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.

 

If Only I Could Step Through Time For Just a Day, Maybe Two

When I look at vintage photos in the 1920’s, I’m mesmerized. I wish I could enter a portal that would transport me into the picture so I could experience the day with the people in it. Oh the fun we’d have! Just imagine if you could step back in time to a picture you hold in your hand and spend one whole day, maybe two. What picture would you choose? Where would you go?

Music and dancing, a roaring good time.

 

 

A portrait of gals enjoying a day at the beach along the Potomac River. Washington, D.C. 1923. Looks like fun.

(Image References: www.thoughtco.com and http://www.etsystudio.com)

 

Christmas in 1920: Vintage Holiday Photos

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. I love decorating the house and listening to holiday music. And by golly, there’s just something magical about it.

I look back on these vintage holiday photos, and I know, Christmas is a timeless treasure.

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Hanging the Stockings with Care
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All tired out after unwrapping gifts

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Window Shopping

 

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Children picking out the tree.

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Picture References: https://www.cardboardchristmas.com/papateds/Christmas1920s.htm smithsonianmag.com
A 1920s Traditional Christmas
http://censoredrickreuben.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-images-from-1920s-america.html
flickr.com

The Slogan of the 1920’s: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…For Tomorrow We Die.

Following World War I, an attitude of cynicism and disillusionment infected the mindsets of most people resulting in a decade where living for self and enjoyment became top priority. It produced a people that lived by this code or slogan: “Eat, Drink and Be Merry…For Tomorrow We Die.”

One of my favorite books on the 1920’s is by Frederick Lewis Allen called Only Yesterday. In this book he says, “Morality was dethroned, the old codes of ethics hung out to dry, replaced with a disillusioned sense of freedom, and the pursuit of this led only to emptiness and futility.”

I painted the picture below to represent the heroine in the first book of my 1920’s series.

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Painting Mattie From My 1920’s Novel

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Meet Mattie O’Keefe. She is a rollicking flapper from my 1920’s series. And if you’re wondering if this is a dress, the answer is no. It’s her chemise, an undergarment.

Today, I painted this picture using watercolor and acrylic.

The quote is from my novel.

Monday Morning Humor: Vintage Ad’s from the early 1900’s

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#VintageAdvertisements #Humor #1900’s

References:

http://gcaggiano.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/a-look-at-ridiculous-ads-through-the-years-the-1920s/

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http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/feminism/images/25790900/title/sexist-ads-photo

grooveland.tumblr.com

My Lucky Strike

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In book one of my current Roaring Twenties Series, my main character runs to New York City and becomes entangled with a vivacious flapper named Mattie O’Keefe. Mattie introduces her to Lucky Strike cigarettes. I decided on this brand while doing my research for the novel and up until a few weeks ago, I had only seen the tin on the internet. But to my absolute joy, I came across an actual Lucky Strike cigarette tin at Harvest Antique and Collectibles in Holland! I bought it right away. I plan to keep my business cards inside of it.

Owning pieces of history is wonderful.

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Lucky Strike Flat Fifties Cigarettes
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American Tobacco Company, product made from 1920s-1940s

 

 

 

 

Reference: http://collections.richmondhistorycenter.com

Monday Morning Humor: 1920’s Slang

American woman teaching English boys to dance the Charleston. Great Britain, 1925
American woman teaching English boys to dance the Charleston, Great Britain, 1925

Don’t lose it, re-use it!

Here are another Top 10 Hilarious 1920’s Slang Phrases that we ought to bring back:

10. Bank’s Closed – no kissing or making out –  “Sorry, Mac, the bank’s closed.”

9. Dry up –  get lost – “I’m not interested. Do me a favor and dry up.”

8. Don’t take any wooden nickels – don’t do anything stupid- “Be careful with your friends tonight and don’t take any wooden nickels.”

7. Balled Up- confused, messed up-  “Mom, I’m all balled up and don’t know where I am!”

6. Hoofer – dancer- “Wow, I never saw anyone move like you. You’re quite the hoofer.”

5. Live wire – a lively person –  “Boy oh boy, you’re a real live wire!”

4. Wet Blanket – a solemn person, a killjoy-  “Olga, stop being a wet blanket and smile.”

3. Chassis – the female body – “I have to admit, you have the best chassis I’ve ever seen.”

2. Banana Oil – nonsense – “You’re the first boy who’s ever kissed me.” “That’s banana oil.”

1. Mrs. Grundy – a priggish or extremely tight-laced person – “Hey Mrs. Grundy, would ya kindly pull the bloomers from your crack and settle down.”

 

(See my older post entitled “Talk Like the Twenties” for more great phrases.)

Reference: http://local.aaca.org/bntc/slang/slang.htm

Picture Reference: http://www.vintag.es/2013/11/american-woman-teaching-english-boys-to.html

Flapper Day

Teaching my child about the 1920’s…dress up as flappers and dance to Jazz!

This is my kind of play.

How can you inspire your children through creative learning opportunities? Think about it today!

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