Tuesday, February 13, 2018

An older hero? A vibrant heroine? Romance at any age! SWEET SIREN debuts soon!

Amazon.com: Cerise DeLand: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Ever wondered if you could find a romance with an older hero? I decided to give my 48-year-old father of three and robber baron a lady love who initially gives him the cut direct! 

She has reasons.

He, however, shows persistence. And when he encounters her again at another family wedding—this time his niece Marianne's to her French duc de Remy—Killian Hanniford decides he will demand to know why she was so rude to him!

You'll want to know too.

And in the meantime, you'll come along with me as I show you Brighton, England in all its glory in the Victorian period. I'll show you how wealthy men had grand country houses built. I tell you about how much they cost! GASP!

And I'll will show you how they decorated the interiors! And yes, I give you a grand love affair for two people who never thought they'd love so well ever again!

Here, too, I show you my full print covers for SWEET SIREN and for Book 2 in the series, DARING WIDOW. I just adore the art...and there is a story to each panorama!
Come with me and learn what those stories are...and experience Brighton in the age of the "bathing machine" and Paris in the age of Belle Époque!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Travels with Cerise, Part I: How I get great tidbits in my historical romances!

Cerise at Ham House, outside London
 (All pictures are property of Cerise DeLand, 2016. 2017, 2018.) 
The biggest challenge to writing historical romances is getting all the facts right! The romance usually comes to you in a flash. The hero appears, the heroine startles or the conflict between them lives for you. But getting the details about their relationship correct and the setting is a huge challenge. Research, not just those facts found in the pages of a thick nonfiction tome, but those discovered on holiday abroad make my job as a writer a delight!

My latest book based on research trips to Paris and Montmartre!
Traveling to “imbibe” the setting and atmosphere of the period is a great way to spend a vacation. I think so. I know many authors do.  Some go alone. Others take their friends or spouses. Mine, thank goodness, is tickled to go. And because he speaks French (and I speak German), we complement each other and get so much done!

Pump Room, Bath, England
Door from library
to Duke's bedroom
Ham House
Luckily, he likes my choices of places to visit and things to do. All of them, we research on-line and in printed references at home months before we catch the plane. This May is our next vacation when we do the Loire Valley for 3 weeks (and 12 castles, a vineyard and a monastery!) and then back to Paris to eat well, walk and visit old haunts.

What can you learn by doing this kind of research on the hoof?

Briska de Voyage at Vaux le Vicomte, south of Paris
made by Fuller in Bath, England
For one thing, you learn how far a house was from the center of royal court! In this first photo, I stand before Ham House in what is now suburban London. But in the early 17th century, this grand estate was far enough from the capital to be serene and close enough to allow the owners (earls of Dysart and Lauderdale) to respond to any summons from the monarch.

What you also learn from such a trip is a sense of terrain and social intercourse. Ham House is on the river. Very close to two other notable country homes, Ham sits so close, you can look across the river and imagine how members of the families visited—or argued—or fell in love with those nearby. You can also stroll through the kitchens (like the one where I’m standing in Kenwood House) and marvel at the huge roasting pit. You can examine the kitchen garden where the lady of the house painstakingly grew her vegetables. You can enjoy the stillroom where cooks dried herbs or the dairy room where maids separated cream and churned butter. You can admire the dolls that were Queen Victoria’s when she was a child. Or note the splendor of her bedroom when she visited Syon House. Even more intriguing is to stand next to the figure of Prince Albert her husband in all his court regalia (as he is in Kensington Palace) and note that he was rather short!

Queen Victoria's
doll collection,
Kensington Palace, London
Regency Town House,
Brunswick Square,
You get to admire the true colors of a Regency library as at Kenwood House. Or the splendor of the dining rooms in their formal table service as in those at Syon House (owned by the dukes of Northumberland) and in the Imperial Palais de Compiegne (Bourbon kings and Bonaparte emperors) in suburban Paris. You go to Bath, as Jane Austen did, and have high tea in the Pump Room, drinking ‘the waters’. Tasting it, you discover it’s rather metallic and very unpleasantly warm! You go to Montmartre up on the windy hill in Paris and note that the Moulin Rouge beckons. So does the Moulin de la Galette where Parisians went to dance each night to escape their small rooms. Today, a restaurant stands there, but you can imagine yourself waltzing…and you can dream that your characters do too.

