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A Citizen’s Complaint

April 5, 1919

To the editor of the Conwy Chronicle, Abergele, Wales

When does London plan to act? Kinmel Camp is a tinderbox. We know those troops have been through hell, and now they’re locked up in that sad excuse for a facility as bad as any billet they had in France with nothing to do but scratch for food and scrap with each other. We heard they’re overcrowded, underfed, and falling sick. The Spanish flu is still spreading, and it’ll infect the county, too.

A person could have some sympathy, but if things go haywire they’ll spill out into the county. Those Canadians already rioted once and men died. They kept it in the camp that time, but what about next time? What if they spill out into Bodelwyddan or some other town next time?

Kinmel camp

We all know about the strikes in the port holding up shipping, but the government must act. Those men did their duty; they need to go home; they need to get out of our county. Does the government expect us to just sit and wait for another explosion?

That isn’t all. The longer they are here, the more we have women hanging around claiming to be war brides. They all want passage to North America. I know what I’m talking about. My aunt has an inn in Bodelwyddan, and she’s heard it all. Last week a woman from France turned up. Claimed to be the wife of a Canadian officer. A French woman! The army tossed her right out of the camp, just like the rest of them. Next day she was begging my aunt for a job or a place to stay. Barely speaks English but she wants a job.

Kinmel Camp

Close the camp, I say. The county government should demand it. The war is over now we want them to leave us in peace.

About the Book

Some wars must be fought, some loves must live on hope alone, and some stories must be told. Christmas Hope a wartime romance in four parts, each one ending on Christmas 1916-1919, is one of them.

After two years at war Harry ran out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images of darkness. When he encountered the floating islands of Amiens and life in the form a widow and her little son, hope ensnared him.

With the war over, and no word from Harry, Rosemarie Legrand searched for him all the way to the Kinmel Camp, only to be thrown out by authorities. She can’t linger; no one will hire her. Now that the Great War is over, will their love be enough?

Pre-order at $.99 from various vendors. https://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/christmas-hope/

About the Author

Award winning author of historical romance usually set in the Regency and Victorian eras, Caroline Warfield reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the world. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart, because love is worth the risk.

Carol Roddy – Author

Innocent Lady Shocks Ton with a Scandalous Affair Involving a Duke

Dear Lovely Readers:

A shocking page of the infamous Madame Bellerose’s journal has crossed our desk. We felt it pertinent to bring this to your attention. It appears an innocent miss of the ton frequents Belle’s daily while her parents are in the country. However, the lady does not spend her time alone. From Madame Belle’s journal, a certain duke has made her his mistress. While the journal entry refers to the lady as ‘Violet’, that is not her true name. Who is this lady and her duke? Which members of the ton have been missing from society? See if you can decipher who our mystery couple may be:

May 1820

I am troubled by what I have done. With my encouragement I have persuaded ‘Violet’ to enter into a relationship of the passionate nature with S. While S has always been a close friend of mine, I worry on how he could destroy her heart. I see the connection between the two and know that this lady as innocent as she may be, is the one to bring him to his knees. The awful row I overheard this morning between them, has brought doubts to the forefront of my mind. However, when I witnessed S leave ‘Violet’s’ room, I saw how she affected him. But I also notice the sadness in Lady S’s ‘Violet’s’ eyes when she hears of S’s search for a bride. I wish she could remove the mask she wears to hide her identity and he could see the beauty that is meant for him. If they cannot share their secrets, then I fear they are doomed. Then it shall be my fault that a powerful duke ruined an innocent lady. Friend or not, we will all be ruined. I will write to Lady W to ask if she can assist me in turning this scandalous rendezvous into a courtship meant for a lady. All I ever wanted was for them to find love, not heartache.

Well readers, can you help me with whom the players in this journal entry may be? Be on the lookout for a missing duke and a lady whose parents are away in the country. From what I can tell, the duke does not know who his mystery lady is.

Whom Shall I Marry… An Earl or A Duke? (Tricking the Scoundrels #2)

An afternoon spent in disguise leads to a passion that …

She wanted to explore the promise of his kiss. He wanted to persuade her to become his mistress. Will a case of mistaken identity lead to a marriage of love?

While trying to prevent her friend from a scandal Sophia Turlington becomes entangled in her own. As she waits for her friend in a brothel, a duke mistakes her for a harlot. When he requests an arrangement, Sophia decides to explore the passion he awakens in her soul. Her only stipulations for the affair are a mask, one week, and he must never discover her true identity. Can Sophia give him her heart and walk away as if their time never affected her?

