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Tag: American Historical Romance Page 1 of 3

Wexford’s Mistress Abroad

Once again, London is all atwitter.

By all accounts, the 1777 season has been one of the juiciest in decades. Not the least of which is what’s gone on in London outside of the ballrooms. The failed attempt on King George’s life caused the death of one of the most trusted members of his staff. The handsome Atticus Wexford, who set many a heart to flutter among the young ladies of the Ton, was scheduled to leave the employ of the king immediately after the rebellion was quelled. However, he never made it to the end. Then, from the grave, Mr. Wexford continued to raise eyebrows, when he did the unthinkable and left his entire fortune to his mistress!

The mistress in question was none other than Anjanette Shelby, the most prized jewel of the courtesan set. According to reports, after a few drinks at White’s, men began to refer to her as Miss Spectacular Bosom and boasted of the time each had spent with her. Whether true or not, it’s anyone’s guess if these men ever got to see the inside of Miss Shelby’s lodgings, but if even half of the boasts were true, Miss Shelby has been a most busy lady. I know married women all over town are greatly relieved that Miss Shelby has used her new fortune to buy her way out of London. Rumor has it she’s starting a new life in South Africa. Or maybe it’s America. We’ll probably never know for certain which untamed country she fled to, or if she’ll continue to entertain gentlemen in her new location. We only know London has lost one of its most colorful lightskirts. The male population of England is in mourning.

About the Book

She was running from a past and the many men she’d been a mistress to.

He was deeply involved in The Revolutionary War, a jealous mistress, leaving him no time for any woman.

When Anjanette Shelby, now answering to the name Liberty Wexford, and half French/half Passamaquoddy native American Hawk Gentry literally run into each other on the unruly streets of Boston, they begin a tentative friendship. Despite their mutual decisions not to involve themselves with others, the sparks they set off in each other cannot be denied.

When Libby’s past is exposed before she’s had time to explain her life choices to Hawk, she realizes she has not run fast enough or far enough. Will Hawk be man enough to forgive her past, or will his distaste for women of her prior profession taint his impression of Libby? Will the Revolutionary War overtake any hope of a future for them?

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KQCY1K5

An excerpt

Anjanette’s body finally unclenched after six weeks aboard ship. She took a long, cleansing breath as the last of the first-class passengers departed the ship. It would soon be her turn to leave. She’d kept a low profile during the entire voyage and successfully traversed the Atlantic without her identity being uncovered. Her dresses, though well made, were modest and serviceable. She kept her hair in a chignon with no adornments. If anything, she had become a chameleon, imitating the other second-class passengers to better blend in.

She gathered her possessions and placed them back into her satchel. She fingered her favorite necklace, the last piece of jewelry her final benefactor, Atticus Wexford, had given her.

“Thank you, darling, for giving me the gift of my freedom.” She wiped the tears from her cheeks and took a deep breath. Atticus had given her far more than a necklace. He had given her the ability to reset her life. To begin anew. They’d been making plans to leave England behind, just as soon as he completed his final mission for the government. Neither ever imagined his final mission would be his last, ever. Fortunately, he had revised his will, leaving her his entire fortune. She wiped her final tears away.

She packed away the necklace along with her old identity. Anjanette Shelby, the most coveted courtesan in all of London, was no more. Liberty Wexford was about to disembark and live out the rest of her days in colonial America. Suddenly, the cabin was too confining, the ship was too small. She needed to breathe in the free air of America.

The ship steward stood next to the ramp, ticking the names of the passengers off the manifest. He glanced at her and smiled. “Miss Shelby, I didn’t see much of you during the voyage. Did you fare well, or were you suffering from seasickness?”

She returned his smile. This steward had been kind to her during her trip. “Some, at the beginning of the voyage, but I had a lot of reading to do. Thank you for asking, James.”

“Well, you’re free to go. Enjoy your stay in Boston, Miss Shelby.”

Free to go.

She glanced at the steward. “Can you recommend some accommodations?”

“Yes, there’s a really nice hotel, The Hartford, just up the street a few blocks.” He motioned to the cobblestoned street leading away from the busy dock. “I can arrange to have your trunks delivered there.”

“That would be wonderful. Thank you.” This young man had done his best to assure she had a good trip. She poked her fingers into her reticule and brought forth some bills, which she handed to him. His smile grew even larger.

He called after her. “Goodbye, Miss Shelby.”

She glanced back at him and waved as she whispered, “It’s no longer Miss Shelby. I’m Liberty Wexford now.”

