Legumes, Love-making, and Aphrodisiacs

It’s Saturday, and you know what that means. That’s right, it’s Aphrodisiac Time. The weekend’s here, and perhaps you’re thinking about quality time with your partner (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Throughout history, lovers everywhere have counted on aphrodisiacs to help them, well,  get it on. I write historical romances set in the 18th Century. During my  research sessions, quite accidentally, I ran into an interesting love-booster, which I used in my first book, Mercy of the Moon.

17th Century Midwife Jane Sharp wrote a manual on midwifery, called The Midwives Book or the Whole Art of Midwifery Discovered, edited by the brilliant Elaine Hobby. It’s my go-to research book when my midwife heroine Maggie needs some advice. It’s fascinating reading, and gentlemen, you can thank her for the pithy and useful advice I’m giving you today.

We all know about aphrodisiacs like oysters, chocolates, and pomegranates. That’s old hat, so let me give you a little 17th Century tip:

Peas and beans are a sure-fired way to increase a man’s vigor in bed. That’s right. It has to do with the belief that men’s sexuality was associated with “windy spirits,” that aided in men’s erections. You can thank Hippocrates for coming up with the humoral theory and Galen for carrying the torch. This idea carried all the way to the 18th Century and then some. So could it be true that the passing of wind equals a passionate interlude? Light a candle and find out by inviting legumes into your love nest.

A few suggestions: take turns feeding each other spoonfuls-as part of the foreplay. Spell endearments on a freshly made bed with multi-colored beans. Pop peas instead of grapes into each other’s mouths. It’s sexy and nutritious.

Want to rejuvenate your love life? Open a can of beans and let love in.


Newsletters, Aristotle and Procrastination

What do procrastination, newsletters, and Aristotle have in common?

Have you ever put something off for so long that it grows into a Mountain of Impossibility? I’ve been published since 2014, and have known perfectly well how important a newsletter is for promotion. Yet I just couldn’t seem to get out of my own way to do it, what with one thing and another.

But the upcoming release of my third book, Echoes of the Moon, in November has lit a fire under my…erm…you know, and I swallowed my dread and took the plunge. And guess what? Like many tasks that are anticipated with dread and fear, once I got going, it proved to be painless and more than a little  fun.

You know that saying, “A job well begun is half done?” It turns out the phrase was first coined by Aristotle. It got me thinking about the history of procrastination. Who was the first procrastinator in human history—-Adam? What chores did cavemen and cavewomen procrastinate? Figuring out that fire thing? Just couldn’t get around to inventing the wheel? Deboning a dinosaur? These are the kind of weighty questions I’ll ponder in my newsletter.

I’ll be sending it out on Sunday, and I hope I have more followers by then! (Hint, hint!) I’m looking forward to connecting with you in the newsletter, and doling out snippets of paranormal, humor, 18th Century history, and most of all, romance. I’ll so my best to provide fun giveaways, bonus material you’ll not receive anywhere else. I’ve got some fun things planned, and I hope you’ll join me.

Leave a comment to be in the running for an original coloring page, created by talented Florida artist, Andrea Hiotis, and inspired by book #1, Mercy of the Moon. The winner will be chosen by the International Man of Mystery on Sunday morning (10-1-17).


Ian Sings to Maggie: Mercy of the Moon

Maggie Wilson is a serious woman. She’s a midwife in the 18th Century, and all she’s ever known is Work and Duty. The first time she meets Ian, he’s singing. When they work together to save her sister, he’s singing. When she’s angry, he tries to calm her with his music, and makes her feel things she’s never felt before: Longing. Desire. And he makes her laugh. So to celebrate his ability to charm and uplift her, I give you a passage from Mercy of the Moon, book 1 in the Rhythm of the Moon seriesShe is extremely angry, and he is accompanying her on a walk:

“She felt like an instrument of the devil, full of poison and a heartbeat away from screaming like a harpy and clawing her way through town.

He held her upper arm firmly, and she felt his fingers through her cloak, cool, calm. A deep rumbling arose from his chest, and he began humming, then louder, to match the ferocity of the wind. That was the preamble, apparently, for suddenly he released her arm, leaped in front of her and began to sing.

‘”My woman, when she’s angry, puts Medusa’s hair to shame.

She rouses all my senses and sets my soul to flame.

When she unleashes fury, a virago gone insane,

I’m only very thankful I am not the one to blame.'”

                                                 COPYRIGHT ©2014 Jennifer Taylor

The song has the desired effect on Maggie. More on that tomorrow, when I talk about passion.

Tweedle Me

Tweedle: It’s what’s for Wednesday. This wacky word originated around 1675-85, according to dictionary.com. When I saw it, I immediately thought of Ian, the hero in my Rhythm of the Moon Series. As I said in my blog Monday, Ian uses music to charm and entice practical Maggie. Rest assured this word will be used in Book #3 to describe Ian’s behavior. Why is it the words I pick sound vaguely obscene? I assure you it’s not!

“Tweedle” means to “cajole or entice by music.” I guess you could describe Ian as being Maggie’s personal Pied Piper, but with the best of intentions. He realizes how very hard she works, and strives to give her respite from her cares. Can you resist a man who makes you laugh? And it’s a rare woman who is immune to a gentleman willing to make a fool out of himself in the hopes of bringing a smile to her face. That’s Ian, in both MERCY OF THE MOON and HEARTBEAT OF THE MOON.

Here’s a challenge this Wednesday: Let’s say you’re at the grocery store. Break out in a song, perhaps the Theme from “The Love Boat.” Then, loudly pronounce, “Oh, excuse my tweedling.” And leave the aisle.

We need to revive these fun old words. Shake up a boring Wednesday with a little Tweedling. I have armed you. Go forth and shine.