Home of the Bluestocking Belles

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Author: Bluestocking Belles (Page 1 of 4)

Protect This Unfortunate Woman From Folly!

Loyal Readers,

Our attention has been riveted by a most unfortunate bit of news from America, which as you know is mired in that horrid Civil War.  We have it on good authority that a certain young woman (EW) will be hosting a large number of the Union army on her (SM) property.  Should we expect a white flag to hang from her front gate soon?

How has this come to be? Could it have something to do with the afternoon she spent entertaining a certain handsome (according to sources) Colonel?  She was spotted by several of the townsfolk just a day or so ago talking to the very same man in front of The Griddle, as he helped her from her buggy. Was the interlude planned?  One wonders. If EW had not planned to meet him, would she not have ridden into town with one of the people? Alone, she thought she was able to move about unobserved.

So, why is all of this history important?  Well, we are familiar with the independent streak the young woman possesses, as well as her prowess with a gun, having been schooled by her very own brother, a high-ranking officer for the Confederacy.  In fact, many of our young sons joked about her ability to pick off a rabbit quicker than most—just before they signed up to fight for the Cause.

But according to sources, who we always protect as part of our neighborly pledge, she almost killed the Colonel when he visited her recently.  As proof of that, The Mercantile affirmed the purchase of large quantities of new plaster and wood to be delivered to SM, her property.

This same colonel and his equally intriguing lieutenant were spotted paying a visit to her yesterday. This was after large amounts of horse feed, tents, and related gear was loaded up in wagons with orders to deliver to SM. According to facts as were related to us, our sharpshooting young miss nearly killed the Colonel with her Papa’s shotgun. Of course, it was a mistake, but it is curious that she would be so distracted as to misfire—something that her reputation would tell us never happens!

Folks of New Bern, we bear a responsibility to guide our young people. We need to turn those who stray from the right path back onto the road.  Our concern is that there is a young child of five whose sensibilities could be compromised by the activity that his sister (and guardian) is planning. We all know she is without her Mama and her Papa, who recently left to find her brother, all while still grieving the loss of his wife. So, it is with concern and a heavy heart that we call upon all the decent folk to help intervene. If not for the salvation of this young woman’s soul, please do it for the sake of our beloved sister—SM’s dear departed Mama—and see that she is righted on the virtuous path.  Unannounced visits would be a good thing to do.

Stay tuned. This story will undoubtedly continue and must be told!

Civil WarAbout the Book, Embers of Anger

Ella Grace Whitford was Southern charm at its finest until the war hit. Her hometown felt sure their Southern boys would protect them, but they were wrong. Suddenly, she is on her own, with limited resources and the care of her little brother and his new puppy. Nothing was as she had known it, and everything she believed in was about to be challenged.

Colonel Jackson Ross was given the responsibility for law, order, and stability after the town of New Bern, NC fell to the Union forces. His rugged good looks, charm, and military bearing are difficult enough to ignore.

But when this charismatic commander of Burnside’s third brigade finds out that Ms. Whitford is living with little protection on a large plantation adjacent to the town, he knows he must come up with a solution to protect her. As dangerous secrets emerge, he must choose between protecting her or remaining loyal to the Union. Will his decision bring them both ruin– and possible death?

Click here to read for free (Kindle Unlimited)!  https://www.bit.ly/2Gj4smASCEmbers

About the Author

Anna St. Claire is an avid reader, and now author, of both American and British historical romance.  She and her husband live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where their once empty nest has filled with her cat, two dogs, and her two granddaughters.

Anna relocated from New York to the Carolinas as a child.  Her mother, a retired English and History teacher, always encouraged Anna’s interest in writing, after discovering short stories she would write in her spare time.

Her fascination with history and reading led her to her first historical romance—Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind.  The day she discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss,’ books, Shanna and Ashes In The Wind, Anna was hooked.  She read every historical romance that came her way. Today, her focus is primarily on the Civil War and Regency eras, although Anna enjoys almost any period in American and British history.

She would love to connect with any of her readers at annastclaireauthor@gmail.com

Just like a man!

