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Von Tempsky: A Newspaperman? Really?

December 1863, Auckland, New Zealand

It has been heard about Auckland Town that Mr. von Tempsky, that intrepid adventurer, (and don’t try to tell me that a man who has fought in the jungles of South America would ever truly settle to such a staid existence as being merely a newspapermen, even in as wild a place as the mining towns of the Coromandel), a newly made commander in the Colonial Army, is currently involved in the rescue of a female settler-to-be somewhere in the wild Hunua Ranges, to the south of our good town.

This female, they say (and I hesitate to call her a lady, or perhaps even a person of womanly means), has made her way, alone, all the way from the feral East Coast of our fair land to Auckland, riding a wild Indian pony. It appears she had finally, after some searching, found Mr. von Tempsky, an acquaintance of her husband, after riding (swimming?) her Mustang across the large swamps between the town of Thames and Pukorokoro, (at the Miranda Redoubt). The good commander, in the middle of his preparation for war against the wild men of the Waikato, had rightly sent her north to abide in safety with his wife and children. However, after some bungling by the men sent to guide and protect her, it appears the girl has disappeared—and foul play is suspected.

Awaiting the news with bated breath, I remain,

Yours, etc.

Mr. Samuel Clemens

A Sea of Green Unfolding

December 1863, Maketu Pā, south of Auckland, New Zealand

“I appreciate the Pākehā working so hard to help us.” Tangawai watched the uniformed men in the distance to the southwest of his outpost, high atop the Maketu pā.

“They clear the bush beside the Great South Road to keep their supply trains safe from us, not to help us,” Mahi replied in Māori, his brows drawing together as he looked at the young rangatira from the corners of his eyes.

“Their stripping back of the bush from the road also lets us see who comes and goes on their road.” Tangawai grinned and raised the telescope back to his eye. The colonial army soldiers continued to toil and wear themselves out in the morning sun. He wiped sweat from his brow with the back of his forearm. The weather was already hot and humid for this hour, and he wasn’t swinging an axe.

As he scanned the Great South Road northward from the loggers, three mounted men came into view, trotting toward Auckland. Two wore military uniform and one was clad in a ragged-edged leather tunic.

“Tangawai,” a female voice called up to him from below.

He handed the scope to his cousin and leaned over the wall. The woman was climbing the steep side of the before him, a flax kete on her back. He threw a coil of rope to her and she climbed the last bit with its help.

Tangawai smiled as he took her hand and helped the slim, but heavily pregnant, young woman over the last parapet. “It must be getting difficult to climb, my Tūī.” He pulled her to him and kissed the top of her head on her glossy black hair.

“It won’t be long now, and your son will be on my back instead.” She smiled up at him and pulled his kai from the satchel.

He sat and ate with her while his cousin kept watch.

“Tangawai,” Mahi called over his shoulder, “weren’t there three riders heading north before, from Williamson’s Clearing?”

“Yes, two in uniform and one other.”

“There’s only the one Pākehā now.”

“Can you see the uniformed men?”

“No,” he said, and watched for awhile more. “Ah, there they are…they’re going away from us, toward the homesteads on the west side of the road. It might be a trap.”

“We’d better go spring it, then.” Tangawai frowned and pulled Tūī to her feet. “I’ll signal the village to ready the riders, but you’ll need to get down there and explain. The rest need to be ready to disappear into the bush. The Pākehā won’t follow them there.” He gave her a quick hug and a kiss, then she slid over the edge and lowered herself on the rope. Tūī waved from the bottom, then turned and ran down toward the village.

Yes, the Pākehā made it easy to see their road…and easy to see the figure on a small buckskin horse. Alone, when he’d just had a military escort. Why had they left him alone? This was a new trick.

He signaled via mirror to the village below and four men made ready. They approached Tūīwhen she reached the encampment and stood beside her for a few minutes, gesturing, before they mounted up and raced from the encampment. Their horses were gaunt and hard from their time in the bush on rough feed, now that the Māori were beginning to be pushed from the lands of their ancestors.

Tangawai returned to his telescope and scanned the horizon as his men galloped down the hill toward the newly-cleared road. The dust cloud raised by their passing diminished as the warriors settled themselves just inside the bush on both sides of the track to await the lone rider.

He was soon in their own trap. Tangawai gripped the parapet before him as his men surrounded the Pākehā. The rider looked small and puny, now that his whanau surrounded him. His men seemed to be speaking to the rider, then the little horse made a dash to escape, but its way was blocked. The Pākehā’s horse reared and sunlight glinted off metal near the hand of the rider as his men rushed toward him.