Alexander Langley’s life as a prominent duke will soon come to an end unless he can acquire a duchess whose family can support him through a scandal. When he meets a violet-eyed temptress that awakens his every desire his search comes to a halt. As they explore their passion, he loses his heart to a woman he can never marry. Will Alex put aside his status in the ton for a love to last a lifetime?

Throughout the season Lady Sophia Turlington and Alexander Langley, the Duke of Sheffield’s dislike for one another is known to all. A chance encounter throws them together as Alex and ‘Violet’. After their time ends, Sophia wants Alex to see her for herself. If not, then she might as well accept her friend’s marriage proposal. Can Alex overcome Sophia’s deceit? Or will his need for revenge destroy the love she holds for him?

Excerpt:

“Love, do you need to return home to your parents?” He kissed her shoulder as he leaned over her.
“Mmm,” Sophia moaned into the pillow.
“Violet?”
Sophia rolled over to regard Alex through her drowsy eyes. Disappointment flooded her when she saw him next to the bed, already dressed and ready to leave for the day.
“I must be off. I will have Belle arrange a carriage for your return home.”
“No bother, I shall reside here this week.”
“How will you explain this arrangement to your family? I do not wish for a scandal, my dear. While I love bedding you, I will not wed you. Do not think to trap me.”
And once again he was the arrogant duke she despised. He only considered himself and not others. Why Sophia loved him was beyond her. Her anger got the best of her as she unleashed her fury at his conceited ego. She pushed him away as she rose from the bed with the sheet wrapped around her body. She spilled her thoughts out loud, ticking them off on her fingers as her voice grew louder.
“First, I will not have to explain this arrangement to my family, because an emergency at the family estate called for my parent’s attention. Second, there will be no scandal involving you or our time together. Third, while I love bedding you also, I do not believe I have even hinted at wanting to be married to an overbearing, egotistical ass such as yourself. Fourth, I have no intention of trapping you into anything but the use of your body for the remainder of the week. Furthermore, let me make myself clear, I am too good for the likes of you. One day a ring shall be placed upon my finger, but only by a man who deserves me, and that man is not you. Now, if you will be so kind, please leave my bedroom now.”
Sophia finished her tirade standing at the door, pulling it open for him to leave. She watched as he stood across the room, glaring at her. Her foot tapped in annoyance the longer he stood there. If he didn’t leave soon, she would rip off her mask to reveal her identity. Then he could deal with who she was and how, if she wanted to trap him, she could. Her father was a powerful man in the ton. If she cried injustice at the hands of the Duke of Sheffield, he would make the duke beg for her hand in marriage.
Sheffield walked over to stand before her, staring at his wild temptress in her fit of anger. He didn’t know whether to be furious with her for addressing him in that tone, or to carry her to the bed and make love to her all day. She riled his emotions on another level. As she stood before him, the sheet slipped from her grasp as she pointed at the door for him to leave. Her tangled hair fell over her shoulders hiding her breasts from his gaze. Her body shook in anger as she continued to glare at him with those dark violet eyes that shot sparks of silver at him. While he would love to stay and turn them into passion, he was already late for an appointment. But he had time to kiss her and show her just how arrogant he was.
He pulled her into his arms and her glare intensified as she dared him to kiss her. He wore the smirk of a man who takes a dare and declares himself the winner.
Sophia knew from his stare that he wanted to ravish her lips and she would be powerless to stop him. Because angry as she was, she still desired him. Sophia wanted him to kiss her, then it would mean he desired her too. However, when his lips lowered to hers, it was the kiss of an apology. Soft. Slow. Gentle. Each brush of his lips against hers asked for forgiveness.

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About Laura A Barnes:

I am the author of The Romancing the Spies Series. When I am not writing, I am spending time with my family. I love reading books on lazy afternoons and late into the night. Anytime really. Married twenty-nine years to the love of my life, we have three wonderful children and two sweet grandbabies. Besides writing, I have always wanted to travel. In the last few years, we have gotten our passports stamped in England, Scotland, and Ireland. We are hoping to add Italy to the list soon. My debut novel is Rescued By the Captain.

