Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

All New! My Lady Viper on Amazon Today!

Happy Release Day!!





When Anne Boleyn falls to the executioner’s ax on a cold spring morning in 1536, Anne Seymour knows her family faces peril. As alliances shift and conspiracies multiply, the Seymours plot to establish their place in the treacherous court of King Henry VIII, where a courtier’s fate is decided by the whims of a hot-tempered and fickle monarch. Lady Anne’s own sister-in-law, Jane Seymour, soon takes Anne Boleyn’s place as queen. But if Jane cannot give King Henry a son, history portends that she, too, will be executed or set aside—and her family with her. In desperation, Lady Anne throws herself into the intoxicating intrigue of the Tudor court, determined to ensure the success of the new queen’s marriage and the elevation of the Seymour family to a more powerful position. Soon her machinations earn her a reputation as a viper in a den of rabbits. In a game of betrayal and favor, will her family’s rise be worth the loss of her soul?


Click now to purchase!
Amazon

Friday, June 26, 2015

Words in History

Then and Now Definition of Words in History
  • hymen
    • then-  fraternal greeting
    • now-  membrane that partially closes the opening of the vagina
  • deflowering
    • then-  weeding done by an incompetent gardner
    • now-  deprive of her virginity
  • hilarity
    • then-  calm, joy
    • now-  extreme amusement
  • guy
    • then-  a person of grotesque appearance
    • now- a normal man

  • manufacture
    • then-  to make by hand
    • now- to produce on large scale using machinery


Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 22nd thru June 28th

What Happened This Week in History?
  • June 22, 1970-  Voting age lowered to 18
  • June 23, 1683-  William Penn signs friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape indians in Pennsylvania, only treaty "not sworn to, nor broken"
  • June 24, 1509-  Henry VIII was crowned King of England
  • June 25, 1984- The soundtrack "Purple Rain" was released 5 weeks ahead of the film
  • June 26, 1870-  the first section of the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ was opened to the public
  • June 27, 1929-  Scientists at Bell Laboratories in NY revealed a system for transmitting television pictures
  • June 28, 1997-  Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield's ear after 3 rounds of then WBA heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, June 19, 2015

Words in History



Then & Now Definition of Words Used in History

  • hospital
    • then: large house on road that was used to entertain travelers
    • now: institution providing medical and surgical treatment
  • last
    • then:  highest, utmost
    • now:  coming after all others
  • investment
    • then:  putting clothes on
    • now:  the action of investing money
  • manage
    • then:  the age of which one became a man
    • now:  be in charge of
  • basement
    • then:  toilet
    • now:  floor of building partly or entirely below ground level

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 15th thru June 21st



What Happened This Week in History?

  • June 15, 1667-  first human blood transfusion is administered
  • June 16, 1963-  Valentine Tereshkova became the first woman in space
  • June 17, 1885- Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard a French ship
  • June 18, 1682-  William Penn founds Philadelphia, US
  • June 19, 2012-  The Maroon 5 single "One More Night" was released in the US
  • June 20, 1950-  Yankees Joe DiMaggio's makes his first 2,000th hit
  • June 21, 1893-  First Ferris Wheel premiere's in Chicago's Columbian Exposition

Friday, June 12, 2015

Guest author Regan Walker


  

Welcome to History Undressed guest author, Regan Walker talking about Masquerade Balls. 

 We are happy to host her today on the blog!


Masquerade Balls by Regan Walker


My new Georgian romance To Tame the Wind begins in 1780 as the heroine, Claire Donet, a convent student in Paris, sneaks out one night to see a bal masque, a masquerade ball given by one of the convent’s benefactors.



For the first time, Claire, then sixteen, glimpses a glittering ballroom where men and women are dancing the Menuet de la Cour attired in elaborate costumes beneath crystal chandeliers. Here are her thoughts:

The dancing men and women were costumed in what she could only assume they had a mind to be, and not what they otherwise were. Though she was certain all were from the aristocracy, they were dressed as milkmaids, shepherdesses, jesters, pirates and a few Persian kings. It was as if the characters in the fantastic stories her mother read to her as a child had come alive.
To one side of the dancers, a devil dressed in black conversed with a cardinal in scarlet and a woman attired as a trousered hussar. The red pelisse with its gold braid worn over blue trousers might have been tailored for the woman’s curves, but Claire recognized the uniform all the same.
Many wore masks, from simple black to those more elaborate, some even bejeweled and adorned with feathers.
Her heart raced at the pageantry of it. If only she could join them.

