Monday, October 8, 2012

Interview, historical beard analysis by Penny Watson, & a giveaway!!!

Image: French painter Eugene Deveria
Hi Everybody! Today we have a special guest here at my blog: Penny Watson, author of several books including the Holiday Romance series and Lumberjack in Love.

Carolyn Crane: Welcome Penny Watson! Thanks for stopping by the Thrillionth page and congrats on the release of LUMBERJACK IN LOVE!!

Penny Watson: Hi Carolyn! Thanks for the invite!

CC: Okay, I’ll be honest, when you first started your beardy goodness bit up around 3 years ago, I was like, WTF! While I enjoy your Santa’s strapping sons holiday series, I will confess to picturing them as beardless in my mind. *ducks*

* Penny chucks Gillette razors at Carolyn’s head *

CC: LOL. Sorry! For a while now on your blog, you have had your beard of the week and I felt like, scruff is okay, but I’m not a beard person. And then beards started appearing all over. On Marky Mark. And other guys. And movie stars. And Marky Mark. And, Jenn Bennet has that hot bearded hero Lon in her Arcadia Bell series. And scruffy Marky Mark. And I started, if not to love them, to get them. But you were so ahead of your time. What do you have to say for yourself?

PW: Just call me Penelope, Trendsetter and Founder of The Hirsute Appreciation League. I blame Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House Books. I was addicted to that series when I was a little girl, and of course Pa had a big bushy beard, and I was smitten.

CC: OMG, Pa! With his hot suspenders and broad shoulders! lol. That is so funny. Okay, as you know, I really enjoyed LUMBERJACK IN LOVE and so did a ton of other people. It’s a fun, romantic read! Are you always going to stick to bearded heroes? Will there be any more Lumberjacks?

PW: I’m so glad you liked it! Strangely, a number of readers are clamoring for a lumberjack series. Perhaps I’m starting a new, hairy trend in romantic fiction! I already have a story idea for Marcus’s younger brother which involves a lumberjack competition in New Hampshire.

CC:  I’m so psyched! You definitely have to do that.

An infamous quote from your LUMBERJACK:

His face was dark, thunderous, and absolutely freaking gorgeous. Electric blue eyes, high cheekbones, and a black lush beard that Ami wanted to rub all over.

Question: Did you do any direct beard research for this? Please elaborate.

PW: Haaaaaaa! Does downloading thousands of Hugh Jackman images from Wolverine count as research? Then yes, yes I did.

CC: Okay, readers want to know: favorite all time beards? Contemporary category. 

PW:  Robert Redford as Jeremiah Johnson
Sean Connery (salt and peppah excellence!)
Forcing myself to stop now….hee hee!

CC: Okay, thanks for that. I think you broke my Safari software with that little trip down beardy lane.

Considering that you were such a beard visionary, I thought it might be good to get your commentary on some beards through history (all images public domain from wikipedia).

Penny, let's see what you think of these beard styles, and if you see any of them coming into fashion.
 Image:sculptor  James Vibert (1853-1918)
 by artist Ferdinand Hodler
PW: Interesting combination of big bald forehead and beard-that-looks-like-a-blanket. I’m skeert.

CC: On the plus side, though, it gives you something to grab onto, right?

PW: Or a red fluffy blanket if you get cold.

Image: Nakht, from tomb of Nakht, 15th century BC

PW: Haaaaaaa! This reminds me of the little tuft of hair the Boston Celtics players were growing on their chins. Umm…I’m gonna vote NO on this one. :^)

CC:  It’s very stylized! I could see this coming in if the Celtics went for it.

Image: Portrait of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (c.1580)

PW: Beard, stache: Masculine. Weird hairline: Odd. Ruffle: Pansy-Ass. Eyes: Sad Puppy Dog     Overall: The beard saves him.

CC: This was one of the hotter beards of history I could find. I actually do agree the beard saves him. Don’t you think if you were a woman of this era that the ruffle would grow on you? 

PW: I think I would borrow the ruffle. We would probably fight over it every morning.

Image: artist Alfons Mucha self portrait (1860-1939) 
PW: Oh my goodness! The bottom half of his face looks like he’s turned into a werewolf. (And not in a good way). In fact, it sort of looks like his beard is growing over his ears. It must be difficult to hear.    Overall assessment: Get Alfons to a groomer, stat!

CC: Wait, I thought this was a hot beard! Maybe I am beard-challenged. Don’t you think he looks manly in a tousled way? Though he is hairy beyond the beard, and now that you’ve drawn my attention to his ears…do they look pointy to you? I can stop seeing him as a Vulcan.

PW: Historical Bearded Vulcan Werewolf. New genre! New genre!

Self-portrait of French painter Eugène Devéria (1805-1865).
Etching by Paul Lafond (1847-1918)
PW: You’re killing me, Carolyn! Is this an intervention? Are you trying to make me hate beards?

CC: LOL Is it working? Please, take a closer look at this beard, Penny. I would suggest printing this image out and putting it up on your wall.

PW: * Penny wipes sweat from brow in anxiety.* OK, OK, I can handle this. The side portions of his stache look like a squirrel’s tail, and the center portion looks like the hind legs of a small furry animal. * Penny winces * This is hurting me.