The rump of the gray horse was stained scarlet by the time the diminutive rider was dragged off the buckskin by two of his remaining, seasoned warriors. The man who’d been riding the gray crouched next to his horse, holding his bleeding forearm, and the other lay face-down on the ground. Tangawai shook his head and swore, while the men beside him on the walls stepped further away from him. He watched as his men picked the rider up off the ground and shook him.

And knocked his hat off.

Tangawai took the telescope away from his eye and blinked, glanced at the telescope, then peered through it again.

It was still there.

The blonde hair, down past his knees.

Pākehā men didn’t wear their hair that way.

The man who’d just bested two of his finest warriors had blonde hair cascading down past her knees…for it had to be a wahine.

This wasn’t normal, by anyone’s reckoning.

sea of green

A Sea of Green Unfolding

When you’ve already lost everything, the only place left to go is up…

Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their Californio Rancho de las Pulgas and newspaperman Gustavus von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in New Zealand—where everyone lives together in peace.

Unfortunately, change is in the wind.

When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun—and von Tempsky is leading the colonial troops into the bush.

Want to read more?

You can find A Sea of Green Unfolding here or at your favorite online store!

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Lizzi Tremayne

About the Author

Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced in the Gold and Pony Express Country of California before emigrating to New Zealand. She is the proud mother of two boys in that sea of green. When she’s not writing, she’s swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding or driving a carriage, playing in the garden on her hobby farm, singing, cooking, being an equine veterinarian or high school science teacher. She is multiply published and awarded in special interest magazines and veterinary periodicals.

With her debut novel, A Long Trail Rolling, she was Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award for the unpublished full manuscript; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel and third in Koru Long Novel section; and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.

Find Lizzi

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Horse and Vet Books website              


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The Lords and Ton of New Zealand… and the Scumbags… or are they?

“Mama, why must we,” Emma twitched at her crinoline with a scowl in an attempt to keep it clear of the mud and manure in the middle of the main thoroughfare, “wear the height of London fashion in this God-forsak—”

“Emma!” Mrs.Wyndham-Smyth hissed. “Ladies do not use that sort of language.” She flicked glances over both shoulders, her face paling.

Her daughter continued like she hadn’t heard her. “I thought we were moving to the wilderness when we came all the way to New Zealand and we’re still stuck in this filthy town. At least if we went to the provinces we could have some fun and not dress like trumped-up—”

“That really is enough, young lady.”


Emma took a deep breath to steady herself before she went on. “Tūī says we wear too much clothing. I agree. It’s steaming hot in these woolen dresses. We should dress like—”

“Heathens!” her mother declared. “You pay no mind to what the servants say. They are servants and we are their masters.”

She stared at her mother. “Tūī is my friend. She works for us, even though New Zealand is their land. The Māori’s land. I’m not sure why you treat them with the disdain you and so many others do.”

“It’s just the way it is.” Her mother tried to look indignant, but she seemed to be losing ground and stole more looks around her. As if her friends might be nearby.

“Anyway, I want to go live in the provinces. Coromandel Town seems a nice place.”

Driving Creek, Coromandel

“The mines?” Mrs. Wyndham-Smyth’s eyes goggled and she turned a shade whiter. “Wherever did you hear that claptrap?” Her knuckles whitened on her shopping basket and she walked faster toward the market.

“From that nice Prussian newspaperman, ummm…”

“You mustn’t say ummm, my—”

Emma went on. “That Mr. von Tempsky whom Papa invited to supper last month.”

Her mother’s lips tightened. “He’s not a newspaperman any more. He’s leading our colonial troops into the bush… against the Māori. To ensure the successful invasion of the Waikato.”

von Tempsky

“But…” Emma froze, then finally slapped her mouth shut a full half minute later. “That can’t be true.”

“True it is,” the woman said, turning back toward her. “And don’t let your father hear you say that. He’s the one who secured the commission for ‘The Prussian’ to help our army.”

“But we can’t…” Emma whispered. “It’s their land. They have all the land south of the—”

“Not any more.” Her mother gritted her teeth. “Seems the land in the Waikato has already been offered to the Australians and mercenaries who are coming to help fight.”

“Clear the way, prisoner coming through!” shouted a burly man. It was the jailor, bundling along a tall, dark man who would’ve been as handsome as Mr. von Tempsky if only he wasn’t so dirty and wearing manacles.

