Spring 2020 – Write Down Your Thoughts

Spring 2020 arrived, and along with it, a pandemic that will be written about in history books and historical fiction for centuries to come. Humanity has been faced with plagues, epidemics, and pandemics as well as wars since the beginning of time. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during this season for your children, grandchildren, and future generations. Your voice matters. Continue reading “Spring 2020 – Write Down Your Thoughts”

Mon Amour, Friend or Foe – Historical Fiction by Elizabeth Pye

Elizabeth Pye, historical fiction author of Silk or Sugar and Return to Chateau Fleury, has announced her third book in The French Connection series, Mon Amour, Friend or Foe.

An Amazon Associate can earn from qualifying purchases. Therefore, if you decide to make a purchase through the Amazon links in this blog post, that means Amazon pays a commission to the Amazon Associate for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you.

New Release!
I’m excited to announce the release of Mon Amour, Friend or Foe!

Enjoy this novel of historical fiction.
Available now in paperback on Amazon!

Elizabeth Pye books
Mon Amour, Friend or Foe

Mon Amour, Friend or Foe is the story of an eighteen-year-old American girl who travels to Paris to attend the Sorbonne and ends up in the French Resistance. Read more…


20 Spring Writing Prompts

Spring writing prompts invite a writer’s muse with the suggestion of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of the season’s exquisite beauty. Adventure down spring’s path, and write as your senses speak to you.

Write what comes as you read the first ten prompts. Then let the next ten photos and their titles suggest

    1. Still feeling the acute loss, she watched as the cardinal swooped from the tall pine toward the porch.
    2. Five dogwoods lined the beginning of a dirt path beside the two-lane road.
    3. A rooster crowed, disturbing me from the dream.
    4. I leaned over to breathe in the scent of the honeysuckle beside a log, and out of nowhere…
    5. The aroma of jasmine permeated the air.
    6. Pink blossoms on the lone cherry tree danced in the wind.
    7. Just as I reached up to feel the delicate jasmine flowers, my companion yelled, “Step back!”
    8. Specks of gold moved through the thick meadow of purple flowers.
    9. Sheets of heavy rain were blinding…
    10. Looking in awe at the fields of poppies…
    11. writing prompts
      Pink Flowers


    12. writing prompts
      Easter Flowers


    13. writing prompts
      Flower Buds


    14. writing prompts
      Purple Irises


    15. writing prompts
      Star-Shaped Lily


    16. writing prompts
      Budding Bush


    17. writing prompts
      Spring Yellow on White Petals


    18. writing prompts
      A bird perched on a rooftop


    19. writing prompts
      A hint of blush


    20. writing prompts
      White flowers of spring

Springtime awakens the muse that can become dormant from winter. Vibrant yellow and purple hues of flowers cover meadows, and trees blossom in white and pink. Nature refreshes the soul, and words seem to flow with a newness of life as the season progresses.








History of Chivalry and Romance Over The Centuries

The history of chivalry and romance has changed over the centuries according to various cultures. But February 14th still continues to be the most celebrated day for love and romance worldwide.
Valentine’s Day is one of the top ten days of the year to get engaged.
This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for the writer and/or owner of this site’s content to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services.


Valentine's Day
Roses for Valentine’s Day

Make a loved one’s Valentine’s Day special! You can create joy in a person’s day in the simplest yet loving ways like giving and/or sharing:

  • a hug
  • a box of candy
  • dessert and wine
  • dinner at a favorite restaurant
  • a handmade gift
  • reservations at a hotel with dinner, roses, and wine
  • a dozen roses (first most popular Valentines flowers)
  • a single rose with baby’s breath
  • Valentine’s Tulips (second most popular Valentines flowers)
  • a romance novel
That list includes you, too, men! Yes, there are men who read romance books. Would it surprise you that 84 percent of romance novels are purchased by women (mostly between ages 30 and 54, according to Romance Writers of America (RWA))?
The book genre that earns the most money is romance/erotica ($1.438 billion in 2013). Romance novels are predominantly written by women writers, though a percentage of men write them as well (often with female pen names).
Valentine's candy
Godiva Candy for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day History Facts

