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Cynthia Capley: A Day in Istanbul
Monday, September 18th, 2023

Thank you, Delilah, for having me on your blog today!

This summer, we went on a Mediterranean cruise. Throughout this trip, I was awed by the historical significance of the places we visited.

One of our port stops was Istanbul, Turkey. While here, we visited the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest marketplace in the world. Built in 1455 to provide income for the maintenance of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, it spans 61 streets and contains 4,000 shops. Jewelry, clothing, rugs, lamps, and other goods are found here. The market was too large to explore in its entirety with the time we had available. We also stopped at the Spice Bazaar. This bazaar has existed since 1664 and was built to provide income for the upkeep of the Yeni Mosque. Spices lined the storefronts of the shops, making for a wonderful display of colors. I enjoyed wandering through the shops and seeing the variety of spices and foods. Both marketplaces were centers of trade for many centuries.

One thing I find fascinating about historical structures from the past is their beauty, even when built for a functional purpose. The Basilica Cistern was constructed in 532 to store water. It contains 336 columns that are 9 meters in height. The columns are in different styles, and it’s believed that some of them were recycled from older buildings. The cistern can hold 80,000 tons of water and was used to supply water to the Great Palace. Over time, it was only known to and used by locals, until French naturalist and topographer Petrus Gyllius learned of its existence in 1545. The cistern was restored and opened to the public in 1987. Today it’s filled with about one to three feet of water and there are walkways that go around the structure with art installations throughout.

As a Regency romance writer, I love exploring places steeped in history.

You can learn more about the bazaars and the basilica by visiting the following websites:

Are there places you’ve visited that you’ve found inspiring?

An Eye for Love

Coming January 2024!  

A missing heirloom. A search for the thief. An unexpected romance.

Lady Olivia Thorne’s beloved eye miniature has gone missing. She’s sure she knows who took it, but she can’t accuse an earl without proof. Instead, she makes a deal with the devil—or, rather, the earl’s cousin.

Henry Branson is a poor relation to the Earl of Comstock and makes his living by investigating for members of the ton. When Lady Olivia hires him to find her heirloom, he’s determined to prove his cousin innocent.

But there’s more at stake than either of them realizes. When late-night searches and admissions of guilt turn into feelings both are too frightened to reveal, decisions must be made.

Will Olivia and Henry risk everything for love? Or will they let passion pass them by?

If you’d like to get updates on my release date, freebies, and other content, sign up for my newsletter at

About the Author

Cynthia Capley is working on her first novel set during the Regency era. She enjoys writing stories with strong characters that triumph over challenges to achieve their happily ever after. Cynthia lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the rain and numerous tea shops make the perfect writing companions. She lives with her husband and a menagerie of pets and likes to play fetch with Natasha, a tortoiseshell-colored cat with an attitude.


Gabbi Grey: Falling Down the Regency Rabbit Hole (Contest)
Thursday, August 10th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Carol!

Hello Delilah! Thank you for inviting me here today to discuss my latest contribution to a charity anthology. This would be my sixth anthology in four years, and I just love participating in these! The main reason is, of course, to raise money for charity. In this case, breast cancer research. The second reason is to stretch my authorial wings. To try something new. To step out of my comfort zone. Earlier this year, I wrote a short story about a female billionaire for a billionaire anthology. I liked doing something a little different. Flipping expectations on their head.

So, to is my newest project…

When I read The Romance Café was putting together a Jane Austen anthology, my interest was piqued. I love Austen and happen to think Colin Firth was made to play Mr. Darcy. And Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie? Perfection. That being said, my favorite of Austen’s few precious works is Persuasion. I empathized with Anne Elliot and adored Captain Frederick Wentworth. When I saw the premise of the Austen anthology was that each story would include an encounter with an Austen character, I knew which famous couple I would choose.