“Do you know who that is?” Emma whispered to her mother.

“It must be that Spaniard—Xavier Argolli or something, I think they said. The constable just caught him. He’s been running free after murdering his ship’s captain on the voyage to New Zealand.” She sniffed. “Imagine that.”

The prisoner looked up then and his eyes met Emma’s. He shook his head and just had time to whisper something before his captor dragged him past.

Fort Britomart, Auckland

Find von Tempsky,” had been his words.

Emma stared after the prisoner. He must’ve heard her mention the Prussian’s name. “Excuse me, Mama, I’m not feeling well,” she said as she spun on her heel and raced for home, already planning what to pack in her saddlebags. She’d find him.


Excerpt from A Sea of Green Unfolding:

December 1863, Auckland

Crowned by a spired white church, a high, rocky headland jutted out of the coastline to their port side. The captain of the whaler steered wide of the breakwater extending from the point and headed his ship into the next big bay.

“Auckland,” the captain said, nodding his head at the sprawling city behind the ships filling the inlet and docked at the wharves.

Upon the headland ranged several cannon and many one- and two-storied stone buildings. A Union Jack, flying from a flagpole, presided over the site.

“Complete with fort?” Xavier said.

“Fort Britomart, on the point of the same name.” Thompson nodded at the cluster of buildings. “Built on an old site.”

“Big ditches around the outsides and all,” Xavier said, staring up at them as they passed.

“They’d be the original Māori trenches,” the captain said, never taking his eyes from the rocks to their port side. “We’ll dock at Queen’s Wharf,” he added.

The city of Auckland spread out before them, rising up the gradual slope beyond the bay. The fort was sizable, but the church dominated the skyline behind Point Britomart. Warehouses and stores lined the road running along the water’s edge and houses covered the hills in the background.

“That’s a bit grand for this little place,” Xavier said, pointing to the church.

“Eh? Oh, that’s St. Paul’s Anglican. It was the first one here. It’s been there for twenty years, already. And up there,” he jutted his chin up the hill a little further, “is St. Patrick’s. Take your pick. They’re both grand.”

“I think I’ll find Aleksandra before I start looking around at churches,” Xavier said, with a grin.

The sounds and smells of port hit him when they edged up to the wharf and threw out their hawsers to the waiting men. As soon as the boat was moored, Xavier grasped the hand of the captain and thanked him profusely, then climbed down the rope ladder to the dock.

“Von Tempsky shouldn’t be too hard to find,” the captain called down after him. “Just ask at Fort Britomart. They’ll know where to find him.”

“Thanks again,” Xavier said, waving, as he headed for the point.

The rough scoria of the road surface grated on the soles of his boots as he passed the church. With its tall spire and elegant lines, it was truly beautiful. Certainly a finer building than he’d expected to find here. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a backwater, after all.

His legs were proving a bit unsteady from his time at sea, so he stretched them out as he walked, nodding to passers-by, many of whom turned their faces away as he neared them. He grinned, despite himself. He must smell like a fiend after being on ship for three months, and the last of that on a whaler. Once he set the wheels in motion to find von Tempsky and Aleksandra, he’d get a room and a bath. He could almost feel the warm water of a scented bath enveloping him.

“Hold there,” the guard at the entrance to the fort challenged.

He held up his hands and stood still, coming out of his daydream.

“Hello,” Xavier said. “De veras, of course.”

“State your name and business,” he barked.

“Xavier Argüello, looking for Captain Gustavus von Tempsky. I understand he may be near Drury?”

Several men looked up at his comment, brows narrowed.

“Right this way,” the guard said, giving him a sideways glance, his hand on his sword hilt.

The other men melted away, then the guard stood aside for him to precede him into a stone building.

The door slammed behind him and metal scraped upon metal.

Xavier turned, but the guard was nowhere to be seen.

He surveyed the waiting room. A five by five room, with only a wooden bench against one wall and a high, barred window.

Some welcome.

If they were trying to discourage visitors, they were doing a good job. He knocked on the door. A shiver ran up his spine when no one replied. He tried to lift the latch, but it wouldn’t budge. Even when he shook it. “Hey, you’ve locked me in! Guard!”

Only silence, then retreating footsteps on the boardwalk outside the door.

It finally clicked.

This was a gaol cell. But why? Had von Tempsky disgraced himself?

Xavier sat down to wait patiently, but eventually he rose to prowl from one wall to another. He pulled the bench before the grilled window, but it didn’t give him enough height to see out, so he put it back and continued to walk the walls.

