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Why I Love the Internet #research #birthstones #history by @LyndiLamont

July 16, 2018 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , , , , , ,

I’ve been doing research on birthstone history and the 7th Cavalry for a new book, and I’m reminded again of how much I love the Internet.

When I started writing, the Internet was just barely starting, so I had to rely on print sources. The research for my first historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage, took a long time. Some questions I had weren’t answered until my husband and I made a trip to Quebec City in Canada! (Plus it’s always fun to see the places you’re writing about. Any excuse for a chance to travel.)

In any case, the Internet is now chock full of wonderful information for writers to access in minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks. Ah, ye old inter-library loan.

Anyway, I had decided I needed a valuable piece of jewelry for the new plot and thought it would be cool to connect it to a character’s birthstone. But how old was the concept of birthstones?

Quite old, as it turns out. Apparently the concept of assigning gems to categories goes back to the Old Testament when Aaron’s breastplate had 12 gems on it, each representing one of the tribes of Israel. In the Middle Ages, Jewish jewelers transferred the gems to the signs of the Zodiac and introduced them to Europe. It wasn’t long before the gems became associated with months of the year rather than the pagan astrological signs. You can read more about birthstone history here.

But are the birthstones still the same today? Not exactly. Here’s a graphic of the modern birthstone system, though there are now subsidiary gems assigned to the months as well. The “modern” list dates to 1912.

Birthstone Chart

Birthstone Chart from Depositphotos_77526296_m-2015

Again, thanks to our wonderful World Wide Web, I was able to easily locate a Gregorian Birthstone poem that was published by Tiffany and Co. in 1870, perfect for my 1893-set Western historical romance. Most are the same, but not all. March, June, August and December vary.

golden vintage brooch with emeralds

golden vintage brooch with emeralds isolated on white, Deposit Photos Image ID: 194305906
Copyright: vi0222

But which gemstone to choose? Which was the most valuable at the time?

According to an article written in 1949 that some lovely person digitized and uploaded the Internet, I learned that “from 1872 to the present day (1949) the emerald has been the most expensive stone.”

Here’s the verse for the month of May:

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.

Great, but what kind of jewelry?

I talked to my neighbor, whose father was a jeweler, and she suggested a brooch. They’re not very popular now, but were in the 19th century. I found this photo of a vintage brooch at Deposit Photos and I think it will be perfect for my book, since it has not one but two large emeralds.

Would someone kill for that? Maybe, if he were desperate enough.

What are you researching?

 

Linda McLaughlin / Lyndi Lamont
Website/blog: https://lindalyndi.com

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Keep Your Creativity Alive: OCC/RWA March Online Class with @jillbadonsky

February 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , ,

Does you creativity go in fits and starts? If so, check out OCC/RWA’s March Online Class:

Keep Creativity Alive graphic

 

About the Class:

What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds, In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are.” ~Ray Bradbury

Writing is a celebration of who we are and of all the stories, images, and beliefs we have inside that are singularly ours. There are as many forms of creativity as there are people – if we trust our instincts and get out of the way of our fears, habits, and incarcerating perfectionism, our unique voice can more effortlessly emerge. The more we find ways to love our writing, the easier it will be to show-up.

In this fun, 5-week workshop learn at least six ways you can tap into your instincts, intuition, and imagination to generate new ideas, breathe new life into your writing, and rekindle your romance with the creative process. Includes MP3 of a guided imagery followed by guided writing to trigger your instincts.

About the Instructor:

Jill Badonsky in Sedona, AZ

Jill Badonsky is a creativity coaching pioneer, inspirational humorist, artist, and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ Training, a coaching model that guides individuals by using unprecedented approaches to busting through blocks to creative joy. Jill has been a creativity coach and consultant since 1997 and specializes in consulting with anyone who has a creative block including those who don’t think they are creative. She has worked with writers, authors, artists, civilians in flux, business builders, film-makers, storytellers, stand-up comedians, and coaching writers, artists, and anyone wanting to live life with more creative thought, action and fulfillment.

She is a nationally recognized workshop leader, award winning speaker, and author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard):10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence, the award winning, The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder and The Muse is In: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity.

Jill is also a multimedia artist/illustrator, poet and playwright. She is a certified Yoga teacher; teaching for over 30 years in corporate, prison, retreat, and wellness centers.

She is a corporate drop-out with a background in mental health, occupational therapy, marketing, and creative consulting with national magazines.

Jill writes a monthly column for Creativity Portal, and is chief editor of the monthly The Muse Flash: a newsletter devoted to creativity since 1997. Jill’s services operate out of The Muse is In.

Jill lives in San Diego with two cats and a bougainvillea. Reach Jill at info@themuseisin.com.