“I’m nearly there, Molly,” Sukie told her friend. “With what I earn in the next few days, I’ll have enough to set up in a little apartment, and to hire a carriage to take me driving in Hyde Park. And then, we’ll see whose eye I catch, and who catches mine! Perhaps even the Marquis of Aldridge!”

“You gotta know, girl, I want all the best for you, but that there Aldridge? He don’t look at no-one but the Rose of Frampton.” Molly sighed. Every woman in the trade in London, and most of the United Kingdoms beside, wished they could be the kept woman of the Merry Marquis. “Lucky woman.”

“Maybe not so lucky,” Sukie said, smug that she knew something Molly hadn’t heard first. “Word is he has been seeing other women!”

“No!” Horror and delight mingled in Molly’s reaction. “Poor Rose! Just like a man.”

See Jude’s blog post, Tea with Aldridge, to find out why Aldridge began seeing other women.

A Baron for Becky

A fallen woman dreams of landing on her feet, until unexpected news threatens to land her back in the dirt

Becky is the envy of the courtesans of the demi-monde — the indulged mistress of the wealthy and charismatic Marquis of Aldridge. But she dreams of a normal life; one in which her daughter can have a future that does not depend on beauty, sex, and the whims of a man.

Finding herself with child, she hesitates to tell Aldridge. Will he cast her off, send her away, or keep her and condemn another child to this uncertain shadow world?

The devil-may-care face Hugh shows to the world hides a desperate sorrow; a sorrow he tries to drown with drink and riotous living. His years at war haunt him, but even more, he doesn’t want to think about the illness that robbed him of the ability to father a son. When he dies, his barony will die with him. His title will fall into abeyance, and his estate will be scooped up by the Crown.

When Aldridge surprises them both with a daring proposition, they do not expect love to be part of the bargain.

Buy links

Jude Knight’s book page  has buy links for many retailers, including her own book shop

 

Lord Parkington Speaks Out

You’d think that all would be well, what with Napoleon now exiled to the distant tropical island of St. Helena, but Paris in July 1815 is a deuce of a mess. So now I must assist Lord Forgall, Wellington’s most secret spymaster, to quell any resistance while we get King Louis XVIII’s fat old backside firmly re-settled on the French throne.

“Of course, always glad to do my duty,” I told Lord Forgall (Forgall the Wily, as we diplomats call him). But under my breath, I added, “though we’d be a damned sight better off without that Irish fellow.”

The Irish fellow in question is Captain Stephen Killian. One of the Inniskilling Dragoons – they did their job at Waterloo, I’m not saying they did not, but like any other soldier, he’s only suited for rough and brutal tasks. So why on earth would he want to be a spy? Killian is a devil of a fighter in battle, they say, even though he’s not one of your huge, hulking types. He’s just of middling height, rather lean, and not even that good-looking. Average at best, easily lost in a crowd. Yet women fawn over him. Of course, they go completely giddy over any man with a strong jaw and a thick head of hair – let him cut a fine figure, and nothing else matters. Utterly frivolous!

Not that I would object to a touch of frivolousness in the lovely Miss Emma Forgall. Her inky black tresses and jade green eyes are fetching indeed, and her figure is perfection.  She’s got that cold and regal air, but her father likes me. Given time, she’ll warm up to me, too. One would naturally prefer that such a beautiful young lady not be aware of State Secrets—you know how the ladies love to chatter, bless them!—but her father insists that she is the most skilled cryptographer he has ever taught. Still, there will be no more of that, once she’s married to me.

I don’t deny I was dismayed when Wellington made such a fuss over Captain Killian’s “heroism” for standing his ground on that Parisian bridge that General Blucher was trying to blow up. Wellington took such a shine to him, he ordered Lord Forgall to teach the Irishman spycraft and code-breaking. Naturally, the particulars of that task would fall to his daughter, Miss Emma.

However, old Forgall told me that his plan is to pretend to take Captain Killian under his wing while ensuring that the fellow is an utter failure at the job. I’ve heard Killian’s a wild man in battle – so he hasn’t got the self-control to be a spy.  With any luck, he’ll be killed by that devilish Prussian assassin Wolfgang. I’ve seen Wolfgang dangling after Miss Emma, too, blast the big blonde brute’s eyes.

