February 2011                       Volume 6, Issue 2 


violins and valentines

brought to you by Author Linore Rose Burkard

Feature Article:
 Winter Pastimes:

Part Two

 by Linore Rose Burkard

Last month we looked at winter pastimes of the Regency, in particular popular card games and card parties.

This month we'll take a look at Parlour Games.
While many of these games were possibly played at any time of year, there is no doubt that more people stuck to their firesides (hence, their parlours) during the winter. In an age without electronics and electricity, parlour games were often an indispensable ingredient of family gatherings. They enlivened otherwise routine evenings and days, and were especially popular during holidays such as throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas .  

Some of these games are still fun today, but I wouldn't recommend playing Snapdragon--you'll see why, later.


   In my Regency Christmas Ebook

there are details on how to play many of the most popular parlour games of the day, but I'll explain one or two of them here, following the list. 


The Games:

This is not comprehensive but will give you an idea of the variety:




Blind Man's Buff (changed to "bluff" later in the century)
Hide the Slipper (or, Hunt the Thimble)
Dumb Crambo
Home Theatricals
Hot Cockles
The Vicar's Cat
Apples in Water
Yawning for a Cheshire Cat
Musical Chairs
Table and Board Games

Squeak, Piggy, Squeak  



How to play The Vicar's Cat:  


Players in this game must each think of an adjective to describe "the vicar's cat" beginning with the letter A and trying to reach Z. If Z is reached, play continues from A again.  A turn is taken by saying, "The Vicar's cat is agile," or, "The Vicar's cat is bouncy."  No repeats are allowed and the player who first cannot think of an adjective with the proper beginning letter is the loser.  


How to play Snapdragon:


This is a game that even children played, much to our modern consternation. After setting aflame a shallow wide bowl of raisins swimming in brandy, all the candles in a room would be snuffed (later in the century the gas lamps extinguished) and players would take turns trying to "snap" raisins out of the bowl with their fingers. The object was to extract the most raisins while trying not to get burned. This supposedly led to "a considerable amount of laughter and merriment" though singed fingers seem inevitable.  


A further element of the game could be to put a gold button or coin--or some such small object--into one raisin. Whoever picked the "lucky" raisin would get an additional boon, something they could choose as a treat. Strutt adds that, "This sport is seldom exhibited but in winter, and chiefly at Christmas-time."   


Many of the parlour games we know about seem chiefly to offer entertainment to the younger set, but even adults could, and did, enjoy many of the simple amusements of these bygone days.   

I hope you enjoyed this peek into the Regency Christmas Ebook. This article was adapted from:  Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a Remarkably Regency Yuletide!  If interested, you may  click here to download the Contents & Bibliography pages.  If you like what you see, the ebook is availabe at my  lowest price ever---for only $9.95.  In addition, all future editions of the Christmas Ebook will be sent to you at no further cost!  
Buy Now  



timothy daltonTHE JANE CONTEST:

Last Month's Results, This Month's Contest  


The Quote Was:  

Here we all found ourselves...in a noble large parlour hung round with family pictures--every thing is very grand and very fine and very large--The house is larger than I could have supposed...I expected to find everything about the place very fine and all that, but I had no idea of its being so beautiful...

The  Challenge Was:  

WHO was the speaker of the quote?    


The Correct Answer Was:   

Mrs. Austen--Jane's mother!  


And here I must offer an apology because I FORGOT to include Mrs. Austen in the choices! Because of my hurry and carelessness in leaving out the right response, anyone who chose the next closest answer, (Jane Austen) was put in the drawing for a book.  Please forgive my oversight.   


However, three of you sent in the truly correct answer, rightly attributing the quote to Mrs. Austen:


Ruth Perry

Sheri Fabiani

LuAnn Morgan


Give yourselves a hand, ladies--well done.

I chose a first winner from your small group, and SHERI FABIANI is it! 


From the responses who chose Jane Austen, I chose a second winner: 

MORGAN (chocomilk27@....) 


Congratulations Sheri and Morgan! Please send me your mailing addresses so I can get a book out to you.   


And thanks to everyone who participated. Try again this month!   



