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 love...in 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 ! https://www.amazon.com/Cerise-DeLand/e/B0089DS2N2/

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: http://theyalsofought.blogspot.com  

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!