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Regina Jeffers: Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep (Giveaway)

English Titles & Peerages

Many of the minor plot lines in my latest Regency romantic suspense concern who could inherit a title. There is the matter of the Marquess of Malvern’s losing his memory. Should the Duke of Devilfoard declare his eldest son incompetent and petition for his second son to assume control of the dukedom? Was such even legal? And what of the missing Earl of Sandahl? The original earl falls overboard on his “honeymoon” and cannot be found. Should he be declared dead? If so, who inherits? The logical answer is the second son, but that solution is not what it seems.

So, what do we know of peerages? When reading historical fiction/historical romance there are many misconceptions about titles. First thing a reader must know is not all titles are created equal. For example, a baronet may pass on his title to his heir, but he is not considered part of the Peerage in the United Kingdom. There are some 800+ peers in modern day England whose titles may be inherited. Peers include Dukes/Duchesses, Marquesses/Marchionesses, Earls/Countesses, Viscounts/Viscountesses, and Barons/Baronesses. The law that applies to a particular British title depends upon when it was bestowed upon the family and the method of its creation.

Peerages of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom follow English law; the difference between them is that Peerages of England were created before the Act of Union 1707, Peerages of Great Britain between 1707 and the Union with Ireland in 1800, and Peerages of the United Kingdom since 1800. Irish Peerages follow the law of the Kingdom of Ireland, which is very like English law, except no Irish peers have been created since 1898, and they have no part in the present governance of the United Kingdom. Scottish Peerage law is generally similar to English law, but differs in innumerable points of detail, often being more similar to medieval practice.” (Burke’s Guide to British Titles: Courtesy Titles. Burke’s Peerage and Gentry. 2005)

A title may be created by a writ of summons, which means that a person is summoned to Parliament. A writ of summons is a document calling Members of the House of Lords to Parliament. Members of the Lords may not take their seats until they have obtained their writ of summons. Writs of summons are issued by direction of the Lord Chancellor from the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. New writs are issued before the meeting of each Parliament to all Lords Spiritual and Temporal who have a right to seats in the House. (Francis Palgrave (1788-1861), Parliamentary Writs and Writs of Military Summons (2 volumes, 1827 and 1834) Writs of summons set out the titles of the Sovereign and the recipient of the writ. They state the reason for Parliament’s calling upon the individual.

When the Earl of Berkley died, his oldest son applied for a writ of summons to the House of Lords. The Committee on Privilege turned him down and said he and the other brothers born before 1795 were illegitimate and that the earldom had fallen to the sixteen-year-old born in 1796. The boy was too young to do anything about the matter and his oldest brother and mother ran things. When he came of age, he never put forth a claim to the earldom However, he was, by right and law, the earl so anything requiring the signature of the earl had to be signed by him. He signed responsibility over to his oldest brother, but the title itself went dormant until he died.

Titles may also be created by letters of patent. This method sets out a created peerage and names the person in question. It may limit the course of descent to the male line, with only legitimate children having a right to the title. (Scottish titles permit the “legitimacy” to be determined by a marriage, not simply a marriage at time of the birth.) Traditionally, only the peer sits in the House of Lords, but from the time of Edward IV, an heir to the title (who also held additional titles) could sit in the HOL as one of his father’s subsidiary dignities. This is possible through a writ of acceleration.

Letters patent granting the Dukedom of Marlborough to Sir John Churchill were later amended by Parliament (via Wikipedia)

Letters patent granting the Dukedom of Marlborough to Sir John Churchill were later amended by Parliament (via Wikipedia)

Letters Patent can be amended by Act of Parliament. Likely, the two most famous examples of amending Letters were the Dukedom of Marlborough in 1706 and the Duke of Windsor in 1936.

A person who is a possible heir to a peerage is said to be “in remainder.” A title becomes extinct (opposite to extant, which means alive) when all possible heirs (as provided by the letters patent) have died out, i.e., there is nobody in remainder at the death of the holder. A title becomes dormant if nobody has claimed the title or if no claim has been satisfactorily proven. A title goes into abeyance if there is more than one person equally entitled to be the holder.

In the past, peerages were sometimes forfeit or attainted under Acts of Parliament, most often as the result of treason on the part of the holder. The blood of an attainted peer was considered “corrupted,” consequently his or her descendants could not inherit the title. If all descendants of the attainted peer were to die out, however, then an heir from another branch of the family not affected by the attainder could take the title. The Forfeiture Act 1870 abolished corruption of blood; instead of losing the peerage, a peer convicted of treason would be disqualified from sitting in Parliament for the period of imprisonment.

