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Category: Teatime Tattler (Page 2 of 44)

GRANDMOTHER FEARS GOVERNESS

Eaton Square

January 1821

Dear Teatime Tattler,

I do believe my darling grandson has lost his mind. I come to you, understanding that by addressing my desperation publically, I may make the gossip about him worse. But I need insights from your readers.

At six and thirty, he’s older than most bachelors should be. More attractive, too, dare I say, with a shock of bright blond hair and charming blue eyes. He’s wealthy with eleven thousand a year from estates, but independently situated because he is a hero of the recent campaigns abroad. Against Bony, my dear boy was a leader of men in our Army. For his service, he gained numerous awards and bonuses that allowed him to purchase a townhouse in Dudley Crescent. He’s lived an honorable life and at the recent demise of his older brother (who by the way never saw fit to open his purse to help him buy his kit!), he has inherited the earldom. He devotes himself to learning his new responsibilities and his tenants do praise him for his devotion. Their lot—shall I praise my boy inordinately?—has risen since his ascension to the title. He is so dear, so dedicated to those who rely upon him, that I fear for him in this new challenge he faces. Bless his soul, he deserves better than more turmoil in his life.

But I must get to the crux of his problem, mustn’t I?

A friend, a former comrade in arms, has recently passed this mortal coil. The man was a widower with a young daughter, age eight, in his sole care. At his demise, this gentleman wrote in his last will that he gave his daughter to the care of my grandson! The child is lovely, at first demure and well-mannered. But she arrived on my grandson’s doorstep with a dog and a parrot. Now mind you, canines are a special species. I keep quite a few hunters at my home in the country. But they sleep in the stables. Never in my home! And a parrot? Really. The creature talks like an inmate of Bedlam! But this, dear Tattler, is not the worst problem. Oh, no.

The child has moved in. She’s intelligent, but forward and will grow into a bluestocking, I wager. The dog seems well-mannered (and without too many fleas, I must add.) The bird, odd creature, irritates me because he (she?) imitates my greetings.

But the bigger problem is now the new governess. She is astonishingly beautiful with a heart-shaped face, green eyes the color of spring grass and a laugh so bright it would charm church bells. From what my grandson tells me, she has no previous employment as governess, but speaks French well and plays the piano like Brahms. He hired her within ten minutes of laying eyes upon her. But she disrupts his life with dancing in the upstairs hall and without invitation, moving pieces on his chessboard. Now he has her dining with him in the kitchen!

I fear, dear Tattler, she is there to lure my boy to the altar.  What should I say? What can I do to alert him to the possibility she will seduce him, marry him and ruin his reputation and his life?

Respectfully,

A doting Grandmother

Find out more

(This lady appears in the forthcoming tale, HIS TEMPTING GOVERNESS, Delightful Doings in Dudley Crescent, Book 2, by Cerise DeLand. The first book in the series is currently available everywhere, HER BEGUILING BUTLER!

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:

Website
Amazon Page
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History Imagined

CORRESPONDENTS WANTED: APPLY WITHIN

Sam Clemens, editor and proprietor of the finest Society newspaper in the historical fictionsphere, completed the final draft of his front-page advertisement, put it into the tray marked ‘Urgent’, and rubbed a hand over his face. Today’s edition would be late to the boudoirs of the ladies of the ton, the clubs of the gentlemen, and the shadowy world occupied by the (to his mind) half-mythical ‘authors’ who purportedly invented the multiple universes and characters featured by the Teatime Tattler.

Today, his advertisement would take pride of place on the front cover, which might not excite the first two categories of reader, but would, Sam hoped, be seen as an opportunity for the third.

The recent push for Wednesday correspondents had garnered many more bookings, but they were spread through the year. He still had spaces most months, including the second half of April.

He crumpled up his rejected attempts and lobbed them one by one into the waste paper bin. “Promote your book”, one started. “Reach new readers”, said another. “A fun way to promote” followed “Stand out in the billion-book marketplace” into the bin.

He’d done his best. Now it was up to the authors. He rang the bell for the copy boy. “And tell Tom to add the block with the place they can find out more and book their spot,” he ordered. As the door closed behind the boy, he fished his brandy and a glass from the bottom drawer. Time for a quick drink before the proofs arrived, and then he’d be busy all night as the presses rolled.

