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From the Editor’s Desk

From the desk of Sam’l Clemens, esq.

December 15

Dear readers, kind followers, critics, and vile attackers,

We at the Tattler thank you for your attention throughout this past year, whether you have applauded or showered us in brickbats (all attention is good and we’re pleased when you mention our name).

As the year draws to a close, our reporters grow weary. I have surrendered to pleas and declared that The Teatime Tattler shall be on hiatus. This respite began at close of business yesterday and will, I regret to say, continue until the middle of January when the rascals and rogues I call reporters shall have returned from the burrows into which they have disappeared. One hopes they will bring with them tantalizing tales, ribald rumors, and stories of disgraceful deeds: our stock and trade. One ambitious young fellow is off to visit his granny in Yorkshire, where, we hear, some salacious scandal is brewing.

I myself wish to spend these holidays in Bristol with a nephew who is soon to depart to the former colonies. I hope to convince him to send dispatches from that wild and uncivilized place.

We shall do our best to return to you reinvigorated and prepared to bring you the gossip you crave as often as may prove possible. Enjoy your winter revels, and do send us any tidbits you come across.

S. Clemens

 

Outrageous Rescue

Well now, isn’t this just a delicious tidbit for you all:

A rival newspaper, the Trumpeter no less, is reporting that one Miss Somerset Sinclair, a member of that wildly outrageous family who constantly flaunts society’s rules, has recklessly stepped in to save a man from certain injury, if not death.

The event took place as she was walking, alone I might add, to visit Lolly’s bookstore late one afternoon. Professor Cole Alexander Gusford Charlton was unaware of his impending doom when Miss Sinclair flew at him. Onlookers have reported her diving at the poor man, wrapping her arms around his waist and propelling him backward with some force. He came to rest with a thud against a sturdy wall. With Miss Sinclair still pressed to his body, a chimney pot then crashed to the ground a mere few inches away.

While her behavior was indeed scandalous, one cannot help but commend her for her fast thinking, even if her ankles were seen by everyone who witnessed the event. I’m also happy to report that both parties were unharmed.

As you know, four out of the seven Sinclair siblings are all wed, and not only that, each is married to someone sharing the Duke of Raven’s blood. I’m not one to gossip, but this strikes me as an odd anomaly, which is added to by the fact they all live on the same London street. I must, in good conscience, tell you that the Sinclair and Raven families are a very unusual group of people.

News has just reached us that in fact Professor Charlton is the Duke of Raven’s cousin. One wonders what is in store for him in the coming months.

About the Book: Courting Danger

If only he’d taken more care, she wouldn’t be facing her destiny.

Somerset Sinclair vows not to follow in her elder siblings’ footsteps. There will be no marriages or daring rescues of any man carrying Raven blood. Somer has a career, and nothing is about to thwart that.

Sinclair Investigative Services is flourishing.

Everything was going to plan until Professor Cole Alexander Gusford Charlton foolishly stood under a chimney pot. Now there’s an arrogant, handsome man making her heart beat a little faster. A man of Raven blood whose life she saved, and who irritates her into irrational behavior.

Somer is determined to break the pact that bound her family to his. Her heart would remain intact, no matter how hard it was becoming to keep her distance from the professor.

Gus had one passion, his studies. A highly sought-after scholar, he had no room in his life for a woman as infuriatingly opinionated as Somerset Sinclair. She calls him stuffy and refuses to show him the respect he deserves.

Yes, she’d saved his life, but he’d thanked her for that. Now he must forget her and her strange family, and his life will return to normal.

The problem is she has an unusual occupation that throws her headlong into trouble and no one appears worried about that, except him.

When Somer’s investigations turn deadly and the threat to her life real, Gus knows his dreams of an uneventful scholarly existence are in fact empty without her in them. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. But will Somer fight her destiny or realize that life would be empty without Gus at her side and in her heart.

