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Category: Teatime Tattler Page 3 of 102

Trouble always follows her

Lord Adrian de Courtenay and his wife Celia sat in the morning room eating their breakfast. A servant quietly entered placing a newsprint within his lady’s reach. Adrian glanced over at the paper and grimaced.

“Why do you bother reading that trash, my love,” he reluctantly asked his wife.

“How else am I to keep up with the goings on in Society whilst we are retired here in Bath, Adrian?” she asked before picking up the paper to peruse the contents.

He gave the matter no further thought as he continued to enjoy his morning coffee before Celia gasped. She cast nervous eyes in his direction, worry etched upon her brow. God forbid! What now? he thought.

“Hand it over,” he said far more gently than he expected. Considering how Celia’s hands shook when she handed over the newsprint, the contents couldn’t be good news.

“Adrian… just remain calm,” she said placing her hand upon his arm.

“I am always calm, my dear,” he replied and watched a delicate brow arch upwards. “Well… most of the time.” He scanned the print until the words swirled before his angry eyes.

Gently Readers:

It has come to the attention of this reporter that a certain Miss d.C. was seen entering a seaside inn at an indecent hour of the night. Did this young lady just return from an evening of debauchery with some unknown gentleman? Time will only tell if her reputation will survive this latest bit of tittle tattle. Stay tuned for more, dear reader!

An Anonymous Reporter for
The TeaTime Tattler

“What the bloody—”

“Adrian,” Celia called out.

“I thought Grace and Nicholas had a firm had on Miranda and what is she doing at some inn along the coast?” he howled in frustration.

“There’s no sense in getting worked up about something you had no control over. You know how trouble seems to follow Miranda wherever she goes. I’m certain there’s an explanation for everything.”

“I highly doubt that, my dear. I will, however, send a message to Grace to find out what she knows. If you will excuse me, I’ll go to see the matter,” he replied before placing a kiss on the top of her head and heading for his study.

Miranda in trouble again. He swore his sister was going to be the death of him.


This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Miss Miranda de Courtenay was previously seen in A Kiss For Charity and The Earl Takes A Wife. She now gets her happily ever after in Before I Found You that is in the Bluestocking Belles’ next box set Storm & Shelter.

Excerpt from Before I Found You: A de Courtenay Novella (Book Three):

“You look as though you belong here, Miranda.” That voice broke into her musings, causing a shiver of pleasure to race throughout her body. His tone was gentle. Might Jasper still care for her? God help me.

She turned to face him and realized he was closer than she thought. Her breath caught in her throat before she finally answered him. “Do I?” she asked hesitantly, before she shrugged. “I never seem to really fit in anywhere.”

“Maybe you’re just looking in all the wrong places.” His solemn expression seemed genuinely concerned. Miranda’s determination to have a titled man as her husband waned in Jasper’s presence. It troubled her, and at the same time she felt guilty. Wasn’t she being untrue to herself?

“Perhaps,” she replied, quietly. She would concede that something inside her was changing. She wasn’t sure if she cared for the changes or not, but she couldn’t stand to see the hurt she might cause this man once again reflected in his eyes.

A few locks of her hair whisked across her face and Jasper reached out to tuck the length behind her ear. “Miranda—”

“I must apologize if my presence has made you uncomfortable, Jasper. I tried to persuade Grace to pick me up after they were done here,” she interrupted. She gestured at the planks beneath her feet. “As you can see, I failed.”

“You are more than welcome onboard. But you’re not remaining in London?” The ship chose that moment to sway and, before Miranda’s stance could falter, Jasper took hold of her elbow to steady her. Her heart betrayed her yet again when he placed her hand into the crook of his arm to offer his support.

“No, I’m afraid not. Nicholas has purchased a cottage on the coast at Cromer in Norfolk. I’m to accompany them and their children while they look the place over and furnish it. It’s part of my punishment for past offenses, I suppose. I’d rather not go into the details.”

“Spending time with your family hardly seems like punishment, Miranda.”

“I’m glad you haven’t heard the gossip surrounding me the past few years. Elsewise, you’d be like the rest of the tonand stay away from me at all costs. I’m only really accepted among them because of Grace and Adrian.”

