Thursday, February 27, 2014

Liza Researches Birth Control in the Victoria Era

Due to the topic, I will use a great deal of euphemisms in this blog. 
It it possible, along with your kids, you won't understand a word I say.


Today, I'm discussing the forms of Birth Control available to the men and women of the Victorian Era. 

There was, of course Coitus Interruptus which has been used since cavemen figured out the connection between having a good time and getting another mouth to feed.

Cave drawings in France (figures) dated 12-15000 years ago indicate animal skins were worn on the cave man's sword. We cannot be certain to their motivation for sheathing their sword. It could have been because it was freakin cold and fur pelts wrapped about their waist let in a draft from down under. 

Keep in mind, through most of our history, men wore wraps, long gowns and short skirts. A nice warm sheath might be prudent to prevent unmanly shrinkage.

However, we do know that later, condoms were created from animal guts. However, they were prone to tear and leak. 



Before the Black Plague, women were in charge of birth control, and they had concoctions I like to call spermacides to kill little sperms with acidic liquids before they could complete their swim upstream. 

They also had ways to get rid of babies, although most of the concoctions they swallowed were harmful to them as well. But who needs a liver, right?

But then in 1348, the Black Plague devastated the population. It could be a coincidence, but the burning of witches who made 'concoctions' began at this time when the country desperately needed to repopulate, not abort unwanted children.

In addition, the one to decide matters of birth control shifted to the men. Thus, the plague can be seen as a major attack on women's rights.

By the 18th century, the average woman was completely ignorant of all the ways she might prevent a pregnancy. So not surprisingly, the birth rates were extremely high in 18 & 19th centuries. But as I've noted in a prior blog, so were the death of children due to sanitation issues that arose as the population grew and new devices such as the baby bottle were created.

During the Victorian era, in England, an abortion was a costly business. The poor could pay 10-50 guineas, which was about 5% of their entire year's wage, and keep in mind, that wage barely met their survival needs. To lose 5% could mean the difference between life and death.

STD's became a serious problem during the puritanical Victorian era.  (Which is kind of funny if you think about it.)

Mid 19th century Vulcanized Rubber was invented. Besides nipples for the deadly baby bottles, it was also used to create the first 'rubbers'.  Yep, that's where the name came from. 

At first they were small caps that fit like a bonnet on the head of  the sword. A physician had to measure the little head so the bonnet fit just right. Unfortunately, all too often the bonnet, or capote, as it was called, would get lost in the cave. While I found many articles insisting the little bonnet were prone to wandering off into the cave by themselves, not one article said how they ever found their way out of the cave. 

I pray that doesn't mean some caves were crammed full of capotes.

Fortunately, for all the caves, the manufacturers soon realized a longer one size fits all would work better. 

One other oddity about the rubbers. They were marketed as 'reusable' so they were actually cheaper than the animal skin (gut casing) condoms that were still used to prevent getting diseases from the ladies working the docks. However, to the more expensive gut casing's credit: It provided more sensations. The rubber was as thick as a bicycle tire tube. 

Allow me to jump over the pond for a moment.
In the United States, between 1844-1873 the contraceptive industry flourished. In addition to selling condoms, traveling salesmen and women would go from town to town selling IUD's, cervical caps, sponges, diaphragms, and dousing syringes to better the lives of people. 

Some found this so offensive that in 1873 a law was passed in Congress forbidding the sale of all types of birth control. 

With such demand for their products, companies just re-branded their products and sold them as ways to promote 'feminine hygiene'.

It appears Congress's desire to control what may and may not be done to the female body is a long standing problem.

In my Victorian Mysteries, Vic, a young woman who had chosen to live her life as a Victorian man, falls in love with her employer, the renowned sleuth, Xavier Thorn. She is unaware of any way to stop pregnancies, so she refuses to allow anything to happen between her and Xavier, because it will change her in a manner which will ruin her life. (Euphemism for 'get her pregnant').