London Herald (Edward VIII’s Abdicates)

London Herald (Edward VIII’s Abdicates)

Nothing prevents a British peerage from being held by a foreign citizen (although such peers cannot sit in the House of Lords). Several descendants of George III were British peers and German subjects; the Lords Fairfax of Cameron were American citizens for several generations.

“Hereditary peers do not have the automatic right to a writ of summons to the House. Irish peerages may not be disclaimed. A peer who disclaims the peerage loses all titles, rights and privileges associated with the peerage; his wife or her husband is similarly affected. No further hereditary peerages may be conferred upon the person, but life peerages may be. The peerage remains without a holder until the death of the peer making the disclaimer, when it descends normally.” (Hereditary Peers) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereditary_peer

So what can a person do if he does not wish to accept the title? He could simply refuse to take up the title or touch the money. Technically he’d still be the title’s holder, but to have the full title and honors he must be confirmed before Parliament, and all the legal stuff has to be done to ensure he is the correct heir. He can simply not claim the title and not style himself by the title, but it remains it place at his disposal. The person does not need to send in the writ of summons to the House of Lords, and he can refuse to use the title, but someone must care for the property, and no one else may claim the title while he is alive. He can also do something drastic, such as commit treason, in which case he and his family would be stripped of the title, but no one would recommend such a step. It would be easier simply not to claim the title.

Like it or not, the heir cannot be disinherited to prevent his assuming the title. If there is a living person and the lawful successor to a title, he cannot be displaced unless convicted of a crime. During the Regency there was no way to disclaim a peerage except by not using it and not sending in a request for a seat in the House of Lords.

AngelCover copy

About Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep

Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal “angel,” who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt’s difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother’s annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart. As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart–and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side?

An early review

Angel Comes to Devil’s Keep is a well-written tale of courage and sacrifice and what women went through in order to marry well in Regency England. The author did her homework and it shows in an authenticity that we don’t often see in Regency romances.

Pre-orders available now

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Available everywhere on August 6, 2016

Giveaway

Leave a comment below to be eligible for an eBook copy of Angel Comes to the Devils Keep (Book 1 of the TwinsTrilogy). The giveaway ends at midnight EDT, August 7, 2016.

About the Author

author photoRegina Jeffers, a public classroom teacher for thirty-nine years, considers herself a Jane Austen enthusiast. She is the author of several Austen-inspired novels, including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion, The Phantom of Pemberley, Christmas at Pemberley, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, Honor and Hope, and The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy. She also writes Regency romances: The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, A Touch of Velvet, A Touch of Cashémere, A Touch of Grace, A Touch of Mercy, A Touch of Love, and The First Wives’ Club. A Time Warner Star Teacher and Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers often serves as a consultant in language arts and media literacy. Currently living outside Charlotte, North Carolina, she spends her time with her writing, gardening, and her adorable grandchildren.

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Jessica Cale: How Royal Copenhagen Conquered Europe

Eighteenth Century Porcelain: How Royal Copenhagen Conquered Europe

13509851_263614374004128_2085781765_oThe Royal Porcelain Factory (Den Kongelige Porcelænsfabrik), better known as Royal Copenhagen, was founded in a converted post office in Copenhagen on May 1st, 1775 under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie. Although porcelain had been made in Germany since 1710, it was not produced in Denmark until chemist Frantz Heinrich Müller developed a method for its manufacture in 1774. Juliane Marie had an interest in mineralogy and porcelain was a family passion: both her brother, Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and sister, who was married to Frederik II of Prussia, had founded porcelain factories in Germany.

The factory’s first pieces were dining sets for the royal family. Juliane Marie insisted each piece be stamped with the factory’s mark, three wavy lines that symbolized Denmark’s three straights–the Øresund, the Great Belt and the Little Belt–as well as the royal crown stamp to highlight the firm’s royal connections. Each piece is marked this way to this day.

Blue and white china became popular across Europe as early as the seventeenth century with the import of goods from the far east. The fine porcelain of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties sparked an enduring love for floral patterns in blue and white and Royal Copenhagen quickly developed their own. Blue Fluted Plain (Danish: Musselmalet) was their first pattern and at more than two hundred fifty years old, it is the world’s oldest china pattern still in production.

13467665_263614317337467_432371625_oBlue Fluted Plain was inspired by Chinese floral patterns and updated to include flowers native to Denmark. Cinquefoils were added to the stylized chrysanthemums to give the pattern a more Nordic appearance. The ultramarine blue pigment in the paint was originally purchased from the Blaafarveværket (“blue colour factory”) in Norway, a company that provided up to eighty percent of the world’s cobalt during the nineteenth century. Each piece was and continues to be hand-painted by blue painters who spend at least four years in training for the position.

Since its development in 1775, Blue Fluted Plain has appeared on more than two thousand different pieces and has inspired countless imitations. It reached the height of its popularity in the early nineteenth century and appeared on everything from tea cups to washbasins and chamber pots.

Lord Nelson brought Royal Copenhagen porcelain back for his mistress, Lady Hamilton, following the Danish defeat at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. While Denmark lost that particular battle, Royal Copenhagen’s invasion of Britain was a success. It qualified for London’s World Expo in 1851 and gained international fame by winning the grand prize at Paris’ World Expo in 1889.

13509748_263614310670801_2069635372_oThis pattern has also appeared in some well-researched historical films and television shows, so not only does the pattern “look right” for the period, but even newer pieces are historically accurate for any time after 1775. You can still find pieces in this pattern to this day, so if you would like to add a little eighteenth century elegance to your kitchen or a touch of the Regency to your cup of tea, look for Royal Copenhagen’s Blue Fluted Plain.

Note: For more images or shopping information, Replacements Ltd. has a spectacular assortment of pieces in this pattern here: http://www.replacements.com/webquote/rcoblfp.htm

About The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home, Book 3 in The Southwark Saga is a magical, adult fairy tale that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Find out what happens when a paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes prove… it’s not easy being Cinderella!

coverAfter saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

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About the Author

jessicaJessica Cale is a historical romance author, a Bluestocking Belle, and a journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Her series, The Southwark Saga, is available now. You can visit her at www.dirtysexyhistory.com.

 

Jacki Delecki: A Christmas Code (Giveaway)

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Tis the Season…for romantic suspense!

As a romantic suspense author, I am always in search of new ideas and concepts that I can weave into my stories and plots. What might sound like homework to some is more like a challenging scavenger hunt to me. The idea is to collect a variety of random ideas and then figure out how to assemble them into a compelling tale of intrigue.

For A Christmas Code, Book 2 of the Regency romantic suspense series, the Code Breakers, I combined elements from the winter holiday season to craft a story that features an attempted poisoning set against the elegant backdrop of the Regency Ton. In this story, the hero Ash is poisoned by a dose of ground up holly berries meant for the Prince Regent.

JackiDelecki_AChristmasCode_HR copyA popular accent used in Christmas decorations, holly is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be a tree, and there are more than 400 different varieties of the plant. The fruit and leaves contain a mix of caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine, caffeine and glycosides (theobromine is also found in chocolate and cocoa).

People and pets avoid the prickly leaves, but children may be attracted to the bright red berries. As few as 20 can be lethal if consumed, and eating just three berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate, coma and death.

Ash catches a lucky break, because, while holly berries are toxic, people rarely die from ingesting this type of poison. Nowadays modern medicine can treat individuals who consume holly berries, but that wasn’t always the case.

I recently released the audiobook version of A Christmas Code, which is narrated by the talented Pearl Hewitt, who also narrated two other books in this series: A Code of Love and A Code of the Heart. You can listen to an audio sample here: http://bit.ly/1ToZIx9

Comment on this blog for a chance to win a digital or audiobook of A Christmas Code.

Fans of holiday romance are in for an added treat from Jacki Delecki. A holiday edition of Marriage Under Fire, Book 4 of the Grayce Walters contemporary romantic suspense, is available. This edition features more than 9,000 words of exclusive content, including Maddy and Hunter’s romantic Christmas wedding with Grayce, Davis, Hollie, James and the entire Grayce Walters crew. The holiday edition of Marriage Under Fire is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play for a limited time. Readers who have already purchased the book can enjoy the new scenes for free by accessing the updated ebook.

About the Author

Head Shot copyJacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com. To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

Wareeze Woodson and “An Enduring Love”

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Wareeze will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and an ebook of An Enduring Love Worth Keeping will be awarded to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Click on the banner to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About An Enduring Love

Born and raised in Latvia, Rebecca Balodis marries Rhys Sudduth, an English diplomat. Shortly thereafter, he is summoned home to attend his father’s death-bed. Rebecca cannot accompany him at the time and becomes trapped in the turmoil plaguing her country. He is informed she died in the upheaval.

