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Keeping Secrets

Julius Caesar Ibbotson, Skating on the Serpentine, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1796, watercolour, pen and grey ink (Eton College Collections)

Lady Prudence Danvers watched her sister Abigail from across the frozen Serpentine. Pouting, she skated her way over to a bench and plopped herself down. Tears blurred her vision. It was so unfair, she fumed. Why did Abigail constantly get the attention of all the eligible men?

She continued watching her sister and her companion skating side by side. Lieutenant Abernathy had all the qualifications of what made for a proper match. Handsome, well-mannered, and obviously he had enough money to attend all of Society’s most popular events despite his military career.

She followed him as he skated ahead of Abigail who began a conversation with some friends. Her laughter echoed on the wind causing Prudence’s mood to sour. The Lieutenant continued on without Abigail until he came close enough to Lady Constance Whittles to make her teeter on the edges of her skates. Lord Osgood took the lady’s arm to steady her even as the Lieutenant gave her a wicked grin and a tip of his cap. What appeared even more interesting was Lady Constance’s reaction as the lieutenant skated away.

Abigail was too occupied to notice the slight diversion of the Lieutenant’s affection but beamed at him when he rejoined her. The silly fool, Prudence mused even as her eyes narrowed with a devious thought. She began taking off her skates.

This tiny bit of tittle tattle was just the thing Mr. Clemens liked to receive for his Teatime Tattler. Prudence would receive a nice stipend for the information of this possible love triangle and this time she would not have to share the coins with Abigail. Giving no further thought of the disservice she might be doing to her sister, Prudence left the ice and made her way home to pen her missive to the editor.


This is an original piece with minor characters is Belle Sherry Ewing’s A Second Chance At Love that will release in the Belles’ box set, Fire & Frost on February 4th. Read on for the first encounter of Lord Osgood and Lady Constance:

Excerpt:

A rush of air left his lips as though he had been holding his breath while awaiting her answer. He stepped up to the desk and reached for her hand, kissing the air between his lips and her knuckles as any proper gentleman would. “You are very gracious, Constance. I must admit I was afraid you would hate me, considering how I left things between us.”

She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “I could never hate you, Digby.” A blush rushed to her cheeks at the tone of her voice. They had been on a first name basis two years ago and somehow it seemed right to call him by his given name. My word, she had missed this man.

“Then perhaps you would allow me to escort you to a meeting at the Duchess of Haverford’s residence next week on the third. I understand she is in the process of forming several committees to organize an event for The Ladies’ Society for the Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veterans.”

Constance laughed. “You must be joking? Why, you will never get all that on any kind of a banner.”

Digby joined her and laughed. “I would never make up such a tall tale, my lady.”

“No one in their right mind would, although it does sound like a worthy cause.”

“I could not agree more, which is why I have offered my services to the gentleman’s auxiliary, whose responsibilities will include making sure you ladies are able to do your work in this dreadful weather. I knew this was just the sort of event that would be of interest to you.”

“You know me so well. I would be happy to accompany you, Digby.”

“Wonderful,” he replied with a smile. “If your aunt could join us and act as chaperone, then I could pick you both up around noon, if that is acceptable.”

“I will eagerly await next week, my lord.”

Digby took her hand again and bowed over it. “As will I, my lady.”

His gloved hand felt warm in hers. When Digby’s thumb gently caressed the back in a small circular motion, Constance’s heart leapt at the possibility that all was not lost. Her eyes went to his in a long lingering glance as pleasure swept across her entire being. She smiled, and he returned it with a smile of his own. Constance could not remember when she had ever been this happy… until the spell was interrupted. They quickly broke apart.

“I say, Lady Constance, is this gentleman bothering you?” Lieutenant Abernathy bellowed as he left the tearoom and rushed to her side. The few patrons who escaped the fog outside looked up from their books at the disturbance he was causing.

“Not at all and please lower your voice,” Constance advised sternly before remembering her manners. “My apologies. Lieutenant Abernathy may I present Lord Osgood, who is an old friend.”

The two men shook hands but, from the looks they exchanged, neither cared for the other.


A Second Chance At Love in
Fire & Frost: A Bluestocking Belles Collection
Pre-order now for only $0.99!

Can the bittersweet frost of lost love be rekindled into a burning flame?

Viscount Digby Osgood returns to London after a two-year absence, planning to avoid the woman he courted and then left. Surely she has moved on with her life; even married by now. A bit of encouragement from a friend, however, pushes him to seek the lady out. Can she ever forgiven him and give them a second chance at love?