 

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.

OVERHEARD AT THE COURTESANS’ BALL

Michael, Viscount Laidley, Brent’s best friend and distant cousin, fretted that Brent would never agree to reenter society. Hence his determination to push his cousin into attending this ball, where Brent was now hiding behind a life-size statue of a well-endowed male. Michael pointed at the marble man’s appendage and laughed. ‘Hoping the ladies will compare your equipment favorably to his if you stand beside him?’ Brent snorted.

Michael could always tease Brent into seeing the humorous side of situations, but tonight he was also going to push Brent back into society, even if it involved a couple of white lies and some scandalous women.  He pointed down the dance floor. ‘That’s Lady Templeton in the orange mask and feathers and…I say, a very transparent gown. You know what that means? Melissa will have already wheedled out the names of any men or ladies with titles who are on the guest list from her weak-willed lover.’

‘Weren’t you her lover once?’

‘Briefly. Never again. She eats green men for lunch.’ He pointed at Melissa again. ‘Watch. She’ll try to match people to names. And I know from personal experience that she’s not above blackmail when she’s short of funds.’

‘She tried to extort money from you? Why didn’t you tell me?’

Michael shrugged. ‘I was young and green and humiliated by my own ignorance. And she’ll target any man who has refused her, which means you Brent. and your friends.”

Brent groaned. ‘Hell. I need to find Lillian.’

When his cousin rushed onto the crowded dance floor, Michael smirked and silently toasted himself on a job well done.

PLEASURE HOUSE BALL  

By Suzi Love

Love revealed at a courtesan’s ball.

Brenton, Lord Mallory, attends his first courtesan’s ball in ten years to appease his concerned friends, though he’d rather stay home and read to his motherless daughters.

Though mortified that Brenton unmasks her at a scandalous ball, Lady Lillian Armstrong doesn’t regret their night together.

But will the object of her girlish adoration still treat her as his best friend’s little sister, or will he now see her as a mature and willing woman?

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EXCERPT:-

Lillian was his best friend, plus a beautiful woman with a seductive feminine form and, right at this moment and in his direct line of sight, a pair of familiar bountiful breasts spilled over the top of a too-small red bodice. He blinked, and looked again. Heaven help him, it was Lillian. His friend who’d been targeted by unscrupulous women who, wanting to pull her down a peg or two, had blamed her for her husband’s impetuous nature. A titled lady who, according to convention, should be secluded from society while she mourned her husband. Lillian, his Lillian, stood before him drawing the eye of every discerning gentleman at a courtesan’s ball. Shock robbed him of breath and froze him in place. His head spun as he tried to imagine why she’d come here, and with whom.

As a duke’s daughter, she’d been taught the rules for mourning and for the behavior of widows all her life. A minimum of six months wearing black and withdrawing from society, followed by another six months wearing mauve and lavender and socializing only with family and close friends. Brent could think of no reason why she’d be here, flaunting herself in that red slip of a gown. What had possessed her to attend a ball, any ball, so soon after her husband’s demise?

More importantly, Brent’s mind was so numb that he couldn’t formulate a plan to smuggle her away from the dance floor before masks were removed and she was recognized. Or before one of the lecherous men present realized that those were Lillian’s breasts squeezing past them.

First step was to uncover the identity of her companion, a woman insensitive enough to introduce an innocent to this sort of event. Couples were finding quiet corners and getting to know each other better, much better. Some of the ladies, and he used that term loosely, had already shed layers of clothing and their remaining garments were so thin that they revealed rather than concealed their shapes. Personally, he preferred to unwrap his presents, piece by piece, and he liked to do it in private rather than in an overcrowded room full of peers he didn’t particularly like and took great pains to avoid.

Looking towards Lillian’s position, Brent cursed his inattentiveness. The lady in red and her companion had disappeared. He pushed between companionable couples, past clutches of leering youths, and dodged ladies of the night who were advertising their wares so blatantly that the slightest movement would topple their breasts out of their bodices and into full view. Hell, if that green buck on his right peered any further down the neckline of that redhead’s gown, they’d need to haul him out by his boots.

