The Amethyst Bride Release Day

The second installment of The Scottish Stone Series is here! You’ve read Charlotte and Conner’s story in Queen of Emeralds, but Charlotte’s best friend Lady Penelope Elmsly is looking for love. But when two men enter the picture and familial obligations complicate her already torn heart, what’s a well-born Victorian woman to do?

The Amethyst Bride is available HERE for purchase now!

It’s available in paperback, ebook, and it’s free on Kindle Unlimited! But if you haven’t read The Emerald Queen, book one, then you can get your copy HERE. And if contemporary romance is your thing, you can see the rest of Kelsey’s works HERE.

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Top Jamie Fraser Moments

With Father’s Day coming up, we thought it would be a good time to talk about Jamie Fraser…Okay, it’s always time to talk about Jamie Fraser. But I think it’s safe to say we would all like him to be our “daddy.” Bad Joke? Anyway! Let’s have some fun and talk about the glory that is Jamie Fraser and his top moments according to me…

Let’s start with the beginning.

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We didn’t know him very well yet, but I really like this scene for a number of reasons. Jamie just fought with a hurt shoulder and his ruggedness became obvious. He set himself as a strong and masculine man, taking his woman and suggesting he’d throw her over his shoulder. But the difference between this and other people (Black Jack) is that he doesn’t get forceful with her. He doesn’t know who she is, or anything else about her, and this was not exactly the most chivalrous time period, especially with the redcoats after you. He wraps his plaid around her on the horse because he doesn’t want her to get cold and I think it is safe to say we all started falling in love with him then…that and we all saw his knees.

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Jamie Fraser was a virgin. When was the last time you read or watched a virgin male character with this much sex appeal? The beautiful thing about Jamie Fraser is that he knows what he is doing. Who else was excited about the wedding night scene? But again, he isn’t a brute about it. Jamie is gentle with her, he goes slow, and he then rocks her world…well, then he gets her food. I like his priorities: sex and food.

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How could we not include this moment? I love the passion between the two of them. After all, in Scotland, there isn’t exactly a motel or public bathroom on every corner. What’s a girl to do when your man has needs and that man is Jamie Fraser? Yes, we’re just looking at this moment because obviously, it is rudely interrupted, but let’s just pretend what happens next doesn’t happen.

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Oh man! It does not get much better than your stallion of a husband rushing to save you from the crazy man. But we need to get into more detail to talk about why this scene is so amazing. He scaled a wall…but the gun isn’t loaded. Why does he do this? He’s a little crazy and a lot in love. In case your heart wasn’t beating fast enough for this man, just imagine how you’d thank him for such an act.

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How could we talk about Jamie’s moments and not talk about the mill. Let’s appreciate a man who can get a little dirty and fix things when you need him to. This is a skill that excites me about all men. But then let’s add that he’s naked and hiding. The excitement is crazy and I know I wasn’t the only one panting a little bit. I’m just going to pretend the water isn’t cold.

Laoghaire

I think it is pretty sage to say that this lady is one of the most hated in television/literature (I’d put her up there with Dolores Umbridge). But our feelings about her aside, this scene is so vital to the entire series, the entire story, everything. It shows his loyalty to Claire, his respect for her, and his amazing restraint. He turns her down! No one would know. No one is even around. But Jamie Fraser turns down easy and sexy for commitment and love.

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I love the way that Jamie reacts to Claire in the red dress. He turns into the jealous beast and I kinda like it. We would all be lying if we didn’t appreciate it when our man get’s a little jealous. It makes us feel appreciated, beautiful and loved. But the important thing here is that he doesn’t force her upstairs to change, he doesn’t get upset when she insists this is the style. He could have thrown a fit or done anything else but this is one moment where Jamie shows how amazing he is. He lets his wild woman be who she is and appreciates her for it.

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So let’s break out of the Claire and Jamie thing for a moment. His relationship with Fergus is such a nice one to watch and I decided to break my own rules and talk about them together as a whole. Yes, it’s true they aren’t technically related, but look at those matching curls! It got to the point where Jamie would have done anything for that kid and he would have done anything for Jamie. I loved watching their dynamic because Jamie owed him nothing and Fergus didn’t have to listen, but they formed a bond that started with respect and grew into love. If this doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will.

