Monday, January 15, 2018

Word of the Week - Drapes

Yet another Word of the Week inspired by my weekend activities. ;-) I confess: I'm not a decorator. Most of the decorations in my house are books, LOL. (The best decorations, if I do say so myself.) Things like curtains...meh. I've put them up in most rooms, simply to block the light when necessary, but I'd never bothered in my kitchen. I don't know. I just...didn't.

But upon taking down the lovely garland I'd strung over my windows at Christmas, they looked so bare. So I decided, "It's time to get curtains." Or, upon looking up what I actually wanted, make them.

Of course, making curtains reminds me of one of the frequent goofs I've made in my British-set books: referring to those window-hangings as drapes. Apparently they don't ever call them that in the UK. So it's high time I look it up, right!

While doesn't denote drapes as being an American usage, it is rather recent. Though the verb, "to hang with fabric," is from the 1400s, it didn't turn into a noun at all until  the 1660s, and it didn't at that point have the particular meaning of "curtain." That didn't come about--pluralized, drapes, not just drape--until 1895. It's a direct derivation--the draping of fabric over windows, and drapery is a similar derivation--so logical. But apparently not universal. ;-)

I just finished sewing my cheerful calico curtains, now draped over my windows. How about you? What kind of drapery do you fancy as window treatments, or do you like bare panes of glass?

And since everyone keeps asking in the comments, I'm adding a photo of my newly-stitched curtains...

Monday, January 8, 2018

Word of the Week - Those Hats...

Last week, my friend Rachel McMillan (of Toronto) asked on Facebook what the different American regions called a certain type of hat. You know, that basic knit hat for the winter. There, she said, they universally called it a toque. Other answers included "winter hat, knit cap, ski hat, beanie, tam, stocking hat..." The list went on and on.

But given that I'm currently knitting one for my husband (the pattern is called, "A Very Plain Hat," LOL), I was thinking of it again and thought it would be fun to feature.

In my area, I grew up hearing them called toboggans. Like the sled. Upon looking it up, I learned that the word dates from 1829, meaning a flat-bottomed sled. Around 100 years later, in the late 1920s, it began being applied (regionally in America) to the knit hats one wore when tobogganing. (I guess that region includes my own...)

Toque, coming from French, is not surprisingly common in Canada. As a word for "a round hat," it dates to the 1500s. It comes from the Spanish word for "a woman's headdress," which may have in turn come from the Arabic word for "shawl."

Beanie dates from the 1940s and might be the funniest of the words--it's from the slang sense of bean, meaning "head." (For some reason, I always think of a beanie as one of the bowl-shaped hats with a little propeller on top. I wonder what TV show I have to thank for that? LOL)

Tam is short for tam-o'-shanter, a type of hat from the 1840s used by Scottish plowmen. The name comes from the hero of Robert Burns poem (Tom of Shanter) of the same name, published in 1790. This type of woolen hat became fashionable for women in the 1880s as well.

So there we go. Whatever we call it, I know many of them have been worn during this awful arctic blast! If you're anything like me, you're pretty excited to see warmer temps in this week's forecast!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Lost Heiress is FREE!

Well here's some exciting news! For the first time in history, one of my full-length novels is available for FREE! The Lost Heiress e-book can be downloaded at no cost from any of your favorite retailers that carry it. This deal will last through January and February, so grab it for yourself and please share!

If you haven't read The Lost Heiress yet, it's a book that's very special to me. When I was 12, I decided I would complete a novel. I finished my manuscript a year later, and that story (after many revisions, LOL) eventually became The Lost Heiress. The kernel of the idea is the same, as are the two main characters. Other than few things got changed over the years, LOL. But this story--oh, gracious, this story. Brook and Justin traveled with me for 20 years before it was finally accepted for publication, and I love that this is the book that Bethany House pours their promotional efforts into!

Official description and links:

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she's British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook's friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of
the very rare treasure in her possession--and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.

D O W N L O A D   L I N K S

S E R I E S    S A L E 

And my other Bethany House titles' digital books are on sale too!
Grab them each for $6.99 or less!
(Sale prices take longer to process on some sites so may not be reflected yet)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Willa's Song Giveaway

J a n u a r y   2  -  J a n u a r y   1 6

It's release day for A Song Unheard! And we all know what that means around here. Time for a giveaway!

I had fun pondering what gifts to offer with this one, and I hope you guys enjoy what I found! So without further ado, allow me to present Willa's Song Giveaway, including:

  • A signed copy of A Song Unheard, for obvious reasons ;-)
  • A paperback copy of Agatha Christie's first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring her detective who is a Belgian refugee--one of the only lasting reminders that England had once been filled with them.
  • Magnetic book marks with music notes and clefs, for marking your pages in those books
  • A violin puzzle box, with a small opening for your treasures (be they a cypher key or, you know, something more ordinary like...
  • A sterling silver treble clef necklace, for you or another music lover in your life
  • A music-themed journal so can write down all your symphonic thoughts (pages have a faint treble clef as well as standard lines)
  • A music-themed ceramic travel mug

One grand prize winner with a U.S. address will receive all those prizes! But wait (ahem), there's more! ;-)

For one Second Place winner (open to international residents as well!), I'm also giving away a $25 gift card to iTunes or Amazon, so you can stock up on the music of your choice! (Okay, so there's no way to designate them for music, but you know. For the purposes of this giveaway, that's what I'm going to say you should spend it on. Though if you'd rather buy books, who am I to complain? LOL)

Have you seen the book trailer yet?

