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Scandal Rocks the House of Sir Henry Brisson!

Dear Readers, we offer today, a titillating story impossible to keep quiet. It seems that Sir Henry was travelling from England via the newly launched SS Great Eastern luxury liner to attend a business conference in New York City. Lady Brisson was not accompanying him; however, installed in a separate cabin, his previously unknown British mistress Caroline was!

As per the ship’s custom, strangers were seated together at a large table in the dining salon permitting the two secret lovers, presumably unacquainted, to dine together. By the sixth day of the ocean crossing, members of the group knew each other and it was not considered unusual for the two of them to be seen promenading around the ship.

It was a lovely night with a full moon when Sir Henry and Caroline excused themselves from the dinner table to take in the air. While strolling on deck enjoying the warm breeze and star filled sky, they passed a lifeboat undergoing some sort of upgrading or repair.

Not to be dissuaded from a chance for adventure, they looked at each other and said, “Why don’t we check out the inside? What an opportunity! How can we resist?”

Climbing on board, carrying their evening’s second bottle of wine, they proceeded to take advantage of the unusual locale. The risk that someone enjoying an evening walk might pass by and spy on their activities just added to the excitement!

But totally unexpected was their discovery in flagrante delicto by four workmen when they showed up to check on their repairs. After quickly reassembling themselves, the lovers beat a hasty retreat. Although they were spared further embarrassment by bumping into the workers during the rest of the trip, the incident had supplied a titillating story for the entire ship’s crew; a crew who talked!

This tawdry affair comes at a particularly awkward time as the Brisson’s eldest daughter Louise is about to marry the Rev. John McMichael, a staunch Church of England minister who is rector at St. Clements Anglican Church in London. Will the marriage take place? Will Lady Brisson throw Sir Henry out of their Kensington Gardens estate or will she forgive him?

Watch this space for more, as information becomes available.

About the book: Get ready to experience a roller coaster ride of emotions!

Laughter, sadness, empathy, outrage. Canadian Anne Hamilton Fowler appeared to have it all. However, life is not always as idyllic as it seems and at age twenty a series of events almost destroyed her. Emerging from the wreckage she reinvented herself, started over, and proceeded to live on the edge with a risk-taking lifestyle. Then in 1993, an event experienced during a trip to Central America changed everything.

I’ve Worn Many Hats” is an inspirational read that demonstrates our human frailties, one’s ability to survive personal adversity, and how we can learn to forgive both ourselves and others. It is a story of redemption.

Anne Fowler is a retired Canadian who divides the year between her Haliburton summer cottage and Central America. This memoir is her first book and all proceeds will go to support Anne’s ongoing humanitarian work in Honduras.

Available now!




Scandal at the Circus

This past fortnight most of good society was in Brighton while the king was in residence. This week’s highlight was a performance by Mr. Maddox’s traveling circus troupe. Dear reader, I have been to the circus performances at Astley’s Amphitheatre in London but have never seen a show quite like this. You may be wondering what could possibly be so scintillating to catch all the ton’s attention.

Let me paint you a picture. The evening was warm, and the skies clear. On the great lawns behind the Royal Pavilion, a stage with rich red velvet curtains hung from a large ironwork frame created a dramatic backdrop to a great wooden ring that sat in the grass. And above it, at least twenty feet in the air, a tightrope stretched across the ring. The entire stage area was lit with torches that flickered brightly in the twilight. Mr. Maddox, tall and handsome, strode out onto the stage to welcome the crowd of onlookers and bow deeply to the king, who sat with the best view atop a sumptuously appointed dais.

Then with a blare of a trumpet, the show began. Acrobats dressed as fairies, male and female, cartwheeled onto the stage in frothy costumes made of sparkling gauzy fabrics. And from their midst, two horses in tandem rode out into the ring, with a beautiful woman atop, one foot on each horse, her long hair flowing behind her, the copper strands on fire in the torchlight. The lady wore a dress with a voluminous skirt of pink gauze that ended mid-calf over white stockings. The bodice sparkled with bejeweled silk flowers. A collective gasp echoed in the evening air as the guests recognized the performer as none other than the scandalous daughter of Lord and Lady Dearborn.

