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How to Clean the Teeth

I’m going to be starting a new “Stranger Than Fiction” Series, of the amazing, sometimes accurate and sometimes outlandish advice give by various writers and doctors of the Regency and early Victorian periods (generally from 1800 to 1840ish).

Today, I’m talking about teeth. Our methods today of cleaning the teeth are fairly high-tech, but I also know people of this period tried to maintain clean teeth too. How did they do it? What advice did they get? How different were their methods of tooth hygiene than ours are today?

This is from The Family Oracle of Health: Economy, Medicine, and Good Living, from 1824:

Best Method of Cleaning the Teeth
More teeth are destroyed by ignorant and improper cleaning than by all the other causes of toothache tartar and rotting put together. All the authorities insist upon cleanliness being the best preservative but you will find little said about the evils of tooth picks tooth brushes and dentifrices which ruin the teeth of almost every body who uses them. Savages are well known to have almost uniformly fine teeth and it is equally well known that they have no absurd tooth apparatus for their toilette.

So this author seems to believe that no toothbrush is better than the ones that were in common use at the time…However, the ones in use at the time appear fairly similar to the ones we have today (made of metal rather than plastic, with bristles that were generally made of horsehair)…

Napoleon's Toothbrush
This is Napoleon Bonaparte’s Toothbrush! It boasts a silver gilt handle and horsehair bristles.

A Recipe for a tooth cleaner from the 1824 Family Oracle:

Wash for Strengthening the Teeth and Gums
Take the juice of half a lemon
a spoonful of very rough claret or port wine
ten grains of sulphate of quinine
a few drops of eau de Cologne or oil of bergamot
and keep in a well stopped phial for use

Toothbrush Set
A toothbrush set from Birmingham, England, circa 1793. This traveling set contains a silver toothbrush, tooth powder, and a tongue scraper (which are still in use, by the way–my dentist gave me a few a couple of visits ago!).

More about the history of tooth hygiene:
Jane Austen’s World

Next time, I’ll be talking about advice on how to stay healthy in the autumn months. Good stuff…but is it applicable today? :o

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The House of Trent is coming

I have just finished updating my website with more information about The House of Trent series! Please head over to my bookshelf page and check out some of my books that will be coming in 2013 and beyond.

I am so excited about the series–I think it is my best yet! :)

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Happy New Year!

The holidays aren’t quite over for me yet–my children are at home for winter break for another week, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep them busy enough that they won’t torture one another due to sheer boredom. Once they’re back in school, I’m going to be working hard on the third novel in the House of Trent Series: The Scoundrel’s Seduction. This is the book about the oldest brother, and a favorite of mine, Samson Hawkins. He’s had a dark, dark past, he’s an assassin and a spy, and he’s about to meet his match in the lady he’s supposed to be hunting down. I can’t wait to dig in!

To all my readers and friends, I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2013! I hope this year brings good things for us all!


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A Season of Seduction

seasonofseduction hi resI hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season! I just wanted to let you all know that the digital edition my holiday novel, A SEASON OF SEDUCTION, is on sale for $2.99 wherever ebooks are sold!

Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble NookKoboSony

Happy holidays!

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Merry Christmas!

To all my readers who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have the happiest one ever! I hope everyone’s holiday season is filled with joy and fun and that your 2013 is prosperous and happy.



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The Sweetest Revenge

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a fantastic holiday season!

Dawn Halliday has a new treat out for your reading pleasure this December! And it’s FREE until the 29th of December.

Buy Link for The Sweetest Revenge

Here’s a letter from Dawn about how she was inspired to write this story. ;-)

Dear Reader:
We have all read wonderful stories about the handsome rakes and dashing scoundrels; the debauched dukes, the wicked earls, and the roguish viscounts. In these stories, the mad, bad aristocrats find the woman who ultimately tames them, who turns them into a monogamous man, a loving husband and father.

I have always wondered, though, what happened to all those women who came before that woman who tamed him? What happened to those poor souls he debauched and ruined? How did they survive the scandal? How did they go on after the rake left them behind?

This is the story of three women in that exact situation—three women who’ve been the victims of one rake who has compromised them all. These three women have decided that enough is enough, and while they can’t take on society, perhaps—just perhaps—they can change one man. This is the story of his reformation.

This is the story of their revenge.

Dawn Halliday

But don’t be fooled–The Sweetest Revenge is a romance through and through! The heroine is one of my all-time favorites–the shy and innocent Isabelle Frasier. It’s a fun, verrry sexy story! Don’t miss it!

Click here for an excerpt of The Sweetest Revenge.

And now, I have a holiday gift for all of you! Just respond to this blog with your favorite holiday “treat” (can be but doesn’t have to be food!), and you’ll win a print copy of A Season of Seduction. I’ll give them away while supplies last and post a comment when they’re gone!


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Whats Next?

Now that the Donovan Sisters series has wrapped up, I’m getting a lot of questions about what’s coming up next from me. I have a great new series coming soon–THE HOUSE OF TRENT. It’s three super sexy books about a family of that is absolutely steeped in scandal. The series starts off with THE DUCHESS HUNT, coming in June, 2013!