He pulled her to face him and lifted her chin. “We may not have known one another for long, but you must know I’m not cut from the same mold as most of society. I’ve lived by my own rules, and, while I try to remain the gentleman my parents raised me to be, I don’t mind taking a risk now and then.”

“Like at the ball?” she asked, trying to keep her nerves calm.

“Yes. I thought you also didn’t mind occasionally dismissing the convention of men and women of their ilk since you decided to dance with me.”

She thought of how a foolish bet with Grace had almost been the ruin of her reputation at Hollystone Hall. A laugh escaped her. “If you only knew…”

“Perhaps one day you shall confide in me. I promise to keep your secrets.” His grin was completely wicked, and another piece of her heart melted.

“I just may hold you to your vow, Jasper,” she teased, her eyes twinkling in merriment while they jested with one another.

Storm & Shelter:
A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Before I Found You Blurb:

Miss Miranda de Courtenay has only one goal in life: to find a rich husband who can change her status from Miss to My Lady. But when a handsome stranger crosses her path at a Valentine’s Day ball, her obsession with titles dims. Might love be enough?

Captain Jasper Rousseau has no plans to become infatuated during a chance encounter at a ball. He has a new ship to run, passengers to book, and cargo to deliver. But one look into a young lady’s beautiful hazel eyes, and he becomes lost. Does love at first sight really exist?

Their paths continue to cross until they are both stranded in Fenwick on Sea. Their growing connection is hard to dismiss, despite Miranda’s childish quest for a title at all cost. But what if the cost includes love?

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Angus & Robertson

About 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!

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Garden Party’s Unlikely Heroine? Or Something Worse?

We had the singular pleasure of attending Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey Barton’s garden party. It was an event long anticipated and the grounds were quite perfection with fountains, flowers and trees shaped as elephants.

However, to everyone’s surprise, all attention was rivetted on Mr. Barton’s younger sister, Miss Lettuce Barton. Miss Barton has seldom attracted our attention. She is a quiet individual more likely to nod off than to utter a witticism. Indeed, her chief accomplishment was at the time of her birth when she curried favour with her namesake, an elderly relative of considerable means.

However, we digress. Miss Barton arrived, wearing a gray ensemble and was greeted by her mother. The elder Mrs. Barton favours more brilliant hues and we have heard rumours that she is understandably distressed by her daughter’s eccentricities. (Indeed, we have it on excellent authority that Miss Barton has purchased a house and lives alone with only servants.) Such a crushing blow must have greatly distressed her mother and we feel for dear Mrs. Barton from the very depth of our maternal heart.

But again, we digress. Almost immediately after Miss Barton’s arrival at the aforementioned garden party, Lady Elsie Beauchamp collapsed. It is rumoured that Lady Beauchamp is in a delicate condition. This apparently (and surprisingly) spurred Miss Barton into action. She almost sprinted across the lawn and then barked orders to all and sundry, in a manner more suited to a military leader than a gentlewoman of good breeding.

By the by, ‘all and sundry’ also included Lady Beauchamp’s brother, the reclusive and heroic Lord Anthony Ashcroft. For those readers who have been living under a rock, Lord Anthony was recently wounded in the Napoleonic wars. He is seldom seen in public and we feel honoured to have made his acquaintance.

But back to the garden party- dear Lady Beauchamp regained consciousness and was able to walk. In this, she was assisted by Miss Barton and Lord Anthony. Indeed, Miss Barton again assumed peculiar control in a fashion quite unbecoming to a lady.

While their departure quite put a damper on the festivities, we find that our curiosity is piqued. What motivated the quiet Miss Barton to behave in such a fashion? Was it an attempt to gain the attention of the reclusive Lord Anthony? If so, his stony countenance suggested no approbation. Or did she do so to irk her long suffering mother? If so, our observations would suggest that she had succeeded to a considerable degree.

Or is there some other reason? Are there depths hidden under that demure exterior? Or secrets not yet fully disclosed?

Rest assured, that should this writer discover any additional information, we shall immediately disclose the details within this missive.

A Debutante in Disguise

A society lady
…with a secret!

