Rescued by the Sea Nymph

Narrator Megan Green has just introduced me to the Little Mermaid retelling I didn’t know I needed. Well, calling it a retelling is unfair, since it was much more than that. There are gods and goddesses in disguise, Demi gods on the loose, and a host of rules for both the land and sea. So before I give too much away, here’s Rescued by the Sea Nymph (London Mythos Book 1) by Rebekah Lewis, narrated by Megan Green.

  • Genre: Fantasy Historical Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

James is merely the third son of a viscount, a position where he won’t inherit a title or a fortune, so he sets off to make his own. While the majority of his work as a ship’s captain is legal, he has been known to smuggle a bit, something that could send him to the gallows. One night, he taken hostage by a band of men who want his ship and his beautiful sister. When he defies them, they cut off his hand and toss him into the sea.

Ione has drifted along in her underwater kingdom for years, the outcast of her flashier sisters. She wants more out of life than to breed with a human male and then send him to his grave. And when one in need of her help floats into her ocean, she can’t help but go against every instinct she has, just to save his life.

Poseidon is feeling generous and gives James a hook for a hand and Ione three days on land to decide her future. But when the men that attacked James are still at large and everyone in the ton wants to know more about the mysterious beauty on his arm, three days might feel like a lifetime.

First of all, I love the gods and goddesses in London theme. They pop in and out of mortals’ lives, sometimes doing good and sometimes tossing them to the Kraken. I’m really into the theme and I’m going to look into the rest of the books in the series to get my fix.

Ione is charming, funny, and practical beyond words when it comes to silly human rules like not being able to ride in a carriage with a man and not dancing the waltz too often. She is a modern woman in a mermaid world who doesn’t need a man to be happy, but she wouldn’t mind taking one for a spin. The whole book, I was rooting for her to get her guy, get her legs, and get everything else in the world she wanted. Sure, James is great too, but Ione is a smart mermaid with a quick wit, so she’s my obvious favorite.

It’s always so funny to me when a narrator goes from one extreme to the other without pause. The first work of Green’s I listened to was a squeaky clean romance with a few pecks, but this book has a lot more steam than that! But I guess that’s what’s impressive about voice actors, they need to have a certain kind of flexibility to allow them to cover so many different kinds of works.

Overall, this book is funny, interesting, different, sexy without being erotic, and a must read…or listen. I’m really not picky, as long as you grab a copy.

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How to be a Mermaid

This afternoon I have a squeaky clean romance with some adorable fantasy elements. Yes, this is a book that’s safe for the youngest of preteens to the oldest of grandmas who like their romances just as sweet as their cookies. So let’s dive in to How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes.

Heat Level:♥

Genre: Fantasy Coming of Age Romance

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Young Tara, fresh out of high school on her gap year, is much like many of us. That is, she’s always wanted to be a mermaid. But since she knows her secret dream is unobtainable, she takes a job as a traveling mermaid in an aquarium show. With the help of a breathing tube and a pull-on tail, she delights children all over America. But things get weird when she things she hears one little dolphin talking.

She thinks she’s lost her mind until she sees a man with a tail climbing out of the ocean. She ends up so startled, she takes a nasty fall on some rocks. Luckily, the merman takes her to his sea witch aunt who knows just the spell to fix her up. When Tara wakes up to find herself breathing water, being able to talk to fish, and halfway to a great adventure with the merman named Finn, she’s about to get more that she bargained for during her summer vacation.

Sure, I usually read some sizzling hot books where the men are ripped, the women are swooning, and there’s more sex than you can shake a stick at, but sometimes it’s nice to just read something sweet. When I say this book is clean, I really mean that there’s not even any hint of sex. It’s just a cute little book where a girl finds herself, solves a crime, and meets a man. Really a story for romance lovers of all ages who want a break from the whips and chains. I know I needed it. It’s also part of a greater series called The Cotton Candy Quintet, so maybe I’ll head back that way the next time I need a breath of clean air.

Fangirl Pixie Jar

We’ve both been so busy lately, we haven’t had the chance to introduce you all to any new shops to try! So we’re very pleased to start again with a fun little shop called Fangirl Pixie Jar. It’s run by the lovely Mireille, who specializes in fandom and book themed jewelry that encompasses such books like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Lunar Chronicles. But if none of those tickles your fancy, don’t worry because she also does custom work! And, of course, she has our fav…Outlander! To get ready for season three, she’s sent us both a surprise necklace. Now let’s take a closer look!

♥Kelsey’s Thoughts♥

So the necklace I was lucky enough to receive says one of my favorite phrases, ‘Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ’! We all know and love it as Claire Fraser’s go-to saying in times of excitement, confusion, or frustration. Some fans have even taken to saying it themselves! But it’s not an obvious, flashing beacon to everyone, but a lesser known one that’s almost like a secret message to let other fans know that I love Outlander. But that’s perfect for me, as I’m not one to go over the top with my obsessions…usually.


The necklace itself if beautifully made with a great filigree frame that really brings in the feel of 18th century Scotland. The script used is also fun and the watercolor dragonfly is a delicate and pretty nod to Dragonfly in Amber. With a strong, adjustable chain, light metal body, and streamline design, it’s great for everyday wear for those of us who want to show off our fav fandom without being over the top. Really, the chain being so sturdy is important, as I have a toddler who’s always stealing my jewelry or playing with them while they’re still around my neck!

At $12.35, this necklace is a total steal! Really, I expected it to be so much more in the shop, or at least cheaply made for the great price, but I was so wrong. This necklace is an amazing deal and you can get one for yourself, your BFF, your mom, your neighbor, and your book club buddy without breaking the bank. You can order yours HERE in time for the season three premier!

♥Sarah’s Thoughts♥

My necklace says ‘Sassenach’, the more well known phrase that makes us all swoon when said by a certain red-headed Scot! The pendent is really fancy and sturdy, but not heavy at all. I wore it all day today with no irritation, which is important if you have sensitive skin like me. Although, as you can see below, I was wearing a high-necked shirt. The chain is adjustable so you can change the length, which I totally love. It fits Outlander perfectly, as it’s solid but feminine, just like Claire!