Maybe the two of them can slaughter each other, and leave Miss Forgall to me – now there’s a happy prospect!

One day, she will be mine. Until then, I’ll just have to keep my eye on her…

HER WILD IRISH ROGUE-coming October 2018

~an excerpt~

Miss Emma Forgall waved her fan lazily. “Where in Ireland are you from?”

“I’m from Macha’s Brooch,” Captain Killian replied, hands clasped behind his back and feet set sturdily apart. Somewhere in the back of the elegant Parisian ballroom, the orchestra struck up a tune.

Lord Parkington snorted. “Impossible. Macha’s Brooch isn’t a place.”

It’s a riddle, you fool, Emma wanted to say. Why wouldn’t Lord Parkington go away? Just because Emma’s father approved of him, that didn’t give him permission to act like he was her keeper.

She ignored him and thought about the riddle. In Celtic legend, the goddess Macha used the point of her brooch-pin to scratch the boundaries of the city of Ulster into the ground and made her vanquished enemies dig its fortifications for her.

Macha’s Brooch meant Ulster.

“Ulster is a great distance from Paris,” Emma remarked casually, watching Captain Killian’s face for signs that she’d gotten it right. “Where did you stop along the way, when you traveled here?”

He shrugged his wide shoulders. “We stopped in the home of the man who herds the cattle on the plain of Tethra.”

“The what?” demanded Lord Parkington, who still hadn’t gone away. The man simply never could take a hint. “What are you talking about?”

Another riddle. She was beginning to enjoy herself. Good thing she knew her myths – Tethra was an ancient guardian deity ruling over the waters, and the “plain of Tethra” was the sea. Therefore, the cattle of the sea were…fish. Captain Killian had stayed at the home of a fisherman.

“So your host was a fisherman,” she said coolly. “No doubt you had excellent fish for dinner?”

He grinned at her. “Most excellent fish.”

Right, again! Emma’s heart gave a little hop of excitement. She smiled back at him and asked, “And where did your travels take you then?”

“Simple enough,” replied Captain Killian. “We went over the Great Secret of the men of Dea,  down the Great Crime, across to the Land of the Red Dragon, to the Ford of Oxen, and then to Caer-Lud. Then on to Lutetia.”

“What nonsense are you spouting?” Lord Parkington howled. “Surely you can’t pretend that you understand him, Miss Forgall!”

Emma waved a dismissive hand. She knew her Celtic mythology and her ancient Roman history. Besides, it was worth it just to see Lord Parkington’s purple-faced frustration.

“So, down the Boyne, over the River Delvin, across the sea to Wales, and then through Oxford to London. And here you are in Lutetia—or, as we call it, Paris.”

“Exactly.” Captain Killian nodded. “Now tell me about yourself.”

About the Author

Saralee Etter is the author of three traditional Regency romances. Her next book, coming October 2018, will be HER WILD IRISH ROGUE. It is part of the LEGENDS TO LOVE Regency romance series, with a protagonist based on the legendary Irish hero Cuchulain. She is working on A SHORT SHARP SHOCK, the first book in a Victorian-set mystery series featuring sleuth Lucy Turner and her friends, William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

You can visit her on the web at www.saraleeetter.com

Artwork:

Portrait of William Cathcart, 1st Earl Cathcart,  by Thomas Gainsborough,

Duchess of Richmond’s Ball, by Robert Alexander Hillingford

Both in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons

 

Could you wow the Teatime Tattler audience? Contact us if you think you can.

“But how did this happen?” Sam asks. “Again!” The Wednesday article has failed to arrive, and Sam Clemens is not happy. “I blame Mrs. Knight,” he grumbled. “She didn’t send out a reminder. But still, people are usually excellent at remembering for themselves.”

“Look!” he declares, waving at the old editions of the Teatime Tattler scattered across his desk. “People love it. Have you seen the numbers of readers for these posts? We regularly have over a thousand views a month. And we have fans; people who say they read the Teatime Tattler twice a week, as soon as the edition comes out. We have bookings through to Christmas.”

“But,” he frowns sternly at the gathered staff members: printers, correspondents, ink boys, paper sellers, “we still have gaps. Get out there, and find us more authors who want to write for the Teatime Tattler. Great articles like the ones here.”

Read the high-performing articles below to find out what Sam loves to see in the Teatime Tattler, or sign up to write your own, and to advertise your book (new or one from your backlist).

The Mistress and the WifeThe Soldier’s Return, by Laura Libritz

A base-born son, a hasty marriageThe Bastard’s Iberian Bride, by Alina K. Field

Mrs Bingham tries againThe Rake and His Honour, by Beth Elliott

Be Careful What You Ask a Hero — Only a Hero Will Do, by Alanna Lucas

Duke in Disguise — To Dodge a Duke, by Naomi Bloom

Overheard at the Courtesan’s Ball — The Pleasure House Ball, by Suzi Love

A sister’s love

Flora hugged her cloak around her, as much for its concealment as for its warmth, though certainly the night grew colder as midnight approached. A dark shape in the shadows of the trees, she could not be seen even if the old hag had men patrolling the grounds. And in the two hours Flora had been watching, no patrollers had shown themselves.

Presumably, the Dowager Lady Rutledge assumed she had her daughter-in-law thoroughly cowed.  And, indeed, how likely was it that such a gentle creature as Chloe would flee into the night?

Flora spread her lips in a fierce grin. Her little sister was stronger than that harpie knew; stronger than Chloe herself knew. She had survived her vicious husband by retreating into herself, but the real Chloe peeped out when she was with her little daughters, or on the rare occasions that Flora was permitted to visit.

Since Lord Rutledge’s death, Flora had been turned away at the door and Chloe had been confined. Flora had laid out far too much of her small stock of coins to confirm that her sister had been locked in her own suite of rooms. If she was successful tonight, they would need to go cap in hand to the Countess of Chirbury. Flora hoped she would take them as her pensioners, for if she turned them away, there was no backup plan.

The last of the lighted windows turned dark. In half an hour, the whole house would be asleep. She began reciting the play Hamlet as a rough measure. When she finished Act II, it would be time to move.

Flora kept to the edge of the shrubbery as she crept closer to the house. When all that separated her from the wall she needed to climb was a large open patch bathed in moonlight, she stopped, waiting for a cloud to cover the moon. In the near dark, she ran across the grass to crouch, her heart pounding, at the foot of the wall.

It would have been too much to hope that Flora’s nieces would be kept with her, so Flora needed first to free Chloe, and then raid the nursery to kidnap the two girls.

She unclasped the cloak, and rolled it into a bundle. Now her childhood prowess at climbing was about to be put to the test. But it was easy. The old vine that draped the wall clung to the stones and provided almost a ladder to the window she had selected, in the suite next door to Chloe’s. Now she would find out whether the help she had been offered was true, or a trap.

The window slid up easily, as she had been promised. And no-one waited to keep her from her sister. Now for a little more light to see if the key was waiting, too.

On cue, the cloud slid away from the moon, and there it was, waiting in the keyhole of the connecting door, as promised. Flora put her ear to the door, but could hear nothing. Chloe had a maid sleeping with her, apparently. But the girl slept deeply, and if the sister remained quiet, they could escape without waking her.

Time to put it to the test.

Flora took a deep breath, turned the key and opened the door.

The scene about takes place around six months before The Realm of Silence. In the book, the new Lord Rutledge has many burdens: a estate bankrupted by his wicked brother, both financially and morally; a mother who hates him; a sister-in-law who hasn’t been seen since she fled into the night with her two children.

The Realm of Silence

(Book 3 in the Golden Redepennings series)

Rescue her daughter, destroy her dragons, defeat his demons, go back to his lonely life. How hard can it be?

“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.

Get the first in series, Farewell to Kindness, for only US 99c for the rest of May, and the second, A Raging Madness, with a US $2.75 discount from Jude’s shop. Just choose the Buy from Jude Knight button, go to checkout and enter the code KWMS6GNW.

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