Her steps were light as she touched the cobblestones, although it took her a few minutes to adjust to being on land again. Were it not for the spectacle she would cause, she’d fall to her knees and kiss the street. Even though the cobblestoned streets and the buildings hugging the sides of the road gave the appearance of any of a number of cities in England, this was America. She had a clean slate here. She straightened her hat, shifted her bag from one hand to the other, and set off for the hotel the steward had suggested. After she found lodging, she’d find a job. Boston should look out. Libby Wexford just landed.

About the Author

Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the United States in search of great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love amid the backdrop of a great setting. Her Cotillion Ball Series features the nine children from an upscale New York family prior to and during the Civil War. A regular contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After section, her books have been featured in the column on ten separate occasions. Becky and her rescue dog, Mary, love to hear from readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com .

Duke’s Grandson Visits Former Colony

Dear Readers,

It has come to this writers attention that a young lady from our very own town is getting married to the grandson of the Duke of Dunsbury. Savannah is in an uproar. It has been well known that Miss Tara Wellesley was a Union Sympathizer during the War Between the States. Some speculate that she was a Union Spy but no evidence was found to prove said scandalous behavior. Sebastian Stafford, the man she is engaged to wed, is said to have been part of a secret society called the Rakes and the Crown. No evidence has been found to ascertain the validity of this either, since records don’t exist on the group, itself. Readers, you can’t get this anywhere else!

Savannah Romance
Harry Fenn, View of Savannah from the River

Strange events have been happening at night here in Savannah. Sounds of musket shots, canon fire, and sword clashing could be heard from near the river. Some have noticed British flags flying from the redoubts, men dressed in Colonial garb, and some even in the bright red coats of the English Army. This humble writer, would love to know more about these somewhat bizarre events and would like to see them for himself. Maybe even write a future article about it.

Savannah Romance

In other news, the Wellesley twins are back from their adventures in the North. There is gossip saying that one of them has a secret child housed at the Whispering Oaks plantation. Oh la la, readers! The other twin is said to have fallen for an English girl whom no one has heard of before. How scandalous! The women of Savannah will surely mourn the presence of such handsome gentlemen.

Readers, this author will have more gossip for you in my next article. Until then, check out “A Sea Between Them” by Jessica A Clements and follow this link to find out more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082S2KVJH.

About the Book

Tara Wellesley, a Southern belle, knew her world was going to change. The only one in her family with the second sight, she could see what would happen to those around her. What she didn’t see, however, was the English Rake that befriended her twin cousins—dragging them into a deadly battle with a rival spy ring.
Sebastian Stafford, the grandson of the Duke of Dunsbury, came to the United States to resurrect the Rakes of the Crown, a spy syndicate that once supplied information for the English Crown. Now, far from England, Sebastian takes solace in Tara’s love and renames his group The Rakes of Liberty. The Rakes have one mission—to keep the Union together no matter the price. That means engaging in their own battle with the Order.
But, fate has other plans. When the Order launches an attack against Sebastian’s family, he races back to England to save what is left of them. With a sea between Tara and Sebastian, will the Order get the upper hand or will love be enough to conquer an old foe?

Tittle Tattle from the Banker’s Wife

A report from teatime at the home of Mrs. Woods, Banker’s wife:  Deadwood, SD, June 30, 1879

“I asked you all here to talk about our new schoolteacher and her sister.” Mrs. Woods leaned forward to whisper to make sure the women understood the importance of what she was going to say. “They boarded the stagecoach in Iowa and rode the rest of the way with me. I could tell they were lower class just by the way they were dressed in obviously homemade clothes. Why I heard there are ten children in their family. I would think their parents would know when to stop.”

“I hear she’s a very good teacher.” Mrs. Kincaid frowned. “I know my Thomas likes her and makes learning fun.”

“Hmph. I heard about some of her ways. Classes outdoors? Teaching needlework to boys and about bugs to girls? Why children should be taught by the rod. Memorization from the Bible is the best way to teach our young.”

Mrs. Kincaid set down her cup. “Have you seen what she’s had the older children do with their needlework? Why Thomas stitched the entire Lord’s Prayer. Sounds to me like she’s using the Bible.”

The other women nodded at Mrs. Kincaid’s comments. She needed to get these women and their husbands behind her to get an older, sterner man to teach their young, not some young, pretty thing that probably flirted with the older boys.

“Did you hear that as soon as Miss Lindstrom stepped from the stagecoach, Mr. Winson, owner of King’s Restaurant, had her on the ground and was laying on top of her? I’d say that’s a poor example for our youth.” She smirked at each woman. “Why, you would have thought she was destined for Al Swearingen’s brothel.”