The picture within the pendent is centered perfectly and appears very delicate with the floral border around the words. I also like the fancy script and the fact that it looks handwritten. The only thing that could make this piece better, not that it really needs anything, is if the flowers came in purple like the Scottish heather we see within the series. But the multi-colored flowers are also fun and whimsical.

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This necklace is also only $12.35, can you believe it! For how well it’s made, I also wouldn’t guess it has such a great price. You can order your own HERE! While you’re at it, get Kelsey’s necklace for a friend. It’s like having BFF necklaces, but so much better.
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Overall, Fangirl Pixie Jar has something for everyone in your life, and there are even some steampunk pieces if you’re looking to really spice up your wardrobe!

And there’s something else to get excited about…we have a special 15% off code for Fangirl Pixie Jar! It’s MIDNIGHT15

You can see these and more over at Fangirl Pixie Jar’s shop HERE
Follow the store on Facebook HERE
Like them on Instagram HERE
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
See the rest of our product reviews HERE and check out our Outlander posts HERE!

The History Behind ‘The White Queen’

I’ve been a huge fan of Philipa Gregory for a long time. I loved how she was able to use history, legend, gossip, and lore to make enthralling books. With all the hype that the show version of The White Princess is getting, I wanted to go back through my notes and talk about both books/shows and the true history that inspired them! We’ll go into The White Queen first and then delve into The White Princess

Melusine

Melusine is a mythical mermaid-like creature that exists in various European folklore, but exists mainly France. Historically, the Luxembourg family is one of many who claims ancestry from Melusine. It fed into the thought that Jacquetta claimed strong heritage from Melusine, as well as mystical powers. The fact that a text of the tale of Melusine was found in her personal collection didn’t help matters, but seeing as it was a popular story of love and loss, it wasn’t rare and her involvement in the legend is probably very much exaggerated.

To give you a short version of the legend of Melusine, she was a beautiful half woman and half mermaid/serpent that only took on her mythological form once a week. A man hunting came upon her and offered her marriage. She accepted as long as he would leave her alone in total privacy once a week to bathe. For a time, they were happy, but the man soon grew too curious and spied on his wife, seeing her true form. Enraged, Melusine flew from the castle, never to be seen again, although she still thought of herself as the protector of her family and would wail when a member passed and help them if she could.

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BTW Does this double tailed beauty look familiar? If you’re a coffee drinker like I am, you’ll recognize her as the Starbucks mermaid. Think about that next time you stop for your morning cup.

Jacquetta of Luxembourg

The Luxembourg family is an old French one, claiming lineage from the fabled Melusine. Jacquetta had many royal ties in different countries due to her high birth, and her first marriage was to a son of King Henry IV of England. They had no children by the time he died two years later, leaving Jacquetta a young and extremely wealthy duchess. As her title made her the second most powerful woman in the English court, next to the queen, she could have had her choice of husbands…

Lowly English knight Richard Woodville was tasked by the king to bring the newly widowed Jacquetta to court. But the pair fell in love. Despite it being illegal due to their difference in status and their refusal to wait for royal permission, they still married in secret. When it came out, no one could really be the mad, and they were merely fined. But Jacquetta was BFFs with Henry’s queen Margaret and Margaret made sure Richard got a title to put him on more even footing with his wife. So, he became Earl Rivers and the Lord High Treasurer.

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Jacquetta and Richard had 14 children during their marriage, including “The White Queen”, Elizabeth. As she, obviously, made sure her children received titles, position, and even a crown, she was thought to be a witch by many. Most notably, she was accused of using sorcery to seduce King Edward into the bed of her daughter Elizabeth. While the charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence, the gossip followed her until her death…and followed her daughter for the entirety of her life as well.

Elizabeth Woodville

Born around 1347 to a well respected genteel family. She married first to a man who died a Lancaster supporter, leaving her a widowed mother of two sons. Luckily, she was still young enough to marry again and was “the most beautiful woman in the isle of Britain…with heavy lidded eyes like those of a dragon.” Might not sound like a compliment, but it totally was. If it wasn’t for being named a Lancastrian traitor, the obviously fertile mother of two boys could have married again easily. But it was almost lucky for Elizabeth that she wasn’t one to hop on the first man who came by her home. No, Elizabeth had her sights set on a man worthy of her.

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Anyway, historians can’t agree as to how Elizabeth met the young King Edward IV, although the general lore says that Elizabeth dressed plainly and waited by the side of the road for Edward to pass with her two sons. Her original plan is said to have been to merely receive some sort of pardon for her dead husband (who fought and died after fighting against Edward and his York army, thus losing his wealth). But when Edward saw her, he was taken by her innocence, her maternal glow, and the graceful elegance she held even when not decked out in jewels. Edward wanted Elizabeth and would do anything to have her, even defy his family and his advisers to marry her in secret.

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They had a strong marriage where 10 children were born and no matter what mistresses Edward took, he always came back to his wife. Again, not suuuuper romantic, but there weren’t many kings out there without a bevy of mistresses, and at least Edward actually did love Elizabeth. Their marriage is said to be one of the early examples of true love in a royal marriage. But her ability to sway the gaze of a king and make herself his queen made some believe that she was witch, just like her mama.

Edward IV

Yeah, not the glowing blonde god we saw in the show, but for a guy back then, he was the Jake Gyllenhaal of his time. He is noted as being “a man so vigorous and handsome that he might have been made for the pleasures of the flesh”. His hot bod got him at least 15 children that history knows of, but I’m guessing there were more little Eddies stashed around England. For Edward, he was born in France, the oldest living son of Richard of York, who believed he was the true king of England….Well, he might have been, or he might have been the illegitimate product of an affair by his mother. That story was drug up throughout his reign, and even after his death, to weaken his claim to the throne as well as that of his children’s. No matter who is daddy was, Edward really took the York mission to heart and fought to become the first York king of England…and the tallest one in history! He and his two brothers were known as the three suns in the sky and the three sons of York.