You can watch this beautiful (1 minute long) glimpse into the story, narrated by my English friend Elizabeth and featuring the original composition "Willa's Song" written by Jessica Brand and performed on the violin by Taylor Bennett right here! (It'll get you an extra entry into the giveaway too!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas ~ See You in the New Year!

I'm wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas! I'll be taking a break from blogging, but I'll be back on January 2 ... with some fun. That will be release day for A Song Unheard, so in usual Writing Roseanna fashion, I'll be celebrating with a big giveaway! Be sure to check in then to get in on the fun.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the time with friends and/or family. Here's wishing you a holiday season filled with joy, and much time for reading. ;-)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thoughtful Guest Post by Mesu Andrews

Today I'm happy to welcome my friend and fellow biblical fiction writer Mesu Andrew to the blog, with a very special post. To go along with her upcoming release, Isaiah's Daughter, Mesu has written a small devotional that is available as a free download to anyone who pre-orders her novel! And she's here today to share one of those 14 it's very appropriate to the season. Please join me in giving Mesu a warm welcome!


Isaiah’s Daughter 14-Day Devotional

Day Twelve

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

~ Isaiah 7:14 ~

Which aspect of Jesus’ birth is most amazing to you?

Christmas print - will be mailed to anyone who pre-orders

I have two daughters and was honored to attend each of their first births. Watching my babies give birth to babies was an amazing privilege but pales in comparison to watching them be mothers. Mothering is not for the faint of heart, and I’ve often pondered the impossible task Jesus’ mother faced. So much intrigues me about her conception, Jesus’ birth, and her life as a mom.
What was it like to create in her womb the God who created her? Was her birth experience more or less terrifying, knowing the Son she bore was God’s own? Instructed to call Him, Immanuel—God with us—how did she parent God?
I’ve heard folks say it would have been easier to believe in God if they’d lived while Jesus walked the earth. I’m not so sure. While we have the benefit of hindsight, Isaiah’s conservative theology might have struggled to embrace God’s Messiah. Even Mary, who lived moment-by-moment with a divine toddler, teenager, and adult Son, remained as confused as His other disciples until the Spirit was given at Pentecost (Mark 3:20-21). Seeing doesn’t always make believing easier. Jesus’ brothers refused to believe He was the Christ (John 7:3-5) until after His death and resurrection. Only then did James believe his Brother had been God With Us, the perfect representation of the Father’s glory.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
After he had provided purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
~ Hebrews 1:3 ~
I think many in Jesus’ day discounted Him as the Messiah because He was too common. He wasn’t spectacular in any way.
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. 
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, 
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
~ Isaiah 53:2 ~
What if we—the Ones to whom the indwelling Holy Spirit is available—actually have the easier path to faith. Immanuel dwells through His Spirit in all who believe in Jesus Christ. Perhaps Isaiah would envy us.
[Jesus said to His disciples,]
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.
Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you;
but if I go, I will send him to you.”
~ John 16:7 ~
What benefits did the disciples have with a flesh-and-blood Savior that we don’t?
What benefits do we enjoy with the indwelling Spirit that the disciples couldn’t?
Quote card ~ will be mailed to anyone who pre-orders

About the Book

Ishma comes to the prophet Isaiah’s home as a five-year-old orphan, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. With tenderness and care, her lively spirit is revived, and the prophet and his wife adopt Ishma, giving her a new name—Zibah, delight of the Lord. As the years pass, Zibah wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man awakens Zibah’s painful past and calls into question the very foundation of her father’s prophecies. Can she learn to rely on only Yahweh, who gives life, calms fear, and conquers nations?

Isaiah's Daughter releases January 16, so this pre-order deal is good until the day before! You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, Parable, Lifeway, or see the full list of retail affiliates from the publisher.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Word of the Week - Yule

Did you know that  yule and jolly are from the same root? According to some sources, both come from the Old Norse jol (that J would be pronounced like a Y--see my word of the week on the letter J), which was borrowed into Old French as well, as jolif, which originally meant "festive." Modern French now has joli, which means "pretty, nice." And English, of course, has jolly.

But what about this whole "yuletide" idea, meaning Christmas? The yule log? Well, way back in the days of Old English, that Old Norse jol was a heathen feast. As Christianity came in and took over, they applied the English cognate geol to the coordinating Christian festival--Christmas. Old English, you see, already had the word giuli (which sounded very similar)--the Anglo-Saxon name for the winter season (December and January). It wasn't a specific festival, but rather a two-month stretch in which many feasts occurred. But upon conversion to Christianity, the meaning of giuli narrowed to the twelve day feast of the Nativity (beginning Dec 25). By the 11th century, Christmas became the more popular word in most of England, except the northeast.

How did it come back, then? Well, there had always been a few holdouts--evidenced by yule log being recorded in the 1600s. But we're mostly familiar with it today because in the 19th century, writers began using it as a nostalgic way to refer to "the Christmas of 'Merrie England.'"

Today we're exactly a week from the start of the official Yuletide season. I hope you and yours are having a jolly time!