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Navy captain trapped by smugglers doxy

Sam, this story is all around Margate and the local countryside. Hard to tell what’s smoke and what’s substance, but I’m sending you my notes. Make what you will of it. I’ve spoken to some of the party goers, some servants taken on for the night and dismissed with the guests, local excise men, a few villagers down near the Castle, and even the vicar’s housekeeper.

A bacchanaal hosted by the Merry Marquis at Haverford Castle several nights ago was interrupted by the arrival of a wild-eyed girl who claimed to be pursued by smugglers.

At first, the revelers assumed she was part of the entertainment, and perhaps she was. But if so, the Merry Marquis was not inclined to share, for within minutes of drawing her to one side for private conversation, he evicted all of his guests.

The guests — the usual miscellany of wild youths, dedicated debauchers, ladies of the night, and daring widows — could not say with certainty what the relationship between the two of them was, though most thought he knew the female.

Given what we know of his lordship, even if she was not a close acquaintance one would assume they were very close by the time the night was over. Or perhaps not, given what transpired within the week.

But I get ahead of myself.

The next information comes from several troopers with the excise men, who speaks of the troop being roused by a Haverford Castle groom, and led out to the coast to apprehend a gang of smugglers, and to retrieve some dead bodies from a network of caves the smugglers frequented.

The Merry Marquis and about a score of his servants had already fought a battle with said servants and the girl was with them. I was told she had ridden into the affray astride the Merry Marquis’s horse, clinging to him. Stark naked, some say. Others demurred, claiming she was fully dressed, but all agree that she hurled herself over the body of a man whom the smugglers had beaten, and defied anyone to further hurt him.

This is where information becomes more speculation than fact. I have ascertained that the man in question was taken up to the Castle, as was one of the corpses, an elderly man. The Merry Marquis claimed the two men and the girl had been prisoners of the smugglers. The girl also returned to the Castle — and you know how closed-lipped Haverford servants are.

However, the doctor, who was called to attend the two who still lived, told his housekeeper that the man was a Redepenning — one of the Earl of C’s connections, and almost certainly the youngest son of the General Lord R. (or Lord H. as he is more commonly known). The girl, the housekeeper said, was a nobody from one of the local villages.

Turns out those who know — let’s call her Miss S. — those who know Miss S. are likewise mixed in their opinion of her. Some say she is little more than an innocent child, and that the man that died, her father, was a scholar. Others suggest that he robbed graves and collected bones, and that she is a wicked thing, no better than she should be, and bound to come to a bad end.

Suffice it to say, rumours are rife. Was she a smuggler’s doxy who fell in love with the young Redepenning’s pretty blue eyes, as some attest? Or a helpless victim of said villains, held for nefarious purposes.

It seems almost certain that she had spent several nights in the same locked cave as Redepenning. If she had any virtue to lose, it seems unlikely to have remained intact, particularly given what came next.

Lord H. arrived, along with his daughter, Mrs C. The doctor returned several times to the castle. Next, the vicar was summoned.

Sam, the young Redepenning married the girl. He has now left. Gone back to his ship, which is bound for the Far East. The new Mrs. R. is bound for London.

I don’t suppose you can print any of this — not with such powerful families now protecting the female at the centre of it. But it makes you think, doesn’t it?

Unkept Promise, out this coming week and on special at 99c on release day

Naval captain Jules Redepenning has spent his adult life away from England, and at war. He rarely thinks of the bride he married for her own protection, and if he does, he remembers the child he left after their wedding seven years ago. He doesn’t expect to find her in his Cape Town home, a woman grown and a lovely one, too.

Mia Redepenning sails to Cape Town to nurse her husband’s dying mistress and adopt his children. She hopes to negotiate a comfortable married life with the man while she’s there. Falling in love is not on her to-do list.

Before they can do more than glimpse a possible future together, their duties force them apart. At home in England, Mia must fight for the safety of Jules’s children. Imprisoned in France, Jules must battle for his self-respect and his life.

Only by vanquishing their foes can they start to make their dreams come true.

Books2Read: books2read.com/UnkeptPromises

Jude’s website (where you can read the first three chapters): https://judeknightauthor.com/books/unkept-promises/

The laird denies it, but the clan hopes

The clan was busy with planting. Even the laird—Niall MacLean was out in the fields. The laird was still healing from the death of his wife and newborn son from a little over a year earlier. Thankfully, he had stopped drowning himself in his cups. That eased the clan’s worries for their laird.