Yes, you read that correctly. Lady Susanna Ashby rode out into the center ring, scantily clad I might add as many said they could see her stocking-covered calves, to perform with the circus. I will admit the tricks she executed on horseback were quite entertaining, but shocking in the absolute scandal of it all! And in front of the king, no less. This writer heard from a reliable source that Lord Dearborn was seen dragging his prodigy off into the shadows. And hot on their heels was a certain marquess of the very respectable variety. So, it begs the question, what business does an upright peer have with an outrageous lady who willfully ruins her reputation in front of the king?

About: Making the Marquess Mine–Miles Weston, the Marquess of Hawksridge, longs for a holiday from his life. He is tired of all the politics, in and out of the ballrooms. Ever since his aborted wedding, his aunt has tried to match him with blank-faced debutants at every turn. The only entertaining thing in his overscheduled life is observing the antics of Lady Susanna Ashby, whose beauty and vibrancy brighten the greyest day.

Susanna’s spirit for adventure is matched only by her loyalty to her friends. Determined to help the distractingly handsome but overwhelmingly serious marquess, Susanna concocts a plan to distract his matchmaking Aunt Diana. She’ll reunite Diana with her long-lost lover, who wrote her passionate letters of love and longing. If only Susanna could discover the whereabouts of the mysterious James Marlow.

As Susanna launches her ill-fated plan, heedless of the danger, her worried friends send Miles to fetch her home. But Susanna has no intention of letting anything derail her quest to find the man from the letters. Not bad weather, broken carriage wheels, or highwaymen. Not even a sexy, managing marquess.

Available Now:

Excerpt:  Dear Lord, she was still in the bath. He froze, his thoughts stuttered to a full stop at the idea that Susanna was naked in the bath only ten feet away. He cleared his throat. “It’s me.”

“Miles! What are you doing in here? Do you make it a habit of entering lady’s rooms without knocking?”

He stiffened at her barb. Of course, he didn’t. He was a bloody gentleman. “Do you make it a habit of not locking your door? And I did knock, twice.”

A splash accompanied her huff of indignation. “So, you just barge in? I know that we are sharing this room but I’m quite exposed. Please leave.”

He should leave, but his feet were rooted to the ground. Water splashed as the shadow behind the screen stood up. With one slim arm it reached for a towel and then the shadow turned to wrap the towel around itself and Miles got an eyeful of her curves in silhouette. Susanna stepped out of the tub and the tantalizing profile disappeared. He could feel her glare through the linen screen.

“Miles, get out. Better yet, go home. Thank you for saving me today but now I am safely in the care of the Hadleys. You can go back to Brooksdale and your precious holiday.”

“No. I’m not going anywhere. We are going to get some rest and then we are going to travel back to Marbury tomorrow.”

Susanna’s shadow raised one arm in the air, a pointed finger jutted into the air. “We are doing no such thing. I am going to travel with the Hadleys to Weymouth Bay. I am going to find James Marlow and convince him to come back and reunite with the love of his life.”

Miles ran a hand through his already unruly hair. He blew out a long breath. “Why are you so stubborn? Marlow is likely nowhere near Weymouth Bay. And even if he is there, why would he listen to you?”

Susanna’s head popped around the corner of the screen. Her hair dripped on the floor and the curve of one bare shoulder came into view. He sucked in a sharp breath as his gaze swept over the sprinkling of freckles there.

“I am very persuasive. And he will be there, I just know it.” Her grin turned practically feral. She disappeared behind the screen and he heard the towel drop to the floor with a wet plop. Her lithe shadow moved to the other end of the screened area and she pulled a piece of clothing over her head affording him another tantalizing view of her silhouette.

Miles crossed his arms and snorted. “You just know.”

She appeared a moment later covered in a long-sleeved nightgown, its frilly hem skirted the tops of her bare feet. He couldn’t tear his eyes from her toes. Small and square, the nails trimmed neatly, they were the most adorable toes he had ever seen.

About the Author:  From the time she read fairytales as a child, Karla Kratovil was hooked on stories that ended in Happily Ever After. Now as an author of sexy historical romance she gets to craft her own happy endings. Karla lives right on the edge of Northern Virginia’s wine country with her college sweetheart, two terrific teenagers, and two blond terriers. She is a Taurus. Like any good earth sign she loves good food, good wine, and getting her hands dirty growing things in her garden.

To keep in touch, sign up for her newsletter on her website –



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Betrayal at the Highest Levels?

Dateline: Late November 1814

Gentle Readers,

Several months ago, we brought you news of the disappearance of the Duke of M. via a plea from his sister, Lady C. M. who begged assistance in finding her brother. We can now confide that our searches have born some small but disturbing fruit. Lady C. M. who’s kindness knows no bounds has our deepest sympathies if appearances are proven to be true.

