WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Haberdasher of Nouns and Pronouns

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Haberdasher of Nouns and Pronouns

Ah, back to school time. When a young mom’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of a return to normal. Even around our homeschooling house, cracking open books and working on assignments brings peace to this mom’s heart. I love the sound of pencil scratching in the morning!

From The Dance of Life: A Poem. Thomas Rowlandson. 1817. Ackermann's Repository of Arts.

From The Dance of Life: A Poem. Thomas Rowlandson. 1817. Ackermann’s Repository of Arts.







Haberdasher of Nouns and Pronouns (noun)

A schoolmaster, or usher. Also known as a Bum Brusher or Flaybottomist. From the early 14th Century Anglo-French, as a seller of small articles of trade.

School Room by Mary Yelloly. Early 19th Century. From A Picture History of Mr. and Mrs. Grenville of Rosedale House: An Album by Mary Yelloly, Eight and a Half Years Old.

School Room by Mary Yelloly. Early 19th Century. From A Picture History of Mr. and Mrs. Grenville of Rosedale House: An Album by Mary Yelloly, Eight and a Half Years Old.










All definitions and/or examples taken from Online Etymological DictionaryCant: A Gentleman’s Guide, and/or 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Guest Post with author Tara Randel ~ Is It Christmas Yet?

I shop for Christmas all year long, constantly on the prowl for deals and the unique, so when approached about spotlighting this new boxed set of Christmas-themed stories, I heartily opened up the blog. This lovely set of twelve holiday romances is available for pre-order now, and it’s only 99 pennies. Merry Christmas in August! One of the participating authors, Tara Randel, visits today to introduce A Heartwarming Christmas.

There are four connected anthologies in A Heartwarming Christmas, 12 novellas sharing characters and story lines! This collection of PG-rated holiday romances is set in Christmas Town, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-after.

Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.

heartwarming christmas 3d







The Boxed Collection

Today’s readers have so many books at their fingertips, whether you enjoy holding a print book in your hands or love the convenience of storing your library on an e-reader. Books can arrive on your e-reader so quickly, you wonder why you ever left the house to pick up a new book by your favorite author. Or, if you’re like me, I enjoy walking into a store and browsing through the rows of books, soaking in the atmosphere while enjoying the scent of brewing coffee.

As an author trying to keep up with the industry, one of the trends I’ve noticed are book collections. A reader can purchase a collection by a single author, perhaps part of a series, so all the books are together in one package. Then there are the collections by multiple authors, usually with a theme of some sort. These are a great deal and a way to find new authors. I’m a contributor in a new Christmas collection, which I’ll get to in a moment, but my point is, the options for readers are limitless.

Now, some back story about the new collection.

Last year at the RWA conference, I was fortunate to meet fellow authors from the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Heartwarming books are sweet romance stories, a growing genre under the romance umbrella. Not only did I get to socialize with these women, I established new friendships. When you spend so much time alone at the keyboard, it’s such a pleasure to have a network of woman to turn to during the writing process. And we do, by keeping up with each through email loops, joining each other through social media for release parties or announcements of new releases.

While catching up at dinner was a lot of fun, we also get together for the business of writing. Some of the authors gathered for the Harlequin Spotlight on the Heartwarming line. We talked about the line with other interested authors and encouraged those who wanted to write for the line. Afterward, some of us meet to discuss the Heartwarming Authors blog, talking about ways to make it better. When you hear authors talk about the bond between writers, the openness to work together and help each other, it’s all true. I experienced it firsthand. Before I knew it, the weekend had come to an end and I flew home, energized and ready to get started on new projects.

Fast forward about six months. Harlequin had released a Christmas anthology the previous fall for the Heartwarming line, titled Christmas Actually. The three authors enjoyed Christmas Town, Maine so much, they wanted to revisit the charming town with fellow authors. And so, A Heartwarming Christmas collection came to be. What an honor to work with such talented authors. And who doesn’t love a Christmas story?

This is an exciting time to be a writer. The opportunities are out there if you’re willing to work at your craft and write, write, write. If it’s in your heart to be an author, pursue your dream. If you’re as lucky as me, you’ll get to work with some lovely ladies who all have one thing in common, giving our readers a heartwarming romance they’ll remember long after closing the pages of our books.


