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WIDOW AND VISCOUNT IN GREAT NORTH ROAD SCANDAL

Was a certain widow connected to some of the highest families on the land seen cavorting on the Great North Road with a retired army officer recently ascended to a viscountcy?

Dear Readers, we can assure you that we have eye witness accounts to confirm the shocking truth.

We speak, of course, of Mrs. C., widow of the Laird of G., a captain in our navy who died a hero’s death three years ago, defending the shores of our beloved country. All witnesses confirm that she and the viscount in the case were alone for several days, perhaps as much as a week, sharing the same carriage and staying at the same inns.

What, do you suppose, will her sponsor and godmother, the Duchess of H., make of that?

You will recall, dear Readers, the Vile Viscount whose death late last year came as a relief to all of his creditors and his dependents, not least to his third wife, who lost no time in escaping, with her daughters, from the monster’s lair. Perhaps Mrs. C. believes that the new Lord R. does not share his brother’s foul nature. Let us hope for her sake that she is correct.

The Realm of Silence

(Book 3 in the Golden Redepenning series: release date 22 May 2018)

“I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved…  the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave.” George Eliot

When Susan Cunningham’s daughter disappears from school, her pleasant life as a fashionable, dashing, and respectable widow is shattered. Amy is reported to be chasing a French spy up the Great North Road, and when Susan sets out in pursuit she is forced to accept help from the last person she wants: her childhood friend and adult nemesis, Gil Rutledge.

Gil Rutledge has loved Susan since she was ten and he a boy of twelve. He is determined to oblige her by rescuing her daughter. And if close proximity allows them to rekindle their old friendship, even better. He has no right to ask for more.

Gil and Susan must overcome danger, mystery, ghosts from the past, and their own pride before their journey is complete.

Preorder links and more information on my website

Excerpt

“Gil, can I trouble you to escort me to the Academy?” Susan continued, and Gil had agreed before he thought about how it might look. He quelled his doubts, but they returned fourfold when he descended from washing in his room just behind two gossipmongers who were quacking about a notorious widow and her escapades on the Great North Road. “She travelled all that way with a Rutledge, dear. Need I say more?”

The other protested. “But not the Vile Viscount, Millie. This is the younger brother. One of Wellington’s war heroes, and a family friend of the Redepennings. It is only natural he would offer his help to the sister of his friend.”

Gil should make his presence known, but a perverse need to hear the worst consumed him, and he stopped just above a turn in the stairs to listen.

“A war hero he may be. I say nothing to that. But a man may be brave, and still be a killer and a villain. They say the Vile Viscount killed his first wife, and perhaps his second—though…” the speaker paused, clearly determined if reluctant to be fair… “she may have died in childbed, I suppose. Certainly, his third must be glad he is dead, poor little thing.”

If Gil had been his unknown sister-in-law, he would have danced on Gideon’s grave out of sheer relief, though running away as she did was a practical step, he supposed.

The second woman was still fighting his corner. “The new Lord Rutledge is accepted everywhere, Millie. You know perfectly well that his brother was barred from all but the lowest of places.”

Millie was not impressed by the argument, her harrumph expressing both scorn and disbelief. “The influence of his friends. And look at what friends, Lettie! The Redepennings! Rakes to a man and a woman. Why Countess Chirbury is a Selby, and they are as bad as the Rutledges. And Renshaw married a madwoman, who killed her first husband. I had it from her own sister! The apple does not fall far from the tree, Lettie. Susan Cunningham may walk very high in the instep, but she is no better than a trollop, travelling alone with a Rutledge.”

“Enough,” Gil said, quietly, making them both jump.

Millie was the first to recover, drawing herself up to her full height, still a full head shorter than Gil, even after he rounded her to stand one stair below, blocking her way to the inn’s next floor. He fixed her with his best Colonel Rock Ledge glare.

“Do I know you, sir?” she demanded, haughtily.

“No, madam, you do not. Nor do you know my friends, although you do appear to have a passing acquaintance with my brother.”

“Then you are interrupting a private conversation,” she informed him, and flapped both hands at him as if he were an importunate chicken that could be scared into a scurried retreat. “Go away. I do not speak with men to whom I have not been introduced.”

“Your name, madam?” He asked the second lady, a hint of command infusing the words so that she had introduced herself as ‘Mrs Robert Fenhaven, and this is my friend, Miss Stenhouse.”

