Thursday, February 6, 2020

How to announce you've eloped? 1816 style!

In the Georgian period, parents of the bride or the couple themselves could announce their engagement, elopement (!) or marriage, but did so more by word of mouth than by formal declaration. 
Rarely did they post any word publicly themselves.
Newspapers would often post a line or two. Announcements of noble families' unions were rare as they wished more privacy than middle classes.
I just finished a book due out May 5 in a new series, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FROLIC and I needed a good idea of how people gave any word of their nuptials and I did my research in British newspapers. FOUR WEDDING AND A FROLIC is a comedy series! 
Here are a few announcements of weddings from newspapers of the period. One is for a duke's imminent wedding.
Do enlarge them to read fully!

Monday, February 3, 2020

1816: The Year Without Summer and is it too cold to fall in love???
Can it snow in June? Freeze in July? Frost over in August?
Yes.. And it did when in 1816, the atmosphere filled with debris when Mount Tambora in Indonesia exploded in April 1815.  The ash and sulfur dioxide in the air chilled most of North America and Europe to the point that crops failed, animals died and people starved.
How cold had it gotten?
Only 3 degrees colder on average was what most experienced but it was enough to cause wide-spread devastation and hunger. In Ireland, thousands migrated to find food, shelter and new homes. In America, snow and ice meant many starved. In Europe, people rioted for bread.
For months, no one knew or understood the cause. Indeed the first indications I found of any idea of the cause was this entry in London Morning Post, May 4, 1816. (Do enlarge to read more easily!)

Why is this important to me? And why did I go looking for such detail? As you might imagine I wrote a novella, LADY MARY'S MAY DAY MISCHIEF, set  in late April and early May 1816 in Bath and London.

While I chose this time of year to coincide with the theme of this fabulous box set written by talented authors, I also chose it because it was May 1, 1816 that the Princess of Wales, the only direct heir to the throne of United Kingdom, married one of the great heroes of the Napoleonic Wars. Who was that? 

Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg. Yes, this is the same one you've seen portrayed as King Leopold, King of the Belgians, as uncle to Queen Victoria and to his nephew and her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Cobourg. 

Leopold was a catch...and a hunk. Here he is in 1815. Yummy, yes?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Romance for grown ups! An older man for an older woman! 99 cents on pre-order now!

Tired of heroes and heroines too young to really know what to do to protect their the bedroom and out?

Me, too! 

So here is AUNT GERTRUDE"S RED HOT CHRISTMAS BEAU, an older gentleman and an older lady, who know what they are about!

Need a nibble? 

Of course, you do!
Copyright 2019. Cerise Deland. All rights reserved.
“You may go, Nan,” she told her lady’s maid. “I’ve no need of my wrapper. I go straight to bed. You should, too.”
The servant bobbed and turned for Gertrude’s sitting room door.
But when she opened it, Simms stood there. His hand in the air, ready to scratch the wood to ask for entry, he quickly recovered his aplomb. The butler was new to Gertrude’s employ, efficient, worldly and no more than thirty years of age. Intriguing for a butler of his extensive experience to be so less than fifty, but Gertrude had not debated his background. She’d hired the man. Handsome as sin with ink black hair and flashing silver eyes, he had an air of no nonsense, a bevy of friends at Prinny’s Royal Pavilion and an odd penchant for quoting Shakespeare. Gertrude valued him. A wise and interesting choice to head her household. Even if, at the moment, he appeared to be rather disheveled. Odd that.
“Yes, Simms.” She swished her long unbound silver hair over her shoulder and pulled her green velvet robe close to her throat. “What is it?”
“My lady, we have a new arrival. I knew you’d wish to greet him.”
Him? Her heart did a girlish pitter-patter. “I wish to welcome any guest, Simms. Who—?”
“The duke of Harlow, Madam.”
She shivered in delight. “I will be right down, Simms.”
“No need, my dear Gertrude!” The bass voice was one of command, a man who knew his authority and seized it. Yes, it was Harlow! Expertly attired in a winter clawhammer and woolen breeches that hugged his sturdy frame, he glowed from the brisk winter air. His hair, black as sin with those devilish streaks of white at his temples, proclaimed his age more than the ruddiness of his cheeks. Most of all, what declared his youthful intentions were his turquoise eyes that twinkled in mischief. 
Simms stepped aside.
And Harlow filled her doorway.
 She grinned and extended both hands. “Your Grace. How wonderful to see you here.”
He walked right in, nodding in dismissal to Simms and her maid. Then he reached out to grasp the door and shut it upon them both. “How wonderful to be greeted. By a lady in her nightgown, too. Love the dishabille, my dear.”
“You rake!” She chuckled. And blushed. What a man to so commandeer the room! In front of her butler and her maid, too. My, my. “Harlow, I’m thrilled!”
“Are you, my darling?” He strode close, sent one hand up to capture the wealth of her hair and curled an arm around her waist. Crushing her against his rock-like form, he brushed his firm lips across hers and seized her mouth in a ravenous kiss. When he broke away, she was breathless . “I’m here to claim the joys of the Season—and you. Will you have me?”

I HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY HIM! AND DO ENJOY the companion book to this, THE MARQUESS'S FINAL FLING, which stars the Duke of Harlow's son, the Marquess of Tain!  

Of course, all 6 of these Christmas Belles find love at the same house party! And all are on KU!
Cerise's AMAZON page for all in this series!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Was Mr. Darcy really rich on his 10,000 a year? Or just getting by?

Let's talk about Darcy's 10,000 a year, shall we?
Darcy fans ask the burning question: How well would Lizzie Bennet really live after she married Mr. Darcy?
That leading statement that he had “ten thousand a year” sounds rich…but it’s enlightening to learn the facts.
To help you savor the possibilities of stepping into Lizzie’s shoes, I found a wonderful website that translates previous years’ British pounds into current British pounds. So for your titilation, here’s a sample of the real cost of living for Mr. Darcy and his bride. I’ve added to the cost of a hired carriage ride and the cost of paying his servants’ salaries. (Yes, all costs are those I took from original sources of the period, give or take a few years on the publication date of Jane’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE which is 1813.)

(Do enlarge the two excerpts from an 1825 book on Household governance!)
A London carriage ride, hired hackney, 1-2 miles
(ex: Charing Cross to Hyde Park Corner) 1-2 pounds
Ladies hat, chip straw 18 pounds
Lace trim, 6 shillings per yard
Gown: Fine India Muslin, white, 13 per yard* 39-65 pounds
(3-5 needed for full length dress)
*Sewing extra
(Alternate fabric: chintz 7-8 pounds per yard)
Dinner party, food and wine, for 16-20 20 pounds
Dinner for family of 4, 3-4 courses 5 pounds
To educate (a daughter) at boarding school, including
Transportation to, from 43 per year
Recommended expenditure for running complete household:
This from one current expert in the period...and the category that breaks the bank. Watch and see!
33% of all income should go to household expenses 3300
20% to servants’ salaries, equipage (i.e. horse, carriage) 2000
TOTAL: 5300
So, let’s do the math!
Darcy has income of 10,000 pounds a year.
To run his country home, he spends 55% a year of 10,000 = 5300. pounds
He gives one dinner party a month x 12 = 240.
1 ball for 100 = (equivalent of 5 dinners) = 200
Total entertainment of others per year = 440.
5 new dresses for his wife, Lizzie = 65 x 5= 325
5 new hats for Lizzie, 18 x 5= 90
Total for Lizzie: 415.
What remains for him to expense:
· Clothing for himself, rest of family
· Education for children
· Books, entertainment, etc.
· His club dues, social responsibilities
· Etc.
And of course, the total to run his London townhouse is not listed here. That amount would be approximate to that of running his country estate. So add another 5300 pounds to his annual expenses as a gentleman.
And by that rule of thumb alone, he would already be in debt by several thousand pounds.
And what does 10,000 pounds in 1813 equal in British pounds today?
638,000 pounds
Converting that into American dollars at today’s inflation rate, we get
Darcy is a millionaire. But if he’s running two households, I hate to say this, he’s in financial trouble.
My Regency gentlemen are not broke. And I hope you will read all of the novels in which they star...and lavishly spend their riches on new wives!
Especially my complete CHRISTMAS BELLES series, out now on KU! AUNT GERT's BEAU out separately Jan. 30 !

