Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Those "Dollar Princesses" bought their hubbies! How much did Churchill's mama pay? What's it worth today?

Jenny Jerome Churchill
1854-1921
The courtship was whirlwind. Days, they knew each other before he proposed. Weeks only before they were married. Yes, Jenny Jerome and Lord Randolph Churchill met at a yachting party on Cowes and within days the man had proposed to the American girl whose papa, Leonard, was very, very rich.

Prior to the passage of the British Married Women's Property Act of 1882, women had no rights to their husband's property. Therefore, the Duke of Marlborough assumed that whatever dowry Jenny had would be given to her future husband. Leonard Jerome demanded any money he offer be controlled by his daughter.

Once he proposed, Randolph was met with a skeptical father. And his sire wanted a solid financial arrangement to complement the marriage. They haggled for months over the money.

After much debate, Jenny father agreed to 50,000 pounds (approximately 3 million pounds in present day value) producing 2,000 pounds income each user with half of both capital and income going to the husband and half to the wife. This equalled approximately 150,000 pounds per year for them to live on. The fact that Jenny had control of her own money was an extraordinary concept in that day and age, one to which the Duke objected heartily. His argument was that by marrying his son, she would give up her American citizenship and become a British subject. Therefore, she should live as one. Fortunately for her, her father did not agree.

As soon as the families agreed to this amount, Jenny and Randolph were married. However, this was not done at the Marlborough estate, nor any where in England but in Paris at the Hotel Charost, the British Embassy in Paris. (Those of you who read this blog regularly will recall that the Hotel Charost was once Pauline Bonaparte's house bought by the British Government for the Duke of Wellington after the defeat of Napoleon in 1814.)

So read more about these ladies, I hope you will read my own American Heiresses series!

References:
McCall, Gail, and Wallace, Carol McD., To Marry an English Lord, 1989.
Jenkins, Roy, Churchill, A Biography. 2001.
Lady Churchill, Her sons Jack (l) and Winston (rt.)


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How much will you pay to marry a duke? House of Worth, Rue de la Paix #Paris

This picture of of Worth house in the Rue de la Pzix in the 1870s. 
To be able to debut in European society in the 1870s up until 1910s, it was oh so important to dress the part. What better way to do it than to go to House of Worth where a girl could be measured and outfitted for a mere...oh...$50,000 for the Season!

Yes, it was vital to appear fabulous when shopping for a duke or a baron...or anyone else in between.  Jennie Jerome went to Worth. So did the Vanderbilts and the Astors. Anyone who was anyone went and acquired one of Worth's vendeuses (personal sales girls).

Frederick Worth was considered the first fashion designer but many, like Madame Pacquin, very close by in the Rue de la Paix were just as good and just as expensive.
The underpinnings of a bustle!

The drama of dressing was long and drawn out. To wear a bustle was truly a challenge, not only to walk in one but to sit and yes, shall we discuss how to manage the necessities of life in one of these contraptions? Add to that the discomfort of one of the era's corsets, and a girl could get rather tired of carrying around such extra weight.
Madame Pacquin, French designer
and competitor to Worth

Frederick Worth, Englishman and designer,
#7 Rue de la Paix

Evening gown, House of Worth

Walking costume, House of Worth
corset, late 19th century

corset, late 19th century

All this so that one might sweep up this staircase in the Opera Garner in Paris
and appear stately, rich and desirable!


My photo of #7 Rue de la Paix from a research trip last October!
Still as impressive looking as in its heyday. Not far from Opera Garnier, Tiffany's and more!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

7 Brides for 7 SEALs? Another bride, another groom...another wedding for you to swoon!

Pre-Order at Amazon   NOOK
Out March 31!
Viv LaClare is so over being the matron. The widow. She wants to laugh again, live again, maybe even dabble in a little affair…if she could just find the right guy.
Britt Ackermann is so over one-night stands—and women who party with a SEAL for the bragging rights. He wants a lady with guts, sass and more than a lick of sense…if he could find the right woman. 
So when he meets Viv at his teammate’s wedding, she hooks him at ‘hello.’ He’s convinced he wants all the nights she’ll give him. 
But if he can promise her all the tomorrows he’s got, can she risk her tender heart on a man who has the deadliest job in the world?