Gil ignored Miss Stenhouse’s hissed protest to her friend and bowed. “I am Rutledge, Mrs Fenhaven, and I have a particular interest in a conversation about myself, in which I and my friends are made the subject of scurrilous and evil lies.”

Mrs Fenhaven paled, and Miss Stenhouse coloured but rallied. “Those who eavesdrop seldom hear good of themselves.”

“Those who spread lies about prominent members of Society seldom prosper,” he countered. “I do not know you, Miss Stenhouse, and I do not care to further the acquaintance. I very much doubt that you are personally known to any of the people whose names you freely malign in an open stairway of a public inn. However, I am confident that Mrs Cunningham and the other ladies of her family can find out all about you, your family, your connections, and any skeletons in your family tree.”

“Are you threatening me?” The stance was still belligerent, but the slight quaver in the voice suggested uncertainty, and Mrs Fenhaven was gabbling apologies as fast as her tongue could wag.

Gil nodded, gravely. “Not a threat, precisely, madam. Consider it, instead, a promise. I have spent my entire adult life defending my country, as Mrs Fenhaven has pointed out. I will defend my friends from any attack, including those by ignorant muckrakers spreading false rumours. I promise you, Miss Stenhouse, you would be wise to keep your ill-informed opinions to yourself.”

Mrs Fenhaven was whispering urgently to Miss Stenhouse, who had deflated like the silly hen she was, her eyes glancing everywhere except at Gil, as if seeking a way to leave the battlefield with dignity.

Gil took pity on the poor friend, and stepped to one side, allowing them to pass, Mrs Fenhaven curtseying slightly and saying, in a harried tone, “So nice to meet you, my lord, at least it would have been… oh dear, oh Millie, how could you.”

In the private parlour Lord Henry had ordered for their meal, the rest of his party was already gathered, but after they had eaten and the nursemaid had taken the children upstairs to get their coats for their outing, he told Lord Henry and Susan about the encounter. Susan was scornful. “I’ve never heard of the woman, and I doubt she knows anyone who matters, Rutledge. She cannot harm me or mine. Though I would have paid pounds for a ringside seat on her dressing down. I am sure she must have been shaking in her shoes.”

Gil was less inclined to be amused. “Unfortunately, I doubt I’ve spiked her guns, and she is only one, besides. We can’t deny that we did travel together, and alone, and though you and I know it was in all innocence, people will believe what they will.”

He cast an anxious glance at Lord Henry. “I am sorry, general.”

“No apology required, my boy. Susan has told me how you looked after her; yes, and found and rescued Amy, too.”

Susan made a small delicate noise of disgust. “Apologies, indeed. Are you sorry you came with me, Rutledge? I was going anyway, as you full well know, and while I am fully conscious of what I owe you, I do not appreciate the suggestion that either you or my father controls my behaviour.”

Gil had to smile at that, a wry twist of the lips. No one controlled his goddess. She was a force of nature. Nonetheless, he could not be as blithe about the rumours as her. “Perhaps I should take the children to see the playing fields, and the General should come with you to the school, Susan. My presence will only add fuel to the fire of the rumours.”

Susan shook her head. “Your absence, when you are known to be in Cambridge, will look like guilt, Gil. Be damned to the rumourmongers. I would appreciate your escort.”

Gil glanced at Lord Henry, who said, “Susan is right. The only way to deal with rumours is to act as if you have done nothing at all of which to be ashamed.”

Susan gave a deep sigh. “There. You have the agreement of the male head of my family. Satisfied, Rutledge?”

Even Gil, who had lived in an almost entirely male world since he was a schoolboy, knew better than to give an honest answer to that. “It shall be as you wish, Susan.”

Does her husband know?

Edmond Worthington, 9th Duke of Hartford, set down the morning paper with a scowl. He had read the same paragraph more than a half dozen times. Unfortunately, the print did not change. He had sent for his sister Gwendolyn to join him. How like her to keep him waiting. They had not been on friendly terms since he had told her he must honor their father’s dictate that she wed.

He heard his butler opening the front door admitting his sister. “Good morning, my lady,” he said. “His Grace is waiting for you in the blue dining room.”

“Thank you, Giles,” Gwendolyn replied making her way into the room. She looked lovely this morning in a light pink frock printed with a tiny rosebud pattern. Taking off her bonnet, she placed it upon the table to look upon him. “Will this take long?” she asked with a raised brow. “I have an appointment will my dressmaker.”