There must be some mistake.


A Sea of Green Unfolding

When you’ve already lost everything, the only place left to go is up…

Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their Californio Rancho de las Pulgas and newspaperman Gustavus von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in New Zealand—where everyone lives together in peace.

Unfortunately, change is in the wind.

When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun—and von Tempsky is leading the colonial troops into the bush.

Buy Links:

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About the Author

lizzi tremayne image

Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced in the Gold and Pony Express Country of California before emigrating to New Zealand.

Busy raising two boys, farming, and running her own equine veterinary practice, she never thought she’d sit down long enough to write more than an article. A serious injury, however, changed all that, and planted her in one place long enough to jump-start her new career as an author!

With Lizzi’s debut historical romance, A Long Trail Rolling, she was: Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award for the best unpublished full manuscript; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel and third in the 2015 RWNZ Koru Long Novel section; and Finalist, 2015 Best Indie Book Award. She’s working on her eighth story!

When she’s not writing, she’s swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding or driving a carriage, playing in the garden on her hobby farm, singing, cooking, practicing as an equine veterinarian or teaching high school science. She is multiply published and awarded in special interest magazines and veterinary periodicals.

Lizzi loves the friendships she’s developed with the rest of the Belles. She adores how they’re so progressive, organized, and fun. Best of all, they are all willing to put themselves out there, together, to achieve more, create more, than would be possible going it alone.

Lizzi loves to connect with her readers. How would you like to connect?

Read more about Lizzi’s books

Only Foolish Servants Gossip


Mrs. Mulligan of Pudding Lane came to our offices this very morning with a most intriguing document. Knowing our readers’ avid interest in the activities of the Grenford family, we agreed to her rather ambitious price to obtain the missive. We hereby print the document in its entirety (with some discrete corrections to spelling and grammar, which were greatly needed) and sincerely hope Miss Maud Mulligan, upstairs maid for the Duchess of Haverford at Hollystone Hall, doesn’t find her career as a servant cut short by her willingness to report on the doings her betters, at least until another such missive may come into our possession.

S. Clemens

Maud Mulligan

Maud Mulligan

Dearest Mother,
You said as how you wanted to know how I got on in this big house and what the toffs and their ladies get up to for three weeks running. It would take more time than that the Stanley woman might give me and more paper than I can afford to tell you all I’ve seen and heard. Most of my stories will have to wait until I see you, if I’m ever free to visit.

Right off I was assigned as maid to Miss Dinah Baumann, a spinster lady of some years. I worried, me not knowing anything about hair and clothes and such, but turns out the lady mostly kept to her bed and had me fetching and carrying for her and the little grey kitten that wiggled its way into her bed one afternoon.

Besides getting up early, starting the fire, fetching the lady’s chocolate, and general cleaning, I go up and down the servants’ stairs once or twice an hour, between Miss Baumann’s demands, the cat making disagreeable messes, and Mrs. Stanley sending me off on one errand and another every time she claps eyes on me, there being so many guests and so few maids. The house fairly buzzes with stories, I can tell you.

Esther Baumann

Esther Baumann

Miss Baumann—Miss Esther, the young one, not the old lady—is ever so kind. She brought her own maid and told Reba—that’s the maid—to look after me a bit so I don’t get behind. I wouldn’t say an unkind word about the Misses Baumann for all some in this house, ignorant all, think a Jewish Banker’s daughter ought not to be here. A perfect lady is Miss Esther Baumann, dressed as smart as they come and refined as need be. I won’t hear a word against her and so I said over servants’ tea to the ruffian who tends the spit. Young is no excuse for stupid. That’s what Mr. Fournier, (he be the French cook) said. No excuse for stupid. I know better. Remember Mr. Cohn the baker? Most honest baker in the city and his cakes are heavenly.

I was ever so surprised though when that gentleman of Miss Esther arrived with no invitation and still dirty from the road on Christmas morning. Some said as how it showed disrespect, but the duchess didn’t mind. I heard she welcomed him like a long lost friend. When I helped fetch hot water up to the room he shared with Lord Elfingham—beggars not being choosers—he seemed gentleman enough to me. He put me in mind of Mr. Cohn’s son Havel.

Adam Halevy

Adam Halevy

I should say I believe Mr. Halevy is Miss Esther’s gentlemen, but I’m not sure. She certainly follows him with her eyes when he’s around, or, so a footman told me, but she told her aunt that she never wanted to talk to him. Ever.