Determined to help people, Letty Barton has a double life – she’s a trained doctor! No-one must know ‘Dr Hatfield’ is actually a woman. Called to an emergency, she comes face to face with her patient’s brother, Lord Anthony Ashcroft… They’d once shared a spark-filled flirtation – now he’s a brooding, scarred war-hero. But how long will it be before he recognizes her, beneath her disguise, and the sparks begin to fly once more…?

Purchase links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Debutante-Disguise-Eleanor-Webster-ebook/dp/B07K8QXJB5/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=eleanor+webster+debutante&qid=1559511988&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Debutante-Disguise-Mills-Boon-Historical-ebook/dp/B07KLF1NKY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=LEIO90SSEW86&keywords=eleanor+webster&qid=1559513521&s=gateway&sprefix=elesnor+webster%2Caps%2C213&sr=8-1

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Debutante-Disguise-Eleanor-Webster-ebook/dp/B07K8QXJB5/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=eleanor+webster&qid=1559513624&s=gateway&sr=8-4

***

Mills & Boone (UK): https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/p57814/a-debutante-in-disguise.htm

Harlequin (US): https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335635204_a-debutante-in-disguise.html

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-debutante-in-disguise

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Google Play:https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Eleanor_Webster_A_Debutante_in_Disguise?id=jTd5DwAAQBAJ&hl=en_US

 

Scandal In Ducal Household: Are Twin Beauties Hiding Ruinous Secrets?

Have the Winderfield twins fallen at last from Society’s highest pedestal? Or, were they undeserving of such regard from the first?

Dear reader, your faithful correspondent has known the two beauties since their debut. They have always been the focus of attention, being nieces of the current Duke of Winshire and daughters of the heir to that esteemed title, the current duke’s elder brother, until his untimely death.

Perhaps, like many, you have admired their poise through the many illnesses and tragedies that haunted their young lives and prevented them from enjoying to the full the success destined for two of such high birth and beauty.

Or perhaps, like others, you have wondered why two ladies with so many advantages have turned their faces steadfastly against marriage, that high and holy goal of all proper women.

Let us reprise what is known. They were to make their debut a year late, after a mysterious illness that apparently struck them both and kept them immured in the country when they should have been making their curtsey to the Queen and to Society. However, their brother’s untimely death sent them both into mourning and back into the country.

The following year, even though they were nearly nineteen, they were immediately hailed as the Beauties of the Season. Indeed, Lady Sarah Winderfield was dubbed the Winderfield Diamond. The Earl of Sutton was swamped with applications from prospective suitors, some of them from gentlemen of high rank and great fortune. Alas. The ladies refused all offers, and would not be shifted from their resolve.

The Diamond continued to sparkle at Society’s entertainments, but Lady Charlotte Winderfield’s interests were more philanthropic, and her undertakings won her the sobriquet ‘the Saint’. Perhaps, said the men of Society–for many were desirous of possessing such lovely beings to ornament their lives–they need a year to enjoy themselves before giving themselves into the care of a husband, and settling into motherhood and the loving service of a wife. Certainly, the duke their grandfather made it very clear that he would not tolerate another year of refusals. If they would not choose, he declared to close associates, he would do it for them.

A number of gentlemen resolved to court the lovely ladies (or at least their grandfather) the following year. Their hopes were dashed when their father’s death put them back into mourning.

Which brings us to 1812, when their notorious uncle returned from the mysterious lands north of Persia, where he had apparently married and fathered ten children. With the duke bedridden and dying, it was to the uncle that all suitors applied, only to be told that the ladies were not interested in marriage.

For the past two years, even after becoming duke in his turn, he has continued to support his nieces rebellion against the proper order. Perhaps, some of us speculated, he knew of secrets in their past that had left them unfit for marriage?

And now, it appears, the Diamond has lost her luster, the Saint shows feet of clay.

Let us consider Lady Sarah, first. For the past few days, she has been seen much in the company of Viscount Bentham, heir to the Earl of Sutton. You will remember that Bentham has been lost for seven years and only recently recovered. You may not, however, have had the opportunity to notice the resemblance between Bentham’s little half-sister and the boy that Lady Sarah has taken as her ward. A boy who is believed to be a Winderfield by-blow, and who was born six years ago, around nine months after Bentham’s disappearance and at the time Lady Sarah was in the country with that mysterious illness mentioned above.