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As I’ve said, he spied Elizabeth and her boys and thought she’d make a hell of a wife. She was a bit older and not a princess like he “should” have wed, but when Edward wanted something, he was sure to get it. Besides, the fact that she was obviously capable of birthing children mainly sons, was particularly attractive. So he put a ring on it and made her his queen. It ended up that the ex-Lancaster supporter was well loved but the people! Elizabeth’s 12 unmarried sisters soon found top notch marriages and Edward was basically surrounded by his in-laws. Much of the other nobility was angry, but Edward told them to shut up or shove off.

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There was some rebellion against Edward’s reign, sometimes headed by his own brother George, but there was no other strong claim to the throne besides a little guy named Henry Tudor who was living in exile. The rest of Edward’s short life kept him in power and when he died at the age of 40, he made his brother, Richard, the protector of England until his son Edward could be crowned.

Richard III

Spoiler alert! Prince Edward (now known as lil’Edward) was never crowned and Richard became king. When King Edward died, he thought his little brother Richard would keep his crown safe for his son, but he was super wrong. Richard placed his nephew in the Tower of London to await the coronation that would never come.

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To take the crown, he began by ousting the Woodvilles from power, imprisoning the men and forcing the women into hiding. Queen Elizabeth herself went into sanctuary with her daughters and youngest son Richard (now known as lil’Richard) while Richard worked on making her marriage to King Edward illegitimate, thus ruining lil’Edward’s claim to the throne. He ended up imprisoning both boys in the tower, where they never left (more on that later).

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Richard finally got his just desserts when he was killed in battle by Henry Tutor’s forces at the age of 32. Recently, his battered bones were found in during construction and it was found that he did have uneven shoulders and a curvature of the spine as many have said. He was also found to have been mutilated before being unceremoniously dumped in a ditch. While he wasn’t a handsome man in his prime, it’s a wonder that he was able to start some kind of relationship with his niece Elizabeth of York..but that’s a tale for my next post.

The Princes in the Tower

Once lil’Edward was already in The Tower of London “for his safety”, Richard plucked lil’Richard from sanctuary and had him join his brother. Over the next few months, Richard was made king, Elizabeth and Edward’s marriage was made illegitimate, and the boys were seen less and less until they were never seen again.

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It is widely accepted that Richard had a hand in the boy’s disappearance and even at the time he was thought to be the murderer, well that he ordered it anyway. With them out of the picture, he thought there wouldn’t be any issue with him retaining the throne.

But there’s another theory that at least one of the boys survived. Now Elizabeth Woodville was a smart woman and knew how hard it had been for Edward to keep his throne. She knew that if she let lil’Richard go to the tower like lil’Edward, he would never come back. It’s thought that she was able to smuggle lil’Richard out of sanctuary to take a new identity with a trusted family and replaced him with a local boy. For years afterwards, several people came forward claiming to be the lost prince, but none was ever confirmed. Since then, two sets of children’s skeletons have been found, but neither have been tested. So it’s possible that we will never know what happened to Elizabeth’s sons.

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♦♦♦

I hope you found this little look into the world of The White Queen fun and informative. I’ll be working on something for The White Princess soon, so keep checking back for more historical fun! And if Scottish history is your thing, read some historical articles with a fun twist on our Outlander page HERE!

If you enjoyed this write up, you’ll probably love my book, Queen of Emeralds! It’s a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE in paperback, ebook, or free on kindle unlimited!

The History Behind “Voyager”

As we wait for season three of Outlander‘s TV show with bated breath, there’s never a better time to talk about book three in the series, Voyager. So, in this post, I’ll be discussing what real life events, people, places, and laws were brought into book three that we hope are mirrored in season three! And since I use any chance to use my history degree, this will contain some historically accurate spoilers. So if you hate spoilers, or want to read Voyager before the show airs, read no further! This is a spoiler filled post that takes no prisoners.

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Dun Bonnet Cave

I’ve talked a bit about the use of this real life story before here, but let’s revisit it, as it will probably get some major screen time in season three.

So, there was a real life Scot named James Fraser, the 9th of Foyers, who joined Simon, Lord Lovat, on the battlefield of Culloden in support of Bonnie Prince Charles. Well, as we all know, those who fought for Charles were basically killed, imprisoned, shipped off to the colonies, or lost their lands. Well, James Fraser was having none of that, so he found a cave near the waterfall of Foyers, where he hid for seven years.

Luckily, his people were rather fond of him, and kept his whereabouts secret from the redcoats, calling him “Bonaid Odhair”, which means, “Dun Coloured Bonnet”. And the similarities to the Diana Gabaldon tale don’t end there! A young boy, who often brought supplies to James Fraser in the cave has his hand cut off when he was caught by the redcoats. Sorry, Fergus!

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Scotland and Slavery

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This is something that many people don’t know much about, but it means that many Americans who have some Scot in their family history could have ended up in the States after their ancestors were sent there in chains. Although many families did flee willingly once strict laws were enacted and famine and poverty hit Scotland. By the way, the use of the word “slavery” is still under historical debate. This is because the Scottish people deported by the British often had an end date to their sentence, unlike the African slaves who often lived their entire lives in cruel captivity.

Anyway, the British government wasn’t too pleased with the Scottish after the Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745. But what to do with all the able bodied men who might rise up again if given the chance? Easy, ship them to the colonies to work the farms! They can make money for the crown and be far away from their comrades in arms.

It’s said that 1,500 to 2,000 highland “convicts” were sent to the North American colonies or the Caribbean colonies every year after the 1715 rebellion. Mostly, they were given terms of three to seven years of hard labor on plantations, or other labor heavy jobs, to “work off their debt”, if they weren’t forced into servitude indefinitely. Some didn’t even gain their freedom until they fought for England in the American Revolution!

