Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Tag: #bellesbrigade Page 1 of 12

One Diamond who seeks an Apothecary? Heavens, no!

Dear Readers, the Earl of Seahaven’s daughters seem determined to raise eyebrows wherever they go, especially the beautiful, but too independent, Lady Josefina Bigglesworth. She may be one of the Seahaven diamonds and certain to turn heads during her season in York, but is this not all the more reason she ought to be careful about running off on her own? Even an innocent daytime excursion to a local apothecary shop in The Shambles may be viewed as too forward.

She has also been seen lately having tea with none other than the Duke of Bourne, York’s most eligible bachelor, and it is said he could not take his eyes off her. Although the Dowager Countess of Seahaven is keeping quiet about it, several reliable sources present at the Castlegate Tea Room assure this Tattler the duke proposed to the lovely Josefina and she has accepted his offer of marriage.

The duke, that handsome devil, is taking Lady Josefina to his seaside estate outside of Whitby to meet his beloved sister. It is rumored she is ill and the doctors seem unable to cure her. Lady Josefina is known as quite the expert in curative plant medicines. Do her plant lore talents have anything to do with his desire to marry her? And will he marry her if she is unable to cure his sister? It would be a shocking scandal if he begged out, ruining the girl and her family. 

Desperate Daughters, Box Set, Bluestocking Belles and Friends

Desperate DaughtersBlurb:

Lady Josefina would much rather spend her time studying plants and their healing properties, but her father, the Earl of Seahaven, has died and left the family impoverished. Marriage seems her only alternative until she meets the handsome Duke of Bourne in an apothecary in York’s ancient Shambles. He offers her an intriguing proposition, a fake betrothal and a king’s ransom as reward if she returns with him to his estate and finds a cure for his sister’s illness. But will the true reward be his heart?

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?

About the Author, Meara Platt:

Meara Platt is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author and an Amazon UK All-Star. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her paranormal romance Dark Gardens series. Learn more about the Dark Gardens and Meara’s lighthearted and humorous Regency romances in her Farthingale series and Book of Love series, or her warmhearted Regency romances in her Braydens series by visiting her website at www.mearaplatt.com 

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/

 

A Notorious Gossip Speaks

Lady St. James, one of London Town’s most notorious gossips, takes a moment to pen a quick letter to her eldest daughter, Elizabeth. 

October, 2021, 1816

My darling Lizzie,

I am simply bursting to tell you the latest news! The Duke of Aldridge has acquired a ward. Her name is Kendra Donovan. I know what you must be thinking, dearest—that she is Irish given her surname. However, it is much worse—she is an American! I dare say that is why she is the most peculiar creature. I can confide in you that Caro—Aldridge’s sister, who, as you may recall, is one of my dearest friends—is quite beside herself over her brother’s association with this female.

Miss Donovan is quite comely, even if her coloring—raven hair and eyes as black as any gypsy—is not at all fashionable. She is far too thin, with none of the plumpness that we ladies aspire to. Still, there is no denying that Aldridge’s nephew, Lord Sutcliffe, seems to be quite transfixed by her, even though she is practically on the shelf at six and twenty. It is difficult to imagine that someone like the marquis, so devilishly handsome and with his impeccable linage, could have his head turned by this American upstart. I can tell you that most of the matrons in the Ton are dismayed, fearing that their daughters may be losing such a prime catch to the parson’s mousetrap! And it is especially galling to lose to a commoner who lacks all the social graces and appears to care naught for London society. Caro has even lamented to me that Miss Donovan resists—yes, resists! —shopping or going to her modiste. Who doesn’t desire another new gown?

Still, it is not Miss Donovan’s looks, age, lack of pedigree or manners that really have tongues wagging in the Polite World. The woman has an unnatural interest in the criminal world! I know, my dearest, that you cannot fathom such a thing. I confess that it is shocking, but at the same time…well, I cannot help but be intrigued. You must remember me writing to you about the horrendous events that took place a month ago during Caro’s famous house party at Aldridge Castle, when a young girl was found dead in a lake near the picnic that Caro had arranged. Murdered!