How did Valentine’s Day begin? Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger, authors of The Year 1000: What Life Was Like At The Turn Of The First Millennium, indicate that February 14th celebrations go back to the third-century priest, Valentinus (St. Valentine). St. Valentine’s feast day was celebrated on the 14th day of February, but it is uncertain why this priest is considered as the patron saint of love and romance. Lacey and Danziger point out that “there is no Christian reason why St. Valentine should be the only saint in the calendar whose feast is celebrated with universal ardour today.” Other Valentine’s Day facts include:
  1. Pope Gelasius changed the Lupercalia pagan fertility festival to February 14th as Valentine’s Day.
  2. Valentine’s Day candy giving in decorative boxes was made popular by Richard Cadbury, the descendant of an aristocratic British chocolate manufacturing company.
  3. During the Middle Ages, people in France and England believed that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season.
  4. Charles, Duke of Orleans, wrote the first Valentine, a poem, to his wife while he was in prison.
  5. Valentine’s candies with the printed sayings began in 1866 by Daniel Chase.
  6. Sweethearts, the heart-shaped conversation candies will not be sold on Valentine’s Day in 2019 because the previous company, Necco, that made the candies went bankrupt. The new owner is Spangler Candy Company, and the candies will be sold again in 2020.


What is chivalry? It’s the thoughtful and kind gestures a gentleman does for a lady. The chivalry code of conduct has changed quite a lot since medieval times. The term “chivalry” comes from an old French word, chevalerie. When I think of chivalry, I envision a knight returned from defending the land to pluck a lute and sing his words of love and devotion to his lady. Of course, through the ages the themes of romance expanded into well-loved fairy tales and further into the romance-novel genre. Today our heroes’ actions reflect changes through the ages of how to please a lady.

Chivalry and courtship facts and tidbits of information:

  1. Chivalric ethics originated chiefly in France and Spain and spread rapidly to the rest of the Continent and to England. They represented a fusion of Christian and military concepts of morality and still form the basis of gentlemanly conduct.”
  2. “The chief chivalric virtues were piety, honor, valor, courtesy, chastity, and loyalty.”
  3. In the 17th century, ornately carved spoons became a tradition of a suitor showing affection to his love.
Valentine's Day
A Rose for Valentine’s Day

The “Ten Commandments of Chivalry” by French literary historian Leon Gautier:

  1. Believe the Church’s teachings and observe all the Church’s directions
  2. Defend the Church
  3. Respect and defend the weak
  4. Love your country
  5. Do not fear your enemy
  6. Show no mercy and do not hesitate to make war with the infidel
  7. Perform all your feudal duties as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God
  8. Never lie or go back on one’s word
  9. Be generous
  10. Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice

Chivalry continues in the twenty-first century by gentlemen who show courtesy to ladies in ways such as:

  • opening doors for ladies
  • standing and offering their seat to a lady
  • paying for the meal when taking a lady out to dinner
  • pull out a lady’s chair for her when she is ready to sit down

Weddings oftentimes take place on Valentine’s Day.

Origin of Marriage

Marriage originated from the Creator. He created Eve for Adam as a companion. “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18, New International Version of the Bible). The King James Version says, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

Origin of the Term “Honeymoon” 

Valerie Green (read her blog about the history of chivalry and romance) explains the history of the word: “An old French custom declared that as the moon went through its phases, a couple would drink metheglin, a brew made from honey—hence the term “honeymoon” today.”
An Amazon Associate can earn from qualifying purchases. Therefore, if you decide to make a purchase through the Amazon links in this blog post, that means Amazon pays a commission to the Amazon Associate for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you.
Want to read a historical romance novel? Elizabeth Pye’s The French Connection series books Silk or Sugar and Return to Chateau Fleury are available on Amazon. Click on the photos of the books below to purchase the novels.

“Each chapter written is a step toward the completion of Mon Amour, Friend or Foe.”

