Oy. Turkey Day Blessings and Flappers & Jelly Beans


Just… oy.


Photography by Ryan McGuire, Gratisography

If you live in the U.S., you know what I mean. And if you live outside the U.S., you know what I mean. Seriously. It’s been two weeks since that thing happened, and I still look like this. –>

Yes. I’ve been frozen in a state of suspended animation. And, yes, it’s uncomfortable to no longer be able to blink. Or think. Or move.

But don’t worry. I’ll be fine.  It’s only four years.

Till then…

Counting my Turkey Day Blessings

Autumn Pumpkins

I’ve got plenty to be thankful for here at Light of Heart because I’m looking forward to another Thanksgiving holiday dinner with family and friends. What’s on the menu, you ask? Why, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, baked corn, and pumpkin pie, of course. And NO politics.


“Why won’t that stupid cat play with me?”

This will be our first Thanksgiving with our newest member of the family, Lexi, an energetic, seven-month-old Cockapoo we adopted in June.

Lexi’s favorite snacks include moccasin slippers, Pupperoni stix, pens, emery boards, Oinkie pig skin twists, and dollar store reading glasses.

Did I mention she’s energetic?


Yes, those are Wee-Wee diapers. And yes, she refused to wear them. Don’t judge me.

We picked out Lexi from her litter when she was eight weeks old, then had to wait until twelve weeks to bring her home. Those weeks passed slowly. We were so excited, it’s possible we overdid it with the puppy accessories. –>

lexi-graduates_2_flipped-copyI don’t want to brag, but, as it turns out, Lexi’s quite a smart little Cockapootie. Here’s a picture of her diploma after she graduated puppy class in September. Her dad and I were so proud that day, I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

Did I mention she’s energetic? 🙂

Books, Books, Books…

It’s been quiet here at Light of Heart. As it turns out, 2016 hasn’t been the best year for my writing. It happens sometimes. The enthusiasm wanes, the words dry up, the ideas refuse to flow. It’s frustrating, but I’m hopeful 2017 will prove more fruitful.

Good Night Angela Romantic Mystery VertGood news, though. I have been working—albeit slowly–on the third book in my 1920s romantic mystery series, Good Night, Angela.

For reasons unknown, some books are more difficult to write than others, and this one’s been a bear. It’s gone through some revisions, several nips and tucks, and is now—fingers crossed—in its final formatting and proofing stage. It should be out before the end of 2016.

More to come on  Good Night, Angela soon!

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mysteryUntil then, if you’re in the mood for a seasonal romantic e-mystery  check out the first in the series, It Had to Be You, which opens on Thanksgiving Day, 1924.

Priced to sell at 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and other ebook outlets. 

And don’t forget… For the holidays, you can gift ebooks virtually to fellow ebook readers on your gift list via Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Last but not least, in honor of the upcoming holiday, here’s a rerun of a  Flappers and Jelly Beans post from Thanksgivings past.



Think the trend for pushing the winter holiday shopping season on consumers earlier each year is a modern phenomenon? Think again.

The opening scene in It Had to Be You takes place in Herald Square in New York City on Thursday, November 27, 1924.

It was Thanksgiving day and the first year R.H. Macy’s sponsored its Thanksgiving day parade. Except they didn’t call it that back then. They called it Macy’s Christmas Parade.


Macy’s at Herald Square (1942). From the Office of War Information Photograph Collection

Here’s a peek back in time from the following day’s papers:

“Santa Claus chose Thanksgiving Day this year to come to town. With a retinue of clowns… animals, and floats, the bewhiskered man in red, in sight of thousands of persons, arrived at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and three hours later was crowned ‘King of the Kiddies’ on the marquee above the entrance to Macy’s new store in Thirty-fourth Street near Seventh Avenue…”

Most of the participants that day were Macy’s employees, but they were joined by many others, marching bands as well as floats featuring The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe and Little Red Riding Hood. There were also animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo—bears, elephants, donkeys.

But no giant balloons. Animal-shaped balloons made by Goodyear wouldn’t begin to replace the live animals until 1927. One of the first? Felix the Cat.

Another 1924 attraction that would feel familiar to us was the unveiling of Macy’s spectacular store window: “The Fairy Frolics of Wondertown.”

Some sources say a quarter million people attended the first parade. It was such a success, Macy’s decided to make it an annual event.

The world has changed, yes?
But maybe not as much as we think.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Macy’s Parade 1930s  – British Movietone Temp – Subscribe at:

For those who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Photo and video credits:

Suspended Animation Girl – By Ryan McGuire, Bells Design, from Gratisography

Pumpkins – Delynn Royer
Bummed Baby Lexi – Delynn Royer

Puppy Accessories – Delynn Royer
Lexi Graduates – Delynn Royer

Macy’s at Herald Square (1942). From the Office of War Information Photograph Collection
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

1930s Macy’s Parade
British Movietone Temp

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.