So when a boat arrived on the isle, the whole clan was thrown to the floor when Ermina Bruce pronounced that her and the Laird were married. That news alone was shocking but she was with child. She was so large with child that no one could look beyond her belly to see her beauty.

The clan couldn’t stopped talking about it. No one thought he would marry so quickly then we learned that he was handfasted with the lass to protect her and certain events followed as they do. That sounded like the man I served and stand at his side. The whole MacLean clan was hoping that love bloomed. We all saw that his wife loved him, so that was a good beginning.

Only problem was Ermina Bruce swore she’d die in childbirth. The laird couldn’t survive burying another wife.

Another thing: it seemed that the Laird couldn’t fight against feelings he had deep inside him. He told me they were friends, having grown up from childhood to adulthood together. But I knew differently, and now it was time for Ermina and Niall to learn it.

The Chieftan’s Secret

On a windswept Scottish Isle…

Many objects wash up on the shores of the rugged Isle of Mull. The Laird of Lochbuie never expected a pregnant wife to be included among the items. Honorable Niall MacLean was wed to his childhood love when she died in childbirth. Now a widower, he struggles to get beyond his grief. 

Then his dear friend, Ermina Bruce pleaded for his help. His protective instinct came alive and he handfasted with Ermina to save her from an unsuitable marriage and one drunken night has led to forever after and a possible repeat of his past heartbreak.  

The bonds of friendship…

Noble Ermina Bruce has loved Niall MacLean since he first fostered in her uncle’s home. But he loved another so she settled for the deep bonds of friendship. When Niall save her from that miserable fate, she never thought she would end up in his arms. 

One night of passion…

That one night in Niall’s arms led to her pregnancy. Ermina has not told Niall of their secret baby. But his reaction isn’t her greatest fear. Her fear is even greater than the brave laird’s wrath. Every woman in her family has died in childbirth and all know the same fate awaits her. Once again, Ermina knows Niall is the only one who can save her. And if he fails, her last days shall be with the man she loves. 

Will love have a chance to come alive?

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chieftains-Secret-Medieval-Scottish-Romance-ebook/dp/B07SD9DKYJ/

Snowy Scandal, January 20, 1814

Dear Mr. Clemens,

I realize that your readers prefer scandal of a more salacious nature than that concerning which I  pen this missive. But conditions exist throughout London that endanger all. Some background first.

As with much of London’s populace, I have eagerly anticipated the debut performance of Mr. Edmund Kean, actor, at the Drury Lane Theatre, Covent Garden on 26 January. Mr. Kean’s reputation precedes him from his stellar performances in Mr. Samuel Butler’s provincial troupe. How the proprietors of Drury Lane managed to lure Mr. Kean from a very comfortable position with Mr. Butler is a tale untold. For everyone knows that the Drury Lane Theatre is on it’s last legs and without a miracle of sorts will close it’s doors within the month.

However, I digress. The scandal to which I refer earlier was initiated by the present dire weather. All know how frigidly cold it has been. Too cold for decent folk to travel more than a few feet. Nonetheless, the problems created by the weather have been compounded by the neglect of the city to properly maintain the streets during this climatological crisis.

Ice and snow that have fallen since late December have been problem enough. Now to my dismay and the endangerment of all, snow is being removed from the rooftops in order to keep those rooftops from collapsing upon the residents below. I am delighted with the preservation of life. Be that as it may, no care is being taken with the placement of this excess snow. Workers simply push it from the roof willy nilly onto the streets below with no regard to objects or persons below. I know personally of three carriages that have been damaged from this practice. Friends have reported injury to family members and much difficulty ensues in getting aid to those so injured. ‘Tis a grievous scandal when the city cannot maintain safety in the streets. I know of no person who wishes to perish beneath a roof-load of snow and ice.

Sensible persons must of course remain indoors. But on January 26, Mr. Kean will perform Shylock at the Drury Lane Theatre. I have great concern that the streets around Covent Garden and the theatre will no be cleared sufficiently to allow ticket holders to attend this reputedly stellar performance. It is the duty of every London citizen to demand action from the city government to address this scandal promptly and make the streets safely passable.

Please, Mr. Clemens, as a person dedicated to spreading the news far and wide, do all that your prominence allows to see this dangerous and scandalous situation corrected.

Sincerely, your loyal subscriber

Lady Eloisa Harbinger,

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