Friday, January 10, 2020

Women of War: American girls who fought far from their garden gate!

Research can take you far, far from home!
Gates to
Suresnes American Cemetery

Here I begin a series about my travels to research a novel about the American women who volunteered to go abroad and nurse American Doughboys during the Great War, or as we now call it World War One!

A few of our women are buried abroad. If you go to Paris, do go to the American Cemetery high above the Seine at Suresnes. Situated just near a school Napoleon founded, this cemetery is land given to the United States to bury our dead after that war.

The families of these women—just as those of our men—were asked if they wished the bodies of their loved ones sent home or buried in the soil where they died.

Here are graves of four women whose families chose to have them remain. In this beautiful setting above the Seine, where one can see the Eiffel Tower and the flowing river, lie our national heroines. They bear their full names, hospital assignment, state they were from and date of their deaths. (These are my pictures taken in 2016.)

For more information about my research into World War One, medical care, and Army Nurse Corps, do visit my other blog:  

Marian Henrietta White, Nurse, American Red Cross,
Pennsylvania, October 3, 1918

Katherine Dent,
Nurse, Base Hospital 24, ANC
Louisiana, June 16, 1918

Lucy N. Fletcher, Nurse, Base Hospital 6, ANC
May 6, 1918

Nellie M. Dingley, Nurse, Camp Hospital 4, ANC
New York, August 28, 1918.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Follow new authors on BookBuB and enter to Win $110 Gift Card!

Simple contest! Just follow these authors on Bookbub in chance to enter and win $110 Gift Card!
Hurry! Ends January 14, 2020!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Need a new E-reader? WIN WIN WIN! Another contest from Santa and me!

Thirty authors of swoon-worthy historical romance have joined together to offer prizes this Christmas when you follow them on Bookbub!
YES! Simply FOLLOW EACH ONE to increase your chances to win a new e-reader and books!
What could be more simple?
Nothing except kissing Santa Claus!
Contest runs December 23 to January 1!
START here:

And be sure to Follow me here: 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Historical Holiday Scavenger Hunt with $300 Gift Card and 2 $50 cards!

ANNOUNCING the winner of my special promotion that goes with this Scavenger Hunt!
BILLIE MARSHALL you are the winner of my print book, DARING WIDOW and all other goodies!
The winners of this grand contest for the GIFT CARDS
will be announced SUNDAY!

´`´* Historical Holiday Scavenger Hunt .¸¸,.
Thank you so much for visiting my stop in the scavenger hunt! 
My book for the hunt is The Marquess's Final Fling! And my question is: What does Lady Goddard assume is behind the screen?
Visit my books Amazon preview here: PREVIEW and read through it to find the answer. Once you have the answers to all 25 questions from all of the authors, record them on the entry form here: 
PLEASE DO NOT post your answers publicly.

In addition to the main scavenger hunt, to one lucky person, I am giving away a print copy of DARING WIDOW, sticky notes and a keychain of Eiffel Tower, direct from Paris! 
To enter: Join my newsletter on my home page or Follow Me on Bookbub here: BookBub.
Already do both? Then write to tell me so at and tell me one book you read of mine that you loved! 
I will select one winner from among all on December 20 by 5 EST and announce it on Facebook here.
The next stop in the scavenger hunt is: Anna St. Claire at
  1. Must be 18 or older to enter.
  2. Giveaway’s are in no way endorsed or sponsored by any business or entity beyond the authors.
  3. To qualify for the Scavenger Hunt giveaway you MUST answer all 25 questions correctly.
  4. All answers must be recorded on the Google entry form and nowhere else. If someone posts an answer publicly, their comment will be deleted by the authors and will not count.
  5. Amanda Mariel will notify the Scavenger Hunt winners via email within one week of the giveaway ending. Amanda Mariel will also deliver the grand prize $300 Amazon gift card as well as the two runners up $50 Amazon gift cards.
  6. Individual authors are responsible for announcing the winners of their giveaways as well as delivering their prizes.
  7. See the full set of rules, terms, and conditions on the Google entry form.
For a full list of the scavenger hunt stops go here  

Thank you so much for stopping by my Blog and good luck!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Collette Cameron's new Earl of Scarborough! A treat!

