Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Have you met Hunter S. Jones? THIS is why we adore her!


His Flag is Out.
Hunter S. Jones
When the English Historical Fiction Authors announced a blog hop to commemorate four years as a writing group, I was excited about the possibility of jumping onboard. The second anthology in a series, named CUSTOMS, CASTLES AND KINGS, written by members of the group and spearheaded by our fearless leader, Debra Brown, is being released on September 30. Ms. Brown suggested that we blog about customs.
Customs is a fantastic concept, but how would I go about this. My first foray into historical fiction became the best-selling PHOENIX RISING, a fictional look at the last hour of Anne Boleyn. I’m not quite ready to venture into Tudor history and its social mores as of yet. So you’ll know, there will be plenty more of Tudor History from me in 2016.
SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME, my latest project is a Victorian time travel series based in the U.S. following the Civil War, primarily in north Georgia and the Chattanooga Tennessee area. I do know something of practices in the region, since my father’s family has been here since the late 1700s. So, what about dogs? Dogs are something we all have. Tennessee’s Walker Foxhounds and beagles are as loved now as they were two hundred years ago. But, no…no. Hunting is too controversial. Sipping a brandy after work, my mind begins to roam. What is a unique practice in the American Southeast? What has been ingrained in our memory as “our” custom, yet has ties to the United Kingdom? What is the one thing which we believe belongs to us, but is actually part of our “Colonial hangover,” metaphorically speaking, of course.
Taking another sip of brandy, my British husband walks into the room and says, “I shall join you with a whiskey. Let’s toast our anniversary.” With those words, this blog was born. Whiskey vs Brandy.
What could be a more American custom than a toast on a special occasion? According to Drinking in Colonial America, “Colonial Americans believed alcohol could cure the sick, strengthen the weak, enliven the aged, and generally make the world a better place. They tippled, toasted, sipped, slurped, quaffed, and guzzled from dawn to dark.”
There is a theory that the Mayflower had more barrels of whiskey on it than it did passengers. Another theory notes that the Pilgrims were basically dropped off at Massachusetts Bay instead of being taken to the Virginia Colony simply because the crew determined there wasn’t enough beer and whiskey to get themselves back to England. Keep in mind that colonies were a business at that time.
The early settlers in the thirteen colonies kept the British concept that water was unsanitary. They began each day with “a pick-me-up and ended it with a put-me-down.” Between daylight and dusk, they imbibed a mid-morning whistle wetter, a luncheon libation, an afternoon accompaniment, and a supper snort. They ended the days with several rounds at the equivalent of a British public house, called a tavern in the early colonies. These establishments were used by judges as courtrooms. Taverns were the center of the communities, hosting social events such as christenings, weddings, funerals, trials, and election-day gatherings. The seeds of the American Revolution were sown in these locations due to the sharing of open ideas throughout the colonies. colonial-tavern
Early Americans did not care what anybody thought about their love of alcohol. As a Georgian wrote: “If I take a settler after my coffee, a cooler at nine, a bracer at ten, a whetter at eleven and two or three stiffners during the forenoon, who has any right to complain?” Craftsmen drank at work, as did hired hands in the fields, sailors at sea, and soldiers in camp. College students enjoyed malted beverages…Harvard had its own brewery. When the school did not supply sufficient beer in 1639, President Nathaniel Eaton lost his job.
Like students and workers, the Founding Fathers enjoyed a drink or two. John Adams began his days with a draft of hard cider. Thomas Jefferson imported fine wines from France. John Hancock was accused of smuggling wine. Patrick Henry worked as a bartender and as Virginia’s wartime governor, served home brew to guests.
The age of the cocktail lay far in the future. Colonists enjoyed alcoholic beverages with such names as Rattle-Skull, Stonewall, Syllabub, Sling, Toddy, and Flip. They had a colorful collection of words to describe drunkenness. Benjamin Franklin collected more than 200 terms, including afflicted, biggy, boozy, busky, buzzey, cherubimical, cracked, “halfway to Concord” and my favorite, “His flag is out.”
Not everyone believed that alcohol consumption was a good idea. The Virginia Company of London wrote to Governor Francis Wyatt at Jamestown in 1622 complaining that the effects of drinking had a negative impact on the colony’s production and output of goods. James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, fearing rum would ruin his business venture, tried to ban it’s consumption in his colony. Puritan leaders attacked drunkenness, although they also saw alcohol as a necessary part of life. Benjamin Franklin enjoyed a convivial drink but called for moderation, writing “nothing is more like a fool than a drunken man.”
By 1790, United States government figures showed that annual per-capita alcohol consumption for citizens over fifteen years of age amounted to thirty-four gallons of beer and cider, five gallons of distilled spirits, and one gallon of wine. Keep in mind, these amounts were what could be recorded as purchased. What people made and drank at their own homes and farms was not recorded. Beer
Early Americans thought alcohol was healthful. We were an English Colony and as such shared their customs. To them, drinking kept people warm, aided digestion, and increased strength. Remember, their work was much more labor intensive than work in today’s world. Alcohol soothed tired muscles and was seen to not only prevent health problems, but it to cure. They took whiskey for colic and laryngitis. Hot brandy punch addressed cholera. Rum-soaked cherries helped with a cold. Pregnant women and women in labor received a shot to ease their discomfort.
Where do the differences between whiskey and brandy enter our country’s settlement? Let’s look at the definitions of the two. Whiskey (whisky) is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from any form of fermented grain mash. Depending on the geographical region or type of whiskey that is being made, whiskey can be made from barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn. Whiskey became the drink of the Scots Irish, the hardy settlers of the Appalachians who forged into the western areas of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama following the American Revolution. Whiskey has never gone out of style and is a global phenomenon.
Brandy (short for brandywine) is a spirit distilled from wine, grapes and other fruit juices. The word ‘brandywine’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘brandewijn’ meaning “burnt wine.” Early colonial wine was made from apples or peaches, especially in what became the Southern coastal states. Even during Prohibition, farmers in the South couldn’t understand why “our medicine” was being forbidden because brandy was considered necessary for medicinal purposes.
We see how alcohol had its place in everyday life as the United States was settled. In my series, SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME, Dr. Garrett Cleighton is of Colonial English heritage, thus apple brandy takes its place in the story as part of his ‘medicine.’ Whiskey will appear in the series, mirroring the usage of alcohol by Americans as times and customs changed.
Chaos reigns in a lawless time filled with revenge and betrayals. Following the American Civil War, the Southern States are reeling under the revenge taken on them by the victors.
Casey King must change her name, fake a marriage and forget modern comforts to survive within the world she now finds herself – 1873 post-Civil War Reconstruction Era Chattanooga, Tennessee…a world full of violence and mystery.
The charismatic Dr. Garrett Cleighton, a mixed heritage Cherokee, decides to give her a part in his traveling medicine show. Casey takes a chance in order to hide her secrets. Dr. Cleighton could betray her or he might keep his promises.
Author Hunter S. Jones mixes romance with Civil War drama and brings contemporary suspense to life in the setting of the Reconstruction South.
The journey begins in “Secrets from a Dangerous Time, Story 1”.  
Get this Amazon Exclusive story today at getBook.at/Secrets1
Today is the release of Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors Volume 2.
Edited by Debra Brown and Sue Millard CC&KII Cover
An anthology of essays from the second year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book transports the reader across the centuries from prehistoric to twentieth century Britain. Nearly fifty different authors share the stories, incidents, and insights discovered while doing research for their own historical novels.
From medieval law and literature to Tudor queens and courtiers, from Stuart royals and rebels to Regency soldiers and social calls, experience the panorama of Britain’s yesteryear. Explore the history behind the fiction, and discover the true tales surrounding Britain’s castles, customs, and kings.
Purchase links:
This is a blog hop! Join the other History Hoppers at the following…Powered by Linky Tools Click here to view the Linky List…
www.History.org. Colonial Williamsburg. That The Future May Learn From The Past.
Beverages And Their Adulteration Origin, Composition, Manufacture, Natural, Artificial, Fermented, Distilled, Alkaloidal And Fruit Juices, Distillation in America, by Harvey W. Wiley.
History of Spirits in America, The Book of Bourbon offers a wealth of information on the settlement of the United States. Although none of the articles are directly quoted in this blog the stories from the site offer information into the many alcoholic beverages and their metamorphoses throughout the United States growth and settlement.
All photographs or illustrations are public domain or courtesy of the authors.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

