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Vinegar Valentines ~ Submitted by C.A. Asbrey

In The RAC Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2019 Romance…or Not (Issue #3), C.A. Asbrey’s submission Vinegar Valentines was a fascinating read. Vinegar Valentines were all the rage back in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. They were sarcastic and mean-spirited cards which were often sent to “a rejected suitor or a rival-in-love.”

An excerpt from Author Asbrey’s submission:

These cynical, sarcastic, often mean-spirited greeting cards were first produced in America as early as the 1840s by a variety of printing companies, including Elton, Fisher, Strong and Turner. By the 1870s, other entrepreneurs such as New York printer, John McLoughlin, and his cartoonist, Charles Howard were creating their own lines of cards.

Sold in the United States and Britain, these cards featured an illustration and a short line or poem that, rather than offering messages of love and affection, insulted the recipient.

People sent vinegar valentines as far back as at least 1840. Back then, they were called “mocking,” “insulting,” or “comic” valentines—“vinegar” seems to be a modern description.

So specialized were these cards, particularly those sold in the U.S., Shank writes, that they actually “documented the changing shape of the middle classes.”

Just as card makers today sell valentines targeted for siblings, in-laws, grandparents, or pets, manufacturers during Valentine’s Day’s heyday saw these insulting messages as a way to make money, and it’s clear that consumers liked what they were selling. According to the writer Ruth Webb Lee, by the mid-19th century, vinegar valentines represented about half of all valentine sales in the U.S.

Not everyone was a fan of these mean valentines. In 1857, The Newcastle Weekly Courant complained that “the stationers’ shop windows are full, not of pretty love-tokens, but of vile, ugly, misshapen caricatures of men and women, designed for the special benefit of those who by some chance render themselves unpopular in the humbler circles of life.” 

We love Author Asbrey’s conclusion:

These cards are a good reminder that no matter how much people complain that the holiday makes them feel either too pressured to buy the perfect gift or too sad about being single, it could be worse. You could get a message about how everyone thinks you’re an ass.

About the Author:
Chris Asbrey has lived and worked all over the world in the Police Service, Civil Service, and private industry, working for the safety, legal rights, and security of the public. A life-changing injury meant a change of course into contract law and consumer protection for a department attached to the Home Office.
In that role she produced magazine and newspaper articles based on consumer law and wrote guides for the Consumer Direct Website. She was Media Trained, by The Rank Organization, and acted as a consultant to the BBC’s One Show and Watchdog. She has also been interviewed on BBC radio answering questions on consumer law to the public.
She lives with her husband and two daft cats in Northamptonshire, England—for now. She’s moving to the beautiful medieval city of York.
Blog – C.A Asbrey – all things obscure and strange in the Victorian period
The Innocents Mystery Series Group  / Facebook / Amazon / Twitter / Goodreads / Innocent Bystander Amazon
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Meet Yesha: Guest Book Reviewer

Yesha, Guest Reviewer for The RAC Magazine Jan 2019 Issue #3

The best thing about the book world is we get to meet the nicest, most interesting people. We met Yesha through Goodreads and followed her book reviews to her blog, Books Teacup & Reviews. She is so charming, and such a book-lover, we instantly fell in love with her, and her reviews. The next thing we know, we were asking her if she’d like to be a Guest Reviewer for The RAC Magazine. She agreed and reviews A Little of Chantell Rose, by Cristina Hodgson, in the January 2019 Romance… or Not Issue #3. (Thank you, Yesha.)

Yesha, Guest Reviewer for The RAC Magazine Jan 2019 Issue #3

Here is a little bit about her.

I’m a housewife and mother of a cute little girl, living in India. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with always a cup of tea. I am part of everything that I have read and I don’t think I’m going to stop reading books in this life.

Yesha, Book ReviewerI was not a born reader, I read study books more than novels till I discovered my passion for reading in 2015, after I quit my job because of illness. I recovered from illness but not from reading and I’m glad for it. I believe, “there’s always something to learn from books.” Books have changed my views and personality more than I can imagine. I’m not
going to stop reading in this life. Till now I’ve read 250+ books (not much I
know) and I’m reviewing actively after I started a blog in 2017.

