Flappers & Jelly Beans … It’s 20s Tuesday!

Welcome to Flappers & Jelly Beans! 

1920s Romantic Mystery

Flappers

To get in the mood for the release of my romantic mystery set in the Roaring 20s, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays some facts, trivia, and slang from that fabulous frivolous decade.

But before we begin with that, here’s the answer to Sunday’s Guess That Title challenge:

New York City, 1924…
A jaded homicide detective is torn between a seductive old flame and a bright new attraction when he joins with an ambitious girl reporter to solve the Central Park murder of a notorious bootlegger in 1920s Manhattan.

  1. The Rumrunner
  2. It Had to Be You
  3. His Girl, Trixie
  4. Goodbye, Johnny Blue Eyes

And the title is… IT HAD TO BE YOU.  🙂

A Holiday “Flappers and Jelly Beans” Tidbit

Think the trend for pushing the winter holiday shopping season on consumers earlier each year is a modern phenomenon? Think again.

1920s Trivia

Jelly Beans

The opening scene of It Had to Be You takes place in Herald Square in New York City on Thursday, November 27, 1924.

It was Thanksgiving day and the first year R.H. Macy’s sponsored its Thanksgiving day parade. Except they didn’t call it that back then. They called it Macy’s Christmas Parade.

Here’s a peek back in time from the following day’s papers:

“Santa Claus chose Thanksgiving Day this year to come to town. With a retinue of clowns… animals, and floats, the bewhiskered man in red, in sight of thousands of persons, arrived at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and three hours later was crowned ‘King of the Kiddies’ on the marquee above the entrance to Macy’s new store in Thirty-fourth Street near Seventh Avenue…”

Most of the participants that day were Macy’s employees, but they were joined by many others, marching bands as well as floats featuring The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe and Little Red Riding Hood. There were also animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo—bears, elephants, donkeys.

But no giant balloons. Animal-shaped balloons made by Goodyear wouldn’t begin to replace the live animals until 1927. One of the first? Felix the Cat.

Another 1924 attraction that would feel familiar to us was the unveiling of Macy’s spectacular store window: “The Fairy Frolics of Wondertown.”

Some sources say a quarter million people attended the first parade. Whether that’s accurate or not, it was such a success that Macy’s decided to make it an annual event.

The world has changed, yes? But maybe not as much as we think.  What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

One of my favorite holiday movies is Miracle on 34th Street. Yep, it’s a Christmas movie, but it opens with the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, so it’s fair game to mention here.

If so inclined, click on the link below to hop on over to TCM to view a short clip from that Thanksgiving parade scene circa 1947 between Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. (Warning: Admission might be one 30 sec commercial.) Enjoy.

Miracle On 34th Street (1947) — (Movie Clip) Your Santa Claus Is Intoxicated

And for those who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂

Photo credits:

Uncredited cartoonist in employ of W. H. Fawcett publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By unknown, published by Max B. Sheffer Card Co. (Chicago) (collect-auctions.com, direct link) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sneak Peek Sunday … Will she or won’t she?

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

It’s hard to believe it’s been weeks since my last peek, but it’s been a busy summer. Much going on with the day job and family (all good, thank you) and I’m happily at work on edits on the first book in my 1920s romantic mystery series. (There will be more news on that to come.)

What have you been up to during these dog days of summer?

Light Historical Romance, Search for Camelot by Delynn Royer

In a race to find Excalibur . . .
Who knew they’d find love?

Today, I’m taking a break from edits to offer one last peek from SEARCH FOR CAMELOT, a romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.

Philadelphia, London, Glastonbury. June 1892.
On the eve of his college graduation, Arthur Pierce comes into an unusual inheritance, a 16th century parchment that contains a clue to the location of King Arthur’s sword. Is it for real? Or a hoax?

To find out, Arthur joins with his arch nemesis from the classroom, the scholarly Chelsea Delafield. It’s Chelsea who holds the key to deciphering the ancient clue and following its trail, which begins in her home town of London.

In previous peeks, Chelsea and Arthur posed as bickering newlyweds aboard a steamship to London, where they confirmed that, not only is the parchment authentic, but King Arthur too is more than legend. He was a mysterious fifth century military leader who once walked the earth in a place called Glastonbury.

In today’s peek, Arthur is leaving for Glastonbury, but Chelsea’s role is done. London is her home, and now that she’s finished college, her loving but conservative family has perfectly reasonable expectations for her to meet. Those expectations don’t include running off with a handsome, totally unsuitable American on a madcap treasure hunt.