The ladies were quite rightly rounded up and led away from the ghastly sight. But Miss Donovan? The chit actually ran towards the scene! Can you imagine? A proper miss ought to have been swooning, but Miss Donovan began issuing orders like she was the Duke of Wellington himself! Even more outrageous, Miss Donovan was a mere servant at the time. Indeed, we were only introduced to her when Lady Rebecca took on Miss Donovan as her companion. And now the Duke is claiming her as his ward! He has put out the Banbury Tale that she is the daughter of friends who emigrated to America years ago. Complete poppycock, of course. But no one would dare call out the Duke on this farce. He is too powerful. One can only assume this is part of his eccentricities. I have heard that he installed a telescope on the battlements of Aldridge Castle. I believe it has been well-documented that the moon can bring out a certain lunacy, and there was a full moon on the first night of the house party. This is something, perhaps, to ponder.

Given Miss Donovan’s odd penchant for solving murders (yes, the on dit is that she uncovered the monster who killed that poor girl in the lake) I suspect that I shall be writing to you again about the American. Until then…

Your loving Mama

The In Time series where Jane Austen meets CSI with a dash of Doctor Who.

About the Book

A MURDER IN TIME introduces Kendra Donovan, a beautiful, brilliant FBI agent, who goes rogue when half her team is killed in a botched mission. Determined to get justice, Kendra travels to Aldridge Castle to find the man responsible. However, her plan goes awry when an assassin forces her to flee through a hidden passageway. Stumbling out again, she realizes she’s in the same place, but in a different time—1816, to be precise. Mistaken as a servant, Kendra tries to navigate the intricacies of the Regency, and find a way back to her own time. Yet when the body of a young girl is found in the lake, Kendra believes her involuntary time travel has a purpose, especially since only she—an FBI profiler—recognizes that they are dealing with a serial killer. Pitting her skills—without the aid of modern technology—against a cunning madman is difficult. But it’s nothing compared to living in the Regency era, a time when women are relegated to second-class citizen, without even the right to vote. Thankfully, the powerful Duke of Aldridge—a man of Science—takes her under his wing. Stuck in the past, Kendra’s criminal expertise comes in handy again in A TWIST IN TIME, CAUGHT IN TIME, BETRAYAL IN TIME, and SHADOWS IN TIME…and Kendra realizes that when it comes to human nature, murder is timeless.

The Kendra Donovan In Time series is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores nationwide.

About the Author

Julie McElwain is a national award-winning journalist. Her first novel in her genre-bending time-travel/mystery series, A MURDER IN TIME, was one of the top 10 picks by the National Librarian Association for its April 2016 book list, and was selected as the mystery to read in 2016 by OverDrive Inc., serving more than 34,000 libraries around the world. The novel was also a finalist for the 2016 Goodreads’ readers’ choice awards in the Sci-fi category, and made Bustle’s list of 9 Most Addictive Mystery series for 2017. A MURDER IN TIME, A TWIST IN TIME, CAUGHT IN TIME, BETRAYAL IN TIME, and SHADOWS IN TIME have been optioned for television/movie development. McElwain currently lives in North Dakota, working on the latest installment of the Kendra Donovan series. Connect to Julie McElwain through her author’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Juliemcelwain; twitter: @JulieMcElwain; or website: Juliemcelwainauthor.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Not Censor Our Reading Beg the Ladies

censorMy Dear Mr. Clemens,

I am a frequent reader of your publication, and you may imagine my horrified astonishment when I came upon the recently published letter to the editor (your esteemed self) from one Claudius Blowworthey—though one begs to question just how right, honorable, or reverend the wretch actually is–suggesting we censor a certain forthcoming book.

As a well-loved wife, modestly well-educated mother of three young women, and a Christian, I protest this horrid man’s dismissal of novels, of romance, and indeed of love itself. How does he dare dismiss my sex so carelessly? Has he not a mother? As to his poor wife, he dares to tell the world he does not love her. What pathetic creature would choose “esteem” over love?

He dares quote Saint Paul on the subject of marriage being preferable to burning. Did the apostle not also admonish husbands to love their wives as God loves the Church? How does he expect those wives to acquire husbands if not love? And is not love the very nature of the Deity?

Those ladies—if not ladies call them heroes—among the Bluestocking Belles provide us with hours of joy. Never say you will suffer them to be censored, Mr. Clemens.  I have spoken about this matter with Mrs. Cornelia Lumberton and Mrs. Annalisa Waldo, my bosom bows and fellow regulars at the Chapel of the Faithful, and they quite agree. This Blowworthey horror must not be allowed to prevail, sir.