While the earliest record of a Carnival celebration might be that in a 12th century Roman account of the pope and upper class Roman citizens watching a parade through the city, the word “masquerade” meaning “a ball at which the guests wear masks and other disguises” seems to be Italian in origin and dates from the 16th century. In any event, by the 17th and 18th centuries, masquerade balls had become popular throughout Europe. John Moore, a Scottish physician and writer, in his memoirs published in 1779, described masquerade balls held in Brunswick, Germany when he visited that city.



John James Heidegger, a Swiss count who arrived in Italy in 1708, is credited with having introduced the Venetian fashion of a semi-public masquerade ball to London in the early 18th century, with the first being held at Haymarket Opera House. London's public gardens, like Vauxhall Gardens, refurbished in 1732, and Ranelagh Gardens, provided optimal outdoor settings where characters, masked and in fancy dress, mingled with the crowds.

According to Masquerade and Civilization: The Carnivalesque in Eighteenth-century by Terry Castle,

“The Eighteenth century was an ‘age of disguise,’ the masquerade—with its sensuous, exquisite duplicities, its shimmering liquid play on the themes of self-preservation and self-concealment—must take its place among the exemplary phenomena of the period.”



As my heroine noted, those attending often delighted in donning the disguise of someone very unlike their normal role. Of course, there were always those who merely wore fancy, elaborate gowns or dressed up like a character from history or literature. But the more outrageous ones would be those where the costume spoke of the opposite of the person, as for example, a courtesan attired as a nun.

At such a ball, there might be a supper and, of course, much wine. The food would be served after midnight and likely cold. A masquerade ball attended by the Prince of Wales held in May of 1783 included cold “Chickens, Fowls, Lamb, Lobsters, collared Eels, and various Meats” as well as “tarts, blanche mange, ices, and other confectionary.” The wines served were “Champagne, Claret, Madeira, Port, and Lisbon."

 

In my story, the heroine has eyes only for the hero, an English privateer, attending in disguise:

A flash of shimmering gold cape swirled around broad shoulders. A gilded mask of an eagle barely concealed long, blond hair tied back at his nape. At his side hung a sword in a golden sheath. His was the brilliance of the sun compared to everyone else’s candle, a mythical creature condescending to join the parade of mortals now moving in slow cadence. Tall and well-muscled, he moved with sinuous grace through the steps of the dance as his lips curved in a brilliant smile.
For the first time, her heart sped at the presence of a man, the sensation so unfamiliar her hand flew to her breast to rub the pounding spot. Oh, he was handsome, this golden one.
Who could he be?

“A sea adventure like no other, a riveting romance!”  NY Times bestselling author Shirlee Busbee

Paris 1782…AN INNOCENT IS TAKEN

All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell's schooner, the English privateer decided to take the one thing his enemy held most dear... her.

A BATTLE IS JOINED

The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire's father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.


Other Links:

Twitter: @RegansReview (https://twitter.com/RegansReview)

I also have a Pinterest storyboard for the book here: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/to-tame-the-wind-by-regan-walker/

Words in History


Then & Now Definition of Words Used in History
  • backlog
    • then:  biggest log in the fire
    • now:  a pile of work you still need to do
  • hook up
    • then:  getting some kind of device connection
    • now:  finding someone to have sex with
  • cheater:
    • then:  office appointed to look after king's land lapsing to the Crown on the death of the owner interstate without heirs
    • now: dishonest person
  • pretty:
    • then:  crafty and cunning
    • now:  good-looking
  • terrible:
    • then:  inspiring great fear
    • now:  excessive or extreme in bad way



Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 8th thru June 14th


What Happened This Week in History?
  • June 8, 1786- Mr. Hall, NYC first advertised commercially made ice cream
  • June 9, 1989- Prince released the song "Batdance"
  • June 10, 1944-  Fifteen year old Joe Nuxhall was youngest to pitch in major league baseball
  • June 11, 1895-  Charles E Duryea patents a gas driven automobile
  • June 12, 1942- Anne Frank received a diary for her birthday.  She used this diary to record events, while she was in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
  • June 13, 1983-  US space probe Pioneer 10 became the first human-made object to leave the central solar system

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Giveaway and Cover Reveal!!!