How about a nibble of my newest cherry?
When the doors opened on the fifth floor, Viv caught a glimpse of her reflection in the full length hall mirror. The shoulder-length red hair, the dark green eyes, the body she worked super hard to keep in shape. Didn’t this woman deserve to take what she wanted? Especially since the desire was mutual?
She extracted the card key from her purse and began her hunt for 510. Directional signs lead her around to the left and down the hall and she happily padded along on the thick carpet. The hotel was filled not only with Abby’s family but also with her professional associates and quite a few friends. Viv might not want that promotion but she wasn’t eager to have anyone see her go to her rendezvous. So she hurried along the hall and turned another corner—
Only to halt in her tracks.
Two doors down stood Tracy Banning with The Saint, her arms wrapped around his shoulders as he held her against the wall. Their lips were locked in a frantic kiss, and Tracy’s legs were hooked around The Saint’s hips.
Viv shrank back around the corner silent as a mouse.
“You need to go,” Tracy whispered, her voice husky.
“You don’t do wedding hook ups, is that it?” he asked, disappointment in his tone.
“The odds of being happy about it tomorrow are not great.”
“We can reexamine that idea tomorrow night,” he said with a laugh. “Waiting makes it all better, don’t you know! And I’m a patient man.”
“Thanks, Santiago,” Tracy whispered. “You’re a good man.”
“That’s me!” he said. “Adios. Sleep well!”
Viv straightened and took a step around the corner. “Hi, there!”
Santiago threw her a little salute. “Hey there, Viv. Good night. See you tomorrow.”
“Right.” She breathed a sigh of relief.
Speeding up, she went to the end of the hall before she found 510.
She stood there a minute, smoothed her palm over her hip, knocked twice, then put the card in the slot and—
A wild screeching siren rent the air.
What the hell is that?
Her head shot up. She stared and looked around.
The door in front of her swung wide.
Her mouth fell open.
Britt stood there, bare chest, bare feet, bronze and beaming from ear-to-ear.
She heard yells. Doors opening.
The door in back of her disgorged people. People who said, “What is that?”
A woman yelled, “Oh, shit!”
Another door opened and someone moaned, “A fire? At this hour of the night?”
“Darlin’, where are my briefs?”
“Is that a fire alarm?”
“Britt?” she beseeched him, jostled by four hotel guests rushing around the hall in pjs and shock.
He reached one long muscular arm out, grabbed her hand and pulled her inside. “Oh, honey!”
He pressed her to the wall and slammed the door shut. “I thought you weren’t coming. I was crazy.”
His hands were in her hair, his body warm and hard, his lips sweet as they spoke on hers. “Thank god.”
“Britt,” she murmured, so enthralled by the little kisses he bestowed on her mouth and her throat that she could barely breathe, let alone think. “The place is on fire!”
“Tell me about it.” He was chuckling as his fingers took her evening bag from her and put it on the hall table.
She grinned, arching into his big warm hands as he molded her to him, breasts to chest, tummy to tummy, flames roaring. “But the hotel—”
“Forget the hotel, baby. I’m burning up. In a minute, you will be, too.”
She moaned as he found the side zipper to her dress and slid it down, tooth by agonizing tooth. “The place will burn down!”
“I know it will.” He brushed his hands inside the crepe and let it slither down her body.
The air-conditioned air made her shiver. But his adoring hands scorched her everywhere he touched. “They’ll find us in here.”
“I know they will.” He pulled her forward to step out of her cocktail dress that puddled on the carpet.
Book #1 Available at
Amazon   Nook   KOBO   iTunes
Laughing at the absurdities of life and luck and alarms, she tossed her hair and widened her eyes at him. “We’ll be burnt to a crisp.”
He continued backward to his sitting room. “Damn right.”
“You don’t care?”
“That some drunk fool tripped the alarm?”
She threw her head back to chuckle. “I really shouldn’t laugh.”
“Laugh, baby.” He sat down in a big easy chair and pulled her down with him, her legs bent at the knees to the cushion, her entire body open to him with only see-through French lace adorning her. He inhaled and lifted the wealth of her breasts, one in each reverent palm. His china blue eyes grew heavy-lidded and stormy. “Giggle. Scream. Do one. Do all. Do whatever comes naturally.”
She felt her nipples harden, her core pulse. She felt triumphant. Powerful. Where had that strong woman been for the past few years? “You like wild women?”
He bent to fasten his lips over one of her nipples. “I like you.”
Bucking, she tried to squeeze her thighs together. She was so swollen, so slick, she might be rash and stupid and attack him like a starving cat. “You’re not going to stop?”
“Not all night long.”



