wanted to die, right? Pirates relied on the elements of speed, surprise, and gotchas!

First, they might show their colors, meaning hoisting their jolly roger. If that didn’t get the knees a-knockin’, they’d fire a single warning shot across the ship’s bow. You’d think that would be enough. Unfortunately, there were many stubborn fools. A pity to them. Pirates would then resort to vapouring techniques meant to terrorize victims into surrendering. Fierce shouts and fearsome threats, lively battle music, and brandishing weapons were usually quite effective. Giving up the goods spared lives. But those who resisted, well, they were shown no quarter.

If you were encountered by a pirate ship, when would you surrender? Or would you fight until the death?

About the Author
Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Video of the Week: Scotland from Above - Isle of Skye to Ben Nevis

Enjoy this great documentary with some amazing views!!!




Check out Eliza Knight's Upcoming releases!

Taken by the Highlander (in the Captured by a Celtic Warrior Anthology)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HIGHLANDER UNDONE: Excerpt of a first kiss


Happy Hunk Day :) 


Today, I'm sharing with you an excerpt of Moira and Rory's first kiss in this tale, from my new release, Highlander Undone! Good thing its winter, because you just might need to step outside to cool off...

When time pulls you in so many directions,
which arrow of Fate will you choose?
© 2016 Eliza Knight

EXCERPT:


“My love life is none of your concern,” Moira seethed.
“Ye love him?”
She groaned, remembering the one annoying trait of his that he took everything so literally. “That is also none of your business.”
Rory stepped forward, one muscular leg in front of the other, the rising sun hidden behind his incredible height and the air between them being sucked away before she could breathe.
“What if I make it my business?” His voice had grown deeper, more gravelly, the way it had right before he used to drag her toward his hard body and kiss her until she couldn’t stand up straight.
Moira stepped away, trying to catch her breath. She had to think, had to remember why she’d stalked out here in the first place instead of calling the cops, but there he was, the heat of his body flush to hers, his fingers sliding behind her neck, and his mouth descending. She could do barely more than tilt her head back, part her lips, watch as he closed the distance between them and finally he was kissing her. Every inch of her screamed in revelry, in merriment for what she’d dreamt about the past three years.
The scent of him, spicy and male; the taste of him earthy and sensual. His tongue slicked over hers. She couldn’t help but touch him, press her hands to his chest, breathe him in deep. He groaned, deepening the kiss, and Moira answered with a sound at the back of her throat that was a half-moan, half-whimper.
He pressed her back against the door, his body enveloping her in warmth and seduction. His arousal, thick and hard, pressed to the crux of her thighs.
And that was when she remembered she wanted to get away from him, that he’d up and disappeared after making her believe he’d loved her for over three hundred and sixty-five days. Moira pressed her hands to his chest and pushed.
“Stop,” she gasped.
Rory dragged his mouth from hers, but didn’t let go; he touched his forehead to hers. “Anything for ye, love.” His voice was husky, his dark eyes hooded, desire seeping through his stunning dark gaze.

HIGHLANDER UNDONE © 2016 Eliza Knight

ABOUT THE BOOK:


The USA Today Bestselling Highland Bound series continues in Book Five -- Highlander Undone. 

Continue Ewan and Shona's tale... And find out what happened to Rory! 

With Logan and Emma away from the castle, Shona and Ewan are left in charge. The passion of their honeymoon is interrupted by an unexpected visitor seeking revenge on Rory MacLeod, who leaves them in desperate need to find the missing man. Unbeknownst to them, Rory has been transported to the future, where he is reunited with his long lost love, Moira, twin sister to Shona. Their attraction to each other still burns bright. As fate would have it, the four of them end up on a journey through the Highlands in an attempt to clear Rory's name, and solve the mystery behind Moira and Shona's birth. Passion. Love. Adventure. Danger. And a little bit of humor.

Highlander Undone

Amazon
B&N
ITunes
Kobo

Check out Eliza Knight's Upcoming Releases!


Releasing February 16th!
Taken by the Highlander
(in the Captured by a Celtic Warrior Anthology)

Releasing March 31st!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Brief History of the Condom by Kathleen Bitner Roth

Welcome back to History Undressed, our regular first Tuesday blogger and author, Kathleen Bittner Roth! Today she's taking us on a fascinating little jaunt with the history of condoms!


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONDOM

by Kathleen Bitner Roth


Condoms show up in contemporary romance novels these days as an integral part of the love scene. The term “No glove, no love,” seems to appear everywhere. As it turns out, my research on the condom indicates that we’ve been chanting little mantras like that for thousands of years.  