Chelsea can’t risk ruining her reputation and scandalizing her dear parents just for the sake of one last fling at adventure, love and passion… Can she?

*

Arthur didn’t answer her. Instead, he studied her face, and Chelsea suddenly felt as transparent as window glass. “Chelsea,” he began, taking a deep breath.

“You should go. You’ll miss your train.”

After a moment of awkward silence, he nodded, then turned and started to walk away. Chelsea squeezed her hands into fists as he took a few more steps, then slowed, then stopped, then swung back around to face her. “Oh hell, why don’t you come with me?”

“What?”

“Come with me.”

Chelsea’s heart thumped. All it would take was one word from her. Yes. Her feet almost moved. Almost. Her heels rose off the ground for one indecisive second. Yes! a voice urged in her mind. But she couldn’t. “I can’t,” she said numbly.

“Why not?” He dropped his suitcase to the ground and then suddenly had her by the shoulders, his fingers burning through the material of her blouse, his mesmerizing blue eyes threatening to make mincemeat of her newfound resolve. “Why not?”

*

What do you think? Has this crazy magical quest come to an end for Chelsea? Is it time for her to grow up and forget childish dreams of adventure and romance?

SEARCH FOR CAMELOT is available at ITUNES, AMAZON, and SMASH WORDS.

For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday … The Race is On

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

Today’s peek is from SEARCH FOR CAMELOT, a romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.

Light Historical Romance Philadelphia, London, Glastonbury. June 1892.
On the eve of his college graduation, Arthur Pierce comes into an unusual inheritance, a 16th century parchment that contains a clue to the location of King Arthur’s sword. Is it for real? Or a hoax?

To find out, Arthur joins with his arch nemesis from the classroom, the scholarly Chelsea Delafield. It’s Chelsea who holds the key to deciphering the ancient clue and following its trail, which begins in her home town of London.

In last week’s peek, Chelsea and Arthur confirmed that, not only is the parchment authentic, but King Arthur too is more than the stuff of legend. He was a mysterious fifth century military leader who once walked the earth in a place called Glastonbury.

In today’s peek, as Arthur and Chelsea set their sights on Glastonbury, trouble is brewing elsewhere. They are not alone in their quest.

They have a rival, a resourceful competitor who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the clue contained in Arthur’s parchment . . .

*

“Mr. Dark to see you, sir.”

Emory Blake looked up from his desk to see that his valet, Thackery, awaited a reply. Nondescript in appearance and disdainful in expression, Thackery’s butlering skills were exemplary. In any other household, he would have advanced to the station of head manservant long ago. In Blake’s household, however, it took a bit more than traditional butlering to rise to the esteemed rank of Man Friday. “Show him in, Thackery.”

“Yes, sir.” Thackery’s immaculate shoes made no sound as he strode across the floral carpet and vanished through the open double doors. Moments later, Geoffrey Dark was sweeping those doors closed to gain privacy.

“You have it?” Blake closed an account book and pushed it aside. He rubbed his hands together, then began cracking his knuckles, an exercise designed to distract him from the burgeoning swell of anticipation that might overwhelm him at any moment. That swell was both exquisite and painful, almost sexual in its intensity, an approaching climax that, in this case, was almost ten years in building. That was how long Blake had been searching for the sword.

“Not precisely, sir.”

Not precisely? Blake stopped cracking his knuckles. Geoffrey remained still as a lizard. One blink. Two. That was all. Geoffrey’s reptilian stare seemed even deader than usual. Blake suspected Geoffrey was experiencing a certain level of job frustration.

 “I’m afraid there is a problem, sir.”

*

And so the race is on. Will Arthur and Chelsea make it to Glastonbury before their fellow sword-hunters?

For more fun sneak peeks, be sure to hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday … where magic and reality meet

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

I was recently reminded by one of my fellow Sneak Peek authors, the talented Karen Michelle Nutt, that one of the best parts of participating in Sneak Peek Sunday is getting the opportunity to sample excerpts from authors I might not have found otherwise. Whenever I go hopping among this group, I’m always delighted and entertained.

As a result, I’ve added several titles to my summer TBR list, beginning with Karen’s Magic of the Loch, a fun contemporary paranormal romance spun from the intriguing legend of the Loch Ness monster. Be sure to check out Karen’s peeks HERE

In keeping with a magical theme, today’s peek is from SEARCH FOR CAMELOT, a romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.Light Historical Romance

Philadelphia and London. June 1892.
On the eve of his college graduation, Arthur Pierce comes into an unusual inheritance, a 16th century parchment that contains a clue to the location of King Arthur’s sword. Is it for real? Or a hoax?