“I was there.” Mrs. Kincaid said.

Good, it sounded as if the woman was on her side. Now to get the rest of them to see how improper the new teacher was.

“And I know you were, too, Mrs. Woods. So, you couldn’t have missed how Mr. Winson was trying to help her from the coach and that pack of dogs knocked them both into the mud.”

“Yes, but . . .”

“And being the gentleman he is, he tried to help her up.” Mrs. Kincaid sipped her tea, then set her cup on the matching saucer. “Have you ever had to step in that mess in the street? If you have, then you know how hard it is to extricate yourself.”

“But, then she and that sister of hers stayed at King’s Hotel.”

Mrs. Kincaid shook her head. “Where else were they supposed to stay? King’s is the only proper hotel in this town. Why didn’t you offer them your place if you’re so concerned about their virtue?”

The last thing she wanted was for two pretty young things to stay at her house. She wasn’t so naïve that she didn’t know what her husband was up to while she was back East. Time to change tactics.

“Well, then there’s her sister.”

“What about her sister?” Mrs. Kincaid sighed. “I hear she’s an excellent seamstress.”

“Humph. Mending for the men around here is being a seamstress? I suppose you approve of men going out to their house to bring their clothes to her. And I heard some of those brothel women approached her at King’s asking her to sew for them.”

Mrs. Kincaid set her cup down with enough force to crack the saucer. “I don’t know what your problem is, but you’d better learn the facts before you spread gossip. The men take their clothing to Haywood’s store. Then Sadie’s husband takes them to the Julia and picks them up when they are done. As for those women, I was in the restaurant, and I can assure you she turned them down.”

Mrs. Woods checked the watch pinned to her large bosom. She wasn’t making any headway. It was time to end this little tea party. “Needless to say, I’m going to keep my eye on them.”

“I’m sure you will, Mrs. Woods.” Mrs. Kincaid stood. “But I think your time would be better spent keeping any eye on that husband of yours.” She turned to her friends. “Come, ladies, I’m in need of some fresh air.”

About the Book

The Balcony Girl is the first book in “The Darlings of Deadwood,” series. It is a candidate for the InD’Tale RONE Award.

Deadwood teatime

When Julia Lindstrom and her sister, Suzanna, made the decision to move to Deadwood, South Dakota in 1879, Julia never suspected that she would meet her future husband, secretly befriend the madam of a brothel, or jump in to assist when disaster strikes the turbulent mining town. Can she survive all three?

Daniel Iverson followed the gold rush to Deadwood back when it was in its heyday, only to discover gold prospecting wasn’t the life for him. Now working as a lawyer, a case falls into his lap regarding a rash of recent illnesses affecting the men visiting the town’s saloons and brothels. Is it a disease or something more sinister?

Will a secret tear them apart or bring them together?

You can buy it here.

Coming soon

Deadwood Teatime

The School Marm, the second book in “The Darlings of Deadwood,” is still a Work in Process. This is Suzanna’s story. It started out a short story in the “Wild Deadwood Tales,” anthology and is being expanded into a full-length novel. Release is planned for later this summer.

Suzanna Lindstrom travels as a school marm in fledgling Deadood. Having left her parents’ struggling farm, she dreams of a better life in Deadwood with a man who’s struck it rich in the gold fields. Fresh off the stagecoach, she meets Kingston Winson, whom she disregards as disreputable. Is he who she thinks he is? What lesson will she learn?

“Missing Ellis,” is a short story in “Getting Wild in Deadwood,” anthology. It is a time travel involving the characters from both books.

Buy Link: Getting Wild in Deadwood

Deadwood

About the Author

Tina Susedik is an award-winning, Amazon best-selling, multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, military books and romances. Her favorite is writing romantic suspense where her characters live happily ever after with a lot of problems in between. Tina also writes spicier romance as Anita Kidesu. She lives in northwestern Wisconsin where winters are long, summers short, and spring and fall beautiful.

Social Media Links for Tina Susedik

Website: www.tina-susedik.com

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The Agent and the Lady

Your Teatime Tattler once again has the pleasure of receiving scandalous news from afar, this about a notorious Pinkerton agent.

Dear Mr. Clemens,

You may not be able to print this scandalous story. I am reporting to you an event that has horrified my friends and me! Miss Lydia Wood was seen in the company of a man, Mr. Jake Hunter, in a saloon for commoners. To make matters more appalling, she wore a scandalous dress that exposed her ankles and a bit of her… appendages. His dress presented him as a riverboat gambler. This was not to a costume ball, Mr. Clemens, but a night on the town. She even sang in the saloon!

Miss Woods said she and Mr. Hunter are agents of the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s Denver, Colorado, office. I hesitate to call her remarks into question. Nevertheless, have you ever heard of a woman Pinkerton detective? You can understand why I am dismayed beyond words!

Pinkerton Agency Reward Poster

The two rushed off to some ridiculous place called Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, to chase after robbers. Don’t you agree that a woman going to a place where robbers congregate is outrageous? Miss Wood is from a prominent Kansas family and knows society’s rules. I am surprised she would act so boldly in public. I pity her poor parents, who must be distressed at their daughter’s choices. You may remember Miss Wood was left at the altar two years ago by this same Mr. Hunter. She said they are now in a marriage of convenience for this assignment. If that is true, her parents know nothing of the arrangement.

As I learn more of this distressing affair, kind sir, I shall keep you informed further.

Miss Lilith Black

About the Book

AN AGENT FOR LYDIA, Pinkerton Matchmaker Series #56

When Lydia Wood is left at the altar, she believes something beyond her groom’s control has happened. Two years with no word have hardened her heart. She has to get away from her parents’ constant urging her to choose an acceptable husband and wed. Becoming a Pinkerton agent suits her plans.

Pinkerton Agent Jake Hunter has recovered from injuries that put him in a coma and a long convalescence. He realizes Lydia would have been injured had she been with him. To protect her, he vows to distance himself from the one person who means the world to him. 

When they are paired for an investigation of robbers they must follow the trail to a dangerous hangout of men on the run. Can the two successfully pull off their charade and capture the robbers and their stor will this trip confirm Jake’s worst fears?

An Excerpt

Lydia gazed out the train window at Wyoming’s desert landscape, recalling how terrified she’d been last night in the saloon. The man who’d wanted to take her upstairs was huge and smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in months. He carried a bottle of whiskey in one hand, some of which he had spilled on his shirt.

Thank goodness she had her gun and her knife. Would her little gun have stopped such a large man? With any luck she’d never have to learn the answer.

Forcing herself not to snuggle up to Jake for comfort had been almost impossible. His presence reassured her. He’d had several years experience at Pinkerton’s and knew how to deflect and defeat combatants.

An older couple sat in the seats facing theirs. Lydia avoided eye contact with the prune-faced woman across from her. The woman had snubbed her and Jake as if they carried leprosy. 

Prune-face ceased staring long enough to tug on her husband’s sleeve and whisper, “Horace, doesn’t he look like the man on that wanted poster we saw in Cheyenne?”

Horace frowned at her. “Hush, Mattie.”

Did those two think she and Jake couldn’t hear them?

Lydia gestured to the window. “I’ve never seen so much sand and scrubby bushes. Barren as it is, it emanates a serene beauty.”

 “Wait until you see where we’re headed. I’ve heard it’s picturesque as well.” Jake flashed his bone-melting grin.

No, thank you, she couldn’t weaken now. She’d had the vaccination for that grin’s affect. Too bad the inoculation hadn’t proven very effective.

About the Author

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their dog and three rescued indoor cats as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters.

The over fifty titles she has created in her pink cave have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include The Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Loving A Rancher, and Pearson Grove as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap.

Social Media:

Email caroline@carolineclemmons.com 

Website http://www.carolineclemmons.com 

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A Slightly Scandalous Sighting in Angel Creek

This clipping came to the Tattler offices from a contact in the former colonies.

Dear Miss Decorum of the Angel Creek Gazette:

It has come to my attention that a certain group of impoverished debutantes from the war-torn city of Charleston have arrived in Angel Creek, Montana for the sole purpose of getting married. Of getting married, my friends! As in…the very moment they step off the stagecoach!

Scandalous Sighting
Postkutsche im Winter. Um 1798.

I’ve yet to verify all the details, but it appears they are responding to an advert in a newspaper that a few gentlemen in our town (who will not be named, at the current time) placed in the hopes of finding themselves wives. Now, I know there aren’t many young ladies in our town of a marriageable age, but my lands! To advertise in a public newspaper in order to find a match seems to exhibit a lack of faith in the good Lord’s ability to provide.

What’s worse, I had to witness (with my own aging eyes) one of these lovely young debutantes dis-embark from the stagecoach just this afternoon. Not only was she dressed in tatters, she was traveling alone without a proper companion or chaperone. Oh dear, where are my smelling salts? Just writing about it is giving me another fit of the vapors.