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Jamie took Claire back to the rocks when he realized she was pregnant and when he thought he was going to die. This is both amazing and heart wrenching. I cannot believe he was able to keep track of her “cycle.” I can’t even keep track of my own and they have apps for that. He cares so much about her and the baby that he is going to give them up. At the same time, he is fighting for what he believes in, his people, and his land.

Finally, the best Jamie moment will be when he comes back in September. It’s been a long droughtlander and we still have a lot of time left. So, let’s keep the party going. What are your favorite Jamie moments? Obviously I could not include them all.

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Thank you for taking the time to stop by our blog and we hope you enjoy it. If you’re looking for other Outlander articles, quizzes, history lessons, or sexy pictures of Jamie and Claire, check out our Outlander page. It can be found by clicking HERE

Looking for something else to read? While I don’t write historical like Kelsey, I do write some steamy romance. My book, First Semester can be seen HERE. Book 2 is coming out at the end of this month so it’s your chance to enroll in the series that makes you wish you were back in college and your professor had a British accent.

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Kelsey and I are also in a short story anthology called Craving Bad. It’s all about those bad boys. It can be seen HERE.

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If you want something else, then feel free to check out a list of some of our favorite books that we think other Outlander fans would enjoy. Click HERE

Scottish Songs

Scotland is a country rich in heritage, tradition, and music. From the thrilling bagpipes to the haunting folk songs, I’ve heard a fair amount of melodies that really stick with you. I’ve even done some musical research for my newest book. So here is some history behind song of the songs we’ve read about in the Outlander books as well as some others you might not be as familiar with!

Maggie Lauder

This song you’ll probably recognize from the Outlander book. It’s about a beautiful woman named Maggie who meets a bagpiper named Rob who claims to be the best piper in the land. Francis Sempill wrote it sometime in the 1600s and it’s been covered numerous times since.

Flowers of the Forest

This haunting tune has survived the test of time. It was first noted in history in the early 1600s as a lament of women and children who lost their men in the Scottish war against the English in 1513. It’s been used since by many countries as a funeral song with traditional bagpipes. It’s even been played at the funerals of military personnel and even Queen Victoria.

Ailain Duinn (Dark-Haired Alan)

This late 1700s song is best listened to in traditional Gaelic and even if you aren’t familiar with the language, you can feel the sorrow in the woman’s voice. This one is about a young woman who’s captain lover drowned at sea. She waits for him, but eventually knows he won’t be coming home and throws herself into the ocean.

The Parting Glass

This song, while in more modern times being sing by many Irish artists, is a traditional Scottish one. It was sung before the Auld Lang Syne we often hear around New Years and it’s not clear exactly how old it is. As the title hints, it’s a parting song about leaving your friends behind after a glass of something strong. I know the UCD Choral Scholars is an Irish group, but they sing it so beautifully!

Smile in your Sleep

This song is particularly sad, being written after the great Highland Clearences that decimated much of the traditional way of life in much of Scotland. Sung like a lullaby, it has much darker underlays of being ousted from your home.

Chì mi na Mòrbheanna

This song is one of my personal favorites. It was written by a highlander who had the chance to return to his native lands. It’s about the mountains, language, and people he loved. It was also played at John F. Kennedy’s funeral although it’s most commonly sung as a lullaby.

The Skye Boat Song

I doubt there’s anything about this song you guys don’t know, so here’s a Sam Heughan introduction to the music we all love.

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The history of Clan Gregor, particularly the MacGregors, is very near and dear to me, as is this song. It was written after the execution of the Clan Chief MacGregor of Glenstrae in 1570. It’s said that his widow composed and sang this lullaby for their child. If you want to read a bit more about the MacGregors, click HERE.

I hope you guys enjoyed this mini musical lesson and end up listening to hours of Scottish music like I do all the time! Read all of our fun Outlander articles and quizzes HERE to keep you going during droughtlander.

