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Archive for June, 2014

13 Destinations in My Future

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Hubby and I are counting the days until our holiday, which starts in about seven weeks. Here are some of the places we intend to visit.

Thirteen Places We Will Visit

1. Southampton, England

2. London

3. St. Petersburg, Russia

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

5. Oslo, Norway

6. Helsinki, Finland

7. Stockholm, Sweden

8. Tallinn, Estonia

9. Venice, Italy

10. Valetta, Malta

11. Cadiz, Spain

12. Gibraltar

13. Dubrovnik, Croatia

We’ve visited London (lived there for six years), Gibraltar and Venice before and the rest will be an adventure. I’ve wanted to visit Dubrovnik for years, so I’m happy we’re finally getting there.

Have you visited any of these places before? Any tips?

Bedlam!

This post first appeared on Ally’s Miscellany

According to www.dictionary.reference.com bedlam is a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion. Synonyms for bedlam include disorder, tumult, chaos, clamor, turmoil, commotion, and pandemonium. If someone says, “The place was bedlam!” we know there was trouble and a lot of confusion.

But there’s more to the word.

Bedlam originated as a common name for the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem in London. The hospital was a lunatic asylum and many families left relatives there in order to hide them from becoming public knowledge. It was also a place where husbands could leave wives who had become inconvenient, since it was widely known that women of the time were mentally unstable. Thank goodness times have changed!

Mistress of MerrivaleThe patients were chained to walls and posts and conditions were terrible. During the 18th century, in an effort to raise funds for the hospital, anyone with the price of admission could enter the hospital and visit the patients. Originally it was expected that the visitors would help the hospital raise money and bring food for the patients. That didn’t happen as the visitors treated the patients like a sideshow. They laughed and jeered, poked and teased the patients and threw things at them, inciting them to acts of madness. Bedlam was part of the tourist trail and these visits continued from 1720 – 1770.

In Mistress of Merrivale, Jocelyn, the heroine resists her sisters’ attempts to place their mother in Bedlam. She hates to think of her mother in a place like this and makes a point of looking after her parent. As one of the conditions of her arranged marriage with Leo Sherbourne, she insists he give her mother a home with them, and Elizabeth Townsend is spared from the horror of Bedlam.

Bedlam was a tourist site during the 18th century. If you were to visit London either during the 18th century or now, which tourist site would be on your to-do list?

13 Types of Citrus Fruit

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Citrus fruits originated in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia. They are acidic and the seeds of the fruit are covered with juicy yet bitter fruit segments. They range in color from bright yellow to orange and green. They’re good for us and delicious to eat.

Thirteen Types of Citrus Fruits

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1. Lemon

2. Grapefruit

3. Mandarin

4. Tangelo

5. Lime

6. Clementine

7. Satsuma

8. Kumquat

9. Orange

10. Pomelo – has white flesh

11. Naartje – in China this is known as a seedless mandarin. This is the Afrikaans name for the fruit.

12. Shaddock – has white flesh and a green to yellow skin

13. Tangerine

I like all citrus fruit and gravitate toward lemon desserts. My husband can’t eat grapefruit because it clashes with his medication.

Do you like citrus fruit?

13 Nautical Sayings in Common Usage

Before I get to my TT today – two public service notices!

1. The Covergasm contest closes on 13 June. I’m giving away a $10 Amazon GC. All you need to do is comment on my post, which is here. You can also enter the Grand prize draw and win a larger Amazon gift certificate by completing the rafflecopter

2. Win an e-copy of The Bottom Line at Sidney Bristol’s blog. Sidney is also giving away an Amazon GC and a bundle of e-books.

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Mr Munro and I went on a Pacific cruise last year, and each day at midday we were told how far we’d traveled, about the weather and given the history of a nautical term. I was surprised by the number of nautical terms that had been integrated into every day use.

Thirteen Nautical Sayings in Common Usage

1. All at sea – means a state of confusion or disorder. This phrase comes from the days of sail prior to accurate navigational aids. When a ship was out of sight of the land they were in danger of becoming lost, therefore they were all at sea.

2. By and large – means all things considered or on the whole. If the wind was blowing from a point behind the position of a ship’s direction then it was said to be large. By means in the general direction of. If a ship could sail by and large this meant it could sail downwind and also against the wind in order to progress on its voyage.