I also wanted to push other boundaries. I write gay romances. There were gay men way back in Regency England. Some authors I know write amazing Regency MM romances. I aspired to write something just as good. Also, I often write interracial romances. Well, there were Black men in Regency England as well. Many were former slaves, but some came from more esteemed backgrounds. I’d just watched the movie Belle about a Black woman in high society, and I knew what I wanted to write. Along came John Blackthorne and his friend Phillip. When John is recalled from the Navy to attend his family’s estate, he’s shocked. Fortunately, he has his good friend (and sort-of lover) Phillip to accompany him as he takes a position of prestige within his family.

Shoving all that story into 7,000 words was challenging, but I’m always up for doing the near-impossible. I was also writing in a time period I knew virtually nothing about, with a language I wasn’t familiar with and with military protocol I had no clue about. Two good friends (including one who is an actual historian) read the story and gave me suggestions.

I had my story. And I’m hoping readers will enjoy it along with the other twenty or so stories set in Austen’s England.

As a thank you to your readers, I’d love to offer up a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate to one lucky commenter. I’d love to hear which is your favorite Austen novel. And if you’re not a Regency fan, do you enjoy seeing classic characters popping up in modern books? Leave a comment and one random commenter will win!

Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me. I hope everyone runs out and buys the anthology—available through Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.

Austen’s Tea Party

Take care not to spill the tea (literally) while we share the latest on-dit (aka dish the dirt) about the Ton, who is courting, and who has been compromised in this collection of Austen-inspired romance stories.

Join us for a turn around the room in stories from USA Today best-selling and award-winning romance authors curated by the New Romance Café featuring cameos from some of Jane’s most memorable characters (and some we’d like to forget). ALL proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Alexa Santi
Angela Kady
Anja Raney
Bianca White
Carrie DiRisio
Catherine Bilson
Catherine Stein
Cecilia Rene
Charlie Lane
Christina Alexandra
Clyve Rose
Deborah E Pearson
Debra-Ann Kummoung
Gabbi Grey
Katy Rose
Kenna Campbell
Michaela Brent
Sharon Michalove
Tabetha Waite
Tanya Wilde
TL Clark

The anthology will only be available for a limited time.

Universal Link:
Amazon US:
Add it to Goodreads:

About Gabbi’s story inside Austen’s Tea Party
“An Uncommon Gentleman”


I have served as a sailor in His Majesty’s Royal Navy for the past ten years and had no intention of changing that path. The death of my uncle means I must return to Blackthorne Estate to take up my position as Lord and Master. I’ll step up to do my duty. My dearest wish is that my beloved joins me. When he chooses to accompany me, I set my mind to making him mine. Body and soul.


I have been a sailor for nearly thirty years and will only retire when my captain orders it. When my beloved is called to attend to his family’s estate, he asks me to attend to him as a valet. I’m happy to do so as it keeps me close to him. He wants to grow the affection between the two of us, but I feel the need to attempt to hold myself apart. In the end, though, I suspect he will win this argument.

About Gabbi Grey

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.

Ella Quinn: The Most Eligible Viscount in London (Contest)
Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!

Thank you to Delilah for inviting me to be on her blog!

I’m Ella Quinn, and I write light-hearted Regencies. My latest release is The Most Eligible Viscount in London, book 2 of The Lords of London. I’m also an Army veteran stationed in Germany with my husband who’s trying to recover from his second retirement. He’s going to have to figure it out within the next 18 months. I’m ready to get back to my boat. We also have a Great Dane who has been on the boat and loves meeting people in marinas and a cat who has not yet been on the boat.


For a chance to win a FREE download tell me whether retiring on a boat is your idea of heaven too!

The Most Eligible Viscount in London

In bestselling author Ella Quinn’s intriguing new Regency trilogy, a dashing suitor must decide if love and marriage are mutually exclusive…

Viscount Gavin Turley is convinced that love matches cause nothing but trouble. Still, after months of courting, he’s fallen for Miss Georgie Featherton. He’s passionate about her, in fact. But words of love are not an indulgence he will allow himself. When he presents Georgie with his marriage proposal, he will lead with his head—not his heart. His qualifications as a husband are excellent, after all. What could go wrong?

