Dear gentle reader, your Tattler came across a missive containing news of the most shocking and titillating nature we fear it is too juicy to be true. We will of course keep our sources secret.
I just spoke to an exceptionally reliable source that Lord,
Winthrop (Winn as his contemporaries call him), Burton may be soon off the
I know this to be the shocking bit of my news, since it is
common knowledge, because of his family’s curse he had sworn to never marry and
have heirs, however that was before the esteemed Zoe Chase, daughter of Lord
Chase the diplomat appointed to Rome, returned to English soil to find a
We know the best place to find a suitable husband is within
the ton and this is proven of late because of the diplomat debutantes returning
for that reason. It would be more sporting, however if they waited to pluck the
juiciest of the fruit before the season took off in earnest. However, I
Our poor Winn was pre-occupied and therefore taken off guard
by the beautiful Miss Chase. They were once childhood friends you know. It is
said he began to question the validity of the curse when precarious events
began plaguing her only after it was rumored the two were spending time
together above what would be customary of a house guest and the Lord of the
I was also informed that a rather public scene ensued during
the very house party to find Miss Chase a suitor. After which Miss Chase returned
to London with her father and Lord Burton’s sister Cyn (short for Cynthia). It
was reported directly to me, that Miss Chase was not overly enthusiastic about
the decision. I also believe it was the infamous courtesan Lady Sarrafinna who
put an end to the loud scene. Can you imagine, a courtesan at a respectable
house party? Of course her family have been close to the Burton’s.
Always the daredevil, Lord Burton will need to find a grand
gesture to prove to this young lady he is ready to settle down. Perhaps proving
the curse to be a fabrication may in fact bend the odds to his favor, but he
must act quickly. My sources tell me, Miss Chase is a delight and with her
knowledge of world politics she would be a catch for any up and coming lord
looking to make his mark on Parliament.
We shall see. I look forward to seeing this young lord take
the fall into matrimony, it will go a long way to making this a fantastic
Oh, and please do not forget this information was shared in
the strictest of confidence and secrecy my dear. The strictest.
About the Book: Winn’s Fall
Lord, Winthrop (Winn) Burton will
die on his own terms. A family curse says he will die by the time he turns
thirty years old. He will not leave a young wife and a child behind like his
father did to him.
When childhood friend Miss Zoe Chase returns to stay with his sister and find a husband Winn’s plans are thrown into chaos. Not only is the once gangly, awkward girl he remembers, now everything that tempts him, the accidents that once plagued his life are happening to her.
He must keep her safe, but how
can he do that when ravaging her is all he can consider? Or perhaps the curse
isn’t a curse after all.
Author of 5 Historical romances, including the Improper Wives for Proper Lords series, Clair Brett lives in NH with her ever emptying nest which includes her children when they visit, two cats, one willful dog, and a mean Pitbull mix, that will lick you to death and run into her kennel when you speak loudly, and an ever harassed husband who takes it all in stride. A lover of all things Regency Clair, was hooked when she first read Jane Austen. She is a firm believer that a reader finds a piece of who they are or learns something about the world with every book they read. She wants her readers to be empowered and to have a refreshed belief in the goodness of people and the power of love after reading her work.
Your humble correspondent, journalist for The Teatime Tattler, begs leave to draw notice to Mr. Algernon Cuffy, sometime resident of St. James’s Square, as he describes an alarming encounter with a strange apparition on the night of London’s latest fog.
“I’m a thief. Write that
down, plain and simple. Poverty might have driven some other poor blighters to
a life on the hop but I have, you might say, a natural bent.”
Though a bit of a
Renaissance man in all the arts of financial misappropriation, Mr. Cuffy likes
housebreaking the most.
“Pickpocketing is for
children and women—pathetic types who can look sorrowful like Mother Mary or an
orphaned lamb. But I got this here,” he said, tracing a finger down a four inch
scar running to his left ear, part of which was missing. “Don’t look harmless
enough for work at close quarters, now, do I? Anyone with any brains would know
to steer clear of me.”
correspondent backed away as he continued.
“An’ then there’s
highway robbery. You’ve got travel and horse fairs and boxing mills and lonely
moors—all well and good,” he said, detailing his interests. “But you’d be
surprised how few coves are worth getting hung for.”
correspondent could not but agree.