I have a new book out on preorder today, The Amethyst Bride, which is book two of The Scottish Stone Series. It really gets into Scottish history, the loss of the Clan MacGregor culture, and traditional music. You can read all about it HERE or just jump right into Amazon HERE! As always, Queen of Emeralds, the first in the series, is available HERE for your droughtlander enjoyment!

The Amethyst Bride

Kelsey’s historical romance books, The Scottish Stone Series, has a new installment. After the drama, thrills, and steamy love that came to Charlotte and Conner in Queen of Emeralds (which you can get HERE) it’s time for Penelope step into the light.

British heiress Penelope Elmsly always thought she’d marry young and settle down to a life of domestic bliss. But her perfect plan may come unraveled, along with her corset strings, when two men vie for her hand.

One is a wealthy businessman who offers her the financial stability and social standing she always held dear. The other is a rugged Scottish highlander who gives her passion she never knew she desired.

With two amethyst rings upon her finger, Penelope has a choice to make, and she can’t afford to choose wrong, especially when more than just her livelihood is at stake.

Will she walk down the aisle into a life of luxury, leaving her heart in Scotland? Or will she choose to save her fortune, and her reputation?

It’s available for pre-order now with the paperbacks coming on June 20th! Order yours HERE!

You can see the rest of Kelsey’s works at her author page HERE.

Fear Inc 2

One of the first books we reviewed for the blog was called Best Man for the Job and it was by Melinda Valentine. After waiting what felt like an eternity for me, book 2 has come out. But that’s not the only change. She also redid the covers and renamed the series. It is even more exciting. So, here is the new cover for Fear Inc Volume 1 and the cover for Fear Inc Volume 2.

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Heat: ♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 5 Glass Slippers

Book 1 is addicting and I think it’s because of how easy it is to relate to the characters. Sloane is in a relationship with a man named Brody. He says she doesn’t satisfy him and that she spends to much time at her personal assistant job. So he cheats on her with…wait for it…a bikini clad waitress at a strip club. Convinced that he is only cheating because she can’t meet his needs, Sloane tries to turn a blind eye to it and cries to her cousin Bella hoping that one day it will stop.
Max Fear is a former cop, current private investigator, who is best friends with Bella’s fiance. He meets Sloane one night at dinner and is instantly taken by her. There is just one small problem; he doesn’t do relationships. Max likes it quick and easy with no questions or cuddling afterwards. At least he did until he kisses Sloane on a drunken night and realizes that no one has ever made him feel the way she did with the slightest touch.
Then there world is turned upside down when she witnesses the murder of her boss by the Russian Mafia. Her life is at risk as she is a material witness in the crime and Max doesn’t trust anyone else to protect her.
He moves her into his home and the two try to ignore the heat that radiates from them whenever they are near.
I won’t give too much away because that would be unfair to you. But I will say that there is a wedding, three separate gun fights, and enough desire to burn down the quaint farm house that Max calls home.

There is only one big sex scene as the rest are alluded to. However, there are plenty of spicy scenes leading up to that momentous occasion. In fact, there may even be a little side action with a cowboy…

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Obviously, this book grabbed my attention and kept it with the exception of one part. Someone is seriously injured and they recover awful fast. As someone who has experienced serious injuries, I was a little annoyed. However, I quickly got over it as the story was just too good for me to stay mad.

The Men of Fear Incorporated will be continuing to fill our dreams with more sexy bodyguards.

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So, now you know about the idea of Fear Inc and it is time for a whole new series. Tank spends his time doing something that absolutely crushes any kind of romantic notion. He tracks down cheating spouses. Unfortunately, this does not do him any favors. It’s not like he can meet the new love of his life in this way like Max. Really though, he isn’t even sure if he is looking for that. Frankly, I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to spend y days realizing those sacred vows don’t mean must when it comes to the bedroom.

Then Cori, love her name, moves in next door and begins to question everything he thought he knew. But, as with all romances, there is a hitch. Cori’s baggage is actually a giant man with stalking tendencies. It sounds like a paint by numbers romance but it isn’t. Valentine throws twists and turns that not only keep you guessing but keep you turning page after page. I look forward to the next book in this series. Valentine set it up perfectly but it didn’t take away from Cori and Tank’s love story.

Like with Volume 1, Valentine’s skill is with her character development. You understand where they are coming from, what they’re thinking, their heartache, their fear. Everything is there and out in the open. It’s a fun story and a great series to check out while you’re sitting on the beach working on your tan (or hiding under a beach umbrella to prevent sunburn).

Volume 1- Amazon Link

Volume 2- Amazon Link

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To learn more about me and the books I’ve written, check out the About Sarah Page

Survivor: Outlander Edition

We all want to go back to find a Jamie Fraser of our own, but who would actually survive back in time? Take our little quiz to see if you have what it takes to live it up in the 1700s. Keep track of your answers!

BTW this is a spoiler-free post, so enjoy!

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1. You know you’re going back in time and can take one bag with you. What’s inside?

  1. Water filtration tablets, a GPS, a change of underwear, the Outlander series, old coins, and a book of medicinal herbs
  2. A small notebook containing history facts, a spare petticoat, penicillin and syringes, photos from home, tampons, and deodorant.
  3. Hand sanitizer, maps from that era, a taser, a travel dictionary with phrases in other languages, a list of people you suspect to be time travelers, and your favorite candy.

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2. You meet a dashing Scot on horseback as soon as you go through the stones. He reaches out to you and says he will take you to safety. What do you do?

  1. Hop aboard! A gal’s gotta have friends when she travels and he’s got a great set of legs!
  2. Interrogate him and demand he tell you where he’s taking you.
  3. Run away! He could be a murderer!

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3. When you find a village to stay for a while, the local healer takes you under her wing. You hear whispers in the village that she’s a witch. What do you do?

  1. Ignore them. You’re learning a lot about how to survive and help people from your new friend!
  2. Cut off contact with her and stop by the local church, just so people see you praising the Lord.
  3. Warn her about the rumors then slowly distance yourself.

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4. You meet a stranger who referenced the California Gold Rush and washes their hands before every meal. You think they might be a time traveler like you. What do you do?

  1. Immediately corner them and begin asking asking where they’re from, what time they left, and if they had to murder anyone to make time travel work.
  2. Make subtle references to gauge their reaction and go from there. Don’t want to rush into things.
  3. Say nothing. If they want to talk about time travel, they’ll come to you.

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5. You get invited to the French court and meet the mistress of a powerful man who asks you to come to tea the next day. What do you do?

  1. Not go. She’s bad news and you can’t go mixing with her. It’s better to keep a low profile.
  2. Accept her invitation, but be polite and cautious. Just because she’s attached to a top dog doesn’t make her a safe friend.
  3. Go and bring gifts! She’s a popular lady and there’s no reason why you can’t hang out.

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6. Something goes wrong in France and you need to get back to Scotland ASAP. There are three people who offer to escort you there. Who do you choose?

  1. The mistress! She’d have you traveling in style the whole way.
  2. The dashing man you met on your first day in the past. He’s not a murderer after all!
  3. Your healer friend. She’s on the run too and she knows how to hide.

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7. When you get back in the country, old contacts give you a plot of land and a little cabin by the woods. But it needs a lot of work. Are you up for the task of farming and building?

  1. You’ll just hire some random man from the village to do all the work with some of the money you hid while returning to Scotland.
  2. Luckily, you know how to do all that stuff. Raising chickens and chopping wood is basically second nature.
  3. You don’t know how to rough it, so you try to make some friends in the village. Maybe some of them will teach you how to garden and make candles.

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8. Trouble keeps finding you, as do British soldiers! Word gets out that you bathe regularly, heal the sick, used to hang out with a witch, and seemed to show up out of nowhere. The only way out of this mess is to play housewife for a bit by marrying. Who’s the lucky groom?