A reliable source stationed in the Caribbean reports sighting His Grace briefly in Port Royal, Jamaica then later in the American City of New Orleans.

A less respectable but generally reliable source in that city informs us that His Missing Grace has been sighted visiting with the pirate Jean LaFitte, then with General Andrew Jackson. Our evasive Duke has also been seen hobnobbing with the New Orleans Haute Ton—such as it may be in a Louisiana backwater.

The implication that a highly respected nobleman may be intent on betraying his country is not one this correspondent cares to make. But everyone recognizes that a man may be known by his associates.

Additionally, in the case of the Duke of M. he would not be the first in his family to betray king and country. Some still recall several years back, when the duke’s half-sibling was wanted by the crown for complicity in the murder of Lord Beaufort. The young assassin vanished from England–according to rumor the elder brother spirited away the younger to evade trial and punishment–before he could be brought to justice. After being tried in absentia, the crown banished the duke’s brother and re-possessed all lands and titles that might have come to the fellow.

Obviously, the barrel of the duke’s family contains more than one bad apple. Or does it? We anxiously await word of the battle that was brewing near New Orleans. Quite possibly, His Grace’s actions will influence the outcome. Will victory clear him of suspicion? Or will defeat condemn him to the same fate as his brother?

Keep watch in this paper for more news, printed the moment we receive it.

About The Creole Duchess:  A duke in disguise, a creole miss determined to get her own way, a curse, and two nations at war, is love even possible?

New Orleans Creole, Miss Celestine St. Cyr-Duval refuses to live under the thumb of some man chosen by her parents. Celie will do everything to gain the ability to make her own way and determine her own fate. But fate interferes in the form of a duke disguised as British businessman, Caleb Elmond. A relationship with Caleb would find approval with Celie’s mother, but both Celie and Caleb have secrets that put them on opposite sides of a great conflict and could destroy them both.

With the Battle of New Orleans looming, can these two strangers from warring countries compromise and protect each other, or will fear and betrayal end both their lives.

The Creole Duchess, Duchess Series Book Three is expected to launch in late 2023. The pre-order price of $0.99 for this long-awaited conclusion to the Duchess Series ends on release day.

You can get book One, The French Duchess, now, available free from Kindle Unlimited. Book Two, The Pirate Duchess, is available now at Amazon and other retailers.

About Rue Allyn: Award-winning author of historical and contemporary romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. Rue is happily married to her sweetheart of many, many years. Insatiably curious, an avid reader and traveler, she loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real-life adventures. Crazy Cat stories are especially welcome. You can contact her at She can’t wait to hear from you.


A Dollop of Gossip from Lady Ablethorp

(I cannot tell the location of this first hand account, but it is one of the finest stud farms in the kingdom. Oh, the name begins with W!).

Lady Bella teetered into the well-appointed retiring room, lurched for one of the upholstered chairs, and tumbled onto the floor in a flurry of skirts. Her ostrich-feather headdress listed sideways, and with a sloppy hand, she made an adjustment. She giggled.

Lady Ablethorp assisted her into a chair with the maid’s help. “I see you have indulged in Davy’s nitrous gas, Bella.”

“It is quite puzzling.” Bella sniffled.

“Lord Percy insists it is nothing but folderol.”

Lady Bella stared beneath heavy lids. “Oh, it is quite more than that, my dear. I feel so happy and free.”

“Do you,” Lady Ablethorp said with disdain. “Did you see Coleridge while you were sucking that gas from a silk bubble?”

“He was most attentive in assisting me to use Davy’s device,” Lady Bella said.

“I do not doubt it.” Lady Ablethorp harrumphed. “He is reported to be quite the rake, which brings me to my on-dit.”

Lady Bella blinked repeatedly. “A rumor about Coleridge?”

Lady Ablethorp swanned to the mirror. “I doubt you are composed enough to hear it without babbling it everywhere!”

“While that nitrous gas Davy invented is quite pleasurable,” Lady Bella said. “It dissipates swiftly and with no ill effects! You do know, the Prince has used it many times.”

“Perhaps he will go as mad as his father.” Her ladyship fussed with her hair.

“He has not shown a single sign of ill mental health,” Lady Bella said.

“Then why not set your cap for him?” Lady Ablethorp retook her seat.

