Wednesday, February 7, 2018


A "chew stick," a pencil-size twig with one end frayed to a soft, fibrous condition, provided the first toothbursh. Chew sticks were initially rubbed against the teeth with no additional abrasive such as toothpaste, and have been found in Egyptian tombs dating to 3000 B.C.
     Chew sticks are still used in some areas of the world. Some African tribes fray twigs only from a certain tree, the Salvadore persica, or "toothbrush tree." The American Dental Associaton discovered that frayed sticks often serve as toothbrushes for people in remote areas of the United States; in the South, they're known as "twig brushes." Dentists reported on one elderly man near Shreveport, LA, who had used frayed white elm sticks all his life and had plaque-free teeth and healthy gums.
     The first bristle toothbrush, similar to today's, originated in China about 1498. The bristles, hand plucked from the backs of the necks of hogs living in the colder climates of Siberia and China (frigid weather causes hogs to grow firmer bristles), were fastened into handles of bamboo or bone. Traders to the Orient introduced the Chinese toothbrush to Europeans, who found hog bristles too irritatingly firm.
     At that time, Europeans who brushed their teeth (an uncommon practice) preferred softer horsehair toothbrushes. The father of modern dentistry, Dr. Pierre Fauchard, gives the first detailed account of the toothbrush in Europe. In a 1723 dental textbook, he is critical of the ineffectiveness of horsehair brushes for being too soft, and more crititcal of the large portion of the population who never, on only infrequently, practiced any kind of dental hygiene. Fauchard recommended daily vigorous rubbing of teeth and gums with a small piece of natural sponge.
     Toothbrushes made of other animal hair, such as badger, experienced brief popularity. Many people preferred to pick their teeth clean after a meal with a stiff quill (as the Romans did), or to use specially manufactured brass or silver toothpicks. These metal toothpicks were less hazardous than hard natural-hair toothbrushes. Once the 19th Century French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur posted his theory of germs, the dental profession realized all anamial-hair toothbrushes, which retain moisture, eventually accumulate microscopic bacterial and fungal growth and could cause mouth infections. Nylon-bristle toothbrushes did not arrive until 1938 in the U.S.

Monday, February 5, 2018


Generations: Brody Hotel Book One by Amelia C. Adams

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Blurb: Andrew Brody, investment banker and self-made millionaire, has just lost his father, but gained an estate. Along with inheriting stocks, bonds, racehorses, and undeveloped land, he learns that he is now the owner of a hotel that has been in the family since 1875 and should probably just be torn down.

Marissa Clark needs a new challenge - staging homes to sell and rearranging pictures on walls isn't what she dreamed of doing when she became an interior designer. When she gets a call asking her to help renovate a historical building, she leaps at the change - what a great way to use both her love of texture and fabric and her love of history.

They believe they're just taking an old building and giving it a second chance at life . . . but they have no idea that they're getting a second chance too.

Amelia C. Adams, author of the bestselling historical Kansas Crossroads series, brings us this romantic spin-off featuring the same location, but 140 years later. You can learn more about Amelia at



1817 1st US gas co incorporated, Baltimore (coal gas for street lights)
1825 Hannah Lord Montague of NY creates 1st detachable shirt collar
1846 "Oregon Spectator" is 1st newspaper to be published on the West Coast
1850 Adding machine employing depressible keys patented, New Paltz, NY
1861 Louisiana delegation except Mr Bouligny withdraws from Congress (US Civil War)
1864 Federals occupy Jackson, Mississippi
1865 Battle of Hatcher's Run, Virginia (Armstrong's Mill, Dabney's Mill)
1869 World's largest alluvial gold nugget, the Welcome Stranger, found by John Deason and Richard Oates (weighting 97.14kg) in Moliagul, Australia
1870 1st motion picture shown to a theater audience, Philadelphia
1879 Joseph Swan demonstrates light bulb using carbon glow
1881 Phoenix, Arizona incorporates
1887 Snow falls on San Francisco.
1897 1st showing of a motion picture in Hawaii at the Hawaiian Opera House
1900 The United States and the United Kingdom sign treaty for Panama Canal
1901 Loop-the-loop centrifugal RR (roller coaster) patented by Ed Prescott.
1922 Reader's Digest magazine 1st published

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Thank you for hosting me today, Charlene. 
You're very welcome, Elaine. Tell me, when did you start writing?
 I started writing thanks to my profession. Professions actually. When I worked in Advertising I was not only a designer but quickly became both a concept creative and a copywriter. When I moved into Television Production I focused on concept, proposal and script writing. It was while I was writing proposals for international broadcasters that I realised I loved storytelling. 
I did a Romance Writing course and, as part of the homework, tried out a few of the scenes of my first novel, ‘Harcourt’s Mountain’. A story I’d had in mind for quite some time.
The facilitator of the course took me aside one day and told me to write the book. I am forever grateful to him.