The New (February) Contest

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....


Maybe because it's Valentine's Day as I write but I'm thinking it would be fun to share what we love best about Jane.Why do you love Jane Austen? What is it about her books that brings you back to them (or the movies) again and again?  


I'll choose two answers to share with readers next month, and if your answer is chosen you'll win a free book of mine. (I just got a new order of books in so it'll be hot off the press!)  


As an example, I once answered this question for someone, and here is part of what I said:    


When I say "I love Jane Austen," I'm referring chiefly  to the atmosphere of her world, which is to say, that of her books. There is an air of gentility and manners that isn't around today. This doesn't mean  there aren't terrible goings-on in her world (or books) but that the prevailing feeling is of visiting a  more innocent, well-mannered and beautiful time in history.


Hit "reply" and send me your answer in an email. Good luck!

New Subscriber Contest:

Each month two new subscribers are randomly chosen to win a copy of my self-published edition of Before the Season Ends. This month's winners are:  

 Felicia Armbrister



 Thanks to all of you who have recently signed up and Congratulations winners! Please send me your full mailing address so I can send you a book.

  E-Book Nook kindle
Good News! There was a glitch somewhere along the line that had prevented my third book, The Country House Courtship, from getting "Kindled," but it's finally happening. Thanks to my editor, Nick Harrison, from Harvest House Publishers, for making that happen. Look for it in the Kindle Store--and from other ebook sellers--soon.

As in months past, here's a partial list of my recently acquired Kindle ebooks. Unless stated, these were free at time of posting here on Amazon.

Curious Folks Ask: Real Answers on Amazing Inventions, Fascinating Products and Medical Mysteries

Supercharge Your Social Media Strategies

Heart of Stone: A Novel (Zondervan)

A Time to Love: (Quilts of Lancaster County Series 1)

Blood Ransom (Zondervan)

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar--oops, not free anymore--$9.99

The Enchanted April ($3.99) --Hey, it's now free!

The Complete Works of Charles Dickens (.99) What a steal!


Prefer print books? Search for a title at a discounted price at CBD.com in this search box, below.


Happy Reading!
Amazon offers free "Kindle for PC" software, so that you can read Kindle books on your
pc. Other providers are beginning to do the same.

Even better, if you later decide to get an actual Kindle, you will be able to easily move every book you've collected for your PC app onto your new Kindle. So start collecting! 

 Happy Endings Only   
I sent out a call to authors I know and asked for  information on new releases. My only requirements were that they had to be Sweet Historical Fiction with happy endings only! Since that's what I write, it fits with this newsletter, and is fiction you'll enjoy.  I am pleased to highlight this month's selections and look forward to reading them myself.   

Here are some new books to love:
Lady in the Mist
Lady in the Mist, by Laurie Alice Eakes

By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets.

Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British aristocrat, is doing on American soil working as an indentured servant.


In a time when relations between America and England rest on the edge of a knife, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths, leading them on a journey of intrigue, threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? But can Tabitha trust Dominick? Finding true love seems impossible in a world set against them.


With stirring writing that draws you directly into the story, Lady in the Mist takes you on the thrilling ride of love's discovery.


Get Lady in the Mist from CBD.com
Or from Amazon.com

Sharpshooter inPetticoats
Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy

Book #3 in the Sophie's Daughters Series

Mandy McClellen Grey has become the focus of a feud thanks to her husband, who made this mess and then died. Far from home, Mandy, the best little rifle woman in the west, has resigned herself to a lonely life under siege rather than call for help and endanger her family.

Tom Linscott is fed up with waiting for Mandy who should have had the sense to come to him as soon as she finished burying her worthless husband. In fact he'd've come fast enough to dig the hole if she'd've sent for him. He goes to round up his little woman and buys into a heap of trouble from a whole clan of outlaws.

Between Mandy's deadly skill with her rifle, her determination to not bring trouble down on someone she loves, and an ever growing crowd of varmints who want to bury everyone named Grey-and anyone who sides with them, Tom may not survive getting himself hitched.