Pre-order your copy today from one of these online vendors:

amazon button

kobo button

download on ibooks

get it on google play






About the Author ballerina script




Tara Randel is the author of nine books, her most recent releases, Honeysuckle Bride and Magnolia Bride available from Harlequin Heartwarming. She is currently working on new books for the Business of Weddings series for Heartwarming, as well as a new mystery series. You can view her booklist at her website,, or just stop by, pay a visit and leave a message.


WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Beast With Two Backs

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Beast With Two Backs

Please pardon me this week while I am becoming extremely vulgar, albeit in a very roundabout and literary way.

Working though my mountainous TBR pile this past weekend, I read A Dangerous Love (Swanlea Spinsters Book 1) by Sabrina Jeffries. William Shakespeare plays a prominent role in the witty and spirited interactions between the hero and heroine of this story. If you haven’t read it – do!

By the end of the book, I had the inspiration for the next Word of the Week.

     His eyes slid shut and a dark flush rose on his face. “You’ll find…the plays have a whole new…meaning once you know of such things.”
     “Oh? For example?”
     He frowned, obviously having difficulty thinking. “Remember Petruchio and Katherina? He talks about having…his tongue in her tail? And being a…’combless cock’ if she…will be his hen’?”
     She released him abruptly. “What! That’s what that means? I never dreamed–“
     “Shakespeare isn’t…the least…respectable, my sweet. You chose your…favorite author well.”

Shakespeare Gallery folio at The Annex Galleries. "Othello, Act V, Scene II" as engraved by W. Leney, after a painting by J. Graham. J. & J. Boydell Publishers.

Shakespeare Gallery folio at The Annex Galleries. “Othello, Act V, Scene II” as engraved by W. Leney, after a painting by J. Graham. J. & J. Boydell Publishers.

Beast With Two Backs (noun)

A man and a woman in the act of copulation.

The concept was first documented in the work The Life of Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais in 1532, and in French; it was translated into English by Thomas Urquhart around 1693.

“In the vigour of his age he married Gargamelle, daughter to the King of the Parpaillons, a jolly pug, and well-mouthed wench. These two did oftentimes do the two-backed beast together, joyfully rubbing and frotting their bacon ‘gainst one another.”

And some think coarse and crass language is a modern occurrence. Methinks this little poetic passage might have also given rise to the decidedly modern phrase “makin’ bacon,” but that’s a post for another author.

William Shakespeare coined the actual phrase, a beast with two backs, in his play Othello, in 1604. It appears in Act 1, Scene 1, and is delivered by perhaps the best villain ever put on paper. Iago is as he ever was, right from the start.

Brabantio: What profane wretch are thou?

Iago: I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

Brabantio: Thou art a villain.

Iago: You are — a senator.

Now that is a brazen thing to say to the father of the so-called beast!

On a barely related note, one of the most entertaining reviewers of literature can be found on YouTube, and he just so happens to have tackled Othello. Please be advised there is a bit of language…and plenty of modern slang.

All definitions and/or examples taken from 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue and The Phrase Finder.

The Georgian Celebrity Map

The Georgian Celebrity Map

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, has created a Georgian Celebrity Map.

I know!

You simply cursor over each Georgian celebrity, and lines pop up showing you their connections to other celebrities on the map. There’s even a key at the top so you can search by relationships, such as marriage, rivalries, politics, and friendships.

This pitiful screen shot doesn’t do it justice, so click HERE to investigate the map for yourself.

The Georgian Celebrity Map by Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford

The Georgian Celebrity Map by Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford



Regency Romance Turns 80

Regency Romance Turns 80

George Gordon, Lord Byron, perusing another Regency Romance from his TBR stack.

George Gordon, Lord Byron, perusing another Regency Romance from his TBR stack.

Happy Birthday, Regency Romance! 80 Years looks great on you!

While the Regency itself was only nine years in length, from 1811-1820 (when the Prince of Wales ruled in place of his incapacitated father, King George III), the term Regency Era has come to mean a much broader time, covering the years 1795 (when King George III had his first “spell”) to as late as 1837 (the end of the reign of the last of King George’s children, King William IV).

Regardless of whether you’re a strict constructionist or a “there can never be too many years defining the Regency” person, the impact of the period is undeniable.  An era so rich with changes (some good, some bad) in architecture, industry, economics, society, the arts, culture, fashion, and politics was destined to be an object of fascination.  Regency romances bring this time period to life!

The Beau Monde, the chapter of the Romance Writers of America that specializes in the Regency, is celebrating this eightieth anniversary by hosting a year-long commemoration of the woman who started it all: Georgette Heyer.  She wrote the first such romance, Regency Buck, way back in 1935, and a new genre was born.

Please join us in our celebration, and stop by The Beau Monde blog to share your comments, discover new authors, and reminisce with other devotees of the genre.  I will update the links at the bottom of this post as each new article is published.

Regency Romance Turns 80 Posts:

The Beau Monde Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of Regency Romance

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Dog’s Soup

It has been incredibly hot this summer. This week’s word is very apropos and very tongue-in-cheek.

ab sleeping on pool floaty






According to the ancient Greeks, the Dog Days of summer fell roughly around the summer solstice. Due to the earth’s precession, however, the Dog Days have moved further away from this date as time has progressed. By the year 1552, The Book of Common Prayer placed the start of the “Dog Daies” as July 6. After the adoption of the modern Gregorian Calendar, the Dog Days moved further still, and are now determined to begin on July 16 and end on August 24. Summer is truly a dog’s life.

Dog’s Soup (noun)

Rain water.

Unfortunately, the only way I can incorporate this slang into my conversations would be to talk about the decided lack of Dog’s Soup we’ve experienced this summer.

Thank goodness dogs always manage to have fun, however, even minus their soup.

boxer in the sprinkler

dog at water fountain










pug in the sprinkler









Definition taken from Cant: A Gentleman’s Guide, and 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Frivolous Friday ~ The Persuasion of Captain Wentworth

Frivolous Friday ~ The Persuasion of Captain Wentworth

I readily admit to being easily amused, and GIFs are a delightful diversion. What better way to usher in the weekend than with a completely frivolous, utterly unnecessary, and probably insipid post telling the story of Persuasion via quotes and Captain Wentworth GIFs.

“We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us.” Chapter 23







“No: the years which had destroyed her youth and bloom had only given him a more glowing, manly, open look, in no respect lessening his personal advantages. She had seen the same Frederick Wentworth.” Chapter 7









“His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than anything.” Chapter 8








“She had thought only of avoiding Captain Wentworth… ” Chapter 9








“Now they were as strangers; nay worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted.” Chapter 8








“The evening ended with dancing. On its being proposed, Anne offered her services, as usual, and though her eyes would sometimes fill with tears as she sat at the instrument, she was extremely glad to be employed, and desired nothing in return but to be unobserved.” Chapter 8










“You pierce my soul.” Chapter 23






“I am half agony, half hope.” Chapter 23






“Thus much indeed he was obliged to acknowledge – that he had been constant unconsciously, nay unintentionally; that he had meant to forget her, and believed it to be done.” Chapter 23


“He had imagined himself indifferent, when he had only been angry; and he had been unjust to her merits, because he had been a sufferer from them.” Chapter 23


“What! Would I be turned back from doing a thing that I had determined to do, and that I knew to be right, by the airs and interference of such a person, or any person I may say?” Chapter 23


"No, I have no idea of being so easily persuaded. When I have made up my mind, I have made it.”

“No, I have no idea of being so easily persuaded. When I have made up my mind, I have made it.” Chapter 10









“Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than a woman, that his love has an earlier death.” Chapter 23








“There could have never been two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved.” Chapter 8








“…when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure.” Chapter 20








“There, he had seen every thing to exalt in his estimation the woman he had lost, and there begun to deplore the pride, the folly, the madness of resentment, which had kept him from trying to regain her when thrown in his way.” Chapter 23












“You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this?” Chapter 23








“A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.” Chapter 23







“Who can be in doubt of what followed? When any two young people take it into their heads to marry, they are pretty sure by perseverance to carry their point, be they ever so poor, or ever so imprudent, or ever so little likely to be necessary to each other’s ultimate comfort.” Chapter 24