When Xavier finally divines what the bloody hell she means, he introduces her to the condom. Thankfully, by the 1890's, they exist in longer lengths so little bonnets need not get lost in caves anymore.

However, I must admit that Xavier & Vic aren't always faithful in their use of condom...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


On the last blog of the 3rd Craziest Blog Ever, I'm at Calisa Rhose being interviewed.

I'm at TF Walsh talking about the funny parts of Coming To Reason


Today, I'm at TF Walsh's gorgeous and most impressive web & blog site. Stop by and say laugh, for I'm sharing the funny parts of Coming to Reason. Yes, there are funny parts. It's not all traumatic coming to reason.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jennifer Lowery Reveals the new cover for Murphy's Law.

Murphy's Law has returned with a new cover and a new tag line, but the same fabulous Jennifer Lowery that we dearly love!

Murphy’s Law
Contemporary Romantic Suspense

He lost his family. She gave them back to him.


Home is the last place Jon Murphy can go. After being held captive in Azbakastan, he returns to the States only to find he can’t face his mom and sisters with what he did while he was a prisoner, so he retreats to the mountains.

Widow Sara Sheldon has made a lifetime of mistakes and is now running scared from her husband’s powerful family, who are determined to take her daughter away from her. 
When her little girl goes missing in the Rockies, Sara enlists the only help she can find: a gruff recluse with tracking skills to admire and a body to covet.

A storm strands Sara and her daughter at Murphy’s cabin, leaving her no choice but to hope her in-laws don’t catch up while she plans where to run next. Murphy resents the invasion of his privacy, but can’t seem to keep his mind--or his hands--off Sara. How can she stand to look at him, with all his scars? He’s not nearly as honorable as she might think…only enough to make sure she’s safe, and then he’ll go back to being alone, the way he should be.

CONTENT WARNING: Sexual content    
Murphy’s Law: Previously published by Lyrical Press in 2013
**Murphy’s Law was a 2006 Golden Heart Finalist**


Copyright © 2014, Jennifer Lowery
Murphy sat at the kitchen table, half in the shadows created by the soft light glowing above the stove, hair tousled from sleep. Naked to the waist. A bottle of amber liquid sat in front of him, an empty glass in his hand. Her gaze landed on his muscled shoulders and trailed across his tanned chest. So much for getting him out of her mind. Now she had the real thing to dream about. Looking at the dark hairs that veed down his chest and disappeared behind the table, she decided he’d been right. He was a dangerous man.

She tore her gaze away from temptation and looked at the granite lines of his face. Beneath the hardness of his expression, something haunting lingered. Drawn, she circled the table to the opposite end.

Murphy met her eyes with coldness that should have sent her running for the safety of her room, but she remained standing in place. He wanted to chase her away. This time she wasn’t running.

“Mind if I join you?” She grabbed a glass and from the cupboard and reached over his shoulder for the bottle.
His hand snaked out and wrapped around hers, preventing her from pouring a drink.

“I mind,” he growled.

“Well, get over it. I need a drink.”

Scowling, he let go of her hand and allowed her to pour a glass for herself. She refilled his glass next, set the bottle on the table, moved to the chair beside him and sat, lifting her glass.

“Cheers.” She brought the glass to her lips. His gaze as she drained the glass made her fight the urge to cough as the fiery liquid burned its way down her throat. Seconds later she felt the familiar warming sensation as it numbed her insides. Her eyes filled with tears. She blinked them away and reached for the bottle.

Murphy held it away from her. “What are you doing?”
“Having a drink. I’m not in the mood for warm milk tonight.”

His eyes darkened and narrowed. “You don’t strike me as the drinking type.”

She wasn’t, but tonight it sounded good. Maybe it would soothe away her problems and make her forget how screwed-up her life was. Talking about Kent earlier had brought back painful memories. She didn’t want to feel that misery anymore.

“Maybe you don’t know my type,” she said.