Farther up the Butte in Montmartre, you can enter the house that Auguste Renior once rented. Now a museum, the house displays the atelier of many an artist who gladly lived up in the suburb of Paris. Here the breezes cooled them and wealthier citizens came to buy their paintings and their sculptures.

Walking along the streets of Paris, you can imagine what hardship it must have been to walk the cobbles for miles in wooden shoes. Or how comforting to climb into a smart Briska Voyage carriage (made in Bath, England and now on display at Vaux-le-Vicomte, south of Paris). You imagine sitting in the library at Spencer House looking out on Green Park, so close that people would walk up and wave at the earls inside!

Atelier of artist,
Musee de Montmartre, Paris
You can see the effects of candles and smoke on the bright Regency colors of the walls, turning them dingy. You can smell the old, fine leather of the chairs and marvel at the original volumes of Ivanhoe and Pride and Prejudice on the library shelves.

You can imagine your hero and heroine waltzing in the ballroom at Syon House. Or see them strolling along South Moulton Street in London to go to the dressmakers or the tailors. Or climb into the high tester bed swathed in yards of stiff brocade as they retire for the night.

Painting with words without such rich sensations would be creating from whole cloth, poor representations and bland.

Travel abroad adds color, enrichment and accuracy to our novels. And aren’t you glad, authors take such time and care to show you what life was like for those characters who ‘existences’ we choose to enrich by having them fall in love?

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Who is Cerise?
Cerise DeLand loves to cook, hates to dust, lives to travel, read and write!
She pens #1 Bestselling Regencies and spicy romances starring SEALs! Yep. She loves a dashing, hunky man paired with a sassy woman.

Find Cerise:
Cerise DeLand's Website:  www.cerisedeland.com
Cerise DeLand's Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0089DS2N2
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Follow her on Twitter: @cerisedeland
Goodreads:  Cerise DeLand

Friday, November 17, 2017

A nibble of my new cherry? DARING WIDOW's charming rogue!

Pre-order now at AMAZON for half price!
Money can buy anything, can't it? Those brash Americans--their dollars and charms work wonders. Until they learn that money can buy anything...but love.  

Andre Claude Marceau, Duc de Remy and Prince d’Aumale, finds Marianne’s joie de vivre enchanting—and her plan for a temporary affair with him impossible.

He offers her one night in his arms, and to his delight, she craves another. But he needs more from her than a few hours of bliss. So when he shows her how to fill her days with passions that complement those they enjoy together at night, Marianne must choose.

Will she insist on a passing fancy? Or will she abandon the terrors of her past to embrace a brighter future beside a man who offers her a grand love affair with life?

