Ancient Roman hairstyle recreated

This is an amazing video, featuring an hairdressing archeologist. Seriously.

Janet Stephens researched for seven years to bring you the video below, a recreation of the hairstyle of a Vestal Virgin. Stephens didn’t have much to go on, as most depictions of Vestal Virgins showed them wearing various headdresses. However, she managed to recreate the below from two busts showing the hair style.

Anyhoo, if you have seventeen minutes, please watch the below. It’s truly fascinating.

Source: io9

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…

Cassandra Dean Mince Pie Recipe

Hey peeps,

I’ve been a busy bee today, meeting new babies, cleaning bathrooms, watching TV (such hard work) and making Mince Pies. Phew, am I right?

Now, because I’m a kind and generous person, I thought I’d share with you peeps the glories of my mince pies. Because I’m Kind and Generous. No, I’m not a braggart at all 😉

Fruit mince recipe:
470g can crushed pineapple
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup sultanas
½ tspn cinnamon
1 cup raisins
½ tspn nutmeg
¼ cup currants
1 tbsn cornflour
¼ cup apricots
¼ cup brandy
1 apple

Peel and grate apple. Combine all ingredients in saucepan except cornflour and brandy. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils, reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes or until fruit is plump. Blend cornflour with brandy, mix into hot fruit mixture. Stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool before filling into pie shell.

Pastry recipe:
1 cup plain flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsn icing sugar
1 tbsn iced water (approx)
1 tbsn custard powder
1 tspn finely grated lemon rind
90g cold butter, chopped coarsely
1 tbsn white sugar

Grease 12 round based patty pan (or metal pie shells). Process flour, icing sugar, custard powder and butter until crumbly. Add egg yolk and enough of the water to make the ingredients come together. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Roll two-thirds of pastry until 3mm thick. Cut rounds to fit patty pan or shells. Repeat until all 12 are filled. Spoon fruit mix into pastry cases.

Roll reserved pastry until 3mm thick. Fashion pie lids in whatever shape you desire. Place over fruit mixture, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake pies 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Stand for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the deliciousness!

The Next Best Thing Challenge: Rough Diamond

I was tagged by Author Jessica Subject to do The Next Best Thing Challenge. Oh, Jessica, so much fun! Thank you!!

Here’s the idea:

Answer the 10 questions below

Spread the fun and tag 5 awesome people to participate!

1. What is the title of your book / WIP?
ROUGH DIAMOND, coming very soon from Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape!

2. Where did the idea of this book come from?
My editor on my previous release, TEACH ME, suggested I write for Western Escape, and after a little think, I pitched the idea of a fancy Englishman coming to Freewill, Wyoming, and bedeviling a lady saloon owner. The rest is history!

3. What genre would your book fall under?
Historical Western Erotic Romance. So, you know, a bit of everything. I do love to mash those genres.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm. Well, I pictured Iwan Rheon when describing my hero, Rupert. I reckon he could do a bang up job!

With Alice, I came across a nifty photo on the net, but the lady pictured isn’t an actress so I’ll have to put my thinking cap on…Ohhh! Emilia Clarke! She’d be pretty much perfect! And, as an added bonus, I have an oblique mention of Game of Thrones. Huzzah!

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A lady saloon owner isn’t fooled when a seemingly empty-headed Englishman wants to buy her saloon – she can see the man beneath, and she finds herself foolishly intrigued…

6. Is your book published or represented?
ROUGH DIAMOND will be published very soon by Decadent Publishing as part of their Western Escape line. Huzzah!

7. How long did it take you to write it?
Oh god, for some reason, this took F O R E V E R. Six months, peeps. Ugh. Still, I’m rather pleased with the result, so yay for those six months of toil ;p

8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?
Oh man, I don’t know…my other ones? I guess they’re the same, if only because I wrote them. I say this because they vary wildly in time period – Ancient Rome, Early Victorian London, American West…

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
I wasn’t inspired by any particular author, per se, but Joss Whedon is always my go to when I’m stuck. Although, he does make me curse with how SUPER UBER TALENTED HE IS. Seriously, peeps. Sometimes, it makes me cry.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.
Every purchase comes with a free puppy*!

And now, the five talented authors I’m tagging to share the fun.

Lucy Clark
Tamara Gill
Victoria Blisse
Barbara Sheridan
Lucy Felthouse

Hope you peeps enjoyed!



*Puppy may be imaginary. Just as good as the real thing, honest ;p

Bits and pieces around the web

On my travels around the interwebs, I come across some pretty nifty things. Here, for your viewing pleasure, some of these gems*:

Writing article via Holly Black
How I went from writing 2000 words a day to 10000 words

Another writing article, this time via Meljean Brook
Why I Write “Strong Female Characters”

And now on to the time-wasting portion of the post:

Oh, hipster peeps. You are so easy to mock.
A new Australian webseries surrounding completely delusional hipsters who live in Bondi Beach, this series is totes amazeballs, brah. Checks it out, like totes now, k?
source: Bland Canyon

A seven part Australian webseries beginning with the derailment of a train in Sydney. Horrifying enough, but it becomes even more horrific when the survivors mysteriously start to die of unexplained causes…
source: Bland Canyon

Jimmy Fallon rather hilariously sends up Downton Abbey. Pretty niftily, in my opinion
source: Tellyspotting

Downton Sixbey Ep 1

Downton Sixbey Ep 2

*Other gems are available via my tumblr and pintrest

Come with me now on a journey through time and space…*

*Apologies to The Mighty Boosh for mangling their opening.