How many books have you written now?
Written or had published?
Novels published – one, ‘Harcourt’s Mountain’ – an historical romance.
Anthologies published in which a story of mine appears – one, ‘Bloody Parchment: Blue Honey and the Valley of Shadow’ – a collection of weird fiction/horror short stories. My contribution is called ‘The Man with a House on His Back’ which one reviewer called ‘redemptive horror’. I quite like that.
Works in progress – quite a few in all genres. The one closest to completion is, ‘The Device Hunter’ – a steampunk adventure. The second draft is currently being beta read.
There’s been a few years between the publication of my first novel and the hoped-for publication of the second. This might throw some folk into a tail spin but I apply the Jane Austen Good Books Rule: rather write fewer books that are very good than many books of poor, slapdash quality. In the meantime, I’m honing my skills writing short stories as I finesse, ‘The Device Hunter’.

What is your favorite genre to read?
I have a very eclectic taste in books – movies, music…and men as well come to that. Not to mention ice-cream.

What genre do you prefer to write?
       As you can tell by the books and short stories I’ve mentioned earlier I don’t, at the moment, have a favourite genre. To be honest I think I’d get bored writing in just one genre. And there’s enough paint-peeling boredom around already. To alleviate that, and to feed the need, I’m part of the Writers Write 12 Short Stories in 12 Months Challenge. I’ve discovered I enjoy telling short stories, especially slightly weird ones. I also love telling humour-with-an-edge and what-really-happened-when stories. I find romance easier to write but have never been a fan of doing something just because it’s easy. So, the short story challenge is very stimulating and keeps the boredom sharks at bay.

What inspired you to write, ‘Harcourt’s Mountain’?
I’ve always been interested in adventure and arranged marriages, and although it’s not quite an arranged marriage in ‘Harcourt’s Mountain’, it isn’t a marriage of love. I wanted to explore how that would play out in the middle of wild and unexplored 1867 British Columbia, where just going into town for supplies is an adventure.

Which is your favorite character in that book?
I like all of them, even the villains. But who would I choose to spend time with? Luke Harcourt, the hero, Hope Booker the woman he buys as a wife, Adam White Knife’s wife, Rachel. And how could I forget Miss Sylvie of Miss Sylvie’s Haberdashery and Ladies Emporium. Then there’s…too many to mention. 

Does your family support  your writing?
Yes, in a sense. I don’t think they could believe that something I wrote actually got published. Twice – so far. They’ve always thought I was weird - writing is just an extension of that. Even when I was a designer I was often asked when was I going to get a ‘real’ job. Wanting to be a full-time author scares them more than finding a colony of jelly fish in the bathtub. 

What do you like best about writing?
Having adventures vicariously through my characters. Being my own boss. Creating other worlds and people. The research. The language, words, grammar – or not, as the case may be. Seeing differently, gleaning ideas for stories from the most unpredictable places. But most of all…the sight of a blank page on my laptop.

 What is your ultimate life goal?
There are a few. But as we’re talking about writing: to be on the NY Times best seller list. To leave behind a few (or more) very good books. Ones that adhere strictly to the Jane Austen Good Books Rule.

What is the book you most wish to write in your secret heart?
The next one. 

Harcourt’s Mountain Synopsis
Spring, 1867 - the western frontier of British Columbia hardly seems a likely place for romance. Filthy, terrified and confused, Hope Booker is waiting to be sold off the 'bride ship'. Luke Harcourt happens upon the sale. It's not love at first sight, but he feels compelled to save her from a life of slavery and prostitution. To allay her fears of being raped by him, Luke promises never to touch her. Being a man of his word, this is a pledge he quickly finds almost impossible to keep.

Battling their growing attraction to each other, they must learn to live together in the forests of the wild and almost unexplored mountains. They face white water, Indians, wolves, and dangerous men.

No longer able to deny their feelings, their 'happy-ever-after' is shattered when a corrupt land baron forces Luke's hand. Enraged at the man's actions, Luke rides into town and disappears.

Alone and pregnant Hope faces the prospect of the worst winter in ten years.  The trauma of fighting off a hungry grizzly brings on labor, but the baby is stuck. Luke, meanwhile wakes up on a ship bound for South America, captained by a revengeful sadist who means to murder him. Luke's chances of survival are slim. Can he stay alive and make it back to Hope in time?
Book Cover

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Latest Review
NY Literary Magazine.
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Buy links


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Twitter: @ElaineRosemaryD