Friday, March 10, 2017

COVER REVEAL for #2 in 7 Brides for 7 SEALs! Pre-order for No Getting Over You!

YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE
AMAZON      NOOK      KOBO      iTunes

 YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE stars a Navy SEAL and the lady who gives him her seat on the plane.
That's the first in my 7 BRIDES FOR 7 SEALs series. 
And yessss, those two are getting married and we're all invited to the wedding.
You won't want to miss it, especially because the Best Man and the Matron of Honor are about to set the whole place on fire!
Now in NO GETTING OVER YOU, we're saving a place in the pew and at the reception for you.
Here's a taste:
Viv LaClare is so over being the matron. The widow. She wants to laugh again, live again, maybe even dabble in a little affair…if she could just find the right guy.
Britt Ackerman is so over one-night stands—and women who party with a SEAL for the bragging rights. He wants a lady with guts, sass and more than a lick of sense…if he could find the right woman.
So when he meets Viv at his teammate’s wedding, she hooks him at ‘hello.’ He’s convinced he wants all the nights she’ll give him.
But if he can promise her all the tomorrows he’s got, can she risk her tender heart on a man who has the deadliest job in the world?
Want a nibble of this yummy guy...um...story?
NO GETTING OVER YOU, 7 BRIDES FOR 7 SEALs series, #2

EXCERPT, All rights reserved. Copyright, 2017, Cerise DeLand.
When the doors opened on the fifth floor, Viv caught a glimpse of her reflection in the full length hall mirror. The shoulder-length red hair, the dark green eyes, the body she worked super hard to keep in shape. Didn’t this woman deserve to take what she wanted? Especially since the desire was mutual?
She extracted the card key from her purse and began her hunt for 510. Directional signs lead her around to the left and down the hall and she happily padded along on the thick carpet. The hotel was filled not only with Abby’s family but also with her professional associates and quite a few friends. Viv might not want that promotion but she wasn’t eager to have anyone see her go to her rendezvous. So she hurried along the hall and turned another corner—
Only to halt in her tracks.
Two doors down stood Tracy Banning with The Saint, her arms wrapped around his shoulders as he held her against the wall. Their lips were locked in a frantic kiss, and Tracy’s legs were hooked around The Saint’s hips.
Viv shrank back around the corner silent as a mouse.
“You need to go,” Tracy whispered, her voice husky.
“You don’t do wedding hook ups, is that it?” he asked, disappointment in his tone.
“The odds of being happy about it tomorrow are not great.”
“We can reexamine that idea tomorrow night,” he said with a laugh. “Waiting makes it all better, don’t you know! And I’m a patient man.”
“Thanks, Santiago,” Tracy whispered. “You’re a good man.”
“That’s me!” he said. “Adios. Sleep well!”
Viv straightened and took a step around the corner. “Hi, there!”
Santiago threw her a little salute. “Hey there, Viv. Good night. See you tomorrow.”
“Right.” She breathed a sigh of relief.
Speeding up, she went to the end of the hall before she found 510.
She stood there a minute, smoothed her palm over her hip, knocked twice, then put the card in the slot and—
A wild screeching siren rent the air.
What the hell is that?
Her head shot up. She stared and looked around.
The door in front of her swung wide.
Her mouth fell open.
Britt stood there, bare chest, bare feet, bronze and beaming from ear-to-ear.
She heard yells. Doors opening.
The door in back of her disgorged people. People who said, “What is that?”
A woman yelled, “Oh, shit!”
Another door opened and someone moaned, “A fire? At this hour of the night?”
“Darlin’, where are my briefs?”
“Is that a fire alarm?”
“Britt?” she beseeched him, jostled by four hotel guests rushing around the hall in pjs and shock.
He reached one long muscular arm out, grabbed her hand and pulled her inside. “Oh, honey!”
He pressed her to the wall and slammed the door shut. “I thought you weren’t coming. I was crazy.”
His hands were in her hair, his body warm and hard, his lips sweet as they spoke on hers. “Thank god.”
“Britt,” she murmured, so enthralled by the little kisses he bestowed on her mouth and her throat that she could barely breathe, let alone think. “The place is on fire!”
“Tell me about it.” He was chuckling as his fingers took her evening bag from her and put it on the hall table.
She grinned, arching into his big warm hands as he molded her to him, breasts to chest, tummy to tummy, flames roaring. “But the hotel—”
“Forget the hotel, baby. I’m burning up. In a minute, you will be, too.”
She moaned as he found the side zipper to her dress and slid it down, tooth by agonizing tooth. “The place will burn down!”
“I know it will.” He brushed his hands inside the crepe and let it slither down her body.
The air-conditioned air made her shiver. But his adoring hands scorched her everywhere he touched. “They’ll find us in here.”
“I know they will.” He pulled her forward to step out of her cocktail dress that puddled on the carpet.
Laughing at the absurdities of life and luck and alarms, she tossed her hair and widened her eyes at him. “We’ll be burnt to a crisp.”
He continued backward to his sitting room. “Damn right.”
“You don’t care?”
“That some drunk fool tripped the alarm?”
She threw her head back to chuckle. “I really shouldn’t laugh.”
“Laugh, baby.” He sat down in a big easy chair and pulled her down with him, her legs bent at the knees to the cushion, her entire body open to him with only see-through French lace adorning her. He inhaled and lifted the wealth of her breasts, one in each reverent palm. His china blue eyes grew heavy-lidded and stormy. “Giggle. Scream. Do one. Do all. Do whatever comes naturally.”
She felt her nipples harden, her core pulse. She felt triumphant. Powerful. Where had that strong woman been for the past few years? “You like wild women?”
He bent to fasten his lips over one of her nipples. “I like you.”
Bucking, she tried to squeeze her thighs together. “You’re not going to stop?”

