Friday, June 28, 2013

Flapper Friday: Condom Crazy

This is one of those history lessons we didn't get in school.

A lovely reader who just finished an ARC of SPEAK EASY emailed me about a scene where Enzo retrieves a condom from his coat pocket. (It is a favorite scene of mine.)

She was curious about the accuracy of this--did such a thing exist in the 1920s?

Why, yes!

I admit that when I was writing the scene, I looked it up to make sure (that's the downside of writing hot scenes in historical settings--you have to stop and look things up...more on that another time).

But here are Five Fun Things about Condom History.

1) According to, "The oldest condoms ever found were dug up in the cesspit — or big toilet — of Dudley Castle, an English ruin, in 1985. Made of fish and animal intestine, the condoms were most likely dropped into the cesspit sometime in the mid 17th century."

Animal skin condom c. 1900

Fascinating. And yet disgusting.

2) The first rubber condoms were produced in the mid-19th century, and they only covered the tip--men had to be measured by a doctor for a proper fit, and even then they'd fall off during use (go figure). Pretty soon rubber manufacturers figured out that full-length one-size-fits-all condoms would sell like mad in pharmacies.


3) Condom use got a big boost during World War I because they prevented soldier deaths from  STD's like syphilis. However, the U.S. military, under pressure from "purity advocates," was the only force not to supply its troops with condoms. Way to go, Uncle Sam!

4) In 1918, condoms began to be publicly, legally sold to Americans for the first time in forty-five years. Through the 1920s, catchy names and slick packaging became an increasingly important marketing technique for many consumer items, including condoms.

I like to think Enzo used Three Sheik. ;)

5) Margaret Sanger held the First American Birth Control Conference in November 1921 in New York City. Condom sales doubled worldwide in the 1920s!

Yay Margaret!

So, yes...we may not like to think about our great-grandparents in terms of pre-marital sex or Three Ramses condoms, but there it is!

Have a safe weekend. ;)


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tempt Me Tuesday: Fixed on You

Lovers of smexy books are feasting this week on some hot new releases, and one of them is FIXED ON YOU by my friend Laurelin Paige.

Mmmm. Suit porn.

Laurelin writes some really sexy stuff, so if you like your romance with heat a la Gideon and Eva, you will eat up Hudson and Laynie and lick the plate!

Here is my fantasy Hudson as he appears when Laynie first meets him--blue suit, gray eyes, stubble.


One of my favorite scenes is when Hudson takes Laynie shopping for a dress to wear to an event, and she's in the dressing room wearing the winner--a long black dress with a corset bodice.

He sneaks in, stands behind her, and loosens the corset. Then he tells her to watch in the mirror.

What happens next is so hot I can't even write it here.

But this. THIS.

"Put your hands on the mirror." His husky command and the anticipation of knowing what he was about to do sparked a new wave of arousal, evan more intense than before.

Still shaking, I reached my hands out in front of me, his arms leaving me as soon as I managed to support myself. Behind me, I heard his zipper, the sound raising my level of excitement.


And this was just an appetizer, darlings. The entire meal awaits!

Eat. It. Up.          Amazon           Barnes and Noble

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's for a Book--I Swear!

You know that feeling when you're writing a scene and you have to google something kinda shady?

And you go like this

and type in something like "How far out do you have to toss a body in the lake so it won't come back to shore?"

(BTW, that totally wasn't me. But it was another writer's actual search.)

So this week I had to google things like "opium form suitable for smoking" and "how to smuggle opium" and I sort of expected the NSA to come after me. I didn't want to be alone in my paranoia, so I decided to ask around and find out what other creeptastic things writers are googling in the name of research.

And let me just say...

The scary shit in writer-brains is way, way out there.

Generally, it fell into three categories:

Scientific, Cultural, or Historical Details
What are ghillie suits?
How large is the fallout from a nuclear bomb?
What are some dirty words in Portuguese?
LGBT adoption procedures
The Black Plague
Teenage prostitution
Sword fighting
Youth custody
Hacking and wifi signal jammers
Armenian baby names (awww)
Are rats nocturnal? (Yes.)

Not bad, right? But then there is category two.