                                                        – Quote by Elizabeth Pye, April 2018 (referencing the process of Book 3 of The French Connection series)

How to Write WWII Historical Fiction

Want to Write WWII historical fiction?

Write WWII historical fiction by reading about the setting’s time period. Study the politics, economics and military strategy of the particular time and place you’re writing about.

World War II Theaters of Operation

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for the writer and/or owner of this site’s content to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services.
If you haven’t decided on the place of your setting but want to write in the World War II historical fiction genre, familiarize yourself with the theaters of operation during the war:
  • European Theater of Operation
  • Mediterranean Theater of Operations
  • Pacific Theater of Operations
  • China Burma India Theater

An Amazon Associate can earn from qualifying purchases. Therefore, if you decide to make a purchase through the Amazon links in this blog post, that means Amazon pays a commission to the Amazon Associate for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you.

Write About What Interests You

Write WWII historical fiction by focusing on the theater of the war that interests you. What city or country in the theater areas have you found of interest? Research it. Read all you can about it. The more research you do, the better your book will be. For example, When Paris Went Dark, by Ronald Rosbottom, is about the Nazi occupation of Paris from 1940 to 1944. The book is well researched and written so effectively that as a reader, you feel a sense of what the Parisians suffered from the German occupation.

Research and Get to Know Your Characters

Historical fiction writing requires extensive research. Read books about the battles that were fought, the politics of the world during that time, nonfiction, historical fiction, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies and other sources such as movies, newspaper articles and museum exhibitions.
You could also write about post World War II and how a certain country changed after the war, possibly a place not much written about previously. For example, Connie Hampton Connally, author of The Songs We Hide, wrote a novel about post World War II and communism in Hungary. She states in her blog, “Sometimes we as writers can feel overwhelmed by trying to make sense of the politics, economics and military strategy of what we are writing about, and certainly we need to understand it as well as we can.  But the main thing to convey is the effect of the events on our characters.”
Choose a variety of fiction and nonfiction books about World War II. This will give you much more than just a general idea about the war. Read history books but also the personal stories by veterans, political figures, and people who did not serve in the military but were affected by the war. Doing this helps a historical fiction writer get a true feel of what it was like to live through that time period. Then your novel’s characters begin to reveal emotions that individuals struggle with after experiencing the ravages of war.

List of Helpful Books to Read

Listed in the back of The French Connection novels is a section called Further Reading on This Time Period. These are books I’ve read that have been helpful in writing my historical fiction. If you are interested in writing World War II historical fiction romance, the following-listed books are examples of ones I found helpful for Mon Amour, Friend or Foe. Of course, I have read many more excellent ones. A search on Amazon will alert you to reading material of particular relevance for your story.

World War II Fiction

  1. The Blue Bicycle by Regine Deforges
  2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  3. The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

World War II Non-Fiction

  1. When Paris Went Dark by Ronald C. Rosbottom
  2. Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba
  3. The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar J. Mazzeo
  4. Americans in Paris by Charles Glass

The French Connection Series by Elizabeth Pye

historical fiction inspiration
Elizabeth Pye

The settings from The French Connection novels, Silk or Sugar and Return to Chateau Fleury, are both based on The French Revolution and Paris history and the third book in the series is on World War II. Therefore, reading books about Paris during the eighteenth century and World War II provided valuable information especially in creating the setting and sense of place for the novels.

Enjoy Your Writing Journey

Enjoy your writing journey into the world of historical fiction. You will experience times of intense writing, relaxation and new inspiration, reading and more reading for research, and joy of accomplishment as your novel progresses. Eventually, the day of the publication will arrive, and you’ll be able to share with others how you write WWII historical fiction. Finally, you’ll reach your goal – and then, you’ll begin the journey for the next novel.

A Writer’s Vacation: Visiting the Places in a Novel’s Settings

Saving up to travel on a writer’s vacation? Consider joining a literary vacation club.

