Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday Tidbit: PIECES OF EIGHT


Have you ever heard the term “pieces of eight”? What are they?

When I was young, I watched reruns of the original Mickey Mouse Club. As part of the shows, they had episodes of a mystery drama. I remember two things about it, the kids in the story were searching for treasure, and the song for the serial story ended in a deep voice singing “pieces of eight”.

What about “two-bits, four-bits, six-bits, a dollar”? I remember this cheer from high school. “Two-bits, four-bits, six-bits, a dollar, all for [insert school name], stand up and holler.”

“Pieces of eight” and “two-bits-four-bits-etc” refer to the same thing. Well, not the cheer.

Way back when, this started with the Spanish milled silver dollar.





England prohibited the early American colonies from minting coins. The settlers were left with bartering, using foreign coins, and trading with local currency such as wampum (cylindrical beads made from quahog shells used as money).

The American colonies, having no minted money of their own, used currency from many other countries.


The Spanish milled dollar was, by far, the most commonly circulated coin in the United States and considered legal tender until the Coinage Act of 1857.

It’s edges were “milled”, or patterned, to prevent people from shaving silver from the edges unnoticed. Coins were valued by their weight rather than “face value” as they are today.

But what’s a person to do when they wanted to buy something that costs less than a dollar?

Since the Spanish dollar was valued by weight, it was often divide into eight pieces called “reals” or “bits”.


So, this milled dollar was also known as a “Piece of Eight.”


Thus, “two bits” meant a quarter of a dollar. So, by dividing a coin like the milled dollar, a person could spend part of the coin in one place and another part elsewhere.


The coin would be divided in half and be a half dollar . . .


 . . . in quarters for a quarter of a dollar . . .


 . . . and eighths for one real or one bit. 


Pieces of Eight were the world’s first global currency.


Though contemporary U.S. Currency is based on the silver Spanish Milled Dollar, when the young United States began minting their own currency, they went to the decimal system and divided the dollar into one hundred.

The eight-bit Spanish dollar is not the same as a doubloon, which is what we generally associate with pirates. The doubloon, also minted by Spain, is a 32-reals/bits gold coin. Four Spanish milled silver dollars would be worth the same as one doubloon. So, if someone refers to a doubloon as “pieces of eight”, that would be incorrect.


The pictures of my coins in this post are reproductions made of pewter, but they have a similar weight and appearance of the original Spanish Miller Dollar.




I love playing with my replica Spanish Milled Dollars and pieces of eight. How would you like to have a pocket full of these sharp edges?


For more information on the background of money in recent history (1500s & forward), this site has some interesting information and can be a jumping off point for further research.

Happy Learning!

NEW!
Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

Released December 1, 2018

COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART
Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?
(Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series released January 1, 2019)




RECENT!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: IT'S SNOWING! -- NOT


We are experiencing a mild winter. With each day that goes by, the chance of snow drops.  So in light of no white, I wanted to share these sock snowmen.

SNOWMAN CONVENTION!

Over Thanksgiving, I went to one of my sisters' home with other family members. I brought a fun, little craft project for people to do. Knowing a lot of my family members aren't as crafty as I am, I chose a no-sew, wintery project with lots of room for individual flare but easy enough for young and old alike.

A tall order, I assure you. But everyone who chose to make one, from ages 5 to 80, had a great time. There were a couple of complaints that there were too many choices. LOL!

Here are the pictures of the sock snowmen that were made. They turned out super cute!

My sister whose house we were at made these two.

Made by one of my grandnieces and her mommy, my niece.
Made by my mommy.
Made by me.
Made by my other niece.
Made by a grandniece.
Made by my other grandniece.
Made by my other niece.
Made by my other sister.

These are all simply adorable! I love them all!

I took ideas from several different YouTube videos. If you want to make some of these, type "sock snowmen" into the search window in YouTube and many variations will come up. Choose the one--or ones--that appeal to you most.

You all may have noticed I was absent from posting for a couple of weeks. That was due to moving, which I'm still in the process of. I'm still schlepping stuff from there to here. I wish I was done, but I'm not. I need to make room here before I can bring more stuff from there. Soon, I'll be done soon.


NEW!
Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

Released December 1, 2018

COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART
Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?
(Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series released January 1, 2019)




RECENT!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Tuesday Tidbit: ANATOMY OF A SERIES



 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!

