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A Box of Tittle-Tattle

Tin Box1914. The date, printed on a tin box got our attention. One supposes it could be an error of some sort, the date being one-hundred years in the future, but given the odd goings on at Vauxhall last week and at the Marquess of Dansbury’s estate—blue lights and claims of travel to distant times—your Teatime Tattler staff believes the date is correct. Besides, it purports to hold tobacco from “Princess Mary’s Christmas Fund,” and who, pray tell, is Princess Mary?

What was inside, once we pried it open, however, was not tobacco. A folded sheet of paper, oddly yellowed, lay in it. When unfolded (carefully so as not to damage the brittle pages) the text turned out to be in French. Luckily, the Tattler staff was up to the task of translating.

Amiens, Christmas 1916

Dear Aunt Lumina,
The family sends greetings of the holy season along with our hope that those of you in Marseilles, far from the pounding of the guns, fare well and have plenty to eat.

We eke by here in Picardy, with fighting all around. In spite of it all the Christmas market went on in front of the Cathedral as it has in the past. If the booths held fewer goods, the cheer made up for it. The people of the city hold on to hope and (with a few exceptions) good morale.

Tin Box

Rosemarie Legrand

I regret to tell you that one exception is your niece by marriage Sabine Legrand. Even you must know she has ever been a bitter woman and the war has not softened her. I often thought the Good Lord chose to withhold the blessing of motherhood from her lest she inflict her misery on a child. Her jealousy of her poor sister in law Rosemarie—obvious for years—became a river of bile after the birth of little Marcel.

As you know Raoul Legrand died at the hands of the Germans last year, leaving Rosemarie in poverty and at the mercy of his sister. She was forced to move to her father’s cabin in the Floating Islands. Sabine would have us believe that that Rosemarie collaborated with German soldiers, selling her body for food and money. I could almost forgive a mother desperate to feed her son for doing something of that sort, but I find it difficult to believe Sabine. Bernard says Raoul made similar accusations in the taverns during his last leave. He told anyone who would listen that the German boy found dead among the Islands was Rosemarie’s lover. I don’t know what to believe.

Harry Wheatly, her Canadian soldier

Since the Christmas Market Sabine has taken up a different story. We all saw Rosemarie and Marcel walking about with a Canadian soldier who bought sweet cakes for the boy and his mother. Rosemarie certainly couldn’t afford them herself. Sabine tries to make this something dirty and scandalous. I refuse to listen to her.

The British, Canadian, and Australian troops stationed along the Somme have been kind in our dealings with them. One of them gave my Papa the enclosed box still half full of tobacco after commandeering use of his farm wagon to haul supplies. Papa as you know does not use tobacco. He asked me to send it on to Uncle Herbert.

Pray for us in Picardy, particularly for poor mothers such as Rosemarie Legrand struggling to survive long enough to see this war end. I hope she finds joy with her Canadian soldier, if only to spite Sabine. She deserves a crumb of happiness.

My love to the rest of the family,
Josephine

We at the Tattler hope so too.


 

 

About Never Too Late

Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t. Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday and More Anthology.
It’s Never Too Late to find love!

Click here for a list of retailers and to find out about each story.

Click here to climb into the Bluestocking Belle’s Time Machine and hop through time with the Bluestocking Belles.

Caroline Warfield’s contribution, “Roses in Picardy” takes place in 1916

tin box

About the Author

 Caroline Warfield has been many things. 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. Her new series sends the children of the heroes of her earlier books to seek their own happiness in the far-flung corners of the British Empire

 

The Occult Eavesdropper

Greetings, readers of The Teatime Tattler. ’Tis I, Mr. Palmer, lifelong seeker of occult knowledge and experience. For those unacquainted with my talents, allow me to explain how I eavesdrop on history. To see and hear the echoes of a location, I need only stand in the space, close my eyes, and enter a trance which allows my soul to flee its mortal home and explore the boundless realm of the spiritual plane. Perhaps you read of my adventure at Ravenwood Keep in Northumberland. Shortly thereafter, I journeyed farther north to Nihtscua, a castle ruin whose name—meaning “Shadow of Night”—sparked my interest at once. I felt compelled to view its past, though I was unprepared for what awaited me.

occult          A word of warning. Many would deem the scene I witnessed to be of a delicate nature. Some might say scandalous. Keep your smelling salts close if you choose to read on.

