Home of the Bluestocking Belles

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Author: Rue Allyn (Page 1 of 2)

The Tattler Interviews Lady Aisla MacKai from A Wish For All Seasons by Rue Allyn in the Bluestocking Belles’ holiday collections, Follow Your Star Home

Greetings friends and readers. Lady Aisla MacKai is among the most fascinating men and women of fiction that The Tattler has been privileged to meet in recent memory. The basic facts concerning the lady are these: She claims to be more than twenty years old, but refuses to be more specific. I got quite the tongue lashing from her when I pressed her on the matter. She was born, and lived her entire life at Dungarob Keep, the ancestral home of the MacKai clan and the Barons who led them. She is black-haired, fair-skinned, gray-eyed, and (as Caibre MacFearann her fiancé told me), as fair a lass as ever graced the highlands. I must agree that his charming and challenging young woman is a most pleasant sight to behold. With that introduction, let us commence Lady Aisla MacKai’s interview.

TT: “I understand you recently became engaged.”

AM: “Aye.”

TT: “Could you tell us about your fiancé and how your engagement came about?”

: “Well Caibre MacFearann is the most exasperatin’ mon a female could ever meet. He’s handsome as the devil and knows it. I dinna wish t’ become engaged at all, especially to Caibre given our mutual past. But you might say my hand was forced.”

TT: “You mean he compromised you?” (I asked this with some trepidation. The Tattler has a reputation for discretion, but also for truth. I want our readers to know exactly what circumstances forced Lady Aisla’s hand to marriage.)

AM: “Nothing of the kind, sir. What sort of woman do you think I am?”

TT: “My humble apologies, Lady Aisla, I believe you to be a most honorable woman, but you must admit that a statement such as ‘my hand was forced,’ leads most minds to the inevitable conclusion that you were compromised. To clear the air for our friends and readers, please explain what you meant.”

AM: “Well, y’ see. Several years ago, my brother, Baron Steafan MacKai embarked on a journey to the east indies in order to gain funds badly needed to repair Dungarob Keep and the barony’s holdings. He’d recently wed and sent his wife back to Dungarob in his stead. However, one thing led to another and she decided to return to her family in Boston. That left me in charge of keep and clan. I did my best to hold things together, even after my brother went missing at sea. His wife, a woman unknowledgeable of British law, petitioned Queen Victoria to have Steafan declared legally dead. That Bostonian wished to marry another mon. With my brother dead and no legal heirs, the barony would revert to the crown.”

TT: “But doesn’t Scottish law recognize women as legitimate heirs?”

AM:” That’s the short way of putting it. But Scotland’s law does’na pertain. Centuries ago one of our ancestors pledged fealty to the English crown in order to protect the keep and the clan. Since then, Dungarob has been subject directly to English law.”

TT: “You have my sympathy. That must be a difficult circumstance for a true Scot to handle.”

AM: “It is, sir, It is indeed.”

TT: “What did you do?”

AM: “What could I do? I wrote to Queen Victoria, and begged her as a woman who understood love of country and the great loss of a beloved man. Albeit she lost a husband, and I only a brother. Nonetheless the loss of any loved one is great.”

TT: (By now I’m sitting on the edge of my chair wondering how all of this forced Lady Aisla to affiance herself to Caibre MacFearann—a second son by the way of an infamous family. But the MacFearann legend is a story for another day.) “Did Her Majesty reply to your letter?”

AM: “That she did, in her own hand. She had all sympathy for my loss, but would not overturn the law for any reason. She would allow Dungarob Keep to stay within the MacKai family however, if within six months I wed a mon willing to take the MacKai name and title. Evidently there is legal precedent for that.”

TT: “I understand now. A title must have been a great inducement to a second son, especially when accompanied by your lovely self.” (Lady Aisla sits opposite me blushing whether from my poor attempt at a compliment or anger over the implication that a title is needed before a man would wed her, I cannot tell.).

AM: “I would be furious at your implication—intended or not—did a title hold any interest for Caibre.”

TT: “You mean he doesn’t care about the title?”

AM: “He says he does’na. As proof he reminded me that he left Scotland years ago to escape the burdens of nobility and his family reputation. He’s been ranching in Wyoming. Making a fortune he claims. He only returned to Scotland when his father passed away.”

TT: “So you discovered he’d returned and wrote to him for help?”