Intrigue your readers with a strong sense of place by taking a writer’s vacation. Visit the places of your novel’s settings. If scheduling a trip to the place of your historical fiction book is not feasible, join a literary vacation club.

Continue reading “A Writer’s Vacation: Visiting the Places in a Novel’s Settings”

Historical Fiction Writing Inspiration for 2019

Inspired by Nature

Need writing inspiration for your historical fiction? Every writer does. Often, we become oblivious to the nature around us and how its beauty is more than enough to inspire us.


Observe flowers and trees as they change their colors during the seasons. Pay attention to how they make you feel. When you see leaves falling, what do you think about?

Continue reading “Historical Fiction Writing Inspiration for 2019”

Happy Halloween Dress Up with Elizabeth Pye

Happy Halloween & Spooky Greetings

Spooky Halloween Greetings

Happy Halloween is what every child looks forward to on the last day of October. As porch lights illuminate pathways for trick or treaters going house to house, Author Elizabeth Pye joins in on Halloween fun. Could her glowing jack-o-lantern and eighteenth-century character dress-up photos indicate more spooky surprises waiting? You’ll have to read The French Connection books to find that out.









Author Elizabeth Pye and her “old friend”

Elizabeth makes historical fiction feel real on this Halloween in her costume and “old friend”. If you’re one of the people fortunate to attend the November 3rd High Desert Book Festival, I’ll let you in on a secret…
Continue reading “Happy Halloween Dress Up with Elizabeth Pye”

How Seasons and Nature Affect the Way Authors Write

How Seasonal Changes Affect the Way Authors Write

Use the beauty of season and nature in writing fiction. Seasons have a way of making us feel nostalgic. Certain emotions are triggered as weather changes, nature, times of the year, etc., remind us of places we’ve traveled to. It is interesting to discover how different authors weave things that inspire them into the books that they write.

historical fiction inspiration
Elizabeth Pye

If you follow Elizabeth Pye’s Facebook page, you’ll notice how nature inspires her writing. For instance, she expresses, “Sometimes I have to take a break and enjoy nature before I start a new scene. BTW, I’m about to start on chapter 20 of Mon Amour, Friend or Foe.”

Elizabeth mentions seasonal changes: Summer: “Signs of autumn: shorter days, cooler nights, and golden leaves. How come the forecast is for a 100-degree weekend?”

September 24th – “A beautiful sky like this one energizes me…better get to work on that new scene.”

October 21st – “My head is in the clouds as I move to chapter 22 of my work in progress, Mon Amour, Friend or Foe. The creative process never fails to thrill me!”

March 16th, winter, azaleas: “I’m back on track with my writing. Some days I am ahead of others…just like the azaleas.”

Nature Inspired Writing
Spring Azaleas

March 8th, winter, spring-like day: “I’ve fallen behind on my writing on this beautiful spring-like day.”

February 21st, winter, camellias: “The first of the camellias appear on a chilly day”

Nature Inspired Writing
Winter Camellias



Nature Inspired Writing

Here are two examples of how Elizabeth portrayed her love of flowers into the first book of the French Connection series:

  1. “She didn’t weaken until coming to the flower stalls. The fragrance and fresh beauty of the red carnations enchanted her.” – Silk or Sugar.
  2. “Janine clutched her blue wool shawl around her…seeking to lessen the effect of an unseasonably cold north wind.” – Silk or Sugar

It’s Halloween! Do stop in at Elizabeth Pye’s Facebook page today as she greets her followers in costume. Lovely!

French Connection series available by Elizabeth Pye:

Book 1: Order Silk or Sugar by clicking here.

Book 2: Order Return to Chateau Fleury by clicking here.

Book 3: (work in progress, publication expected Spring 2019): Mon Amour, Friend or Foe

Enjoy discovering how Elizabeth intertwined her love of flowers and nature into her historical fiction French Connection books. Order your copy of Book 1 and 2 so that you’ll be ready to curl up in a cozy chair to read Mon Amour, Friend or Foe as soon as it is released early 2019.

