The images you'll see as you scroll down to the current text are all part of the story telling in my novel, Realms of Gold:Ritual to Romance.

Bianca Caldwell, pen name, Bianca Fiore, is a writer for an art magazine. In each of her monthly stories she describes an object used in ancient ritual.

Story Merchant Books Reviews The Gift From Fortuny


“Like the intricacy of a Fortuny gown, with its thousands of pleats—each one its own story—this novel takes the reader to the streets and canals of Venice in the late 1940s, affluent Los Angeles in the 1980s and the ancient cities of Granada and Seville. Weaving its way through family sagas, flamenco dance, the sub-culture of Spanish gypsies and lyricism of Italian opera, it brings together a fascinating and disparate collection of characters whose lives are surprisingly and disarmingly intertwined.”
~Pamela Fiori, former editor of Town & Country magazine.


The 2021 Independent Press Recognizes The Gift from Fortuny with its Distinguished Favorite Award in the WOMEN’S FICTION category.

To request a review copy or inquire about an author interview, please email

NEWLY RELEASED The Gift from Fortuny

A Tantalizing Search for Truth and Destiny

Like the intricacy of a Fortuny gown, with its thousands of pleats—each one its own story—this novel takes the reader to the streets and canals of Venice in the late 1940s, affluent Los Angeles in the 1980s and the ancient cities of Granada and Seville. Weaving its way through family sagas, flamenco dance, the sub-culture of Spanish gypsies and lyricism of Italian opera, it brings together a fascinating and disparate collection of characters whose lives are surprisingly and disarmingly intertwined.

                                        Pamela Fiori, former editor of Town & Country magazine.  

Praise for The Gift from Fortuny

In the same way Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence masterfully evokes a lost Manhattan of Wharton’s youth, Stanfill’s The Gift from Fortuny conjures Los Angeles in 1984 in an equally trenchant, portrait of social ambition.

Into this world that knows “the price of everything and value of nothing” (to quote Mr. Wilde) Terry Stanfill introduces us to a protagonist erupting with yearnings for authenticity, one as poignantly alive as any Chekhovian heroine.

Demetra Killingsworth carries us into an archetypal adventure exploring the very essence and construct of identity.  It's a riveting read.  The author allows one to live languidly within every luscious, layered moment... until she boldly yanks away the veil.  When truth is revealed, it is as translucent as a Venetian sky.

Manfred Flynn Kuhnert

I greatly enjoyed reading The Gift from Fortuny by Terry Stanfill. The author handles her material with skill and authenticity and has given us an enthralling story. Highly recommended.                                                  

Mollie Norwich

I have voyaged over seas, continents and time with author Terry Stanfill through her books, The Blood Remembers and Realms of Gold.  In her newest novel, The Gift from Fortuny, her travels lead the reader from Los Angeles to Andalusia, Spain and to the Venice of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, as Stanfill guides us on this remarkable journey in search of knowledge and truth.

Hutton Wilkinson.

In Terry Stanfill’s latest novel, The Gift from Fortuny, a white Delphos gown, designed by the Spaniard, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, anchors this scintillating tale which unfolds like the many scenes of an opéra fantastique.  We transcend eras and places in a complex quest to capture the spirit of a young woman’s journey toward self-discovery and realization-- from the social layering of Los Angeles to the Venice of Fortuny and the flamenco of Andalusia.  The author’s prose and her attention to detail first draw us into this novel where we remain until a finale where the strands of the plot are drawn together in a memorable conclusion, one which remains long after the story is told.

Eric T. Haskell Professor Emeritus of French Studies and Interdisciplinary Humanities
Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académique
Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des 
Scripps College Claremont University Consortium, California

Museum at Chatillon Features Realms of Gold!

                                Amis du Musée du Pays Châtillonnais
                                                                                                 Trésor de Vix
No oo1  Lettre aux Amis du Musée  Automne 2014
Fédération Française des Sociétés

d’Amis de Musée (FFSAM)

Notre association est adhérente à la FFSAM à l’instar de quelque 290 autres sociétés d’amis de Musée. En plus de son rôle d’interlocuteur des Pouvoirs Publics, la fédération est un organe de promotion des Sociétés d’Amis et par voie de conséquence des musées, une source de contacts et une occasion d’échanges d’expériences. C’est ainsi qu’un article sur l’AMPC est paru dans le dernier numéro de la revue de la FSAMM. Par ailleurs nous sommes entrain d’établir des relations avec nos collègues de Bourgogne en vue de donner un second souffle au groupement régional (Bourgogne) des sociétés d’amis de musée.
Affaire à suivre.

Un roman autour de la Dame de Vix :

Les royaumes dorés par Terry Stanfill.