But that isn’t the end of it. This is why I took pen to paper tonight. The servant’s hall went all abuzz when the duchess asked Miss Esther and Mr. Halevy to say their Sabbath blessings with the company. I know I shouldn’t have, but I slipped upstairs and into the room where they had set up the table. No one saw me back by the draperies, but I watched it all. I heard that crab, Lady Stanton whisper some horrid things, but most of them looked so interested I think they prayed along. The look on Mr. Halevy’s face when he said the last blessing and she said “Amen,” would have melted any woman’s heart. Maybe the rumor I heard later about Miss Esther going out to the barn with Lord Jonathon Grenford wasn’t true.

Oh my! I’ve gone on too long. The house is in an uproar about the costume ball, and I should be working. Maybe costumes and candlelight and such will make magic for Miss Esther and her gent. I hope so.

Your daughter,

PS When you go for bread, tell Havel Cohn I asked after him.


An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield

Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?

Adam Halevy prospered under the tutelage of his distant cousin, powerful banker Nathaniel Baumann. He’s ready to find a suitable wife, someone who understands a woman’s role, and will make a traditional home. Why is Baumann’s outspoken, independent daughter the one woman who haunts his nights?

You’ll find it in Holly and Hopeful Hearts, the 2106 Bluestocking Belles’ holiday anthology, available now for pre-order. 25% of all proceeds will go to the Malala Fund. The education of women and girls is the favorite charity of the Duchess of Haverford and the Bluestocking Belles. Scroll to the bottom for links.

An excerpt:

Her restless gaze found Adam standing with the Belvoir ladies and their brother. He smiled down at Felicity Belvoir, who looked utterly rapt.

Esther knew she should move. All afternoon she had avoided him, but at that moment, she could not make her feet move. What has Felicity so fascinated? Is he telling her about Spain? Did he actually meet Wellington? What of his perilous journey? Longing to know kept her fixed in place even as her stubbornness urged her to move away before someone noticed she stared. Too late! Hythe glanced up, saw her, and smiled.

Hythe bowed over her hand and said, “Your friend has had quite an epic adventure.”

“Is that what he’s telling Felicity?” she asked with a haughty shake of her head.

Hythe’s lips twitched, and she felt her cheeks heat. When he offered his arm, panic set in. Does he mean to walk me back to his sisters? Adam is there, the wretch!

Hythe followed the direction of her eyes. “Shall we take a turn about the room, Miss Baumann?” he asked. When she laid a shaking hand on his and nodded, he patted her it with his gloved one, changed the topic of conversation to riding mishaps at the hunt, and soon had her laughing.

An hour later, Esther, relieved to have passed the afternoon without being cornered, she felt composed and less shaken. If Mr. Halevy wishes to speak with me, I’ll permit it. It is foolish to allow him to discomfort me. I’ll be all that is cool and in control.

When she spied him across the room speaking with one of the Duke of Ashbury’s daughters, he looked at her across the expanse of room and smiled with such sweetness that her heart skipped two beats.


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The Duke of Danby is at it again!

If our readers don’t know about the Duke of Danby, the Teatime Tattler is happy to enlighten you.

It all started during the Christmas of 1812, when he decided to be more proactive (read: interfering) in the lives of his grandchildren. In his opinion, the lot of them were not doing their duty and his patience had grown thin. Thus, His Grace summoned each of his grandchildren from near and far, to attend him at Christmas in Yorkshire. His gift that year? A Special License for each one of them, though some did avoid the parson’s noose during the holiday. Still, Danby managed to marry off ten of his grandchildren within a fortnight, which is rather impressive, if you ask me.

After that, the duke quieted a bit, interfering only on occasion until last Christmas, when he turned his attention to his great-nephews and nieces with a whole new set of Special Licenses and matchmaking schemes. Once again, His Grace was quite successful in seeing a number of them settled.

Those who survived without being leg-shackled breathed a sigh of relief as Twelfth Night came to a close and began making plans to enjoy the coming season, assuming Danby would leave them in peace until the following holiday.

One should never assume anything where the Duke of Danby is concerned.

As luck would have it, Danby is NOT saving his matchmaking for Christmas and fully intends to see several of his great-nieces and nephews married before the season is done.

You can find these new stories in the Regency Romance Collection – the four books of When the Duke Comes to Town with twelve brand new novellas with the scheming and matchmaking of the Duke of Danby.