Excerpt, DARING WIDOW, Copyright 2017, Cerise DeLand.
Marianne stood in front of Number 10, her destination. A three-story stone structure with grape leaves carved in relief into the frame, the building had two abnormally large doorways. They appeared to be proportioned to receive a sculptor’s works. The one with a large cut glass window seemed to be the entrance. Inside, the concierge in a somber black suit spied her, hurried out and opened the door for her.
The address was the same as on the billboard. The plaque on the door proclaimed it as the “Gallerie de la Cite.”
“The Duc de Remy’s exhibit is here?”
Oui, Madame. Through the foyer and up the grand staircase.”
Merci beaucoup.” She sailed through the lobby and up the steps. Four other patrons casually climbed the broad steps.
At the top, she halted her in her tracks. A man and woman passed around her. But she stared at the sculpture before her. It robbed her of breath.
Here upon a black granite plinth stood a man of white Carrara marble, eight or nine feet tall. All muscle and bone, honed by battle and hewn by strife, massively masculine and robust, he was of such proportions that any other human would fall down in honor of him. He stood in the center of the oval entry to the rest of the exhibit, sunlight from a semicircle of windows shining on him, shadowing the arc of a bicep here and emphasizing the indentation of a deltoid there.
Yet he did not stand tall, but was hunched. His back was curled, bowed in new defeat. His hair long and ragged, etched in the pristine marble to invoke its filth, shrouded him to the waist. Ropes circled his torso and hung from his wrists. His noble head hung lax from his corded neck as he stared at the nothingness before him.
The beauty of this body was nothing to the grand agony of his face. She gasped at the sight and could not look away.
She walked around him and bent to face him. He looked at her, but beyond her. He was blind, in torment. She drew back, aghast once more at the brutal honesty of what she saw.
This was a strong man brought low. By loss. By self-destruction.
She ached with him. Once proud, dynamic. A man others had once envied and emulated. A man so capable, so honored and now, abandoned by others and most tragically, by himself.
She stood for how long she did not know. The power of him infusing her. And the power that he’d lost draining her of envy and inspiring pride at Andre’s talent to portray him so precisely.
Across the room, beyond the giant, a young man in an apprentice’s smock tipped his head in question. Not at her. But someone who stood behind her. He tipped his head and, as if on signal, he departed.
Her skin tingled.
The hunger she’d felt for months dissipated. She’d be sated now.
Bonjour, ma petite,” Andre said in that bass voice she heard in the bleak hours of her lonely nights. “I dared not hope you would come.”
She closed her eyes, wishing to hang on to this moment when he was happy to see her and she was as delighted to see him. In this slice of time, there was none of her inner conflict, no yearning to find him, see him, laugh with him. There was just satisfaction. But it could not last.
Why not tell him the truth? He had asked for honesty and he did not deserve duplicity. He had only told her how he admired her and she had rebuffed him out of…what? Not convention, no. But her own fear to allow such a strong man near her heart or body. Perhaps even her own fear of her outrageous ambitions? She faced him, and oh, the delight to see him again ran through her like cool water after a drought. He was as tall, as magnificent as she remembered him. Perhaps more so, since she had pined for him so badly.
Bonjour, Andre.” She gave him that, his given name as he had allowed her use of it. During these past months, she’d thought of him that way, the sound of his name slipping through her lips at night as she attempted to draw him. Andre. “I saw a billboard and I could not stay away.”
He stood against the white marble wall, the gold veins of the stone highlighting the gilded mien of his own long waving hair. He had folded his arms and one leg was casually crossed before the other. He wore a loosely cut black wool suit, a bright vermilion vest, a white linen shirt open to his strong throat and a purple kerchief tied at his neck. Every inch of him denoted the artist at his leisure.
“I’m glad I’ve come. This—” she said and lifted a hand toward the statue, “—this is glorious. I heard others speak of him but they did him no justice.”
He gazed at her with hollow eyes.
“No words can,” she went on, wanting to give him more praise and unequal to the task. “Will you tell me about him?”
“Him?” he asked, as if she had insulted him with the question.
She knew why. He wanted her to ask about himself. And she would. She would.
He stared at her. “You know who he is.”
She did. “Who could not? To view him is to know. No pamphlet or placard need declare it.”
A light glimmered in Andre’s blue eyes. “What do you see?”
“A man torn by his own desires and ruined by his own misjudgments.”
His marvelous mouth firmed. Pride lit his face. “And?”
“He will never see himself again.”
“He did not truly see himself before he was blinded.”
“A punishment,” she acknowledged, “to fit his crime.”
Andre shifted, peering at her with narrowed eyes. “There is another he will not see.”
Oh, yes. “He will never see her again.”
“The one who betrayed him.”
She nodded. “The one whose beauty he believed was soul deep.”
Andre pushed away from the wall and approached the statue. “He must pay for his own failure to perceive her true nature.”
“She was not equal to him.”
He whirled to face her. “That’s not what he believed. He thought she was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen.”
“The beauty was outside. Her core was hollow.”
“He pays for his miscalculation,” he said.
She dropped her gaze to the floor, anxiety eating her that they spoke of more than the statue or the Biblical story of the blind man and the woman he had loved so unwisely.
“Do you think she pays?” he asked, his deep voice wistful.
She raised her face to consider the statue’s tortured expression. “Delilah?”
He waited.
“Oh, yes. She forevermore will hate herself for her own failures and unworthiness.”
Andre took her by the wrist. “Come with me.”
Her pulse jumped.
He led her down a hallway and into a room where he shut the heavy wooden door and drew her into a room crowded with bronzes and plasters, scattered about on tables and shelves. Two ivory overstuffed chairs stood in one sunlit corner near a sumptuous black velvet chaise longue.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DARING WIDOW enchants a prince in DeLand's blissful Victorian romance! Pre-order for half today!

Pre-order on AMAZON now!

Andre Claude Marceau, Duc de Remy and Prince d’Aumale, finds Marianne’s joie de vivre enchanting—and her plan for a temporary affair with him impossible.

He offers her one night in his arms, and to his delight, she craves another. But he needs more from her than a few hours of bliss. So when he shows her how to fill her days with passions that complement those they enjoy together at night, Marianne must choose.

Will she insist on a passing fancy? Or will she abandon the terrors of her past to embrace a brighter future beside a man who offers her a grand love affair with life?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Love Regency and Victorian romance? Enter this contest!

I’m participating in the @BookSweeps promo! Enter to win 45+ Regency & Victorian romances + a brand new eReader and FREE ebooks on entry!  #BookSweeps 
So many marvelous authors are participating and the reading for you can be glorious!
Enter here: http://bit.ly/highlords-nov2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Want a nibble of my new cherry? WILD LILY excerpt! 5 STARS from TRR!

WILD LILY FB Party! TEATIME WITH CERISE AND SUSANA celebrates Cerise's release of WILD LILY! Authors! Fun! Wednesday October 11 all day long!

iTunes: id1276695583


Now for a nibble of my newest cherry!

Excerpt, Copyright 2017 Jo-Ann Power aka Cerise DeLand
They ran like children along the stone path up to the servants back door of his country house. It was unlocked and Julian thrust it open, pulling Lily inside.
“Come. Here’s the kitchen. No fire, but it’s warm and dry. Sit there.” He looked her over. “You’re drenched. Hell.”
He took four huge strides, disappearing into another room and clanging about. If he kept up that racket, the whole house would soon be awake.
She rubbed her arms, grateful to be out of the storm, but wary of servants who might have been roused.
When he returned, he had his hands full of toweling.
Grateful to be rid of the blanket that smelled of horse, she shrugged it off and folded it. He hurried to wrap a large towel over her head.
She giggled. “You could wake the dead the way you scoured that room.”
“My housekeeper is quite deaf.”
“You’re kidding.”
“Not at all. She’s never been quick to any sound.” He scrubbed her head with too much dedication.
“Ooof.” She picked up a corner of the towel to glare at him.
“Sorry. You need to dry your hair.” He rubbed her scalp.
She clamped her fingers around his wrist. “If you don’t stop, sir, I’ll be bald!”
“Sorry.” He bent to peer at her. “Take off your jacket.”
She balked. She had removed her corset for this adventure and if she took off her jacket, it would be apparent that she was a rather loose woman. In more ways than one. “Ah. I don’t wish to. Unless… Do you have anything to replace it?”
“Not yet. I will.” He dropped another towel around her neck.
“Splendid. I’ll wait.”
“No. You will not.” He began to pick at the buttons on her coat.
She slapped his hands away. “Stop that.”
“You do it then. I’ll not have you die of cold at the risk of a layer of clothing.”
She clutched her stock to her throat. And true, it was wet, but she had few choices here. “It’s not just any layer.”
Confusion overtook his brow. “What?”
“Can you please find me another coat?”
“I will if you promise to begin to unbutton that now.”
She tsked. “Hard bargainer.”
He stood. “I’ll be back with brandy and when I do, you’ll have that jacket off.”
“Fine, fine.” Fretting over that, she undid her last two buttons. Beneath it, the cold cotton of her blouse was damp. Under that, her skin was ablaze with the delicious nature of her predicament. But what Julian didn’t know was a good thing. “Hurry, please.”
He left her, ran up the steps and away. In the silent house, she marveled that no one had yet heard them. How many servants did he have? And were they all deaf?
She shrugged out of her jacket, covering her wet blouse and her beading nipples with the ends of a towel. Shivering in the damp cotton and trying to focus on how soon she’d be warm didn’t work.
Julian returned within minutes, a large coat in one hand and a man’s shirt—his?—in the other.
“I can’t wear that.” She had admired his form, his broad chest, his muscular build. He was fit, firm, a marvelous example of manhood, but she was more than adequately endowed. And his shirt, tailored as it was, would not adequately cover her attributes.
“Why not?” He held it up. “Perfectly fine linen. Clean.”
She ground her teeth. “It won’t fit.”
“Of course, it will.” He quirked a brow. “Oh. Um. Won’t it?”
He had this odd expression on his face which by infinite degrees turned to recognition and then, he laughed.
She tapped her foot on the stone floor. “You’re not helping, dear sir.”
Still chuckling, he stepped toward her and put his hands around her waist to draw her to her feet. “I see that. I am sorry.”
She couldn’t help but cuff him. “Take me back.”
“As I am, yes! Now.” She took his hand and marched them both toward the window.
But lightning streaked the sky and a loud boom shook the house.
She lurched backward.
Against his all too solid chest.
He embraced her, one hand in her hair, one cupped her nape and the lure of his warmth was irresistible. She sank against him, reveling in his support. He was assurance and beneath his riding pants, he was aroused.
She didn’t want to move or even breathe. Could he find her attractive? Still? Even though she’d told him at the opera to ignore her? He certainly did find her company appealing. Much as she’d always declared she’d never tolerate a man as demanding as her father, she liked a man with a mind of his own. This man.
“I like you,” she told him astonishing herself for saying what she felt for him.
He trailed his fingers up into her hairline and turned her head toward him. “Do you?” he asked, his voice wistful. “God knows I like you.”
Her heart did a little jig. “Now, I know, too.”
“We are neither of us very clever.”
“But honest.”
“Lily,” he said her name, a plea more breath than sound. “Lily, darling. Shall we be more than honest?”
“Oh, Julian.” In the dim light, she could make out the fire in his beguiling eyes. To wait any longer to taste him would be a waste. Casting caution to the wind, she swung totally into his embrace and pushed up on her toes. She slid her arms around his shoulders, the towel falling to the floor, and with only hot urgency between them, she said, “Yes, let’s be.”

"Ms. DeLand's WILD LILY is as pleasing to the ear as it is to the eye. It's rare to call an historical erotica romance a delight but this one was downright gleeful to my love of language." ~ Gabrielle Sally, The Romance Reviews 5 STARS  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I'm going to a #Regency ball and my choices of gowns are unlimited! Yellow is The Color I've chosen!

1817 Yellow Silk Gown,
Leeds Costume Collection
 We're going to ball, you and I, and it's the Regency period. Our Papa has unlimited money to spend on our wardrobes and that's a good thing because our seamstress is frightfully expensive. Delightfully, our complexions and figures can stand a dashing yellow frothy something or other! And to make everything simply scrumptious, we're arriving in Papa's marvelous new town coach. (Do see a marvelous black lacquered older version of it here.)

What color shall we ask for when we see our seamstress?

The colors available to us (in, say 1820) are numerous. And we see in the fashion plates a few we'd like.

I'm blonde with warm brown eyes. And my sister, Beatrice, is a honey blonde with green eyes. Let's see. Choice of fabric and drape has much to do with how complementary the gown will be. Silk, silk damask, silk gauze would be good choices. But what of the color? What do you think is best, hmmm???

(Colors listed are those used commercially with the approximate date in use and the modern color name by the British Color Council.)

Apollo, 1823. Bright Gold
Isabella, 1821. Cream
Bird of Paradise, 1830. Straw
Orleans, 1832. Rose Beige.
Cameloparde, 1828. French Beige
Congo, 1883. Coppery Gold
Dust of Paris, 1851. Ecru
Florentine, 1867. Yellow with Bronze tint
Oiseau, 1837. Chartreuse Yellow
Terre de Pologne, 1831. Yellow, bordering on Brown
Cerise's picture from her trip to Chateau Vaux le Vicomte:
Berliner de Ville, circa 1840,
by W. King and Company, London
1810-1812 Pale Yellow Evening Gown;
Metropolitan Museum

1811 Ballgown, Regency era

1800-1805 Dress
(no attribution, Pinterest)