I'm excited about book 3 in my Prodigal Daughters Amish romance releasing today. This has been a fun series. Here is a little bit of how this series came about.

Ahhhh, romance! I love romance. If there is a specific gene connected to romance, I must have it.

When asked if I’d consider writing a contemporary Amish romance series, my first thought was that I didn’t know enough about the Amish, so let me pray about it. After praying, God led me to a few ideas that I developed into a series: Amish women with nontraditional hopes and dreams. Prodigals. I figured my Prodigal Daughters series was too non-Amish that a publisher wouldn’t want it. Imagine my surprise when the publisher contracted them.

Before starting to write stories with Amish (or writing about any unfamiliar people group), I had to get to know them a little. Like a lot of people, I had preconceived notions of who the Amish were. As I researched the Amish, I learned things I never imagined that shattered my two-dimensional-people image I had of them and discovered a vibrant people.

I had so much fun coming up with Amish women who didn’t follow the traditional path for an Amish woman. So I thought, What’s something Amish almost never do? Go to school beyond eighth grade. So what would propel an Amish girl to defy her culture, religion, and way of life. I discovered, it was because of those things, she went against the rules. She loved her people so much, she was willing to sacrifice and endure ridicule to serve them.

In COURTING HER AMISH HEART, though Kathleen might not have thought of herself as strong, she was strong indeed. She gave up her dream of her own family to go against hundreds of years of tradition and rules to provide her fellow Amish with medical care. Kathleen’s prodigality was for a noble cause.

Kathleen is dear to my heart not only because I admire her strength, but because I named her after my wonderful oldest sister.

So, what else would an Amish person not do? Fashion model is high on that list. My next challenge was getting her away from her family farm all the time without her family noticing. I felt so bad for Deborah that her family didn’t notice her regular absence, especially her mutter. So, I explored why they could be so calloused toward her.

In COURTING HER SECRET HEART, though Deborah may have thought she craved attention, she really just wanted to belong in her own family. Deborah’s prodigality was selfish, but when her family needed her, she was willing to sacrifice everything for them.

Deborah is dear to my heart not only because my heart ached for her misguided actions, but because I named her after my wonderful second oldest sister.

For a Prodigal Daughters series to be complete, I needed to have a true prodigal. Where my first two heroines were still very much Amish, I wanted this third one to have turned her back on the Amish ways. When she finds out she’s pregnant and has no place else to turn, she’s forced to seek help from the one place she never wanted to return to: her Amish roots.

In COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART, Dori had done everything she could to look the
opposite of Amish. Not only with clothes and make-up but with piercings, rainbow-colored hair, and pregnant. Dori’s prodigality was very selfish, and it took all of her Englisher ways, Eli’s kindness, and Gott’s love to help Dori become Amish after all.

I have only two sisters, so Dori wasn’t named after anyone, but my heart went out to her in her struggling to figure out who she was. I loved getting to know these three couples as I wrote their stories.

Happy reading!

Blessings,
Mary (Endowed with the Romance Gene)
     =0)

An Overview of the series
A doctor or an Amish wife? She can choose to be only one… Kathleen Yoder comes home after fourteen years in the Englisher world. Practicing medicine means sacrifice—no Amish man will want a doctor for a wife. Widowed Noah Lambright offers a cottage as her new clinic, seeing how much Kathleen’s skills can help their community. But as their friendship deepens, could love and family become more than a forbidden dream? 

COURTING HER SECRET HEART
Caught between two worlds… Deborah Miller lives a double life as an Amish woman—and a fashion model! All photography is forbidden in her Plain community, so she must keep her job a secret. But when Amos Burkholder starts helping at her family’s farm, hiding the truth from him is impossible. And soon she must choose between the Englischer world of modeling and the Amish man she’s come to love.

COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART
Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance


MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December, and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughter's series) January 2019. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.

Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:
Newsletter Blog FB FBReadersGroup Pinterest Amazon GoodReads BookBub
 


Tuesday Tidbits: COUSIN CONUNDRUM

1st cousin? 2nd cousin? 3rd cousin? Once, twice, thrice removed? Isn’t a cousin a cousin? A lot of people find the whole 1st, 2nd,...