Nearly four years later, she escapes and arrives in London with their son in tow. Arriving in the middle of his sister’s ball is very awkward, especially since Rhys plans to announce his betrothal to a young debutante later in the evening.

Trouble, tangled in suspense and danger, follow her from Latvia. Can this pair ever find or even recognize an enduring love? Is it worth keeping?

Excerpt

Cover_An Enduring LoveThe gangplank of the Dragon’s Stirr had been lowered ready for Latvian passengers to board. The creak of the ropes tying the vessel to the dock rasped Rebecca’s nerves, reminding her that soon Rhys would sail back to England without her. Devastated by the thought of such a loss and at such a time, she swallowed hard. How can I bare to let him leave me behind?

Standing on the dock in the mid-day sun, she tried to hold back her sobs and for a moment, she feared her knees might give way beneath her. She clinched her jaw, trying to hold steady and caught the lapels of Rhys’s finely tailored jacket with trembling fingers. A rising ocean breeze stirred his dark hair and swirled her skirts about her ankles as he placed his hand over hers.

When Rebecca gazed into Rhys’ deep blue eyes, Gorgi Weister’s words intruded. Sudduth is almost believable when he claims undying devotion. I admire his talent. Her chest burned with apprehension and she gulped a deep breath. What if Weister is correct? Does Rhys wish to abandon me as Weister implied?

Weister’s sly innuendoes and the sound of his mocking laughter circled in her mind, but she pushed such negative views aside. Guilt for allowing a moment of doubt to fester filled her with shame, but that too, she brushed aside. Ne! I refuse to believe Rhys would desert me. Although we have only been married a few months his love is strong and will endure forever, as will mine. Nevertheless, doubt crawled into her head, impossible to completely deny. Still, why would a government official such as Gorgi Weister attempt to stir trouble with lies? It made no sense!

About the Author

AuthorpicI am a native of Texas and still live in this great state. I married my high school sweetheart, years and years ago. We raised four children and have eight grandchildren, and grandchildren are Grand. At the moment, all my children and my grandchildren live within seventy miles of our home, lots of visits. My husband and I still love each other after all these years the stuff romance is made of, Happy Ever After!

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Maggi Andersen and “Taming a Gentleman Spy”

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Maggi will award a $50 Amazon GC plus an e-book copy of A Baron in Her Bed – The Spies of Mayfair, Book #1 to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Taming a Gentleman Spy

Cover_ TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPYJohn Haldane, Earl of Strathairn, is on an urgent mission to find the killer of his fellow spy. After visiting the young widow of one of his agents, Strathairn strengthens his resolve. A spy should never marry, and most certainly not to Lady Sibella Winborne, with her romantic ideas of love and marriage. Unable to give Sibella up entirely, he has kept her close as a friend. Then, weak fool that he is, he kissed her.

Lady Sibella Winborne has refused several offers of marriage since she first set eyes on the handsome Earl of Strathairn. Sibella’s many siblings always rush to her aid to discourage an ardent suitor, but not this time. Her elder brother, Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, has approved Lord Coombe’s suit.  Sibella yearns to set up her own household. She is known to be the sensible member of the family, but she doesn’t feel at all sensible about Lord Strathairn. If only she could forget that kiss.

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Excerpt

Sibella’s brother Edward stood at her shoulder. “I’ve come to claim you for the next dance, before any of your admirers beat me to it.”

“I shouldn’t worry, many are losing interest,” she said crisply, rising from her chair.

He eyed her as they entered the dance floor. “Losing hope, more like.”

As they moved through the steps of the quadrille, he dropped quiet remarks in her ear.

“Give up on Strathairn, Sib.”

“I don’t believe, I—” They parted, and by the time the steps brought them back together, she’d given up protesting. Edward had inherited their mother’s astute nature.

“It’s not that I don’t like him. I do very much. But he’s not for you.”

“You needn’t worry. He doesn’t wish to marry.”

Her brother raised a black eyebrow. “Oh, I believe you could sway him toward marriage, if you set your mind to it. That’s not the reason.”

“Then what is the reason?”

“Chaloner hears things in the House of Lords. I can’t repeat them.”

“So he tells you but not me.”

Edward shrugged with a smile and moved away.

“Why does such mystery surround the Earl of Strathairn?” she hissed at him when she next got a chance.

He shook his head. She’d learn no more.

About the Author

AuthorPicMaggi Andersen fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt’s Gothic Victorian novels were also great favorites.

She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

Maggi’s free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, reading, movies and the theatre. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym.

Maggi is a multi-published author, and writes mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances.

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