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A young lady nursing wounded acts improperly? NO!

Greetings Dear Reader.

This bit of hearsay comes by way of a letter sent me by my cousin across the pond in America. As you may already know, that country of upstarts is once
again engaged in a war, not with Britain thankfully, but now amongst themselves. 


They are apparently divided over an issue Parliament abolished here nearly thirty years ago. However you do not come to this column for news of politics and world concerns, but rather for news of a more personal nature.

This propensity for squabbling has evidently filtered down even to the men and women on the same side of this rebellion and involves two people working in hospital who should be united, fighting together to save the lives of those soldiers wounded on the battlefields.  


My cousin, recovering from illness at Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C., witnessed first-hand the impropriety of one nurse Gracie McBride, behavior from whom one might expect of the Irish, and who on one occasion tackled an orderly to the floor and literally sat upon the man while she ripped the very shirt off his back. She even had the audacity to sneak into the kitchen and steal food, an act which brought her serious reprimand from the hospital chief surgeon.  

Undaunted, she continued her unlady-like behaviors, standing toe-to-toe with and arguing with the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard. Apparently the two mix like oil and vinegar, acting out their rows in the middle of the ward for all to witness, as if they were players upon the stage.

Although, as my cousin reports, many patients find such indecorous conduct to be entertaining, causing much laughter, hence breaking the clouds of depression and sadness which normally hang over the ward.

On one occasion, a rumor circulated that the good Doctor Ellard, after ignoring the advice of a more experienced physician, performed an operation not only incorrectly, but while drunk. Shortly thereafter Doctor Ellard was sent back to the fighting. Since the patient would have died if not for the skill of Doctor Ellard, my cousin and others have speculated if the accusations against him, might not have been made by this other physician out of jealousy and spite.

Though nurse McBride remained as cheerful and industrious as before, the atmosphere in the ward has returned to its previous quiet gloom.

Now nurse McBride has also left the hospital.  Rumor supposes her departure occurred upon receipt of a mysterious package, although she has purportedly gone to deliver supplies to the battlefield with the Sanitary Commission. Many wonder, which is it?

The ward is once again rife with speculation. Will Gracie McBride and Charles Ellard meet on the battlefield? Was it hate or love which caused the friction between them? Will my dear cousin and his fellow soldiers see them again in order to learn what happened? Let us hope that somehow love will prevail and Gracie McBride and Doctor Ellard will live happily for ever after.

Dear readers, I hope to hear soon from my cousin, for the only way to satisfy my own curiosity will be through further reading of their tale.

I wish you well.


Gracie McBride isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for respect. But in this man’s world of Civil War medicine, Gracie is expected to maintain her place changing beds and writing letters. Her biggest nemesis is the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard, who seems determined to woo her with arrogant kisses and terrible jokes.

Charles is an excellent surgeon. He assumed he would be well received by an army at war. He was not. Friendless and alone, he struggles to hide the panic attacks that plague him while the only person who understands him is a feisty Irish nurse clearly resolved to keep him at a distance. 

But Charles is sent to the battlefield, and Gracie is left with a wounded soldier, a box of toys, and a mystery which can only be solved by the one man she wishes could love her, both as a woman and a nurse. 


“Would ye have me go home to shop for bonnets and gossip with me morning guests, ignorin’ that ten-year-old boys are being shot on battlefields? Do ye want me to stay unchanged, so that when I go home I can pretend none o’ this ever happened?”

“No. I want you to go home before the death of that ten-year-old boy becomes so ordinary, that one day you wake up and realize your womanly softness has grown so hard you no longer have the ability to feel.”

She squared her shoulders and stepped toward him. “Me own husband was a doctor, sir. I’ve birthed babies and stitched wounds. I stood by William’s side during surgeries and passed him instruments. I helped him clean the intestines of a man gored by a bull, before putting it all back inside that man’s belly. Me delicate sensibilities did not send me into a swoon then nor will they here. I thank ye for yer concern, Doctor Ellard, but ‘tis who I am. And by the saints, as long as I have breath in me body, I will feel, and I will care.”

Their gazes locked in that moment, and something flickered in his icy depths, overshadowing his usual cynicism with what she suspected might be admiration. The harsh lines of his face softened.

“Saint Jude must indeed be watching over you, Mrs. McBride.”

“That he is, Doctor Ellard, that he is.”

He gave her a brisk nod and opened the door.  “You’re not going home then, are you?”

She turned. “Ye know us Irish, Doctor Ellard, we don’t know what we want, but we’ll fight to the death to get it.”

Bio of Author, Kathy Otten

Kathy is the published author of multiple historical romance novels and short stories. Her Civil War romance novel A Place in Your Heart was a 2016 RWA Northwest Houston Chapter, Lone Star Winner and her western novel Lost Hearts, was a 2008 Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist.

Kathy has been writing and making up stories as long as she can remember. Her first short story, Redemption of a Cavalier was published in 2006 and she has moving forward ever since.

Her young adult novel, The Solace of Denim is scheduled for release this summer.

Recently Kathy became a certified book coach and now helps clients bring their writing vision to life.

She also teaches classes on writing craft both on-line and in person at workshops and conferences. 

When she’s not writing, she enjoys walking her German shepherd through the woods and fields near her home or curling up with a good book and her cat.

Web Site:



Sir Pinkerton Jones-Worthy, who always knows the latest gossip, was kind enough to give the Tattler an interview about the latest—and possibly the greatest—scandal in the ton.

Did Lord Derwent, heir to the Earl of Medway, murder his close friend, Lord Worsten? Lord Worsten’s body, shockingly stabbed several times, was found in a ditch on the Great North Road the day after Lord Worsten abducted Lord Derwent’s mistress―or did he? 

“Everyone thinks so,” Sir Pinkerton said, “but my dear friend, Lady Rosamund Phipps, tells another story.”

“Lord Derwent is her brother, so surely she should know,” I ventured. 

“One would assume so, but one would also expect her to protect her brother to the best of her poor ability,” Sir Pinkerton said with a sigh. “She claims Derwent left town with his mistress, and that the abduction story is pure fabrication. However…”

“Yes?” I prompted him eagerly.

“Lords Derwent and Worsten quarreled publicly the other day―in White’s, of all places―and Worsten swore to steal Derwent’s mistress.”

“Ah!” I said, “Rivals in love. Or perhaps only lust, but gentlemen have been known to duel over such foolishness.”

“Alas,” Sir Pinkerton said, “if it were only a duel, which is an honorable way to settle a dispute. Unfortunately, there is nothing more dishonorable than murder.”

“Especially such a vicious sort of murder. Stabbing! Leaving the corpse in a ditch, prey to scavengers and vermin.” I shuddered. “How frightfully barbaric.”

“Indeed, but the Bow Street Runners are in pursuit, and when they apprehend Derwent, he will be tried swiftly—and hanged.” He paused. “With a silken rope.”

“Isn’t that only for peers?” I mused. “He’s not a peer yet, merely the heir to one.” I wrinkled my nose. “Not that the sort of rope would be much comfort when one is about to die.”

Sir Pinkerton tittered. “I fancy not.”

“Poor Lady Rosamund must be distraught,” I said. “She suffered much in the spring from rumors about her fragile state of mind.”

Sir Pinkerton puffed out his narrow chest. “Lady Rosamund needs a man to take care of her.”

Perhaps. She does have a sizeable fortune. 

“What about the latest print by Corvus?” I asked. “It suggests that many so-called gentlemen are bandying her name about and vying for her hand in a horribly louche sort of way. The print implies that you, dear Sir Pinkerton, are one of those very gentlemen.”

Sir Pinkerton bristled with affront. “How dare that rascally caricaturist insult me? I am nothing like those rakes. I adore Lady Rosamund. I care deeply for her.”

Hmm. We shall leave it to our readers to judge his motives. 

“A little bird told me Lady Rosamund has just left town, heading up the Great North Road,” I said. “Maybe she knows where her brother has gone and means to warn him, so he can escape to the Continent.”

“She went after him?” Sir Pinkerton huffed. “In that case, I must leave town forthwith.”

He hastened away. I hope I am not the cause of more trouble for Lady Rosamund. The last thing she needs, if she indeed goes to save her brother, is Sir Pinkerton getting in the way. We at the Tattler wish her luck―and fervently hope that Lord Derwent will escape the silken rope.




Lady Rosamund visits the bookshop with Miss Concord (her brother’s mistress, whom she rescued from an abductor) and is accosted by two gentlemen who show signs of planning to woo her. Rosamund is aghast at the notion of remarrying—particularly not one of these men. Miss Concord has a better suggestion.

“If I were you, I would choose that lovely Mr. McBrae,” Miss Concord said.

“I beg your pardon?” 

“He’s head over ears for you,” she said. “Surely you’re aware of that!”

I managed a shrug. “I know he finds me attractive, but he doesn’t intend marriage.” Thank heavens, for that would make our situation even more awkward. It’s bad enough that he disapproves of me and lets me know, and worse that he wants to make me his mistress. Not that he has asked me in so many words, but his actions have made it clear.

“No? Why not?” she asked.

“Because—because, well, it’s preposterous,” I said. “He’s an impecunious Scotsman, and I’m the daughter of the Earl of Medway.”

“So what? He’s a gentleman and you are a lady.” She stuck out her chin. “If you’re in love with each other, why shouldn’t you marry?”

“We aren’t in love,” I retorted, stopping myself just in time from spouting some nonsense about love matches being only for the underbred. Despite my best efforts, my mother’s dictums tend to surge to my lips, especially in moments of disquiet.

The thought of intimacy with McBrae made me uneasy. Actually, the thought of intimacy with any man did—but admittedly, far less so with McBrae than with any other gentleman of my acquaintance.

I liked him, and he lusted after me. And to be fair, he seemed to have a certain amount of respect for my intelligence. To be fair again, he had taught me a certain amount about matters of which I had no previous experience, and he had also saved my life.

But none of this had anything to do with love. 

“Perhaps not yet,” she began, then quailed slightly at my frown.  

“I don’t plan to marry again,” I pronounced.

She looked as if she wanted to ask why, but stopped herself, no doubt for fear of offending me. Good, for I had no intention of explaining myself.

It was a good thing McBrae didn’t want to wed me. I couldn’t possibly marry anyone, even if I wanted to. I would carry the reason for that to my grave.



Lady Rosamund’s plan for a quiet return to London society goes awry when she rescues a woman fleeing along the road—the mistress of her brother, Lord Derwent. Rosamund takes her in, meaning to sort matters out with Derwent—but he has left town in a hurry, and soon the Bow Street Runners are after him for murder. If that wasn’t trouble enough, several suitors are vying for Lady Rosamund’s hand. 

Luckily, Gilroy McBrae is in London to help Rosamund save her brother. Will their strained relationship, along with his rivals for her heart, impede the race to unmask the real murderer before Derwent is caught and hanged?


USA Today bestselling author Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. After publishing a middle-grade fantasy, she settled on historical mysteries and romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Sometimes there’s bit of fantasy mixed in, because she wants to avoid reality as much as possible.

Barbara used to have two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and to succeed at knitting socks. She managed the first (don’t ask) but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth. She lives near Atlanta with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays. Learn more at

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An unexpected death of a fine man raises eyebrows and questions!

It has come to this editor of this newspaper’s attention that the young Mr. Ingleby, a clergyman who promised to be such a patron of all that is good and Christian in Hertfordshire society, has died.

Mr. Ingleby, a young graduate of Oxbridge, who had lately taken orders, came to Hertford to temporarily stand in at the pulpit for Mr. Greene, who was called away to attend the bedside of a sick relative. From all accounts, Mr. Ingleby’s goodwill toward others and charming manners did him good stead with his neighbours, and he proved to be a popular dinner companion amongst the parishioners.

But alas, trouble has befallen the town of Hertford, for at the very day of a local baking competition, Mr. Ingleby had no sooner bit into a baked tart produced by Mrs. Greene, the wife of the former reverend, than did he suffer choking pains and collapsed, never to rise again. Even worse, the money raised by the competition to support the repairs for the church roof, has disappeared.

With a theft, a death, and eight bakers suspected of having done away with the charming Mr. Ingleby, who can say if this was simply a culinary accident or murder? Rumour has it that the young clergyman was kind and generous toward his neighbours, but consistently spoke ill of his hostesses, Mrs. Greene and her niece, Miss Poppy Morton. Could these two women have decided to give the gossiping Mr. Ingleby a taste of his own medicine?

Should any readers have information which may provide useful in this investigation, please write to the editor or speak with Constable Henry Dyngley.

Title of book: The Poisoned Clergyman
Book blurb: Poppy adores Constable Dyngley, but he is engaged. When his fiancée hires Poppy to clear her name, can Poppy put her jealousy aside?
Welcome to book two in the exciting new series The Perfect Poison Murders from bestselling author E.L. Johnson!

When Poppy’s uncle is called away, in his place arrives Mr. Ingleby, a pretentious clergyman with a passion for pies, a penchant for puddings, and a distaste for poor and sick parishioners. It’s not long before Poppy wishes he was gone, especially when she learns he has been gossiping to the neighborhood about the humble fare served by her and her aunt.
But when the tart-loving clergyman dies at a local baking competition, it is clear that Mr. Ingleby has been poisoned by one of the bakers present. But who?

Poppy and her favorite constable, Henry Dyngley, must work together to find the poisoner among the bakers. But her romantic hopes for their future are dashed when he introduces her to his fiancee, who begs for Poppy’s help to clear her name as a murder suspect.

Can Poppy and Dyngley find the true poisoner, or will the murderous baker pull off a sweet crime? Can Poppy overlook her jealousy to save Dyngley’s fiancée, at the risk of losing the man she adores? It is a bittersweet feeling to know you may do the right thing, only for someone else to reap the benefit.

Find out in a new historical mystery from bestselling author E.L. Johnson. This is the second in the Perfect Poison series, starring Poppy Morton and Constable Henry Dyngley. 

Author bio:
E. L. Johnson writes historical mysteries. A Boston native, she gave up clam chowder and lobster rolls for tea and scones when she moved across the pond to London, where she studied medieval magic at UCL and medieval remedies at Birkbeck College. Now based in Hertfordshire, she is a member of the Hertford Writers’ Circle and the founder of the London Seasonal Book Club.

Unchaperoned Encounter between a Mysterious Earl and a Flame-haired Lady! Astonishing tattle!

Dear Readers,

Gazette insiders tell us there was an unchaperoned encounter between a certain deliciously mysterious earl and a flame-haired lady who’s rumored to keep daggers hidden within her skirts. Both were apparently seeking a stolen journal and yet only one was the victor… And considering the gentleman in question was observed limping away from the encounter, wearing a ferocious scowl on his handsome brow, our money is firmly on the lady in question as having won the confrontation. Though if she did best the earl, one does wonder how she accomplished such a feat against what can only be described as a prime specimen of a male, whose athletic prowess is unparalleled and very much admired by the ladies of Society. One does wonder, indeed…

‘Tis a question we shall be pondering as we wait with bated breath to see what the earl will do in reply. After all, the gentleman is not known as a man who gives up easily, in fact his tenacity is both admired and to be feared. The lady would do well to be cautious, very cautious, indeed. Though we’ve heard rumors that this particular lady in question is unlike other ladies; apparently, she prefers to she throw daggers, not dinner parties…. How delightfully wicked!

We suspect things are about to get dangerously scandalous… So, stay tuned, dear reader, for what is sure to be an extremely entertaining and perilous journey ahead as we eagerly anticipate the antics these two undoubtedly have in store for us. 

THE BACHELOR BETRAYAL by Maddison Michaels

Release date: 14 February 2022.

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He wants justice

Underestimating Marcus Black is the last thing his enemies ever do. After all, the respected Earl of Westwood is a deadly threat… when her Majesty needs him to be. And his only goal is to avenge his brother’s murder. Which would be much easier if the viciously-skilled Lady Kaitlyn Montrose wouldn’t swoop in, knee him in the bollocks, and then run off with his only lead…

She wants revenge

Kat is determined to avenge her beloved uncle’s murder and nothing will stop her. Especially not the devastatingly handsome, and equally lethal Marcus Black. The fact that he’s after the same target is a complication she hadn’t planned on.  And as much as she enjoys taunting him, she has a job to do—one that doesn’t include sparring with the infuriating man at every turn. Except Kat has a new plan… one that Marcus will just hate.

Now they’ll have to work together… if they don’t kill each other first

Individually, Marcus and Kat are deadly. If they worked together, they could be unstoppable. But when attraction gets in the way of vengeance, it’s more than hearts on the line. And only one person can win…


Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager and picked up her first ever historical romance, Maddison Michaels has been a prolific reader and writer of historical romance ever since. She is the bestselling author of six books, including THE DEVILISH DUKE which won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romantic Book of the Year.

Writing historical romance is Maddison’s way of time traveling back to Victorian London to experience a cornucopia of intrigue, romance and adventure all from the comfort of her living room! She also loves incorporating her previous 16 years experience as a police officer into the mystery and suspense elements of her books.  She lives in Sydney, Australia with her own handsome hero, beautiful daughter and fur baby, and she always starts her day with a cup of liquid gold…coffee – just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff!

Maddison absolutely loves to hear from her readers and you can find her at or on most social media platforms!

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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:; twitter: @JulieMcElwain; or website:







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