The Grotte des Combarrelles Caves in France have paintings on the walls dating back to 11,000 BC showing the use of condoms. As far back as the 1400’s the Chinese used condoms made of oiled silk paper or lamb intestines. In the 1500’s an Italian physician tested linen sheaths dried in chemicals on a few hundred men. Not one man tested contracted what was at the time a fatal disease. The good doctor pretty much saved the lives of those lusty Italian men at a time when syphilis ran rampant. 
Historians have come to the conclusion that even though condoms in one form or another have been in use for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the early 1600’s when people figured out that the condom not only prevented disease, it also prevented pregnancy. A Catholic theologian, Leonardus Lessius, condemned the condom as immoral, saying it not only prevented birth, it also encouraged men to become immoral—curiously, that debate goes on today in some churches and sectors.
Came the Renaissance and animal intestines and bladders treated with lye or sulpher were added to the linen variety which were treated with chemicals. This turned out to be much better than the Dutch who used leather condoms that covered the entire penis providing for little sensation. Or what about the Japanese who used animal horns over the glans? Ouch! 


At any rate, the argument that the use of condoms was immoral and sinful raged on while use of the condom grew in popularity. By the 1700’s, they came in various sizes and shapes and were being sold in pubs, theaters, markets and other public places throughout Europe and Russia. Unfortunately, they were often rinsed out and reused and oftentimes lent to a friend or two which did nothing to prevent the spread of disease. By the early 1800’s, for the first time, promotion of contraceptives to the lower classes took place.
Eventually, the use of the condom found its way to America, but they were expensive, so at first they were was used only by the upper class. More and more people began to advocate for birth control however, and in 1839 Charles Goodyear invented the rubber condom. It was thick and heavy at the time and didn’t provide for much sensation to the male, but it did prevent disease and pregnancy. 


Ironically, Feminists of this time period wholly disapproved of the condom. They wanted birth control to be organized and controlled only by women. Today, both partners are held responsible.
In the latter part of the 1800’s, the German military began promoting condom use for their soldiers.  In 1912 a German chemist, Dr. Fromm, developed a new method in the manufacture of the condom that gave it texture and was thin enough to give the male the best sensation of anything made to date. The condom he developed was called Fromm’s Act, and the product is still being manufactured. In fact, the brand is one of the most popular condom brands sold in Germany today.


Around 1920 the sales of condoms doubled worldwide, and in 1927, the American military began distributing condoms to soldiers as standard issue. Lo and behold, soldiers soon discovered many uses for the condom. They used them to cover rifle barrels and muzzles as a waterproofing method; they waterproofed underwater demolition with them and stored corrosive materials in them. 
In 1957 lubricated condoms came on the market. Until then, jelly products were used. When the AIDS epidemic hit in the 1980’s condom sales skyrocketed. Today, condoms are the most popular form of contraception and protection from sexually transmitted disease.


Kathleen Bittner Roth thrives on creating passionate stories featuring characters who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Find Kathleen on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest and www.kathleenbittnerroth.com.


THE SEDUCTION OF SARAH MARKS is book one in Those Magnificent Malvern series: When a proper Victorian miss awakens next to a handsome stranger, she must rely on the man's benevolence as she struggles to regain her memory and hold onto her heart. BUY LINK
PORTRAIT OF A FORBIDDEN LADY is book two in Those Magnificent Malvern series and is due to release in May 2016 (cover not yet available): A young widow returns to her childhood home after a forced absence and faces her first and only love, but despite their powerful attraction, danger compels her to remain his forbidden lady. 

CELINE, book one in the When a Heart Dares series, is on sale now! BUY LINK

Monday, February 1, 2016

Video of the Week: Scotland Revealed in Winter

Soooo beautiful!




Check out Eliza Knight's New and Upcoming Releases!

Highlander Undone

Amazon
B&N
ITunes
Kobo

Releasing February 16th!
Taken by the Highlander (in the Captured by a Celtic Warrior Anthology)

Releasing March 31st!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Release Day: HIGHLANDER UNDONE! (Plus Excerpt)

It's finally here!!! So excited for you all to read the next installment in the Highland Bound series! In the last book, Highlander's Touch, we learned about Rory, but we never got to meet him! It's time to find out where he disappeared to!

Check out another fun new excerpt from the book!

ABOUT THE BOOK:



The USA Today Bestselling Highland Bound series continues in Book Five -- Highlander Undone. 

Continue Ewan and Shona's tale... And find out what happened to Rory! 

