10 December 2010

~Regency Fashion~ July 1818

This is a crossover post from my author blog. It was the first post I did on fashion from the specific year in which Deception takes place.

Today's post is the fashion of the time, specifically the summer fashions.

Pictured here are two fashion plates from the July issue of La Belle Assemblée.

Descriptions as taken from La Belle Assemblée:

"Summer Recess Ball Dress. Frock of white crape, Venetian gauze, or fine net, richly embellished at the border with small double Indian roses of a beautiful pink colour, and mingled with leaves of crape and pearls: the body finished in the Oriental style, with short sleeves, which approach nearer to the elbow than formerly, and which are finished by a trimming of broad blond. The head-dress consists of a double wreath of Indian roses, interspersed with the braids of hair that are wound round the summit of the head. White satin shoes and white kid gloves."

"Parisian Bonnets. Fig.1 represents transparent bonnets of crape or net, crowned with bouquets of flowers, and trimmed at the edges with broad blond and a cordon or flowers. Fig.2 represents bonnets of satin or gros de Naples, both white and coloured, crowned with a profusion of lilacs or small double poppies."

*La Belle Assemblée, 1818 (Google book)
**Disclaimer: I wrote Deception in 2003. Since writing it, I have learned more about the specific time in which it takes place. While the biggest of these flaws I have tried to correct, I may have missed some of the smaller ones. 

20 November 2010

Falling in Love with....Lord Derringer

As I've received feedback from readers about Deception, the majority have expressed their newfound love for one of the supporting characters, the Duke of Derringer. For those of you who have read Deception, and loved the duke, you can read his story in Heartless. If you'd like an excerpt from Heartless, just to make sure you really want to read about this dark character, there's one posted on the duke's blog (yes, he has his own blog...).

I'd like to thank all the lovely readers who have contacted me to express their joy in my latest novel and their desire for more. I appreciate your enthusiasm. :o)

01 October 2010

Goodreads' "First Reads" Book Giveaway Program

Two copies of Deception are up for grabs in Goodreads' "First Reads" book giveaway program. You'll see a link to enter directly above you. Clicking "Enter to win" will take you to Goodreads. :o) 

26 August 2010

Deception Update: Ebook

Deception is now available for purchase in multi-format eBook form from

On a side note, I'll be away from all computers and internet until Monday. Questions and comments will be answered then. Happy reading!

18 August 2010

A Chance to Win Deception or One of 17 Other Prizes

Every hundred members or so, we hold a giveaway in our Clean Romances group on Goodreads. We've reached the 400 member mark and are celebrating by giving away books. Many group members generously offered prizes for this event, bringing the total number of prizes to 19. Two copies of Deception will find a new home, one paperback to a USA winner and one eBook to an international winner.

So how do you enter?

First, you have to join Goodreads. It's fun and free. If you are already a member of goodreads, you're halfway there! Then, you have to join the Clean Romances group. Also free. There is a sign-up thread in the group under Contests & Giveaways. Throw your name in the hat and you're all set. Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM (PST), August 31. Winners will be announced September 1st.

Hope to see you there!!

04 August 2010

~Historical Figures~ Grimaldi

As in the case of Mrs. Siddons, Grimaldi does not actually make an appearance in Deception. He is mentioned, however, in an unflattering comparison to the hero's mother, Lady Greville. Unflattering to her, that is.

Born in 1778 to the ballet master at Drury Lane and one of the ballet dancers, Joseph Grimaldi grew up in the very life he went on to pursue. At the age of three he performed on stage at Sadler's Wells theatre. Much later, he fell in love with and married the theatre owner's daughter, who died in childbirth 18 months later.

Grimaldi made the clown the central character of the British Harlequinade. His greatest success was Harlequin and Mother Goose at Covent Garden. It debuted in 1806 and ran for 92 nights, taking in £20,000. He was considered the first "clown" and is honored as such to this day.

He retired in 1828 and died in 1837 at the age of 58.

*Further reading: Wikipedia; Joseph Grimaldi at
**Portrait done by John Cawse in 1807. Second illustration of Grimaldi as a clown was done c.1820.

15 July 2010

Pearls, Glorious Pearls

In Deception, Levi purchases a pendant for Aurora; later she wonders over his ability to afford it. Although simple, the pendant includes six pearls. With all the rumors stating he'd gambled away his wealth, it makes sense for her to wonder. Pearls were natural at that time, harder to find, and therefore far more expensive. (By the way, if you'd like a chance to win the pearl daisy pictured here, click the pendant to find out how.) 

The pearls we often see today are cultured, meaning the oyster is more or less forced to make the gem. With cultured pearl farms all over the world, this beautiful and timeless gem is now easily obtained.

The culturing process officially began in 1893 when the first pearl was "created" by Kokichi Mikimoto. Simply, a pearl is made by placing a tiny bit of shell or other debris inside the oyster. It is then coated in layers of nacre until a pearl is formed. After several months, the pearl is harvested.

It was Mikimoto's desire to see pearls around the throat of every woman, not just the wealthy. In developing the culturing process, he made that wish a distinct possibility. 

There are so many works of art out there featuring pearls. I've included several below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

*For more info on Mikimoto and pearl culturing visit these sites: Cultured Pearls: History of MikimotoMikimoto Kōkichi; Cultured pearl

07 July 2010

~Historical Figures~ Sarah Siddons

While Mrs. Siddons doesn't actually make an appearance in Deception, she is mentioned within the story as the greatest actress to ever tread the boards. 