The Duke’s Desire…
Simon Hawkins, Duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumors and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honor, but when he is called home to investigate his mother’s disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only woman he has ever loved–and the last woman he should desire…

Sarah Osborne has spent her life dreaming of Simon’s touch. But dukes do not long for lady’s maids–or so Sarah believes, until a stolen kiss sparks a passion that could be her ultimate undoing. As the couple begins a forbidden romance, a cunning enemy plots to destroy the Duke and everything he loves. Now, caught in a blackmailer’s web, Simon faces an agonizing choice: Sacrifice his family’s future, or break Sarah’s heart.

I can’t wait until June!!

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More Research Tidbits

On a lighter note, here’s a tidbit about a Regency-era (1810) cat fight (from the 1810 Belle Assemblee):

A singular conflict lately took place in Cardiganshire. Two women, one eighty-eight years of age and the other eighty-six, who for nearly sixty years had been the most intimate friends, quarrelled respecting a hank of yarn, and after a war of words proceeded to blows: the anger of each, however, being greater than their strength, a drawn battle was agreed on in order that they might on the following day fight it out with sticks, and the bellman of the town was employed to announce the affray. After beating each other most unmercifully, the Magistrates interfered and put an end to the contest.

O, the wrath of a woman! But I find it fascinating that a hank of yarn could have caused such a violent break-up of a sixty-year friendship…

But then again, I have lost some friendships over silly things. Once, I was stupid and let a tiny secret slip (no one in the crowd “got it,” thank goodness), but the person whose secret it was never forgave me. I’ve always felt horrible about that one…sigh :(

Have you ever had a relationship break up for a silly reason? I’ll pick one poster to win 5 books of their choice from the swag I brought home from the RWA conference (and/or a mix of my own books). Your choice!

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Updates and Researching

So much is going on. Thanks to all of you who have read Pleasures of a Tempted Lady, and thanks so much for your emails–I love hearing from readers. And I appreciate all of you so much!

I’ve turned in my next book, The Duchess Hunt–it’s the start of a new series, The House of Trent, and I’ve started to write book two, The Rogue’s Proposal! This is the story of the bad-boy younger brother of the Duke of Trent, and it’s going to be a blast writing his story!

I’m researching Bristol for the beginning of the book, because Bristol is where the heroine lives and where her father made his fortune. Today, I came across a sad little story from La Belle Assemblee in 1810:

An inquest was held on Monday March 20 at Worcester on the body of the son of Mr Harris, attorney of that city. It appears that this was on his return to school after having visited his parents. While on the road he wept, and said to the female who accompanied him that he would not go to school. She intreated him return home; this he also refused to do and when they arrived at a place called the Ketch, he said “Good bye”, and rushing down the steep plunged into River Severn and was drowned. The Jury found in their verdict that the deceased being under the age of discretion (twelve years old) and not knowing good from evil did in the passion of either grief or discontent cast himself into the Severn and was there drowned.

My goodness. The poor kid. I am dying to know why he did what he did… :( My writerly mind wants to write a story about him, in which he crawls up on the other side of the bank, lives in seclusion for a while, then falls in love with the girl, and they marry and live until they’re 90 and have 10 children. Sigh…

Do you ever read stories in newspapers or elsewhere that pique your imagination like this? It seems like I do a lot, but I always want to twist them into happy endings.

I still have lots of books left from the RWA conference, so I’ll choose one poster to win 5 books of their choice from my list!

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The End of Summer

And the start of a new year–for my kids, at least. It’s such an exciting time of year for kids–a fresh start with a new teacher and new friends. My three have been in school for three days, and it’s going great! So far, so good! Fingers crossed for a great school year!

And now that the kids are back in school, it’s time for me to buckle down and get back to work. First up are edits on my next book, THE DUCHESS HUNT. It’s the first book of The House of Trent, a new series about a family embroiled in crazy levels of scandal. These stories are hot and romantic and tons of fun to write!

Also, I’m still celebrating the release of PLEASURES OF A TEMPTED LADY. I’m in the middle of a really fun blog tour–if you have the time, I hope you’ll stop by one of the sites!

Thursday, August 16 http://hangingwithbells.blogspot.com
Thursday, August 16 http://www.lovetoreadforfun.com
Thursday, August 16 http://book-spark.blogspot.com/
Thursday, August 16 http://maryinhb.blogspot.com
Friday, August 17 http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com
Friday, August 17 http://paranormalromanticsuspensereviews.blogspot.com
Friday, August 17 http://www.sosaloha.blogspot.com/
Sunday, August 19 http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com
Monday, August 20 http://novelreflections.net
Wednesday, August 22 http://brokenteepee.com
Thursday, August 23 http://www.cmashlovestoread.com
Thursday, August 23 http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com

What are your plans for this autumn? Mine have a lot to do with editing and writing. :) One responder will win 5 books of her choice from the list of books I brought home from the RWA conference (about 50 of them!).

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