With Logan and Emma away from the castle, Shona and Ewan are left in charge. The passion of their honeymoon is interrupted by an unexpected visitor seeking revenge on Rory MacLeod, who leaves them in desperate need to find the missing man. Unbeknownst to them, Rory has been transported to the future, where he is reunited with his long lost love, Moira, twin sister to Shona. Their attraction to each other still burns bright. As fate would have it, the four of them end up on a journey through the Highlands in an attempt to clear Rory's name, and solve the mystery behind Moira and Shona's birth. Passion. Love. Adventure. Danger. And a little bit of humor.

View of Edinburgh from my room--plus a little bubbly :)
© 2016 Eliza Knight

Excerpt:



Present Day

Everything was loud. Very loud.
Rory MacLeod resisted the urge to cover his ears as he slowly stood and turned in a circle.
The smells… They were from another world. Smoke, but not like that of the peat fires he was used to. Cooking, but oddly oily. And ale. He smelled that, too.
Searing pain seeped through Rory’s head, from one end to the next. He reached up to touch his temples, rubbing at the sensitive flesh covering his skull.
What in bloody hell happened?
He blinked opened his eyes to see that the world was dark, but not.
The sky above his head was black, dotted with a few sparkling stars and the occasional wisp of a cloud. But it should be completely dark, and yet the world seemed lit up by lights.
Shite.
He was back.
Suddenly on alert to what he thought might have happened, the pain in Rory’s head grew, but he shoved it aside. Leaping to his feet, his leather boots thunked on the stone walkway. He reached for his sword at his hip, but it was gone, and he sort of remembered having yanked it from the scabbard when he’d first started to travel, believing he was under attack.
With a glance up and down the street, he took in the looming city buildings, and the lights that shone artificially inside and out. People were laughing and chatting. Carriages—nay automobiles?—whizzed past. There was an occasionally shouted, “Wanker!”
Turning slowly, he made out Edinburgh Castle, lit up in blue on the north side of the Royal Mile.
Dressed in his traditional Highland garb, he wouldn’t be out of place with the other men who paraded themselves for these oddly modern people wearing the strangest clothes he still couldn’t fully fathom—and this his second journey here. Their limbs were covered in fabric. It was neither hot nor cold.
JourneyLord, but that word made it sound so normal. So usual for a man from the year 1541 to pass through time and land here, on the cold stone, five hundred some odd years in the future.

HIGHLANDER UNDONE © 2016 Eliza Knight.


Want to read more??? 

Order your copy today from one of the below etailers!

Highlander Undone

Amazon
B&N
ITunes
Kobo

Check out Eliza Knight's New and Upcoming Releases!


Releasing February 16th!
Taken by the Highlander
(in the Captured by a Celtic Warrior Anthology)

Releasing March 31st!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Top Ten Reasons Time Travel Would Be Awesome!

One of the reasons I like to write historical fiction so much, is because it allows me to theoretically time travel. Yes, if time travel were real, I'd be ALL over it. I would miss the internet (because I'm probably addicted), my cell phone, hospitals, showers and deodorant. BUT I would get to SEE so much that smelly armpits, the threat of death and no connection to the rest of the world would be worth it. For a few days. Then I'd have to go back home until the next time...

Me at Edinburgh Castle--pretending I was in another era!

Here's my: Top Ten Reasons Time Travel Would Be Awesome!


10. To see the land before it was industrialized and artificial light brightened the night sky.
9. To see what ancient grains are actually supposed to taste like.
8. To see a king or queen riding in procession through the town.
7. To wear the clothes!
6. To taste their wine!
5. To see the castles the way they really were.
4. To meet William Wallace, King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, Joan of Arc, and every other amazing person that has changed history.
3. To see blackbirds jump out of a pie.
2. To attend a feast and dance and drink and be merry!
1. To experience life the way it was back then, and to meet the people I spend my days with.


The USA Today Bestselling Highland Bound series continues in Book Five -- Highlander Undone.

Continue Ewan and Shona's tale... And find out what happened to Rory!

With Logan and Emma away from the castle, Shona and Ewan are left in charge. The passion of their honeymoon is interrupted by an unexpected visitor seeking revenge on Rory MacLeod, who leaves them in desperate need to find the missing man. Unbeknownst to them, Rory has been transported to the future, where he is reunited with his long lost love, Moira, twin sister to Shona. Their attraction to each other still burns bright. As fate would have it, the four of them end up on a journey through the Highlands in an attempt to clear Rory's name, and solve the mystery behind Moira and Shona's birth. Passion. Love. Adventure. Danger. And a little bit of humor.

Highlander Undone

Amazon
B&N
ITunes
Kobo

Check out Eliza Knight's New and Upcoming Releases!


Releasing February 16th!
Taken by the Highlander
(in the Captured by a Celtic Warrior Anthology)

Releasing March 31st!