However, there were Scots who actively participated in the Slave trade who weren’t servants, but plantation overseers and paid workers. This is seen in Voyager as Kenneth MacIver, who was Jared’s overseer at his Jamaican plantation. While this is a dark part of Scottish history, it is part of history nonetheless. Some wealthy Scots, such as Colonel John Campbell from Inveraray, who owned one of the larger sugar plantations in Jamaica. Today, the Campbell name is widespread in Jamaica, although those Campbells may never know if they descended from owners, servants, or anything in between. There are also dozens of places within Jamaica that share the same names as places in Scotland, such as Culloden, Argyle, and St. Andrews.

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Dress Act of 1746

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On August 1, 1746 the wearing of “Highland Dress” was made illegal by the British crown. This included tartans, kilts, and shoulder belts. It was a way for the British to try and cut the ties that connected the members of the clans and seemed effective in breaking down some of the allegiances. What made it so effective was the harsh punishments that would be enacted if someone broke this law. For the first offense, the person would be imprisoned for six months and if they were caught again, they would be sent to the colonies and engage in hard labor for seven years.

The only Scots who could still wear the tartans were members of the British military, more notably in the Black Watch. The Black Watch was an infantry battalion that was originally made up of members from Clan Grant, Clan Campbell, Clan Fraser of Lovat, and Clan Munro. They were first tasked with keeping the highlands at bay by collecting weapons and policing for any signs of uprisings.

Use of the Dress Act can be seen in Voyager, when Jamie claimed a piece of green checked Mackenzie tartan that was found in the prison in order to save the skin of young Angus Mackenzie. For the offense of having this strip of plaid, he was sentenced to thirty lashes. This also means that we won’t be seeing many kilts or plaid this season.

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Selkies

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So this is something that’s talked about a bit in book three and stuck out to me, as I’m a huge fan of this particular mythical creature. The Scottish refer to them as “maighdeann-mhara”, or “maidens of the sea”.

There are many legends that surround the selkies. They are said to live in the sea as seals, but sometimes come upon shore, shedding their seal skins and becoming beautiful women, or even men. If someone hides a selkie’s seal skin, they can take the selkie as a husband of wife, and they apparently make wonderful spouses. But, as in many Scottish tales, there is often an unhappy ending. A selkie never feels completely at ease on land, and if they ever find their hidden seal skin, they will return to the sea, never seeing their human husband or wife again.

We hear a lot about seals and a bit about selkies, called “silkies” in Voyager when it comes to the hidden gold on the seal’s island…and even Jamie’s own mother. Jamie tells Claire that people used to say that his mother Ellen had run away from Castle Leoch to join the silkies, because his father, Brian, resembled one who had shed his seal skin to walk on land.

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Real Jacobite Gold

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As we all know, the Jacobite treasure in Voyager was given by the French and hidden away. But there is some real Jacobite gold that some say is still hidden in Loch Arkaig in Scotland.

Two ships called Mars and Bellona came to Scotland with 1,200,000 livres of French and Spanish money.  But the ships heard about the Jacobite defeat at Culloden and ditched the seven cases of money at a port in Loch nan Uamh. One case was stolen by the MacDonalds and the seven others were secretly taken to Loch Arkaig by Murray of Boughton, who started giving money to the Scottish clan chiefs. But when Murray was captured by the British, the money was taken over by the chief of Clan Cameron and then by the head of Clan Macphearson. Macphearson spent much of his time hiding in a cave at Ben Adler…eight years of time, in fact.

Anyway, Charlie hightailed it out of Scotland and into France, leaving his money behind. But a failed king is no good to anyone and old Charlie was beginning to pine for his gold. But it, apparently, was never seen again. It’s assumed that Macphearson kept it all, but no one knows. It could still be hidden somewhere in Loch Arkaig.

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Pirates

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When I started reading the series, I never thought that I would see a pirate ship in the distance. But as we’ve read, Young Ian is kidnapped off the coast of Scotland by a bunch of pirates aboard the Bruja, which is Spanish for “witch”. Long story short, the Bruja makes it to port in Barbados, and hands Ian, along with the Jacobite gold he was in the process of taking when he was captured, to Mrs. Abernathy. The ship is later destroyed, but the damage is done and they’ve brought the Frasers, inadvertently, to the Americas.

Piracy was slowing down in the 1760s, but was still an active thing in the Caribbean region. One notable Bermudian pirate was Samuel Hall Lord, who straight up plundered any and all ships that he crossed paths with, even swiping riches from stranded sailors. Hall was also a really smart guy. Outside his mansion, on the beach, he would hang lanterns so that unsuspecting ships would think it was the port and sail right into his clutches, wrecking themselves on the reefs. BTW, this pirate built himself a castle. Talk about flair.

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Printing in Scotland

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One of the most anticipated scenes in season three is the print shop scene. You know, where Claire finally finds Jamie again after 20…well, 200? 220? years have gone by and they’re finally reunited…it’s probably the part I’m looking forward to the most, but let’s take a peek at printing history in Scotland and get a feel for what Jamie was up to in Edinburgh.

In1507, Walter Chepman and Andrew Myllar were given the first royal license for printing in Scotland by James IV in Edinburgh. The first book ever printed via press was The first printed book from this press was The Complaint of the Black Knight by John Lydgate. While this seemed to be a success for them, printing wasn’t an instant hit in Scotland, with new presses being stationed in St. Andrews in 1552, another for a hot minute in Stirling in 1571, and another still in Aberdeen in 1622. After that, they became more widely spread.