AM: “. I was at my wit’s end when an early November blizzard brought him to my door along with my missing brother.”

TT: “ I don’t understand. If your brother isn’t truly dead why must you wed MacFearann?”

AM: “Because the legal wheels of Britain turn very slowly. It might take years for my brother’s petition to be legally resurrected and reinstated as Baron MacKai could be granted. We had only six months to satisfy the queen’s requirements. It was marry Caibre MacFearann, who happened to be handy and willing, or lose everything.”

TT: “It does indeed seem that you and your brother were in desperate case. Mr. MacFearann is willing to give up the title once your brother’s petition is approved?”

AM: “Aye.”

TT: “And after that will you return with him to Wyoming?” (Lady Aisla looks everywhere about the room, even to the extent of studying her nails to avoid my gaze.)

AM: “He has’na asked me.”

TT: “Surely as his wife . . .?”

AM: “Caibre MacFearann is a difficult mon and beyond understanding.”

TT: (She rises and with hands fisted stares defiance at me.)

AM: “I’ve said entirely too much. In fact, I should never have agreed to this interview. Good day, sir.”

TT: She grabs her reticule and departs before I can soothe any ruffled feathers. I’ll be honest, I’m not quite certain what I did to set her off so. If any of you readers would like to help me understand, please address a comment to Mr. S. Clemens, care of The TeaTime Tattler.

*A note for our readers. Shortly after The Bluestocking Belles announced the future release of Follow Your Star Home, a storm of protest erupted from those who protested that the book was too scandalous to read. Supporters of the Belles, responded in strength and numbers. The Tattler, in fairness, published all communications received on the subject. The book has now been released to great reviews. So you could very well judge for yourself. Below is some information about Follow Your Star Home, A Wish for All Seasons (Mrs. Allyn’s contribution to the collection) about Mrs. Allyn herself, and The Bluestocking Belles. As always our readers’ comments are welcome and appreciated.

About Follow Your Star Home: Forged for lovers, the Viking star ring is said to bring lovers together, no matter how far, no matter how hard. In eight stories, covering more than half the world and a thousand years, our heroes and heroines put the legend to the test. Watch the star work its magic, as prodigals return home in the season of good will, uncertain of their welcome. 25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.

Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H4ZY517

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2y0SJbd

iBooks: https://apple.co/2ObkLLj

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/follow-your-star-home

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/894110

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon BR: https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon ES: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon IN: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon MX: https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon NL: https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B07H4ZY517

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07H4ZY517

About A Wish for All Seasons: The last thing Caibre MacFearann wants is to return to Scotland let alone be forced to stay there. But the chance to rekindle the lost love of his youth is too tempting to resist. Losing Caibre MacFearann’s love once hurt so much that Aisla MacKai wants nothing to do with him when a blizzard brings the man to her doorstep. Kindness and human charity require that she give him shelter, no matter that her poor heart had never mended.

About Mrs. Rue Allyn: Rue Allyn is the award-winning author of heart melting historical and contemporary romances. A USN veteran with a Ph.D. in medieval literature, Rue has retired south of the US border where she basks in the glow of sunny days and heated inspiration. She continues to enjoy professional relationships in the Romance Writers of America, The Maumee Valley Romance Authors Inc. and the (in)famous Bluestocking Belles.

About The Bluestocking Belles:

The Belles are ten very different writers united by a love of history and a history of writing about love. From sweet to steamy, from light-hearted fun to dark tortured tales full of angst, from London ballrooms to country cottages to the sultan’s seraglio, one or more of us will have a tale to suit your tastes and mood.

We love doing joint projects. This year’s boxed set is Follow Your Star Home, Eight original stories, more than 600 pages of diverse characters, complex relationships, and happily ever afters. Divided sweethearts seek love and forgiveness in this collection of seasonal novellas. Forged for lovers, the Viking star ring is said to bring lovers together, no matter how far, no matter how hard. If you’d like to learn more about us try searching these links.