To find out, Arthur joins with his arch nemesis from the classroom, the scholarly Chelsea Delafield. It’s Chelsea who holds the key to deciphering the ancient clue and following its trail, which begins in her hometown of London.

In today’s peek, Chelsea and Arthur arrive in London to consult with an expert from Oxford. The parchment is indeed authentic, and Arthur is surprised to learn that King Arthur, too, is more than a legend. He was a mysterious fifth century military leader who may have once walked the earth in a place called Glastonbury.

*

“What was Glastonbury Abbey famous for?” Arthur asked.

Professor Doyle smiled. “The tomb of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, of course.”

Arthur was surprised. Before becoming involved with this crazy quest, he had always assumed King Arthur and his Round Table were the stuff of fairy tales. Even now, to think that the man had walked upon the earth was hard to fathom. “I never realized—I mean, did they really find King Arthur’s body?”

“So they claimed. The remains, along with a leaden cross identifying the body, were unearthed in the monks’ graveyard in 1191, however many historians believe the find was staged to enhance the prestige of the abbey.”

Arthur was unwilling now to let this go. “But isn’t there some way to determine if the cross they found is authentic sixth century?”

“The tomb itself disappeared after the Dissolution, and, as for the cross, it mysteriously vanished sometime in the last century. As it stands now, we may speculate all we wish, but, without the remains or the cross, we can never know the truth.”

Maybe not, Arthur thought. But what if the remains were real, and what if the monks found more than just a leaden cross buried with the dead king?

*

After this, Arthur must dash off to Glastonbury if he’s to find more clues that will lead him to Excalibur’s hiding place. Will Chelsea go with him? Stay tuned!

They say Glastonbury is one of those rare places on earth where the spirit meets the physical, magic meets reality. Glastonbury Tor is associated with faerie legends and the Holy Grail. It was reputed in ancient times to be the mystical Isle of Avalon.

So, what do you think? Do magical places really exist? Have you ever visited one?

For more fun sneak peeks, be sure to hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday … A Sure Cure

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

Light Historical RomanceThis week is another peek from SEARCH FOR CAMELOT, a romantic comedy about a wisecracking American college student and a cool-mannered British bluestocking who find love when they join together to search for the fabled sword Excalibur.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  June 1892.
On the eve of his college graduation, Arthur Pierce comes into an unusual inheritance, a 16th century parchment that contains a clue to the location of King Arthur’s sword. Is it for real? Or a hoax?

To find out, Arthur joins with his arch nemesis from the classroom, the scholarly but secretly adventurous Chelsea Delafield. It’s Chelsea who holds the key to deciphering the ancient clue and following its trail, which begins in her hometown of London. To get there, the two pose as newlyweds on a steamship bound for Southampton.

In today’s peek, Arthur has learned that payback can be cruel. It’s been only two days since he was enjoying a good laugh at Chelsea’s distress when she found him disrobing in their cabin. Since then, not only has Arthur been unable to wipe away the memory of his own accidental glimpse of Chelsea’s fabulous legs, he’s come down with a nasty case of mal de mer that’s flattened him for an entire day. Chelsea has taken pity on him . . .

*

Arthur heard her emerge from the lavatory behind him. She smelled like a heaven-sent combination of flowers and peppermint. A moment later, she perched on the edge of his berth. “Here.”

Arthur turned over to see that she hadn’t done a thing to tie back her hair. It was still parted in the middle, with wispy soft tendrils hanging loose over each shoulder. She offered him a small glass of fizzing clear liquid and a plate of crackers.“Cold champagne and rye crackers,” she said. “I brought them from the dining saloon. Try some.”

He looked into dark-lashed violet eyes only to find himself thinking about her legs again. “I can’t.”

“You must. You haven’t eaten anything since breakfast.”

He meant to look back down at the plate, but, instead, his gaze followed the fluid line of sable tendrils to stop dead on her chest. The breasts she hid there might be small by some men’s preferences, but Arthur was suddenly certain they must be perfect. Delightful and delectable. Just like her legs. Hidden treasures that no one would ever suspect. “No, I shouldn’t,” he said, not altogether sure he spoke only of the crackers and champagne.

“Arthur, just try them. I promise they’ll be better than you think.”

*

So… will Arthur try those crackers or will he be able to let them alone? 😉

For more fun sneak peeks, be sure to hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!