Lady Bella fidgeted with her headdress. “He is here with Mrs. Fitzherbert, a lost cause. What were you on about Coleridge? His poetry is heavenly, and he often assists Davy, as does his friend Wordsworth.”

“Ah, you see, it has to do with Wordsworth’s wife, Mary, for Coleridge….”

Lady Susannah Lansdowne breezed into the retiring room, and both women rose and curtsied. Lady Susannah answered in kind.

“My dear Lady Susannah,” Lady Ablethorp said. “How lovely you look.”

“Thank you.” Lady Susannah moved to the dresser basin, the maid pouring fresh water into the bowl.

“I hear there is to be an announcement this evening,” Lady Ablethorp said. “One regarding your brother, the Marquess of Ravenscroft, who will be rejoining the military.”

“His lordship will not rejoin,” Lady Susannah said.

“But his grace, the Duke of Wellington, wants—”

“I suspect the duke wishes many things.” Susannah smiled as she washed her hands. “I doubt he always gets what he wishes for.”

Both Lady Ablethorp and Lady Bella gaped.

Lady Susannah departed with a wink as she closed the door.

“Well!” Lady Ablethorp said. “Who can withstand the pressure of the Prince and the Duke, I ask you? As I was saying… Wordsworth is married to Mary, whose sister is Sarah Hutchinson. It is said Coleridge is madly in love with Sara.”

“Unexceptional,” Lady Bella said. “I understand that she is unwed.”

“This is true,” Lady Ablethorp brushed a stray curl from her face. “But it appears Coleridge walked in on Wordsworth and Sara en flagrante.”

Lady Bella startled. “No!”

“Yes!” Lady Ablethorp continued. “They were naked!”

“Shocking!” Lady Bella said. “Yet Wordsworth and Coleridge remain friends?”

“Who knows?” Lady Ablethorp stood and brushed out her skirts. “Both are quite eccentric. Even though my darling Percy says I should not.” Lady Ablethorp tittered. “I will try the gas. Then I will ask Mr. Coleridge the truth of the matter!”

About The Bond:  An impossible choice…

Lady Rosamund Fielding hides a secret so terrible it could ruin her, her family, and Major General Lord Rhys Lansdowne, the man she loves. Rose and Rhys were inseparable in childhood—their friendship the one shining light in Rose’s dark upbringing.

Yet when Rhys proposes, Rose refuses, for he can never know her shameful truth.

Returned from the Napoleonic wars and now the Marquess of Ravenscroft, Rhys is determined to uncover the reason behind Rose’s rejection and win her hand and heart once and for all.

Meanwhile, Rose’s father, Earl Fielding, demands Rose accept Brigadier Viscount Pennworth’s marriage proposal, threatening dire consequences if she does not obey.

Time is of the essence as Rose faces this difficult crossroads, where she is forced to confront past demons and choose a path.

Should she marry Rhys, deceiving him, and forever be branded a liar in his eyes? She cannot.

Wed Pennworth? Never.

Or flee? Away from Rhys, away from her father, and away from all she holds dear.

Rose has faced many dangerous choices in her life. Will this final one destroy her?

Available Now:  Amazon: Everywhere Else:

About Samma Brand:  Award-winning author Vicki Stiefel now also writes as Sanna Brand, whose Regency Romance, THE BOND (The Secret Tales Book 1) launches May 15. Vicki has also written the fantasy romance series, The Made Ones Saga, as well as The Afterworld Chronicles, an urban fantasy series. Her award-winning mystery/thrillers feature homicide counselor Tally Whyte.

Vicki tapped into her love of knitting to produce Chest of Bone The Knit Collection and co-write 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters

After running The Writers Studio with her late husband, William G. Tapply, Vicki taught fiction writing at Clark University.

She is currently working on THE DECEPTION, The Secret Tales Book Two.


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Death and Farce Among Society’s Leaders! Smelling Salts Necessary!

The scandalous passing of Sir Richard Carmichael rocked all of London several weeks ago. As we reported, whispers of his suicide in the desert sands reached the furthest corners of our nation, and inquiring minds made careful note of the interment of his empty coffin adjacent to the church’s perimeter wall, as if uncertain he should rest, even in spirit, within sanctified grounds. Yet, dear readers, the distress of his appalling death is not the only matter amiss in the Carmichael sphere.