Jane Charles – Ruined By a Lady

There is nothing Samuel Storm wants more than to leave London behind him and return to his plantation in Barbados, until he sees a portrait come to life. At least he’s fairly certain the girl across St. Paul’s is the same one depicted in the scandalous painting he owns back in the Caribbean. But how can he be sure? And why would a lady pose for such a painting?

Lady Jillian Simpson has made many mistakes in her life, but the worst was falling for an artist who took advantage of her trust. She is fairly certain her father has found and destroyed all of the paintings, all but one, at least until she encounters the dashing Mr. Storm and learns another exists. But after everything she’s experienced, how can she ever trust him with her secret or her heart?

Rose Gordon – The Wooing Game

The first meeting for James, Earl of Wynn and Miss Charlotte Cavanaugh was not so spectacular. Come to think of it, neither was the second which led to a hasty marriage followed by three years of speculation as to why the two were never seen in the same room. But that’s all about to change…

When an anonymous letter of admiration—and scandalous invitation—arrives for Charlotte, James realizes this might be his chance to start over, and thus begins The Wooing Game.

Samantha Grace – One Less Lonely Earl

Colin MacBride, Earl of Blackwood, is well aware that only a fool would answer the Duke of Danby’s summons. But with many mouths to feed, poor fields, and a failing flock that might not survive winter, he sets aside a decades’ old feud with his neighbor and calls on him to make a proposition. If Blackwood sheep are allowed to winter on the duke’s land, Colin will share the profits when they are sheared in the spring. Naturally, the duke has a better idea, and it involves a lovely young lady who is dear to his heart. Colin can use the land if he agrees to hire Meredith Halliday to be his niece’s governess, then convince her to quit before the man the duke has chosen to marry her arrives in Yorkshire. Oh, and if Colin would flirt with her a bit to build her confidence, that would be splendid, indeed. Appalled to be labeled a Lothario for hire, Colin storms from the study and straight into the old curmudgeon’s trap—and she is every bit as beautiful and charming as promised.

Thwarting-the-Duke-Generic-2About THWARTING THE DUKE

Ava Stone – Lady Hope’s Dashing Devil

Lady Hope Post has suffered the most rotten luck over the last year. She’s lost the love of her life. Her great-uncle and Machiavellian matchmaker the Duke of Danby has a special license just waiting for her somewhere. And after one tiny little phaeton accident in the park, the most devilish earl attempts to blackmail her over the incident.

Thaddeus Baxter, the Earl of Kilworth has every intention of restoring luster to the earldom he’s inherited from his ne’er-do-well cousin, but when an adventurous lady upends his phaeton in the park, all of Thad’s perfectly respectable plans are tossed out the window. What are the odds he’d cross paths with the same girl who’d nearly brought down his cousin’s earldom in the first place? And what are the odds he’d lose his heart to her as well?

Julie Johnstone – It’s in the Duke’s Kiss

Lady Emmaline Radcliffe always knew she never wanted to marry a man who embraced the rules of Society. But when her mother threatens to secure a suitable match for Emma if she cannot make one on her own, Emma sets out to determine if her girlhood infatuation is the love she’s been looking for. Nathaniel did save her life once, after all. But when she finds herself in the arms of the gentleman’s brother—the serious and proper Duke of Blackbourne—she begins to question all she ever thought she desired.

Lucian, the Duke of Blackbourne, is tired of playing keeper to his irresponsible brother. He vows to quit, but when his brother resolves to seduce the impetuous Lady Emmaline, Lucian knows he must save his foolish brother and the innocent debutante from themselves. Yet his plan to intercede goes awry when he finds himself drawn to the woman who is everything he was positive he didn’t want in a wife.

But his brother won’t give up so easily, and soon Lucian’s well-intentioned plans are revealed. Now to keep Lady Emmaline’s heart he must prove that he’s truly not the stuffy, sneaky duke he seems to be.

Sue London – Her Reluctant Lord

Miss Agatha Chase has more than enough problems simply keeping her household together, with three younger brothers and one aged servant. Now a great-uncle she’s never heard from before has offered to sponsor her for a Season in London. She is far too old for such frivolity, but everyone tells her that you don’t say no to a duke!

Laurence Garner has unexpectedly inherited his brother’s title, Viscount of Rothering. He’s a man of honor, but the tiresome duties of nobility chafe for a man used to the open sea. And now he’s squiring an insipid miss around London as a favor for a friend! If only something exciting would happen.