  1. A handsome hooded stranger who caught your eye in the local tavern.
  2. A local blacksmith who has a nice house and some respect around town since he regularly volunteers at the church.
  3. The laird of the land. If he can’t keep you safe, who can?

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9. The daughter of your neighbor is ill. You recognize this as a common illness and know exactly how to fix it. But you also know that if you’re seen mixing a potion, you’ll be burned at the stake, since people are already suspicious of you. What do you do?

  1. Take a chance any brew it up. You’ll sacrifice yourself for the child.
  2. Mention what you think might cure her to your neighbor’s family. It’s up to them, now.
  3. Nothing. Child mortality rates were high back then anyway!

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10. War is coming and your husband is off to fight with little chance to survive. What are you going to do?

  1. Pick up arms and fight by his side! Sure, you’ve never held a broadsword, but how hard can it be?
  2. Go back to the future. You dying won’t help anything.
  3. Hang out in the village near some stones and wait for news before making a decision.

All done! Let’s see how you did…

Mostly 1s

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Nope, you’re not gonna make it! It may be dysentery, you might get burned for witchcraft, or you might end up being killed in a battle you accidentally stumbled upon. No matter what, you’d be a goner.

Mostly 2s

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You will survive! You were made to live in the past, since you have book smarts, street smarts, and the good sense to be fully vaccinated before you hop through the stones.

Mostly 3s

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There’s a chance for your survival! It’ll be tough, you’ll have some lean times, and a hot Scottish man might not come to your rescue, but you’ve still got a shot at life…once you get over the starvation, disease, and poverty. But don’t worry, you can always go back to the future!

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Were you a fan of this quiz? Check out the rest of out Outlander Articles, quizzes, and fun HERE! And do you want free contemporary and historical romance novels? Maybe our book review team is right for you. Click HERE to find out how you can join the KisS review team!

BTW, I don’t just write Outlander articles, I also write books! Queen of Emeralds is a thrilling historical Scottish romance that takes you on a journey through London, deep into the Highlands, and into the arms of a laird. You can order it HERE! The Non-Disclosure Agreement shows what happens when a small town girl and a hot shot billionaire mix business and pleasure. This book is available HERE!

 

Join Our Review Team!

Hello, lovely readers! Do you like historical romance? Contemporary thrillers? College tales containing sex and danger? Stories about kilted men? Do you like our writing? Well, how would you like to get copies of our books for free, weeks before they hit the shelves?

Well, you’re in luck! We have a super exclusive review team called KisS Romance ARCS who get advanced reader copies of all our books and you’re invited to join! Just click HERE and fill out the form!

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Unexpected Treasure

My girl Grace Risata is back with a new steamy, hilarious, novel titled Unexpected Treasure, The Treasure Hunters Series Book 1. But wait, there’s more! Her friend Aidan Willows has joined the party and added her own special talented twist that is anything but boring. This duo has written a book that is a fabulous first in this series.

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Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Romantic Adventure

When we meet mega hottie/Viking twin Lars, he’s been stumbling around lost for hours in the woods.  After he breaks into a cabin he find, he accidentally interrupts Helena, a beautiful woman who has also found sanctuary in the. Although it’s usually finders keepers, it looks like the pair has to share, since there’s a raging storm outside. They begin to get to know each other…until they’re interrupted and need to go on the run. Did I mention there’s a Viking hoard up for grabs and plenty of Norse jokes as well!

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Turns out Lars is a treasure hunter and Helena is fleeing a forced marriage. They band together, both bringing special skills to the mix, along with plenty of hot hot heat. The farther they get into their journey, the closer they become, and the more other people try to tear them apart. There’s danger, betrayal, sex, and sarcasm on this adventure that’s filled with twists and turns.

This book was steamy, funny, well-written, and an awesome start to the series. I know that good work takes time, but I’m really hoping that Willows and Risata will hurry up and release book two so I can spend another evening laughing out loud! All in all, Unexpected Treasure was one hell of a good ride.

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The History Behind ‘Voyager’ pt2

You guys really liked my first History Behind Voyager post (that you can read HERE) so I thought I’d keep the Voyager party going with a new little installment. Now, if you’re strictly a show watcher, or haven’t read Voyager yet, then this post will contain some spoilers!

You have been warned. This is the spoiler zone. Happy reading!

Chinese Immigrants in Scotland

Yi Tien Cho, or Mr. Willoughby as we know him, has been quite the controversial figure recently, with some saying that he was akin to a racial caricature. But as with many characters in Diana Gabaldon’s books, there’s still a bit of history tucked away in Mr. Willoughby, regardless of his fondness for feet and training birds.

The British began their regular trading with China in the 1600s. While the increase of tea and silk imports helped the Chinese economy, it also kept the ships sailing in regular intervals. But, not every Chinese sailor went home. They settled around the docks, often sending for their wives and families once they raised enough money for their expensive passage. But the population didn’t explode overnight, it was more of a slow trickle with only a few dozen Chinese immigrants officially living in Great Britain in the early 1800s. That explains why old Mr. Willoughby was all by his lonesome in his new country…well that and he had been on the run!

Turtle Soup

Once on their transatlantic voyage, Claire gets her first taste of turtle soup, complete with a generous amount of sherry. While the dish was popular in Singapore and in the US due to a large snapping turtle population, the savory stew holds a special place in England’s history. It was considered the meal of England’s nobility, but it didn’t stop the common man from buying the meat at the local butcher shop or trying to catch their own in the local waters.

Historically, sailors would catch green sea turtles in the West Indies and keep them aboard ship for a constant supply of food. But by the 1750s, the mass hunting left the population a little skimpy, making it an even more sought after dish. Luckily, there was still a nice little population around Bermuda, giving sailors like Jamie and Claire the ability to catch some for the famous turtle soup. If you’re interested in getting a bowl, it’s not like it was in the olden days when it was readily available for a pretty penny in all the finest tea shops. But if you can find some turtle meat of your own, HERE is a recipe!

The Voyage

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Claire and Jamie spent some time in ships cabins during their trip, but what were luxury accommodations on regular passenger ships really like? Well, if there were 8 foot ceilings and walls, as well as a straw stuffed mattress, it was considered basically 1st class. I mean, even the captains on most passenger ships only had a small room with the basics to call their own. Having a small writing desk was also something that only passengers with private quarters and some sway would obtain. But no matter the class you were in, you can bet your petticoats it was going to stink. With fresh water being carefully rationed for the journey, cleanliness took a backseat. The scent of unwashed bodies, vomit and other bodily fluids, and possibly living livestock would be pretty overwhelming.

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BTW this is a replica crew cabin of a ship (1768-1771ish), but it’s close to the passenger quarters the common man would be in.

Meals were usually served in the common areas of each class, the food being directly brought up from the galley…unless you had to bring your own food for the journey as many boats stipulated. But for meals provided by the ship, there would be ale, salted meats, tack cakes, and fresh meats and vegetables in the beginning. And of course there would be turtle soup, if they could catch it.

Ship’s Doctor

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No matter where Claire is, she’ll end up nursing a doctoring men and women from all walks of life. So it wasn’t a surprise when Claire had to crack open her medicine box aboard the ship. Historically, she would actually be much more qualified to be a ship doctor than most men, and it wasn’t just because she was a literal doctor from the future.

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Unless they were working for the Royal Navy, the ship’s doctors rarely had any formal medical training at all. They usually learned their trade on the job from the older “surgeons” and learned how to generally keep the sailors and passengers alive. The most common things they would have to deal with was venereal disease, minor lacerations, and rope burn. There was also usually a dedicated sickbay on board that was well ventilated for the doctor’s use. The floor of this room would also be sprinkled with sand to keep people from slipping on the blood that would accumulate. Safety first!

British Fashion in Jam

Jamaica became a British colony in 1655 and the white population was bolstered by the English sending Irish and Scottish indentured servants or prisoners to the island. By the 1700s, the sugar plantations were in full swing and the money was flowing…to the British plantation owners at least.

Anyways, the climate in Jamaica was obviously vastly different than that in England. But the heat didn’t stop modesty or the use of fine imported fabrics. Silk and satin were still the fabrics of choice for well-bred ladies and gentlemen in the evening hours when dressing for dinner or attending a grand event, as well as a powdered wig. Usually, a touch of powder on the face and a beauty mark would complete the look. During the day, ladies would wear dresses of thin muslin in pale colors and carry umbrellas to ward off the sun.

In season 3, I expect to see very few kilts, plenty of old-school breeches, powdered wigs, men in heels, and the fabulous silk violet gown that Claire famously wears as Mrs. Malcolm! But overall, much of what we’ll see will be like a toned down version of the costumes from France, just a little less plaid.

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The Maroons

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The Maroons have a long history that goes back to the first slaves in the Americas. Basically, the Maroons are escaped slaves that built independent communities away from their past captors. The would try to form safe towns where they would maintain their heritage, plant crops, and try to stay alive. But it wasn’t easy, as they were constantly at risk of being forced off their lands, captured, or even killed,

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In Jamaica, the Maroons were constantly at odds with the colonists that took over more and more land to plant crops, pushing the Maroons out of each small town they created. But the Maroons began to fight back and demanded lands for their own colonization. After the First Maroon Wars that ended around 1738, the British government granted them land and safety. So, surely that was the end of their oppression? Wrong.

The Maroons in Jamaica had to fight the British government several more times until finally gaining peace in the 1800s. Today, there are still 11 Maroon settlements that maintain their own cultures and identities that they managed to maintain since the 1730s. Their rich heritage was formed from combining all the different backgrounds of the escaped slaves. They formed their own religion, spirituality, and way of life. It’ll be interesting to see how the show brings their history to life!

Mayer Rothschild

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We recognize this historical figure as Mayer Red-Shield, the coin peddler who connects the Duke of Sandringham with some Jacobite gold. The real Mayer is just as interesting, as his legacy created the famous Rothschild banking dynasty.

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Born into a large, poor, Jewish family in Frankfurt, Mayer really had to work his way to the top of the banking world. He started as an apprentice and after a time, became a dealer of rare coins. He amassed such a collection, he gained the patronage of princes all over Europe. By the time his sons were of age, he had expanded his banking business into London and France where he invested in such things as textile production. The gangly boy with the bag of coins we meet in Voyager would grow up to build one of the most powerful financial dynasties in history.

That’s it for my mini history chat! For more Outlander fun, check out our Outlander page HERE! And if you like my articles, you’ll probably love my books!

Queen of Emeralds is a thrilling historical Scottish romance that takes you on a journey through London, deep into the Highlands, and into the arms of a laird. You can order it HERE! The Non-Disclosure Agreement shows what happens when a small town girl and a hot shot billionaire mix business and pleasure. This book is available HERE!

What Made Dirty Dancing’s Remake Awful

I am a big fan of movies and I’ve been saying that for years. However, I have a special place in my heart for musicals and dancing movies. Therefore, the Dirty Dancing remake should have been right up my alley. I’ve even seen the stage version and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Obviously, as most of you know, the remake was terrible. But today, I want to talk about why. Why was this version so much worse than the original? It’s more than just because they tried to redo a perfect movie. Also, watch out for SPOILERS! Lots of them.

First, while I love Abigail Breslin, she was not the right choice for Baby. Why do I think that? In the original, Jennifer was not able to dance. Her hips moved in a square with no rhythm. However, after a few lessons with Johnny, and several trips up and down the stairs to his cabin, she learned. She became loose but firm, and it was pleasant to watch her dance. However, Abigail never got so lucky. I spent way too much time wondering when she was going to find her stride. The mambo at the Shelldrake was week 1 of Dancing with the Stars. I definitely wouldn’t have clapped loud enough for her to take three very vain bows.