“The night in question—”
your correspondent began, hopeful that Mr. Cuffy would return to ghosts and
“There’s an art to
housebreaking,” Mr. Cuffy continued, warming to his subject. “Liking the name
of a street, following a likely looking coach home to its roost… Best to stay
clear of the poshest squares. That night, conditions were perfect,” he said,
tugging his cap on.
correspondent dared a question and he obliged with an answer.
“Dark. Dark as coal. An’
fog like soup. I was on the damp roof tiles of Lord Fox’s establishment—”
Readers will imagine an
elegant white house in the Georgian style.
“—full to the gills with
lacquered snuff boxes and jeweled tie pins, and like most bachelor’s quarters,
lax about the housekeeping. I was preparing to ease myself into the empty
bedroom of the recently dismissed second footman. That’s when I saw her.”
“Pretty young thing.
Loose hair, white dress. I dashed near dropped forty feet to the pavement when
she rose up out of mist. I could see clear as day that she wasn’t a ghost.”
“She must have been a
ghost,” I insisted. “People do not fly.”
“She wasn’t flying,” Mr.
Cuffy said, his look quite insulting to the junior correspondent of London’s
seventh most popular daily newspaper. “Just sort of floated for a while. Took a
good look towards Westminster on the river and another over towards St.
“And then?” I asked,
“Then there was a shout
from below and she disappeared into the fog again.”
“Where you drunk?” I
Mr. Cuffy gave no proper answer but resorted to his fists. Thus concluded our interview.
About the Book: Her Caprice
A MOST PRIVATE BATTLE
Since Beatrice Thornton was 13 years old she’s been living with a secret that could ruin her family forever. Her parents are the only ones who know, and now, seven years later, they are forced to put on a sham for Beatrice’s late first Season. The plan, make Beatrice as mousy and ill-clothed as possible so no suitor would consider her. Then they can all escape back to their country home in Dorset to keep the terrible secret safe. But the unthinkable happens… Beatrice meets a man who gives her hope of a normal life, and Beatrice dares to love with horrible consequences.
Captain Henry Gracechurch has resigned his commission after living through the horrors and waste of war. Recently returned from Spain, he is cajoled by his formidable godmother to make an appearance at one of her famous balls. When he sees a young woman abandoned on the dance floor, honour commands him to save the day. Nothing could have prepared him for meeting the person who is a balm to his soul and gives wings to his heart. But winning Beatrice Thornton will take every ounce of courage he has, and this is a war he will win, no matter the cost.
Beatrice was left alone to take in the whole scene. It was familiar to her, in a way. She had seen illustrations of balloons before, studied them closely from books and newspapers. The flying machine could do what she did, and yet there were reasons for it, purposes, a whole science, explanations of the mechanics.
“It’s magical,” a deep voice intoned at her side. She looked up to find Henry standing next to her as if he had always been there. Beatrice felt the solid ground she stood on almost melt away.
Quarry stone, the involuntary thought flitted through her mind, and she blinked, feeling herself grow heavy and pressed more firmly into the grass. That was strange. It was not as though she had been about to float away at the mere sight of him in the middle of a bustling London crowd. What a silly thing to think. She shook her head and met his eyes.
There was the usual delight she felt each time she saw him that sent her insides spinning, but it was tempered by the knowledge that he had not called. It was the merest chance that brought him here.
“It’s not magic,” she retorted, swallowing deeply. Six days since she’d last seen him. He had no right to look like he hadn’t been wasting away. Drat. “It’s hydrogen. The gas is produced when sulphuric acid is poured over scrap iron. How did you happen across me in this crowd?” she asked, thankful for the cool morning air, which would be a plausible reason for her pink cheeks.
“Magic,” he asserted, offering her an arm, which she took. He did not lead her anywhere but stood, gazing up at the activity on the rise. “Have you been busy these past days?”
Busy? She felt the shame of returning home each afternoon, her eyes hungry for some sign that he had come. “This and that,” she answered, hoping with all her heart that her tone conveyed a calendar too full for waiting and longing.
He looked down at her. “You’ve not been at home,” he stated.
It wasn’t a question. The damp ground at the bottom of the hill began to seep through her slippers, but she would not move for anything. “No. My mother had a sudden enthusiasm to see everything in Town. I am not sure the carriage horses can take much more. You?”