Outwitting-the-Duke-GenericAbout OUTWITTING THE DUKE 

Deb Marlowe – The Earl’s Hired Bride

Because an unmarried Earl must be in want of a bride . . . Every debutante in the ton wants to be the Countess of Hartford—and mistress of Hartsworth Castle. Never mind that Hart has no interest in marrying just yet, the young ladies hunt him as ruthlessly as a pack of hounds after the elusive fox. What he needs is a hired bride—one who will give him some room to breathe, but is guaranteed to call it off at the end of the Season.

Because a girl with no prospects will do what she must to help her family . . . Miss Emily Spencer must do something. Her mother’s health is failing and the notorious Duke of Danby is growing dangerously close. Why not hide in plain sight and pretend to be the Earl of Hartford’s betrothed? And getting paid for her troubles? It’s just what she needs to make her family comfortable again.

Because love comes when you least expect it . . . Sparks fly when the two put their plan in motion—and deeper emotions grow. But how can they be together when the path they’ve forged only leads to their inevitable break up?

Aileen Fish – His Unsuspecting Heart

Lord Giles Graves would rather spend his evenings in the House of Commons than circulating amongst the ton. Then his grandmother sends him on a fool’s errand requiring him to gain entry into her former home. Now he needs an invitation to call on the new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Minnet.

Miss Tabitha Minnet isn’t particular about titles and income, as long as her future husband is kind, honest and an excellent kisser. The one she’s particularly interested in happens to be the brother-in-law of her dearest friend. Lord Giles is quite the catch!

While pretending to be enamored with Miss Minnet, Giles avoid the poor, innocent young lady his great-uncle Danby has chosen as Giles’ bride. At least that part is going as planned—until Miss Minnet appears to be falling in love.

Giles cannot wait until the Season is over and his life will return to normal.

Lily George – The Captain Takes a Bride

Lord Richard Carew has just returned from his last ocean voyage with more cargo than expected – a fortune to call his own and a child entrusted to his care. Unsure if he should settle down or heed the call of the sea once more, he enlists the help of governess Laura Stephens to raise his young ward. As Laura quietly turns his house into a home and his ward into family, Richard wonders if perhaps his existence as a wandering rake is as appealing as it used to be.

Miss Laura Stephens has nothing to call her own – raised a penniless orphan, she must make her way in the world. Thanks to Captain Carew, she has a roof over her head and some measure of independence – as long as she doesn’t do anything so foolish as to fall in love.

Dismissing-the-Duke-GenericAbout DISMISSING THE DUKE

 Jerrica Knight-Catania – Flirting With Scandal

Esther Whitton has gladly spent the last few months enjoying the quiet calmness of a Yorkshire winter, devouring books and attempting to keep herself from falling for a man she knows she can never have. But when her Great-uncle Danby announces they’re all going to London for the Season, she decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone and follow her heart before it’s given away to another.

Timothy Hargood knows his place is in servitude, and therefore pining after a woman destined to be the wife of a peer is completely pointless. But when she makes the first advances, how can he resist?

Star-crossed from the start, this unlikely pair must try to find a way to be together, even if it means thwarting the all-powerful Duke of Danby to do so.

Claudia Dain – The Husband Hunt

Miss Julia Whitton is in London to find a husband, but only the proper sort of husband, one who has a stellar house with the funds to see to life’s luxurious essentials without strain. She meets a moderately attractive man with a truly superb house on her first day in London. Unfortunately for Julia, Mr. Peter Grant must rent his house on Portman Square to pay off his brother’s gaming debts. Julia and her family move into Peter’s house and to her shock and fascination, Julia finds little notes secreted all over the Portman Square property. Each note reveals a bit more about Peter and Julia, sensible in the extreme, finds herself falling in love with Pete re the Pauper of Portman Square. Should any London Season possibly begin on worse footing?

Olivia Kelly – Look to the Stars

Leonato Blakeley, heir to the earldom of Pennyworth, has no intention of marrying any time soon. He’s got against marriage, unless the term is being paired with his name. His great-uncle, the matchmaking Duke of Danby, has arrived in town, and Leo needs A Plan.

American heiress Miriam Rosenbaum has crossed an ocean to study the stars with the best scientists in the field. Well, perhaps her mother thinks they’re in London to find husbands for the scandalous Madcap Rosenbaum sisters. But Miriam is determined not only to visit the Royal Observatory, but participate in their groundbreaking research.

Together, they might have a chance at accomplishing their goals. But when the Season is over, walling away from each other might be their greatest challenge yet.