A lord and his lady stood alone inside a well-appointed bedchamber. The woman motioned toward the blazing hearth, before which sat a round, wooden tub lined with white cloth.

“Your bath, my lord,” she said.

He turned to her. “Really.”

The hint of a smile touched her lips. “Really.”

“Why?”

“Because you need to relax. Go on. Disrobe and get in while the water is still warm.”

His eyes narrowed. “And where will you be?”

She shrugged, seemingly nonchalant, but her eyes twinkled. “Why, here, of course.”

He frowned. “Don’t you need to visit the garderobe or something?”

“Why so modest? You’re beautifully built.”

“Is that so?”

“Aye, and you know it. But if ’twill appease you, I’ll go to the garderobe.” She started toward the door, then paused and turned. “You’re not undressing.”

“You’re not leaving,” he countered.

She twisted her lips and exited the chamber. When she returned a short while later, the lord sat submerged from the ribs down in the water. She shut the door and leaned back against it. Motionless, she stared at him.

“Jocelyn?”

She blinked. “Aye?”

“Would you be so kind as to hand me the soap?”

“Oh. Of course.” She advanced toward him. “Would you like me to wash your hair?”

His chest muscles flexed. “Thank you, but I can manage.”

He scooped soft soap from the container she held out to him and worked it into his wet hair. Then he took another handful of soap and began to wash his body.

She moved to stand behind him. Studiously, he ignored her, even as he rinsed his hair.

Until she stepped into the tub with him.

She wore only her chemise, of which the bottom third became soaked. The cloth hugged her knees and shins as she sat on the opposite rim of the tub.

The lord frowned. “What are you doing?”

“I would’ve thought ’twould be obvious.”

His gaze was riveted on her legs. “Where are your garments?”

“I’m still wearing one.”

“But the others?”

“Beside yours, by the fire.”

He lifted his gaze to hers. “By all that’s holy, why did you remove—”

“Between the fire and the warm water, ’twas too hot.”

“Yet you put your feet into the water. Doesn’t that make you hotter?”

“Oh.” She bit her lower lip. “I’ve been standing all day, and my feet ache.” She squirmed on the edge of the tub. “My feet feel better, but now my backside is sore.”

“What?”

“My backside, buttocks, derriere. Take your pick.”

A muscle worked in his jaw.

“Wulfstan?”

He cleared his throat. “Perhaps you should stand up.”

Again, she shifted her position. “I think I just need to…ah!” She pitched forward into the tub, and water splashed everywhere.

The shock of the moment wrenched me from the vision and sent me back to the castle’s present ruin. Yet the lady’s face stayed with me. Clearly, she endeavored to seduce her husband, while he seemed determined to resist her. What do you suppose happened next?

Excerpt from Soul of the Wolf by Judith Sterling

Occult  Wulfstan pushed open the bedchamber door but hesitated on the threshold. Pale and wide-eyed, Jocelyn stood motionless in front of the gaping window. She stared at him as though he were the Devil incarnate.

“Is it the wolf you fear?” he questioned. “Or is it me?”

Jocelyn lifted her chin. “That depends on how much the two of you have in common.”

Curbing a grin, he entered the chamber and shut the door. “We have more in common than you’d suspect.”

“Oh, I suspect quite a bit.”

“I suppose you would.”

She crossed her arms. “What do you mean?”

Careful. Tell her gently. He gestured to the hearth. “Come sit by the fire.”

“I’m warm enough, thank you.”

“Then sit on the bed.”

Her arms tightened against her torso. “I’d rather not.”

He sighed heavily. “I’ll keep my distance. You’ll be quite safe.”

Her eyes narrowed, but she lowered her arms. She marched to the bed, and as she sat, her tan tunic seemed to meld with the various shades of the pelts around her. Her long, elegant fingers raked the fur. “Happy?”

He swallowed hard. “Rapturous.”

His mutinous mind conjured an image of her lying beneath him on the soft fur, arching toward him with the same abandon she’d shown at Woden’s Circle. It stirred his blood, and his manhood. By law, her body was his to claim, his to devour at will.

