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A little bit of gossip goes a long way…

Lady Abigail Danvers set the quill down and stared at the letter she had been composing to Samuel Clemens, editor of the Teatime Tattler.

“I don’t know, Prudence.” Abigail gave a heavy sigh and handed over the parchment. “I just don’t think it has enough gossip in it to be worthy of what Clemen’s usually expects from us.”

Prudence took the letter and began to read aloud.

Gentle Readers;
This just in from York… Seen more than once in each other’s company, Viscount C and Lady S may just have a budding romance in the making. Will wedding bells be ringing the York Cathedral? Or maybe one of her stepdaughters will beat her to the altar. Only time will tell and you’ll read the latest news here first in the Teatime Tattler.

An Anonymous Reporter

Prudence tapped her finger to her chin. “It is rather boring, sister. Are you sure you couldn’t find any dirt on the pair?”

Abigail rolled her eyes. “Don’t you think I tried? The Dowager Countess guards her stepdaughters like the fiercest of warriors, along with her own reputation?”

Prudence nodded. “I suppose given she’s trying to get them married off is a good reason to remain so guarded. What of Cranfield? Surely his reputation is slightly tarnished. Didn’t he have a mistress?”

“Old news. He let her go and paid off her accounts months ago before he arrived in York,” Abigail replied taking the letter and folding it. “He’s here to see that his sister finds a match. Since his arrival in York, I haven’t been able to turn anything up on him that might provide any newsworthy gossip.”

A frown marred Prudence’s brow. “Then I guess this will have to do. Send it off to Clemens. Hopefully, he won’t be too disappointed and still publish the piece —”

“—and continue to pay us for whatever tittle tattle we can dig up in the future,” Abigail finished before going to the bell cord to summon a servant to deliver her latest news.


This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Richard, Viscount Cranfield and Patience, Lady Seahaven are in her novella, A Countess To Remember in the Belles’ boxset, Desperate Daughters. Continue to read on to learn more along with our ongoing contest!

Excerpt:

The unseen woman was still in the carriage, as if she was still preparing to collect whatever had been left behind. A small dainty shoe poked out onto the edge of the step and Richard heard her heavy sigh that she made no attempt to mask.

Richard stepped forward, offering his hand. “May I be of assistance, my lady?”

“You are most kind,” the lady inside said. She put her hand in his and Richard swore he felt a tingling sensation rush up his arm.

“Where are my manners?” Lady Barbara exclaimed. “May I introduce my stepmother, Patience, Lady Seahaven. Patience, this is Lord Cranfield and his sister Lady Josephine.”

Richard was prepared for a matronly woman to reveal herself as she alit from the carriage. But when she lifted her head once upon solid ground to acknowledge their introductions, he was unprepared for the young beauty he faced. Blue-grey eyes that could rival the sky above met his. Wisps of strawberry blonde hair had escaped her bonnet while her porcelain skin was set in a lovely round face. But when her small bow mouth turned up into an enchanting smile, Richard became lost.

“Lord Cranfield,” her voice reached into his soul. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Richard bowed, completely bewildered in the spell she had captured him in with just one glance. At a loss for words, he could only stare at the woman before him, even while he continued to hold her hand in his. What had she done to him?


Desperate Daughters: A Bluestocking Belles and Friends Collection
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Preorder for only $0.99

Here’s the blurb for Sherry Ewing’s contribution to the set, A Countess To Remember:

Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it…

Patience, Dowager Countess of Seahaven cares for a bevy of stepdaughters and a Season for each to find husbands seems out of reach. With her own young daughter to care for, there’s been no chance for romance for herself. She’s been so busy worrying about putting food on the table, that finding love is the last of her concerns.

Richard, Viscount Cranfield is in York to see to his sister’s Season. He has no desire to find a wife despite his parents prodding him to do so. A chance encounter with a countess leaves him wondering what spell she has cast around him.

Will Patience and Richard find enough time to allow love to fill their hearts?

Buy Links for the Desperate Daughters boxset:

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Vivlio: https://bit.ly/3qGqxqc

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Read more about Desperate Daughters here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/

About Belle Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page at www.SherryEwing.com.

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Overheard, a Conversation between Ladies arrived for the Season in York!

(This is a conversation between Lucinda, Lady Bittle who lives next door to the house Lord and Lady Beaumont rented for the York Season and her bosom friend Mrs. Almeria Thompson.)

Lady Bittle: “Almeria, I am so glad you could join me for tea. I have such news!”

Mrs. Thompson: “Please tell me it is about your new neighbors.”

Lady Bittle: “Yes, indeed. They are Lord and Lady Beaumont. You his main estate is north of York, but they usually spend the Season in London, and here they are for the first time!”

Mrs. Thompson: “How curious. Do you know the reason?”

Lady Bittle: They brought with them a gentleman by the name of Lord Sextus. An unusual name to be sure. However, the younger ladies, and some of the older ones I am sure, will swoon over his broad shoulders and blond hair.”

Mrs. Thompson titters: “He must be a younger son of at least a marquis, perhaps even a duke! Tell me, is he looking for a wife. He must be. And here in York!”

Lady Bittle: “Perhaps none of the young ladies in London were to his taste. In any event, that new young lady, Miss Staunton is apparently a friend of Lady Beaumont, and he has been introduced to her.”

Mrs. Thompson: I can only suppose that her ladyship is matchmaking between Miss Staunton and Lord Sextus.” She drinks a sip of tea. “Miss Staunton is quite lovely. Have you noticed that she resembles some of the Bigglesworth ladies?”

Lady Bittle: “Do you think they could be related? Perhaps that is the reason she chose York. To be near her relatives. One of her maids told my downstairs maid that she is from London.”

Mrs. Thompson: “Hmm. That is a fascinating thought, but none of the Bigglesworth ladies seemed to know who she was. At the al fresco party, at least one of them was introduced to Miss Staunton, but none of them appeared to have known her before, and she did not say she was related to them.”

Lady Bittle: “How disappointing. It would have been a great deal of fun to have discovered how they were related.” She picks up a ginger biscuit. “I wonder if Lord Sextus met Miss Staunton in London and that is the reason he is here.”

Mrs. Thompson clutched her hands to her breast. “How very romantic that would be. To think he convinced Lord and Lady Beaumont to hire a house so that he could follow her here! Come to think of it, he escorted her to the al fresco party. Yes, that must be it!”

Lady Bittle: “And Miss Staunton has been at the house next door a great deal, and every time the Beaumonts and Lord Sextus go out, she is with them.”

Mrs. Thompson: “Where will they wed I wonder.”

Lady Bittle goes to the window. “Not here. There is a wagon in front of the house. It looks as if they are preparing to depart.”

Mrs. Thompson sighs. “We will have to read about it in the London newssheets. How disappointing.”

From the new box set, Desperate Daughters, “I’ll Always Be Yours” by Ella Quinn

Desperate DaughtersAll her life Miss Harriett Staunton believed she was the natural daughter of an earl. In the merchant society in which she was raised, that only garnered improper proposals. Knowing she would never wed, she moved to York, far away from her London family.

Lord Sextus Trevor needs to wed. Unbeknownst to him his father has arranged a marriage. But before he is even told about the betrothal, he’s whisked off to York, where he meets Harriett Staunton and must find a way to defy his father.

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters. They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

Excerpt, I’ll Always Be Yours

April, London docks.

“What the deuce?” Lord Sextus Trevor had no sooner left the ship upon which he’d arrived than he was bundled into a large traveling coach with a young matron he thought he remembered and a gentleman he didn’t know at all. The lady looked a great deal like his mother, Catherine, Duchess of Somerset, but she had the most unusual turquoise eyes.

Convinced he wasn’t being abducted he settled onto the comfortably padded bench. “I take it we are related?”

Her eyes began to twinkle as a wide smile graced her face. “I am your sister Thalia. This”—she motioned with her hand to the gentleman—“is my husband Giles.”

“Ah, yes. I received letters about your marriage.” Sextus looked at the baby sleeping on her lap. It couldn’t be more than a few months if that. “But where are Hawksworth and Meg?” Sextus’s eldest brother and his wife the Marquis and Marchioness of Hawksworth. “I understood I would be staying with them.”

Giles, the Duke of Kendal placed a protective arm around Thalia. “You were until Meg received a letter informing her that the duke had arranged a marriage for you. We are ensuring that you never receive the letter he sent to you informing you of your pending betrothal.”

