Ramble and Roar: A 1920s Novel

I feel like swinging from a chandelier. Too bad I don’t have one of those handy.

No worries, today is the official release of my 1920s novel, Ramble and Roar! It’s been a crazy journey in making this book. It started as an idea in 2008, and now it’s 2018 and available to buy. Over the last ten years, I’ve researched the roaring 20s, moved three different times, had two children, started a hobby farm, wrote several drafts, and started my publishing company. (And that’s just some of it). There were times when I wondered if I ever would get this book into a tangible form. I dreamed of the day when I’d hold it in my hand, smell the pages fresh off the press, and clasp it to my heart, thanking God.

Most of the time, dreams only happen in our sleep. When we open our eyes, the dream ends and reality begins again. But once in a while, our most delightful dreams do become our reality. Today, I’m fully awake and this dream is real.

I’m 33 years old and releasing my debut historical fiction novel, Ramble and Roar. It’s an adventurous story about a debutante-turned-flapper named Eliza Belcourt who travels to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a famous jazz singer. But her sparkling dream comes with a price, and the Irish mob is ready to collect. As Eliza grasps for success and love, she finds that her city of bright promise might offer only dazzling lies.

Ramble and Roar is an honest, daring story that captures the pleasure–seeking decade of the 1920s in all its glory and grit. This story was a fun challenge for me to write. It took years of research in order to capture it accurately, but I’m pleased to finally share it.

Now, all that’s left to do is to continue dreaming of the next adventure.

If you’d like to buy a paperback copy or eBook: Click on the link below. It will lead you to my Ramble and Roar page where you can select your preference for purchase.
https://catiecordero.wordpress.com/rambleandroar/

 

 

 

My Love For Irish Culture and How I Incorporated It Into Ramble and Roar

Dundalk, Ireland. Picture taken by Jean Gilson.

In my upcoming novel, Ramble and Roar, I delve into Irish culture, everyday lingo, and grammatical placement in speech in order to bring my mobsters and my other Irish cast to life. It required a lot of research in order to immerse myself, and I loved every minute of it! Someday, I will tour Ireland and experience it all firsthand. But in the meantime, I made a friend who does in fact live in Dundalk, Ireland. Her name is Jean Gilson. She was born in Belfast (Northern Ireland) and later moved to Dundalk, a southern town in Ireland, with her husband. Dundalk is about an hour and half from Dublin, which is where many of my Irish mobsters emigrated from in Ramble and Roar.

Jean is an absolute doll. I wrote her on instagram to ask if she’d help me fact check my Irish bits in my novel. To my delighted surprise, she said, “yes.” It’s been a fun adventure ever since. Jean has read through several excerpts of my novel, offering advice and has given me lots of fun sayings and phrases, specific to the Dublin area and the 1920s.

Today, I’ll be sharing some of her tidbits with you!

The Craic- (pronounced ‘crack’) This is a vital word used in Ireland. It can mean “what’s the news” or “how’s the fun/ entertainment.”

A drugstore is called the Chemist.

Especially in earlier Irish culture, sentences tended to be carried on by using the word, ‘so’ at the end. For example, “Oh, you like her so.”

If you’re looking to add cream to your coffee, you’d actually say milk. Cream is reserved for special occasions like Christmas.

In words with “th” as in thank you, would in fact be said as “tank you.” 

“Deadly buzz” – a good time

“How ya” – a way to say hello

“Bleeding spanner” – a stupid person

“Go ask me bollix” – get lost

“C’mere till I tell ya” – I have news to share with you

“Not a bodder”– Doing good, a reply to how are you

“Pulling the devil by the tail” – having a bad day

“You scuttering hurebag” – again a dumb person

In grammar, Dubliners tend to use the “present continuous” (be doing) or habitual action “does be.”  It’s much more common in the countryside nowadays than in cities.

Examples:
I do be working every day.
It’s her I do be thinking of.
I done went to the Chemist.

Want to read more fun phrases and lingo? All right! My book, Ramble and Roar, will be coming out on May 22, 2018.

Thanks again to Jean for all her help.

 

Port-O-Captive: One of My Embarrassing Moments

Per request, I am reposting this blog. I have had many embarrassing moments, but this one really did deserve an award. (And to spice it up, I’ve included some blast-from-my-past cheerleading photos)

me-and-sis

It was Friday night, junior year of high school. I was a cheerleader for Hamilton High, and we were at an “away” football game. Fourth quarter came to a close with our boys taking the win. It was time to pack up and load the buses for home. I knew it was a distance and should use the restroom before we left. But they didn’t have proper toilet facilities.

They had Port-O-Johns.

Stepping inside, two things automatically greeted me. Stench and Darkness. Only a little ray of moonlight peeked through a vent at the top. I plugged my nose, got the job done, and hurried to get out. Turning the lever to unlock, I pushed the door. It didn’t open. I shoved harder. Still, it didn’t budge.

I turned the lock the other way, wondering if I had done it wrong. Giving the door the old heave ho, I slammed my hip into it. It didn’t open…not even a crack. Sweat formed on my brow, and my heart increased its beats per minute.

I listened to see if anyone was around. I didn’t hear voices. Everyone would be loading the buses and what if they didn’t notice me missing? Between the horrid smell and the fear of captivity, a wire tripped inside my brain and the craziness kicked on. At the top of my lungs, I yelled, “Help! Help Me! I’m stuck in here! Please, help me!” I listened for an answer, but didn’t hear any response. I kicked the door, pounded it with my fists, and screamed for help again.  Still no one came.

My eyes darted around the John, looking for another way out. I studied the vent. It was small, but maybe I could push it out and stick my head through it. Then, I could see if anyone was still here. Standing on the toilet lid, I prepared to punch the screen when the door clicked and swung open. There stood Angie, a fellow cheerleader along with other members of my cheer squad. I rushed out of the potty prison. “Oh Angie, thank you for helping me. I can’t believe you got the door open.”

“It wasn’t hard.” She crossed her arms and grinned. “How did you manage to lock yourself in there?”

“I don’t know.” My eyes were wide from the horror.  “It wouldn’t budge, and I thought you guys were going to leave me.”

The girls broke out into heaps of laughter. “No, we didn’t leave. Everyone heard you screaming.”

I didn’t find it amusing.

line-up

friends

Monday Story: Port-O-Captive

porta-john

It was Friday night, junior year of high school. I was a cheerleader for Hamilton High, and we were at an “away” football game. Fourth quarter came to a close with our boys taking the win. It was time to pack up and load the buses for home. I knew it was a distance and should use the restroom before we left. But they didn’t have proper toilet facilities.

They had Port-O-Johns.

Stepping inside, two things automatically greeted me. Stench and Darkness. Only a little ray of moonlight peeked inside through a vent at the top. Nevertheless, I sucked it up and got the job done. I wanted to get out as quick as possible. Turning the lever to unlock, I pushed the door. It didn’t open. I shoved harder. Still, it didn’t budge.

My heart rate increased. I turned the lock the other way, wondering if I had done it wrong. Giving the door the old heave ho, I slammed my weight into it. It didn’t open…not even a crack.

Sweat formed on my brow. I listened to see if anyone was around. I didn’t hear voices. My mind speed-dialed panic. I’m trapped! Everyone is getting on the bus, and they won’t notice me missing. Between the horrid smell and the bitter taste of dread, a wire tripped inside my brain and the craziness kicked in. At the top of my lungs, I yelled, “Help! Help Me! I’m stuck in here! Please, help me!” I didn’t hear anyone coming. My heart chugged like a locomotive. Tears edged to the surface. Merciful heavens, no one is coming. I’m stuck in this disgusting hole and nobody is coming to my rescue! I kicked the door, pounded it with my fists, and screamed for help.

My eyes darted around the John, looking for another way out. I studied the vent. It was small, but maybe I could push it out and stick my head through it. Then, I could see if anyone was still here. Standing on the toilet lid, I prepared to punch the screen when the door clicked and swung open.

There stood Angie, a fellow cheerleader along with other members of my cheer squad.

I scrambled out of the Port-O-Prison. “Oh Angie, thank you for getting the door open.”

“It wasn’t hard.” She crossed her arms and grinned. “How did you manage to lock yourself in there?”

My eyes were wide from the horror. “I don’t know. It wouldn’t budge, and I thought you guys were going to leave me.”

The girls broke out into heaps of laughter. “No, we didn’t leave. Everyone heard you screaming.”

Well, you’d scream to if you were a Port-O-Captive.

Monday Story: Like a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off

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It was a hard winter for my chickens, and I had three girls in quarantine in my bathroom basement due to faulty vents (The place where eggs come out was swollen and bleeding). I had two hens in cardboard boxes and one in the stand-up shower. I was doing everything in my power to nurse these hens to health: Sitz baths, rubbing peroxide and vaseline on their bottoms, wheat diet, keeping them warm, and limiting the light in the room so they wouldn’t lay as many eggs. This continued for over a week, and my bathroom was stinky. The girls seemed to have improved, but the moment I returned them to the chicken coop, their condition declined again. Moreover, chickens are crazy, if a hen shows signs of sickness, the others will attack it. So now my three ill hens were in worse shape than before.

In the end, my husband and I had to make a tough call. We had to put the sick hens down. Trouble was, we still lived in the city, so we were going have to do the deed in the garage. My husband set up a chopping block and sharpened the ax.

