Saturday, January 27, 2018
February may be a short month, but it certainly is not short on the bizarre, unique, and weird when it comes to holidays—celebrations above and beyond the legal holidays where government offices, banks, and schools are closed for the day.
There are several month long designations in February: American Heart Month, An Affair To Remember Month, Black History Month, Canned Food Month, Creative Romance Month, Great American Pie Month, National Cherry Month, National Children's Dental Health Month, National Grapefruit Month, and National Wedding Month.
February also has a week long celebration: the third week is International Flirting Week.
And this year (every four years), February is the time of the Winter Olympics, being held in South Korea this time.
Hmmm…American Heart Month, An Affair To Remember Month, Creative Romance Month, National Wedding Month, and International Flirting Week. How appropriate that they should all be in the month that gives us Valentine's Day.
Feb. 1 National Freedom Day
Feb. 2 Ground Hog Day
Always celebrated on February 2. On this day, the groundhog awakens from a long winter's nap and goes outside of his den. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, Spring is rapidly approaching. The tradition comes from the German roots of Candlemas which is the mid point between Winter and Spring.
Feb. 2 Candlemas
Feb. 3 The Day The Music Died
Always celebrated on February 3. On this date in 1959 singers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash. The event was immortalized in the popular song, Apple Pie, written and recorded by Don McLean.
Feb. 4 Create A Vacuum Day
Feb. 4 Thank A Mailman Day
Feb. 5 National Weatherman's Day
Always celebrated on February 5. According to the Air Force News, this holiday "commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America's first weathermen." He was born on February 5, 1744, and kept weather records from 1774 to 1816. This holiday honors the men and women who work hard to accurately predict the often fickle weather. Even with the major technological advances including super computers and satellites, forecasting weather is still a tricky, ever changing, and always challenging task.
Feb. 6 Lame Duck Day
Feb. 7 Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbor Day
Feb. 7 Send A Card To A Friend Day (a holiday created by Hallmark?)
Feb. 8 Boy Scout Day
Feb. 8 Kite Flying Day
Always celebrated on February 8 (but why in the middle of winter?). People have enjoyed flying kites for thousands of years, both children and adults. The most well known kite flyer is undoubtedly Benjamin Franklin with his key and lightning experiment. Kites were first used by the military in ancient China over 3,000 years ago.
Feb. 9 Toothache Day
Feb. 10 Umbrella Day
Feb. 11 Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
Feb. 11 Make A Friend Day
Feb. 11 White T-Shirt Day
Feb. 12 Abraham Lincoln's Birthday (combined with George Washington's birthday, it's legally celebrated as President's Day the third Monday of February, on the 19th this year)
Feb. 12 Plum Pudding Day
Feb. 12 Clean Out Your Computer Day (the 2nd Monday of the month)
Feb. 13 Get A Different Name Day
Always celebrated on February 13. This day is for those who are not fond of their given name. It's the day to take steps to change your name (and don't forget to notify those who need to know about your new name).
Feb. 14 Ferris Wheel Day
Feb. 14 National Organ Donor Day
Feb. 14 Valentine's Day
Feb. 15 Candlemas (on the old Julian Calendar)
Feb. 15 National Gum Drop Day
Feb. 15 Singles Awareness Day
Feb. 16 Do A Grouch A Favor Day
Feb. 17 Random Acts of Kindness Day
Always celebrated on February 17. You know what to do…perform a few random acts of kindness. Almost any kind deed will do. And remember—Random Acts of Kindness is highly contagious.
Feb. 18 National Battery Day
Feb. 19 National Chocolate Mint Day
Feb. 20 Cherry Pie Day
Feb. 20 Hoodie Hoo Day
Always celebrated on February 20. On this winter day, people go out at noon, wave their hands over their heads and chant "Hoodie-Hoo." This is the day to chase away the winter blahs (in the Northern Hemisphere).
Feb. 20 Love Your Pet Day
Feb. 21 Card Reader Day (another Hallmark creation?)
Feb. 22 George Washington's Birthday (combined with Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, it's celebrated as the legal holiday of President's Day on the third Monday of February, on the 19th this year).
Feb. 22 Be Humble Day
Feb. 22 Walking The Dog Day
Feb. 22 International World Thinking Day
Feb. 23 International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
Feb. 23 Tennis Day
Feb. 24 National Tortilla Chip Day
Always celebrated on February 24. The corn chip recipe was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by a Texas businessman. Just a few decades ago, Americans seldom ate corn chips and salsa. Today it's wildly popular.
Feb. 25 Pistol Patent Day
Feb. 26 National Pistachio Day
Feb. 26 Tell A Fairy Tale Day
Feb. 27 Polar Bear Day
Feb. 27 No Brainer Day
Always celebrated on February 27th. By definition, a no brainer is doing something simple, easy, obvious, and/or totally logical. If a project requires thinking, study, or analysis of any kind, then this is not the day for it.