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Scandal in Cambridge

The Tattler received this dispatch from Cambridge some time ago. We reprint it to coincide with sale of the fifth edition of Poetry by the Female Authors of Ancient Greece.

S. Clemens

The weather here turned ugly last week; strong winds and icy rain made the streets miserable. The Ladies’ Sewing and Charitable Project Association met in spite of that at Abigail Clarke’s home. Abigail, agog with news, clearly cared little for the niceties of such events, which may explain why her soda bread, dry as wood, had little taste.

The tea (a fine oolong) had scarcely found its way into every cup before she burst out with, “You will never guess what She has done now.”

Tea_Party_(1905)_by_Louis_MoellerOne did not need to ask who “She” was. The main topic this past year has been the doings of Lady Georgiana Hayden, in residence at Helsington Cottage, an unnatural creature if ever I saw one. When her great aunt sat in residence she kept to herself and provided little fodder for our little discussions. At first the niece did the same, but that was before her true eccentricity exhibited itself for all to see.

Of course, the ladies could hardly wait to hear what had happened now, but Abigail would draw out her story for effect. “Well, you’ve heard about her writing, have you not?” she began. Well, of course we had. The unnatural creature claims to study Greek. It’s no wonder she’s never married if you ask me. No man would want a wife who spouted Plato. Can you imagine if she did that in the marriage bed?

“Get on with it Abigail,” Molly Harding urged, giving voice to all of us. “What has happened now?”

“Last week I heard she petitioned to use the Wren Library at Trinity College,” Eliza Barlowe sniffed. “As if they would admit a woman to that place.”

Cassat_CupOfTeacropped“Woman she may be,” Abigail intoned, drawing attention back to herself, “But lady she is not. My Ernest told me…” Here she dropped her voice so we all had to lean in. She looked around at each of us to make sure we were attentive. How could we not be? “She approached one of the fellows in his premises.”

I can tell you every woman in that room sat back, stunned. I demanded more information. “Who?” I dared not ask why she went there. Some things are not fit for ladies’ conversation.

“Watterson. He sent her on her way fast enough. She asked for tutoring! Can you imagine such a thing? She may be a duke’s daughter but asking a fellow of a great university for private lessons is, is—“ She sputtered so bad that she couldn’t finish. She didn’t need to.

After a moment Abigail pulled herself together and added, “That Hayden woman is no better than she should be, mark my words. She reads Greek? Who really believes that?”

Vogel von Vogelstein, Carl Christian - Young Lady with Drawing UtensilsI would have pointed out that my husband, sole proprietor of one of the better bookstores—all of Cambridge knows Groghan’s Scholarly Bookshop—told me she orders highly inappropriate books and manuscripts. He only services her order because, after all, if he didn’t another store might. He makes sure she pays a pretty penny. I didn’t get a chance to say it.

The replies that might have been made died on our lips when Abigail’s maid of all work admitted two more ladies. Edwina Potter stood in the doorway looking like she’d eaten something foul. She didn’t come alone. Towering behind her stood Lady Georgiana Hayden herself, fire in her eyes and a frown on her face. No true lady would have eavesdropped! How Edwina thought that woman would be welcome I cannot say.

You may assume that the rest of the meeting, such as it was, lurched on with awkward silences. Molly Harding, ever the jolly molly, attempted greeting as false as it was cheerful. Edwina Potter attempted to introduce church matters, cooking, and sewing for the poor with little success.

The meeting came to a swift end. Next month we meet at Molly Harding’s lovely home. One can only hope for more superior fare than the cold tea and dry bread Abigail served, but perhaps equally titillating gossip. One doubts She will have the nerve to show her face.

Your devoted correspondent

Mrs. Virgil Groghan

Alas, poor Georgiana! She does eventually find a tutor who teaches her more than she bargained for.

About Dangerous WorksDangerousWorks_600x900

A little Greek is one thing; the art of love is another. Only one man ever tried to teach Lady Georgiana Hayden both. If it takes a scandalous affair to teach her what she needs to complete her work, she will risk it. Major Andrew Mallet returns to Cambridge a battle scarred hero and would be scholar. His last encounter with Georgiana cost him eleven years of his life. Determined to avoid her, he seeks work to heal his soul and make his scholar father proud. The work she offers risks his career, his peace of mind, and (worst of all) his heart. Can he protect himself from a woman who almost destroyed him? Does he want to?

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About Caroline Warfield

Bluestocking Belle, history buff, traveler, would-be adventurer, former tech writer and library technology professional, Caroline Warfield has now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, and divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married.

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