Thalia closed her eyes and shuddered. “Be thankful you are of age, and he must have your agreement to any marriage.”

Considering the truly horrifying marriages the duke, their father, had arranged for two of his sisters, one to a peer who had killed three of his wives, and the other to a pox ridden duke in Scotland, merely so that he could have property he wanted, Sextus had to agree. “I am indeed fortunate. But if I am not to remain in Town, where are we going?”

His sister smiled again. “You will be attending the Season in York. Giles and I are taking you to Marcella and Octavius. Friends of Meg’s, Viscount and Viscountess Beaumont, who live just north of York, have leased a town house large enough to accommodate all of you. Lady Beaumont is very familiar with the local gentry and peers in the area. Granted, anyone who has a daughter to launch or who can afford it will be in Town, but she is convinced you will be able to find someone suitable.”

Sextus regarded Kendal’s amused mien. “Do you not have an estate somewhere in the area?”

“We do.” Kendal stretched out his legs. “But having a duke and duchess attending the York Season is bound to cause more comment than an earl and countess who are known to live in the area. Neither Marcella nor Octavius have gone about much. It will be their introduction to York’s Polite Society as well as yours. I have met Beaumont and his lady. Meg was right in asking them to sponsor all of you. I will add this required them to leave Town and return north.”

That seemed to be above and beyond what one should be able to expect even of friends. Sextus quickly sifted through all that had been said and unsaid. “I take it that the lady the duke selected is not suitable. And not only does he not read the York newssheets, but unless there was something interesting that would be picked up by the London papers, he will likely not discover I am there.”

Kendal inclined his head. “Correct. From what we were able to discover, the lady is the eldest child of a country squire and is content to remain with her father. The property is not entailed, and she stands to inherit.”

“In addition to that,” Talia said, “she is not particularly well educated beyond the basics.” She raised a brow. “No foreign languages.”

What the devil had the old man been thinking? “What does he expect me to do with a wife like that?”

“I’m not sure he cares,” Kendal drawled. “I am positive there is property that he wants involved.”

Author Biography of Ella Quinn

   USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

     She is married to her wonderful husband of almost forty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, a Great Dane and a cat. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. They cruised the Caribbean and North America and completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe They will be sailing the Med for the foreseeable future.

Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog

One Diamond who seeks an Apothecary? Heavens, no!

Dear Readers, the Earl of Seahaven’s daughters seem determined to raise eyebrows wherever they go, especially the beautiful, but too independent, Lady Josefina Bigglesworth. She may be one of the Seahaven diamonds and certain to turn heads during her season in York, but is this not all the more reason she ought to be careful about running off on her own? Even an innocent daytime excursion to a local apothecary shop in The Shambles may be viewed as too forward.

She has also been seen lately having tea with none other than the Duke of Bourne, York’s most eligible bachelor, and it is said he could not take his eyes off her. Although the Dowager Countess of Seahaven is keeping quiet about it, several reliable sources present at the Castlegate Tea Room assure this Tattler the duke proposed to the lovely Josefina and she has accepted his offer of marriage.

The duke, that handsome devil, is taking Lady Josefina to his seaside estate outside of Whitby to meet his beloved sister. It is rumored she is ill and the doctors seem unable to cure her. Lady Josefina is known as quite the expert in curative plant medicines. Do her plant lore talents have anything to do with his desire to marry her? And will he marry her if she is unable to cure his sister? It would be a shocking scandal if he begged out, ruining the girl and her family. 

Desperate Daughters, Box Set, Bluestocking Belles and Friends

Desperate DaughtersBlurb:

Lady Josefina would much rather spend her time studying plants and their healing properties, but her father, the Earl of Seahaven, has died and left the family impoverished. Marriage seems her only alternative until she meets the handsome Duke of Bourne in an apothecary in York’s ancient Shambles. He offers her an intriguing proposition, a fake betrothal and a king’s ransom as reward if she returns with him to his estate and finds a cure for his sister’s illness. But will the true reward be his heart?

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters. They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

About the Author, Meara Platt:

Meara Platt is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author and an Amazon UK All-Star. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her paranormal romance Dark Gardens series. Learn more about the Dark Gardens and Meara’s lighthearted and humorous Regency romances in her Farthingale series and Book of Love series, or her warmhearted Regency romances in her Braydens series by visiting her website at www.mearaplatt.com 

On the Shelf or On the Stage?