Hey peeps! I just got back from a trip to Sovereign Hill and I’m all ready to dish on the particulars!

For those not in the know, Sovereign Hill is an open air museum in the goldrush town of Ballarat, about an hour north of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Frozen at 1856, Sovereign Hill celebrates the time in Australian history when the streets of Ballarat ran with gold, when the world’s two largest gold nuggets ever were discovered and when well known names such as David Jones were first coming to prominence.

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Emerging from the dark….

…wow, that title sounds rather dramatic, doesn’t it?

Rejoice dear readers! I have almost finished rewrites on Enslaved and hope to have a release date for you very son! Or rather, soon, as it were. Do’nt you lvoe typos?

So now I have some time to actually update the blog a bit.  Of course, I have nothing exciting to impart…Maybe I could talk about the Fringe a bit?  Yes, let us do that.

The Adelaide Fringe is the side festival to the Adelaide Festival in, surprise, Adelaide, South Australia.  In recent years, the Fringe has overtaken the Adelaide Festival and has become a massive event, similar in scale to the Edinburgh Fringe.   It gets a bit crazy here in Adelaide town in February and March, as we have both of those festivals, the Film Festival, the Autumn Racing Carnival AND Clipsal 500.  Phew.  The rest of the year it’s slow as but come February/March our little capital city explodes with excitement and colour.

I’ve been enjoying the sights and sounds of the Fringe.  My very favourite Fringe staple, the Garden of Unearthly Delights, has been delighting me once more.  Every year it expands, sprawling haphazardly through the east parklands, a strange sort of carnival with coloured lights, Spiegeltents and mad-cap performers roaming the grounds.

I’ve seen many shows in the Garden, but this year I treated myself to Barry Morgan and his World of Organs and Ms Christa Hughes.  Both performances, though vastly different, were amazing but I also love just to hang out in the Garden, soaking in the atmosphere and the energy, almost absorbing it through my skin.  Green and red and yellow lights wink in the trees and  the sounds of a carnival assault us, music and laughter and the dull roar of show hawkers.  There are treats for the belly too, cinnamon donuts, organic burgers, barbecued corn.  The queue for the world famous Poffertjes (dutch pancakes) snakes around the stand and into the opening, people watching hungrily as the cook flips the tiny pancakes in their specially designed iron skillet.  The venue is licensed so patrons wander with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.  I must admit, I succumb to the lure of beer and purchase myself a bottle.  $8 later, I decide I really only need one.

Next year, if I save my pennies, I might purchase two beers.

Hello, dear reader

It’s been quite some time since my last post. In fact, Happy New Year!

The radio silence has come about due to the joys of editing – my cap which I use to undertake Teh Edit is firmly in place and I’m working my little tush off (as an aside, the Cap of Teh Edit is sparkly and tassled. It’s really quite stunning).

Unfortunately, all this editing means I don’t have much time for the blog 🙁  Once I have the WIP all finished (I have it on good authority that edits do, at some stage, finish!) I’ll be a more frequent visitor here. In the meantime, here is a half-baked effort at a blog post in which I shall leave the content of this blog to others who have way more considered posts (and are generally quite awesome).

Sarah Rees Brennan has some quite amazing posts.  I highly recommend you check out her blog:

Getting Published in Three Simple Steps

Ilona Andrews also has some great advice for those wishing to enter the writing caper:

Five Mistakes of a Beginning Novelist – Part 1

Writer Myths

Yet More About Reviews

Jeaniene Frost has a great post on The Publishing Rollercoaster

Ever had writer’s block?  Here’s a scientific paper on it!

Nasty Case of Writer’s Block creates the Most Brilliant Scientific Paper Ever

So You Want to Write a Romance Novel?

via KatieBabs

And there’s the siren…Hmm

On the weekend, the AFL Grand Final was held.

All states of Australia barring New South Wales, Queensland and ACT stop for this phenomenan.  It is the bestest time to go shopping, as most of Australia are glued to the television sets watching the game, a beer in one hand and a rapidly cooling bbq snag (read: sausage) in the other.  Of course, I am hopelessly addicted to this game, as my father is a mad keen Port Adelaide FC supporter and I really do like being owned by the family, so there is no shopping for me.

Back to the story at hand, though.  Even if our teams aren’t playing, and in fact manky Victorian teams are the contenders (Hi to all my Victorian readers!  Love you lots!), we all stop and turn towards our televisions on one day in September to view our great game, the game that Australians invented for Austrlians.

Wow. That sounds pretty wanky.

Anyway, the Grand Final was held on Saturday, 25 September 2010.  The contenders – manky Victorian teams St Kilda and Collingwood – lined up for the grand game.  Everyone I was watching the game with were barracking for St Kilda, though none of us were actually supporters of this club (my beloved Port Adelaide boys had crashed and burned this year).  The reason we were all going for St Kilda is because unless you are a Collingwood supporter, you hate them with a fiery passion that burns like a hundred thousands suns and shall never die.  Heh.  Mostly this is because people dislike the president of the Collingwood Football Club, Eddie Maguire. I  don’t like them because they get preferrential treatement from the governing body of the AFL (best game times, the best access to the stadium, MCG, which gives them an unfair advantage come finals time, etc).  In any event, it was most amusing to be in a roomful of non-St Kilda fans all barracking for St Kilda.

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