He studied her closely for a moment before rubbing a hand over his face. “Go back to bed, Sara. Sleep it off.”

“I don’t want to sleep it off. I’m tired of thinking about it.”
Maybe it was the whisky, or his naked chest, or the part of her that had been dormant for six years coming back to life. More than anything she wanted to discover it with Murphy, her strong, scarred hero.

She rose to her feet. He watched warily as she stepped in front of him and positioned herself between him and the table. He leaned back in his chair and sent her a thunderous look.

“You and I are alike in many ways, Murphy,” she said softly. “We’ve both lost pieces of ourselves we can’t ever get back and it has forced us into a life of loneliness and solitude. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being alone.”

He pinned her with a hard glare. “I’m not what you want. Go back to your room before I do something we’ll both regret in the morning.”

His harshly spoken words sent little electrical shocks through her body.

“I’m tired of people telling me what I want.”

This is what people are saying about Murphy’s Law:
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Cindy Gerard, Tara Janzen, or Cherry Adair series. Each of these writers have the same flavor with a secret ingredient in their stories as does Jennifer Lowery. Great story!
- hmhibbit, Open Book Society on Murphy's Law


Buy Murphy’s Law:

Re-Released for the low price of $3.99!!!


Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the
back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer.  Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side. 

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers.  She loves everything there is about romance.  Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines.  She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.  

 Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.  When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. 

Find Jennifer:


Monday, February 24, 2014

Joanne Wadworth presents Highlander's Castle and Highlanders Captive




Who loves Highlanders? Those hunky Scottish men of the Highlands have long since enthralled me. Not only do they know how to handle their weapons, but they wear the sexiest kilts. *swoon* It’s really no wonder I now have a historical Highlander romance series out. If you adore strong heroines, delicious Highland heroes, time travel, and a dash a fairy magic, then this Highlander Heat series is for you. Highlander's Castle, book one, (a full-length novel) is now available. Here’s the cover, one that’s surely got my heart all a-flutter.





HIGHLANDER’S CASTLE
Traveling through time…for a Highlander.

Anne MacLeod’s identical ancestor has made a wish on the Fairy Flag at Dunvegan Castle, one which sees the two young women swapping places in time and leaving Anne set to handfast with the very man her ancestor wished to escape. Only Anne sees the possibilities, because now she could change the future and ensure her parents never perished in the inferno which took their lives.

Highland warrior Alex MacDonald has made an agreement to handfast with Anne in order to bring a halt to the feud raging between their clans. The last thing he expects though is a woman claiming to come from the future, a woman who stirs him on a physical and emotional level to protect, and to even believe.

When Anne finds herself in her MacLeod chief’s presence, she chooses to go with him in order to leave a message for her parents. In full pursuit, Alex wages a battle of the heart, and of the very essence of time. Can he defy the odds as Anne is taken from him…to work his own magic and get her back?

Buy HIGHLANDER’S CASTLE at: Amazon Kindle


--ooo--



Highlander's Captive (a bestselling short story) is the recently released novella in this series.


His mission is to capture. Hers is to turn the tide.

Julia MacLeod is held captive by a Highland warrior, a man whose deep-seated honor may just turn him into becoming the captured instead.


Buy HIGHLANDER’S CAPTIVE at: Amazon Kindle

--oOo--

Look for JOANNE WADSWORTH at:



BIO:
JOANNE WADSWORTH
Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She'd visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she'd read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.
Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.

Visit Joanne Wadsworth at http://www.joannewadsworth.com




Today, I'm at Maria Hammarblad's blog letting you decide who the better guy is. It'll be up around 8:00am.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Liza visits Harlie's book & receives rave review



Today I'm at Harlie's Books explaining how all my reviewer are right, even those who objected to Carrie and Trent's dysfunctional relationship.
 Even better, Harlie will be reviewing Coming to Reason. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Carrie needs the right appliance for the job.



