Dear readers, kind followers, critics, and vile attackers,
We at the Tattler thank you for your attention throughout this past year, whether you have applauded or showered us in brickbats (all attention is good and we’re pleased when you mention our name).
As the year draws to a close, our reporters grow weary. I have surrendered to pleas and declared that The Teatime Tattlershall be on hiatus. This respite began at close of business yesterday and will, I regret to say, continue until the middle of January when the rascals and rogues I call reporters shall have returned from the burrows into which they have disappeared. One hopes they will bring with them tantalizing tales, ribald rumors, and stories of disgraceful deeds: our stock and trade. One ambitious young fellow is off to visit his granny in Yorkshire, where, we hear, some salacious scandal is brewing.
I myself wish to spend these holidays in Bristol with a nephew who is soon to depart to the former colonies. I hope to convince him to send dispatches from that wild and uncivilized place.
We shall do our best to return to you reinvigorated and prepared to bring you the gossip you crave as often as may prove possible. Enjoy your winter revels, and do send us any tidbits you come across.
Welcome, devoted readers of the Teatime Tattler. My name is Tess Cochran, investigative reporter for the Weekly Informer, and I am here to bring you the truth. What truth, you ask? The truth behind the spiritualist craze sweeping our good nation. Now, this reporter can make no claim regarding the existence or non-existence of ghosts or spirits. But what I aim to reveal are the secrets behind the so-called mediums and other spiritualist practitioners who have made it their goal in life to defraud good people such as yourselves with false spirits.
Only yesterday, I attended a seance performed by the well-regarded medium Madame Xyla. Like others of her ilk, she exudes a mystical charm and an air of competence that lure her audience to believe her pronouncements. Aided by a room shrouded in darkness, magicians’ tricks of moving tables, mysterious noises, and sleight-of-hand create a compelling illusion of ghostly visitations.
To add to the allure of the seance, this event also hosted a spirit photographer peddling his wares. Still all the rage in America, in recent years these trick photographs have gained popularity and created a host of devoted believers on our side of the Atlantic. No mere portrait, these. For a price, Mr. Jack Weaver will pose you before the camera, using his knowledge of the art of photography to create a faint “spirit” standing or hovering beside you—a visitation, he says, by a dearly departed friend or relative.
But how does this trickster accomplish such a feat? One has heard, I am certain, of the double-exposure: a technique where two images are imprinted on the same photograph. During my own sitting, I saw no evidence to suggest that Mr. Weaver used such a method, but there are other, less obvious techniques, and I intend to learn them all. Rest assured, I will be keeping a close eye on Mr. Weaver as I delve into his mysterious art.
Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have acquired an invitation to the greatest spiritualist gathering of our time: a contest held at the remote (and reportedly haunted) castle home of the Earl of Bardrick. This two-week gathering of the most popular spiritualists of the day will give me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring to light the truth of these con artists. And you, dear readers, are the first to know of it.
Wish me luck, my friends. With my notebook and pen in hand, and a determination to save the good people of England from those who would swindle them, I prepare to depart. Be sure to watch for the Weekly Informer, where soon I will lay the truth bare for the world to see. Until then, I bid you farewell.
-T. Cochran, journalist and champion of truth
About the book:
Follow Tess’s adventures as she seeks the truth and tangles with roguish spirit photographer Jack Weaver in The Scoundrel’s New Con, a fairy-tale inspired Victorian romance set in the Lady Goosebury’s Tales shared world.
He’s pulling the con of a lifetime. Unless she exposes the naked truth.
Conman Jack Weaver has his eyes on the prize. The arrogant Earl of Bardrick has offered five thousand pounds to anyone who can prove his castle is haunted. With money like that, Jack can ensure he’ll never end up on the streets or in prison again. And his spirit photography skills are just the trick needed to convince all of the earl’s houseguests to believe in something unseen.
Investigative journalist Tess Cochran believes in one thing: the truth. She’s not going to let phony ghosts and trick photographs swindle anyone, even a snobbish aristocrat like Bardrick. And she’s certainly not going to let herself be swayed by Jack Weaver’s charming smile and mischievous antics.
When Jack and Tess stumble upon one of the castle’s many secrets, they realize something nefarious lurks behind the earl’s competition. To solve the mystery, these rivals forge a reluctant partnership. As they strip down the facts, Jack and Tess begin to find that the deepest truths may be concealed in their hearts.
Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her books are full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.
Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious girls. She loves steampunk and Oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in Renaissance Festival clothing, drinking copious amounts of tea.
the editor of the Conwy Chronicle, Abergele, Wales
London plan to act? Kinmel Camp is a tinderbox. We know those troops
have been through hell, and now they’re locked up in that sad excuse for a
facility as bad as any billet they had in France with nothing to do but scratch
for food and scrap with each other. We heard they’re overcrowded, underfed, and
falling sick. The Spanish flu is still spreading, and it’ll infect the county,
A person could have some sympathy, but if things go haywire they’ll spill out into the county. Those Canadians already rioted once and men died. They kept it in the camp that time, but what about next time? What if they spill out into Bodelwyddan or some other town next time?
We all know about the strikes in the port holding up
shipping, but the government must act. Those men did their duty; they need to
go home; they need to get out of our county. Does the government expect us to
just sit and wait for another explosion?
That isn’t all. The longer they are here, the more we have women
hanging around claiming to be war brides. They all want passage to North
America. I know what I’m talking about. My aunt has an inn in Bodelwyddan, and she’s
heard it all. Last week a woman from France turned up. Claimed to be the wife
of a Canadian officer. A French woman! The army tossed her right out of the
camp, just like the rest of them. Next day she was begging my aunt for a job or
a place to stay. Barely speaks English but she wants a job.
Close the camp, I say. The
county government should demand it. The war is over now we want them to leave
us in peace.
About the Book
Some wars must be fought, some loves must live on hope alone, and some stories must be told. Christmas Hope a wartime romance in four parts, each one ending on Christmas 1916-1919, is one of them.
After two years at war Harry ran out of metaphors for death,
synonyms for brown, and images of darkness. When he encountered the floating
islands of Amiens and life in the form a widow and her little son, hope ensnared
With the war over, and no word from Harry, Rosemarie Legrand searched for him all the way to the Kinmel Camp, only to be thrown out by authorities. She can’t linger; no one will hire her. Now that the Great War is over, will their love be enough?
Award winning author of historical romance usually set in the Regency and Victorian eras, Caroline Warfield reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the world. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart, because love is worth the risk.