Lady Constance Whittles has only cared for one man in her life. Even after he broke her heart, it remains fixed on him. Another man tries to replace him, but she soon learns she can never feel for him a shadow of what she still feels for Digby. One brief encounter with Digby confirms it; she is more than willing to forgive him. Can they truly take up where they left off?

Charity projects and a Frost Fair on the Thames bring them together, but another stands in their way. Will he tear them apart?

Buy Links for Fire & Frost:
Amazon US  |  Apple Books  | Barnes & Noble | Kobo  | Smashwords

Amazon Global: AU BR CA DE ES FR IN ITJPMX NL UK


About Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing 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.

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The Sad Fate of Chunee

Editorial comment from S. Clemens

No one in London can be unfamiliar with the circumstances of the death of one of our most beloved and renowned citizens, the elephant Chunee, who Wednesday last met his fatal end at the Exeter Change in such a barbarous manner that many were moved to write letters on his behalf. The Tattler has learned the identity of one lady of quality, whose letter we reprint here. While we must applaud the lady’s sentiments on behalf of this noble creature, we must also wonder if so outspoken a young woman as Lady Emily Radstock will ever find a husband among the gentry and nobility of England. Rumor has it that she is one of the financial backers of Sir Arthur Broome’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Sir Arthur currently resides in Marshalsea Prison for debt.

Chunee

Sir:

The facts in the death of Chunee are so well known as to need no recounting. Thousands in London have seen the prints of his cruel slaughter. His agony at the hands of those on whom he long depended for his sustenance and whose pockets were lined with the proceeds of exhibiting him to the public is indefensible.

His handlers’ inability to consider his needs and to foresee a time when distress of body and spirit would render him a danger to himself and others and to plan accordingly for his care and ultimately for his end brings into question the fitness of human persons for keeping any wild animals in captivity, confined against their nature in cages, to be stared at by the masses with no freedom to act in accord with the promptings of their natures.

It is time to close the Exeter Change and all similar institutions whose indifference to the well-being of their charges is a stain on the honor of our city.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

E. Radstock

About the Book: The Spy’s Guide to Seduction

Weeks from her twenty-ninth birthday, Lady Emily Radstock receives from her mother a little blue book, The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London. Outraged at her mother’s attempt to push her out of the nest, Emily declares she’ll marry the first imbecile she meets. Overhearing the beautiful heiress, Baronet Sir Ajax Lynley, newest gentleman spy in the Pantheon Club, takes her at her word. From the moment their engagement begins, Emily finds herself intrigued by her fiancé, a man who encourages her daring and who offers a most seductive partnership in spy-catching. When mounting danger and an uncanny echo of his painful past lead Lynley to abandon the partnership, Emily has to put aside the hurt and humiliation of a missing fiancé to save her partner in spying and seduction. A 2019 Library Journal Top Pick in Romance.

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

About the Author

Kate Moore taught English lit to generations of high school students, who are now her Facebook friends, while she not-so-secretly penned Romances. In Kate’s stories an undeniable mutual attraction brings honorable, edgy loners and warm, practical women into a circle of love in Regency England or contemporary California. A Golden Heart, Golden Crown, and Book Buyers Best award winner and three-time RITA finalist, Kate lives north of San Francisco with her surfer husband, their yellow Lab, toys for visiting grandkids, and miles of crowded bookshelves.

Kate@KateMooreAuthor.com

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Abigail sets her cap!

Lady Prudence Danver carefully watched her sister as she eyed the Lieutenant take a seat at a vacant table inside the Oxford Street Book Palace and Tearooms.

“If you continue stirring your tea as you are, Abigail, it will grow cold before you even take a sip,” Prudence said.

Abigail sighed. “Is he not handsome? What do you suppose he sees in her?”

“Lady Constance?”

“Of course, Lady Constance! Whom else would I be referring to?” Abigail hissed setting down her spoon.

“It hardly matters if the Lieutenant cares for her or not.”

“It does if I would like to be introduced to him,” Abigail huffed. She stole another glance at the man across the room.

Prudence watched her sister give the stranger a smile. His brief nod could only mean nothing good could come from their possible meeting. “Father would hardly allow you to become involved with an officer,” Prudence declared before reaching over to pat her sister’s hand. “He expects us to marry titled gentlemen, or have you forgotten?”

“As if he or Mother would ever let us forget.” Abigail took a sip of her tea. “Did not Lady Constance set her cap on another peer a couple of years ago?”

Prudence heaved a sigh. “Leave it be, Abigail. No good can come of you meddling in Lady Constance’s life nor Lord Osgood’s and you certainly will not be setting your cap on a man you do not know!”

“That is who it was!” Her eyes sparkled in delight. “Surely a Viscount would be more to Lady Constance’s liking.”

Prudence stood and put on her pelisse. “We are done here and leaving, Abigail, before you make a scene and we end up in the Teatime Tattler. Honestly, I would rather be sending tidbits of gossip to Mr. Clemens than be in his column. Now let’s go!”

As Prudence ushered her sister from the tearoom, she saw Lady Constance pushing a cart full of books around the corner of a shelf. Abigail quickly turned as though to return to the lieutenant but Prudence took her arm and pulled her from the shop. The fog quickly enveloped them and Prudence was thankful for the inclement weather. She would need to get her sister home before Abigail made a fool of herself.

The Danver sister’s make a brief appearance in A Second Chance At Love by Sherry Ewing that is one of the novellas in the Bluestocking Belles’ box set Fire & Frost. It will release February 4, 2020 and is available for preorder for $0.99.

Viscount Digby Osgood returns to London after a two-year absence, planning to avoid the woman he courted and then left. Surely she has moved on with her life; even married by now. A bit of encouragement from a friend, however, pushes him to seek the lady out. Can she ever forgiven him and give them a second chance at love?

Lady Constance Whittles has only cared for one man in her life. Even after he broke her heart, it remains fixed on him. Another man tries to replace him, but she soon learns she can never feel for him a shadow of what she still feels for Digby. One brief encounter with Digby confirms it; she is more than willing to forgive him. Can they truly take up where they left off?

Charity projects and a Frost Fair on the Thames bring them together, but another stands in their way. Will he tear them apart?

Fire & Frost: A Bluestocking Belles Collection
Release Date: February 4, 2020

Pre-order for $0.99

Join the The Ladies’ Society For The Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veteransin their pursuit of justice, charity, and soul searing romance.

The Napoleonic Wars have left England with wounded warriors, fatherless children, unemployed veterans, and hungry families. The ladies of London, led by the indomitable Duchess of Haverford plot a campaign to feed the hungry, care for the fallen—and bring the neglectful Parliament to heel. They will use any means at their disposal to convince the gentlemen of their choice to assist.

Their campaign involves strategy, persuasion, and a wee bit of fun. Pamphlets are all well and good, but auctioning a lady’s company along with her basket of delicious treats is bound to get more attention. Their efforts fall amid weeks of fog and weather so cold the Thames freezes over and a festive Frost Fair breaks out right on the river. The ladies take to the ice. What could be better for their purposes than a little Fire and Frost? 

Buy links:
Smashwords 
Amazon US

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:

Website & Books 
Amazon 
Bookbub 
Facebook
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Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter

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A truly scandalous liaison discovered!

A delicious bit of news recently came across this editor’s desk from a most reliable source. Knowing our readers at the Teatime Tattler, I had to rush to get this out for the morning edition that involved the upper ton!

I have it on the highest authority that a certain young Lady C, who recently made her debut just this season, was caught in a compromising situation at a house party with none other than Lord d C. Not only did half the ton witness their indiscretion as they frolicked at the entrance to a maze, but Lady C’s father, the Duke of A, watched in horror as his youngest daughter was all but ruined right before his eyes.

Lady C can say goodbye to her hopes of one day becoming a duchess. After this fiasco, she’ll have to settle on being a Countess instead.

scottish

Excerpt:

“I suspect, before long, we shall all be family, if Grace and your uncle have anything to say on the matter.” Adrian assumed there would be a wedding celebration in the near future.

“Do you think so?” she whispered, her eyes bright with excitement. “We would see each other often if they were to marry.”

Adrian cleared his throat, stepping several paces backwards to distance himself. She, in turn, advanced. “Yes, well… I suppose such may be the case. Time will tell.”

“Time… yes… time is all we need. Will you wait for me Lord de Courtenay… Adrian?”

“W-wait for you?” he stammered. “Where the devil is your chaperon?” Good Lord, what had he gotten himself into? This situation had gotten out of hand faster than he ever expected. He went around her to open the door, but the key was missing. Turning back, she waved what he needed.

“Looking for this?” she laughed.

The little scamp! “Lady Celia,” Adrian began, holding his palm upward. “The key, if you please.”

She laughed. “Oh, very well,” she replied, handing the shiny brass object over; it was still warm from her touch. “You do not have to be so formal. As you said, we might be related one day.”