When a woman desperate for a job saves the life of an earl…
… both of their plans for the future are thwarted.

He’s eccentric and society-shy…

There’s no polite way to describe Ansley, Earl of Scarborough’s obsession with schedules and inflexible routines. Unfortunately, he’s also in need of a wife, which forces him squarely in the midst of the society he can scarcely function in. If only he dared to ignore the haut ton’s censure and claim the lovely, wholly unsuitable Willow as his own.

She seeks a governess post…

Up from the country, Willow Harwood must quickly secure a governess position and save enough money to return to America. Only, her plans are foiled when she rushes to the rescue of a devastatingly handsome earl in the process of being robbed. Though he’s far above her station, she can’t fight the irrepressible attraction she feels toward him.

Neither is prepared for the upheaval to their lives when she reluctantly accepts his offer of employment…as his housekeeper. Nor can either predict the mayhem that follows when a lord who disdains society and a country miss with no experience plan a haut ton Christmastide gathering.

This charming Regency holiday historical by a USA Today bestselling author will make you smile, laugh, and sigh with contentment as you witness the sweet and tender love growing between Ansley and Willow.

If you enjoy reading entertaining Christmas, class difference, strong heroine, and lovable rogue stories with a dash of romantic humor and heart-warming emotion, then you’ll adore Collette Cameron’s enthralling WICKED EARLS’ CLUB SERIES. Buy EARL OF SCARBOROUGH and settle into your favorite reading nook for a page-turning escape into a Regency world adventure you can’t put down.

Though part of a series, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

Castle Brides
Heart of a Scot ~ Coming soon!
Highland Heather Romancing a Scot
Seductive Scoundrels
The Blue Rose Regency Romances: The Culpepper Misses
The Honorable Rogues

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Men! Their clothes, their beards and the ladies who love them...or not!


In the Regency period, male attire went from that!

Simplicity was the greater rule, all folderol of lace and hair powder and male peacock colors swept away by the ideals of the French Revolution and equality, fraternity and lack of funds to pay for it all!

While the extravagant attire boiled down to slimmer silhouette and darker colors, so to did men hairstyles change.

Here we see a chronological illustration of that progress, some of which we still honor today. Certainly, shorter hair brings with it cleanliness, order and ease of fashion sense.
 These illustrations/paintings seem more in line with our current sensibilities as they certainly were with the ladies' fashions of the day. Here the simplicity of line in female attire corresponds to that of the men!

Too often when we authors write historical fiction fight with ourselves about what to include to give us the verisimilitude necessary. Fashion is definitely one I struggle with! Shall I talk about the fabric, its feel or cost, its hue, its suitability or NOT for the style. Certainly a dressmaker had to have knowledge of what she/ he created.

I remember that from when I was younger and often sewed my own clothes! Choosing the wrong flexibility of fabric or a thickness of warp could destroy the intent of the design. One should have swayed, perhaps, when one really only stalked!

You get me!

One young man who is currently the Rage in men's costume is Zack Pinsent! Who is he??? 

A tailor who lives in Brighton in UK who makes all his own clothes and sews period clothing for men who wish to dress correctly for historical representation! I hope to visit with him when next I go to Brighton!

Fashion sources are a wonderful rabbit hole for research !
Here is one for many time periods but this is 1810-1819 (Regency definitely!)

Here is another, most intriguing! 1810-1830 :

Lately, we see men wearing “runway scruff”. But beards became popular in the mid-19th century, approximately after Victoria came to the throne.

Here is an intriguing discussion of them:

Beards implied masculinity! Here is a quote from a historian of beards: Echoing later claims for the innate masculinity of beards, whiskers were said to be ‘grave and manly’. Whiskers had been venerated by ‘the ancients’, lending them an air of authority and wisdom. It was, as one commentator noted, ‘silly to oppose so ancient a custom in an age so attached to antiquity’.”

A fellow making 2 points of things!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Come party with me tomorrow night on FB with a Rogue who is, yes, SNOWED IN!

πŸ’πŸŽ„Come party with me tomorrow night at Annabelle Anders' Group on FB when we all get SNOWED IN WITH A ROGUE! BOOKS, fun and swag!
7 EST/ 6 PM Central/5 MTN/ 4 PACIFICπŸŽ„πŸ’
I am joined by my co-authors: Jacki Delecki, Tracy Edingfield Dunn, Gina Danna,Victoria Oliveri, Sandra Masters, Angelique Armae, and me, Cerise DeLand!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Branding your work? Cerise DeLand offers a partial list of graphic designers!

My logo for Book covers, promo
Branding your work is no easy task. It requires a lot of thought on your part beginning with deciding what you write, how you write it, what characteristics define your market segment and finally, your look.
All this you should do before you ever talk to an artist. In fact, it requires you think about it in depth before you decide on one artist over another.

And in this marketplace, with new authors trying their wings daily, the market is filled with marvelous designers.
In fact, the list I am about to produce for you here shows the variety of their thoughts and tools, the marvelous talent and the dramatic differences among those designers.

First of all, let me tell you, I am an author. A communicator. I am not an artist. But I have worked with professional designers of everything from giant highway billboards to tiny, intriguing business cards for more than 42 years.

My logo for FB and Twitter!
Secondly, why do I have this list?

Ah, my guilty secret is that I LOVE looking at the offerings of so many delightful artists and often after I sit down each morning to work (and yes, write!) I take myself on a magic carpet ride on the internet to gaze at the beauties they have offered up for our enjoyment. (I could go to amazon and surf, but trust me, that way, I am reading plot lines, not imbibing the skills of the artistry.)

Furthermore, if you look at these artists' works like I do, you become inspired by their imagination. I play a game with myself called, What Title Goes With This Cover?

Try it. You'll be smiling.  \And like me, you may find yourself refreshed and ready to hit the keyboard. If you have problems tearing yourself away, then do hit the stop watch. You could spend the day doing this! (Yes. I have.)

My publishing logo
Know too that not every artist is right for you and your work or even all of your work. Many are better at one particular kind of rendering, much like Rodin was better at sculptures of nudes and men in action or torment. But he probably would not have achieved fame for, say, painting like Delacroix. Nor could Chopin compose works that had the fell or drama of Beethoven. If you write Regency romance, an artist who does superb sci-fi romance covers might not be your best choice. But if you wrote about Mr. Darcy on Mars? Well, then! Give that artist a good go!

Each artist has different requirements of clients, different ways of working. Each tells you that, usually up front. If you have questions, ask. Note how each works and see if that set of principles works for you, your temperament and your ideas of professional relationships.

I have collected these sites for a long time because it suits my own artistic temperament. Looking at art (painting, sculpture, installations) opens up my own mind, makes me ask questions of myself that are vital to my existence and my growth as a writer. I hope you enjoy this list and use it to your prosperity and in the best of health. And if you know of an artist who is not on this list, please send it to me! I will make another list for all to use and enjoy!

A few things you must know about this list:

It is in no order.
It has no qualifiers, including pricing.
It represents, I am certain, only a smattering of those who offer up delicious work.
I do not say this list is complete, or the definitive list of those who can and should aid you.
Many designers go in and out of business, and change their names. So many here may have changed their status.
I do not advocate for one more than the other.
I do not receive any compensation from any of them for this listing.
But I have employed some of them.
I would employ a lot more if I wrote faster and had more books!
In fact, I have in my computer, far more book covers by artists whom I have employed than works I have yet written! (Yes, I am that enamored of great art that I salivate to possess it. Kind of like a woman who must have a certain man she adores! But I digress.)

And so here is my list:!book-covers/c192n


And for my commercial, here I've added a few of my own covers (designed by two different artists) that I adore and you can readily see the difference in tone, treatment and, I do hope, genre!


Happy viewing!
Cerise DeLand