Indeed, it is Sir Richard’s daughter, Miss Phoebe Carmichael, whose actions serve to shock the civilized world. Spied in solitary conversation with the newly-minted Viscount Trelawney, without benefit of chaperone and during her period of mourning, one might add, the heiress further breached Society’s moral underpinnings and standards by engaging in what might only be termed low-behavior. Readers interested in the slew of iniquitous rumors surrounding Miss C will take note of the following, although those with a faint heart are advised to exercise caution before apprehending the extent of the Carmichael’s villainy:

  1. Lord T, in complete disregard of convention, sent offerings of jellied plops colored in the shades of grief to Miss C during the week following her father’s funeral. His attempt to woo the wealthy lioness with Spring’s promise and Winter’s demise is said to have been successful, though I shall leave the reader to imagine the exact nature of how Miss C tumbled to his puffery; and
  2. Lord T thereafter instilled himself at Miss C’s home, disguised as a confectioner. Though the queen’s solicitor has been remarked to be singularly talented at the occupation of sweets, such pursuits remain beneath the ancient title passed to him, nor, indeed, that of any honorable gentleman, and
  3. It begins to appear Sir Richard might not be dead after all, but only the victim of foul play at the hands of the acclaimed society of Assyriologists, Veritas, though all readers of discernment will hold reasonable doubt as to the veracity of these accusations against the credible and enlightened gentlemen, and
  4. Lord T, rumored to be employed in secret with The Office, is embroiled in a scheme to aid Sir Richard in returning to Society, in the hopes he might thereafter wed the man’s daughter. Those who regularly follow this enlightened chronical are aware that the clandestine organization, without official name or fiat, serves the queen directly as her henchmen and act as guardians of the nation.

Are these rumors true? Is Lord T so much more than he appears? Will he gain the hand of the fair maiden? Has he yet ruined her in fact as well as practice? And if Sir Richard lives, will he, in turn, attempt to murder a viscount who led Miss C to such end? There is only one cure for the illicit goings-on: marriage, but will it prove sufficient?

The Teatime Tattler will leave readers to judge for themselves. Meanwhile, we shall keep a close eye upon the couple and await the reading of the banns.

About Primrose & Promises: When Sebastian Edgars, the newly minted Viscount Trelawney, meets the woman of his dreams, the ground shifts beneath his feet. Unfortunately, she has just buried her father and is required to mourn for a year. Though the rules say he cannot court her, he can’t abide her absence, and so he does the only thing he can think to do: he disguises himself as a servant in her home so they might come to know each other better.

Miss Phoebe Carmichael has decided she will never marry. Wealthy and impatient, when she meets Sebastian everything in her calms. He understands her grief and how spring’s promise will lead her back to life again.

As secret organizations and mad Assyriologists battle, the two fall in love. Will their love prove strong enough to overcome societal norms and those set against their union?

Available Now! Amazon

Excerpt: Reggie’s Miss Carmichael sat upon the edge of the brick flooring, a full plate pushed to her side. Unveiled, eyes closed, golden hair trailing behind her crape-draped form in a waterfall of silk, she leaned upon her black-gloved palms and tilted her face toward the sun. The careful knot into which she had earlier pinned her tresses had come undone. Her skirt caught under her leg so a tiny swathe of ankle lay revealed.

Something fierce and primal reached across the space to grab him by the throat as his previous sense of disquiet intensified. Stumbling mid-step, he caught his wobbling plate before it crashed to the stones.

The apricating lioness didn’t appear to notice his tottering footfall. He waited, straightening slowly. When she still didn’t move, he began to rotate, to slink back to the house and leave her to her privacy. Half-turned, he hesitated. If she opened her eyes and caught him vanishing behind a hedge, would she think he had spied upon her like some churl?

Probably. He raised his voice. “Pardon me. Miss Carmichael?”

Yellow eyes, golden eyes, flew open as she sprang straight. The color of those orbs traveled the distance and punched him in the gut. The earth shifted, threatening to throw him flat upon the earth.

It was a mystery how he didn’t fall to his knees.

About the Author: Judy Lynn Ichkhanian invites you to read her latest addition to the Wild Rose Press’s series, “Jelly Beans and Spring Things.” You’ll meet cross-over characters and further explore the world of the “Raised All Wrong” series. Victorian Romance has never been so fun! And if you sign up for the free newsletter at the author’s website, , you’ll receive a free book in the RAW series that further explores the antics of Veritas and the suffering and romance of those in The Office who oppose them.

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