“I passed your door, hoping that—”
“You called?” The surprise of it made her yelp.
“I said I would.”
Beatrice looked up at him. “You left no sign,” she stated while feeling great relief. Forgetting to leave a card—it was endearing, though it had cost her the enjoyment of racing through the maze at Hampton Court, of savouring the ice at Gunter’s.
His head cocked to the side and his brows came down. “But I—” And then his lips shut into a firm line.
Beatrice waited for him to finish and then, finally, when it was clear he would say no more, the wheels in her mind began to turn. She looked up the hill again to where the balloonist had given Penny a small parcel, some silk fabric full of hydrogen. Her sister let it go and, as it drifted up and up, it moved in easy state, tossed lightly by sudden currents of wind. The crowd let out a great cheer, and in that clamour, Beatrice whispered, “You did leave a card, didn’t you?”
Penny waved to her as she dashed down the hill and away toward the carriage.
Beatrice lowered her brows. She might have missed the card in her meticulous search of the entry hall, when she had turned each paper over and over, upending the tray and running her fingers along the back of the table, and then closely questioned the townhouse staff. It would not be so amazing if she lost— “Just the one?”
“One each time I visited.”
“Each? What do you mean? How many times was it?” she asked, her words tripping over themselves.
His look was keen. “Seven,” he answered and then his mouth lifted. “I’m almost out of cards.”
She answered quickly. “But it’s been six days.”
“Exactly six? Has it?” he asked, his eyes narrowing like a cat on the trail of a limping mouse. “How clever you are to know the precise number. I came twice on Wednesday.”
Beatrice put a hand to her pelisse, fastening and unfastening the button. Seven cards. Seven messages scrawled on the back. Seven times he had come. Seven times. She couldn’t let the number go. A girl might have her head turned by a thing like that.
Henry didn’t say another word, and merely waited for her to work it out—though the way his eyes studied her face wasn’t helping her concentration at all. It set her blood to warming and her mind to wondering if the world really would come crashing to an end if she leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed him on those firm lips.
About the Author
Keira Dominguez graduated from BYU with a B.A. in Humanities and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and five children. When she is not busy avoiding volunteerism at her kids’ schools like it is the literal plague, she writes sweet romance novels.
Capital Journal, Fiction Section, Friday, February the First
A rumor currently circulates among the gentry in The Grand City that the white/blond Viscount of F had a visitor one recent morning, or rather, visitors, as the woman who claimed to be his wife brought with her a pair of identical offspring closely resembling the earl himself. Piercing blue eyes and straight white hair adorned both cherubs whose mother was blessed with the dark hair of her pure Spanish ancestors.
Not believing the woman, or his own eyes it seems, The Viscount of F shooed the little family from his noble steps and into the halls of a certain hotel where they have taken up residence until a higher authority might be able to hear their tale.
It was also rumored that the mistress of Viscount of F has moved out of his grasp as she deemed it unwise to associate with a man who possesses untrustworthy…eyes.
Stay tuned to see if the current fiancée of this poor-sighted creature is also saved from his company. –The Scarlet Plumiere
If he unmasks her, she’s as good as dead…
Blood for Ink, Book 1 of the Scarlet Plumiere series
As the mysterious writer who exposes gentlemen’s secrets, it is not the first time The Scarlet Plumiere has been hunted. But this time it’s different. This time, she interferes with one of the Four Kings, and the brotherhood will not rest until they marry her off and place her securely under a man’s thumb. Only they have to catch her first.
The Earl of Northwick is falling for this writer, sight unseen. Will she be pretty? Will she have all her teeth? In his rush to claim her for himself, regardless of who she might ultimately be, he places her in grave danger—her desperate enemies are watching closely for the moment her mask is removed.
This is a five book series that continues with Bones for Bread, Body and Soul, Breathe of Laughter (Nov. 2018) and Beat of my Heart (December 2018).
L.L. Muir lives in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains and writes fiction between bowls of cereal.
Before writing full-time, she owned a flower shop called The Scottish Rose. She’d often answer the phone sounding like Mrs. Doubtfire…until a gentleman customer asked to speak with the Scottish woman who owned the place. A little embarrassing, that.