I am so excited to share with you the new cover for MY LADY VIPER! The book has been revised, rewritten, majorly improved and is going to be re-released on June 30th this year with Lake Union!

ANNNNDDDD!!! They are doing a 20 print book giveaway RIGHT NOW!

Go check it out! And enter to win!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/140600-my-lady-viper

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

WHO WAS THAT FIERY SPANISH DANCER? by Kathleen Bittner Roth



Welcome back to History Undressed our regular first Tuesday blogger, Kathleen Bittner Roth! Today she's written a fascinating post for us about a Spanish dancer. Enjoy!

Lola Montez

WHO WAS THAT FIERY SPANISH DANCER?

by Kathleen Bittner Roth


While writing Celine, book one in my When Hearts Dare series, I had a scene where the hero and heroine clashed over another woman. The woman couldn’t be anyone they knew. I wanted someone who stood out above all others and thought nothing of brazenly making a play for the hero. The name Lola Montez popped into my mind. I vaguely recalled the name and thought she was some kind of famous Spanish dancer (I was right). I had no idea if she’d ever been to America, let alone New Orleans, or if she’d even lived during the time period of my story (1853). Since I was writing a first draft, I figured I would do the research later and find the right woman to fit my story. To my utter surprise, not only had Lola Montez toured America, she’d passed through New Orleans one time only—the very month and year I had written her into my story! 


Lola as a dancer
So who was this mysterious lady that caused so much trouble between my hero, heroine, and the hero’s cousin? It didn’t take long into research to learn that this Spanish dancer was no more Spanish than was the Queen of England.

Lola Montez was a stage name for Maria Eliza Gilbert, the Countess of Landsfeld! 

How did this woman, born in Ireland in 1821, become an exotic dancer and courtesan? And titled?

Lola, or Eliza, as they called her in her youth, was barely two-years-old when her father, an army ensign, was dispatched to India and took his family along. He died of cholera shortly thereafter. Lola’s mother quickly remarried. Lola’s stepfather adored her, spoiled her, and let her run wild in the streets of India. She became such a handful, she was sent to her stepfather’s family in Scotland, but they couldn’t control the wild little girl from India, so they sent her to an Aunt in England. Hot tempered, uninhibite
d Lola was soon sent to a private boarding school.


At sixteen, Lola eloped and ended up back in India, where, five years later, the couple separated. That’s when Mrs. Eliza James changed her name to Lola Montez and became a popular Spanish dancer. Unfortunately, she was recognized and a scandal ensued which prevented her from returning to England.

Scandal wasn’t about to stop this feisty woman now known for her beauty and quick temper. She departed Calcutta for the Continent where she became a courtesan. In Paris, she met and had an affair with the famous Hungarian composer, Franz Liszt, who introduced her to not only a Bohemian life but to other men, one of which was Alexandre Dumas with whom she carried on a torrid affair while still the mistress of a high-profile newspaper man. When he died, Lola left Paris for Munich.

Not long after, Lola became the mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. He was so smitten with her that he gave her the title Countess of Landsfeld, and granted her a large annuity, much to the chagrin of the King’s people. From 1846 to 1848, Lola seemed to be the power behind the throne until the King abdicated and Lola fled Bavaria for England.



Once again, she married, but the terms of her divorce from her first husband did not allow remarriage so the newlyweds left England for Spain where her husband allegedly drowned. Alone, Lola sailed to the U.S. where she became popular as a dancer and actress from 1851 to 1853, exactly when I needed her for my story! That year, Lola Montez left the U.S. to perform in Australia, where she married yet again, only to be divorced yet again. Finally, she returned to the U.S. where she passed away at age thirty-nine in Brooklyn, New York in 1861.
Lola

If you’re a writer of historical romance reading this account of a scandalous Lola Montez, don’t let anyone tell you that ladies of that era would not do or act in certain ways. Throughout history there were always those who defied society’s rules and danced to their own tune. Lola Montez, Countess Landsfeld was one of those women.


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.
 

Check out Kathleen's list of books on Amazon!