Coincidence? We shall see.

As for Lady Charlotte, reputable witnesses saw her visit Aldridge at his home late at night. Yes, dear readers, the Merry Marquis himself. Within half an hour of her arrival, they left in a carriage, and were gone all night. Some say they were carousing in the slums. Certainly, they did not return to the Winshire mansion until after the cock crowed and the sun rose.

How can one put an innocent interpretation on that?

To Claim the Long-Lost Lover

The beauty known as the Winderfield Diamond hides a ruinous secret. Society’s newest viscount holds the key.

Sarah’s beloved abandoned her eight years ago, leaving her to face the anger of her family and worse. And now he is back, more compelling than ever. Sarah is even lovelier than when she was a girl, but what did she know about her father’s revenge on Nate: forcible enlistment into the navy and years of servitude?

Book 3 of The Return of the Mountain King

New release

Buy Links

Amazon US  * Other links on Books2Read  *  Jude Knight’s book page

 

To Tame the Wild Rake

The whole world knows Aldridge is a wicked sinner. They used to be right.

The ton has labelled Charlotte a saint for her virtue and good works. They don’t know the ruinous secret she hides.

Then an implacable enemy reveals all. The past that haunts them wounds their nearest relatives and turns any hope of a future to ashes.

Must they choose between family and one another?

Book 4 of The Return of the Mountain King

Released 17 September

Buy Links

Amazon US * Other links at Books2Read *  Jude Knight’s book page

On the Books at Whites: Gentleman Rides Side-Saddle?

Whom Colonel Thoroton will marry has been as prolific a topic in the receiving room of every marriageable miss’s mother as it has in the betting books. After all, it’s not everyday that a man comes into possession of an estate as grand as Flintham Hall at only four-and-twenty.

But no purported wager could possibly be more ludicrous than the one rumored to have begun at White’s: Mr. Paling will learn to ride side-saddle before the Colonel becomes engaged.

Whatever shall they think of next?

Mr. Paling would do better if he turned his attention to pursuing females rather than learning to ride like them. Why, it has been years since he has been spotted dancing, in spite of his frequent attendance at Almack’s. A disgrace, if you ask me, his immaculately-tied cravat notwithstanding. And this is the gentleman sent to Nottinghamshire to force Colonel Thoroton out of mourning and into the marriage-mart where he belongs? Let us hope, for all our sakes, that Mr. Paling loses his bet and they both end up engaged before the year’s end.

Anonymous Annie,
Teatime Tattler Guest Correspondent

An Engagement of Sorts

Much to her mother’s dismay, spirited Anne Fletcher is more comfortable in breeches than ball gowns. But when she finds herself facing marriage to a man she does not love, Anne grasps at her last vestige of independence, setting in motion a desperate plan. Now all she needs is a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé.

Buylink: https://www.amazon.com/Engagement-Sorts-Alene-Wecker-ebook/dp/B093S2LBMM 

Excerpt:

My freedom was short-lived, for though I had been able to stretch my knees and ankles in the carriage, my hips had remained at the same angle for far too long; they were less enthusiastic to be put to sudden use. They buckled, causing me to fall face-first into what had once been a gentleman’s carefully tied black cravat.

A rather ungentlemanly voice released an oath. “Sakes alive, hussy, watch what you are about.” The uncouth man had reacted to my assault by bringing both hands to my shoulders and pushing me back until my chest rested over my own torso rather than on his. “If I had a pound for every woman who threw herself at me, I could make my own fortune.” He unhanded me like I might have lice. I looked upward into the gentleman’s—no, Colonel Thoroton’s—scowl.

His frosty look could have frozen the sun, but it flamed my pride. And unlike last time, the threat of Mother’s censure could not protect him from my wrath. “Firstly, I would never throw myself at a gentleman—obviously in name only—who is incapable of coming to my aid and instead treats me like a flea-bitten cur.” I ticked one gloved finger out at him. “Secondly, if I had thrown myself at you, I would have broken your nose rather than crumpling your oriental, which would have served you right as your nose seems bent out of shape for naught. Thirdly—”

Raucous laughter cut off my diatribe. Mr. Paling stood near, cloaked in his usual persona of gaiety and nonchalance.

