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Category: Teatime Tattler Page 1 of 90

The Marquess Loses Control

Gibraltar, November 1818

My dear Mr. Clemens,

We were forced to pause our journey to Madras in this place for repairs, which I must say are taking much longer than they ought. The weather is pleasant, the locals backward, and the monkeys an utter nuisance.

The Respectable English Company is scant. Imagine my delight when the HMS Boreas came into port bearing the Earl of Chadbourn and the Marquess of Glenaire. I was even pleased to have the company of the marquess’s brother-in-law, Mr. Mallet. At least, I would be pleased if we didn’t have to endure the presence of That Woman.

We have taken rooms at the best hotel, and so were in the entrance preparing for a leisurely ramble about the island when the party arrived, all looking rather the worst for having suffered some sort of ordeal. Coraires wee blamed. (Our captain assured me that reports of the Barbary menace are exaggerated, so really…)

The earl and Mr. Mallet appeared well enough, but Marquess of Glenaire wore a Lieutenant’s tunic, a bit too small, and trousers which could only be described as ragged. When I could not refrain from my natural horror, the marquess subjected me to one of his famous icy stare. Dressed like that!

But I digress. That Woman, who accompanied them, was a shocking sight. She wore some sort of native dress—African or what not—close to rags. In a respectable hotel. I can tell you they were whisked up the stairs and out of sight quickly, but not before the bundle carried by the marquess himself gave out a loud squawk. You will be surprised, good sir, to hear that the Marquess of Glenaire, that bright light of society, known to one an all as the Marble Marquess for perfecttion of his grooming and manners, carried an infant up those stairs.

Never have I seen such scurrying. Bath water went up. Tea went up. Platters of food ascended the stairs. Clothes were procured. I know this because I Iingered on a comfortable divan near the entrance. Eventually the entire party descended, clothed, thank the Almighty, in respectable, if rather unfashionable, Western dress.

I, of course paid my respects to the earl and marquess and begged an introduction. Chadbourn appeared friendly enough. When That Woman was introduced as the Marchioness of Glenaire, my jaw dropped. I was unaware there even was such a person. The marquess demonstrated his famous stare. The word “ice” doesn’t begin to describe it.

Next season’s crop of debutantes will go into decline to know Glenaire is no longer available. And yet one wonders. There was no notice in the papers of any such marriage when we embarked. Yet here they came bearing a baby, and looking like savages. Whispers among the staff were that they had been held prisoners by the Barbary ruffians. A normal woman would have perished at the disgrace, but That Woman appeared to be in robust health for one who so recently gave birth. She looked down at me with every sign of superiority.

There was one other oddity. My maid happened to attending to an errand and saw  them leave the hotel. They went directly to the English church and were seen entering the rectory. One wonders, dear sir. If that infant is a boy, he will be heir to a dukedom in due time. One wouldn’t want questions about his origins to circulate.

Make of that what you will, Mr. Clemens, but leave my name far from the matter. One wouldn’t want to earn the enmity of the marquess.

Lady X

About the Book

If women were as easily managed as the affairs of state—or the recalcitrant Ottoman Empire—Richard Hayden, Marquess of Glenaire, would be a happier man. As it was, the creatures made hash of his well-laid plans and bedeviled him on all sides…

 

So it begins.

Lily Thornton came home from Saint Petersburg in pursuit of marriage. She wants a husband and a partner, not an overbearing, managing man. She may be “the least likely candidate to be Marchioness of Glenaire,” but her problems are her own to fix, even if those problems include both a Russian villain and an interfering Ottoman official.

Given enough facts, Richard can fix anything. But protecting that impossible woman is proving to be almost as hard as protecting his heart, especially when Lily’s problems bring her dangerously close to an Ottoman revolution. As Lily’s personal problems entangle with Richard’s professional ones, and she pits her will against his, he chases her across the pirate-infested Mediterranean. Will she discover surrender isn’t defeat? It might even have its own sweet reward.

As one reviewer said, “There is nothing so  entertaining as watching a man who is always in control, lose that control.” (Night Owl Reviews)

About the Author

Caroline Warfield, traveler, adventurer, lover of owls and other folks’ gardens, writes family centered romance from her lair in the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania. She is a Bluestocking Belle. She is currently  finishing the tale of Glenaire’s nephew and namesake, Richard “Aeneas” Mallet, eager to make his fame in Egypt,  and no more willing to fall in with his uncle’s schemes than his mother or his aunt. Watch for The Price of Glory later this year.