La Dame de Vix a inspiré un roman original écrit par une Américaine résidant en Californie, Terry Stanfill.  A l’occasion d’une visite touristique de la région, cette écrivaine eut un véritable coup de cœur pour la Dame de Vix et tout ce qui l’entoure. L’ouvrage
"Les royaumes dorés" en Anglais "Realms of Gold " imagine les circonstances dans lesquelles le vase de Vix est arrivé dans notre Châtillonnais. Naturellement, c’est une fiction : elle met en scènes divers évènements et protagonistes réels ou imaginaires. Les versions françaises et anglaises sont en vente à la boutique du Musée (15€).  


Contacts : Président Robert Fries  Tél :03 80 93 14 42
Secrétariat : 06 36 60 92 78  courriel
Permanence les jeudis de 9h. à 12h. (sur rendez-vous)

The Vix Krater and the Lady of Vix Was she Princess, Priestess, Queen?

The area around the village of Vix, in North east Burgundy is the site of an important prehistoric complex from the Celtic late Hallstatt period.(500 B.), the beginning of the Iron Age. Overlooking this tiny village (200 inhabitants) are traces of an important fortified settlement of an aristocratic, elitist society influenced by Greek and Etruscan culture. 

In 1953 the treasure of the of "the Lady of Vix was discovered, the site dating back to circa 500 BC. The site had never been looted and contained remarkably rich grave offerings, including important jewelry and the magnificent bronze Vix Krater the largest known metal vessel from antiquity. The wealth of this Celtic tribe was derived from farming (with the iron plough) from collecting tolls at the point on the Seine where the river became navigable for transport.They also exchanged tin and copper, salt, furs, and Baltic amber for luxury goods-- fine bronze objects, Greek ceramics, and coral. The cargos were shipped via the Rhone River, south to Massilia (Marseilles) , to finally reach other Mediterranean ports.

The spectacular jewels buried with the :"Lady of Vix," mark her social position. For these Celts gold was a symbol of power. The gold of the Lady (or Princess, or Priestess) of Vix was meant to show those dwelling in the Otherworld that she was important and therefore deserved special treatment. For this reason one could easily speculate that she was a princess or druidess who would display her power to the gods of the Afterlife. The great cauldron, in this case the krater, was the symbol of immortality and abundance to the ancient Celts. There are no records that indicate if druid burials included ornaments of any sort in their burial chambers or even if they were buried at all. However, since they held the highest places in society, it is likely that their burials were elaborate. Although there are few early references to druids in early history, one of the first known mention was in the works of Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander the Great.

Celts - Gold Torque, Detail

Vix, France.
480 BC

This massive torque or diadem was found in the grave of a powerful woman, consisting of 40 individual parts. The two spheres at the ring terminals are held in the paws of lions. The two small winged horses are reminiscent of Pegasus from Greek mythology and bear witness to increased contact with the Mediterranean world. 

Priam's Treasure


Priam’s Treasure is a cache of gold diadems, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and assorted gold, bronze vessels and other artifacts discovered by classical archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann claimed the site to be that of ancient Troy, and assigned the artifacts to the Homeric king Priam.

Gold Ear jewelry, rings and pendants 

Apparently, Schliemann smuggled Priam's Treasure out of Anatolia. The officials were informed when his wife, Sophia, wore the jewels for the public. The Ottoman official assigned to watch the excavation, Amin Effendi, received a prison sentence. The Ottoman government revoked Schliemann's permission to dig and sued him for its share of the gold. Schliemann went on to Mycenae. There, however, the Greek Archaeological Society sent an agent to monitor him.

Later Schliemann traded some treasure to the government of the Ottoman Empire in exchange for permission to dig at Troy again.

Despite Schliemann's myth making, the treasures have nothing to do with King Priam's Troy. They are much older, dating from around 2500 to 2400 B.C., not from the Homeric period, which was 1400 to 1200 B.C. Schliemann said he found Troy by using the Iliad, and for one famous photograph he dressed his wife, Sophia, in a diadem that he claimed had been worn by Helen of Troy.

The "big" diadem in modern exhibition
Selection of gold diadems, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and assorted gold and bronze vessels found by Schliemann at Troy. Pushkin Museum, Moscow.  - See more at:
Detail from gold diadem with pendants. Sixty-four small chains, each with links interspaced by gold-leaf lozenges, are suspended from a long, narrow band with 3 holes on each end. The shorter central chains are framed on each side by seven longer chains that converge and terminate in four gold-leaf pendants.

The treasures are actually a thousand years older than Homer's King Priam of Troy, who died about 1200 B.C. They are a stunning collection of gold and silver diadems, bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings, plates, goblets, buttons, cups and perfume jars, which display the extraordinary artistry, technology and trading relationships of an ancient world.

There are 260 individually catalogued items at the Pushkin, but some pieces, like necklaces, have up to 200 beads of varying types. Counting every bead, there are believed to be some 12,000 individual pieces from the 17 separate digs Schliemann made at ancient Troy. Thirteen of those caches are at the Pushkin, with the rest scattered among some 45 other museums around the world.

This pin is part of "Priam's Treasure." Today it is maintained at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. It ended up there when Soviet soldiers who captured Berlin, at the end of World War II, brought it and other recovered Trojan artifacts to Russia.