Interested in learning how to write historical fiction? Check out Elizabeth’s interview on what prompted her to write historical fiction.


Food Fit for Napolean

Napoleon Style Cheeseburger

Americans love to eat and like to celebrate with food, so much that every day of the year is a national day for some type of food. September 18th was National Cheeseburger Day, yesterday was National Butterscotch Pudding Day, and today is National Punch Day/Rum Punch Day. The Elizabeth Pye blog writings are predominantly inspired by an affinity for French history, thus this question popped up: would Napoleon eat a cheeseburger if he lived today in our country?

This study will, perhaps, show whether or not Napoleon would fit in with our American got-to-have-it-now meal-on-the-go like a cheeseburger, for example.

What did Napoleon like to eat?

What type of food was considered fit for Napoleon? Various reports by his chefs and other sources give us a good idea of what he liked to eat. Researching the following questions on the Internet shed some light on the subject.

  • What did Napoleon like to eat?
  • What did Napoleon eat?
  • What breads did Napoleon eat?

According to Shannon Selin, Napoleon’s second valet, Louis Etienne Saint-Denis, reported that Napoleon liked “…a filet of beef…salad…vegetables…simply cooked things whether meat or vegetables and a piece of Parmesan or Roquefort cheese closed his meals.” (Louis Étienne Saint-Denis, Napoleon from the Tuileries to St. Helena, translated by Frank Hunter Potter (New York and London, 1922), pp. 175-176.)

The article “Napoleon Food Facts: Dining with Napoleon Bonaparte” describes Napoleon’s dining habits: “he ate quickly …helped himself with his hands …liked to soak his bread on the plate…and suffered from gastritis” (This story is taken from the book Tacuinum dè Eccellentissimi, ali&no publisher).

This study revealed from documented sources that Napoleon:

  • usually ate in a hurry
  • liked salads
  • ate vegetables
  • preferred filet of beef
  • liked onions
  • was particular about the quality of bread he ate

People from France favor the baguette, a bread with a history that possibly dates back to the French Revolution. A law was passed after the Revolution in 1793 that required bread to only be made one way. This is stated in the article History of the Baguette: Legends, Laws, and Lengthy Loaves.

 “Richness and poverty must both disappear from the government of equality.
It will no longer make a bread of wheat for the rich and a bread of bran for the
poor.  All bakers will be held, under the penalty of imprisonment, to make only
one type of bread: The Bread of Equality.”

Napoleon, being rich and of nobility, could choose whatever bread he wanted and “a bread of wheat for the rich” shows the likeliness that he ate wheat baguettes.

Napoleon Menu

Summing up the research on the type of food that Napoleon liked to eat, his quick meals, and his bread preference, the assumption could be made that cheeseburgers would perhaps show up on a Napoleon menu occasionally. For example, he liked all the things that go on a cheeseburger:

  • bread – There are many types of hamburger buns to choose from. Surely, he would find one he liked.
  • beef – He loved potatoes cooked different ways, including over embers, so he would order his grilled to perfection.
  • vegetables – Lettuce and tomatoes would fit into this category.
  • onions – Grilled burgers and onions go great together, and he did like onions.
  • cheese – Roquefort cheese was one of his favorites. Have you ever eaten a Roquefort cheeseburger? Delicious!

It is possible, on the other hand, that Napoleon would be difficult to please in how he would eat a cheeseburger. Therefore, he’d demand the bread by itself, onions and beef for one meal, a lettuce and tomato salad for the next course, and end the evening with the cheese. There are also a few other factors to consider. Being from France, he would request a fork and knife to eat the burger. In respect to his health, a big fat cheeseburger in one sitting could be too much for his gastritis.

Now that the discovery has been made that it is possible Napoleon would eat a cheeseburger if he lived in America today, here is a Napoleon Cheeseburger recipe:

Napoleon Cheeseburger Recipe

Napoleon liked Roquefort cheese. Try out this Napoleon Cheeseburger at https://kitchenhospitality.com if you like Roquefort (blue cheese) on your burgers.