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099P9C8PQ

Excerpt~

She felt his thudding heart as it matched her own. Strong thighs pressed into her, and the muscled planes of his chest and belly.

“R-Release me.” Somer’s voice was wobbly. “Please.”

He looked behind him, then eased back and away, and Somer tried to breathe. Tried to still the racing of her heart. No man but family had held her like that.

“Are you all right?” His voice was a growl and reminded her of Max when gripped by strong emotions.

“Y-Yes, thank you.”

He was taller this close, and bigger. His shoulders were wide beneath the black of his overcoat. His eyes were gray, darker than James’s, but lighter than Emily’s. Nice eyes, she thought, and what he should use to look where he was going. They were set in an equally pleasing face. Wide cheekbones, a chin that she thought looked stubborn, dark brows and lashes. His skin was tanned, which suggested he did not frequent society, as it was not done to have such coloring. His hair was too long, past his collar, and deep sable brown. Handsome. The little jab of excitement in the pit of her stomach told Somer he was a man worthy of a second look. Not that she’d be looking. There was no time in her life for men.

She drew in another steady breath.

“If I may suggest, sir,” Somer said in a tone that would cut glass, “you need to be more aware when walking through streets filled with people and obstacles, because next time I may not be on hand to save you from a chimney pot knocking you senseless!”

“I have had no trouble until now,” he said, his eyes steady on her face.

“And yet had I not intervened you would be nursing a serious headache or a great deal worse.”

His eyes moved to the shattered pieces of chimney pot.

“Yes, I can see that.”

“You are bleeding.” Somer pulled out her handkerchief and stepped toward him to place it on his cheek.

“’Tis nothing.” He brushed her hand aside and blotted it with the sleeve of his coat.

“Well then,” Somer snapped. She did not like feeling anything but in complete control, and yet right in that moment she was unsettled. He’d held her, and being close to him had made butterflies form in her belly.

Decidedly odd.

“Well then?” He raised a dark brow.

“Say thank you.”

His smile was small but did several disturbing things to his already handsome face. He was looking at her as if she was amusing. A woman and therefore not terribly intelligent, but worth a smile. She’d been the recipient of that look many times in her life and had to say she was still far from impressed by it.

He was dressed as a gentleman of means, Somer thought, eyeing his well-fitted deep-blue jacket and gray trousers beneath the overcoat. The only bright color was from the fine silver stripe in his waistcoat.

He suddenly swept off his hat, then bowed.

“You have my undying gratitude, madam.”

“Is that sarcasm?” Somer frowned. She’d cut her eye teeth on sarcasm, it was a communication tool in her family, but she did not expect it from a man whose life she’d just saved. “Because if it is, I think that’s exceedingly shabby, as I just rescued you from a hideous headache or death. Either deserves a great deal more gratitude.”

Rather than being angry, he looked intrigued.

Somerset Sinclair vows not to follow in her elder siblings’ footsteps. There will be no marriages or daring rescues of any man carrying Raven blood. Somer has a career, and nothing is about to thwart that.

From USA Today Bestseller Wendy Vella comes an exciting Regency series about legend, love and destiny, with a hint of magic …

Amazon

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyVella
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Church Lady’s Lament

To Reverend Mr. Horace Sorsby, Vicar of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Knaresborough

Sir:

Reluctant though I am to criticize church matters, I truly must speak up, and hope my frequent liberal contributions to your parish will gain me attention. As you know age and infirmity make it impossible for me to attend services in Knaresborough. While I am pleased that a chapel of ease has been set up here in Harrogate for the benefit of leading citizens like myself who find themselves hampered from full participation, the man assigned  it has failed us. I am compelled to report that the curate you appointed to serve my our needs has proven to be negligent and useless.

First of all, his sermons focus entirely too heavily on service due the poor, in my opinion, and too little on the respect the lower classes owe their betters. I suppose I must excuse this as he is young and does seem to have a grasp on scripture.