I thought about starting this blog as I wanted to connect with readers and book lovers all across the world and of course to share my thoughts on books as reviews. I like to discuss books, read reviews and I love to know what fellow readers feel for the books I already read.

Follow Yesha:

BlogTwitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram| Facebook

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Meet Our Authors in The RAC’s January 2019 Issue #3

Contributing Authors in the January 2019 issue of The RAC (Reader/Author Connection) Magazine

Where would we be without our wonderful authors? A good question indeed! These are the authors who submitted for the January 2019 issue, Romance… or Not.

Thank you, Authors!

C.A. Asbry, Submitting Author to The RAC Magazine Issue #3
C.A. Asbry lives with her husband and two daft cats in Northamptonshire, England. She’s soon moving to the beautiful medieval city of York. Her submission is titled Vinegar Valentines. Visit her blog here.

Nathan Bush
Nathan Bush is the author of The Foley Chronicles: Files from the 8th District. A faith-based crime series with an edgy attitude. His submission is titled Second Thoughts. See Nathan’s blog here.

Joanie Chevalier, co-founder of The RAC (Reader/Author Connection) Magazine, is a lover of short stories. She also enjoys helping authors shine by making fun red markings on their manuscripts. Her submission is titled The Waitress. Visit her website here.

Jacky Dahlhaus
Jacky Dahlhaus has lived in many countries and has worked many jobs before realizing writing gave her pleasure. Her submission is titled An Evening to Remember. Visit her website.

Keith Guernsey
Keith Guernsey is retired after a 40-year career in sales and he enjoys reading, writing and traveling with his family. His submission is titled Meeting My Soulmate. View Keith’s books here.


Jena C Henry
Jena C. Henry created the book series, The Golden Age of Charli, to encourage, entertain and share her joy of living and laughing. She is also an active book blogger. Her submission is titled Cupcakes and Computers. Visit her website here.

Em Jackson1
Em Jackson lives in the southwest of England and is an avid reader/blogger who loves everything fantasy, dystopian, and spooky. Her submission is titled What is Love? Connect with Em here.


R.A. Morean
R.A. Morean’s work has earned a Strand International Short Fiction Award, as well as starred reviews in Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly. She is a professor and writing coach. Her submission is titled Self Sufficiency. Visit her website here.

Helen Pryke2.jpg
Helen Pryke writes emotional women’s fiction set in Italy that deals with the difficult subject of abuse in a sensitive way. She also writes middle-grade fiction under the pen name Julia E. Clements. Her submission is titled The Dating Game. Connect with Helen at her FB page here.

Annette Spratte.docx
Annette Spratte is a bilingual author living with her family in Germany. She also works as a translator and supports fellow authors on her blog A Chat with Annette. Her submission is titled Secret Chamber. Visit Annette’s blog here.

JP Willson
J.P. Willson is an accomplished chef who’s worked in some of Vancouver and Victoria’s most prestigious kitchens. He is now a published author of two self-help books. His submission is titled The Story of Fred and Ethel. Visit J.P.’s website here.


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Interview with D.H. Nevins

Interview with D.H. Nevins, author of The Wormwood Trilogy

Another Author Spotlight in The RAC Magazine’s Issue #3, Romance… or Not, is on D.H. Nevins, author of The Wormwood Trilogy.

DH Nevin

D.H. Nevins was born in Toronto and currently lives in a quiet area of Ontario, surrounded by forests and lakes. By day, she is a personable, friendly school teacher. By night, she silently chuckles as she writes about destroying the world. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys world travel, hiking, camping, flying around on her motorcycle or dabbling in live theatre.

D.H. answers one of our questions:

Your book, Wormwood, is not your typical romance story. In fact, it is listed under the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre. Please tell us more about Kali and who she falls in love with.

I agree; Wormwood certainly doesn’t fall within typical romantic tropes. If I ever tried to market it as such, romance readers would probably lynch me for drowning their sweet expectations with darkness and tension! Although Wormwood does have romance, it’s
deeply tormented.

Read more about D.H. Nevins in The RAC Magazine’s January 2019 issue.

Find Danielle here:
Instagram: @dani.nevins

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