Sunday, October 19, 2008


Share the Love


Maya Rodale and Ann Bleakley, two historical romance writers, have started Share the Love to bring romance novels to women in crisis.

Share the Love"After all,' says Maya, "they are not merely love stories and are certainly not rescue fantasies. They are rich narratives of women overcoming conflict, discovering their own power, falling in love, and being rewarded with optimistic, emotionally satisfying endings. And shouldn’t all women enjoy the same treasure of words filled with inspiration and empowerment—or, if nothing else, a pleasant diversion from day to day life?"

"Mass-market paperbacks are considered to be inexpensive," says Ann, "but are still not in the budget for everyone who might enjoy them. How better to encourage literacy—an incredibly valuable skill that benefits not just women but the families they support—than by providing engaging reading material? Doesn’t everyone deserve the pleasure of a good story with a happy-ending?"

Do you want to Share the Love? Here’s how you can participate:
1. Get a box (USPS turns out to be cheapest).
2. Start filling it with romance novels you’ve read, but don’t imagine re-reading.
3. Send the box to one of the following locations.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


Regency Gowns by Kalen Hughes


Exciting news! I am thrilled to announce that author Kalen Hughes, an expert on historical fashion, is leading detailed workshops and discussions of extant (i.e. real, not reproduction) Regency Fashions on Candice Hern's message board. Did I mention, tons of pictures???

First up: Round Gowns.

Added 10/17:
2. Apron-Front Gowns
3. Fabrics


Added 10/18:
4. Getting dressed (undergarment layers to outer dress)
5. Definition of extant


Please stop by and take a look. Kalen is also willing to answer any questions, so if you're curious about Regency fashion, take advantage of this opportunity to pick an expert's brain!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Happy Birthday, Noah Webster!


Cacography as documented in its first use in Thomas Blount's Glossographia (1656) refers to bad spelling or ill writing. This is something that lexicographers for eons before and eons after tried to correct in the unwashed masses.

Noah WebsterOne such living in the American counterpart of the Georgian-Regency period was Noah Webster (1758–1843). Another admonisher was wordsmith Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790).

When Webster was ten years old, Franklin published his unpopular Scheme for a New Alphabet and a Reformed Mode of Spelling, which recommended that the alphabet be remodeed. Under Franklin's plan, six new letters would be added, and all thirty-two would function phonetically. Franklin argued, "As our alphabet now stands, the bad spelling, or what is called so, is generally the best."

Noah WebsterYears later, Webster offered a simplified solution but, like Franklin's proposal, it was roundly ridiculed and rejected.

Webster did, however, pioneer the deletion of unnecessary letters from certain words, such as the 'U' from neighbour, colour, and honour and the 'K' from musick, publick, and mechanick, thereby setting American English irrevocably on a path divergent from its parent language.

"England and America are two nations separated by a common language." —George Bernard Shaw

RomanistasSo, Romanistas...
Which other words did Webster set out to "improve"? Which ones are you favs?


Sunday, October 12, 2008


Super Tuesday Loot


September 30 was Super Tuesday in Romancelandia. Many of 2008's hotly anticipated books by mega stars were all released on one single day. Life doesn't get better than this for a committed reader.

My favorite bookseller manages a Borders in a town 30 miles away. It opens at 10 o'clock every day. I was there at 9:53am that morning. While I wasn't quite spreadeagled across the locked double glass doors, perhaps I was wearing a pitiful expression. She bustled right out and opened early.

"Glad you came out here today, Keira," said Andrea. "Half your list of favorite authors have books out today. Check the bookshelf behind the counter where I've set those aside for you."

"Andrea, you're a marvel," I enthused. "In addition to the ones on your list, I have a few new-to-me authors to try and anything else you can convince me is worth my reading time." This was in the days before the economic crash. My reading addiction knew no bounds.

This is what I picked up...

SCANDALIZING THE TON by Diane Gaston
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT by Candice Hern et al
A HOMESPUN REGENCY CHRISTMAS by Amanda McCabe et al
SEDUCE ME BY SUNRISE by Lisa Kleypas
THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM by Julia Quinn
MR. CAVENDISH, I PRESUME by Julia Quinn
SECRET DESIRES OF A GENTLEMAN by Laura Lee Guhrke
PRICE of DESIRE by Jo Goodman
THE WILD SIGHT by Loucinda McGary
IRREVERSIBLE by Liz Maverick
WOLF TO THE SLAUGHTER by Ruth Rendell

In addition to...

My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley
Secrets of the Night by Jo Beverley
Unmasked by Nicola Cornick
Warrior's Lady by Gerri Russell
The Scarlet Spy by Andrea Pickens
One Forbidden Evening by Jo Goodman
A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith
Lucky Charm by Carly Phillips
The Art of Romance: Harlequin Mills & Boon Cover Designs

I've finished reading the first six of the seventeen already. OMG! Swoon-worthy good. CAVENDISH #1 is on the NYT bestsellers' list, SUNRISE #2, and NIGHT #20.

RomanistasSo, Romanistas...
What books have you read this month? Is your reading 'habit' just as out-of-control as mine? (Tell me I'm not alone!)