HOT and PINK! Cover Reveal

Join 28 of today's hottest romance authors as they introduce you to their most memorable and beloved characters in an all-new, exclusive, scorching scene. All proceeds of this year's anthology will be donated to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, to help support women in need of mammograms.

To be released on October 1st, 2015 and only available for a limited time!

The participating authors include:

  • AM Madden
  • A.C Bextor
  • A.D. Justice
  • Aden Lowe
  • Andria Large/M.D Saperstein
  • Autumn Jones Lake
  • Riley, Daryl Banner
  • Hilary Storm
  • J.C. Emery
  • J.C. Valentine
  • J.L. Beck
  • Jani Kay
  • Jenna Galicki
  • Kathryn Kelly
  • Kira Barker
  • L. Wilder
  • Lani Lynn Vale
  • Lisa Eugene
  • M.N. Forgy
  • Michelle Dare
  • Nina Levine
  • R.E. Hargrave
  • River Savage
  • Sapphire Knight
  • T.S. Irons
  • Tara Oakes
  • Like the Books for Boobies Anthology Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Booksforboobies?fref=ts And join the release event on Facebook on October 10th for giveaways and takeovers by some amazing authors! You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/events/848802388568135/



    Share these images to spread the word about this marvelous anthology!




    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    HOT New Release from Alexandrea Weis

    Release Date: September14, 2015
    Author:  Alexandrea Weis
    Cover Design:  Laura Hidalgo @ Beyond DEF


    Strong willed, independent, and competitive as hell, Heather Phillips isn’t going to let anyone beat her in the show ring… that is until Grant Crowley started taking away her blue ribbons.  A wealthy cattle rancher with an attitude and taste for beautiful women, Grant is the only person who ever made Heather feel second best.  Yet she is determined to beat him, no matter the cost.

    When an accident brings the two rivals together, their heated dislike has to be put on hold.  Outside of the show ring, they slowly get to know each other.  But what happens when these passionate competitors discover a different kind of spark?

    Will Heather use what she learns about Grant to take advantage of him in the ring, so she can be number one?

    Winning can mean everything until 
    something sexier comes along.

    Buy Now

    Amazon UK


         Scurrying down the short entrance hall done in brown stone and decorative plaster inlay, she placed her hand on the brass door handle, punched in the alarm code on the panel to her left, and put a saccharin smile on her face. But when she yanked the heavy door open, it was not her elderly neighbor standing there with yet another casserole, it was Grant.
         His long arms were stretched out, gripping either side of the doorframe around the entrance. His blue button-down shirt was open halfway, and his gray slacks looked a little wrinkled. His amber eyes were drawn together, and his thin lips were pulled back in a displeased scowl.
         “Why did you leave?” His voice was saturated with anger.
         Heather tugged at the collar of her robe. “I thought it was better this way.”
         He furrowed his brow. “Better for whom? Because it sure wasn’t better for me. I didn’t like waking up to find you gone.” He bounded in the door. “Don’t do it again.”  
         “Hey, wait a minute,” she fussed as he rushed past her.
         He stood in the hallway, analyzing the decor. “We’re going to have a little chat.”
         “A chat?” The loud whack of the front door closing resonated around them. “How did you get my address, and my cell phone number for that matter? What are you, some kind of stalker?”
         “It’s in your employment record at Lewisville Medical.”
         She came up to him, fuming. “You talked to Ben, didn’t you?”
         His eyes traveled the curves of her robe. “Of course not. I called your hospital administrator, Tim Wellborn. I told him I wanted to thank you for all the personal care you gave me.”
         “You manipulative bastard.”
         He inched closer. “Why did you leave this morning?”    
         She marched past him and into her living room, trying to formulate an answer that would appease him and sound somewhat reasonable. At the white sofa, she stopped and faced him, shoving her damp hair aside. “You know why I left. You have Vanessa and I—I have Ben. Last night was just one of those things that can never be repeated.”
         He barreled up to her, glaring into her eyes. “Bullshit. You know last night was a hell of a lot more than that.”
         She tossed her hand in the air. “You’re practically engaged, Grant.”  
         “Do you honestly think I can marry her after last night?”
         “That’s what your father wants, right? Don’t you always do what he wants?”
         The fire in his eyes scared the crap out of her. She knew he was capable of real rage, she had seen it in the show ring, but never had she expected to be in the line of fire. His hands gripped her arms, pulling her against him. His fingers were squeezing into her robe, crushing her flesh.
         “Don’t ever speak to me like that again,” he snarled. “You have no idea what….” He went quiet. His face was inches from hers. She could feel his hot breath on her lips. “Tell me to go away and I will.”
         She mustered the strength to ask him to leave, but could not form the words. Having him so close was setting off a firestorm of desire. She ached for him … she longed for one more night naked in his arms.
         He pushed her away. “That’s what I figured.” He untied the belt of her robe and slowly slipped it through the loops as Heather held on to the lapels.
         Wrapping the thick piece of terrycloth about his right hand, he then lowered her hands from the robe.
         “You can’t push me away, not without consequences, Heather.” 
         Her stomach balled into a knot. “What consequences?”

    About the Author

    Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. 


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    Wednesday, September 9, 2015


    Alphas Unwrapped Pre-order Party 

    21 Paranormal Tales so hot, they're sure to make Santa's Naughty List! Now's your chance to own this LIMITED Edition Boxed Set. Grab your copy before it's gone! 
    The alphas are hot! The heroines are sassy! These ALL NEW stories are guaranteed to heat up your holidays! 

    Pre-order Links 
    Itunes: Coming Soon
    B&N: Coming Soon

    Michele Bardsley
    Bear Winter (The Pack Rules #8)
    After a vindictive wendigo nearly kills his brother and kidnaps his sister-in-law, bear shifter Gabe Pearson has no choice but to ask psychic and ex-fiance Hope Wheeler for help. Together, they will fight through vicious snowstorms, murderous shifters, and grievous emotional wounds to save Gabe's family--and get a second chance at love.
    Colleen Gleason
    Raging Winter: Max Denton Book 2 (The Gardella Vampire Hunters)
    England, 1922: Savina Eleaisa is certain the famous vampire hunter--and her former lover--Max Denton is dead. But when she follows a vampire to a Christmas house party at a large English estate, whom should she find but Max Denton, deep undercover--and not very happy to see her. "If Buffy visited Downtown Abbey." --Laurie London
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XelO8M

    Dianna Love   
    Tristan's Escape: A Belador Novella
    Holidays stink when you’re alone, but the only woman Tristan ever cared for betrayed him years ago. Sucker that he is, Tristan teleports another Alterant to Atlanta in December to propose to his girlfriend, and walks straight into an ambush ...along with the woman he vowed would pay for his 
    five years of imprisonment.  Now he has to choose between saving her and losing his freedom forever.

    Caris Roane
    Christmas Flame (A Flame Series Book)
    On Christmas Eve, vampire Officer Kyle Drake has finally persuaded the shy shifter, Verena, to go on a first date. His plans include a little mistletoe and a lot of seduction. But when a call comes in that a teenage girl has been abducted and Kyle and Verena go in pursuit, he fears the 
    dangers of their world will once again force Verena back into her no-dating-ever mode…
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1N9iQ27
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1ihpUNi

    Mary Buckham 
    Invisible Betrayal: Invisible Recruits Novella
    Street savvy Jaylene Smart is spending her DC holiday on a snatch and grab assignment to terminate a threat, but it beats sitting alone in an empty hotel room. Her target is way-out-of-her-league-powerful Herm Kane and stealing from him sends her into the dangerous underworld of 
    preternaturals she never knew existed.  Surviving will depend on teaming up the same sexy Herm Kane, the man she just betrayed.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1hTapv1
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1EBdxWD

    Dakota Cassidy
    White Whitchmas
    It's Christmas in Paris, Texas, ya'll! Prepare for a magical journey perfect for the holidays!
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1UlTsue
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UlTuT0

    Claudy Conn 
    Nether Blue
    Magic has always been a part of Calico’s life, but now because of it, she is on the run. Ahead, more danger. Enter Brodie, a prince from another realm. Will saving Brodie, trap her or save her?

    Melanie James
    Fur Ever Yours
    When a dangerous female shows up in the middle of the night, Rafe's world is turned upside down. Was she sent by a rival clan to rip apart his pack, or just his heart?

    Rebecca Hamilton & Conner Kressley
    Christmas With The Beast
    Christmas heats up for a Beauty and her Beast when they find themselves at the top of a homicidal Santa's naughty list.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1FmMPvv
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UwfIfO

    Gena D. Lutz
    Bite of Frost (A Dragon Blade Novella)
    After Jericha Frost is thrust into a paranormal existence she knows nothing about, she learns that the scorching blood from an infuriating dragon-shifter is her only hope of survival.

    D'Elen McClain
    Fang Chronicles: Esha's Story
    Vampire politics are not exactly what Rondy expects when he enters the dark world of immortality and killing a deadly, out of control tigershifter is not his idea of fun. When fate intercedes, Rondy and Esha fight her inevitable death and take the brief time they are given to search for a miracle 
    that would topple the childless world of vampires.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1O7ms1D
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NMJM7G

    Julia Lake Mills
    Her Dragon's No Angel (A Dragon Guard Novella)
    Take one snowbound dragon combine with one Christmas Angel, throw in a healthy dose of an attraction only the Universe could have conjured and top with the largest blizzard in a hundred years. Now sit back and enjoy the show! This one's gonna be a bumpy ride!
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JAJVHD

    Dawn Montgomery
    Winter Guardian
    Ashley Baker never forgot the icy December night he came into her life. Her fallen guardian angel with wings dark as sin destroyed a beast from her worst nightmares, and then disappeared into the storm. When the beasts return, so does the guardian, but this time he's the one in trouble. 
    Wingless. Mortal. The spark of attraction ignites into a flame that threatens to consume them both, but will it be enough to save them from the hell that awaits if they fail?  
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1NMJX2Q
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IHGdrG

    Stephanie Rowe
    Dark Wolf Rising
    Shifter Cash Burns has been on the run for ten years, hiding a dark secret. When his childhood sweetheart, who he hasn't seen in over a decade, is targeted for assassination by his wolf pack, he's the only one who can save her…but at what cost?

    Terry Spear 
    Covert Cougar Christmas 
    Bridget Sinclair, Special Agent with the Cougar Special Forces Division has a mission—permanently stop two shifters from distributing a new drug in Cheyenne, Wyoming. While investigating, she rescues Special Agent Travis MacKay. Winter advisories are in effect for the Christmas holidays, but that doesn’t cool off the sizzling heat spiraling out of control between the two agents as they covertly team up to take down the drug-runners.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1JMkAr0
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1KqNHa0

    A K Michaels
    Lori's Wolf Pack, Rolf's Wicked Winter
    Rolf is Beta and has managed to escape the Pack for a couple of days ‘alone time’. However, Fate has other plans for him and he soon finds himself in a situation he never envisaged. Finding a mate is surprise enough, but she is on the run, and those that are looking for her are only a day behind.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1GrvBvY
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Q7EClb

    Candice Stauffer
    Legendary Lover – Arctic Plunge
    Glorious friction sets Northern Alaska’s winter air ablaze when Dean Lawless, an alpha lycan, finds Jayne Dekker, his double-crossing mate, and takes the ultimate plunge
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1LTdBmP
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1hxaxiW

    Renee George 
    Ravished by the Alpha: A Christmas Cull (The Cull Book Three)
    Single by choice, werewolf Lizzy Langston has never been a fan of Christmas. But when Coy Vega chooses her tribe’s lands to hide from the drug cartel over the holiday, she is drawn to his dark nature and, oh yeah, his yummy six-pack abs. It will take a Christmas miracle to survive below freezing temperatures, Colombian hit men, an accidental culling, and each other.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1JALKEi
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NMMfzh

    Tracey Jane Jackson
    Bound by Joy (A Cauld Ane Christmas Novella)
    Kenna McFadden has waited more than two hundred years for her mate and she finds him in a most unexpected way. On a mission to find his missing niece, prince Gunnar Baldersson finds someone far more precious to him. Join in their bonding as they fall in love while celebrating the sweetness and joy of Christmas. 
    H.M. McQueen
    An unbreakable bond with a handsome immortal Protector, drags Rachel Andrews into a world she never believed existed and has no desire to be part of. The actions of one night drastically alter the course of his long existence. Torn between his feelings for Rachel and his life's calling, Roderick Cronan comes face to face with the fact that he is losing both.
    Facebook : http://on.fb.me/1FiRSwQ
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NWWHmV

    Sky Purington
    Yule’s Fallen Angel
    Sparks fly as a sexy fallen angel turned warlock tries to free a feisty witch trapped between life and death. But rekindling lost love comes at a price. Now it’s time to beat the clock against a yuletide curse with a midnight deadline of December 25th.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1KGoRS5
    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1L3ANJi

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