It’s my pleasure to have Cynthia Owens, author of the Wild Geese series, on the blog. This series is set in America after the Civil War (one of the settings for my Secrets & Spies series of historical romances) with rugged and wonderful Irish heroes. Welcome, Cynthia!
Hi Tara! Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m thrilled to be talking about My Dark Rose, Book III of the Wild Geese Series, which will be released later this month.
My Dark Rose is set in New York City in 1867. In order to win the heart of Róisín Donavan, a young woman who lives in a tiny tenement flat with her five younger siblings, my hero, Dary Greely, is determined to show her some of the delights of the city. He takes her to Delmonico’s Restaurant, the zoo, and the opera. But one evening he decides to take her to Central Park.
He takes her “rinkulating.”
Before I began writing My Dark Rose, I’d never heard of rinkulating, but when I began to research where Dary could take Róisín on a date, I discovered that it mean roller skating. Now that I had heard of! Intrigued, I researched “rinkulating” and decided it was the perfect pace not only for a bit of romance, but for Róisín to meet some of Dary’s friends in a relaxed, non-threatening atmosphere.
Roller-skating became popular in the mid-1850’s, and by the 1880’s, roller rinks were everywhere. The sport was introduced to New York City in 1863. The floors, or rinks, were made of hard maple. Women wore special skating dresses that allowed for more freedom of movement that conventional fashions.
Admission to the rinks was between 15-50 cents per person. Live bands would play popular music of the day, allowing couples to skate to the music. Popular songs also centred around skating, including “Roller Waltz,” “Roller Skate Galop,” and “Girl on the Roller Skates.”
Competitions and demonstrations expert were also held, and sometimes there were theme nights. On carnival night, skaters came dressed in costumes and wearing masks. Singing and skating were often interspersed/
Of course, not everyone approved of this popular new activity. Telephone girls were forbidden to roller skate in New York because they came to work the next day exhausted from skating the evening before. And one rink prohibited gentlemen from skating who didn’t appear in a full evening suit.
The popularity of rinkulating didn’t last long. Disapproval from some, and new activities such as bicycling and spectator sports came into fashion. But roller skating was reborn in the 20th Century, and is still immensely popular today.
Fascinating, Cynthia! Roller skating was one of my favorite activities when I was a teen. Now I wonder if my ancestors were also roller skating. Thanks for the informative post. Now, here’s a little about My Dark Rose
…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…
He was the lucky one…
Dary Greely is the only one of his brothers and sisters to survive the hunger in Ireland and the coffin ship to America. He was the one whose parents made a bit of money, the one who emerged from the war virtually unscathed. He was the lucky one…but when the war ended, his luck ran out.
She was burdened by too many responsibilities…
Róisín Donavan is an Irish girl who lives in a Five Points tenement room. She dreams of a future as a great diva and sings Irish songs at Paddy Ryan’s Pub. But her stubborn Irish pride won’t allow her to abandon her family, even if it means sacrificing everything for them.
Can Dary make Róisín see her true worth? Can Róisín heal the festering wounds that tear at Dary’s soul? And can love truly mend their grieving hearts?
Contact Cynthia at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Owens/e/B003DQ1V2E/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Here’s a little about Cynthia:
I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.
My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.
A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.
I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.
I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.