Outside, the wolf howled a second time, prolonging the highest note with seeming ease. The sound shattered Wulfstan’s fantasy, reminding him of his mission and the discipline he dared not forsake. He took a deep breath and quelled his arousal.

“Well?” said Jocelyn.

He cocked an eyebrow. Had she intuited his dilemma?

“Your vision,” she prompted. “I’ve waited a lifetime to hear it.”

He gritted his teeth. ’Twas now or never. “I see my visions from the viewpoint of the person I’m touching.”

She gave him a nod. “In this case, from my point of view.”

“Exactly. I was in a large, ornate bedchamber, standing before a woman with brown hair and amber eyes…”

occultAbout the Book

A Norman loyalist, Lady Jocelyn bristles when ordered to marry Wulfstan, a Saxon sorcerer.  She nurses a painful secret and would rather bathe in a cesspit than be pawed by such a man…until her lifelong dream of motherhood rears its head.

A man of magic and mystery, Wulfstan has no time for wedded bliss.  He fears that consummating their marriage will bind their souls and wrench his focus from the ancient riddle his dying mother begged him to solve.  He’s a lone wolf, salving old wounds with endless work.  But Jocelyn stirs him as no woman ever has.

Their attraction is undeniable.  Their fates are intertwined.  Together, they must face their demons and bring light to a troubled land.

Buy it here:

Amazon https://amzn.com/B06WP4GSCR

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/soul-of-the-wolf

The Wild Rose Press https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/soul-of-the-wolf

About the Author

Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The third in the series, Shadow of the Swan, will be released soon. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/judithsterlingfiction/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16291161.Judith_Sterling

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MT3KB7L

The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2212_judith-sterling

 

Why Harry Went to War

Ottawa, September 1914

William Wheatly glared at his only son through a haze of smoke. He struggled to keep from covering his nose and mouth, assaulted by the stench of stale beer and unwashed bodies. During the interminable train ride from Calgary to the capital Will envisioned their confrontation, but he never imagined he would find him puking in a third rate tavern. He came to confront failing grades, not drunkenness.

He took two steps forward, rage washing through him. The whelp had no idea the sacrifices it took to send him to university. The whole family did without, made do, and reused just to pin their hopes on Harry, a slacker who obviously had more hair than sense.

“What the Hell do you think you are doing?” He roared at his son. The boy lifted his head, gave a wobbly smile and planted his face on the filthy table.

“Mr. Wheatly! Harry wasn’t expecting you.”

Will shot a furious glance at the speaker, a boy he vaguely remembered from Harry’s visit home the previous summer. “Obviously not,” he ground out through clenched teeth. “I can see why he’s failing at least.”

WWIThe boy—he thought his name was Brodie, but couldn’t remember clearly—sat up straight. “No sir! Harry is no drunkerd. At least it isn’t—I mean…”

“What exactly do you mean, Mr.—Brodie, is it?”

“Yes sir, Angus Brodie. Harry’s ever a good fellow. Don’t drink—well beyond the occasional pint, it’s just Miss Albright, you see.”

“Albright? Who the Hell is she?”

Brodie registered shock. “Everyone knows Elsbeth Albright!”

wwi“The chit in the papers? The one that is marrying the Governor General’s nephew? What does she have to do with my son?” Will demanded.

“Led him on. Harry thought—he may be a damned fool, but she flirted with him all winter and he believed—that is…”

A kind of peace came over Will. Better a fool over a woman than over a bottle of rum, he thought. Harry isn’t the first boy whose first love broke his heart. “Well, that’s over then,” he murmured.

‘Yes, Sir, though between us, I don’t think it ever really started except in Harry’s mind.

Will nodded. “Help me get him out of here Brodie, there’s a good man.”

“To his rooms, then?”

Will thought about that. If they took him to his rooms he’d have to leave him there. “No,” he said at last. “To the Chateau Laurier.”

Brodie’s eyes widened at that but he didn’t argue. He pulled Harry up with remarkable gentleness and put an arm around his shoulders.

###

wwiHarry awoke with a sick stomach and a head full of carpenters pounding hammers in his brain. Why did I wake at all? He wondered. A voice, calling his name, sounded far away. It was a man’s voice, not Elsbeth’s. At the thought of her he squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t want to wake up ever again.

“Harry, damn it, wake up! It’s almost noon.”

There it was again. He opened one eye and then the other on the last sight he hoped to see. His father scowled down at him.

An hour, a bath, and two cups of coffee later he stared back at his father in sullen silence, He had stopped listening to the lecture an hour before.

“Don’t be a damned fool. A woman like that never planned to take you seriously. She used you to practice her games and snares.”

Harry surged to his feet. “You don’t know her,” he shouted. “It wasn’t her. It was that damned father of hers. Wants to cozy up to the Governor General. Thinks the rest of us are dirt under his feet. Elsbeth isn’t like him.” Harry wished he believed it a bit more strongly. He very much feared his father may be right.

“We didn’t send you here to chase women. How are you going to get into law school?”

“I don’t want to be lawyer!” Harry snapped.

“What do you plan to do with yourself? Be the best educated farmer in Saskatchewan?”
“I want to be a writer. You don’t need university for that. Elsbeth said—”
“Don’t mention that woman’s name to me again. Bad enough she’s queening it all over Ottawa.”

Harry turned on his heel.

“Where are you going?” his father demanded when he strode toward the door.

“I don’t know. Anywhere but here.”

###

wwiIt was long past dark when Harry returned, sober, safe, and unsmiling. Relief so strong he couldn’t even be angry flooded Will. Visions of Harry flinging himself into the Rideau locks had haunted him all afternoon.

“Harry, thank God. Where have you been?”

“I enlisted.” Harry raised his chin and glared at his father, daring him to criticize.

Ice froze Will’s heart. Canada had technically been at war since August when Britain entered the war, but little war frenzy had reached Saskatchewan. Here in the capital, however he had seen posters, and newspapers. He’d heard the beligerant language in the hotel lobby. “Enlisted,” he gasped, hoping he had misheard.

“Borden is calling for an expeditionary force to fight the Kaiser. I’m going to do my bit.” The boy’s chin rose a bit higher. “Don’t try to argue me out of it. I signed. There is no going back. We report to Valcartier for training in three weeks.”

Three weeks? Will’s heart sank. “You damned fool. If you’re determined to throw your life away over some chit who never was worth a Yankee dollar, go ahead. But before you go you better go home and say good-bye to your mother and grandmother.”

Harry turned green. “But I—”

“You owe them that much. It isn’t as if you have any university career to resurrect.”

Harry opened his mouth to object and closed it. His eyes held a world of sadness that cut his father to the quick. He nodded then. “I’ll go. But you can’t stop me. I’m going to fight.”

wwi

About the Book

Never Too Late: Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.

Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday Anthology. It’s never too late for love!

Links to Various Retailers

About Roses in Picardy by Caroline Warfield

After two years at the mercy of the Canadian Expeditionary force and the German war machine, Harry is out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images of darkness. When he encounters color among the floating islands of Amiens and life in the form a widow and her little son, hope ensnares him.

Rosemarie Legrand’s husband left her a tiny son, no money, and a savaged reputation when he died. She struggles to simply feed the boy and has little to offer a lonely soldier.

wwi

 

The Witch’s Claims

Mr. Clemens, our editor doesn’t know what to make of this woman who claims to be a witch, but she insists every word  of this tale is true.

Some people think the “Ring of Belief” is a myth, but as one of the witches attached to the ring I can tell you they’re wrong. The magic is unpredictable, but real, and I shudder every time I think about what I’ve seen over the centuries. It’s my task to help the men of the Clan MacKay find love. Now you might ask, “How hard could that be?”

Would you believe that men in some eras are far from lovable? At least during the Regency Era the gentlemen have a veneer of civility. Some of the Scots in the Georgian Era were impossible. Why, I had to bring a woman from the future to find a match for Caden MacKay. And, she brought her dog. (Alright, to be fair, I gave Scruffy a choice and he wanted to come with her.)

WitchWell, Caden wanted nothing to do with my choice. Part of that may have been my fault. I miscalculated in bringing back a Sutherland, but to Ariel’s credit she didn’t back down. The two of them didn’t always understand one another. You don’t believe me? We can go back in time and I’ll let you listen in. Oh, that’s right, you wouldn’t know what just happened. Ariel saved Caden’s life and they shared their first kiss. Now, be very quiet:

Caden turned to his cousin. “We’ll search the windows above. By now the coward has fled, but we may yet find something to unmask our would-be assassin. Then we’ll attend to your urgent matter.”

He drew Ariel aside far enough that Ian couldn’t hear them. His expression screamed, I’d rather fight a dozen well-armed warriors than be in debt to a Sutherland. “Thank you for . . .” He simply stared at her.

“Saving your life?” She waited. Nothing. “Kissing you?” She raised her eyebrows. “Just trying to fill in the blank here.”

He blanched, but then heat filled his eyes. “Aye.”

“Well, one of us had to take the bull by the horns.” Okay, best not to dwell on that image. “I mean, I was curious. I wanted to kiss you. No big deal. It was just a kiss.”

“Aye.”

“Will you stop agreeing with me.”

His smile was genuine and she felt it to the tips of her toes. Good heavens, the man had charisma.

“I’ve nae had a woman who wanted me to disagree with her.”

“Well, I’m not like most women.” That was true enough. She’d never done the ‘let’s talk about boys, clothes and makeup thing’ with a group of girls. Somehow, she’d never fit in.

He smiled down at her. “Aye.”

“There you go, agreeing again.”

“Perhaps it’s because you make yourself so agreeable.”

She couldn’t contain the laughter that burst from her lips. “Really?” The word came out between gasps. “Oh, I wish you could have been there to tell my teachers. Not that they’d believe you. They thought I questioned everything.”

“Then they didnae ken you.” His brows drew together. “I believe the stone was meant for me, but just in case, I want you to take care.

Her laughter died. “Why would anyone want to kill me?”

Have you offended anyone aside from Ranald, the Countess or Robertson since I met you?”

“I don’t-So, I speak my mind. Is there a law against that in this century?”

“No. And I prefer plain speaking, but I’m nae most men.”

“No, you’re not.”

Do you see what I mean? Caden MacKay was one of my more challenging cases, although his twin, Gavin, may just be my worst assignment yet.

witchAbout the Book

Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alonemarry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own?

Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century?

Buy it here

About the Author

Dawn Ireland has  written several award-winning novels set in England, Scotland and Ireland. She prefers the Georgian era, because that time period fascinates her with its rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy society by refusing to follow expectations. After all, what woman in her right mind would want to wear panniers?

Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. Can you think of another profession that encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?

Dawn lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband.

http://www.dawn-ireland.com/startpagina.html

Bootleggers, Rum Running, and Bathtub Gin

Article Clipped from The Cedartown Review, Summer of 1929 —

G.L. Adams reporting here in mid-Michigan, The Cedartown Review, on news from the lovely little village seven miles west of Howell—Livingston County’s own sleepy, little Cedartown. Possibly not as quiet as we’ve all known, though. Such juicy goings-on to relate during these warm summer days.

First off, let me explain. Before yesterday, using names of those involved was verboten, but now, with those in question no longer around, time to talk. Unexplained disappearances of four persons has left many puzzled. Anyone speaking of this claim no foul play, which is intriguing to a point. Don’t you agree? But now, I’m here to offer up full-disclosure tidbits for speculation over your next cup of tea.

BootleggersLong has everyone suspected a local woman being a bootlegger north of town. This secret—maybe no different

than how President Herbert Hoover keeps the best whiskey on hand in the White House for his esteemed guests—remained unspoken in polite society. Word is out now, though. Even if you’ve not been aware of how Hulda Pearl Rose commissioned locals to supply her with rye mash, juniper berries, and anise, maybe you’ve wondered about her odd little family, housemate, Izzy, and baby, Frannie. All three recently vacated the house north of town, vanishing in the dark cover of night, never to be heard from since. Odd, to say the least.

Izzy might just be the sweetest thing since the discovery of honey so I’d never want for hurting her. But, my goodness, a week or two ago, was there ever a row to be had next to the flour and sugar shelves in Mr. Navarro’s grocery store.

Sweet Izzy got in a tussle going up against a matron of advancing years, both reaching for a lone bag of sugar. Hackles went up, words were exchanged, and the entire five pounds of pure white cane sugar scattered like falling snow over the rough wooden floor. That wasn’t the end of it, though. According to one spectator, right at that moment, who but Rita Mae, best friend to Tilly Miner (another celebrity of sorts since her husband, Johnny, has gone missing) walked right up to Izzy to stand side by side while widow Barnerd raked the poor girl over hot coals claiming she was consorting with the Devil. The Devil being Hulda Pearl Rose for making rot-gut, giggle juice, moonshine; whatever label you want to put on this sinful substance, according to the old woman.

The accusations slinging throughout the store would have made an albino blush. Rita Mae and Izzy locked arms against the wordy assault until Mrs. Barnerd ran out of breath. With what looked like a stand-off, the two young gals turned to leave but the old woman grabbed at one of their dress sleeves, missed, slipped on the sugary powder, and landed smack-dab on her rump. A plume of white dust billowed up around her. Oh, what a sight she must have been.

The young ladies left the store with their dignity intact. Yet, now, Hulda Pearl Rose, Izzy, baby Frannie, and Tilly’s husband, Johnny, are no longer around and one wonders if foul play is involved or are they hiding from the sheriff. More to come as the snooping continues. ~~Your Editor in the News, G.L. Adams

 About the Book: Juniper and Anise

Hulda Pearl Rosenowski chose to survive, no matter the consequences. Poland may have been her homeland but, when murderous scavengers kill her mama and dear father, and brother Josef, during a raid on their house, she finds a way to escape. Unharmed physically but damaged forever, Hulda arrives in America with only the clothes on her back and a tattered potato bag containing a few scarce coins and precious family jewels.

Dreams of becoming a “flapper” girl and brushes with members of the Detroit Purple Gang dominate Hulda’s life as she counts down dwindling reserves, takes care of a broken-down farmhouse, a baby, and hides a secret that could land her in prison. Years later, as told through the eyes of small-town sheriff Claude Calkins, a story of rum-running and bootleggers stealing away in the dead-of-night with stashes of bathtub gin emerges and changes a young girl’s life forever.

Bootleggers

 About the Book: Tilly Loves Johnny

Newlywed Tilly Miner turns a deaf ear to rumors and gossip her husband, Johnny, is running parties where “complimentary” hooch loosens lips as well as pocketbooks for those looking to gamble. Some nights he crawls into their bed, smelling of sour rye mash; others, not even making it home until early morning. But her loyalty remains unwavering. And then, the unspeakable happens.

A few days before Christmas, Tilly discovers a bloody atrocity dumped on their kitchen table. A warning from the Ku Klux Klan? Johnny laughs it off as a joke. But, when he goes missing one cold night in February, 1929, Tilly is convinced someone or something prevents his return.

Her undying faith in Johnny is tested by righteous attitudes from her best friend’s mother and a too-cruel mother-in-law, while a recalcitrant sheriff is convinced the man merely ran off.

About the Author

Marion Cornett, like many novelists, began her career in a steep learning curve that ultimately lasted over some forty years before having her first story published. That meant having national magazines publish original patterns for knitting, crocheting, and needlework, while perfecting her journalistic abilities through motorcycle road racing reporting.

Her claim to fame, at this point, is all about Michigan’s past. Two volumes on the history of her adopted town, Fowlerville, proved to be a great research tool to then write two historical novels set in a small town that looks a lot like their village in the early 1900s. “Juniper and Anise,” a story of a woman bootlegger selling bathtub gin during the Prohibition Era, was published by Whiskey Creek Press in 2014 and “Tilly Loves Johnny,” a murder/mystery tale centered around the illicit activities of a blind pig, was published by the Wild Rose Press in 2016.

“The Fowlerville Chronicles” (2010), a compilation of the village’s history from 1836 to 2010, and “Through the Eyes of a Country Editor” (2012), the writings and life of G.L. Adams, publisher and editor of the newspaper, “The Fowlerville Review,” are available in used and new prints.

As research continues, more stories are in the works. All happening while continuing to travel around the country on named “awesome road trips,” hiking portions of the Appalachian and Arizona trails, and thoroughly enjoying time with her husband, Doug, since falling deep into retirement.

mcdesign159@gmail.com

www.marioncornett.com

 

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