CC: Snort. Squirrel’s tail. You don’t think this will come into fashion? Can’t you imagine it flowing in the breeze as this man rides a bike to the coffee shop? And wouldn’t those handholds come in handy in intimate situations?

PW: Please God tell me there’s a good one coming up soon!

CC: Don’t worry, Penny, there is a super hot one coming up!!

Image: Artist Jan Mabuse; self portrait (1478-1532)
PW: Haaaaaaa! His face stops several inches before the end of the beard? How is that possible? Artistic license?

CC:  It’s a chin beard, Penny! Get with it. I understand Jon Hamm is growing one of these right now so it’s ready in time for the Oscars. Actually, I’m loving his outfit. I’m not being funny. Do you think he was a hipster of his time? Because, I sort of do.

Well, that was fun!!

PW: That was cruel, Carolyn. To offset the trauma I’m experiencing from looking at these disturbing beardy images, I’m going to spend a few hours with my Hugh Jackman jpeg collection.


Penny is offering  awesome prizes today: one lucky winner will get a fabulous LUMBERJACK themed mug full of candy, book marks, twiggy pencils and Vermont maple syrup PLUS a free download of LUMBERJACK IN LOVE or print book. (US only)

And, one international winner will get a free download of the ebook!

How to enter: 
In the comments, tell which historical beard (from the pictures above or another one) that you like best and why. [If you are reading this on Goodreads or Facebook, come over to my blog and enter.] 


City slicker Ami Jordan was just dumped by her back-stabbing boyfriend, has no job prospects, and can't find a decent cup of coffee in the entire state of Vermont. The last thing she needs is a sexy, bearded lumberjack complicating her life. Even if he’s smart, talented, and has the hottest ass she’s ever seen.

Tree house builder, environmental champion, and Bulldog owner Marcus Anderson has no patience for flatlanders with an attitude. But when landscape designer Ami Jordan shows up at his log cabin, he suddenly develops a hankering for a high-maintenance city gal. Now his house looks like a jungle, his recycling is in disarray, and his libido's on fire.

He's a lumberjack in love.

Learn more at Penny's website or her book blog, Penny Romance

CC: Thanks so much for stopping by, Penny!

PW: Thanks for having me! Happy Beardy Day!! 


Sherri Browning Erwin said...

Is it weird that I read "historical beard" as "hysterical beard?" Funny! I'm not a beard fan, but I am a Penny fan. But when I do like beards, I prefer more of a full but trimmed beard over the poser goatees. Bana in Troy, yes please.

sheryl said...

Wow! I did not realize that beards were coming out! Anyway, I think of all the pics that you showed, I think I liked Diego's the best. Great interview!

Sullivan McPig said...

Hurray for beards! I'm all for more bearded heroes (who do NOT shave off the beard halfway through the story)

My favorite historical beard has to be the beard of tsar Nicholas II, because it's such a nice full beard, but still well kept.

sullivanmcpig(at)gmail(dot)com (int)

Penelope said...

Thanks for the fun interview, Carolyn! You'll be glad to know your diabolical plan didn't work. I still love beards. :^)

Jennifer said...

I actually loved the Alphonse Mucha beard, but I also love him. Mucha girls were the first Vargas girls!

Sue said...

I love beards it gets cold where i live so the men around town grow out their winter Man fur it is a cuddly time of year !

hmm historical beards from the ones posted I have to go with the Ruffle guy you see at the time the starched Ruffle was a sign of masculine prowess

Susan said...

If I had to choose one of these fantastic historical beards, it would have to be the work of art on Mabuse's face. His hat really frames his face and lets that beard be the star. Thanks for the giveaway!

Readsalot81 said...

I'm a fan of the Alfons Mucha beard. I actually do dig the beard quite a bit. Heh.

I discovered, through SmexyBooks.. that there is a tumblr called Lord of the Beards. Yes, men in all their beard glory. Some damn HOT ones too. *sigh*

The book looks like a lot of fun:) Thanks for the giveaway.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Hey, happy beardy day! The book is a hoot and I covet one of those mugs!

Anna said...

Friends keep saying I have to read "Lumberjack in Love!" Bearded heroes are rare in fiction. Stacia Kane's Downside Ghost series featured love interest, Terrible, has 'mutton chops.'

I thought Joseph Fiennes rocked the sexy beard in Shakespeare in Love. The closest historical portrait I could find is a 16th century Giovanni Battista Moroni painting of a very handsome tailor aptly titled "The Tailor." Tres sexy!

My hubs is one of those guys that shaves his head and wears a well-trimmed beard. I like regularly manscaped faces. RAWR


Carolyn Crane said...

Sherri: poser goatees LOL

Sheryl: That's one of my faves, too!

Sullivan: Ah, you bring in the Tsar! So impressed.

Jennifer: The first Varga girls!

Jennifer: So curious: Are you talking about the soccer player?

Sue: Maybe it was there to show even a ruffle couldn't cut their prowess. For contrast?

Susan: Yes, I totally agree. Love that whole look.

Reads: Uh oh, I hope Penny doesn't see that Tumblr!

Julia: Thanks!

Anna! That is an awesome picture!! The Tailor. And, yes that Fiennes beard was great in that movie.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Not a fan of historical beards...but can I vote for Daniel Craig's beard even though he's only a movie star and not a historical figure? Great interview!

Jane said...

I dig Nakht's beard. I had no idea I was missing out on lumberjack eye candy.