The fist Scottish printers would have been trained in France, but as the practice grew, the Scots would have been left to their own devices. And by the 1760s, it didn’t get much easier, as the letters still needed to be set and inked by hand. To get an idea, here’s what Jamie’s printing press might look like…

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Prostitution in Scotland

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The brothel where Jamie does business, and often keeps a bed, is probably going to be a prime filming location in season three. But what would life have really been like behind the doors of Madame Jeanne’s establishment, you ask? Well, dear reader, let’s chat about the ladies of the night…

The the early and mid 1700’s was basically Scotland’s sexual revolution where prostitution was widespread and some of the best business and deals were made in the lounges and libraries of brothels. They weren’t as flashy as the French brothel we saw in season two, but the girls were kept clean, in good dresses, and as disease free as one can be in the 1700s. These establishments could be hidden down in alleyways or set right in the open in grand houses, while the local police turned a blind eye. I mean, it was such a favorite pastime of the wealthy Scottish that in 1775 James Tyler, a surgeon and editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica published Ranger’s Impartial List of the Ladies of Pleasure, which was basically a directory of all the brothels and their workers in Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, Scotland began to crack down on prostitution in the 1790s, with the girls being arrested on a regular basis and imprisoned. So, I hope Madame Jeane would have had a lot of money saved up for when the government started knocking on her door.

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Rose Hall and the White Witch

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This is a particular bit that I was eager to get to. I hope, very dearly, that they shoot on location for this one because the Rose Hall mansion is gorgeous! Anyway, we all know Rose Hall as being the home of Mrs. Abernathy AKA Geillis Duncan. Well, this manor home is a very real place, as is the ghost that haunts it.

Rose Hall is a Georgian Mansion in Jamaica, was built in the 1770s, and was owned by a John Palmer. It was a large estate that usually held about 250 slaves and dealt mostly in sugar. It stayed in the Palmer family for a bit, then went vacant and into disrepair, finally being revived in the 1960s.

As for the legend of the White Witch (which has unfortunately been revealed as nothing more than a story) it centered around Annie Palmer, John Palmer’s wife. Annie was basically raised by nannies who taught her voodoo and carried on her love of the dark arts into her marriages. Three husbands are said to have died at her hands, along with many innocent slaves. Remind you of anyone?

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And Bonnie Prince Charlie

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We can’t forget to talk about old charlie and what he did after Culloden…

Soooo during the Battle of Culloden, near the end, things weren’t going great. Basically, Charlie was ignoring the advice of commander Lord George Murray and just ordering whatever he wanted, which wasn’t going well. So Murray was basically like, “screw this, he doesn’t listen to a thing I say,” and drew his men back to attack from a different position. And Charlie, who again didn’t listen, finally noticed Murray was gone, he was like, “oh, Murray left? Well…I guess I’ll head out now,” and left the rest of the Jacobites on the field.

Even though the war was lost, the men never betrayed him to the British and helped him hide in the moors until he could escape the country. He finally did so when Flora MacDonald dressed him up as her maid, Betty Burke, and took him to the Isle of Skye, where a French Ship took him to the France. This is where the Sky Boat Song comes into play, although they leave out the dress and wig.

Prince Charles Edward Stewart as Betty Burke

Charlie as Betty

Losing Scotland drove him to drink and conduct affairs. He was known for being an abusive drunk to the women closest to him, causing all of them to leave, even his own wife.

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That’s all for this Saturday! Remember to check back every week for some new Outlander goodness and click HERE to read all out past Droughtlander posts. And read the second part of History Behind Voyager HERE!

♥♥♥

And if you’ve been following out journeys into publishing, you know that we’re really excited about our first ever published books! They’re currently available on Amazon, so take a look and see if you think our romance novels belong on your Kindle!

You can see more about my Scottish historical romance novel, Queen of Emeralds, and get it on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback HERE! And when you’re done Queen of Emeralds, The Amethyst Bride is next on the line, a steamy romantic drama with kilts, Gaelic, and tears that you can preorder HERE! Or if you’re into contemporaries, I have The Non-Disclosure Agreement, which you can get HERE!

You can also see Sarah’s first college contemporary romance novel, First Semester, and get it on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and paperback now HERE!
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Ultimate Fandom Gift Guide

As we said yesterday, when we posted the Outlander Gift Guide, the holidays are almost here and the time to order your presents are slowly coming to an end! So, we’ve giving you out ultimate fandom gift guide that isn’t full of the usual stuff, but some unique pieces we’ve pored over and hand selected. Unlike our Outlander post, we haven’t tried these products, and can’t vouch for the awesomeness like we could yesterday! Nonetheless, we think these things look rad and if they end up in your stocking, we’d love to hear about it!

♥Harry Potter♥

Butterbeer Lip Balm

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Um, hello, how tasty does this all-natural lip balm look? At $3 for one or $10 for a 4 pack, it’s a total steal. Snag one here.

A Magical Starry Night

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Love art and want to decorate your place with a subtle nod to Hogwarts? This Etsy print gives you a beautifully done piece that blends two worlds together. They come in many different sizes, so you can find one to fit your needs. Head here to get your own.

Harry Potter Candles

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Ever wanted to step onto the quidditch field an take a big whiff? Or have a cup of tea with Hargrid and take in the scents of his magical creatures? Get a pack of themed candles here that will fill your home with some magical smells.

For the Healer

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Know a doctor? Love a nurse? Have a cousin studying psychology? This store offers a St. Mungos mug that only Potterheads can appreciate. BTW, it comes in a few different colors.

Show Your Team Spirit

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Who doesn’t love a good sports sweater? This shop has a line of Hogwarts hoodies to keep you cozy on the pitch. Fun fact: Kelsey is a Slytherin and Sarah is a Ravenclaw.

♥Gilmore Girls♥

Luke’s Coffee Mug

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Get a reusable Luke’s Diner mug here as a subtle and functional nod to your favorite show.

Quote Bookmarks

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Get a 4 pack of bookmarks for $6.53 here so you can keep your place when you’re going through books like Rory.

These BFF Mugs

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Looking like they’re straight from the Dragonfly Inn, these mugs are just the thing to get you and your best friends; one for you and one for them! Grab a set here.

