Thursday, April 27, 2017

Love in Store Majolica by Anita Mae Draper and #giveaway!

Thank you for hosting me, Laura. It's a pleasure to be here.

Giveaway: Anita is giving away a print copy of The SECRET ADMIRER Romance Collection in conjunction with this post. If you want a chance to win it, leave a comment before Sunday midnight April 30.

Looking through old catalogues gives a true sense of what was available to the staunch people who settled the west. So when I needed authentic items for the 1890 store in my new novella, Love in Store, I researched china and pottery items for the last couple decades of the 19th century.
Catalogue references to majolica ware for pitchers, vases, and flower pots made it sound like a common item, yet I'd never heard of it, so that's where my research began. When I found the following example in an 1894 catalogue, I knew majolica was pretty enough to be featured in my hero's Emporium.

Caption: Majolica Flower Pot. Source: T. Eaton Co, Ltd. Spring and Summer Catalogue, 1894

What is majolica? The simplest explanation is that majolica is an earthenware item covered with a lead- or tin-based glaze before painting. This surface allows for a brilliant white, opaque surface which, when painted, gives it lustrous qualities. Once I saw a few examples, I was able to pick majolica out of a group of pottery, although I won't hazard a guess whether I was looking at an authentic piece or a reproduction.

What struck me is that majolica items are imaginative and whimsical pieces—perfect for Adam's Emporium in Love in Stove. To give you an idea of what I mean, I've pinned several majolica pieces to my Pinterest story board, Novella: Love in Store.  (

On the heels of my majolica research, I was searching through a stack of dishes at my local recycle aka second hand store and found an incredible dish with Lily of the Valley flowers in a textured bowl. Although I hadn't seen the pattern before, I quivered at the thought that it might be majolica. Flipping it over didn't quell my rising excitement when I didn't see majolika, but the fact that it was made in Germany gave an indication that it was probably a current reproduction.

Caption: Reproduction majolica bowl w/handle holes

Further research confirmed the bowl as being a reproduction of the Palm Leaf and Lily of the Valley pattern originally made in the Villeroy & Boch factory in Schramberg, Germany. It took another search to find an image showing the holes fitted with a carrying handle.

Caption: Reproduction Majolica bowl with carrying handle

Finding majolica at the same time I was writing about it was one of those blessings that feel like God's pat on the back. It also brought Adam's Emporium to life. I created my Love in Store Pinterest board to show the inspiration behind the story. It fueled my imagination as I wrote the novella, and now I hope it brings Adam and Janet's story to life for you as well.

Anita's books are available wherever Christian books and ebooks are sold including

A special LOVE IN STORE PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY will be held in celebration of the May 1st release of The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. For details, check the Contests & Giveaways page of Anita's website. (

Anita Mae Draper writes her historical romances under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details. Her Christian faith is reflected in her stories of forgiveness and redemption as her characters struggle to find their way to that place we call home. Anita loves to correspond with her readers through any of the social media links found at

Readers can enrich their reading experience by checking out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her published stories at


Marilyn R. said...

I enjoyed reading this post about majolica. Findng authentic pieces of pottery is a true fine. I have some original china from an aunt, who was married the day my dad was born, that has been reproduced. I'm glad to know mine is the authentic pieces. The Secret Admirer Romance Collection will be a great read.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hi Marilyn, it's great to see you here. That's so special to have a keepsake from your aunt, especially fine china. Something tangible that triggers a memory whenever your glance falls upon it. Thank you for sharing that. :)

Megan Besing said...

I love novellas!

Anita Mae Draper said...

That's great, Megan, because there are 9 novellas in this collection. :)

Robin in NC said...

It seems like I remember seeing a plate like this at my grandma's house! It was so pretty. I don't have a clue what might have happened to it. Thanks for stirring a memory Anita!

Unknown said...

Hi, Laura and Anita Mae! What an interesting research project--makes me want to find some majolica. Anita Mae, I noticed you are from the Saskatchewan prairies. What part? I lived in and near Saskatoon for thirty years, and my first three books are set there. Nice to "meet" a fellow Canadian!

lollipops said...

Entering for Jenna

Anita Mae Draper said...

Robin, thanks for sharing that. I have a similar memory of a cup from my grandma's house. I treasure those memories.

Actually, that's why I wrote the majolica into my story. As the hero, Adam, unpacks a crate, a pink vase triggers a loving memory of his mother with a similar one. I won't tell you what happens, but it causes an emotional reaction in him, and provides a tether to help him climb out of the pit he's fallen into.

Thank you so much for visiting.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Kathleen, isn't this a nice surprise. I'm an hour SE of Regina, but used to drive up to Saskatoon to attend the Sask Romance Writers meetings. Us southerners now meet in Regina.

I'll have to check out your book list.

Thanks for finding me here. :)

lollipops said...

congratulations, Kathy

Sonja said...

Such a wonderful looking book! I would love to read this! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

Teri DiVincenzo said...

I didn't make it in time for the contest but just wanted to say hello! The bowls are beautiful! Tdivincenzo (at) gmail ( dot) com

Anita Mae Draper said...

Thank you for mentioning the book cover, Sonja. The Barbour art department does a wonderful job of creating an eye-catching cover that matches our stories.

And thanks for visiting.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Ah, Teri. Thank you for taking the time to comment. But all is not lost since I have more giveaways to my next comment.

Amber Lemus said...

Interesting tidbit! Thanks for sharing about these beautiful items. Your collection looks sweet and wonderful. They always do such a great job with the covers.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Congratulations, Kathleen. I hope you enjoy these novellas.

For those who didn't win my #giveaway here, you have more chances to win books and other prizes on my website. Check out my Contests & Giveaways page for more info.

carlaganell said...

Thank you for sharing. I love pottery and yours is dear to your heart. I would love to read your book!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hi Carla, I hope you get a chance to read it too. Click the link in my comment above and you can enter my giveaway and maybe win one. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

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