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A word to the wise: Never get your website put in redemption. I don’t know if it’s me, or the domain company (who shall remain nameless), or just all-around bad luck, but my dawnhalliday.com website has been offline for almost a month now. This is not for lack of me trying to get it back up. But every time I call my domain company in an attempt to get it back online, this is their response, “Oh, you need to do xxx, and then wait for another three days and then we’ll get it back up for you.” I follow directions. I do xxx, and then I call back in the prescribed time. And what am I told? “Oh, you need to do yyy, and then wait another 24 hours…”


I’m tired of calling them, and I’m tired of this roundabout response, and I’m tired of being misled! It’s making me crazy. Today I was transferred back and forth between four different departments with this company, and I was shaking with frustration from head to foot by the time it was over. I’ve been on the phone with them for two hours total today. Verdict: I have to wait another five days.

What can I do? Nothing, unless I want to come up with a new domain name.

Sigh. Sooo frustrating.

Since Dawn is “gone” for the time being, I’m going to be giving away some of her books here on my blog. Just respond to this blog with a “bad customer service” tale of your own for a chance to win one of the following books (your choice while supplies last):

Highland Obsession by Dawn Halliday (verrry spicy historical)
10 Days in Paradise by Dawn Halliday (spicy contemporary)
Sins of Summer by Dawn Halliday, Marie Harte, Mackenzie McKade, and Annmarie McKenna (verrry spicy contemporary)

I’ll give away 5 books in total in the next few days! So please let me know your horrible, foot-stomping customer service stories–I really want to hear I’m not alone here. LOL.

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Jennifer, the kindergarten teacher? Uh, no!

First of all, congrats to Ginger C, who won the Margaret Mallory books. I have a new contest going on, this time for an amazing romantic suspense by Susan Crandall, so please go check out my bonus features page for more information.

Secondly, as many of you know, I have three children. I was in my daughter’s kindergarten class last week, doing my civic duty as a volunteer, and here’s how one of my conversations went:

Me: Okay, you’re going to write “This.” Uppercase t…
5-year-old: No.
Me: Would you like to write something else?
Him: I want to write, “This is my dog.”
Me: Okay, so you’ll start with “This,” then. Uppercase t…
Him: NO!
Me: Well, if you want to write “This is my dog,” you’ll start with “This” which starts with t.
Him: (Stares at me like I’m an idiot.)
Me: (encouragingly) Do you need help writing t?
Me: But…”This” starts with t, so you’re going to need a t. Right here.
Him: Nuh uh. “This” doesn’t start with t. You’re wrong.
Me: No, I’m sorry. “This” starts with T.
Him: No it doesn’t. It starts with V.
Me: No, it starts with T.
Him: (getting really worked up) NO, IT DOESN’T!!! IT STARTS WITH V, I SAID! (looks like he’s either going to punch me or cry)
Me: Okay, then you can write it however you think it’s spelled. Good job.

I have the greatest respect for kindergarten teachers! I think I’ll just stick with writing. :)

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Congratulations to Christy M., who won a copy of Seduce Me by Robyn DeHart. Continuing with my flurry of offerings by my fellow Forever Authors, next up, I have a fantastic duo of books by Margaret Mallory! Please head over to my bonus features page and check it out!

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A Present

I received a little gift in my inbox this week. What is it? It’s the step back (inside cover) for A Touch of Scandal! I’m so excited!

a touch of scandal step back

What do you think?

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How rude!

I’m researching the winter holidays in England today. Don’t ask me how this came up when I did a search for winter holidays, but it did. Quotes like this are so grouch-inducing for me!

From the London Magazine, Vol VII, 1827
-From the London Magazine, Vol VII, 1827

Yellow?!?!?! Really?! I mean, I know old, ugly woman jokes are in existence even now, but still…sigh.

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Elizabeth Hoyt Winner

Congrats to Susan L., who won Elizabeth Hoyt’s Prince Trilogy over on my contest page. I’ll have another contest going up in the next week or so.

Happy New Year, everyone! We spent our New Year’s Eve packing and moving. I’m sitting here in our new house surrounded by unpacked boxes and not quite feeling like I’m at home yet. Hopefully that changes very soon…

My year ended on a fantastic note, though–I sold another three historical romances to Grand Central Publishing! I am so excited about these books, and I can’t wait to share more of my late-Regency world with you all!