This statement, for the Regency, is regarded as fact. Mrs. Sarah Siddons did indeed make a name for herself, especially in the role of Lady Macbeth.

By 1812, six years before Deception takes place, Mrs. Siddons had already retired after an illustrious career. Her farewell performance in 1812 was that of her most famous role, Lady Macbeth, which culminated in an emotional speech lasting eight minutes. After that, she still appeared on stage from time to time, making her final appearance in 1819. She died in 1831 at the age of 75.

*First graphic is Mrs. Sarah Siddons, oil on canvas by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785 (linked to its Wikimedia Commons page). Second graphic taken from La Belle Assemblée, February 1812.
**Further reading: La Belle Assemblée, February 1812, p59; Wikipedia

23 June 2010

~Historical Places~ Almack's Assembly Rooms

(This is another crossover post, incidentally, my original "Regency Wednesday" post from my author blog. I've decided to post it here, as an extensive scene from Deception takes place within the hallowed walls of Almack's.) 

Almack's Assembly Rooms

Almack's was a social club attended only by the crème de la crème of Regency Society. Located in King Street, St James, London, it was ruled by six or seven patronesses at any given time during the Regency. In 1814, they were Mrs. Drummond Burrell, Lady Esterházy (who was Princess Esterházy after 1833), Lady Jersey, Lady Cowper, Lady Castlereagh, Lady Sefton, and Lady Lieven (who was Princess Lieven after 1826). Balls were held every Wednesday night during the Season.

To attend, one had to apply for vouchers at a cost of ten guineas. Eager attendees were allowed in only if they had one of these coveted vouchers. Being denied vouchers for any reason could ruin the social aspirations of the seeker. If one received vouchers only to lose them later, one may as well pack one's bags and leave London.

The outer appearance of Almack's was nothing special but neither was the interior. The patronesses wanted the focus to be on the Society within, the people and manners, not the amenities. It was a social club to the core, a place to see and be seen.

Dancing was the premiere entertainment at Almack's with gossip running a close second. Reputations were made and broken with shocking regularity.

Almack's was an important part of Regency history. The famed novelist Georgette Heyer often mentioned it in her Regency romances. At times, she is even credited with having invented Almack's. It was a real place, however.

If anyone has something about Almack's they'd like to share, please leave a comment. Even if all you want to do is point out where I've erred.
In Deception, Aurora attends Almack's with her companion, Miss Ellison. While there, Aurora helps ward off a scandal involving the hero, Lord Greville. But the Duke of Derringer takes matters into his own hands, ruining one woman's chance of ever marrying well and damaging Aurora's reputation in the process.

*Dates were taken from the Wikipedia article Almack's.

19 June 2010

~Writing Deception~ An Early Mistake

This is a crossover post from my author blog. I don't normally do crossover information but I'm making an exception for Deception related articles. Thank you. :o) 

While writing Deception, I made reference to a certain historical person of note. At the time, I thought it was fine. Later, I looked up more info on that person and realized I could not make reference to a man who had yet to come into his fame. Who was that man? 

"Golden Ball" Hughes 

Golden Ball was best known for the significant inheritance he received from his stepfather, Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, in 1819. At the time, Golden Ball was plain Edward Hughes Ball. Eventually, he took on his stepfather's name, becoming Edward Hughes Ball Hughes. It wasn't long before he became known as "Golden Ball" Hughes.* 

With £40,000 per annum, he was easily one of, if not the, richest man in Regency England. He made something of a name for himself as a gentleman of fashion and, according to the many sources I've encountered, was an all-around pleasing gentleman. Accounted quite a handsome man, he was nevertheless rejected by more than one young lady of Society. Apparently, no amount of money could overcome his plebeian roots.

His unfortunate love life came to an end in 1822 when he met Maria Mercandotti, a 15-year-old Spanish dancer. They caused a minor scandal in 1823 when little Maria failed to appear at a performance and rumor suggested they eloped. However, they had secretly married with the permission of her mother and Lord Fife, who rumor suggests was her natural father. As I read this, all I can think is, "How romantic!" 

I found another print of Ball Hughes; the page may be of some interest to my readers, so I'll post the link to that. You have to scroll down quite a bit to reach the print of Ball Hughes but the page is all about Prinny's set so the whole thing is worth a look. Enjoy! 

Further reading: The Beaux of the Regency, Volume II, p 159, by Lewis Melville (1908); The Story of the London Parks, p 255, by Jacob Larwood (1881) 
Print of "Golden Ball" is an etching by Richard Dighton, 1819, taken from The Beaux of the Regency, Volume II, p 158, by Lewis Melville (1908) 
*Disclaimer: There are differing versions of Golden Ball's parentage. Above, I have presented Melville's version as the accurate one. However, other sources claim Ball's uncle was Admiral Sir Alexander Ball and his father a slop-seller in Ratcliffe Highway. Melville maintains that these writers were wrong and that Ball was the son of Captain Ball of the Royal Navy. Golden Ball's widowed mother married Admiral Sir Edward Hughes but produced no more children. 

14 June 2010

Release Date

AHHH!! Deception has a release date! It's all official and everything. Look for it July 15, 2010. I can't believe it. And it's available NOW for pre-order from my publisher, TreasureLine Publishing. So exciting!!


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