Scandalous Sighting

I did a little investigating and discovered that this young woman is named Miss Elizabeth Byrd. She served as a battlefield nurse during the Great War. Bless her heart! I don’t even want to contemplate the tragic things she’s seen and the horrid places she had to travel while following the drum. However, if she thinks marrying a man (sight unseen) will make her life any easier, well, heavenly days!  I wish the gel the best, I truly do.

At any rate, Miss Byrd was escorted to the church by none other than the retired Army Captain David Pemberton. I can only presume they said their vows and are married by now. Captain Pemberton is a bit of an odd fellow, albeit a handsome devil — just arrived into town a year ago, himself, and pretty much sticks to his lonesome. A quiet, brooding man who, rumor has it, was widowed during the war. Now, I wonder how in tarnation the other young fellows wheedled him into going along with such a scandalous lark as sending for a mail-order bride?

I’ll be keeping my ear bent for any new juicy tidbits about this developing story and report back as soon as I know more.

Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

About the Book

Can the hope and joy of Christmas light the way for two hearts devastated by war?

Elizabeth Byrd receives an invitation to join her friends in Angel Creek, Montana to become a mail-order bride. At first, the young battlefield nurse is scandalized by the idea of agreeing to marry a man she’s never met, but the war has taken everything from her — her brothers, too many friends to count, and her fiancé. There’s nothing left for her in Charleston but more heartache.

Captain David Pemberton retreats to his hunting lodge in Montana the moment the war is over. He’s looking forward to being alone with the memories of his wife who passed in the early days of the fighting. But the men of Angel Creek don’t see fit to leave a widowed soldier alone during Christmas. Insisting four years is long enough to grieve, they dare him to join them on a holiday venture to acquire wives for them all — a dare he accepts in a weak moment.

He receives the shock of his life at who steps off the stagecoach to claim his hand in marriage.

Available in eBook on Amazon + FREE in Kindle Unlimited at
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XF82LXC
Coming soon to paperback!
 

EXCERPT

So this was Angel Creek.

At least I’ll fit in. Elizabeth glanced ruefully down at her workaday brown dress and the scuffed toes of her boots. Perhaps, wearing the castoffs of her former maid, Lucy, wasn’t the most brilliant idea she’d ever come up with. However, it was the only plan she’d been able to conjure up on such short notice. A young woman traveling alone couldn’t be too careful these days.

With a sigh of resignation, Elizabeth reached down to grasp the handles of her two travel bags that the stage driver had unloaded for her. The rest of her belongings would arrive in the coming days. There’d been too many trunks to bring along by stage. In the meantime, she hoped and prayed she was doing the right thing for her loved ones. At worst, her reluctant decision to leave home meant one less mouth for her mama to feed. At best, she might claw her way back to some modicum of social significance and be in the position to help her family in some way. Some day…

Her hopes in that regard plummeted the second she laid eyes on the two men in the wagon rumbling in her direction. It was a rickety vehicle with no overhead covering. It creaked and groaned with each turn of its wheels, a problem that might have easily been solved with a squirt of oil. Then again, the heavily patched trousers of both men indicated they were as poor as church mice. More than likely, they didn’t possess any extra coin for oil.

Of all the rotten luck! She bit her lower lip. I’m about to marry a man as poor as myself. So much for her hopes of improving her lot in life enough to send money home to Mama and the girls!

The driver slowed his team, a pair of red-brown geldings. They were much lovelier than the rattle-trap they were pulling. “Elizabeth Byrd, I presume?” he inquired in a rich baritone that was neither unpleasant nor overly warm and welcoming.

Her insides froze to a block of ice. This time, it wasn’t because of the frigid northern temperatures. She recognized that face, that voice; and with them, came a flood of heart wrenching emotions.

“You!” she exclaimed. Her travel bags slid from her nerveless fingers to the ground once more. A hand flew to her heart.

About the Author

Jo Grafford writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever-afters.

A typical day finds her with her laptop balanced on her knees, a fizzy beverage within reach, and a cat snoozing on her knees. He takes credit for most of what she does.

When Jo’s not writing stories, she’s reading them. She adores dashing gentlemen, resilient heroines with a sense of adventure, humorous sidekicks, dusty cowboys, bounty hunters, mail order brides…you get the idea.

She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders/.

To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at JoGrafford.com or follow her on BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford.

Plus you can read free chapters of many of her books on Wattpad.com/user/JoGrafford.

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