Sneak Peek Sunday … She Done Him Wrong

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

 One Writer’s Bliss

OUT THE WINDOW - CopyIt’s been a few weeks since my last post. I’ve been keeping busy with revisions and polishing of the second book in my 1920s mystery series. I’m happy to say it’s finally up to snuff and ready for submission.  [Insert happy dance!]

In fact, there’s been lots of happy dancing around here at “Light of Heart” because, as I write this, I’m also on my annual writers’ group retreat—an event I look forward to all year. Four days at a retreat center in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. Here’s a pic of what’s outside my window. Bucolic, n’est pas? It’s a long weekend full of NO cooking, NO cleaning, NO day job—that’s right. No obligations beyond yakking it up with an awesome group of writers and setting one’s fanny down in front of the computer to write, write, write!  This, folks, is what we call Writers’ Bliss.

What special getaways do you look forward to?

And now to this week’s Sneak Peek from It Had to Be You

Today’s six-paragraph peek is number four from It Had to Be You, my new 1920s romantic mystery about a tabloid reporter who stumbles on the story of her career when she joins up with a jaded homicide detective to solve the Central park murder of a notorious bootlegger.

In  previous peeks, we met Detective Sean Costigan just as he was coming off an all-night murder investigation with no sleep. He had one more witness to track down, a hungry tabloid reporter who once earned her byline at the expense of his Brooklyn brothers in blue.

Sean wasn’t quite sure what to make of the lovely Trixie Frank.  She’s the daughter of a multi-millionaire. Why would an uptown dame like that be working for the sleaziest jazz sheet in town?It Had To Be You_Carina Press

In today’s peek, Sean’s past has just walked in the door of the crowded cafeteria where he and Trixie are having lunch after a long day spent canvassing Hell’s Kitchen. For two days, Sean has been looking for the murder victim’s wife, Nell, who went missing after her husband’s slaying.

Why did Nell go into hiding? And what does she know about her husband’s murder? Sean’s got more than a professional interest at stake when Nell walks in the door. She’s his ex-fiancée, the woman who jilted him for another man fourteen years ago…


When Sean had set his mind to tracking down Nell, he thought he was prepared to see her again, either face-to-face or, if it came down to the worst, laid out cold on a slab in the First Avenue morgue. He’d been wrong.

When he’d turned to see her very much alive from across the room, something painful caught in his chest, something that only tightened when she’d come close enough for the jasmine scent of her perfume to stir his senses and for the breathtaking color of her eyes to come clear.

It was as if fourteen years fell away. Sean remembered— No, felt what it was to be eighteen again, full of hope and possibilities.

As children, a special understanding had existed between them. He couldn’t count how many hot summer evenings had turned to dusk while the two of them sat with their legs dangling over the edge of an empty pier, talking and sharing childish dreams. And when they’d grown older, it was those bonds formed in childhood that had ripened into a sweet sexual connection that Sean had not found with any other woman who came after her.

But now, as he sat across from her in the busy cafeteria, he’d had some time to gather himself. Fourteen years had passed. They weren’t eighteen anymore, and wherever she’d been hiding the last couple days, she was here now and she was safe. It was his job to see to it that she stayed that way.

“Tell me about the night Johnny was killed,” he said.


People come into our lives and they leave. Life paths intersect and then take us in different directions, but sometimes those paths circle back to intersect again. Did you ever have to face someone from your past who betrayed you or broke your heart? How did you handle it?

For more fun sneak peeks, be sure to hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!


BUY LINKS  priced from $2.51 to $2.99

Amazon  *   Barnes & Noble  *   iBooks  *  Google Play  *  Kobo

Carina Press

Text Copyright © 2014 by Delynn Royer.

Permission to reproduce this text was granted by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.


Flappers & Jelly Beans … 20s Fun, Fads & Entertainment

1920s FictionWelcome to Flappers & Jelly Beans!

There’s been some changes around here since my last Flappers & Jelly Beans post. Most notably, the February 23rd cover reveal for my 1920 romantic mystery, It Had to Be You. It now has its very own page with buy links HERE.

I also ventured (tentatively) into the world of pinning on PINTEREST and instantly lost a day of my life. (That is one seriously fun distraction. Seriously fun.) So, Pin People–and you know who you are–please stop by to visit my lonely fledgling newbie boards. One is devoted to the Jazz Age, of course! 

Now on to today’s post, a look back at some fads and entertainment trends of that fabulous frivolous decade, the 1920s!

One wildly popular form of entertainment back then, of course, is one we still love today… 

The Movies

In the 1920s, more movies were being churned out by Hollywood than at any other time in history. Somewhere between 600 and 800 American feature films were played on 20,500 movie screens across the country each year. By some estimates, half the U.S. population attended the movies once a week.