I excuse it mainly because I am rarely able to attend even the chapel of ease here. That curate, Mr. Eustace Clarke, has been repeatedly asked to attend me at home. We are now moving into December, and I am obliged to report he made but two visits since summer. Neither visit lasted longer than an hour. I ask, Mr. Sorsby, do you believe that shows sufficient care for a frail old woman, one I might add who has generously supported Saint John in the past?

I am quite, quite distressed to add that my precious Wellington, an extraordinarily noble pug, has taken him dislike as well. The impudent young man accused my darling Welly of damaging his boots. I cannot believe poor Welly has developed a taste for leather. He has demonstrated no such affinity in the past. I am certain Mr. Clarke enticed him as an excuse to make a quick departure.

My loyal butler reports that it appears Mr. Clarke persists in wasting his time with that pathetic little soup kitchen he calls Pilgrim’s Rest, feeding every lazy, worthless beggar that imbibes from Harrogate’s public springs but refuses to pay for his lunch. Now news has reached me that he believes he needs funds to repair the roof of that barn. I will not stand for it. I demand you order him to close that fruitless and unproductive little mission down and focus on those of us who support the parish at large as he ought.

If my words have not been enough to convince you the man needs sharp words from his superior there is this. My personal maid, a woman of fine character, has told me that he is now seen walking out with a woman employed in the kitchens of the The Hampton Hotel. What such a woman is doing sporting about town on the arm of a single man, I can only guess. The hussy’s name I’m told is Doro Bigglesworth.

I trust you will counsel your curate about proper behavior and duties. I would hate to take my contributions and charity elsewhere.

With Respect,

Lady Louella Spotsworthy

About the Book: Desperate Daughters

Love Against the Odds

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.

Among them?  “Lady Dorothea’s Curate,” by Caroline Warfield

Employed at a hotel in order to assist her stepmother, Lady Dorothea Bigglesworth had no use for a title. It would only invite scorn, or, worse, pity. Plain Miss Doro Bigglesworth suited her fine.

Ben Clarke dedicated his life to helping the neediest. It gave his life meaning. He tended to forget the younger son of a viscount went by “Honorable.”

Working together at Pilgrim’s Rest, neither saw the need to mention it to the other, before fate separated them. When they were formally introduced after an unexpected reunion— in a ballroom in York—shock rocked them both. Can their budding love survive?

You can find links to various vendors here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/

 

Vigilante among the Ton?

Every day in London’s streets, women of all ilk sell their bodies to earn enough to live and survive. Prostitution is no secret; it is a thriving business. Like all businesses, there are those who profit and those who toil. Equally so, every year in the glittering ballrooms of the marriage mart, young women are sold to the highest bidder for money and power. Here also, there are those who profit from the bodies and lives of their women.

So, it may come as no surprise that London has a new hero from this set. A vigilante who rescues young girls who have become tangled in the web of sex and excesses. She rescued a young girl from a prominent brothel run by Mrs. G two weeks ago. Brandishing her slim deadly blade, she snatched away the girl who had been sold to the brothel owner by her drunk of a father.

Then our vigilante struck again last weekend at an infamous bacchanal, which is thrown annually by Lord D. Yes, all the rumors you have heard are true. The party is as debauched as Lord D’s dark heart. Free-flowing wine and liquor, and anonymity provided by the masks fuel an atmosphere of immoral behavior. This night of excess was topped off by an auction, where the highest bidder would get to deflower a genuine virgin.

Don’t worry, dear reader, our vigilante swooped in and rescued the poor farm girl, stolen from her family by Mrs. G to serve as the virgin sacrifice. Yes, our vigilante is no ordinary woman. She is fearless, passionate, a LADY of great heart. I will wait alongside you, breathlessly, to see where she will strike next.