Buy Sharpshooter in Petticoats from CBD.com
Or from Amazon.com

Love finds you...
Love Finds You in Tombstone, Arizona
by Miralee Ferrell

Love and second chances aren't easy to come by in a town named Tombstone. When Christy Grey receives an urgent summons to Tombstone, Arizona, she reluctantly leaves her new life in California. The trip goes from bad to worse when three masked men hold up Christy's stage. She finally arrives in
Tombstone to find her mother ill and her brother trapped in a life of gambling. Desperate for money to support her family, will Christy bow to pressure from the local saloon owners and return to the life she thought she'd given up for good?

Nevada Keene has problems of his own. He's been dodging bullets for years and wants nothing more than to settle down and get married. But he's on the run from outlaws bent on revenge, and the one woman who captures his interest recognizes him from the stagecoach holdup. Will Christy turn Nevada in to the authorities, or will the outlaws on his trail catch him first?

Buy Love Finds You in Tombstone, Arizona
from CBD.com
Or, from Amazon.com

1. This post on Inkwell Inspirations by Susanne Dietze gives a list of many JA-related novels, including regency fiction (like mine!). You'll get some good ideas for reading here.

2. Digitized copies (1100 pages of them) of Jane Austen's manuscripts, all hand-written by JA herself. Fascinating. And revealing. (Remind me to destroy all my own first drafts!)   

3.  Get a newsletter from CAN (Christian Authors' Network) each month, with news of new releases. Sign up here. It's free!


4.  Click on the fashion plates to see them enlarged. This page is all Regency, from the University of Washington collection of prints. (I love this sort of website when I'm doing research.)  


 5.  The Origins, history and serving of Afternoon Tea (briefly). 



Happy Valentine's Day

February Download
front street
Baby, it's cold outside!
This month, I send you to a site that has many free downloads: FAVE CRAFTS.
For instance, I recently downloaded "21 Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids," and was impressed with the quality of the ideas.

There are free patterns for knitting, sewing, crocheting--lots of good stuff to keep your hands busy during these cold winter months. I hope you find something you'll enjoy!

Until we meet again,

Warmest blessings,

PS: Don't forget to foward this newsletter to a friend!

Winter Pastimes of the Regency
The Jane Contest
E-Book Nook
Happy Endings Only
Fabulous Links


Join Our Mailing List
Did someone forward this to you? Sign up now and get Linore's  Reflections right in your in-box.

 When you do, you'll  immediately be entered into TWO book drawings, plus you'll get the FREE ebook, "Regency Fashion in Winter."

box, above, to join

Find me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
View my profile on LinkedIn
 There's someone you know who would enjoy this newsletter. Please forward it to them so they can subscribe for themselves. They'll be entered in two drawings when they subscribe, and they'll enjoy the monthly historical content.

You'll be doing me a favor, too. 
A Peek at My Email:
A Beautiful Letter


Dear Linore:


I read your 2 books,Before the Season Ends and The House of Grosvenor Square so fast I could hardly stand it. I had to finish them. I really love the stories. It is so nice to have such wonderful Christian romance to read. My husband is an associate pastor and I am an assistant teacher for kindergarten here in our local school. Reading is one of my leisure pleasures and I only read Christian books. Thank you for writing and including Christ in your writing. Please keep the books coming. I am raising a daughter that we adopted from China and she is an avid reader also. I plan to keep all my books for her as she gets older I can introduce her to good writing. Thanks again.

Chryl McFatter
Amory, MS

Thank you, Chryl!


 4th Annual Jane Austen Festival 


JULY 9 & 10, 2011 


at Historic Locust Grove 

(1790 National Historic Landmark) 

Louisville, Kentucky 


sponsored by

Greater Louisville Region Jane Austen Society of North America 

For details on everything this event will feature (lots of great stuff!)  visit Locust Grove on the web.

General Admission $10
Ball, tea,  theatrical performance and workshops additional fee.

For information re: hotels, travel, etc. please contact Bonny Wise, Regional Coordinator at:
wises4 (at) insightbb (dot) com
(no spaces)




Don't forget the free resources available on my website!


God is Love

red flowers

red rose