Music room at Chateau de Cheverny. Photo by Cerise Deland.

Dear readers, such excitement at York! Here, as you know, the daughters of the late Earl of Seahaven are taking the Season by storm. They are of course very properly chaperoned by the Dowager Countess, who just happens to be delightfully young and beautiful – younger, even than at least two of her stepdaughters!

And it is to one of those elder stepdaughters we turn our attention today. Lady Barbara, the late earl’s second comely if no longer youthful daughter, has let it be known she attends the events of the Season only as an additional chaperone for her lovely and lively younger sisters. She never dances and she is certainly of an age – all of seven-and-twenty, we hear – to be considered mostly On the Shelf. One would never dream of scandal coming from this quarter…

However, this very daughter, Lady Barbara Bigglesworth, has been seen by this reporter, promenading alone with respected composer and musician, Mr. John Sutton. Rumor says that Lady Barbara is also of a musical turn of mind and is, in fact, most accomplished on the pianoforte. Indeed, a little bird has whispered to me that she has been teaching proficiency on the instrument to her social inferiors – which might be judged by the high sticklers among you to be a scandal in itself.

Considering all of this, and the apparent intensity of the lady’s talk with Mr. Sutton, is it possible that instead of marriage, the stage is Lady Barbara’s goal? In concert, we might say, with Mr. Sutton?

The late earl would turn in his grave at such outrageous behaviour in his family, though one might argue in that case that he should have left his daughters better provided for. But whether Shelf or Stage is to be Lady Barbara’s final destination, we must wish her well – and we shall, of course, be watching closely.

Desperate Daughters, Box Set

Desperate DaughtersThe Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.

They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

 

About the author, Mary Lancaster

Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog.

Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler.

Her most recent books are light fun Regency romances written for Dragonblade Publishing: The Imperial Season series set at the Congress of Vienna; and the popular Blackhaven Brides series, which is set in a fashionable English spa town frequented by the great and the bad of Regency society.

 

Riot at Reform Meeting–Militia Called in to Keep Peace

From Our Yorkshire Correspondent

A meeting held today in York ended in a riot, which was put down by a troop of militia. The meeting was well attended by a wide variety of people, including a number who might properly be called ladies and gentlemen. The first speaker, who spoke at length on the iniquities of the legislation suspending habeas corpus, was allowed to complete his oration unmolested. Possibly because he had put his audience to sleep.

It was not so for the second speaker, whose fiery oration on the topic of rotten boroughs had barely started when it was cut off by a flying vegetable, and then several such projectiles. Several in the crowd took exception to the missile throwing, and within moments, the hall was in chaos, with some scurrying for safety and others wading into the fight.

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, some say because of the arrival of armed militia men and others despite this intervention. Several ladies were spirited out the door by burly footmen, one was  escorted away by a clergyman, and  yet another was rescued from the middle of the riot by a gentleman who proved to be Lord D F. This gentleman is not only an army officer (retired) but also the scion of a noble house and a protege (some say a half-brother) of a notable duke who, before his marriage and his elevation to the title, often entertained readers of this paper with his amours.

Our readers will stare when they learn that lady our officer saved — first from the rioters and then from the militia — had no maid with her but was accompanied by a monkey!

Several reputable observers claim that those who lobbed the first object were not reformers at all, but rather pro-Government trouble-makers, or possibly even paid agitators sent to cause trouble. Certainly there can be no greater evidence of the innocence of at least some of those who attended than the little lady with the winsome smile and her mischievious simian. Who, after all, would take a monkey to a riot?

One hopes that the young lord’s patron will receive a scathing denunciation of the government’s tactics in denying Englishmen (and women) their right to meet in peaceful discussion.

One also hopes that we will find out the names of the young lady and her pet, and whether the first meeting we observed between her and Lord D F was followed by further meetings in pleasanter circumstances.

This reform meeting appears in “Lord Cuckoo Comes Home”, Jude Knight’s contribution to the Desperate Daughters box set.

Please do buy the book. Nine wonderful stories in 772 pages, only 99c for the ebook until the week of publication.

Read more and find buy links here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/

 

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