Next, Johnny was sleeping with Vivienne! Let me repeat that for those of you that missed it. Johnny was sleeping with Vivienne while becoming emotional involved with Baby.  I get it. They were trying to set up the watch thing. However, I did not like it. It sat with me wrong. Why? It’s certainly not because I’m a prude. It’s actually because when Penny tells him to call it off, he tells Vivienne he’ll be back in her bed later that night. Come on, bro! You’re supposed to be falling in love with Baby but you’re planning to fall into another woman’s bed. Your first night after breaking it off from the woman you claim to be in love with, should not be with another woman. This bothers me about Johnny’s character. He’s supposed to be the bad boy with the heart of gold but this ruins that. Okay, this may be a preference thing. I also missed the black pants. I kept waiting for them and the jeans with the cool white wash stains…they were not time period appropriate and were not black.

Okay, more on Johnny. I loved that he sang the songs. It was exciting for the musical lover in me. But the problem is that the songs got weirddddd. They were very far from the originals and sounded like a middle schooler got a soundboard. I also felt like the choreography was watered down so they could sing (which was odd because they weren’t singing live). A good example of this was the carried a watermelon scene (which by the way, they misquoted and I thought I was going to scream). He’s singing to her and is barely moving. It turns into walking around instead of the dirty grinding I wanted. In the original, they were really getting into it.

Speaking of singing…why did Vivienne sing Fever. I agreed with Dr. Houseman that it was time to leave. She, like Baby, couldn’t dance and just kind of walked around and over Johnny. I didn’t understand the point of this scene as it certainly didn’t advance the plot and if anything, it outed their relationship. We already knew she was a cougar. It was awkward, forced, and completely unnecessary. I felt like this scene was meant for Katey Sagal to have a bigger part. If that was the plan, just get a different actress. That being said, I did like the Debra Messing singing scene. I thought that was great and built the relationship between the Housemans. It also advanced Baby’s plot because afterwards, she runs to Johnny and has the one scene that she did well. But, back to Messing, I also think her singing scene would have been appropriate and perfect even if Sagal didn’t perform her awkward interpretation of a burlesque number.

My final thought was on the ending. I love that Baby became a writer because she made her own choice instead of the forced doctor one. We don’t know that she didn’t do both but that’s okay. If she did, then at least she let out some of her creativity. I love that Johnny was choreographing on broadway. However, why do you have them meet up again and not bring them together? She could have been divorced, she could have been a widow, she could have been single. Why make her married so she can flaunt her new husband in front of Johnny’s face? And if you do that, where is Johnny’s hot dancer wife? All this ending did was prove that Baby got this perfect life and moved on while Johnny stares at her as if she is the last piece of cake. Yes, it is cute that he says “keep dancing” but I don’t want her to keep dancing. I want her to run into his arms and give us the happily ever after for Baby and Johnny that we all assumed (or hoped) they got at the end of the original. Everything, to include the cheesy sing-a-long at the beginning, was like a lifetime movie. Why didn’t we get a lifetime movie ending? At least they should have started to dance in the theater.

They’ve tried to remake Grease (don’t get me started on that disaster) and failed, the same with Hairspray, and Sound of Music (Sorry Carrie). I think what we’ve learned from all of this is that casting directors need to stop looking at Hollywood for their stars and look for people with talent instead of a name. They need to be able to act, sing, and dance…but most importantly, they need to be able to do all three at the same time. If that means you pick someone who has never been in a movie, then so be it. People will watch no matter what but they won’t keep coming back if this continues.

There were some good things about this remake. I don’t want it to seem like it was completely awful. Nicole was an amazing Penny. I liked her attitude, her dancing, her singing, and (for the most part) her acting. I liked that the Housemans got a little bit of a plot in here. It was nice to see grown adults having grown problems that don’t involve cheating. I liked the Sarah Hyland character development. She became more than just the vapid girl and her son at the end was beautiful as opposed to the part I skip in the original. Her role was pretty cheesy but I can handle a little cheesy.

About the Author

Sarah Fischer is a background investigator and a romance novelist. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats. You can usually find her at the movies or road tripping to New York for a new play. Her books, First Semester and Craving Bad: A Bad Boys and Wicked Girls Anthology

Both Books Can Be Seen HERE

 

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