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.
Amiens, France, March 4, 1918
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.
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.
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,
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
running out – for everyone.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
About the Book
A woman who disdains love collides with a man who lives for passion.
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.
Scientist and the other books in the Restitution League series are now
available in Kindle Unlimited.
daylight, Ada’s laboratory was nothing short of spectacular.
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.
more so as he suspected the effect was completely accidental.
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.
perfume aside, the woman’s obstinance was beginning to grate. Badly.
rubbed a hand over his eyes. “I can’t keep your device safe if you don’t tell
me where it is.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
melting, softening, shivering, or sighing, she jerked away as if he reeked like
all you like.” She measured chloride into the beakers. “You won’t find it.”
ground his teeth. Dear God, he’d seen granite cliffs less stubborn. If charm
had no effect, intimidation might.
the chloride from her hand and set it on the bench.
fiercely. “I beg your pardon?”
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
learn more about her on the tab above or visit her on one of these social media