New Year’s Eve

Anne here, and it's New Year's Eve. This is the third time I've been given the blog for New Year's Eve, so I looked up the old blogs to see what I'd written previously. My 2009 blog was quite interesting, as I was reflecting on how much had changed in the past decade, but now it feels like ancient history—which I suppose it is!

Andreas-dress*gWNjE2YnI4I-unsplashIt's hard to believe 2022 is ending — the last few years have been quite extraordinary, with the pandemic — but when I look back on 2022, I can't decide whether it dragged or it whizzed by. Thinking about where I was and what I was doing a year ago, it seems as though it was years ago. But then I think about what has happened to me this year, and its as if only a handful of months have passed in a blur. So I'm confused. But I'm celebrating the coming of the new year anyway.

Do you do anything special on New Year's Eve? I vary. Sometimes I just meet up with a few friends for a quiet night, and we watch the fireworks. I love fireworks, and though there are various local ones, I enjoy the Sydney ones, where the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the reflections on the water make for a brilliant display. (The photo above is by Andreas Dress on Unsplash

I have friends who often hold a party on New Year's Eve, with a fire outside — it's summer in Australia, remember, so think warm, balmy nights. And sometimes stinking hot ones. I do love a fire, but we can't have proper big bonfires here because of the danger of bushfires.

I always drink a toast to "Auld Lang Syne." My Scots blood always comes out in me at this time of year, and one day I'd like to be in Edinburgh for Hogmanay (the Scots name for New Year's Eve.) Hogmanay is a big event in Scotland — bigger than Christmas for many — and fire plays a major part. One year they had a "Viking" torchlight procession — I would have loved to be there for that. There are some fabulous photos here. And more Hogmanay photos here.
There are so many rituals and traditions for ushering in the new year. Click here to read about some from other parts of the world.

Do you make resolutions for the new year? I usually reflect on the past year and think about my intentions for the new year, but I don't make resolutions. But if you do, there's a useful guide to sticking to your resolutions here.  

So, what about you? How do you celebrate the New Year — or is it just another day for you? (I also celebrate Chinese New Year. ) Do you love or loathe fireworks, or make resolutions? What are you hoping for next year?
HAPPY NEW YEAR from me, and all the wenches.

Jubilee Jubilation

Jubilee postbox1Nicola here, in the UK, where we are marking Queen Elizabeth II’’s 70th anniversary on the throne with Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The series of events being held to celebrate this milestone reminded me of 1977 when I was twelve years old and was living in Leeds in Yorkshire. We had a street party and in the park down the road from us there was a big concert which you could hear from our garden – which was great as my parents wouldn’t allow me to go as I was too young!

Jubilees don’t come around that often. They mark a major milestone in the reign of a monarch and only start after 25 years on the throne with the Silver Jubilee. They are named in the same way that anniversaries are: silver, golden, diamond and platinum but there’s no pearl or sapphire jubilee and none of the smaller anniversaries in between. However, they may be infrequent but they have a long history. The origins of jubilee celebrations go back to Ancient Egypt when a pharoah would take part in various ceremonies to demonstrate his or her fitness to rule. The word “jubilee” derives from the Hebrew word ‘Jobel’ which refers to the ram’s horn with which these ceremonies were proclaimed. Jubilees are, as the name suggests, times of jubilation.

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Once a Laird

Once a LairdAnne here, and today I'm interviewing Mary Jo about ONCE A LAIRD, her final book in the "Rogues Redeemed" series, which was based around five men held captive in a cellar in wartime, facing execution as spies in the morning. Of course they escaped and lived to tell some wonderful tales.  (Ramsay was using the name Chantry at that time for various sneaky reasons.)

Once a Laird is about Ramsay, who made the biggest impression on me in Once a Scoundrel, where he was instrumental in freeing three ladies from a harem in Constantinople after they'd been taken hostage by Barbary pirates. I've been waiting for his story ever since.

There have been some lovely reviews of Once a Laird."  Here's one from Booklist:

"In the latest splendidly crafted addition to her Rogues Redeemed series, Putney (Once Dishonored, 2020) brilliantly utilizes all of the key elements her readers crave—engaging characters, an expertly evoked setting, an intriguingly different story line, even a quintessential cat—and the result is another exemplary-in-every-way romance.” – Booklist

 

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2021 Anniversary Part 2

Depositphotos_131678186_xl-2015 - CopyAnniversary Garden Party & Giveaway, Part 2

Collected by Mary Jo

Welcome to the second part of the Word Wench anniversary garden party, and this time, we're giving out books!  The Wenches will give books to seven winners chosen at random from among the commenters by Tuesday night. So tell us your thoughts!  (Commenters from both days of the anniversary posts are eligible.)

As on Friday, each Wench will summon one of our fictional couples from Pat Rice's magical library. Because libraries are all magical, here we can meet people from all places and times.  The invitation will invite our people to a party in Anne Gracie's Bellaire Gardens, which is a wonderful garden square that is completely surrounded by grand residences.  The garden is essentially the back yard of the houses, so residents can stroll and meet and mingle.

Come meet the other guests!

 

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2021 Anniversary Blog, Part 1

Depositphotos_131678186_xl-2015You're invited to the Word Wenches' Anniversary Garden Party! (Part 1)

Collected by Mary Jo

The Word Wenches blog is 15 years old!  This is ancient beyond words in internet terms, yet we're still here because we love talking about our books and our travels and delicious odd bits of history. Most of all, we like the chance to interact with our readers. 

Our characters have so much to say that this blog will be divided in two with Part 2 posted on Monday the 24th.

The invitations are going out now.  Will you join us?

 

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