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A little bit of gossip goes a long way…

Lady Abigail Danvers set the quill down and stared at the letter she had been composing to Samuel Clemens, editor of the Teatime Tattler.

“I don’t know, Prudence.” Abigail gave a heavy sigh and handed over the parchment. “I just don’t think it has enough gossip in it to be worthy of what Clemen’s usually expects from us.”

Prudence took the letter and began to read aloud.

Gentle Readers;
This just in from York… Seen more than once in each other’s company, Viscount C and Lady S may just have a budding romance in the making. Will wedding bells be ringing the York Cathedral? Or maybe one of her stepdaughters will beat her to the altar. Only time will tell and you’ll read the latest news here first in the Teatime Tattler.

An Anonymous Reporter

Prudence tapped her finger to her chin. “It is rather boring, sister. Are you sure you couldn’t find any dirt on the pair?”

Abigail rolled her eyes. “Don’t you think I tried? The Dowager Countess guards her stepdaughters like the fiercest of warriors, along with her own reputation?”

Prudence nodded. “I suppose given she’s trying to get them married off is a good reason to remain so guarded. What of Cranfield? Surely his reputation is slightly tarnished. Didn’t he have a mistress?”

“Old news. He let her go and paid off her accounts months ago before he arrived in York,” Abigail replied taking the letter and folding it. “He’s here to see that his sister finds a match. Since his arrival in York, I haven’t been able to turn anything up on him that might provide any newsworthy gossip.”

A frown marred Prudence’s brow. “Then I guess this will have to do. Send it off to Clemens. Hopefully, he won’t be too disappointed and still publish the piece —”

“—and continue to pay us for whatever tittle tattle we can dig up in the future,” Abigail finished before going to the bell cord to summon a servant to deliver her latest news.


This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Richard, Viscount Cranfield and Patience, Lady Seahaven are in her novella, A Countess To Remember in the Belles’ boxset, Desperate Daughters. Continue to read on to learn more along with our ongoing contest!

Excerpt:

The unseen woman was still in the carriage, as if she was still preparing to collect whatever had been left behind. A small dainty shoe poked out onto the edge of the step and Richard heard her heavy sigh that she made no attempt to mask.

Richard stepped forward, offering his hand. “May I be of assistance, my lady?”

“You are most kind,” the lady inside said. She put her hand in his and Richard swore he felt a tingling sensation rush up his arm.

“Where are my manners?” Lady Barbara exclaimed. “May I introduce my stepmother, Patience, Lady Seahaven. Patience, this is Lord Cranfield and his sister Lady Josephine.”

Richard was prepared for a matronly woman to reveal herself as she alit from the carriage. But when she lifted her head once upon solid ground to acknowledge their introductions, he was unprepared for the young beauty he faced. Blue-grey eyes that could rival the sky above met his. Wisps of strawberry blonde hair had escaped her bonnet while her porcelain skin was set in a lovely round face. But when her small bow mouth turned up into an enchanting smile, Richard became lost.

“Lord Cranfield,” her voice reached into his soul. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Richard bowed, completely bewildered in the spell she had captured him in with just one glance. At a loss for words, he could only stare at the woman before him, even while he continued to hold her hand in his. What had she done to him?


Desperate Daughters: A Bluestocking Belles and Friends Collection
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Preorder for only $0.99

Here’s the blurb for Sherry Ewing’s contribution to the set, A Countess To Remember:

Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it…

Patience, Dowager Countess of Seahaven cares for a bevy of stepdaughters and a Season for each to find husbands seems out of reach. With her own young daughter to care for, there’s been no chance for romance for herself. She’s been so busy worrying about putting food on the table, that finding love is the last of her concerns.

Richard, Viscount Cranfield is in York to see to his sister’s Season. He has no desire to find a wife despite his parents prodding him to do so. A chance encounter with a countess leaves him wondering what spell she has cast around him.

Will Patience and Richard find enough time to allow love to fill their hearts?

Buy Links for the Desperate Daughters boxset:

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How about a contest?

Help spread the word about Desperate Daughters.

Share our contest page and our Bachelor and other memes to any of your social media accounts. Each share gets you an entry into one of the weekly draws and the Grand Prize draw.