There, a laugh that sounded almost right for Lillian apart from a strange high-pitched trill at the end of every sentence, as if the speaker was deliberately leaving a question mark at the end of each speech. Nervousness? If it was Lillian, she had good reason to be nervous. And when Brent caught up with the two women, they’d have good reason to be nervous because he was furious with Lillian’s unknown companion, and her.

Yes, he’d wanted his best friend to find happiness, but he’d envisaged her slowly renewing friendships next year in London, chaperoning her sister, and perhaps sometime in the future accepting a marriage proposal. The idea of any man making advances to her when her emotions were still raw after her husband’s demise and the pain of the appalling rumors that said she’d urged her husband to his death, made his blood boil. Though he couldn’t put his finger on why he was so incensed.

Lillian was his friend, nothing more, and she knew his feelings about marrying again any time soon. She was also one of the few people who knew of his first wife’s numerous affairs and what he’d done afterwards. As he wove a path through the crowd, he listened for Lillian’s voice and tried to smell her particular scent, though the air in the ballroom was thick with heavy scents from both females and males. The smell of desire, and arousal, swamped him as he squeezed around several couples in the final stages of negotiating the terms of their associations, with the women listing what they’d like their protectors to provide. The air reeked of sexual awareness, not something he’d been surrounded by for quite a long time and a smell he’d have gladly avoided for many more years.

The push and shove, and the manipulation and capitulation made him inwardly shudder. Though he’d visited his share of brothels and indulged himself at wild house parties in his younger years, he’d never employed a mistress.  More recently, he’d simply felt jaded after one unhappy marriage and he couldn’t dredge up excitement over two hundred primped and primed gentlemen and the equivalent number of ladies of the night playing games of intrigue and seduction.

There were many parts of married life he missed, desperately. Lust, desire, and passion he understood and, to be perfectly honest, yearned to experience again. The shared intimacy of conversations in bed after a bout of rigorous sex. Waking to a woman’s soft body wrapped around him and taking his time rousing her from sleep and then making sweet slow love to her. That he missed. Fake relationships, the sort formed here, left him cold, yet he yearned for the connection and sense of belonging that came with having a lover, or being in love.

There! That voice. That was the voice he knew as well as his own, and the scent that had often tempted him to rethink his views on marriage. Maneuvering around the dozen men and six women surrounding her, Brent eased into the lady’s intimate circle and stood at her shoulder. He sniffed. Oh, yes!

His senses hadn’t led him astray, nor had his sanity deteriorated and tumbled into madness, where his imaginings spiraled out of control and his fantasies sprang to life. Lady Armstrong, Lillian, was truly here in the midst of this decadence and debauchery. He shifted so they stood shoulder to shoulder, their arms touching.

Leaning in, Brent whispered in Lillian’s ear. ‘Well, well, well. I certainly didn’t expect to find you in attendance.’

Meet Suzi Love:-

I am Suzi Love, an Australian author of historical romances set mainly in the late Regency and early Victorian eras, and ranging from sexy to erotic. With a bit of Australia thrown in.

I now live in a sunny part of Australia after spending many years in developing countries in the South Pacific. My greatest loves are traveling, anywhere and everywhere, meeting crazy characters, and visiting the Australian outback. I adore history, especially the many-layered society of the late Regency to early Victorian eras.

My titled heroes and heroines live a privileged life in and around London, but my stories also dig deeper into the grittier and seamier levels of British life. I love heroes and heroines who challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire.

I hope my romances bring history alive for you and that you have fun alongside my roguish heroes and feisty heroines.

WEB PLACES

Web  –  http://www.suzilove.com

Pinterest –  http://pinterest.com/suziloveoz/

Suzi Love Face Book – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1795828726

Suzi Love’s Face Book Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SuziLoveAuthor.

Twitter  –   http://twitter.com/suzilove

Google +  https://plus.google.com/u/1/113015291124259141508/posts/p/pub

Suzi’s Daily Gossip Paper – https://paper.li/~/publisher/2dc7a490-82e8-012f-25ad-12313d16b843


 

 

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