No sooner does Gavin kneel on one knee than Georgie’s heart goes aflutter with joy. Finally, the proposal she longed for had arrived. Yet Gavin seemed to be listing his credentials for a business partnership, not a romantic union. Without a declaration of love, Georgie can only reject his offer—unless the ladies of the ton, and Georgie’s grandmama, have anything to do with it. For sometimes it takes a wiser eye to see the love behind a guarded heart—and a clever scheme to bring it out of hiding…

The Most Eligible Viscount in London Buy Links:
Amazon CA
The Bookshop

Ella Quinn: The Most Eligible Lord in London (Excerpt)
Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Much like the 1960s, the Regency was a special time. It was not as freewheeling as the Georgie period before it, nor was it as straight-laced as the Victorian era that followed it. It was a time of new ideas and thinking. Political groups ranged from the Tories, who supported the monarchy and the old way of life on one side and on the other side were the Whigs who supported a more liberal approach to the new United States, granting more rights to the common man, more educational opportunities, and better working conditions. Then there were the Radicals who supported universal suffrage and the abolishment of the peerage.

Philosophers like Mary Wollstonecraft, Jeremy Bentham, and others were on the ascendant. And, thanks to authors like Jane Austen, the new idea of love matches was taking hold. Once a lady was married and had delivered her husband an heir and preferably a second son as well, she was free to engage in discreet affairs. Yet, young unmarried ladies still had to adhere to a strict set of rules least they be ruined and forced to spend their lives as spinsters, or worse, outcast from their families in a time where it was not easy for a lady to earn a living.

In my latest book, The Most Eligible Lord in London, the heroine, Lady Adeline Wivenly is now faced with putting into practice what she has spent a lifetime learning. Balls and other social events were full of pitfalls for a young lady making her come out. But there were also a few rules gentlemen had to follow as well. Chief of which was not to introduce themselves to a lady. In order to meet a lady, a man had to find someone who knew her and would provide an introduction. Another was to agree to dance with any lady his hostess wished him to. There was no dodging that duty if he wanted to continue to be invited to entertainments. Some gentlemen were able to get around the duty by arriving late and departing early, thus becoming the despair of any hostess.

With everyone in full knowledge of their obligations, what could go wrong?

“Lords Turley and Littleton are coming toward us,” Georgie whispered and glanced at Dorie, who was talking to a worthy-looking gentleman.

Adeline slid a look across the assembly room. Drat. Georgie was right. To make it worse, he was even better looking in evening clothes. No rakes. “I have no objection Lord Turley, but I do not wish to have anything to do with Lord Littleton.”

“You cannot refuse to dance with him.” Georgie’s tone had lowered even more.

“If he even asks me.” Perhaps he would not. “He might ask you or Augusta instead.”

“I do not think so.” She pasted a polite smile on her face and curtseyed. “My lord. Good evening.”

Lord Turley bowed. “Miss Featherton, might I ask you for this dance?”

“It would be my pleasure.” He held out his arm and she took it, leaving Adeline to face Lord Littleton all by herself.

“My lady”—his voice was low and seductive just like a rake’s, and his bow was elegant, but it was his deep meadow green eyes that held her plain gray ones as they had that afternoon. They still made her feel as if she was the only lady he saw. “Would you do me the honor of being my partner?”

She curtseyed and kept her tone cool. “I would be pleased”—not delighted—“to dance with you, my lord.”

The Most Eligible Lord in London

In this captivating new Regency trilogy, bestselling author Ella Quinn picks up where her beloved Worthingtons series left off, as three Lords of London discover true love at last . . .

Handsome, rakish, incorrigibly flirtatious—Fredrick, Lord Littleton, is notorious. Lady Adeline Wivenly is resolved to keep him at arm’s length during her first Season—until she overhears another woman’s plot to trick him into marriage. Even a rogue is undeserving of such deception, and Adeline feels obliged to warn him—only to find herself perilously attracted . . .

In the past, Littleton’s charm nearly got him leg-shackled to the wrong woman. Now he’s positive he’s found the right one, for Adeline is everything he wants and needs in a wife. Her sense of justice is so strong she agrees to help him despite her mistrust. But can the ton’s most elusive lord convince the lady he is finally serious about marriage—as long as she will be his bride?

Buy Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon Germany
Google Play

Dena Garson: Let’s Make Easy Christmas Ornaments! (Contest)
Monday, November 25th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Fedora!

Now that I’ve survived the madness of drafting and editing my latest book release, I’ve moved into the promotion stage. I always try to incorporate my love of beading and crafting into my giveaways and promotions. This year, I’m working on easy-peasy stamped ornaments.

All you need are stamping tools (stamps, hammer, base to stamp on), flat washers, a permanent black marker (optional) & rubbing alcohol, and some thin ribbon. The washers I’m using are 0.5” (inside opening width) x 1” (width of the outside of the circle) Zinc-plated standard, flat washers.

I’m writing this assuming that you have a basic knowledge of stamping metal, but if not there are a ton of easy-to-follow tutorials on you tube.

All you need to do to make your ornaments is stamp a very short message around the circle of the washer. I like to leave a small gap at the “top” of the circle where the ribbon will wrapped, but that’s not necessary. In my example I stamped a few with “Let It Snow” and others with “Believe”. You may have to practice a bit to get the spacing just right.

Once you’ve finished stamping you can color over the letters with a black permanent marker to fill in the grooves you stamped to make the letters stand out. But be prepared to quickly wipe the surface with a paper towel or cotton ball dampened with the rubbing alcohol to get the excess marker off. I’ve found with these zinc washers if you let the marker dry, it’s much harder to get the excess black ink off. You can repeat the process if you take too much ink out of the grooves.

Now, you’re ready to add a length of ribbon to act as the ornament hanger. You can also add a bead or charm for extra decoration. You can also use a large jump ring instead of the ribbon if you would rather use the washer as a jewelry charm for a necklace, bracelet, or key ring.

Have fun with it!

Be sure to check out my new release, Christmas Royale! The links are still going live, but they will all eventually be available on the universal landing page:

Christmas Royale

Phoebe Ashdown cannot believe her luck. Only she could run into the cad who jilted one of her closest friends while attending a Christmas ball in a foreign country. Other than his false identity and the trail of broken hearts he scattered across London ballrooms, he is just the sort of gentleman she should marry. She wants to hold on to her loathing of him but there’s something dangerously appealing about him now and it’s not just the alias he uses.

The gentle folks of Genoa have been forced to turn a blind eye to the illegal activities going on beneath their noses for years. But as an undercover investigator for the Royal Intelligence Office, Vernon Wright cannot. His orders are clear: find the source of the slaves being funneled into London and report back. When he unexpectedly crosses paths with a former acquaintance, a woman he was secretly attracted to since her coming out, he must use all his powers of persuasion to keep her from blowing his cover.

After Phoebe’s sister goes missing, she is forced to turn to Vernon for help. Sparks fly as well as bullets as they search for her sister. They will have to rely on each other if they hope to make it back to England in time for Christmas.


Leave a comment or question for me to be entered into a drawing for pair of handmade Christmas holly earrings (US residents only, please).

Cynthia Capley: Shopping During the Regency Era
Sunday, September 29th, 2019

During the Regency era, merchants allowed aristocrats to purchase products even if they didn’t pay back money owed for years. Shop owners hoped that once it was known that an aristocrat or well-known person had purchased a particular product from their shop, sales would follow. The emerging middle class was eager to own the same items being consumed by the upper classes. There were also more products available for purchase as a result of industrialization.

Many of the streets where people shopped during the Regency—Piccadilly, Bond and Oxford, among others—remain busy shopping areas today. A few stores in these shopping areas have been in existence since the eighteenth century. Piccadilly has been home to Hatchard’s Book Shop since 1797, and Fortnum and Mason since 1707. Other shops remaining from the Regency era are Locks for hats, Floris for perfumes and the Berry Brothers Wine Shop.

Research is important if writing in a historical era. Some of the shops listed above have never been renovated, providing insight as to how stores were laid out and decorated in the seventeenth century. At Floris, they have archives of orders placed by notable people such as Queen Victoria. Their Limes perfume, which has been selling since the 1700’s, is still available for purchase. These stores provide a way to experience the past through scent, their furnishings and samples of items created in the past.

Jane Austen’s World, “Shopping in London During Jane Austen’s Time,”

Jennifer Kloester, “Shopping,” in Georgette Heyer’s Regency World (Illinois:,Sourcebooks, 2010)

The Perfume Society, “Floris”,

About the Author

Cynthia Capley is working on her first novel set during the Regency era. She enjoys writing stories with strong characters that triumph over challenges to achieve their happily ever after. Cynthia lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain and numerous coffee houses make the perfect writing companions. She lives with her husband and a menagerie of pets and likes to spend time playing fetch with Natasha, a tortoiseshell-colored cat with an attitude.


Cynthia Capley: The Grand Tour
Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Our summer vacation destination this year was Europe. We started our trip in London then relied on trains to travel to the cities of Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples. To be able to fit all these cities within two weeks, our stay in each city was brief. We would not have been able to visit all these locations with the time available if not for the convenience of high-speed trains.

As a Regency romance writer, this trip brought to mind the Grand Tour of the eighteenth century. The Grand Tour was typically taken by young men to round out their education. The young man, considered to be an inexperienced cub, traveled with a bear-leader or tutor. The tour would start by boarding a boat at Dover and crossing the channel to Calais, then travelling over land to Paris. Other cities visited included Dijon, Geneva, Avignon, Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples. Although France and Italy were the highlight of many tours, itineraries and the length of travel were flexible depending on the wealth of the individual and personal preferences. The condition of the roads played a role in a location’s popularity.

Paris was considered an important city and it was included in many itineraries. Part of its popularity was that the city could be reached in three days, food was of high quality and accommodations were plentiful. Men in Paris would participate in French society and visit sites such as the Louvre. While in Italy, they would study art in Florence. They also visited architectural sites such as the Colosseum in Rome and Pompeii.

Despite traveling with a bear-leader, supervision could be lacking. There were some who engaged in sexual liaisons and return home with venereal diseases that would eventually lead to their death. There was pressure to gamble and some men lost a considerable amount while abroad.

Although, the Grand Tour was generally undertaken by men, some women did participate. Mary Wollstonecraft, known for her work A Vindication of the Rights of Women, embarked on a tour after her book’s success. During this time, women were expected to be companions and raise children. Women with a desire for independence and intellectual pursuits, such as Mary, were often ridiculed and became outcasts. Divorced women also faced censure from English society. As a result, they would travel or move to places such as Paris where they would be more accepted.

The French Revolution and Napoleonic wars put a halt to the Grand Tour in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Once the wars ended, families began traveling to Europe. The era of the young man embarking on a Grand Tour with a tutor was largely over.

I love researching and traveling to historical locations. While books and photographs are great resources, experiencing a place in person provides details that are hard to glean otherwise.

What is on your list of places to visit?

Black, Jeremy, The British Abroad: The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century (Gloucestershire, The History Press, 2009)
Dolan, Brian, Ladies of the Grand Tour (New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2001)
Laudermilk, Sharon and Hamlin, Teresa L., The Regency Companion (New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1989)

About the Author

Cynthia Capley is working on her first novel set during the Regency era. She enjoys writing stories with strong characters that triumph over challenges to achieve their happily ever after. Cynthia lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain and numerous coffee houses make the perfect writing companions. She lives with her husband and a menagerie of pets and likes to spend time playing fetch with Natasha, a tortoiseshell colored cat with an attitude.