Adrian turned the key in the lock and opened the door. “All the more reason to adhere to the rules of Society. You are the daughter of a duke and should not be alone with a single male, especially me.”

A giggle of girlish delight burst from her lips. “I am certain I am perfectly safe in your company, Adrian,” she said, dropping all formality between them.


The Earl Takes A Wife:
A de Courtenay Novella

Release date October 29, 2019
Pre-order for $0.99

It began with a memory etched in the heart.

Lady Celia Lacey is too young for a husband, especially man-about-town Lord Adrian de Courtenay. But when she meets him at a house party, she falls in love and cannot get him out of her mind. Will he ever think she is old enough to become his wife?

Adrian finds appealing innocent Lady Celia Lacey impossible to forget, though she is barely out of the schoolroom and a relative by marriage. If they are constantly in each other’s company, then how can he move on without her?

His sister’s deceptions bring them together but destroys their happiness. Can they reach past the hurt to the love that still burns?

The Earl Takes A Wife first appeared in the Bluestocking Belles’ box set, Valentines From Bath. It’s now available for individual sale.

Buy Links:

Amazon US |  Apple Books | Barnes & Noble| Kobo

Amazon AU | Amazon BR | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon ES | Amazon FR | Amazon IN | Amazon IT | Amazon JP | Amazon MX | Amazon NL | Amazon UK

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:

Website & Books 
Amazon 
Bookbub 
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter

Sign Me Up!
Newsletter
Facebook Street Team
Facebook Official Fan Page

A Report of a Haunting in Yorkshire

Dear Readers,

I’ve been given permission to share a most interesting letter received by a dear friend from a lady in York regarding a topic most appropriate as we approach the Eve of All Hallows. Without further ado, I include the letter in its entirety.

Haunting

My dear Lady S,

We’ve excitement in these parts–an actual haunting! My dear husband is beside himself, wishing to cast off his responsibilities and rush to the coast because of news received from the esteemed Reverend N. F.—pardon me, he is now Sir N. F.! Do you remember the dear man? He is at present compiling an encyclopedia of northern folklore. You were visiting us when he came through York with his daughter, Miss M.F., on his way to the manor he inherited.

Oh, but now I recall, you were unable to join us for dinner that night, and you would so have enjoyed such amiable guests. Miss F. is rather a great galloping spinster, hopelessly on the shelf, and shamelessly skeptical of her father’s inquiries, but entirely delightful. Sir N. is blessed to have her to care for him in his old age, and she’ll inherit the manor, as there isn’t an entail. The possibility of wealth (if the enterprise can be made profitable as he hopes) might increase the poor dear’s chance at marriage (though whether any worthy man can be found in that part of the county is questionable).

But I digress from the most exciting news. My husband has always believed that the Manor’s legendary ghostly guest is a Popish priest enclosed within the walls. However, Sir N has written that the general speculation of the villagers is that the culprit is the late Squire, who was a scandalous fiend. Sir N. inquired whether we might assist with finding servants willing to relocate to the wilds of Yorkshire, and unafraid of the resident ghost.

Haunting

For indeed, there does appear to be a ghost! The priest it might be, but more than likely the villagers have the right of it—oh, you have heard the story, have you not? The last Baron, Sir N’s distant cousin, died there terribly. Of course, there’s also a very old rumor about bigamy and a stolen inheritance—a generational curse, as it were, but I cannot quite remember the details of that story.

I can only imagine that Miss F is beside herself, what with needing reliable staff. A more practical and grounded woman…a confirmed spinster, you know…could not be found. She must be such a great help to her father as he tromps about chasing goblins for his book. And yet, even while researching the supernatural, one needs the comforts of a good cook and a few maids.

I shall write more as I Iearn of it. My love to the children.

Does that not whet your appetite to learn more, dear readers? Read on!

About the Book

Haunting Miss Fenwick

Thrilled to finally have a permanent home, a Squire’s daughter won’t let a supernatural creature scare her away. While hunting the ghost she doesn’t believe in, she stumbles upon a mysterious flesh and blood man who might be the key to all of her problems.

When the new Squire moves into Fenwick Manor, an ex-army officer secretly searching the sprawling medieval wreck devises a plan. First, the manor’s legendary ghost will chase servants away. Then, he’ll convince the new residents to leave.

But the Squire’s spirited daughter soon has him wondering if he might have found a perfect comrade in arms to help battle old enemies and find the proof that will clear his family name.

Buy Links:

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Nook

Apple Books

About the Author

Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she prefers the much happier world of romance. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!

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