HELLO! This blog is now located at YouGottaRead
There was a bit of confusion, because it is a very strange blog, and the original may have been overlooked because it looked like an appliance advertisement. 

But it's up now, so please stop by and check it out.
But if you are of the mind that you are here and you don't have time to go elsewhere, then I've left it attached below.

For those who just want to read my crazy blog and be done with it....


Breaking up is hard, but sometimes, it’s the best thing that can happen.
While I don’t particularly enjoy them at the time…Okay I hate breakups…I put my whole heart into a relationship and I hate to fail at things, but still, looking back, I see every one of my break ups as a positive step forward in my life.
So naturally, I let my characters have the same growth experiences.

Trent and Carrie were a mis-matched couple from Day one. Trent began his pursuit of Carrie for less than admirable reasons: she made his life better and he needed to lock her in, so she could always make his life better. To do this he stopped being his normal jerk-self and was nice to her for a week.
And Carrie, overwhelmed by his sudden niceness, falls in love with him.
From the start, I classified this as a DISASTER Romance. It was meant to be funny, which it is in the opinion of 80 percent of the reviewers. The other 20 percent focused on the unhealthy relationship between the two and hated it.
Carrie was so determined there was a good man inside of spoiled, self-centered Trent, that I let her try to rehabilitate him. And she came really close in book two.
The problem was, and I say this from having taken several of my guys back for a second and third time, that normally, people do not fundamentally change. They are what they are. You may after years of training get him to put the toilet seat down, but even that is iffy. (As you’ll sadly discover when you go to the bathroom at 3 a.m. and don’t bother turning on the lights.)
Don’t plan on changing a guy to suit you. Find one that works for you as is. In other words, don’t pick up a blender and try to turn it into dishwasher. You’ll just break all your fine china before you realize your blender will never wash dishes.

At the end of book two, I realized Trent had not fundamentally changed. He now truly loved Carrie, so he tried harder to please her, but he remains selfish, self-centered and prone to tantrums that would make a 3 yr old proud.
And some of strings left outstanding in book 2 lead to ugly outcomes in book 3. For example: Why did Coco smile when he fired her? What does she know that he doesn’t? What does she have on him that she’s keeping quiet about? Why isn’t she tearing his eyes out? Accepting defeat is not her style.
The answer to those questions start to unravel Trent’s hope for a happy life with Carrie in Coming to Reason.
I was okay with this because Carrie needed to put the blender down and check out the very nice dishwasher I gave her.  

She appreciates the dishwasher from Chapter 2 onward. Soon she likes it a great deal. She, in fact, grows to love it, but she won’t admit that, even to herself, because she’s committed to that crazy blender which has lost its lid. Unfortunately, it now not only breaks her dishes, but sends flying shards of china into the air that cut Carrie deep.  

(How could I do this to my beloved Carrie? Because she needs to throw the blender out and start working with the dishwasher while she still had some plates left to wash.)
Fortunately, she comes to reason and does. Finally, she can successfully wash dishes.
But what about the broken blender? It gets thrown out on the sidewalk. However a priest comes by and decides it should be recycled. In book 4, the blender gets culled for its metal bits which are remade into a beautiful bottle opener.

Yes, a step down, but this time it is very good at its job and ends up at a bar, where cold bottles of beer are sold by a tall young woman who thinks it’s the best bottle opener she’s ever had.  This time the fit is great. This time Trent will make you proud.
I tell you that so in book three you won’t ignore the dishwasher I gave Carrie. It is worthy of love and it’s exactly what she needs.



COMING TO REASON
Book Three: A Long Road to Love
Humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance


Blurb

Book 3 of A Long Road to Love series
Carrie has committed to an inter-species engagement with Trent, her billionaire boss. Presently, he is eighty percent dreamboat and twenty percent nightmare. When he fires her so they can become a ‘normal couple’, everything heads south.

Providing her a stark contrast, her new boss, Dan Marshal, is everything a woman could want. But for Carrie, her heart is taken and thus, her path to reason remains long and arduous.