Themed Candles

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Feel like you live in Stars Hollow all year with this four pack of candles. Each one represents a new season with a spread of delicious smells. Get yours at this shop today. BTW they come pre-wrapped, so you can give it right over, straight out of the mailbox.

This Dainty Necklace

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Remind your love that you go where they go with this little necklace from this shop!

Bonus Fact: Sarah watched the new season and had a lot of thought. Read them here and watch them here!

♥Sailor Moon♥

Hair Bows

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Be a Sailor Scout with these great accessories. With each only being $8, getting one for every day of the week is totally doable! Get one, or all six, here!

Decals

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Channel your inner Sailor Moon and harness that power to get all your schoolwork done. for $5, you get get one here!

Sailor Scout Backpack

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These mini backpacks are the epitome of versatile. Perfect for school or to use as a purse. Made to order, you can get your own here and show your planetary pride!

A Simple Keychain

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This charming chain will keep all your keys in check, while not being over the top. Get one here, now! BTW, they come in a cute box, so the job of wrapping is already done!

THE Compact

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What little girl didn’t want this cosmic compact? This shop has them!

♥Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them♥

This Laptop Case

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Disguise your laptop as a Hogwarts textbook here and keep your tech cozy and safe.

Your Own Luggage

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Look at this glorious phone case from this shop! You can even customize it with your name, so all the muggles know whose cellphone it is.

A Wise Necklace

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Remind yourself to overlook the little stresses and take a deep breath with this little necklace. Starting at $12, this shop offers it in different metals, to suit every no-maj.

This Fantastic Ornament

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Picture this fancy piece on your Christmas tree this year! At only $15, this store promises to make your holidays a bit more magical.

A Mini Niffler

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Nifflers are known for finding treasure. Maybe this little one will give you luck! Order yours here in time for the holidays!

Bonus Facts: Sarah’s written two posts about this new movie! One without spoilers and one with allll the nitty gritty feelings!

♥Supernatural♥

Dean’s Box of Tricks

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Be ready to hunt your pray with this handy mini kit. You can get yours from this shop and get ready for action

BFF Keychains

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For $13, this shop is offering to let you get a little something for yourself and your partner in crime.

These Nail Decals

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If you, or someone you love, likes to do their own nails, you can get a set of nail decals here for the low price of $4!

An Awesome Journal!

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Handmade and full of blank pages, this notebook is perfect for the new year. Snag one here!

Castiel’s Grace Necklace

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Look at this magical, glowing necklace! Get one from this shop soon, before they’re all gone.

♥Doctor Who♥

This Delicate Clip

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A subtle nod to your obsession, this classy piece could be worn all day, at a wedding, out to dinner, or traveling as the new companion. Get yours here.

A Customizable Gallifreyan

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Build your own Gallifreyan from the chain down from this shop now!

Dr. Who Key Chain

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Gotta keep your keys together while you’re traveling time! Get one here!

For the Artsy Whovian

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For some reason, watercolor makes everything prettier. This shop has tons of phone cases that highlight this classy print.

A Charm Bracelet

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All these charms were carefully selected by this store for the Whovian in your life that loves some bling.

♥Game of Thrones♥

This Perfect Glass

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Get this cup here and let everyone know what you’re the Hand of the Queen.

A Set of Mugs

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For the Khal and Khalessi in your life, you can get a matching set of mugs with a romantic meeting. Order yours now here!

Your Own Winterfell

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This ring is a beautiful homage to the King in the North. As this is made in Russia, you might have to order fast in time to get it. Check it out here!

This Classy Map

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Want to decorate your pad like a true Westerosian? Look no further than this store.

For Your Tea Sipping Friend

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For $9 you can have the perfect accessory for the person who binge watches GOT and enjoys a hot beverage. Make an order here!

♥Star Wars♥

A Millennium Falcon Mug

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Look at the detail on this cup. It’s a perfect technical nod to Starwars without literally being a lightsaber…not that we don’t still want one of those! Get yours here.

Death Star Earrings

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These little gems are made from laser cut wood. Order a set here for $9!

This Fun Decal

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This Boba Fett laptop decal is a total steal at $3. I love when those little stickers really take advantage of the apple light and this store agrees.

Bff Necklaces

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This store offers a chance for you and your friend to get a cute gift at a great price!

A Personalized Present

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Let someone special know how much you care with this cute, personalized, key chain. Grab one here!

♥Middle Earth♥

A Vintage Map

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Nothing better than a map from Tolkien’s design. This print comes in many sizes, so you can pick your own adventure.

A Traveling Token

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Probably one of the most famous Tolkien book quote, what better place for this decal than your car, or that of an adventurous friend? Get one here and start wandering!

Hobbit Door Necklace

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How adorable is this? When you open the door, there’s even a special surprise. For $6.24, this shop offers such a deal, I might even get one for myself.

A Candle Set

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Geek Nest is on fire with these fandom candles! This LOTR package offers scents from Rivendell and the Shire, and a special Gandalf blend. Get the set here and split them up to give to three loved ones, or offer someone the whole package.

For Your Friend Who Loves to Drink

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This shop offers a charming flask that’s a great deal at $23! You can get it in different finishes, and even in a gift pack.

♥Stranger Things♥

This Xmas Sweater

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While it’s perfect for Christmas, true fans can rock this piece all year. Get one, of more, here.

Squad Goals Mug

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This shop offers a fun mug with cute characters of the whole Stranger Things group. Btw, the other side says “Squad Goals”.

An Eleven Candle

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Don’t worry, it smells less like a powerful child and more like a delicious breakfast. Get a kosher soy candle here.

♥Once Upon a Time♥

A Magical Keychain

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Remind yourself of the rules in Storybrooke  with this cluster of themed charms. Grab one here for $10 and never lose your keys again!

A Real Locket

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These cute lockets really open and have two slots for pictures! At only $8, this store helps you show your obsession in an adorable and miniature way.