In strict contrast, the colonel’s tone grew menacing as he spit out each word. “It was a mathematical, not an oriental.”

“Yes, well.” I tried to re-enact his rude turn of voice; I didn’t care if he was the emperor of China. No one spoke to me like this. “I am a lady, not a hussy. Yours was the greater blunder.”

Meet Alene Wecker

Debut novelist Alene Wecker stumbled into the profession quite by accident; she had only meant to entertain herself during a banal bout of bedrest. But the characters in her head wouldn’t leave her alone until she gave them space on the page. She hopes you will be as entertained by her characters’ antics as she was.

As a mother, voice teacher, and opera singer, she must have a penchant for fun but poorly-paid professions. She likes to pretend that her experience and master’s degree in vocal performance come in handy as she describes debutantes who, like herself, speak several languages and are frequently forced to display their mediocre skills at the pianoforte.

website: https://www.alenewecker.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlene

Runaways or a Clandestine Tryst?

Molly,

When I visited Ashmead last summer, I am certain you told me the Duchess of Glenmoor was a recluse. You were quite firm that she rarely  left the Clarion Hall dower house. What is she doing barreling on past Birmingham on the coaching road?

We arrived stopped to refresh at  the  Crippled Cock on our way  south and noticed a carriage with the Clarion crest in the yard. I hoped to catch sight of  the Earl of Clarion, but who did we see leaving  the private parlor but the duchess herself. She and her companion made no greeting and departed smartly. A male companion! I saw no sign of a respectable woman with  them.  assisted her into the carriage and road up behind on a fine mount.

An illustration of “The Follies & Fashions of our Grandfathers: 1807” by Andrew W Tuer. Getty Images

The innkeeper proved closed mouthed, but the serving wench talked freely. The duchess claimed the “companion” was her brother. Isn’t the earl her only brother, and him fair of hair and complexion? In all my years visiting Ashmead I’ve never seen a Caulfield with hair as black as this gentleman, if I can call him that.

Do you have any notion who it might have been or why  they were in such urgency to travel east? Write to me as soon as you can to the Thomas’s townhouse in London.

Your devoted etc.

Maudy Flint

About the Series

The Duchess of Glemoor’s flight east takes place in The Defiant Daughter, Book 2 in Caroline Warfield’s The Ashmead Heirs. It will come out in October 2021. She is the sister of  both  the earl  and of  Sir  Robert Benson.

The Wayward Son, Book One is available now.

About the Book, The Wayward Son

Sir Robert Benson’s life is in London. He fled Ashmead the day he discovered the man he thought was his father had lied to him, and the girl he loved was beyond his reach. Only a nameless plea from his sister—his half-sister—brings him back to discover he’s been left an estate with a choice piece of land. He will not allow a ludicrous bequest from the earl who sired him turn him into a mockery of landed gentry. When a feisty little termagant with flashing eyes—and a musket—tries to turn Rob off the land—his land—he’s too amused and intrigued to turn away. But the longer he stays, the tighter the bonds that tie him to Ashmead become, strengthened by the powerful draw of the woman rooted on land he’s determined to sell.

Lucy Whitaker’s life is Willowbrook, its land, its tenants, its prosperity, but she always knew it wasn’t hers, knew the missing heir would come eventually. When a powerful man with military bearing rides up looking as if he wants to come in and count the silver, she turns him away, but her heart sinks. She can’t deny Rob Benson his property; she can only try to make him love the place as she does, for her peoples’ sake. A traitorous corner of her heart wishes Rob would love it for her sake.

His life is London and diplomatic intrigue; hers is Ashmead and the land. How can they forge something lasting when they are torn in two directions?

Available on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09484DC1D/

About the Author

Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She 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 British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Links

Website:   http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WarfieldFellowTravelers

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Warfield/e/B00N9PZZZS/

Good Reads:  http://bit.ly/1C5blTm

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/caroline-warfield

 

 

 

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