When her relationship with Trent explodes in a shocking fashion, finally her heart gives up and reason takes over. She realizes a brighter future and a better man has been at her side all this time. But can she overcome the obstacles in her path to secure him? Or is Carrie doomed to never know true love?

Warning: If you loved Carrie and Trent as a couple, this book may break your heart. 


Liza O'Conner writes books that speak to my soul. Carrie is a character you will not soon forget.
--Rebecca Royce, author of The Warrior series. 

I only have one thing to say about Liza O'Connor's A Long Road to Love series: Read them. They're funny. You won't regret it!
  --Maria Hammarblad, author of Kidnapped.

Excerpt
His hand grazed her cheek with tenderness. “Carrie, don’t make me out to be the bad guy. I’m trying to be a man you can love.”
She pressed herself against his hard chest. “I already love you.”
“All right, then I need to be the man I can love. He eased her back and stood up. “Password for your computer?”
“You’re taking my computer?”
“It’s company property, and I’m pretty sure the new EA will need the information on it.”
She nodded. If the girl had any hope of surviving the week, she would. “My password is one, L, zero, V, E, T, R, E, N, T.”
He typed it in his blackberry and smiled. “I Love Trent. Cute.”
Cute? Had he grown up so fast he now saw her as a kid in comparison. “I’ll go get my laptop for you.”
“Not necessary. Sam had instructions to find and retrieve it.”
And yet another blow. He had his driver sneak into her house and steal her computer? “Trent, do you no longer trust me? Are we breaking up?”
He knelt down in front of her. “No! Although I feared you might strike out in anger. I know how much you love my company—probably as much as my prior girlfriends have loved my money. My experience has taught me to expect a she-devil drawing blood when a woman is parted from what she loves most.” His sad eyes met hers. “I’m hoping I’m what you love most—not my company.”
She cupped his face, now understanding what motivated his horrible behavior. Trent still feared she didn’t love him.
“You are.”
As if a heavy cloud had dissipated, he smiled and lifted her into his arms. “God, I love you. And don’t worry about money. I’ll take care of you, pay all your bills.”
“I’d rather receive a two month severance package and pay them myself. It’s standard business procedure.”
He covered her face with kisses. “You’ve got it, but I’ve one favor to ask in return.”
She scowled. Her severance should not depend upon favors. “What?”
“Don’t take a job with Ian.”
His request calmed her fears. She’d worried, despite his assurances to the contrary, he wanted to break up with her. His determination to keep her from Ian said otherwise. Ian Goodman, Trent’s ‘frenemy’, had taught her to be a world-class Change Specialist. He’d also spent the whole two weeks trying to seduce her, which she’d shared once she’d returned to the East Coast.
“Why would I take a job on the West Coast? I would hate the commute,” she teased.

Links

A Long Road to Love
Book One
Worst Week Ever
“Love this book and couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end.” 5 stars – Alves - Amazon
73 reviews: 4.2 stars

Book Two
Oh Stupid Heart
“Be warned though, this book is completely different from The Worst Week Ever. Yes, there is still humor, dry wit, situations that you would think...NOT AGAIN but this one humanizes Trent more.” 5 stars - Brian’s Mom – Amazon
8 reviews: 4.8 stars

Book Three
Coming to Reason


Other Books by Liza O’Connor


Liza O’Connor
Author Bio:

Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT 
LIZA O'CONNOR & UPCOMING BOOKS:


Prizes:
Tour prize: a $50 Amazon Gift Card
Gift at every stop for one lucky commenter
Must request book in comments
& leave email address:
Worst Week Ever or
Oh Stupid Heart ebook.


Enter to Win $50 Amazon Gift Card



Tuesday, February 18, 2014



Today, I'm at Jenna Jaxon's blog because her blog series on the making of a hero so inflamed me that I wanted rebuttal time. But then, I realized she's right, Trent's a terrible hero.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm at Joanne Wadworth AND Insert Clever Quip Here.