Pirates Terrorize British Mariners Again

Dear Readers,

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Numerous sources report to The Teatime Tattler of dangerous criminals roaming the once peaceful waters of the Caribbean Sea. Piracy was at its height nearly one hundred years ago. However, a resurgence of this foul trade has occurred giving rise to murderous characters such as Jean LaFitte, Robert Cofresi, and the infamous Irish Red. Why? Why is the Royal Navy not doing more to protect British Citizens.

One lady wrote of her recent travels/travails to a relative. “I was in fear for my life when the captain of our merchantman surrendered his vessel to this scurrilous pirate with little more than two shots fired—and those by the pirate ship. In our captain’s defense, he had very little in the way of armament. Attempting to battle with the criminal crew could well have sunk our little ship. I must thank God that the pirates took only our valuables and the cargo, leaving us with our lives and the clothing on our backs. The kindness of the residents of Jamaica—when we at last made that harbor—is unparalleled in my experience. Nonetheless, I pray that I never encounter another pirate as long as I live.”

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

A second voyager wrote The Tattler directly. “Because I witnessed a filthy pirate crew murdering any innocent who opposed them, II cannot state this warning strongly enough. DO NOT travel to the Caribbean or any of the British West Indies. Not until the Royal Navy is no longer battling the former colonies and is recovered from losses taken in defeating Napoleon.

We must pray that the treaty negotiations beginning in Ghent conclude swiftly and successfully, so that Royal Naval vessels can once again hunt down and erase the scourge of piracy from the sea.

A note from Rue Allyn. Friends, this week’s Tattler article is based on research done for “Wait for Me,” my contribution to The Bluestocking Belles’ next box set, Storm & Shelter, debuting on April 13 2021. I was so fascinated by what my research uncovered that I decided to continue the adventures of Brandon and Esme from “Wait for Me” and expand their story into a full length novel tentatively titled The Pirate Duchess. You’ll be hearing more about Brandon and Esme in the weeks leading up to release day. For now, if you are interested in more about Storm & Shelter follow these links: Excerpts Pre-Order.

*Other than the cover art for Storm & Shelter, all images in this post are from Wikipedia articles about Pirates and Treaty of Ghent.

Scandal Rocks Kent and the House of the de Bourghs

Hello, All. This is Romona Regency here with all the latest and greatest news from Kent. This bit of scandal comes to us from just outside of Rochester and Higham upon the estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the sister to the Earl of Matlock and widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh. It seems her ladyship is to be displaced and by none other than her “favorite” nephew, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the master of Pemberley, who by a twist of fate, or, rather, should we say, a twist of “marriage” is now the new master of Rosings Park, having inherited it from his late wife. The gentleman has provided his aunt her “marching orders.” It seems the grand dame must claim a new moniker: That of the Dowager Lady de Bourgh. Sources say even Lord Matlock has refused to assist her ladyship with her removal from the estate’s mansion to the dower house.

His lordship was heard to have said:

“Devilish rum business. But Darcy has his rights. You chose to force his hand, and, now, you must live with your manipulation. Our nephew married Anne, just as you insisted he do. It is not his fault your daughter died in a little over half a year of pronouncing her vows. Even though they held nothing more than familial affection for each other, who is to say they might have made the best of it for the remainder of their days—mayhap they would have had a half-dozen children. That might have satisfied you, to have grandchildren about you. Might have softened your nature. However, I do not think such a marriage would have made either Darcy or Anne happy. Like it or not, Catherine, they did not suit. Darcy adored his parents, and, whether you wish to recognize it or keep fooling yourself, George Darcy and our younger sister Anne were happy together. They loved each other deeply. Your belief that George Darcy should have chosen you instead of Anne—that you should have been mistress of such a breathtaking beautiful estate as Pemberley—is what drove you to force Darcy and your daughter together. You made your bed, now, you must lie in it.”

Rosings Park (Belton House/Public Domain)

My goodness! Is that not scandalous enough for you? Imagine one so regal—so full of her own consequence—being brought so low as to live on an allowance and to entertain in the estate’s dower house. I suppose those without connections would know satisfaction with such a house, but none of us here at The Tattler believe Lady Catherine will know ease.

Other sources have informed me that Mr. Darcy means to bring the estate back to his former grandeur, for such was his late wife’s dying wish. We can only hope Mr. Darcy performs with more expertise than did his aunt, who is said to have shamelessly neglected her obligations to her tenants.

As of this very morning, it is my understanding that Lady Catherine has taken to her bed, supposedly from a fall upon the main stairs of the manor house, but one can logically consider her ladyship’s “accident” simply a maneuver to keep Mr. Darcy at bay for as long as possible. Several servants attached to the manor house have confirmed that Lady Catherine has agreed to employ Miss Elizabeth Bennet to oversee the refurbishing of the dower house. Miss Bennet is said to be the cousin of Lady Catherine’s cleric, Mr. Collins, and she was visiting with the Collinses when the accident occurred. We here at The Tea Time Tattler wondered why Mrs. Collins did not take up the charge of assisting Lady Catherine, but several among those who are willing to speak of her ladyship’s woes have indicated Mrs. Collins has been ordered to bed by our own Doctor Wilson. All within Rosings Park assume Mrs. Collins is with child, but nothing has been confirmed; yet, such would explain much, as few know anything of Miss Bennet, who is said to be from Hertsfordshire. We shall keep both our eyes and our ears open and report back when we learn of Lady Catherine’s removal to her new home. Shan’t that be a sight for our sore eyes?

Side Note:

After this story was set for publication, we learned that Miss Bennet, at the insistence of Lady Catherine, has moved into Rosings Park itself, which means when Mr. Darcy arrives later in the week, he will be forced to stay either at the local inn or at the dower house being repaired for his aunt. Naturally, a gentleman cannot remain is the main house, even if he owns it, with an unmarried female and no chaperone. Now, that would be a scandal worth bringing out a special edition of lovely newsprint, would it not? If such occurs, you shall hear it here first.

About the Book

The Mistress of Rosings Park: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary

Release date: January 8, 2021

I much prefer the sharp criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses. – Johannes Kepler

When she arrives at Hunsford Cottage for a visit with her long-time friend Charlotte Collins, Elizabeth Bennet does not expect the melodrama awaiting her at Rosings Park.

Mrs. Anne Darcy, nee de Bourgh, has passed, and Rosings Park is, by law, the property of the woman’s husband, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy; yet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is not ready to abandon the mansion over which she has served as mistress for thirty years. Elizabeth holds sympathy for her ladyship’s situation. After all, Elizabeth’s mother will eventually be banished from Longbourn when Mr. Bennet passes without male issue. She inherently understands Lady Catherine’s “hysterics,” while not necessarily condoning them, for her ladyship will have the luxury of the right to the estate’s dower house, and, moreover, it is obvious Rosings Park requires the hand of a more knowledgeable overseer. Therefore, Elizabeth takes on the task of easing Lady Catherine’s transition to dowager baronetess, but doing so places Elizabeth often in the company of the “odious” Mr. Darcy, a man Lady Catherine claims poisoned her daughter Anne in order to claim Rosings Park as his own.

Purchase Links:

Purchase for Kindle.

Kindle Unlimited.  

Purchase Paperback on Amazon. 

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About the Author

Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”

Social Links:

Every Woman Dreams  https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com

Website  https://rjefferscom.wordpress.com/

Austen Authors  http://austenauthors.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/Regina-Jeffers-Author-Page-141407102548455/?fref=ts

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Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Regina-Jeffers/e/B008G0UI0I/

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You Tube Interview  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzgjdUigkkU

 

The Incident on Arlington Street

Dear Reader:

You are no doubt aware that the stunning news of Bonaparte’s escape from Elba caps a week of utter chaos. Events of this week in Mayfair are beyond any I might have imagined in this most civilized and prosperous of countries. It is appalling that hordes of rioters have swamped the streets, broken into homes and vandalized belongings. I have heard various tales of mayhem and attacks on Members of Parliament from many of my well-placed correspondents, most of which have been reported elsewhere.

However, one fearless correspondent with first-hand knowledge informs me that these attacks weren’t limited to government officials. Dear Reader, you will find this story nowhere else!

On Thursday night past, a carriage was attacked on Arlington Street. The occupant was a lady on her way to a rout at Lady Camden’s. Her coachman and two liveried servants were unable to drive off the mob, and she was pulled from the carriage by ruffians. Fortunately, Horse Guard arrived in time to rescue her and, it was assumed, returned her home to safety.

Yet, later that evening, a curious thing happened. A Scottish Military Officer burst into the Arlington Street home of Lady Camden, seeking another Scotsman. The other man was not there, but our reporter had the distinct impression that the man being sought was Up to No Good.

But there is even more from our diligent correspondent, and I will share the story in that individual’s own words:

My dear Mr. Clemens,

Following my report of the Incident on Arlington Street and Lady Camden’s Scottish visitor, I have received further information.

The lady attacked by the crowd is newly arrived to town, residing with a relative in Chelsea, and not unrelated to the Scottish officer who visited Lady Camden. In fact, both the lady and the officer were players in a scandalous divorce from twenty years past, one so notorious that news of it (as it took place in the Highlands) reached even the London papers.