 So, who were the stars that kept 1920s audiences packing the movie palaces?  Last month, we met three top leading men—Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, and John Gilbert.  Now, meet their leading ladies…

The It Girls – Hollywood’s Leading Ladies

#1    GLORIA SWANSON  … Most Sought After Actress in Hollywood

Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson

By 1922, Gloria Swanson was already a star and, by the end of the decade, the highest paid actress in Hollywood. Audiences flocked to see her movies not only to watch her performances but to see what she wore. Her extravagant style was emulated all over the world.

In 1927, she turned down a million dollar contract to join the newly formed United Artists, a move that gave her freedom to produce her own films. In 1928, she produced and starred as a “fallen woman” in one of the most controversial films of the decade, Sadie Thompson.

Miss Swanson handily survived the transition from silent films to talkies and enjoyed an entertainment career that spanned more than half a century.

 #2  GRETA GARBO … Woman of Mystery

It was Louis B. Mayer who brought the 20-year old Greta Garbo to Hollywood from Sweden in 1925. She proved his instincts correct when she became an instant hit in her first Hollywood film, Torrent. In 1927, she appeared opposite popular leading man John Gilbert in Flesh and the Devil and became an international star.

Greta Garbo and John Gilbert

Garbo and Gilbert in Flesh and the Devil

Garbo starred in eleven films from 1925 to 1929. Audiences were mesmerized not only by her beauty but by each nuance of her subtle style of acting—the quirk of an eyebrow, the angle of a look…

Garbo transitioned smoothly to sound and enjoyed a stellar career through the 1930s. She retired in 1941, after which she became a real life “woman of mystery” known as widely for her reclusive lifestyle as her remarkable film career.

#3  CLARA BOW … The “It” Girl

Star quality. Charisma. It. In 1920s slang, “it” meant sex appeal.

Clara Bow in Wings

Clara Bow in Wings

Whatever you call it, Clara Bow had it.  Beauty, brains, sass and an uninhibited youthful vitality that spilled out all over the silent movie screen.

The Brooklyn born Bow first caught the attention of Hollywood and American audiences by playing flappers in films like Daughters of Paradise and Wine.  Her star caught fire in 1926 when she appeared in Mantrap.

In 1927, she starred in six more pictures, one of which—It—gave her the nickname she’s still known for today–The It Girl.  By 1928, Clara Bow was the number one box office draw–she was just 23.

Bow survived the transition to talkies in 1929, but by the early 30s, had begun to withdraw from Hollywood. In 1933, she retired from films.


What do you think? How do these ladies stack up to our “It” girls of today?
Remember, no cosmetic plastic surgery, implants or computer magic back then… Can their charisma and beauty compare?


Photo Credits:

Photo credit:  Russell Patterson [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Gloria Swanson by unknown studio photographer (RR Auction) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Flesh and the Devil Publicity Still By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (work for hire) ([1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By trailer screenshot (Wings trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Flappers & Jelly Beans … 20s Fun, Fads and Entertainment

Welcome to Flappers & Jelly Beans!

To get in the mood for the April release of my 1920s romantic mystery, It Had to Be You, I’m offering up facts, trivia, and slang from that fabulous frivolous decade.  Today and in coming weeks, we’ll take a peek at some fads and entertainment trends of the Prohibition era.

Fun, Fads, and Entertainment1920s Romantic Mystery

By 1920, Americans were still shell-shocked from the Great War and an influenza pandemic that, combined, took an estimated 700,000 American lives. Is it any wonder that they were eager to put the old decade behind and indulge in some mindless fads and entertainment?

Like never before, the times and the technology were ripe to meet their demand.

You Oughta Be in Pictures … The Movies

Advertising. Radio. Tabloids. They all helped to create and feed the new American hunger for modern products, pastimes and entertainment. So did a young West Coast movie industry that was ready to crank out feature films as fast as audiences could consume them. And that was fast. By 1928, Hollywood was churning out somewhere between 600 and 700 films a year. The movie palaces—over 20,000 of them—were packed.

 So, who were the stars that kept 1920s audiences flocking back for more?  The action heroes? The sex symbols? The funny men?

Strong, Silent and Sexy — Hollywood’s Top Leading Men


Douglas Fairbanks - Robinhood

Douglas Fairbanks in Robinhood

Before Clark Gable, there was Douglas Fairbanks, the first “King of Hollywood.”  He was known best for his manly, swashbuckling  roles in adventure films like The Thief of Bagdad and Robinhood, but it was his marriage to “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford that served up juicy fodder for the gossip columns.

Fairbanks and Pickford were the Brangelina of their time–the first stars to immortalize their hand and foot prints in cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. They also teamed up with D.W. Griffith and another mega-star, Charlie Chaplin, to form their own motion picture studio under a name we recognize today—United Artists.


Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino 1921

If Fairbanks was the All-American tough guy of the silent screen, Rudolph Valentino was his counter point. Shooting to stardom by playing sexy Latin lover-types in hits like The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Sheik, Valentino caused women to swoon and men to shake their heads in bafflement. He was so popular, the word “sheik” became slang for any young man with sex appeal.

Valentino’s career ended abruptly when he died in New York City at age 31 of complications from peritonitis. His viewing turned into a mob scene, with an estimated 100,000 mourners lining the city streets. Stories of distraught fans, including rumors of some suicides, made the news.


Garbo and Gilbert

Garbo and Gilbert in A Woman of Affairs 1929

One of Valentino’s rivals for the title of Greatest On-Screen Lover was John Gilbert.

Gilbert’s career took off  in 1924 when he starred in the war epic The Big Parade, and his reputation as a great screen lover was sealed when he appeared in 1926 with Greta Garbo in Flesh and the Devil.  Their on-screen chemistry led to a rocky on-again off-again real life romance that fueled gossip columns as well as ticket sales for two more popular Garbo-Gilbert silent films.

The rapid decline of Gilbert’s career soon afterwards  has been credited to the arrival of sound, but it may have been just as likely due to studio politics and a tumultuous personal life.  Like his film rival, Valentino, Gilbert died too young, at age 38, of a heart attack.

So, what do you think? How do these guys compare to today’s screen idols? Johnny Depp? Ryan Reynolds? Hugh Jackman? Leonardo DiCaprio?
Could Valentino make women swoon today?

Next up? The “It” Girls …. Hollywood’s Top Leading Ladies.
Care to guess who will make the list?

Until then, I’m “23-skidoo” outta here! Have a great rest of the week. 🙂


Photo credits:

Fairbanks by United Artists, cinematographers Arthur Edeson & Charles Richardson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Valentino by [Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research] [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Garbo and Gilbert by Studio (Golden Age, tobacco card image) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Flappers & Jelly Beans …. It’s 20s Tuesday!

Flapper Magazine

Flapper Magazine 1922

“The Playful flapper here we see,
The fairest of the fair.
She’s not what Grandma used to be…”

                            From The Flapper, Dorothy Parker

What’s a Flapper?

To get in the mood for the release of my 1920s romantic mystery, It Had to Be You, I’m posting on Tuesdays some facts, trivia, and slang from that fabulous frivolous decade.

If there’s one instantly identifiable word from the Roaring 20s, it’s “Flapper.”

This slang term for “young woman or girl” – some connotations derogatory, some not — was around for a long time before the 20th century, especially in England where the word “flap” (for young prostitute) traces back to the 1600s.

By 1920, the term Flapper had evolved into the youthful female image we know today.

Dictionary.com defines her as a “young woman, especially one who, during the 1920s, behaved and dressed in a boldly unconventional manner.”

Did she ever. Bobbed hair, knee-length skirt, rolled stockings, flapper beads, rouge, cloche hat …  And attitude.

Clara Bow

Clara Bow 1921

She looked like this…

In 1922, the American flapper got her own magazine, The Flapper (Not for old fogies!)  In its first issue, The Flapper stated:

“Greetings, flappers! All ye who have faith in this world and its people, who do not think we are going to the eternal bowwows, who love life and joy and laughter and pretty clothes and good times, and who are not afraid of reformers, conformers, or chloroformers—greetings!…Thanks to the flappers the world is going round instead of crooked, and life is still bearable. Long may the tribe wave!”

F. Scott Fitzgerald once described Joan Crawford as the quintessential flapper:

“ … the girl you see at smart nightclubs… toying iced glasses with a remote, faintly bitter expression, dancing deliciously, laughing a great deal with wide, hurt eyes…”

But what did the flapper of the ‘20s think about herself and the radical new world she lived in?  Following are quotes from the most famous flappers of the day.


“A kiss on the hand may feel very, very good, but a diamond and sapphire bracelet lasts forever.”      –Anita Loos,  author, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

 “Marriage ain’t a woman’s only job no more. A girl who’s worked hard and earned her place ain’t going to be satisfied as a wife. … I think a modern girl’s capable of keeping a job and a husband.”  — Clara Bow, actress

Zelda FItagerald 1920s

Zelda Fitzgerald 1922

 “If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.”   –Joan Crawford, actress

“… the Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into the battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure, she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”     –From “Eulogy on the Flapper,” 1922,  Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald


What do you think? Have our young women changed much over the course of nearly a century? Or is that old saying true… there’s nothing new under the sun?

Until next week . . . long may the tribe wave!



The Flapper magazine quote (1922) was discovered at The Ultimate History Project
The Flapper magazine images are from OldMagazineArticles.com
Clara Bow – Nickolas Muray(photographer) (Brewster Magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Zelda Fitzgerald – Metropolitan Magazine (Metropolitan Magazine, 1922) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons