Secret Santa Blog Hop Day 1


Welcome to the Spark, Spark, Spark stop in the Secret Santa Blog Hop. Glad you could come by and I hope you win loads of fabulous prizes. If you comment on my blog, click to follow my blog, and answer the question at the end of my blog, you’ll get three entries for the grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD loaded with books. Be sure to return to the Secret Santa Blog Hop master page when you’re done here to keep on hopping. You can find all the rules and how the hop works there, too. You can also click on the handsome man in the hat to return to Secret Santa Blog Hop master page and see the list of blogs in the hop.

And for stopping by and commenting, you’re entered in my personal contest to win a free ebook copy of An Improper Situation, in the format of your choice. At the end of the hop, I’ll read all the comments and choose a winner. Make sure you leave your email address so I can reach you if you win.

For the next three days, let’s discuss Christmas, nineteenth-century style. We’ll begin by getting dressed for the big day.

The nineteenth century was a richly inventive, fascinating time in Europe and America. It was one of the most publicly strict times (gloves and last names, please) and privately deviant times in history. Fun, fun, fun for a writer. The style of dress throughout the century was so impressive that men and women looked “fine” pretty much all the time. Wouldn’t you just feel better if you and your friends were dressed like this on a daily basis?

Couple clothed in early nineteenth-century style
Early nineteenth-century style ( published before 1923 and public domain in the US)

Here’s one of my favorite late-century looks (could she be carrying a Christmas present?):

Lady clothed in classic late nineteenth-century bustle
Classic late nineteenth-century bustle (published before 1923 and public domain in the US)

And that look was achieved by this type of bustle structure underneath:

Woman's undergarment, c. 1885.
Woman’s undergarments including bustle, c. 1885 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Note that this is a mixed-era ensemble, which includes the following:

Woman’s bustle, England, c. 1885. Cotton twill, cotton-braid-covered steel, and cotton-braid cord.
Corset, England, c. 1865-75. Cotton with cotton lace trim.
Chemise, England, c. 1850-70. Linen plainweave with cotton cutwork embroidery (broderie anglaise) and cotton lace.
Shoes, Europe or United States, 1875-1900. Silk satin and leather.

But let’s get to our 1880s Christmas. First off, Charlotte Sanborn, heroine of An Improper Situation, would wear something like this on a cold Christmas day in Boston, MA, in 1880:

Blue silk and velvet gown
Blue silk and velvet gown, c. 1880s (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

This gown perfectly matches the eyes of the love-of-her-life, Reed Malloy, who would enjoy removing every layer of her clothing once he got her alone. (“Charlotte,” he’d say, “you’re the only present I want to unwrap this Christmas.”)

So now we get to the question part of our blog event. Should it be a classic question, such as boxers or briefs, chocolate or wine, cat person or dog person, circumcised or not? Well, we’re all romance-minded people here, so let’s go for something romance-related, yes?

Here goes: If you had your choice for a romantic getaway with your significant other (real or imaginary), which would you prefer?
a) a tropical setting, with umbrella-clad drinks, hot sun, and a private beach with warm white sand suitable for outdoor love making and beautiful blue shark-free waters perfect for skinny-dipping
b) a snowy mountain getaway, complete with secluded lodge with a crackling fire and a luxuriously soft rug in front of it, just begging for you to bare yourself, a stocked wine cellar, and a hot tub just a step outside the door (no bathing suit allowed).

So which is hotter, sexier, more romantic, in your opinion? Just answer “beach” or “snow”. I’ll tell you my answer on day 3.


All right, make a comment, remembering to answer “beach” or “snow”, then click on the “Follow” button on the lower right of your screen to follow my blog and enter your email as indicated. Now, off you go, on to the next blog. Click the pink link to return to the Secret Santa Blog Hop master page where you’ll see all the rules and the list of blogs participating in the hop, or click on the handsome man in the hat.

15 thoughts on “Secret Santa Blog Hop Day 1

  1. Hi Sydney,
    I actually think your description of the snow scene was more inviting for a romantic interlude. I love your detailing of the 19th century gown. That was very interesting and the main reason why I want to follow your blog. I like your taste in artwork and classic garments. Did you happen to study at a fashion institute. Your knowledge is very insightful. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. Thanks. No, I had no formal fashion training, but my father was a trained tailor in London and when he came to the U.S., he became a women’s clothing manufacturer.

      Funny that my snow description was more inviting, when I’m really wanting to lie on a warm beach right about now. Even without the man but definitely with the fruity cocktail.

      Best wishes,

  2. Snow

    One of my favorite Christmas Romance Books is The Untamable Rogue by Annette Blair! The story is about Ashford Blackburne Fifth Earl and he has to get married and get his willing bride pregnant before Christmas or his grandfather won’t let him inherit his money. Ash truly needs to inherit the money because his late father squandered it all away and he is taking care of his mother. After getting stood up at the alter, again, Ash and his friends go to the local pub where the owner plays a drunken Ash in a card game…his consolation prize is the pubs daughter Larkin, who he wants to get ride of. Ash has to learn to forgive…Larkin has to learn how to trust…can two completely different people find love together. This is a cute, extremely funny, romantic story with a surprise Christmas ending!

  3. i am torn i love the beach but that hot tub and rug sound good. don’t want a sunburn and sand up the… anything but don’t want the cold eather i would prefer something in between but for the benefit of the post i will chose
    The Beach
    fallow by email
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  4. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! I would pick b. Sounds awesome!! Now i really wanna go. lol Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!

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