Further, I have learned that the attack on the lady was not a random act of the mob, but a targeted attempt at abduction! Nor was she safely returned to her home on Thursday last.

My source in Chelsea hints of a diabolical intrigue to this story. I will visit there later today and report further. Your readers will not want to miss this story!

About the Book

Fated Hearts, A Love After All Retelling of the Scottish Play

Plagued by hellish memories and rattling visions of battle to come, a Scottish Baron returning from two decades at war meets the daughter he denied was his, and the wife he divorced, and learns that everything he’d believed to be true was a lie. What he can’t deny is that she’s the only woman he’s ever loved. They’re not the young lovers they once were, but when passion flares, it burns more hotly than ever it did in their youth.

They soon discover, it wasn’t fate that drove them apart, but a jealous enemy who played on his youthful arrogance and her vulnerability. Now that old enemy has resurfaced, more treacherous than ever. When his lady falls into a trap, can he reach her in time to rescue this love that never died?

Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/bQdyPP

About the Author

Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!

Website: https://alinakfield.com/

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alina-k-field

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alinak.field/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/

Newsletter signup: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3

 

Fated Hearts is part of the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit Series

Other books in the

Tragic Characters in Classic Literature Project

 

The Monster Within, The Monster Without

by Lindsay Downs (Frankenstein)

I Shot the Sheriff

by Regina Jeffers (Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham)

The Colonel’s Spinster

by Audrey Harrison (Pride and Prejudice)

The Redemption of Heathcliff

by Alanna Lucas (Wuthering Heights) 

The Company She Keeps

by Nancy Lawrence (Madame Bovary)

Captain Stanwick’s Bride

by Regina Jeffers (The Courtship of Miles Standish)

Glorious Obsession

by Louisa Cornell (Orpheus and Eurydice)

 

 

How Does the Rake Know the Paragon?

The end-of-season ball thrown by the Duchess of Fambrough will be the talk of Society long after the Season ends. Not for its appointments, or the excellence of the supper or the musicians, though these were fine, indeed. Not for the quality of the assembly, though the invitations had gone out to everyone of significance, and many who merely hoped they were. Not even for the long-expected announcement of the duke’s betrothal to a young lady as well born as he.

No, the defining moments of the Fambrough ball came shortly before the supper waltz, when Lord Charming, arriving late but as elegantly dressed as ever, strolled down the stairs into the ballroom, his arms full of roses, and marched straight across the floor, his eyes fixed on the Paragon herself.

Some say he had hailed the duke when that gentleman was riding in Hyde Park that morning, and that the two of them had spoken earnestly for close to half an hour, their horses pacing side by side.

Others report he visited during the time for calls, carrying even more roses and attended by two footmen similarly burdened. The ducal house was not receiving, being consumed with preparations for the ball, but he left the roses behind when he departed.

That made tonight Lord Charming’s third encounter with the ducal household, and the assembled onlookers held their collective breath in order not to miss a moment of the drama that played out before them.

The duke was between the viscount and his stepmother. His Grace moved to one side as she stood. The scandalous gentleman approached close enough to touch, and those close enough heard him say, “I promised you roses, Marie.” Those who murmured at his familiar address were shushed by those around them. His lordship ignored them all as he handed her his roses. “These are from the rose garden at Welling. The plums are ripening on the trees. I had hoped to bring you cherries, but my gardener says they will be next week.”

These were not the loverlike words we expect from Lord Charming, and his expression was unexpectedly open. Serious, too, as was the lady’s.

“What of the conservatory, Sam?” she asked. Another murmur at the intimacy of first names, again subdued by ferocious gestures.

“We are owed clement weather, are we not? But it stands ready, Your Grace, to protect us through storms.”

The duchess looked up from her roses and their eyes met. Lord Charming moved to take Her Grace in his arms. “Will you honour me with a waltz, Marie?”

Without taking her gaze off him, she passed the roses to her step-daughter, and stepped into the viscount’s embrace.

This is an excerpt from one of the stories in Chasing the Tale, Jude Knight’s latest publication. It’s one of eleven short stories, and intended for reading over a coffee or a meal, or at night before going to sleep.

I always enjoy picking up something from Ms. Knight because I know I will not be disappointed. This is a wonderful collection of unique stories ranging from medieval times to the 1800s. Nice, short stories you can read during a lunch break or a quick bedtime read. The stories were all entertaining and enjoyable with well thought out characters that were brought to life with the talented writing of Ms. Knight. The storylines had a nice smooth flow and the plots held my interest all the way through. Definitely a collection you want to have handy when you’re looking for a quick, captivating read. Highly recommend! [Advance Reader Copy reviewer]

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