He slid the paper in her direction. “Take a look… fifth page. You cannot miss it.”

“Really, Hartford… what is all the fuss about?”

He only nodded to the paper and peered at her over the rim of his teacup. Gwendolyn opened the paper to scan the contents. Her eyes widened in shock as she read.

This just in Gentle Readers…

The Teatime Tattler has found out from a most reliable source (aka the “D” sisters) that a certain married woman (Lady S) has been seen in the company of a man who is not her husband (Lord D). They may have started out walking side by side in Hyde Park, but the sisters insisted they saw Lord D kissing Lady S. This juicy tidbit for this correspondent could not go unpublished. Such an affair only makes us wonder if the lady’s husband is in the know…

“Good heavens!” she exclaimed, all but falling into a nearby chair.

Edmond stood before heading to the sideboard to pour his sister a cup of tea. “You really need to be more careful, Gwen, when you plan such a liaison. What if Sandhurst finds out?”

The cup rattled upon the saucer when she took a sip. “I did not plan this, Hartford. And how did Prudence and Abigail Danvers see us?”

“They are Society’s busybodies and have been known to let that rag, the Teatime Tattler, in on our family’s business. Anything they say should not come as a surprise.”

“What am I to do? Sandhurst will not be pleased…” she whispered.

“I am unsure if I should berate you for your foolishness or help see you out of this situation. I hope our brother Brandon was not involved with any of this.” Her downcast eyes told him all he needed to know. He cursed.

“Do not take this out on Brandon. He was only trying to help,” she pleaded.

“I suggest you cancel your appointment and head straight home. If you are lucky, Sandhurst will not see this scandal sheet… that is, if you can destroy the paper before he gets to it.”

Gwendolyn retrieved her bonnet, practically running towards the door. He called for his butler. “Send a message up to my brother’s room and inform him I wish to see him,” Edmond demanded.

Brandon had a fair amount of explaining to do. Edmond took another sip of his tea wondering what he would need to do next in order to keep their family reputation intact.


You can learn more about Gwendolyn’s story by reading Nothing But Time: A Family Worth, Book One. But Gwendolyn’s story is only the beginning. Look for Edmond’s journey to finding love in One Moment In Time: A Family of Worth, Book Two coming soon!

Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth,
Book One

Blurb:

They will risk everything for their forbidden love…

When Lady Gwendolyn Marie Worthington is forced to marry a man old enough to be her father, she concludes love will never enter her life. Her husband is a cruel man who blames her for his own failings. Then she meets her brother’s attractive business associate and all those longings she had thought gone forever suddenly reappear.

A long-term romance holds no appeal for Neville Quinn, Earl of Drayton until an unexpected encounter with the sister of the Duke of Hartford. Still, he resists giving his heart to another woman, especially one who belongs to another man.

Chance encounters lead to intimate dinners, until Neville and Gwendolyn flee to Berwyck Castle at Scotland’s border hoping beyond reason their fragile love will survive the vindictive reach of Gwendolyn’s possessive husband. Before their journey is over, Gwendolyn will risk losing the only love she has ever known.

Excerpt:

Gwendolyn peeked through lowered lashes at the man who had held her attention. She had not meant to be caught staring at him but she could in no way pull her gaze from his. With a single glance, her heart fell, silently crying at the injustice of it all. No man should be so handsome, nor should she experience a connection with a complete stranger clear on the other side of the room. She gazed into the depths of her tea wondering if perhaps it was laced with something that caused her infatuation with a stranger.

 She had watched his companion leave their table and Gwendolyn needed to stifle a satisfied smile the moment he was left alone. His clothes suggested he was wealthy, for they were immaculate. His hair was a deep rich auburn and she could see where the light of the dining room reflected the hints of red within the depths of his locks. His eye color could not be determined from this distance but that did not matter in the least. He was the first man who had ever made her heart flip end over end. Such an emotion certainly never happened with her husband and she knew it ever would.

Buy Links:

Amazon US   |Amazon AU  |  Amazon BR  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon DE  |  Amazon ES  |  Amazon FR  |  Amazon IN  |  Amazon IT  |  Amazon JP  |  Amazon MX  |  Amazon NL  |  Amazon UK

NOTE:  Nothing But Time is currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimited but will soon be wide to all eRetailers.