Today I'm at two places. 
I'll be at Melissa Limoges's Insert Clever Quip Here explaining how I made such an ill matched couple and why it has to end now.

And
At Joanne Wadworth sharing waaaaay too much. (I do that sometimes.)
(That ones up now.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Liza O'Connor Reviews Betrayal by Jenna Jaxon

Welcome peasants & surfs, ladies & gentlemen, minstrels and jesters. Today, we shall review the book Betrayal by Jenna Jaxon


Allow me to set the stage:

The time is 1348.
King Edward rules the land.

He took the crown at 14 when his Dad got the boot by Grand Mama because Eddie II allowed everything to fall to hell in a hand basket.

Edward III was generally thought to be a good king until his later years. But to be honest, he runs havoc on the characters in Jenna Jaxon’s books.


For those of you not intimately familiar with 1348 this is a time when men wore skirts to their knees and ladies wore  gowns to their toes. A time when 'jousting about' required armored horses and long poles. A time when the king held total sway over his people and could alter their lives in a second. And it's a time when life was uncertain and you lived in the moment, because tomorrow you could be dead.

It is also a time of easy betrayals for purse and power. Love held little value or purpose in life.

In Book 1, Alyse arrives at the King’s Court and falls at once for Lord Braeton, known as Thomas to his friends. To her disappointment, she is betrothed to another, Geoffrey Longford, the second son of highly respected family. Geoffrey is determined to make his beauty love him, despite her initial preference to Lord Braeton. With a few trials, he does succeed in winning her heart. At the end of book one, right before he returns to see to his dying brother, they make love and the book leaves you in fuzzy warm happiness or would if not for the name of Book 2: 
BETRAYAL.

That is a heavy omen if I ever saw one, I opened book two with trepidation...

Book 2 begins  with Alyse longing for the return of her betrothed, only he doesn’t. His brother dies, leaving him as #1 son. The King is petitioned to break Geoffrey’s betrothal to Alyse, so he can marry the young girl intended to marry Geoffrey’s brother. Not surprisingly the king agreed. The young lady was his niece. (This was arranged by his father and the king. Neither Geoffrey nor Alyse had say in the matter.) 

The news devastates both Alyse & Geoffry, but Alyse has worries beyond a broken heart. What if their one time together has left her with child?

As Geoffrey’s best friend, Thomas steps up and marries Alyse to protect her. He has no expectations of love, and thus gives her a promise that they can live as brother and sister for as long as she wishes. Given his skill at seduction, he does not expect her to refuse him for longer than he can easily endure.

But then, he hadn’t seen her naked yet. 

Soon, he longs not just for the body of his beautiful wife, but for her heart as well. Sadly, Alyse still pines for the man of her heart: Geoffrey. 

Thomas begins a grand seduction of his wife that has fits, frustration, re-starts and near destruction along the way.

Which I will leave you to discover.


I loved Betrothal, so I expected to love Betrayal as well.

And I did.

At least until I smacked face first into the back book cover and nearly broke my nose!

Leaving me most disgruntled.

My one and only complaint is that the book ended.

This could easily be resolved by my reading book 3, but it’s not out until spring.
Which leaves me uncertain of the future.

Nor do I obtain great comfort from the name of Book 3: 
Beleaguered

Getting beyond that complaint, there is nothing about these books not to love.

Jenna Jaxon delves deep into historical facts and shares details that imbue the story with character, but never bogs the plot in the process. I found the wedding night rituals most disturbing and am very glad they've changed.

You may think me unqualified to review this book since I rarely read historical novels before the 19th century. However, these books transcends time. They are books of love in all its confusion, pain, and pleasure. So you don’t have to be a medieval fan to enjoy them. You just need a heart.

I channeled Edward III when writing this review. This is what he has to say"


Read in proper order the books 
Betrothal and then Betrayal,
for I giveth each
my highest recommendation of
5 Grouts.


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