I picked up Lola and gave her a hug goodbye. I held her still on the block, and my heart raced inside my chest. My husband swung the ax and missed. He swung again, but the blade must not have been sharp enough. A couple more whacks, and her head still wasn’t off but she seemed dead. He put her upside down in a 5 gallon bucket to drain out but then she started flapping around. I screamed, “She’s not dead! You didn’t do it right!” Tears streamed down my face. “Do something!”

He pulled her out of the bucket and set her back on the block. This time he actually got the head off, but Lola jolted and slipped out of his grasp. She fell onto the floor and sprang off the pavement, nearly as high as my shoulder.

I screamed, cried, and ran around the garage to avoid the jumping chicken.

After several hops, she finally fell down still.

My heart was pounding so hard, and my eyes were bulging in horror. I couldn’t believe that had just happened.

I turned to my husband. “You need to sharpen that ax.”

 

Monday Story: “Pride Goes Before the Rip”

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Happy New Year to all my readers! This 2015, I’m doing something new. Instead of the Monday Morning Joke…I’m going to tell you short, true stories, mostly that have happened to me, that will also make you laugh.

Today’s story did in fact happen to me and while at the time it didn’t seem so funny, I now look back on it and think, “Girl, you had that coming.”

I was seventeen, and loved to dance. Any opportunity to go dancing, I snatched. And truth be told, I thought I was good at it and liked to show off a bit too much.

The local Fish and Game Club was having a special dance, and my second cousin was the guest DJ. It was supposed to be sensational, and I couldn’t wait. I took great care in deciding my apparel for the evening. I wore a snazzy navy knit top and pants. The pants were unusual in the sense that they zipped up in the back. I felt like a million bucks.

When my friends and I arrived, we made our rounds. A song came on that we all loved and we got down. Trouble was I really got down. I pulled out all the stops and showed off my moves. I did a roll and dropped it real low. That’s when I felt a small pop. I slowly rose and wondered why there was a sudden draft by my behind. I turned to my friends and said, “Is something wrong with my pants?” Their eyes grew to the size of plums, and they quickly closed in around me, ushering me to the bathroom. Once safely inside, they turned me toward the mirror. Now my eyes got huge.

The seam had blown beside the zipper and my pants were gaping. My underwear shined through the hole like a beacon. Lord have mercy! I was mortified. I wanted to crawl in a hole. But that night, I learned a valuable lesson. Don’t be a show off. And more so, don’t wear tight pants whilst doing it.

Moral of the story: Pride goes before the rip.

What about you?

Has pride led to an embarrassing moment for you? Feel free to share it on my author page: http://www.facebook.com/authorcatiecordero

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Joke: Pick-Up Lines

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Love can be tricky. Here are some specific pick-up lines that just might assist you.

 

Mathematician:

You must be the square root of two, ‘cuz I feel irrational around you.

 

Candy Maker:

Hersey’s makes millions of kisses a day. All I’m asking for is one from you.

 

Medieval:

You’re plague-free, I’m plague-free–we must be destined to meet.

 

Flight Attendant:

Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I push my beverage cart by you again?

 

Astronaut:

You look weightless to me.

 

Pirate:

You have the finest pirate booty I’ve ever laid me eyes on.

 

Traffic Cop:

I should give you a parking ticket because you’ve got FINE written all over you.

 

Redneck:

Your eyes are as blue as window cleaner.

 

Viking:

I bet your lips taste like salted fish.

 

Singer:

Our love could make a beautiful melody.

 

Old Folks Home:

You better call life support because I’ve fallen for you and can’t get up.

 

Librarian:

I don’t have my library card right now, so I’ll just check you out.

 

Dietitian: 

I think you’re suffering from a lack of vitamin me.

 

Secretary of State Worker:

I like your last name. Can I have it?

 

Writer:

If you were words on a page, you would be fine print.

 

Reference:

http://jokes.cc.com/funny-pick-up-lines

Picture: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/841896

Monday Morning Joke: Chuck Norris

If you haven’t ever heard Chuck Norris jokes, Today is the day.

 

Chuck-Norris-Card-1

Chuck Norris doesn’t eat honey, he eats bees.

Chuck Norris never uses a watch – he decides what time it is now.

When Chuck Norris comes into the room, he does not turn on the light – he turns off the darkness.

Chuck Norris won’t ever experience a heart attack – the heart is not that foolish to attack him.

Chuck Norris was bitten by a cobra, the cobra died a day later.

They once made a Chuck Norris toilet paper, but it wouldn’t take crap from anybody.

 

Reference: http://www.funny-jokes-quotes.com/chuck-norris-jokes.html