Bio:

Sherry Ewing is proud to be a member of the Bluestocking Belles. She picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical & time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Beau Monde & the Bluestocking Belles. Sherry is currently working on her next novel and when not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

You can learn more about Sherry and her published work on these social media outlets:

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The Family Feud

The family feud between the Earl of Chadbourn’s nephew, the Duke of Murnane, and his cousin, Randolph Wheatly, has caused considerable talk recently. We believe our readers will find two missives that have come into the Tattler’s possession to be of interest. Some would say the conflict is old news. Others might suggest its influence on current events makes for as juicy a story today as it did seven years ago.

 S. Clemens

familyPrivate Pratt,
Y’ asked why mister Rand hates that duke his cousin. No one at the servants table answered cause they all love the duke. I learned as how to rite at the dame school at home so I thot I would rite the answer down. The earls vall-et told me how to spell Private but I dint tell him why I wanted to know.

The duke married the girl Mr. Rand corted and that’s a fact. Both wanted ‘er an one got ‘er. When Mr. Rand found out she was far gone with child already at the wedding, he said as how the duke had his way with her even while she still walked out with Mr. Rand. Bad business that.

No man wants a girl to lift her skirt to some ‘un other. Mr. Rand he got so mad he high tailed it to Canada where you met him. Stayed away seven years. Now th’earl told them to work together and everyone’s walking around like a storm’s brewing.

But no person here wants to beleev the duke would do his cozin such a turn neither. I heared Missus Alberts the cook say quiet like once that she dint think the boy were the duke’s son neither but you codnt tell that from how he dotes on the lad. Hes a good father, is the duke.

I know you admire Mr. Rand and I thot you’d want to know.

Elsie Jones, tweeny


Family

Sketch by Ernest Blaikley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Miss Jones,
Thank you for your kind note. Any soldier knows it is safest to know the lay of the land, and it has been hard enough for me living in a posh household like this one without the folks hiding things from me. Mr. Rand is one of the best men I know, and he has been careful to protect Meggy Blair and her children, folks as are important to me. I cannot think ill of him. He came all the way to London to make sure they are safe, and he won’t back down.

I can’t say I know the duke, but he seems like a solid fellow as well, and he plans to help us so I can’t think ill of him either. He even plans to go after the general’s crooked activity. No, I have to respect him, especially since he helped me sort out the matter of desertion from the army and all.

Whatever the truth of it, they are honorable men. I hope they come to peace because there will be enough fighting if they try to take on the ugly gang of button fakers and thieves as they talked about. Bad doings there, and they will need to watch their backs.

Your words helped me Miss. Maybe when this settles down I’ll be free to ask you to walk out of a Sunday.

Yrs
John Pratt

__________________________________

FamilyAbout the Book, The Renegade Wife: Book 1, Children of Empire

Betrayed by his cousin and the woman he loved, Rand Wheatly fled England, his dreams of a loving family shattered. He clings to his solitude in an isolated cabin in Upper Canada. Returning from a business trip to find a widow and two children squatting in his house, he flies into a rage. He wants her gone, but her children are sick and injured, and his heart is not as hard as he likes to pretend.

Meggy Blair harbors a secret, and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her children safe. She’d hopes to hide with her Ojibwa grandmother, if she can find the woman and her people. She doesn’t expect to find shelter with a quiet, solitary man, a man who lowers his defensive walls enough to let Meggy and her children in.

Their idyllic interlude is shattered when Meggy’s brutal husband appears to claim his children. She isn’t a widow, but a wife, a woman who betrayed the man she was supposed to love, just as Rand’s sweetheart betrayed him. He soon discovers why Meggy is on the run, however, and time is running out. To save them all, Rand must return to England and face his family demons.

~Excerpt~

“I manage. I have no idea about Julia,” Charles said through tight lips.

Rand raised his eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“I haven’t seen Julia in two years. She hasn’t seen Jonny in longer. I have no idea how she ‘manages.’” He leaned toward Rand. “Don’t look at me like that, Randolph Wheatly. We separated less than a year after we married. It happens. If you had stayed, you might have delighted in my misfortune.”

Charles glared at Rand, who could think of nothing to say. When the silence became painful, Charles sank back in his chair. “Don’t worry. Though it seems unlikely Jonny will ever be duke, know that he is loved. I love him as if he were my own.” His voice rose when he continued, and an emotion Rand couldn’t identify gave force to his words. “He is my own. Don’t try to say otherwise.”