Feb. 28 Floral Design Day
Feb. 28 Public Sleeping Day
Feb. 28 National Tooth Fairy Day (sometimes celebrated on August 22)
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Harlequin has reissued 17 of my backlist titles in ebook. Today I'm speaking with Taylor MacKenzie and Lord Donovan Sedgwick about THE SEDGWICK CURSE, a Harlequin Intrigue mystery/romantic suspense originally released in print and currently available in ebook.
Good morning and thanks to both of you for joining us today. I think my first question is for you, Lord Sedgwick.
Donovan: Please, call me Donovan. (pauses) I still haven't been able to completely reconcile being the owner of the title, especially considering the circumstances that passed it on to me.
It's a title that's been in your family for a long time, isn't it? Along with the large estate located in the Cotswolds area of England?
Donovan: A very long time…for centuries to be exact, starting in the late 1600s after the monarchy was restored to the throne with Charles II. (brightens as he grasps Taylor's hand) But on the other side, if my family history hadn't taken a strange twist along the way I never would have met this lovely lady and would have always felt as if something very important was missing from my life.
So, Taylor…your family history and Donovan's family history were somehow connected? You're from the United States and had never been to England prior to your initial meeting with Donovan, is that correct?
Taylor: Yes, it was over a century ago that the connection between our families resulted in the curse placed on the Sedgwick family. In my correspondence with Donovan's father, I lied about the purpose of my trip to England. The reality of it was to trace the origins of the crime that had resulted in the brutal death of my great grandmother and great grandfather who were tenant farmers on the Sedgwick estate. My grandmother was an infant at the time and was whisked away to safety by some of the villagers and eventually arrived in America by way of Canada.
Donovan…you didn't have any idea who Taylor was when she showed up at your front door one night?
Donovan: (chuckles) I assumed my father had been dealing with a man who wanted to research the annual festival we hold on the estate grounds for a book he was writing on British country festivals. Our particular festival has been an annual event for over 250 years. My father had invited the writer to stay at the house while doing research.
And Taylor was that 'man'?
Donovan: (sly grin) She didn't fool me for a moment. I knew as soon as I opened the door that it wasn't a man standing there! (turns serious) But her timing was terrible. My father had…uh, he had died a couple of months earlier. It was the night before her arrival that the century old curse had seemed to come to fruition with the evil of the past turned loose on the present, followed by a string of grisly murders…
(Donovan's voice trailed off and Taylor picked up the conversation).
Taylor: I had never been as frightened in my life as I was shortly after I arrived at the Sedgwick estate that night. I felt as if I was being stalked by some evil presence. Sometimes it seemed so close that I could literally reach out and actually touch it. Or worse yet, that it could touch me.
Was there someone…or something…actually stalking you? Was any of it real or merely the result of the centuries-old gothic atmosphere of the older sections of the house?
Taylor: Oh, it was real…very real. And so was the resulting danger.
Donovan: There was much more going on than just the sense of a malevolent presence playing havoc with everything and everyone. There was an entirely separate agenda happening at the same time involving blackmail, deceit, and extortion. All-in-all, a very messy quagmire of conflicting facts and feelings.
That sounds like quite a tangled web. Obviously whatever happened was finally put to rest for good and the two of you are now married and still living in the manor house at the estate. How did all of that come about?
Donovan: (Taylor started to speak, but Donovan got the words out first) For the answer to that one, you'll need—
Ah…I know what's coming next. You're going to tell me I have to read the book.
Romantic Times review/4 out of 5:
Shawna Delacorte pens a fun read with lots of spooky ambience and a daring twosome.
CataRomance review/4 stars out of 5:
THE SEDGWICK CURSE by Shawna Delacorte is a spine tingler from the very beginning. I spent a nail biting evening racing through the pages to a wonderfully, satisfying, aha ending. Lovers of romantic intrigue and suspense will be totally captivated by THE SEDGWICK CURSE.
Every emotion is felt by the reader in this dramatic story which mesmerizes the reader as it builds to one shattering revelation after another. A cast of secondary characters add spice to the story.
THE CHILLING TRUTH
To learn the truth behind her great-grandmother's past—and the curse that still surrounded both her family and the old woman's tiny country village—Taylor MacKenzie made her way to England. But from the moment she arrived at her ancestors' manor house, an eerie chill echoed the evil of the past and a shadowy figure seemed to follow her every move.
Donovan Sedgwick, the new lord of the manor, had eyes that pierced Taylor's soul and held her in an otherworldly thrall. But he seemed ravaged by demons of his own—demons that only her kisses were able to calm.
She whirled around, her gaze staring into the darkness of the garden. Someone was watching her, staring from the safety of some hidden place. She gasped for air as if all the oxygen had been taken away from her.
"Who's there? Who…?" The words came out as a whisper then they died in her mouth. Her heart pounded in her chest and the sound roared in her ears. A wall of fear surrounded her. She forced her feet to move, to carry her toward the house. Her plodding steps turned into a run as she headed for the light at the kitchen door.
"Where have you been?" The words came at her from the darkness. A jolt of adrenaline raced through her body before she identified the voice as Donovan's. Then he grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her toward him….
THE SEDGWICK CURSE, a Harlequin Intrigue mystery/romantic suspense by Shawna Delacorte is available in ebook at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available from Amazon and other online vendors. Excerpts and full reviews are available on my website along with information about my other Harlequin ebook reissues.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Every month has its share of weird, bizarre and unusual holidays and January is no exception. Those are the only ones I'll be sharing with you. After all, we all know the legal holidays…they're the ones with no mail delivery and the banks are closed. :)
January has its month long celebrations, some serious and others more toward the frivolous: National Bath Safety Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Braille Literacy Month, National Hobby Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Soup Month, and Hot Tea Month. And in addition to the month long celebrations, the second week of January is designated as Letter Writing Week.
Jan. 2: Run Up The Flagpole And See If Anyone Salutes Day
Jan. 3: Festival Of Sleep Day
Jan. 3: Fruitcake Toss Day
This the day you can finally get rid of all that old fruitcake leftover from the holidays. Rather than simply tossing them in the trash, invite some friends over and go out to an empty lot to make a game of it. Who can toss it the farthest? Or for a less strenuous method, re-gift it next year.
Jan. 3: Humiliation Day
Jan. 4: Trivia Day
This is a fun day, a chance for us to share those little nuggets of knowledge with our friends and family.
Jan. 5: National Bird Day
Jan. 6: Bean Day
Jan. 6: Cuddle Up Day
This day provides the opportunity to snuggle up to someone on a cold winter's day…or night. This holiday is enjoyed by both young and old.
Jan. 7: Old Rock Day
Jan. 8: Bubble Bath Day
Jan. 8: Male Watcher's Day
Here's a day for the ladies, we can officially, openly, and blatantly watch the guys. The guys are always watching us, so now it's our turn to hoot and holler.
Jan. 10: Houseplant Appreciation Day
Jan. 10: Peculiar People Day
This day honors uniquely different people—un-ordinary, extraordinary, unusual, strange, odd, uncommon, intriguing, different, abnormal, and quirky. Today is the day to look for the good in your peculiar acquaintances.
Jan. 11: Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends' Day
Jan. 12: Feast Of Fabulous Wild Men Day
Apparently this day suggests you feast your eyes on some fabulous wild men. Perhaps a companion holiday to the Jan. 8 Male Watcher's Day? Maybe it's a request for us to check out the top 10 sexiest men? A list should be readily available on the internet.
Jan. 12: National Pharmacist Day
Jan. 13: International Skeptics Day
Jan. 13: Make Your Dream Come True Day
Jan. 14: Dress Up Your Pet Day
Jan. 15: National Hat Day
Jan. 16: National Nothing Day
This is a day for…well…a day for nothing! It's an un-event.
Jan. 17: Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day
Since there's a day to celebrate the New Year and make resolutions for the upcoming year (see last week's blog), then there should be a day to discard those resolutions. If you haven't already broken those resolutions you're doing better than most of us.
Jan. 18: Thesaurus Day
Jan. 19: National Popcorn Day
Jan. 20: National Buttercrunch Day
Jan. 20: Penguin Awareness Day
Although this is celebrated on January 20, World Penguin Day is always on April 25th. This is a great opportunity to learn about and appreciate one of the few natives of Antarctica. It's also a day to wear black and white…penguin colors.
Jan. 21: National Hugging Day
Jan. 21: Squirrel Appreciation Day
Jan. 22: National Blonde Brownie Day
Jan. 23: National Pie Day
Jan. 23: National Handwriting Day
Jan. 23: Measure Your Feet Day
Jan. 24: Beer Can Appreciation Day
Perhaps it's what's inside the beer can that is being appreciated? This day actually celebrates the day in 1935 when beer was first sold in cans. There's a collector's market for old beer cans. Check out collector's catalogues and eBay before throwing away an unusual or old beer can.
Jan. 24: Compliment Day
Jan. 25: Opposite Day
Jan. 26: Spouse's Day
Jan. 27: Chocolate Cake Day
Jan. 27: Punch The Clock Day
Jan. 28: Fun At Work Day
Jan. 28: National Kazoo Day
The first kazoo was made in 1840 in Macon, Georgia, but commercial production didn't happening until 1912. The kazoo is easy to play. All you do is hum a tune into the kazoo.
Jan. 29: National Puzzle Day
Jan. 29: National Cornchip Day
Jan. 30: National Inane Answering Message Day
Jan. 31: Backward Day
This is a day to do everything backwards. It's especially popular with school aged kids.
Wishing you a terrific 2018