Since it's Western month on the blog, I thought to introduce you to one of my very favorite painters of the American West... Albert Bierstadt. So, from my archives, here's the painter and some of his stunningly beautiful art: See more.
I don't write Western historical romances but I do love to read them. I discovered the subgenre by reading those written by my favorite authors. Since then, I have become a true fan and find myself every now and then reaching for a good romance set in the Old West. I love those Indian and gun-slinging heroes, those slow talking cowboys. So, it seemed a “best” list was in order to share some of these wonderful stories with you.
I have a new list of those I’ve read rated 4 or 5 stars. I think you’ll like these! See the list.
How We Got to Where We Are Today: Modern Historical Romance Over the Last Several Decades, a Recommended Reading List for the Uninitiated
Sometimes when I talk to fellow readers of historical romance, or even authors, and I mention a name from the past, an author who helped shape the genre, like Kathleen Woodiwiss or Rosemary Rogers, I get a blank stare in return. It occurred to me that as lovers of a genre it might be helpful to read some of the classics to see where we’ve come from and to enjoy the greats who have contributed so much to the craft.
I’m not going as far back as Ivanhoe or Jane Eyre. Except for four novels of note in earlier decades, I’m starting in the 1970s when the bedroom door was flung open never to close again. And while I may not have included your favorite author, by reading the romances on this list, you’ll have a good idea of our beginnings and what so many wonderful authors have done for the genre. Think of it as a Recommended Reading List for the Uninitiated in modern historical romance. See the list HERE.
Of all my "best lists", this is the longest. I think you will realize why when you see how many classics are on it (it's Classics month on Historical Romance Review). Many of these are books you have long treasured. Some are keepers.
If you like stories that feature an alpha male hero who begins demanding his way, but falls at the heroine’s feet in the end to beg forgiveness and confess his love, you’ll find them HERE.
I first developed this list for a friend of Irish descent who loves Irish historical romances. Since then, I have updated this list each year as I have come to love stories that feature Ireland and/or Irish heroes and heroines. The books on this list cover all time periods. Some transcend typical historical romance as they bring to life heartrending tales of the wonderful Irish people who survived much hardship to help make great their adoptive countries.
If you’re looking for stories of the Emerald Isle or handsome Irish hunks, or worthy Irish heroines, you will find them HERE.
The issue of emancipation for Catholics consumed England for many decades, beginning in the 18th century and continuing until the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829. Prior to that, Catholics could not, among other things, hold public office or serve in Parliament.
Daniel O’Connell, who in the 1810s and 1820s was one of the leading barristers in Ireland, led the campaign for emancipation, earning him the title “The Liberator.”
This bit of Ireland's history was the inspiration for my story, The Shamrock & The Rose... a perfect one to read for St. Patrick's Day. SEE MORE
Who doesn’t love a good pirate or privateer story? All that capturing, swashbuckling and romancing on the high seas—oh yes! Gets my blood boiling just thinking about it. On my blog, Historical Romance Review, I have a list of those I have rated 4 or 5 stars. Some do not have pirates as such, but may have a swashbuckling sea captain or a privateer. In almost every case, part of the story takes place on the high seas. See it HERE.
Though St. Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for a very long time, the Valentine’s Day cards we send today, and their romantic precursors with pictures, real lace and ribbons, didn’t really come into fashion until the mid 19th century with the Victorian era. However, that didn’t mean that lovers in earlier eras didn’t observe the day. Of course, they did. See more.
Research on this issue was the project of Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher, a hygiene academic who, between 1892 and 1920, persuaded 45 women to fill out questionnaires on their experiences of sex, marriage and contraception.
Not surprisingly, the results show that most women knew little about sex before marriage with some admitting they only picked up the facts of life by observing the habits of farm animals. But once married, most women said that their sex lives were active and they enjoyed the “habitual bodily expression of love”.
As Fraser Sutherland notes in his essay Why Making Love Isn’t What It Used to Be, where he examines the writing of Victorian men of letters, the term “make love” has undergone change over the last several centuries. Early on, the phrase referred to both wooing and sexual intercourse.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists the first date for the term “to make love” as 1567, citing Certaine Tragicall Discourses of Bandello with many Georgian and Victorian uses listed as well:
1768, L. Sterne Sentimental Journey “You have been making love to me all this while.”
1784, R. Bage Barham Downs “You..may make love, and play your pitty patties.”
1829, W. Cobbett Advice to Young Men “It is an old saying, ‘Praise the child, and you make love to the mother’.”
1845, T. Hood Poems (1846) “Oh there's nothing in life like making love.”
Thus, the term’s euphemistic usage was firmly entrenched by the early seventeenth century, and remained so into the early twentieth century.
From The Twelfth Night Wager:
It was a dull day at White’s the day he agreed to the wager: seduce, bed and walk away from the lovely Lady Leisterfield, all by Twelfth Night. But this holiday season, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, planned to give himself a gift.
While doing my research for the story, I enjoyed vicariously living through the Autumn season in Regency England and Christmastide which ends in Twelfth Night, January 5th. Twelfth Night has its origins in ancient Rome and was a mid-winter event observing pagan fertility rites, a festival of feasting and public celebration. At some point, this tradition became incorporated into the Christian celebrations and included feasting, drinking, games, plays, dances and masked balls. See MORE.
This is my "author blog" that will feature personal updates, what I'm working on, News and other features related to my novels, even some posts from my other blog, Historical Romance Review.