“What are you implying, Charles? Of course he’s your son. You were eager enough to bed his mother.”

“I didn’t touch Julia until our wedding night. Jonny came into this world six months later. What do you think I’m implying?”

Something uncurled in Rand’s chest. His cousin was many things, some unpleasant, but he wasn’t a liar.

***FREE***with Kindle Unlimited or buy a copy here

About the Series, Children of Empire

Three cousins, who grew up together in the English countryside, have been driven apart by deceit and lies. (You may guess a woman was involved!) They all make their way home, finding love and the support of women of character and backbone along their journeys. They are:

  • Rand who has become a recluse, and lives in isolation in frontier Canada intent on becoming a timber baron, until a desperate woman invades his peace.
  • Fred, an officer in the Bengal army, who enjoys his comfortable life on the fringes until his mistress dies and he’s forced to choose between honor and the army.
  • Charles, Duke of Murnane, who, tied to a miserable marriage, throws himself into government work to escape bad memories. He accepts a commission from the Queen that takes him to Canton and Macau.

Who are their ladies?

  • Meggy Campeau, the daughter of a French trapper and Ojibwe mother who has made mistakes, but is fierce in protecting her children.
  • Clare Armbruster, fiercely independent woman of means, who is determined to make her own way in life, but can’t resist helping a foolish major sort out his responsibilities.
  • Zambak Hayden, eldest child of the Duke of Sudbury, who knows she’d make a better heir than her feckless younger brother, but can’t help protecting the boy to the point of following him to China. She may just try to sort out the Empire’s entangled tea trade–and its ugly underpinning, opium while she’s there.

You can find more here or here

About the Author

Carol Roddy – Author

Caroline Warfield is a Bluestocking Belle and lover of family, history, travel and faith, all of which inform her work. She firmly believes that love is worth the risk to the human heart.

She grew up in a peripatetic army family and had a varied career (largely around libraries and technology) before retiring. Now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, she divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married.

She has works published by Soul Mate Publishing and also independently published works. In addition she has participated in five group anthologies, one not yet published. You can find her here:

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History Imagined

Is a Publishing War Brewing?

Dear Mr. Clemens,

I write to request your assistance in correcting a grievous wrong. Your publication is highly regarded in all circles and any cause you endorse must be regarded as just, right and worthy of action. The wrong against which I need your assistance is the devious and unprincipled revelation of a character’s life story without requesting permission from the character so revealed. This heinous invasion of privacy has happened to every character I know and even to some ‘real’ persons who have suffered the embarrassing and often difficult consequences of unauthorized biography.

One Night's Desire by Rue Allyn

This is the book in which Ms. Allyn cruelly details the demise of my family and my testimony against my father.

My own case is typical, and I along with all the private details of my life will soon be exposed. Thus, I use my experience as an example of the outrageous lengths to which these invasive authors will go.

My name is Elise Van Demer—yes, that Elise Van Demer. I am indeed the woman who as an innocent and untried girl on the cusp of adulthood reported to the law her own father as a liar, cheat, thief, and murderer.** My public involvement in that scandal was unavoidable. I was after all a witness to his crimes and swore testimony in a court of law, which placed every detail of that humiliating experience on public record. Public record, mind you, which is no invasion of privacy no matter how mortifying the details.

Also a matter of public record is the fact that my father subsequently and spitefully disowned me and denied me my birthright. He actually imagined that I was in the wrong to report his crimes. Confessing that a parent, an individual who is supposedly an example and protector, is a criminal of the worst sort is not an easy thing. There are characters who have tarred me with my father’s brush, and despite the unkind rumors they spread, I persevere in my attempts to restore my birthright and my good name.

As you can see even the public facts of a character’s life can be difficult. However, the sort of invasive authorship to which I firmly object and against which I seek your hearty endorsement involves the exposure of very private details to the reading public. The guilty party in my case is a Ms. Rue Allyn. She has a history of investigating the most intimate details in a character’s life then presenting those details to the public thinly disguised as a romantic novel. I say thinly disguised because she does not even bother to change the names to protect the innocent. Note, she had the gall recently to pen an article claiming that she herself chooses the names of the characters in her books. (https://wp.me/p2d2BX-CT). Balderdash. I know my name and knew it long before ever encountering this conscienceless female. But I digress.