Enrollment Information

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.

Enrollment is a two-step process. In Step 1, you ask to Join the Yahoo Group. Step 2 is your payment via PayPal.

Class Fees are $20.00 for OCC/RWA members: $30.00 for non-members. Sign up at http://occrwa.org/classes/march-online-class/.

For further information regarding this class, refunds or problems enrolling/paying for the class, please send an email to the OCCRWA Online Class Coordinator at onlineclass@occrwa.org.

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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Linda McLaughlin Featured Author #HistoricalRomance Backlist @LyndiLamont

January 16, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

Linda McLaughlin | Featured Author | A Slice of Orange

I’m thrilled to be the Featured Author this month, and thought I’d use my regular monthly post to share some of my Historical Romance backlist. Warning: Blatant self-promotion.

Rogues Hostage coverMy first published historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage, starts in Western Pennsylvania where I grew up, and ends in old Quebec, a favorite destination I traveled to with my DH. It’s also my first historical romance novel, the one that wouldn’t leave me until I’d finally sold it. It took me three years to research and write the book, and nine years to sell it. But Jacques and Mara just would not let me rest until their book saw the light of day! Fortunately, I sold it to Amber Quill Press in 2002. It garnered 4 1/2 Stars plus a Top Pick in Romantic Times and was nominated for a Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance, 2003, as well as taking second place in the Historical Category of the 2002 Lories Contest. I reissued it in 2013.

His hostage…

In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré’s life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn’t count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.

Her destiny…

French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau’s desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.

Rogue’s Hostage  is availabe from 

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Lady Elinor's Escape cover

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a ‘rescuer’ of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

I love the Regency subgenre, but for the longest time thought I couldn’t summon the voice. When I discovered that I could do so, I happily wrote a reverse Cinderella story set in one of my favorite cities in the whole world: London. In 2003, and again in 2015, I had the opportunity to visit London and see some of the places where Lady Elinor and her hero Stephen Chaplin lived and loved. I’m hoping to add some sequels to Elinor and Stephen’s story, though when I’ll find the time, I do not know!

Lady Elinor’s Escape is available from 

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And writing as Lyndi Lamont:

Reluctant Bride coverHow To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, Steamy Victorian Romance.

A marriage contract, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. Yet the rules are simple for an arrangement such as theirs. There should be no misunderstanding, no illusions of anything more. But the rules are about to change…

Lydia wants the kind of love and romance she reads about in books. Fortunately, she hasn’t specified which book, and Evan has a copy of Richard Burton’s new translation of the Kama Sutra, with its ancient wisdom on love and courtship. He sets out to win his high-born bride, blending seductive promises with exotic lessons in love-making.

Lydia is prepared to tolerate this man she’s been sold to, but his scorching kisses send her pulses racing. Can an arranged marriage lead to love?

Disclaimer: This is a short 30 page romantic short story with bonus material** It is not a full-length novel. Contains scenes of Victorians breaking society’s rules, marital sex and ancient wisdom from the Kama Sutra.

Available from 

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How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, is part of the USA Today Bestselling Romance Super Bundle II: Second Chances bundle, which allows me to make the claim of being a USAT bestselling author. (I said there would be blatant self-promotion.)  Available from 

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You can find me online at http://lindalyndi.com
Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthorInsert Shortcode
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lindamclaughlin
Twitter: @LyndiLamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

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Linda McLaughlin: January Featured Author

January 14, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

Linda McLaughin | Featured Author | A Slice of Orange

Linda McLaughlin

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.

She also writes steamy romance under the name Lyndi Lamont.

website: http://lindalyndi.com
blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

HOW TO WOO … A RELUCTANT BRIDE

ILONA’S WOLF

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ILONA’S WOLF

LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

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LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

LILY AND THE GAMBLER

Buy now!
LILY AND THE GAMBLER

ROGUE’S HOSTAGE

Buy now!
ROGUE’S HOSTAGE
SECOND CHANCES ROMANCE SUPER BUNDLE II

TOVA’S DRAGON

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TOVA’S DRAGON
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January Featured Author: Linda McLaughlin writing as Lyndi Lamont

January 7, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , ,

Lyndi Lamont | January Featured Author | A Slice of Orange

Lyndi Lamont

Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of romance author Linda McLaughlin. Writing sexy stories gives her a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of her books! She has written several full-length novels plus numerous short stories and novellas, ranging from historical to futuristic. She believes that love is unending and universal, and enjoys transporting her readers into a different world where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.

website: http://lindalyndi.com
blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

HOW TO WOO … A RELUCTANT BRIDE

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF
SECOND CHANCES ROMANCE SUPER BUNDLE II

TOVA’S DRAGON

Buy now!
TOVA’S DRAGON
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