Hook’s Rum Lip Balm

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These all-natural lip balms are sure to please, and all orders come with a free sample of another product! That’s basically two gifts for the price of one. Order some here.

♥Hunger Games♥

Snowy Mug

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President Snow was a terrible guy, but he’s got some awesome one liners. Snag this mug here.

This Dainty Arrow

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For $8, you can get a delicate arrow here that Katniss would be proud to wear. Are you in a trio of friends? These would be perfect gifts for all of you.

Your Own Compass

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Be as good at Katniss in the wilderness with this useful necklace. This shop will even add additional charms, if you’d want them.

A Ring Dish Fit for a Tribute

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Put all of your District One jewels in this little dish. Like it? You get get yours here for $7.

A Phone Cover

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Always have a reminder that we’re all rooting for you with a phone case from this etsy shop.

♥Vampire Diaries♥

Elena’s Necklace

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Get your own medallion here with some lovely, and useful, vervain to stick inside. You can even get the back engraved!

Sarah and her cousins went to one of the Vampire Diaries conventions and they bought this. It’s very pretty in real life, the vervain smells good, and the chain was sturdy. We’d recommend it!

Vervain Elixar Soap

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This vegan soap comes from this little shop that takes their good seriously. Good for the skin, calming, and keeps unwanted vampires away! Perfect gift for your favorite cousin.

A Masquerade Mask

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Be ready for any masked ball with Damon with this delicate piece. For how sturdy and flawless it is, $15 if a steal! Get one here.

Bonus Fact: Did you know Sarah Went to meet the cast? Read about it here.

♥The Walking Dead♥

A Special Map

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Call me a romantic, but this personalized Terminus map is an awesome gift for the newlyweds in your life. May we all find a love like Maggie and Glenn. Order one here.

This Mug

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This shop has a sick sense of humor, but this quote makes sense. Get one for the Negan in your life.

This Steamy Cup

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There are two people in this world; people that love Daryl and dirty liars. Get your honest loved ones this festive mug here for $14.

This Delicate Piece

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Here’s a nice bangle to remind you to appreciate the little things…or to never turn your back on Carol. Get some here.

Saint Glenn

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The loss of Glenn was a hard one, and this store understands that. Get a Saint Glenn candle for your saddest friend today.

Bonus Fact: Kelsey has a lot of feels regarding Glenn’s death. Sob along with her here.

♥Mermaids♥

This Magical Necklace

You guys, I’m in love. This dainty seashell glows in the dark, highlighting your mermaid power. Order some for the whole squad here!

Mermaid Makeup

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Here’s a cute bag for all your mermaid beauty needs. Get one here for $12.

A Darling Notebook

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A new year calls for a new notebook to make your grocery lists and appointments a little more whimsical. Get one for yourself, or for the mom in your life, here!

This Awesome Tank That Kelsey Owns!

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This lovely little number is a keeper. Machine washable, Kelsey got it as a large for optimal comfort. A bit wide in the arm (on purpose), so she wears cute bras with it! Get one here and be her twin.

Ursula’s Necklace

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This shop offers a necklace that’s perfect for your singing friend! Or the one who barters for souls. We don’t judge.

♥Sherlock♥

This Charming Keychain

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Your fav fandom will help you never lose your keys again. It even comes with a 221B key! Get one here for your Watson.

A Delectable Candle

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Ever wondered what Sherlock smelled like? Apparently like mahogany and leather. Get one here and bask in some British glory.

The Iconic Necklace

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This shop has the perfect necklace for the Sherlock fan in your life. Dainty, delicate, and a steal at $7.

BFF Bangles

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This store gives you a great way to showcase the love between you and your partner in crime!

♥DC♥

Superman Laptop Sticker

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How cool is it that his chest can be lit by your Mac apple? This store has Superman and a ton of other characters to please everyone on your list.

This Cute Bow

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Look at this adorable homage to Arrow? This shop even offers different style, in case you want something a bit flashier!

BFF Necklaces

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Is there an Ivy to your Harley? Let everyone know with these friendship necklaces. Order yours here!

♥Marvel♥

Thor’s Hammer

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Harness the power of the gods with a minimalist bracelet from this store.

This Strange Necklace

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This Eye of Agamotto necklace is sure to please any Doctor Strange fan. Order one here!

For the Proud Parent in Your Life

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This shop offers every mom and dad the chance to show their school pride!

We hope that gave you a little inspiration as you scramble to finish your holiday shopping! Obviously, there are many beloved shows, books, and movies that didn’t make the cut, but only because then this list would be endless! Now, remember that we posted a giveaway yesterday for a beautiful Outlander necklace, so hurry and enter before it’s too late!

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

The Kiss That Killed Me

As you might now, we’ve been totally swamped with requests from lovely authors wanting up to take a look at their work. So, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. I recently refound this gem in my amazon library and now I’m kicking myself that I was such a mess last month. Y’all know I love the hell out of some mermaid books, so I was right pleased when Kristy Nicolle sent me The Kiss that Killed Me, book one in The Tidal Kiss Trilogy.

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Heat Level:♥♥

Overall Rating: 5.5/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Callie is new to adulthood and ready to take on the world, no matter what anyone says, especially her jerk of a step-dad. College looks like her only escape until her 18th birthday party at her friend’s beach house. After she tells a pushy gentleman caller where to shove it, she meets a handsome stranger on the dark shore of the empty beach. Orion is tall with piercing blue eyes and a swoon worthy accent. Even after they part, he’s still on her mind. When they finally meet again, a single kiss unleashes her past, and her future. Her life is forever changed as she is thrust into the world of oceanic peoples; mermaids. Sounds like a dream, right?

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Things get complicated when she learns the rules of her transformation and discovers a prophesy that only she has the power to change. What path will Callie take? The one with her soulmate beneath the waves, or the other as a human, living an average life with her loved ones?