3. Give a wide berth – means keep a good distance away. Berth used to mean a place where there is sea room to moor a ship, and if a sailor was told to give a wide berth, they had to keep the ship away from a certain object.

4. Batten down the hatches – means to prepare for trouble. A hatch is a hatchway or an opening in the deck of a ship. They were like a skylight and enabled ventilation. If bad weather looked likely then the hatches were covered with tarpaulin and edged with wooden strips known as battens to keep the tarpaulin in place during a gale.

5. Close quarters – means close contact, and in particular, close contact with an enemy. In the nautical world, close quarters were barriers of wood stretching across a merchant ship in several places. They were used as a place to retreat when a ship was boarded by pirates or enemies. They were fitted with loop holes in order for the men to fire out at their enemy.

6. Shake a leg – means to hurry up. It’s said show a leg, which means make an appearance, is related. The nautical meaning is an order to rouse and get out of bed. Sailors were expected to show that they were awake by sticking a leg out from under the covers – a sign they were ready to leave their hammocks.

7. Taken aback – surprised or startled. In nautical terms if the direction of the wind changed suddenly so the ship was facing into the wind, then the ship was taken aback.

8. Mal de mer – seasickness. A ship’s motion is three dimensional, which makes the person suffer illness and misery for a long time. There was no escape.

9. Loose cannon – an unpredictable person or thing. This saying comes from the 17th century when the cannon was the main weapon. They had an enormous recoil after firing and were mounted on rollers and secured with rope. A loose cannon was one which had become free of its restraints.

10. Plain sailing – smooth and easy progress. This meant a the voyage was without trouble. Primarily a US term.

11. Hard and fast – without doubt or debate. In nautical terms a ship that was hard and fast was beached on land and wasn’t coming free without difficulty.

12. Shiver my timbers – this was an oath that expressed annoyance or surprise. If a sailor said shiver my timbers he was hoping that the ship would break into pieces.

13. Push the boat out – to spend generously or to spend more than you usually would. Boats were often too large for one person to push into the sea if they were beached. To help push the boat out was an act of kindness because you were helping a man get his boat ready for use.

Do you suffer from mal de mer?

Source – http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/nautical-phrases.html

13 Things About Gemini

Thursday Thirteen

I picked up a copy of Everyday Astrology for a better life by Sasha Fenton at the library. Astrology always fascinates me, and I find it can be very helpful when “designing” characters.

Thirteen Characteristics of a Gemini

1. The Sun sign Gemini belongs to those who were born between May 22 and June 21.

2.  Gemini is the sign of twins and is a masculine air sign.

3. Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury.

4. When it comes to health, a Gemini’s weak areas are shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, brain, pupils and tongue.

5. Best forms of exercise – gardening and walking the dog.

6. Biggest indulgences are cigarettes and alcohol.

7. Favorite foods are pasta, seafood and light meals.

8. Gemini people are fussy about their clothes and choose the best that money can buy. They are cautious in their choice of colors.

9. Gemini’s vanity means that they’ll be on a diet for most of their life. They prefer coffee instead of bothering with cooking. They are fans of takeaway meals and ready-cooked meals.

10. Gemini people are friendly and going out and meeting with friends is an important part of your life.

11. A Gemini cannot stand a job where they have to do a repetitive task. An office life suits you, especially if it is a busy office, but you don’t like too much stress.

12. A Gemini worries about money and you’re sensible when it comes to financial manners.

13. A Gemini likes to live in a place where there is plenty of room for gadgets and tools, and they like lots of bookshelves and magazine racks. You’re a good gardener and can make even a small plot look like a picture.

So, that’s a little about the Gemini Sun sign. If you’re a Gemini, does any of this hit the mark? Do you read your star signs?

The Reveal – Secrets of Honor by Carol Kilgore

I’m really excited to take part in the cover reveal for Carol Kilgore’s upcoming release. I met Carol online via blogging. She has a wonderful blog called Under the Tiki Hut, and there is always a fun post to read. Definitely check out her blog – Under the Tiki Hut

And now without further delay, Carol’s gorgeous cover…

Secrets of Honor by Carol Kilgore

 

BLURB for SECRETS OF HONOR

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

BIO

Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notesCarol Kilgore Author Photo to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.

She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol and her books here:

blog . website . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon

I think the cover is gorgeous and there are jewel thieves in this book. I’m sold!