  • Website: http://www.bluestockingbelles.net
  • Teatime Tattler: http://bluestockingbelles.net/category/teatime-tattler/
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bellesinblue/
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/BellesInBlue
  • Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bellesinblue/

Much Ado about a Great Book

Dear Mr. Clemens,

There has been much ado about Follow Your Star Home, the latest offering from the Bluestocking Belles. I want to say one more word in praise of this collection of holiday stories. Readers can do themselves no greater favor to themselves, can give little better gift to friends, family, and even strangers than to read these stories. This collection of tales honors trust, loyalty, faith in a higher power, and the miracle of love between family as well as lovers. What could possibly be wrong with such stories. I admit to some bias. As one of the authors and a privileged reader of the first drafts, I’ve witnessed the evolution of each tale from rough to polished draft. The attention paid to detail by the Belles is meticulous and rewarding in both historical information, human behavior, and matters of the heart. I am honored to be in the company of these very talented women. To prove my point, I include a line from each story. These small samples, will show the stories written by the Belles to be irresistible. Mark my words, sir, the Bluestocking Belles are a literary force to be reckoned with and their stories are experiences not to be missed. 

Sincerely,

Rue Allyn

“Come on, now, you lazy piece of vermin,” she said crossly. “Wake up, and help me help you.” A Yule Love Story by Nicole Zoltack

“What witchery is this that you come afore me in my dreams?” he all but growled out. “This is my dream, you crazy ghost!” One Last Kiss by Sherry Ewing

“I take it that my father is willing to accept Lady James and our children with the same enthusiasm?” Paradise Regained by Jude Knight

Glancing around, he stepped closer, lifted the locks off her neck and kissed the soft white skin beneath. Somewhere Like Home by Lizzi Tremayne

“Heed me, lad. You must follow this plan to the letter. No skipping steps. No combining steps. And no funny business.” The Umbrella Chronicles: James and Annie’s Story by Amy Quinton

“You’re a toad, Caibre, and I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last toad on earth.” A Wish for All Seasons by Rue Allyn

“How can I produce a marriage certificate if you won’t give me leave to get married? The Last Post by Caroline Warfield

“Well that’s fine thanks!” she called. “I get you a job and you get yourself run over!” A Fine Chance by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

Follow Your Star Home will be released on November 4, 2018 and is available for pre-order now.

Buy Links

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Belles-Christmas-Title-Still-Under-ebook/dp/B07H4ZY517/

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/894110

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/belles-christmas-2018-box-set-title-still-under-wraps/

Blurb: Forged for lovers, the Viking star ring is said to bring lovers together, no matter how far, no matter how hard.

In eight stories, cvering more than half the world and a thousand years, our heroes and heroines put the legend to the test. Watch the star work its magic, as prodigals return home in the season of good will, uncertain of their welcome.

25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.

More information about The Bluestocking Belles is available here:

 

Author Allyn Working on New Heart Melting Romance

Dear Mr. Clemens,

I want to thank you for your support of authors ancient, contemporary and future, as evidence by your well-balanced support of the Bluestocking Belles. Albeit, your physical milieu is Regency England, your—how should I put this—timely connections are well known and highly regarded for their accuracy and vision despite The Tattler’s reputation for rumor and innuendo. But I digress.

I bring you via this letter the news that Miss. Rue Allyn, Bluestocking Belle, medieval scholar, and highly regarded author, is now writing a new 1870’s Wyoming novel. Yes, her fans and those who may never have indulged in her writings will thrill to adventures of Boyd Alvarez and Elise Van Demer who first appeared in Miss. Allyn’s opus One Night’s Desire. That Miss. Allyn is once more producing her heart melting romantic novels is truly good news.

The sad news is that a year may pass before the publication of The Legend of Skinner Jonas (the working title of Miss. Allyn’s Boyd and Elise story). Should anyone be interested in keeping abreast of Miss. Allyn’s progress, they may join her newsletter by following this link to RAVON. Meanwhile to whet readers’ appetites here is a small sample from The Legend of Skinner Jonas. Of course, Miss. Allyn’s already published works are available for purchase. Information about them and Miss. Allyn can be found at her website https://RueAllyn.com.

Again we thank you for support of Miss. Allyn and all authors.

Respectfully,

Miss Essie Charleyton

President of RAVON (Rue Allyn’s Very Occassional News and blog)

A sample from The Legend of Skinner Jonas:

Nowhere Wyoming, September 1876 [Boyd is 28, Elise is 22/23]

“I saw Skinner Jonas’ rig over to the stable,” said one of the yahoos a the bar.

From the front door of the saloon, Boyd Alvarez spotted his quarry at the far end of the bar then headed for an empty table in the same area. He motioned to the barkeep, ordered one shot of Redeye neat, and settled with his back to the wall to watch Zachariah Jackson—the meanest, dirtiest, claim jumper, this side of the Wind River—whoop it up with some friends. With any luck, Jackson would drink himself into a stupor, and Boyd could haul the man over to the sheriff’s office with little or no problem.

“Ain’t never see’d Jonas m’self,” Jackson said.

“Well y’ can see ‘im now,” remarked one of the friends. He tilted his head toward the door Boyd had passed through. “Just came in.”

Jackson stood on his toes and craned his neck to see over the crowd. “Where? Man with as big a legend as Jonas’ oughta be big enough to see easy.”

The friend grinned. “Ain’t Skinner’s size what got ‘im ‘is reputation; it’s his luck.  He’s standing smack in the middle of the doorway.”

“Afternoon boys.” The voice was rusty as barbed wire but surprisingly rhythmic—like church bells or a lullaby, and oddly soothing.

Boyd supposed a man who coaxed critters to haul 500 pound plus loads would need such a voice.

Booted tread followed the greeting. The crowd of men around the bar made room. Boyd watched a scruffy figure stride through. Something besides the skinner’s voice struck Boyd as odd. He couldn’t figure exactly what. As he considered, Jonas stepped into to a spot at the bar bedside Jackson, right between Boyd and the claim jumper.

“Whisky neat,” said the barbed wire and bells voice.

Boyd was still mentally cursing the luck that put an innocent between him and a $100.00 bounty when he finally figured out what bothered him. How in Hades have all these men failed to notice that Skinner isn’t a man.

Admittedly, dressed as she was it was kinda hard to tell she was female—so maybe it wasn’t so strange that most accepted her as a man—especially since Jackson’s friend called her one. But that walk was unmistakable. From whore to starched up school marm, every woman known to man had that same hip-swaying, make a man’s cock ache, sashay. Some had it more’n others, but they all had it, and despite Boyd’s blue balls that strut was a pure pleasure to watch. Purer than he’d seen in a long, long time.

This one had less sway than many he’d seen. She had a stride that fit a man, aggressive and bold as brass, but she couldn’t hide that swing. Would’a been nice if she’d dressed like a woman ‘stead of a muleskinner. Would’a been even nicer if she’d cleaned up a bit and smelled like a woman. But she smelled the way she looked—trail-whacker through and through. Except for that sway. When one of the woman-starved men in this saloon finally noticed, she was bound to cause trouble.

The gloves she threw on the bar along with a very professional looking whip, had the creases and worn spots of an experienced wagon driver. The battered, broad brimmed hat that covered her hair and shaded her eyes was as dusty as that of any skinner he’d ever seen. And he’d seen a fair number during his days with the Pinkertons. The only thing missing was a lump in her cheek that indicated a chaw of tobacco. Which meant she probably still had all her teeth.

He swallowed a sigh along with a swig of red-eye and watched. Hard as he tried he could not determine hair color, eye color or the shape of any of her features. He cast a quick glance around the room. Either they were too drunk to notice she was female or not drunk enough to have the cajones to approach a woman as tough as this one appeared.

He shifted his gaze back to the woman downing her whisky. So what if she drank like a muleskinner too. Nothing about her would put off any of the men smart enough to see past her disguise. Boyd would be first in line, if he didn’t have more pressing business. Not one of those men would ask nice, at least not as nice as he would. Not one would take no for an answer. He would, even if he didn’t want to. Forcing an unwilling woman wasn’t just a crime, it was simply wrong. He may not be a Pinkerton any longer, but he would uphold the law and keep the peace. And the best way to keep the peace was to prevent law-breaking before it happened. Dang it, I have business to tend to. The last thing he wanted was to tangle with anyone over some strange woman. If he were lucky, he could distract the whole crowd from the female long enough for her to finish her drink and skedaddle.

He chugged the last of his redeye, plunked the glass down on the pinewood, and stood. Looking at the barkeep he put his two bits beside the glass and turned toward his quarry.

At the same moment, Jackson put his hand on the woman’s arm. “Yer a might scrawny fer a mule-skinnin’ legend, friend.”

Skinner shrugged her shoulder and stepped back. Posture balanced and relaxed, she looked Jackson up and down then sneered. “Keep yer hands to yerself. I don’t know you, so you ain’t no friend.” The bells tolled a warning.

She moved as if to walk around Jackson, but the bigger man stepped into her path.

“That was a mistake, mister.” The barbed wire muttered.

Damn, I waited too long. Boyd stood and reached out to tap Jackson’s shoulder to draw his attention.

“Sez you, pipsqueak. Whatcha gonna do ….”

Before he could finish speaking, Jackson lay moaning on the floor. The woman muleskinner had her foot planted square in his back. His gun arm was pulled straight out behind him held in a solid single-handed grip while she bent to slip the pearl-handled colt from his belt holster.

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 work. 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, both active duty and not.

Rue Allyn’s media links:

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The Shame of It All

Mr. Clemens,

Shame upon you. Shame, I say. You have done nothing to suppress and eradicate the pen works of the hussies known as the Bluestocking Belles. Bluestockings, hah! As poor a substitute for womanhood as an erudite female may be, these so-called Belles shame all bluestockings by association. In fact, as representatives of my gender they shame me.

I called upon you, sir, to intervene and preserve the purity of womanhood, but did you? NO! You did not, sir. In fact, I’ve been given to understand that you attended the recent debauch disguised as a “Cover Reveal Party.” Word has it there was a half-naked gentleman (though I hesitate to call a kilted Scot a gentleman) in attendance. Heaven knows what other moral turpitude ensued, as I refused to listen to any discussion of the Belles and their doings.

I am most disappointed, sir. Indeed, you appear to encourage these women even so far as to accept money from them in exchange for advertising their scurrilous writings. I urge you, Sir. Change. Your. Ways. The almighty will see you punished. All this poor female can do is to boycott your scandal sheet and encourage others not to allow evil to profit. You shall not receive another letter from me, as I’ve no desire to participate in any enterprise destined for perdition.

With great fear for your soul,

A Concerned Society Matron

*To Our Readers,

The Tattler can offer no words adequate in response to the above letter. We have always and shall always maintain editorial distance from all who write us to express their opinions. For we all know the worth of opinions. In the interest of fair play we, include here one of the advertisements referenced above so that you may judge for yourself how scandalous (or not) is the cover of the Bluestocking Belles most recent publication.

A Warning for Mr. Clemens and His Readership

Dear Mr. Clemens,

Mr. Wm. W.

I wish I could laugh off as a trifle the letter from ‘A Concerned Society Matron’ published in The Teatime Tattler this past July 28th. Sadly, this is not the case. I feel it incumbent upon myself to warn you that the forces of censorship are at work. Please take care, lest you and The Tattler fall victim to this insidious process. I have reason to suspect that the purported matron is truly an agent of The Society for the Suppression of Vice. She might even be a guise for Mr. Wm. W. himself. The members of the society (whose work against slavery is admirable) are, on the subject of literature, as ignorant as they are intolerant and see anything vaguely outside a strict and very uninformed norm of societal behavior to be dangerous and seditious vice. They are among the many frightened voices that prompted the passing of the Six Acts of 1819 which included alarming restrictions on the freedom of the press. It is after all sedition—we all remember what happened in France—that started this censorious craze. This madness of conformity labels a group of harmless, erudite, and broad-minded women as ‘scandalous and salacious.’

I paraphrase from the supposed matron’s letter not to give her absurd ideas a hearing—as you so generously did—but to prove the danger inherent in casting broad aspersions where one has little experience and less knowledge. I doubt very much that this faux-matron has ever read a single word written by The Bluestocking Belles. Nor would she know a well written and researched romance novel from the most puerile pornography. She should ask herself why no male would ever admit to reading works such as those written by The Belles. While I am certain most men believe they have good reason to avoid these works, those reasons spring from ignorance. In fact, I challenge the matron and her male contemporaries in rank and education (which cannot be very extensive) to read any one of the works by the Bluestocking Belles. Further having done so, I challenge any of them who has read a Bluestocking Belles’ book to prove the stories are seditious or vice filled in any way.

One of many novels from the work of The Bluestocking Belles.

Before the public bows to rants like those of the ‘concerned society matron,’ let them look for themselves at the body of work by the Bluestocking Belles. I am certain that any educated, open-minded person will arrive at the same conclusion as I have. The novels and stories of the Bluestocking Belles are to be lauded. They belong in the highest ranks of great literature and could, were it possible, teach even Ovid and Homer a lesson or two.

I sign myself proudly,

Lady Hultinford of St. Brendan Priory, Warwickshire

A dedicated supporter of learned entertainments in general and in particular, The Bluestocking Belles.

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