This was a fun read, you guys. It had just enough magic to be a fanciful ride, but not too much where you felt like you were reading a kid’s book. There’s a thin line between the two and Nicolle really put out a lovely novel. And, get this, she’s self published! She’s another self publisher that shows you can put a well edited book on the market without a traditional house to work with. Nicolle put the time into honing her craft until she was ready to give us a smooth read with no continuity errors and little to complain about. Sure, there were some grammatical errors, but for a 22-year-old who’s written a well received series, they’re easy to overlook.

PS… wait for my review of book two, coming soon!

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Mad Sea Blitz

Did you read my review for Mad Sea? Well, you should since it’s amazing and, like, right under this one. Anyways, there’s also a little giveaway associated with this little beauty of a mermaid tale.

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Look like something you’re into? Find out how to enter HERE and pick up a copy of Mad Sea for yourself at one of the links below. Hot bad boy and a blonde beauty with passion deeper than the ocean? Yes, please!

Motorcycles and the ocean are my only loves. Until Hali.
Every Sunday, I exchange my mancard for a punch on my pink frozen yogurt card.
Just to see her.This is what stalkers do, you see.
I’ll do whatever it takes to catch one tiny glimpse of her bright smile—a smile she shines upon me, even if only for a few brief moments—to light up my usually dark, lonely world.
Hello, my name is Madden Finn. And I’m in love with a girl who doesn’t even know my name.
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Collab/Inspired Look- Mermaid Vibes

COLLAB/INSPIRED LOOK- MERMAID VIBES

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Hey lovelees ♥ I am so excited to bring you this inspired makeup look! I wanted to do something fun and a little bit different. I was definitely feeling the mermaid vibes. This is in collaboration withAKissAtMidnight you can check them out here. They are two talented writers that have a passion for romance novels.

There are certain elements of fantasy that have captured our hearts but what do we really now about them? Mermaids have become a cultural phenomenon. People are selling crocheted mermaid tale blankets, and swim bottoms that cover your legs as if you were a mermaid. But have we stopped to go over what it means to be a mermaid? What they do besides sun bathe on rocks?                                                          ~AKissAtMidnight

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Products Used: 

  • Too Faced Totally Cute Palette shades in UnicornClover, Storm Cloud
  • Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Mermaid
  • Makeup Geek Blush in Secret Admirer
  • Makeup Revolution Palette in Blush Goddess 
  • Revlon Photo Ready Kajal Eyeliner in Matte Marine
  • MAC Lipstick in Violetta
  • Wet n Wild Liquid Lipstick in Indigo Your Own Way
  • A pair of fishnet stockings

How many of you have seen Peter Pan? Do you recall what happened when Wendy first entered Neverland? They tried to drown her.                                             ~AKissAtMidnight

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Instructions

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  1. Begin by taking fishnet stockings and placing them on the side of your face and forehead. This will create a stencil for the scales.
  2. Dab into your favorite shade and press onto the fishnet stockings, repeat with another shade on top to create dimension. I used MUG, Mermaid mixed with Unicorn from the Totally Cute palette. You can make the scales as dramatic as you want.
  3. Prime eyelids with any eyeshadow primer. Using a flat shader brush, I pressed in MUG Mermaidon the center of lid and blended it into the crease and upwards into the outer V creating a wing.
  4. Then I took the shade Clover and blended that into my crease. I wanted a pigmented crease so I went in about 3x with the same shade to get my desired look.
  5. For my outer V, I wanted it to be a little more dramatic so I used the shade Storm Cloud to deepen it up and make that wing more intense.
  6. Blend, I took the two colors from my eyelids Mermaid & Clover and smudge them on my lower lashline to pull the look together.
  7. Apply your favorite foundation & conceal areas you normally would.
  8. Add a cooler tone blush, I used MUG, Secret Admirer. 
  9. Add highlight, I wanted to create a rainbow effect highlight. I used MUR Blush Goddess Palette which contains 4 highlighters and 4 blushes. I used the first 3 shades mixed and applied them to my cheekbones, nose, cupid bow, inner corners.DSCF0765_picmonkeyed
  10. Last to finish off the look! I thought metallic lips would look really cool so I used MAC Violetta as a base and added Wet n Wild, Indigo Your Own Way for dimension.

Final Look!

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A Little Mermaid History….

Mermaids bring their victims to the bottom of the oceans to die. Some legends say that mermaids do this to suck the life out of the sailors while others say that they do it for fun or to protect their home. Need another pop culture reference? Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides the same thing almost happened except one of them had a heart. She couldn’t let Sam Claflin die. Well I don’t blame her because he is gorgeous.

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So other than Ariel, and the mermaid from Pirates, what are some other mermaid legends that don’t end with Davy Jones’ locker. Well, the Merrow, as the Irish call them, lived along the coast and had beautiful green hair. They would also lure men to them but not to kill them. But rather to bring them to their kingdom and live together. The Merrow just want what most women want…a good looking sailor to stand by their side. They were believed to have magical powers, and if you caught them on a good day (like all women, they were known to have a bad day every now and again) they wouldn’t bring harm to the sailors. There are also Cornish mermaids who are said to have magical powers such as healing or discovering thieves. These mermaids have passed down these powers to humans over the years.

All in all, Mermaids, like everything else, have good and bad sides. People will always be fascinated by them and they will continue to influence our pop culture one book or movie at a time.

Here is a list of a couple mermaid books that you could check out if the idea of brushing your hair with a dinglehopper or using a clam shell bra still lights a fire within your soul.

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Ann Noble

The Mermaid’s Mirror by L. K. Madigan

Sailor Twain: or The Mermaid of the Hudson by Mark Siegel

The Last Mermaid by Shana Abe

Follow: https://kissatmidnight.wordpress.com/

http://www.irishcelticjewels.com/celtic-wedding/2010/09/irish-mythology-the-merrow-sea-fairies/

http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/origins532-a-mermaid-and-a-magic-comb.html

I hope you guys enjoyed this collab/inspired post! Don’t forget to follow for Lalee more beauty posts ♥

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