Never say you will encourage this outrage or give further space in your fine publication to such nonsense. We await your response even as we anticipate the next boxed set of stories from our beloved Belles,

Respectfully,

Mrs. Maud Goodbody

For more about the box set, keep an eye on the Belles’ website. We’ll be putting the details of the book up on the Joint Projects part of the site as soon as we reveal the name and cover. Or come to our cover release party, on Facebook on the 8th September 2pm to 9pm Eastern Daylight Time.

 

 

 

A  Guillotine Widow Takes Tea on the Isle of Guernsey

widowThere I was, sipping tea in the Donets’ lovely parlor, decorated in the warm colors of the gardens and filled with sunlight, trying to forget the horrors I had left behind in Paris. Sitting across from me was my savior, Mademoiselle Zoé Donet, and her English aunt, Joanna, comtesse de Saintonge. Zoé’s question stirred me from my reverie.

“Do you have in mind a place to settle in England, madame?”

“I have friends in London we can visit. After that, I’m not sure. I rather like the countryside. For many years, I lived in a small country palace in the Bois de Boulogne near Paris.”

“Then perhaps you should consider West Sussex,” offered Zoé’s aunt. “There is plenty of room at The Harrows, my family’s estate, and my brother, Richard, the Earl of Torrington, would welcome you and your children. It would be a fine place to recover from all you have been through at least until you decide. But, if you prefer, Richard could arrange for you and your children to travel with him the next time he goes to London.”

“That is so very kind of you, Madame Donet.”

“Not at all. It is settled. When my husband sails to England, you shall accompany him. Perhaps we’ll all go. I have not visited my brother in a while and he worries about me even though I am on Guernsey.”

I set down my teacup, trying to imagine the anxiety this woman must face each time her husband and niece ventured into the port towns in northwestern France to help the fleeing émigrésof which I had been one. “You must fear for your husband and niece going into France to rescue people like me. How ever do you stand the agony of awaiting their return?”

A subtle smile crossed Madame Donet’s face. It was the look of a woman who had long ago conquered her demons.

“I knew when I married Jean Donet I was marrying adventure itself. Oh, perhaps not the terrifying kind he now faces, defying the revolution’s madmen. For that, I think he and my niece are quite brave. But I have always known such a man would not be content to sit in his parlor and gaze at his vineyard, though he has—or rather, had—an excellent one. No, once he discovered the sea, there was no other life for him.”

I considered the niece. At twenty, Zoé was a beautiful young woman attired in an elegant gown, so different from the soot-covered peasant she had been days ago. “I can see why Monsieur Donet would undertake the rescues, but why you?”

“I made a vow to a friend that I would do all I could for the royalist cause, no matter the peril I must face.”

Zoé’s aunt smiled. “Anyone who marries my niece will be making the same decision I made when I wed Jean Donet.”

About the Book

WidowA Fierce Wind: Donet Trilogy, book 3
Love in the time of revolution
France 1794

Zoé Ariane Donet was in love with love until she met the commander of the royalist army fighting the revolutionaries tearing apart France. When the dashing young general is killed, she joins the royalist cause, rescuing émigrésfleeing France.

One man watches over her: Frederick West, the brother of an English earl, who has known Zoé since she was a precocious ten-year-old child. At sixteen, she promised great beauty, the flower of French womanhood about to bloom. Now, four years later, as Robespierre’s Terror seizes France by the throat, Zoé has become a beautiful temptress Freddie vows to protect with his life.

But English spies don’t live long in revolutionary France.

Buy links for A Fierce Wind:
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYPFVRL
UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYPFVRL
Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FYPFVRL</a

Amazon link for the award-winning Donet Trilogy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B071JPXTT5/

About the Author

I didn’t start out as a writer of historical novels. Although I wrote stories as a child, by the time I got to college, and at the urging of my professors, I became a lawyer. After years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government, it seemed time for a change. Becoming an award-winning author was the subject of dreams when I first began writing, but dreams sometimes do come true.

 

Find Regan:

Website (Newsletter signup, Books, Reader Extras and more!): http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104
Regan Walker’s Readers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReganWalkersReaders/
Pinterest (storyboards for my books): https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RegansReview
Regan’s blog, Historical Romance Review: https://reganromancereview.blogspot.com/

Page 1 of 12

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén