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War and Petty Grievances

This letter appeared in my upper desk door this week by means I can’t explain. One continues to be astounded at how much jealousy, gossip, and spite is by nature the same in every era.

S. Clemens

Amiens, France, March 4, 1918

Darling Céline,

Oh why do I write this? By the time it arrives I may already be in Marseilles! You will have heard the news that the Russians have made peace with the Huns, the traitorous animals. Now the German war machine will pour its entire might into northern France while the worthless Yanks drag their feet rather than deploy their troops. Amiens will be destroyed—leveled even as Arras has been or the villages along the Somme.

Dear Edgar insists I come to you and Aunt Adele and remove myself from the path of the Hun army. Lucille, our maid of all work, is packing as I write this.

Gossip
Sabine

I was astonished that you would ask after Rosemarie when you well know I no longer speak to the hussy. Believe me, my brother’s widow has not improved her behavior in the past year, for all she now parades on the arm of a Canadian soldier—as if that would erase the taint of collaboration with a German. Rauol himself told me what she did before he died. Just wait. She will get what she deserves when the war is over.

The boy looks better fed this year, but of course decent women wonder what the trollop does to manage that miracle. The stupid English, now that she sews in one of their workshops, treat her as the would any decent woman. It is almost more than I can bear.

Rosemarie

I will never understand why God blessed her with a son while cursing me with none. Abbé Desjardin, that wrong-headed priest, takes her side. Well, let him protect her when the German war machine rolls into Amiens. She can suffer as she deserves. and she certainly isn’t coming with me. I just wish I could take her son south with me. Life is not fair.

Your loving cousin,

Sabine

About the Book

When it is finally over will their love be enough?

After two years at the mercy of the Canadian Expeditionary force and the German war machine, Harry ran out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images of darkness. When he encounters color among the floating islands of Amiens and life in the form a widow and her little son, hope ensnares him. Through three more long years of war and its aftermath, the hope she brings keeps Harry alive.

Rosemarie Legrand’s husband left her a tiny son, no money, and a savaged reputation when he died. She struggles to simply feed the boy and has little to offer a lonely soldier, but Harry’s devotion lifts her up. The war demands all her strength and resilience, will the hope of peace and the promise of Harry’s love keep her going?

Available for Pre-order now. You can find it here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/christmas-hope/

Gossip

Doings Near Hadrian’s Wall

A report from the Vindolanda excavations.

Dear Mr. Clemens,

I trust that you remember me from your visit to Hadrian’s Wall last summer. You expressed much interest in the diggings, and despite the severe cold you caught (t’was but a summer squall) invited me to share updates on the excavations. I do so with great delight, we have uncovered many items that in combination, allow us to paint a vivid picture of a time lost to us for two thousand years.

Vindolanda discoveries

The site of Vindolanda is a treasure of ancient artefacts. The site conditions can at times be grim – there is no winter season, and the Summer season is brief and intense. The colder months are devoted to cleaning and recording our finds.

The fort itself was manned from around 85AD to 370AD, thus spanning much of the early days of Roman occupation. The fort was manned by a troop from Gaul. The site so far consists of a bathhouse, many layers of wooden structures, the stone buildings of the fort and a larger town to the west, where many native Britons would have lived, and the families of the garrisoned soldiers.

The site is fascinating. It is buried deep in rank muds, but that is its glory. The mud is low in oxygen, which is the enemy of preservation of objects. So many things have emerged from this mud that it staggers the imagination. There would be few sites indeed that allow us to get a glimpse into the day to day lives of people two thousand years past.

The town itself would have been a hive of activity, perhaps typical for the towns along the Wall, close to the forts – where the money and markets were. We have uncovered spinning whorls in great quantity, a business important for textile manufacture. The town – or vicus – as it is known in latin, also had an animal butchery, with excellent drainage. We know that the soldiers consumed vast quantities of bacon, sheep and used goat hides for their tents. There is also a bathhouse, which would have been heated, and used by locals and soldiers.

But the finds are what has made Vindolanda famous. Hundreds of leather sandals have been uncovered, and of all sizes – from children shoes, to the dainty lattice patterned ladies sandals, and rugged soldiers foot wear. Other leather goods include goathide tents, the neat lines of stiches joining the hides still intact.

Wooden objects such as combs, and many pieces of horse harness, game pieces, weaponry, arrowheads, and textile fragments are also well preserved. You will pardon the personal nature of the following, but we also found the first known wooden toilet seat, its design similar to the ones in use today.

The most fascinating of all has been the Vindolanda tablets. Written on thin sheets of oak, and a similar size to a modern postcard, many tablets have been uncovered, and to our joy, the writing (in a blackish mix of ink gall) is still readable. While many are like a modern shopping list one might give a servant, some are letters home from soldiers complaining about the weather, and one is a party invitation from a young lady.

Vindolanda

I will finish up, Mr Clemens, in the hopes that you will find this of sufficient interest to publish in your newspaper. We trust that should you visit England again, you will pay us a visit, and perhaps participate in the diggings yourself.

I have taken the liberty of enclosing some photographs of the finds.

About the Druid’s Portal Series

The Druid’s Portal series is a genre blend of action, adventure, romance, time travel and magical historical fantasy. Set in Roman Britain in the Hadrian’s Wall and Northumberland region.

On the First Journey, travel back in time with modern day archaeologist Janet and meet Roman soldier Trajan. Described as the book the writers of Indiana Jones wanted to write, and a runner up in the Raven awards for dark fantasy.

The Second Journey is now out on Amazon. Join Ethan, son of Janet and Trajan as he follows his heart into danger and an alternate history that will lead him from Hadrian’s Wall to the dark past of Stonehenge.

Available on Amazon https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel

Vindolanda

 Druid’s Portal: The Second Journey

A love that can never be.
Ethan—latest guardian of the Arwen pendant—finds his heritage of time travel a burden he can scarcely endure. Rowena—last of the line of Daman—is a soldier in the Celtic army, forced to perform deeds that haunt her. Both tormented by visions of the other, separated by barriers of time.
A time that should not exist.
Rowena flees the catastrophic end of her time but is trapped by an ancient family pact with an evil goddess. Desperate to save her, Ethan crosses over into her timeline, where his parents never met, and Daman—their greatest enemy—rules.

The past is ruled by a man who knows the future.
Thirty days to stop a goddess taking over her body. Thirty days to save his timeline. Together they will fight their way through an altered history to the dark past of Stonehenge.

Time is running out – for everyone.

Vindolanda

An excerpt from Druid’s Portal: The Second Journey

Then a sound… soft laughter… and he gazed at the woman with hair the colour of moonlight and eyes as dark as the night. Coloured mist wrapped around her, tight woven as destiny. Dark threads of death and red banners of danger – all centred around and surrounding the woman.

His love.

She filled a hole in his heart he had always known was there, but had never known the shape of it was her. The sense of completeness hit him like a blow.

“I will find you… ” he shouted as she faded. “I will protect you, always… ”

But she was gone, leaving nothing but a ghostly fragrance of flowers, and he was alone once more.

Read a preview: https://tinyurl.com/DruidsPortal2

or buy on Amazon: http://getbook.at/DruidsPortal2

About the Author

Cindy Tomamichel is a multi-genre writer. Escape the everyday with time travel action adventure novels, scifi and fantasy stories or tranquil scenes for relaxation.

Find a world where the heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Contact Cindy on

Website: http://www.cindytomamichel.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindyTomamichelAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Amazon Author page: https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel

The Restitution League

To Miss Nelly Tremaine

Dear Sister—

What’s this about you leaving your position with the Grenvilles?  Word is they’re a respectable family. I had hopes that their cook would train you up. Good cooks are scarce. You’d never want for work with that kind of skill.

I must confess, your new employers sound terrifying. I know you said they assist people who’ve been done wrong, but they used to be thieves. Even the women! I can’t imagine why you’d leave a fine household to work for such a strange group. But then, you’ve always been one to leap before you looked.

I pray to God every night to keep you safe. Your loving sister, Bess

To Mrs. Thaddeus Wilton

Restitution

Dear Bess—

I know you’ve been worried about me taking that new position with the Restitution League, but I couldn’t be happier. Mrs. Crane and the rest are very kind, even if Mr. Edison does scare the daylights out of us with his experiments. The explosions do rattle one’s nerves, I don’t mind saying. Last week he built a brass automaton that pours tea!  It wasn’t long before the poor fellow knocked over an end table and broke a vase. Mrs. Crane was not pleased.

As you can see by this letter, I’ve learnt to use the typewriter quite well. I’m to start lessons on the telegraph machine next week. Learning Morse code seems impossibe, but Mr. Edison says I’ve got the brains for it. Time will tell. I’m so happy to be doing something besides sweeping and dusting. 

I hope Thaddeus and the children are well. It looks as if I’ll get a chance to see for myself soon. Mr. and Mrs. Crane are going on a delayed honeymoon trip next month. She says I’m to have a whole two weeks leave. The Grenvilles were never so generous.

 I’ve already saved up for the train fare, so you can plan on having me at the first of the month. There’s no need to fret. I’m happier than I could imagine. And wait until you see my new clothes!  Office girls don’t have to wear stupid old uniforms like maids do. I’ve got a smart new set of dresses to show you.

I can’t wait to see you all.  Your sister, the office girl

Restitution
Yost Typewriter 1890

About the Book

A woman who disdains love collides with a man who lives for passion. Explosions ensue.

Ada Templeton believes in science. She believes in chemical reactions and experimentation and old-fashioned common sense. She’s far too clever to be seduced by a rake like Edison Sweet.

Over Ada’s objections, Edison agrees to guard her latest invention from a mastermind willing to kill for it. He never expects to be intrigued by the lovely widow whose body he finds as exciting as her mind.

Seducing the Scientist and the other books in the Restitution League series are now available in Kindle Unlimited.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Excerpt:

In the daylight, Ada’s laboratory was nothing short of spectacular.

It was everything Edison’s own workshop was not. Beakers, test tubes, and glass decanters, each in their proper place on mahogany workbenches, gleamed in the bright autumn light. All neat and tidy and pleasingly arranged, not unlike the scientist who worked there.

All the more so as he suspected the effect was completely accidental.

And then there was her scent. That light swirl of violets. Even in the midst of the acrid, metallic odors emanating from every beaker and box in the crowded room, it stirred him.

Delightful perfume aside, the woman’s obstinance was beginning to grate. Badly.

Edison rubbed a hand over his eyes. “I can’t keep your device safe if you don’t tell me where it is.”

She raised a beaker to eye level, frowning as she measured dry plaster of Paris to her liking. “It’s well hidden. Have no worry about that.”

“Have no worry? Are you addled?” He threw his hands up. “What do you think those men were looking for last night? What about the men before that? They weren’t after your excessive hoard of plaster.”

She continued with her measuring. “You’ll have to trust me, Mr. Sweet…Edison. The device is secure. What I do need your assistance with—and I am fully willing to admit it—is protection for my family.”

“Yes, yes. Of course. We’ll keep you all safe. That’s the easy part. I sent the stable boy to gather the rest of the League before I came down to breakfast. My reinforcements will be here before lunch, I’m sure. But I can’t protect your device, unless—”

She slammed the jar of powder down onto the counter. “You’re already taking a risk to protect us. I won’t add to that. The device is safe. Even if it were not, I won’t have you endanger yourself to save it.”

Unlike most women, she didn’t resort to coquetry. She met him head to head. Any other time, he would have found that profoundly appealing. Under the current conditions, however, it was unduly aggravating.

He closed his eyes, wishing he were contending with the sort of woman who liked to be cosseted and protected. He understood those women—how they thought, what they desired.

How to get what he wanted in return.

Habit made him lean close so his breath would caress her ear. He’d been told more than once it made women shiver delightfully. “I’ll find it eventually, you know.”

Instead of melting, softening, shivering, or sighing, she jerked away as if he reeked like a fishmonger.

“Search all you like.” She measured chloride into the beakers. “You won’t find it.”

Edison ground his teeth. Dear God, he’d seen granite cliffs less stubborn. If charm had no effect, intimidation might.

He lifted the chloride from her hand and set it on the bench.

She glared fiercely. “I beg your pardon?”

He ignored her and closed in, backing her up against a filing cabinet. When she could go no farther, he spread his arms wide, his palms flat against the cabinet front, pinning her in.

He’d planned to frighten her, to scare her into letting him have the device. But that sweet scent wrapped around him again, obscuring his train of thought in a sensual mist. All he could think of were her lips, slightly parted and begging to be kissed.

She squinted up at him. “What are your intentions?”

The words did not match her tone, which was soft and sweet and—dare he hoped—welcoming.

He smiled. “What would you like them to be?”

Her mouth opened wider. Her chest rose and fell as her breath deepened and her eyes dilated. “I believe I should like you to kiss me,” she said finally.

About the Author

Riley Cole writes sexy, sassy historical romances set in the innovative, energetic Victorian Era.

If you enjoy high adventure with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London. Thieves, rogues, and love await.

Stay updated on Restitution League news, exclusive content and new releases, subscribe to Riley’s newsletter at http://bit.ly/rileynews

You can find Riley here:

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The Mysterious Fellow Traveler

Letter posted from Cheltenham, England, to Morristown, New Jersey, 1832 leaked to The Teatime Tattler

My darling Earnestine,

We arrived in Bristol Wednesday, two days behind schedule, much the worse for weather, and happy to be back on solid ground. My darling Howard’s brother sent a carriage to convey us from the harbor, and we couldn’t leave swiftly enough for my nerves I tell you. If England has a less salubrious port than this one, I don’t want to encounter it. Nefarious appearing individuals lurked along the docks and at every corner where seedy and disreputable establishments abounded. One has heard frightening stories of civil unrest about the place as well, but we saw nothing of that sort. Once quit of the place, England’s green hills unfolded in front of us and I was able to put my fears aside.

traveler
(c) Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The voyage proved as tedious as I anticipated. Howard devoted himself to cards in the common room leaving my Ellie and I to our own devices. Not far into the journey a new acquaintance alleviated our boredom—thank goodness.

Mrs. Gordon Melrose, the sister-in-law of an actual baronet, regaled us with tales of society and the sites of London, whetting our appetite for the capital I can tell you. She also enlightened us about one of our more mysterious fellow passengers.

Ellie pointed the man out almost as soon as we embarked from New York. The girl does have an eye for a fine specimen of manhood! Tall and lean with thick auburn hair, he had the air of one of those frontier types young girls find so romantic, yet he dressed like a gentleman. Oddly, he carried a three-legged cat. We rarely saw him without the beast. When Howard complained to the captain about the presence of a feline, he was told that having a predator to keep vermin from the hold was in fact good luck. Ellie pronounced it adorable, though I could not see how a deformed cat could hunt.

In any case our mystery man proved to have more to his credit than good looks. Mr. Melrose informed us that Randolph Wheatly—the man’s name so she said—possesses important connections. His sister, the Countess of Chadbourn holds sway in the highest reaches of society, and is a friend of two Duchesses no less. Think of it Earnestine, a countess! (That is the wife of an earl in case you aren’t as  fully informed as we are).

I thought it prudent to encourage Ellie’s interest in the man, but the girl was profoundly disappointed by his curt refusal of any social overtures. Quite reclusive, he moped in solitude and scowled at all who approached, as if his troubles weighed him down. Ellie of course found his brooding good looks irresistibly attractive, poor girl. When we docked he moved rapidly off the ship and disappeared into the unsavory streets of Bristol, as though the horrid place had been his final destination, something I cannot believe.

Oh well. Perhaps we will encounter him in London. Perhaps he’ll introduce us to his sister, the countess. Think of it Earnestine!

Your loving sister,

Eunice

About the Book

Rand has good reason to brood on the voyage and to hurray away. He has a people to rescue, and family conflict to face.

Two hearts betrayed by love…

Desperate and afraid, Meggy Blair will do whatever it takes to protect her children. She’d hoped to find sanctuary from her abusive husband with her Ojibwa grandmother, but can’t locate her. When her children fall ill, she finds shelter in an isolated cabin in Upper Canada. But when the owner unexpectedly returns, he’s furious to find squatters disrupting his self-imposed solitude.

Reclusive businessman Rand Wheatly had good reason to put an ocean between himself and the family that deceived him. He just wants the intrusive woman gone, yet it isn’t long before Meggy and the children start breaking down the defensive walls he’s built. His heart isn’t as hard as he thought. But their fragile interlude is shattered when Meggy’s husband appears to claim his children, threatening to have Rand jailed.

The only way for Meggy to protect Rand is to leave him. When her husband takes her and the children to England, Meggy discovers he’s far more than an abuser; what he’s involved in endangers all their lives. To rescue the woman who has stolen his heart, Rand must follow her and do what he swore he’d never do: reconcile with his aristocratic family and finally uncover the truth behind all the lies. But time is running out for them all.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LY7IRT6/

Excerpt: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/the-renegade-wife-excerpt/

About the Author

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.

Links:

Web http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/carolinewarfield7

Twitter @CaroWarfield

Email warfieldcaro@gmail.com

LibraryThing http://www.librarything.com/profile/CaroWarfield

Amazon Author http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Warfield/e/B00N9PZZZS/

Good Reads http://bit.ly/1C5blTm

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/caroline-warfield

The Duke needs a bride!

Could it be true? The answer is yes, dear reader, and you read it here first at the Teatime Tattler.

Confirmation has been verified that none other than the Duke of H is back on the market and will once more be looking for a bride after Lady R returned his ring. The foolish girl. Doesn’t she know the riches she has given up by breaking off their engagement?

This paper has it on the highest authority that the young lady has returned to the country in a self-imposed exile. But the question remains… who will the Duke choose as his bride? Whoever she may be, we certainly know he won’t be choosing his last mistress, much to her annoyance. Still… Inquiring minds want to know…

Samuel Clemons read this latest tidbit from the Danver sisters and grinned. His readers will go mad with the news that the Duke of Hartford lost the lady whom some have whispered was a love match. Love… what a silly emotion getting the better of oneself.

His office door opened and Samuel handed the parchment to the young man whose ink stained fingers implied he had been busy in the press room.

“Make this a special edition,” Samuel declared with a smirk. “I want it on the front page and not buried inside. Our readers deserve to see this first thing with their breakfast.”

“Yes, sir!”

Samuel watch the man leave before leaning back in his chair. A laugh escaped him. He loved his job and was satisfied the Teatime Tattler would be sold out come the morning. Tomorrow was going to be a glorious day.

scottish

Sherry Ewing recently learned that her Regency novel One Moment In Time: A Family of Worth, Book Two was nominated as a RONE finalist with InD’Tale Magazine. It also won their crowned heart and a five star review. She is grateful to all the readers who voted for her story in order for One Moment In Time to become a finalist. Enjoy this excerpt.

Excerpt:

Edmond opened his eyes and found himself gazing into the face of an angel. Emerald pools, green as the Scottish moors, stared back at him with an expression of wonder. He reached out to lightly caress her cheek just to ensure she was real. She trembled beneath his touch and he thanked God Roselyn had awoken once more.

Swinging his legs down to the floor, he stood and reached for her hands to help her to rise. Her beautiful face wore a confused frown, and without thought he acted on the urge to assure himself she was real and on the mend, bringing her into his embrace. He knew in his heart his gesture was inappropriate; he should not be so bold, especially considering all that she had been through, but he could not resist.

Stepping back as he should became impossible when she returned his affection by placing her arms around his waist. As if they had a will of their own, his hands made their way up her arms and into her glorious curling hair that cascaded down the length of her back. It felt like the softest silk to his touch and a lock coiled around his fingers taking possession of him.

He took her chin in his fingers and tilted it up so he could see the face she had been hiding in his chest. Once more staring into her eyes, he saw her lips tremble and wondered how sweet they would taste. Leaning forward, he came to within a breath and hesitated. But only for one second. At last, he brought his mouth down to hers in a gentle first kiss.

There could be no mistaking her hesitation nor that she was inexperienced in her technique. Edmond retained enough control to remember she was a young innocent and he did not wish to scare her away. His heart rejoiced when he felt her arms creep up his back and he tightened his hold upon her. One taste would in no way satisfy the sudden desire he had for her and her encouragement gave him the permission he needed to deepen the kiss all the more.

His sanity finally reined in his desire, and he broke the spell by ending their kiss abruptly. Alarm briefly shook him when Roselyn took several steps backwards to put some distance between them. In the silence of the room, the only sound was the two of them attempting to catch their breaths after the heat of the moment.

One Moment In Time:
A Family of Worth, Book Two

One moment in time may be enough, if it lasts forever…

When the man Lady Roselyn Anne Winslow has loved since she was a young girl begins to court her, Roselyn thinks all her dreams have come true… until the dream turns into a nightmare.

Lady Roselyn is everything Edmond Worthington, 9th Duke of Hartford, could ask for in a wife and he is delighted to find she returns his love… until he loses her, not once but twice.

From England’s ballrooms, to Berwyck Castle and a tropical island that is anything but paradise, Edmond and Roselyn face ruthless enemies who will do anything to tear them apart. Can they recover their one moment in time?

Buy Links:

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More about Sherry:

Sherry is proud to be one of the Bluestocking Belles. Sherry 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 her on the tab above or visit her on one of these social media outlets:

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