I hope you all have a magnificent 2010!

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Fashion Sleuthing Part 2

Gentlemen’s fashions are a touch more difficult for me than the ladies’ fashions. It’s a real challenge to find pictures and corresponding descriptions. Even more important, I want my heroes wearing…well, for lack of a better word, manly clothes. Look at these descriptions of some of the men’s fashions of 1829:

Light blue embroidered gloves:

some young men have appeared at balls with blue dress gloves embroidered with white…

and silk cloaks:

…cloaks of the gentlemen lined with plush silk of celestial blue…

and hankies with embroidered corners:

…at balls our young exquisites sport pocket handkerchiefs of fine lawn with a hem as broad as their thumbs the corners only are embroidered.

and flowery shoes:

…shoes tied with a small rosette.

and stylishly curled coiffures:

…a young gentleman now suffers his hair to grow has it curled and parted on the left side of the forehead.

(these examples are all from The Mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction, Volume 13 By Reuben Percy, John Timbs, 1829)

Worst of all, corsets were in style for men. Here’s a caricature of the styles for 1827. Look how tightly those poor men are cinched up! (Also look at the poor ladies’ hats–but that’s a whole ‘nother post!)

© Bodleian Library, University of Oxford: John Johnson Collection

© Bodleian Library, University of Oxford: John Johnson Collection

I suppose the Gentleman’s Magazine of Fashion (1827) said it best:

…they say that a tall, thin man with his waist pinched in, and if he is withal very full, looks like grasshopper in an asthma.

Sigh. Maybe I should stop researching and go directly to the Pride and Prejudice movies. Of course, these movies represented a time several years earlier than the settings of my books… Nevertheless, with some variations the basic idea is there: shirts, cravats, tailcoats…

So I’ll just think of Mr. Darcy.

Better yet, Mr. Darcy just after a swim…


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Jennifer the Fashion Sleuth

I’m always on the search for examples of fashions during the time in which I write. Women’s fashions are easy enough to find, though they can be challenging to decipher. (For me, anyway…even today’s fashions befuddle me, so going back two hundred years definitely makes my brain spin!) Read this description from fashions for December, 1827:

CARRIAGE DRESS: A pelisse of rich gros de Naples of a beautiful stone colour with a deep border of the same on the bias headed by narrow vandykes.
-From the Lady’s Monthly Museum, Vol. 26

Hmm…it takes some sleuthing, but I can ultimately figure it out. The above is the beginning of the description of the carriage dress shown here on the left.

I might just put Lady Rebecca in this dress at some point in A SEASON OF SEDUCTION… Though I really love the evening dress on the right…sigh. I wonder how it would be received at my husband’s company Christmas party if I wore it… :)

On Thursday, I’m going to be talking about my continuing challenge to find interesting (and masculine!) variations in men’s fashions of the time!

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Winner, update, etc.

The winner of my holiday contest was Denise Y! She’s getting a copy of A HINT OF WICKED, a copy of A HIGHLANDER CHRISTMAS, and lots of yummy-smelling holiday bath and body goodies. Congrats to Denise!

I lied about that being my last contest of the year, lol. I have another one up–you can enter to win a copy of Elizabeth Hoyt’s amazing Prince Trilogy. Go on over to my Bonus Features pages and check it out!

I’m heading off to City Hall right now. We’re in escrow both to sell our house and buy a new one, and it just came to our attention that the new house lot might be entirely in a flood zone (which means we can’t build or make improvements–very frustrating). So I’m off to the city to clarify the situation. I tell you, it’s one thing after another when you’re in a real estate transaction. My husband and I were completely crazy to start this process during the holidays.

Come check out my blog over at Popculture Divas, where I’m talking about tattoos, piercings, and elf ears today.

I’m also working on edits for A SEASON OF SEDUCTION–this is the story of the young sister, Becky, from A HINT OF WICKED. I’m loving this story…Becky has learned a lot since her naivety during A HINT OF WICKED, and she has lots of surprises in store for her hero, Jack. I can’t wait until it comes out next October!

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New Contest

Come check out my new contest. It’s my last contest of the year, and I have lots of cool stuff to give away for the holidays, including a copy of A HINT OF WICKED!

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