About the Book: Unmask My Heart

Caroline Langdon has gained a reputation for being unattainable; she has turned down twelve offers of marriage over the past four years. A traumatic incident from her past has convinced her she never wants to belong to any man. Her plan to live as a wealthy spinster is tested when she meets the enigmatic Lord Wrotham.

For his new assignment for the crown, Cage Morgan must slip into the one role he’s never wanted, his title as the Earl of Wrotham. Lady Caroline is in grave danger. His job is to watch over her and investigate which of her jilted suitors wants her dead. But keeping tabs on the clever and fiery lady will prove to be challenging. And ignoring the attraction that flares between them impossible.

Will a daring rescue and a fake engagement lead two guarded hearts to take a risk on a passionate love neither of them thought imaginable?

 Excerpt:

“You can never trust a newspaperman.” Cage commented.

“Well, in this case, because the editor is a woman, I thought I could.” Clearly a mistake. Of course, a woman whose paper survives on its gossip column would choose the most sensational bits. Caroline grudgingly admired the editor’s cleverness. She glanced down at the article in her hand. “She does paint a flattering picture of me. Fierce and passionate. I almost wish people knew she was talking about me.” She took another swallow of wine. “I am tired of everyone talking behind my back about being an ice queen. I’m not frigid,” she muttered.

“Who had the gall to say you were frigid?”

Caroline couldn’t believe she had said that out loud. Her cheeks warmed and not because of the wine. He was the one man who made her feel the opposite of frigid. He made her want things that she had given up ever feeling again. She set down her empty wine glass on the windowsill.

Cage took one finger and lifted her chin until her gaze met his. “You are the most passionate woman I have ever known. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a blind fool.” The heat in his eyes almost had her believing his statement. He lowered his mouth to hers, brushing her lips once, twice.

Caroline sighed at the pleasure of his kiss. He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her against him. Nibbling at her bottom lip, he pulled her under his spell. She parted her lips to welcome his exploration. His tongue swept in to play with hers, slick and hot. She grabbed hold of the lapels of his jacket as the world around them melted away.

“Caroline, your fire consumes me.” He kissed across her cheek and up to her temple. “You haunt my nights. I want to discover every inch of you with my tongue, my lips. I want you to burn me alive.”

His words emboldened her. Caroline slid her hand into his hair and pulled his head back enough for their eyes to meet. “Show me.”

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 – www.karlakratovil.com

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Damsels in Distress Take York by Storm — Love Against the Odds?

The women who call themselves the Bluestocking Belles are at it again, Sam — invading another set of lives and writing a series of tell-all stories. And people call the Tattler a scandal rag!

This one will be out next year, but I should be able to scrape a few details from the Belles and their friends before then. This year, Meara Platt, Ella Quinn, Mary Lancaster, and Alina K. Field have joined the Belles for the collection.

So far, what I’ve discovered is that all the stories are about one family and their connections.

You may remember the jokes and gossip a few years back when the Earl of Seahaven took his fifth bride, and her young enough to be his granddaughter? And a baker’s daughter, at that. Then he died before the first year was out. All jokes about stamina and demanding young brides aside, it was a terrible thing for the girl, especially when the child she was carrying at the time was not the Earl’s longed-for son, but a ninth daughter.

The new earl, a distant cousin, decided that he had no responsibility for the upkeep of ten females. The dowager countess was left to her own devices, with her own baby girl and eight step-daughters.

That was three years ago, more or less. The latest news will be in the Bluestocking Belles’ new collection of stories. Apparently, the ladies have managed to somehow afford a York Season! There’ll be more than the races to amuse the Polite World this year. It’ll be intriguing to see how many suitors are willing to take on a bride with a very small dowry and a whole platoon of sisters.

I’ll be digging around some more, Sam, and I’ll certainly let you know what I find out.

Oh! And the collection is called Desperate Daughters. Catchy title, that, and it says it all, really. This should be a lot of fun!

***

Read more about Desperate Daughters and preorder here.

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