ShAMEtext.

Kissing-Couple-Silhouette

The artist has more sensitivity than Ms. Allyn and refused to show our faces when he captured this moment of passion between Boyd and me.

To continue my example, I have worked very hard to erase the name of Elise Van Demer from the memories of characters throughout the world and most especially in the Wyoming territories. I have managed to disguise myself as a muleskinner (no one would expect delicately reared Ms. Elise Van Demer to be driving a mule team that hauls necessities to outlying Wyoming ranches and farms). This disguise has allowed me to remain in Wyoming, developing helpful connections, and gathering resources and information with the purpose of regaining my birthright. However, along comes Ms. Allyn, poking her authorial nose in where it most definitely does not belong. (Can you imagine, she even discovered intimate details, physical details, regarding my relationship with former Pinkerton agent, Boyd Alvarez.) She is ruining everything.

MULEteam

I include this image to prove to you and your readers that I know whereof I speak regarding mules and driving mule teams.

For myself, my only hope is that she is unable to publish her insidious narrative before I accomplish my goals. That has been the saving grace for most of my character friends. Ms. Allyn is no fly-by-night author. She is meticulous, if invasive, in her research, thus causing much delay in the publication of her supposed novels. I am now in a race to succeed with my plans before she can expose me and ruin all that I hope for.

You may ask why I reveal so much to you and your readers, if I still have a chance for happiness before Ms Allyn publishes her torrid tale? My purpose is to warn the public that thousands of unprincipled authors like Ms. Allyn exist. They must be stopped. Also, I regret to say, that while the Teatime Tattler is very popular in Wyoming Territory, we often receive copies six to twelve months after the periodical’s publication. I sincerely hope to have achieved all my aims before anyone in Wyoming can read this particular article.

Hopefully the experiences I’ve related will prompt you to wage war in print against authors such as Ms. Allyn, and gain respect for a character’s right to privacy.

*Note to the readers of the Teatime Tattler. In fairness, I have offered Ms. Allyn the opportunity to rebut Ms. Van Demer’s claims and will publish said rebuttal as soon as I may receive it.

**Ms. Van Demer’s involvement in her father’s trial is detailed in a novel by Ms. Rue Allyn titled One Night’s Desire which can be found at various retailers most notably, Amazon along with all of Ms. Allyn’s other currently available novels.Author Rue Allyn Head Shot

About Rue Allyn:  Award winning author, Rue Allyn, learned story telling at her grandfather’s knee. (Well it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) She’s been weaving her own tales ever since. She has worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of employment. She has lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that her two sons have left the nest, Rue and her husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south.

When not writing, learning to play new games, (I’m starting to learn Bridge) and working jigsaw puzzles, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at contact@RueAllyn.com She can’t wait to hear from you.

What Rue likes best about the belles is their can-do spirit. This group isn’t afraid to try anything the publishing world can dish out. The only other place I’ve found such completely supportive energy is with my fellow sisters-in-arms, the RomVets.

Musings of a Motley Meddler: The Prodigal Son Returns!

1814
England

Dear Interested Parties,

The ballrooms of London are atwitter…
And widows are revamping their boudoirs.
A few debutantes are likely still bitter…
But secretly consulting grimoires.

The demimonde ladies remain hopeful…
And gamblers are flooding the Hells.
The shopkeepers are restocking by the boatful…
But matchmaking mamas are hiding their gels.

*chuckles gleefully*

What is this special occasion you ask?
Why the prodigal son has returned!

Yes, dear readers, you all know who I mean…
And this time he will not escape my matchmaking schemes. (Alas, I couldn’t help myself.)

For I am determined, dear reader, to find without delay…
A mate who can rein in his extravagant way.

*grin*

Sure, I only have the slightest inkling of an idea, and with this wily bachelor, I will need much time to plan.

Nevertheless, I am confident I shall prevail, and by the holidays, he will no longer be a single young man!

My Umbrella is at the ready.

Signed,

Lady Harriett Ross—Self-proclaimed Matchmaking Motley Meddler—Mistress of Destiny—Wielder of the Infamous Umbrella
Bloomfield Place
Bath, England

I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.

*Lady Harriett Ross appears in all of the novels of the Agents of Change series by Bluestocking Belle, Amy Quinton, and has her own matching making series called The Umbrella Chronicles. See www.amyquinton.net for more information.

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