Drugs, Violence, and Death
Bleeding to death, suffocation symptoms, various bladed weaponry (that's one person)
Molotov cocktails, pipe bombs, guns, how to make a bomb with alcohol and dish soap (also one on an army base)
What makes someone pass out naturally?
How do you make a pipe bomb?
Poisonous flowers, chloroform, rohypnol, cocaine, opium (OK, that last one is me)
How long does it take someone to die from a gunshot wound?
How to stab someone but not kill them
Ecstasy pills and the time frame it lasts in your body and what happens when you mix it with alcohol.
"How to make meth and pictures of a meth lab explosion. Just typing that first sentence made me want to explain everything to Google." (Understandable.)

And then we have category three.

Whether being stabbed in the eye can kill you
What dead bodies smell like
New ways to kill or maim people in interesting yet believable ways (at least she wants to be interesting)
At what degree a fire would need to be to completely char a human body?
What is the slowest & most painful way to kill someone with a knife?

At this point, I'm feeling pretty good about my opium search.

My favorite search was this: What is the hobby horse sex position? (not supplying an image for that one, although I did marvel at its ingenuity)

And the grand prize goes to this writer: "Mine was googling the story about the little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dike. Trust me, you don't want to google some of those words together."

Yep. I'm gonna trust her on that.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tempt Me Tuesday -- What's Under that Kilt???

Today's Tempt Me Tuesday is brought to you by waffles, kilts, Chiclets, Scottish exchange students, and the lovely Sophia Bleu.

Her NA romance CATCHING LIAM releases July 8th, and just take a look...

Gah! What a sexy fun summer read! I love a romance with a sense of humor. :)

I will admit--I've never had a thing for guys in kilts before, aaaand then I saw this picture...

Let's just say I had to change my mind.

And maybe my panties.

(Did I just say that out loud?)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flapper Friday -- How Did They Get That GLOW?

Glowing Gloria Swanson
Ever wonder how those classic Hollywood screen starlets got their glowing complexions? Why the leading men appeared so virile? 

Easy-peasy. Radioactivity!

Within two years of its discovery, doctors, inventors, and cosmetics companies were singing the praises of radium's healing properties and energy-boosting powers. It was called a "revolutionary beauty secret."

This ad for Radior Toilet Requisites from 1918 claims, "The tiniest particle of Radium throws off a stream of Energy Rays. An energy never diminishing, never ceasing, day or night, year in, year out. A force a million times more powerful than any other known."

Our great-grandflappers and sheiks said, "Swell! What can we do with it besides rub it in our faces?"

How about drink it!
Don't worry. It's totally certified.
Radithor, made from 1918 to 1928, contained triple distilled water and radium. It was said to "cure stomach cancer, mental illness, and restore sexual vigor." (I bet industrialist Eben Byers, who boasted drinking a bottle a day for four years, was a real tiger before his cancerous jaw bone disintegrated.)

Or insert it in your derriere!

15 Day Course Vita Radium Suppositories: Recommended for "sexually weak men," these miracle missiles would "bombard every tissue, every organ with health-giving electric atoms." 

Truly, I had to stare at this picture really hard to understand it.
Weak in the glands? Want to be e a "REAL MAN" again?  Stage a "comeback" with Radium! 

Last but certainly not least, apply it to your scrotum!

Here we have the Scrotal Radiendocrinator. 

Simply wear it under the scrotum at night like an athletic supporter for increased sexual virility--what could be easier? (It even comes with its own little velvet-lined case for modesty.) 

Wait a minute...Could this be Gideon Cross's secret???

If Eva's ladyparts start glowing, WE KNOW.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tempt Me Tuesday: Get in THE MOOD

Since my cover reveal was so much fun last week, I thought I'd share some more pictures that will put you in the proper mood for SPEAK EASY. (This is me trying to tempt you...)

Best viewed with a cocktail and the Great Gatsby soundtrack.

Booth at Club 23

Several fun things happen in stairwells... well as underground tunnels.

What's better than a man in a three-piece suit at a speakeasy?

Um, this.

The hair. The eyes. THE LIPS. Meet Enzo DiFiore.

OK, the modern room can go, but the man? He stays.
As promised, there IS a gorgeous boy in a kitchen (meet Joey)...although he's dressed in the scene.  (Boo, I know.)

My cover girl is the perfect Tiny O'Mara.

The clothes...the clothes. There are suits...

and a chemise...

and headbands...
and dresses...

and shoes...

and a step-in...

and more dresses!

Here's how they kept those stockings rolled.
And there is kissing. Even when they shouldn't...especially when they shouldn't. 

Intrigued? Come back soon for a sneak peak at chapter one!


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