Congratulations to Catherine Maguire, winner of our week 1 draw.

Enter the Week Two draw here :http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bb92b0a65/?

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Read more about Desperate Daughters here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/

About Belle 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 at www.SherryEwing.com.

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Whispers from the Countess of H. regarding Those Scamps, the Devereaux triplets!

A Gentleman in Search of Revenge

August 7, 1815
Brighton, England

Today is a sad day, I tell you, when three young ladies from Ireland are brought to our distinguished shores to celebrate among the ton the end of Bony’s horrid regime.

Why, you may ask?

Oh, truly, these triplets appear to possess the best credentials. They are ladies by birth, the granddaughters of an earl, recently deceased. They are ladies by training, although one does wonder what caliber of education one can acheive in Dublin! They are ladies by inclination, even if it whispered that they have no dowry of any worth. And that, my dear friends, we may lay at the doorstep of their rapscallion grandfather who had quite a few marks against his character.

But then verily, I say that these three young ladies—dare I call them that—are known in Dublin and Waterford as…yes…scamps! Now I am astonished that they are brought here by that light of London society, Lady William Downs.

That formidable scion of our social order, it turns out, is cousin to the three girls’ dear departed mother. Having been favored by that lady when she was young, the lady who is their chaperone and mentor is eager to introduce these three young ladies to our English shores and our estimable English gentlemen.

Of course, these triplets are so unique that to look at them is to gasp in astonishment at their beauty. They are elegant of face and form, beautifully attired in the latest fashion, courtesy of their cousin.

A lady who wants to reform!

But what of their character?

Ahh. It has been whispered (not by me, of course) that one is rather…ahem…light-fingered. She has been known to acquire a few things that are not her own.

The oldest is light-fingered in another way and we shudder to think in what way. The third and the youngest, Adelaide, has no marks against her character. Lovely beyond belief. She certainly is a Diamond. But is she also a bit of an airhead?

I shudder to think at what will occur when these three ladies debut this evening at the latest ball of the season.

Countess of H.

BUY LINK: https://books2read.com/u/b5XRE6

LADY, BE WANTON, NAUGHTY LADIES, Book #1

The lady wants to be good.
Lady Imogen has reformed! She’s witty, from an old Irish family, in pursuit of a fine man to marry—and she swears she’ll never indulge in her little…um…peccadilloes again!

She’s arrived in Brighton with her two sisters and her cousin for the Season—and she’ll ignore anyone who gossips about Grandpapa’s notorious odd talents—or her own tiny scandal. After all, a lady can change.

The gentleman wants revenge.
Returning home after the wars, Lex Rowlandson, the Earl of Martindale, vows to find the cur who sold him and his father into the hell of Napoleon’s dungeons.

With a few clues to the identity of the creature who stole years from his life and caused the death of his father, Lex seeks out suspects at a Brighton ball. But he’s captured by the effervescent woman whose smiles light the dark corners of his heart.

He should not be distracted from his cause. Yet he cannot resist the lure of Imogen’s charm. When he witnesses her plight at the hands of one fellow who threatens her reputation, Lex saves it—and marries her.

Falling in love with her husband, Imogen sees that the best way to thank him for saving her is to commit the very crime she vowed never to repeat.

But can a man whose life was stolen from him love a wife whose skill is taking from others what is not hers?

BUY LINK: https://amzn.to/3Hfcm0G

Cerise DeLand embarks on her next romcom adventure with these three Irish ladies in this new series! She hopes you forgive their peccadilloes…and love how they reform and how they catch their man. Or, in these books, most often how the dashing men catch them! Cerise is really Jo-Ann Power who has been published since…well, forever! She is currently counting the number of novels she’s published because she has not kept track! Enjoy a laugh with Cerise DeLand’s newest releases, NAUGHTY LADIES from Dragonblade Publishing!

Suspicious Behavior in York

Dear Euphemia,

Can you enlighten me about the boisterous clan of Bigglesworth women that have invaded York Society this Season? The younger daughters are being launched (one might say cast upon us) and are being feted hither and yon as “the Seahaven Diamonds.” Anyone who is anyone scurried about hoping for invitations to the grand ball they hosted to celebrate said launch, though my own invitation went astray. But that is neither here nor there.