“Not all night long.”
 ***
On Pre-order now! Release date March 31.




Monday, February 20, 2017

Historical Fiction is your reading addiction? Enter to win Kindle Fire + 45 novels!


Today, I open a fabulous contest! You can win a GRAND PRIZE of a KINDLE FIRE plus my novel HER BEGUILING BUTLER and 45 novels from other authors like Rachel AndersonEleanor Meyers and Caroline Warfield!


Good luck, and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Teatime with Cerise DeLand and her pals! Each Wednesday at 5 EASTERN! Fun, SWAG, book talk!

Yes, dahlink! TEA. We're serving it...with perhaps a spot of gin...or rum! Because it is 5 o'clock somewhere and we're drinking to it.

Come join us! Wednesday January 4 is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1279239205471764/

On Facebook. Where else does one go?

I have my buds with me. One or 2 each week and  they'll talk about their newest and their oldies, too. All goodies! Plus we will have contests, prizes, SWAG.

Pals, recovering from New Year's Eve. Yeah. I know, guys.
I feel your pain....
Who are my friends? A few here in party hats welcome you...but honestly, the ones who write for you are the nubs.
Here's a list, for starters!

Jan. 4: Susana Ellis
Jan. 11 Amy Rose Bennett
Jan. 18 Cheryl Bolen
Jan. 25 Dominique Eastwick
Feb. 8 Eliza Lloyd 
Feb. 15 Caroline Warfield
Feb. 22 Ella Quinn
Many more to come! 


 I'm dressed for this event. Note gown to right. Corsets of...ooooui...stiff proportions!

One needs a shot of gin wearing that all day.

While we begin with many Regency authors, we will have contemporary too. And many of my pals write in many periods, so do stop by.

Show us your teapots, favorite teas, your corsets and...um...other unmentionables, maybe your Step-ins, too. (I have pix of men's step-ins that will elicit a giggle or an "OMG"!