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Hi Everyone,

It seems like we blinked and Spring came and went and it's almost Summer to the oddest, most momentous year I can recall. While I am sure I know every nook and cranny in my house, I still lost all three cards purchased for my husband's 'June trifecta'—his birthday, Father's Day and our anniversary. Believe me when I say that I have torn the house apart and feel ten years older for not having located one card that I recall buying. <Heaving enormous sigh! >

I look forward to Summer—finishing up my current work in progress, starting the next one and most importantly-having our new puppy, Gracie housebroken! If only!

Gracie is our new five-month-old Jack Russell-Shizu mix with the cutest under-bite and the sweetest disposition. Shep, my sweet puppy, is taking his sweet time getting along with Gracie and accepting her. It’s coming along.

Here are a few candid snapshots of Gracie and Shep getting to know each other. Notice her very long legs!

Shep

Gracie

Gracie

Gracie and Shep

I love to insert stories about my fur-babies into my stories, and yes, Gracie will have her story one day. Stay-tuned for more updates on Gracie’s and Shep’s progress as we work our way through this once in a lifetime year!

Be sure to take part in the contest located towards the end of the newsletter. If you have ideas on historical tidbits, you would like to know more about, please drop me a line.

Stay well!

Anna

Tidbits of Historical Research

The Language of Flowers

I’ve been researching flowers for my current work in progress. I found the meaning of the thought behind the flower fascinating and I hope you do to. With Spring around the corner, bouquets from our lovely gardens become important decorations in our homes. These days, I delight in all the different colors and textures of my garden, always looking past the months of December through February when color is so sparse. Any occasion to receive a bouquet makes for a memorable recollection –bouquets for Valentine’s Day— or “just because”, corsages for weddings, proms, and other important times. We all have our favorites. Mine are yellow roses and daisies.

The fun of receiving flowers today is wrapped up in the beauty of the blooms. But during the Regency Era, a time when arranged marriages were the norm, they focused on the language of flowers. Every flower...even down to the colors...had meaning. It follows that not every flower was acceptable for an exchange depending on its perceived meaning.

Today, flowers of every variety...mostly roses...are delivered to that special someone today. Red roses are probably exchanged more than any other flower and mean true love. The receipt of such a flower following an introduction at a ball could create a stir back in the day. They were probably not sent unless that was the intended emotion. However, a flower we use more like a ground cover today– the pansy—means "you occupy my thoughts." That could have been a promising flower to receive in the early 1800s. In contrast, candytuft means indifference, which would have been a disappointing flower to receive from a prospect.

My mother has always enjoyed carnations. They are pretty and make up many prom and wedding arrangements today. I have serious doubt that the young lady today ponders the meaning beyond the fact that they are pretty and they match her dress. But should she take seriously the meaning of yellow carnations which signifies “you disappoint me,” her sentiment would more likely to have been tearful instead of fanciful, as proms of today go.

There is more to the lore of flowers than just their color or beauty. Take, for example, a favorite of mine— lilacs. Their scent is delicious and means spring is here. I have a lilac tree that I have nurtured, more because it is an offshoot of my mother’s lilac bush. I think they smell lovely and I keep the bush pruned in my backyard (they can grow quite large, up to twenty-five feet or more, so pruning is sensible). However, there is so much more to the lilac.

The history and meaning behind the flower touch music, luck, death, young love, medicine, and air purification. The lilac’s notoriety began during the time of the Ancient Greeks who associated the flower with music. The story goes that the god Pan was crazy about a certain woodland nymph. Determined to have her, he chased her endlessly. To escape his attention, she dashed into the woods and disguised herself into a lilac to escape his unwanted devotion.

Their placement is a clue to other important uses for the lilacs. Throughout the United Kingdom and in America lilac bushes have spurious plantings, often found at the perimeter of a property. Frequently their appearance looks out of step with the rest of the yard. I noticed this when my daughter lived in New Hampshire. The lilac was almost part of every landscape. The reason for the unusual placement was because of the usefulness of its strong fragrance. They were often planted over the graves of miscarried children (as markers, but also to hide the smell of decaying flesh). Probably for the same reason, lilac bushes dot graveyards. Their use as an original air freshener, as it were, was invaluable. You can still see them planted adjacent to where household outhouses and the like had been placed, normally at the edge of a property, away from delicate noses. When the outhouse moved, another lilac bush was planted. When I see the old farmhouses that have been around for a long time (100 plus years), it’s fun to note the lilac bushes dotting the property.

Old British lore (still existing during the Regency Era) considered lilacs unlucky. And purple lilacs were thought to bring more bad luck than the white. A cluster of either color lilacs was considered to bring certain death to an otherwise healthy home—not exactly a flower to use with an acquaintance one wished to court.

Oddly, their luck changed during the reign of Queen Victoria. The Victorians believed even more strongly in the language of flowers and considered Lilacs symbolized the first feelings of love. White lilacs were highly valued as they signified the innocence of youth.

In America, during the same period, the lilac found its way into medicinal uses. It was used to combat malaria, kill and expel worms from humans (and animals), and used in a boiled form to cure certain facial skin conditions. I would imagine this was an old acne cure.

There is so much more to say about colors, uses, and superstitions where flowers are concerned, and I could go on, certain to hit a flower dear to you. However, you can query the attached references for your special flower’s meaning.

*~*~*

http://thelanguageofflowers.com

https://www.almanac.com/content/flower-meanings-language-flowers

NOW AVAILABLE

Romancing A Wallflower

Book Two Noble Hearts Series

A tragic riding accident leaves Lilian DeLacey unable to walk and restricts her life to books and quiet activities. When her twin sister convinces her to attend just one ball, she accepts. Wheelchair-bound, she watches the dancers with longing, until a startling familiar masculine scent unlocks memories of the mysterious man who had saved her—none other than the charming and affable John Andrews. Meeting John creates a desire to walk again and not miss out on life, but can he love a woman who may never walk again?

John Andrews, the Earl of Harlow returned from the Napoleonic wars with scars both inside and out. Nightly dreams force him to relive horrors he would soon forget and make him fear ever falling in love, lest he harms a bride who shares his bed. John attends a ball while on assignment for the Crown and recognizes the beautiful woman he rescued a year ago from a bad riding accident, and his response to her stuns him. Smitten by her beauty and wit, he pursues her, accepting her disability. Their chance encounter blossoms into romance, igniting a yearning for a future, yet bound by his fear of marriage.

When an undercover commission for the Crown takes him into the heart of a dangerous smuggling operation on the Cornwall coast, an unseen danger threatens his life and Lilian’s. Will trust and love be enough to save them and heal the scars that threaten their future?

Purchase Here
New Releases & Pre-Orders


A Past to Forget by Rose Pearson

A past relationship threatens their future. Can they clear his name and find happiness together?

Miss Ellen Brooks has had no choice in her future husband. When her father arranges a marriage to Viscount Stafford, she does her best to be pleased with the match, even though she knows very little about him. But when her father becomes ill, Lord Stafford decides that there is no need for the arrangement to continue and publicly breaks the engagement, leaving her ashamed and confused.

Viscount Leonard Stafford considers himself an honorable man. However, when a failing in his past comes back to haunt him, he realises that in order to protect Miss Brooks, he must end their engagement. Broken by guilt and shame, he tries his best to avoid the lady, only to realize that he has begun to feel more for her than he anticipated. 

Will he be able to overcome his past mistakes once and for all? And will Miss Brooks every forgive him should he tell her the truth?

The Earl's Daughter by Laura Beers

Lady Charlotte Taylour knows she should feel saddened by the news that her father has died, but all she feels is an immense relief. How can she mourn such a neglectful father? When she is summoned to London for the reading of the will, disaster strikes, and she finds an unlikely ally.

Lord Hudson Beauchamp, a hard-working district judge in London, has been tasked with retrieving his sister from finishing school. Along the way, he rushes to help the most intriguing woman he has ever met. Always the dutiful gentleman, he offers not only to escort her to London but to the reading of her father’s will, as well.

As Charlotte and Hudson begin spending time together, their feelings for each other deepen, something neither of them is prepared for. With danger continuously lurking around Charlotte, Hudson is prepared to do whatever it takes to
keep her safe, even risk his own life.

Purchase Here
Purchase Here
To Bargain with a Highland Buccaneer by Collette Cameron

He’d give his life for her, but his heart was never part of the bargain.

Haunted by guilt, he craves peace…

Former privateer and agent for the crown Bryston McPherson only wants one thing. Oblivion. A respite from the crushing grief and guilt he’s felt since his wife’s murder. But peace remains elusive. Until he meets her. The fiery Highlander is everything he never thought he’d have again—light, happiness, joy. Too bad he doesn’t deserve her and can never claim her for his own…

She seeks freedom and adventure…

Branwen Glanville craved excitement, but she got way more than she bargained for with Bryston. When a case of mistaken identity puts her in grave danger, the surly Scot spirits her away to his ship…and steals her heart in the process. It’s just her unfortunate luck that he’ll never allow himself to return her affections.

Bryston’s resolve is put to the test as he races to outwit a vengeful pirate and protect Branwen. But it’s not long before he starts to think a happily ever after with the Scottish lass of his dreams just might be possible after all … if he can keep Branwen alive long enough to claim it.

Confessions of Lady Grace by Rachel Ann Smith

She sacrificed her future to save his life.

He survived only to return home and find she is betrothed to another.

Will her confessions set them both free?

Lady Grace made a bargain with the devil in exchange for information that would guarantee the safe return of the man that her heart refused to relinquish.

Matthew Stanford, The Marquess of Harrington, returns to England and retreats to his empty country manor to regain his strength. His days were preoccupied with devising plans that would see the man responsible for his brutal imprisonment pay the ultimate price for his misdeeds. But at night, the woman whose image helped him survive plagued his dreams.

They had once worked together as a cohesive team. Will revenge and jealousy prevent the couple from doing so again? Or will her confessions of love be the driving factor that compels them to join forces once more?

Pre-Order Here
Pre-Order Here
Contest

Congraultations Dianne K.! You were the winner of last month's contest.My assistant will be emailing you for your choice of a book from my backlist.

June Contest

Respond to deefosterpa@gmail.com with:

JUNE NEWSLETTER CONTEST” in subject line.

Q: What is the name of Lilian DeLacey’s horse?

Hint: You will need to open the book sample to find the answer.

Contest ends 6/26/20.

Winner’s name will be drawn from correct answers and contacted by email.

Hint

This Sweep ends tomorrow! If you haven’t read NAME OF BOOK, you can enter to win it on BookSweeps today —plus 60exciting Historical Romance Series Startersfrom a great collection of authors... AND a brand new eReader :D

Enter here 👉bit.ly/HistoricalRom-June2020

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Anna St. Claire, Author

7745 Chapel Creek Drive, Denver
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