York is virtually crawling with Bigglesworth women. One cannot pay a morning call on a friend without encountering two or three of them, as if they travel in packs. One encounters them in the shops. Some were seen dragging some poor bored children along the walls for a history lecture. Others are rather too cozy with the horse racing scene. Always they are dressed fashionably, which leads one to wonder. How are they managing the expense?

You live near Starbrook and are quite cozy (or so you claim) with the new Earl of Seahaven’s Dear Wife. You gave me the impression in times past that the earl left the widowed countess with little or nothing. How did that chit, the former countess—the fifth wife in a row who failed to produce a male child—manage a season for all those stepdaughters, even the ones clearly on the shelf? Can you enlighten me?

One wonders whether one ought to befriend some or all, or even if one ought to receive them. As if the number and questionable situation weren’t enough, morals are in question. My maid heard a story from our footman who took ale with another footman, one that had been hired by the Bigglesworths—temporarily, mind you, to handle the undiscerning crowds that descended on them after their ball. That person testified that at least one of those young women was seen creeping out of a closet with her clothing askew and her hair out of place in the company of Viscount Stanbeck’s shabby younger brother who purports to be a curate. What must they teach young clergy these days?

Do write back quickly. The Season moves swiftly, and that baggage and her tribe of daughters are everywhere. Ought I avoid them?

Sir William, my dear husband, sends his regards.

Yours

Marian, Lady Smithers

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/

Scandal can be found anywhere!

Abigail Danvers paced behind her sister as she penned the latest gossip they learned at the Valentine’s Day ball in Bath. If Prudence didn’t hurry, they would never get the information to Samuel Clemens at The Teatime Tattler in time for the morning edition. Perhaps this might not be a bad thing after all…

“It’s done,” Prudence finally said before standing up to allow Abigail to sit at the desk. “Tell me what you think.”

Abigail continued her pacing. She had recently begun to wonder if being an anonymous reporter for The Teatime Tattler was worth their time and energy. They’d never find husbands if they spent all their time snooping into other people’s business.

“I’m certain it’s fine, Prudence.”

A heavy sigh left her sister. “Just look at it, for heaven’s sake. A second pair of eyes are helpful.”

“Very well,” Abigail replied taking a seat and beginning to read.

This just in, gentle readers!

If you missed the charity Valentine’s Day ball in Bath, and honestly anyone who is everyone was present, then you didn’t witness the latest gossip. A certain Miss M.d.C. was spotted dancing without a proper introduction to an unknown gentleman. There was much speculation after she was escorted from the ball by her sister on exactly who this very fine-looking man was. Stay tuned for more news on what this young Miss will get herself involved in next. It’s never a dull moment where this young lady is concerned.

An Anonymous Reporter for
The Teatime Tattler

Abigail began folding the letter. “It’s fine,” she replied curtly.

Prudence frowned. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing at all. It’s just me. I’m in a foul mood,” Abigail replied. “I’m getting a bit tired of constantly blabbing all we see for Clemens instead of focusing on finding our own husbands.”

Prudence laughed. “Miranda de Courtenay deserves everything she gets!”

Abigail’s brow lifted. “Does she, Prudence? Honestly, it was only a dance. What harm was done?”

“But it was Miranda de Courtenay!” her sister bellowed.

“Never mind. Just send the darn thing,” Abigail snapped. “Mr. Clemen’s will be pleased with it even if I am questioning our involvement.”

Prudence grabbed at the letter and called for a servant to have it delivered post haste. Abigail wiped a tear from her eye and went to her room. She’d worry over where her life would lead from this point forward in the morning.


This is an original post is from Belle Sherry Ewing whose novella Before I Found You: A De Courtenay Novella (Book Three) releases on February 8th. Recently found in the Belles’ box set Storm & Shelter, it will now be available for individual sale.

Before I Found You:
A De Courtenay Novella (Book Three)
By Sherry Ewing

Release Date: February 8, 2022

A quest for a title. An encounter with a stranger. Will she choose love?

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?

Buy Links:

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Apple Books: https://apple.co/3FNrW2W

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Church Lady’s Lament

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

Sir:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Respect,

Lady Louella Spotsworthy

About the Book: Desperate Daughters

Love Against the Odds

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.

They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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