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A little bit of gossip goes a long way…

Lady Abigail Danvers set the quill down and stared at the letter she had been composing to Samuel Clemens, editor of the Teatime Tattler.

“I don’t know, Prudence.” Abigail gave a heavy sigh and handed over the parchment. “I just don’t think it has enough gossip in it to be worthy of what Clemen’s usually expects from us.”

Prudence took the letter and began to read aloud.

Gentle Readers;
This just in from York… Seen more than once in each other’s company, Viscount C and Lady S may just have a budding romance in the making. Will wedding bells be ringing the York Cathedral? Or maybe one of her stepdaughters will beat her to the altar. Only time will tell and you’ll read the latest news here first in the Teatime Tattler.

An Anonymous Reporter

Prudence tapped her finger to her chin. “It is rather boring, sister. Are you sure you couldn’t find any dirt on the pair?”

Abigail rolled her eyes. “Don’t you think I tried? The Dowager Countess guards her stepdaughters like the fiercest of warriors, along with her own reputation?”

Prudence nodded. “I suppose given she’s trying to get them married off is a good reason to remain so guarded. What of Cranfield? Surely his reputation is slightly tarnished. Didn’t he have a mistress?”

“Old news. He let her go and paid off her accounts months ago before he arrived in York,” Abigail replied taking the letter and folding it. “He’s here to see that his sister finds a match. Since his arrival in York, I haven’t been able to turn anything up on him that might provide any newsworthy gossip.”

A frown marred Prudence’s brow. “Then I guess this will have to do. Send it off to Clemens. Hopefully, he won’t be too disappointed and still publish the piece —”

“—and continue to pay us for whatever tittle tattle we can dig up in the future,” Abigail finished before going to the bell cord to summon a servant to deliver her latest news.

This is an original piece by Belle Sherry Ewing. Richard, Viscount Cranfield and Patience, Lady Seahaven are in her novella, A Countess To Remember in the Belles’ boxset, Desperate Daughters. Continue to read on to learn more along with our ongoing contest!


The unseen woman was still in the carriage, as if she was still preparing to collect whatever had been left behind. A small dainty shoe poked out onto the edge of the step and Richard heard her heavy sigh that she made no attempt to mask.

Richard stepped forward, offering his hand. “May I be of assistance, my lady?”

“You are most kind,” the lady inside said. She put her hand in his and Richard swore he felt a tingling sensation rush up his arm.

“Where are my manners?” Lady Barbara exclaimed. “May I introduce my stepmother, Patience, Lady Seahaven. Patience, this is Lord Cranfield and his sister Lady Josephine.”

Richard was prepared for a matronly woman to reveal herself as she alit from the carriage. But when she lifted her head once upon solid ground to acknowledge their introductions, he was unprepared for the young beauty he faced. Blue-grey eyes that could rival the sky above met his. Wisps of strawberry blonde hair had escaped her bonnet while her porcelain skin was set in a lovely round face. But when her small bow mouth turned up into an enchanting smile, Richard became lost.

“Lord Cranfield,” her voice reached into his soul. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Richard bowed, completely bewildered in the spell she had captured him in with just one glance. At a loss for words, he could only stare at the woman before him, even while he continued to hold her hand in his. What had she done to him?

Desperate Daughters: A Bluestocking Belles and Friends Collection
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Preorder for only $0.99

Here’s the blurb for Sherry Ewing’s contribution to the set, A Countess To Remember:

Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it…

Patience, Dowager Countess of Seahaven cares for a bevy of stepdaughters and a Season for each to find husbands seems out of reach. With her own young daughter to care for, there’s been no chance for romance for herself. She’s been so busy worrying about putting food on the table, that finding love is the last of her concerns.

Richard, Viscount Cranfield is in York to see to his sister’s Season. He has no desire to find a wife despite his parents prodding him to do so. A chance encounter with a countess leaves him wondering what spell she has cast around him.

Will Patience and Richard find enough time to allow love to fill their hearts?

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About 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. You can learn more about Sherry and her books on her website where a new adventure awaits you on every page at

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On the Shelf or On the Stage?

Music room at Chateau de Cheverny. Photo by Cerise Deland.

Dear readers, such excitement at York! Here, as you know, the daughters of the late Earl of Seahaven are taking the Season by storm. They are of course very properly chaperoned by the Dowager Countess, who just happens to be delightfully young and beautiful – younger, even than at least two of her stepdaughters!

And it is to one of those elder stepdaughters we turn our attention today. Lady Barbara, the late earl’s second comely if no longer youthful daughter, has let it be known she attends the events of the Season only as an additional chaperone for her lovely and lively younger sisters. She never dances and she is certainly of an age – all of seven-and-twenty, we hear – to be considered mostly On the Shelf. One would never dream of scandal coming from this quarter…

However, this very daughter, Lady Barbara Bigglesworth, has been seen by this reporter, promenading alone with respected composer and musician, Mr. John Sutton. Rumor says that Lady Barbara is also of a musical turn of mind and is, in fact, most accomplished on the pianoforte. Indeed, a little bird has whispered to me that she has been teaching proficiency on the instrument to her social inferiors – which might be judged by the high sticklers among you to be a scandal in itself.

Considering all of this, and the apparent intensity of the lady’s talk with Mr. Sutton, is it possible that instead of marriage, the stage is Lady Barbara’s goal? In concert, we might say, with Mr. Sutton?

The late earl would turn in his grave at such outrageous behaviour in his family, though one might argue in that case that he should have left his daughters better provided for. But whether Shelf or Stage is to be Lady Barbara’s final destination, we must wish her well – and we shall, of course, be watching closely.

Desperate Daughters, Box Set

Desperate DaughtersThe Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.

They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?


About the author, Mary Lancaster

Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog.

Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler.

Her most recent books are light fun Regency romances written for Dragonblade Publishing: The Imperial Season series set at the Congress of Vienna; and the popular Blackhaven Brides series, which is set in a fashionable English spa town frequented by the great and the bad of Regency society.


Could this be a Picture Perfect Match?

A Picture Perfect Match

Dear Readers,

Another letter has arrived from a lady whose correspondence appeared on these pages some weeks ago, and she has more news that I know you will find interesting. Without further ado…

Desperate Daughters

Dear Mr. Clemmons

I was ever so thrilled at the successful forwarding of the Teatime Tattler to my temporary abode in York. I daresay that a more convivial social circle could not be found anywhere, not even in London. Alas, I will be returning soon to the country, for the Season has come to an end—a most spectacular end filled with marital triumphs, one of which occurred right under my own roof!

Did I not tell you that Major A.K., a great hero of the recent wars, is residing in my widowed daughter-in-law’s home in York as my grandson’s guest? And did I not proclaim that he (the Major, not my grandson) and she (my daughter-in-law) are of an age to be quite suitable?

Oh, what marvelous news! The announcement will soon appear in the London papers. But you, Mr. Clemmons, and your readers will know first: Major A.K. and Lady H.T. are engaged to be married!

Do ensure that my next copy of the Teatime Tattler reaches me at the new direction I’m enclosing herewith.

I am as ever, your faithful reader,

Lady G.T.

Lady Twisden’s Picture Perfect Match, in Desperate Daughters, A Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends


After years of tolerating her late husband’s rowdy friends, Honoria, Lady Twisden, has escaped to York where she can paint, investigate antiquities, and enjoy freedom. Then her stepson appears with a long-lost relation in tow, the perfect image of a long-ago relation whose fierce portrait made her shiver with mad imaginings.

Promised York’s marriage mart and the hospitality of his cousin’s doddering stepmother, Major August Kellborn is shocked to find that his fetching hostess is the one woman who stirs his heart. To win her heart, however, he must convince her he’s not just a perfect image, but her perfect match.


Major August Kellborn, late of his Majesty’s army, beat back an impulse to seize young Sir Westcott Twisden by the neckcloth and shake him.

He’d had long experience beating back that sort of urge with the young nodcocks he’d shaped into officers. He could do so now as well.

Gus paced to the window and looked out a sparkling clean pane onto the narrow street. Their traveling chaise wasn’t visible, but Sir Sancho stood unaccompanied, busily watering a lamppost.

Gus had been in his cups the day he’d met Twisden at a horse market in Brampton, else he wouldn’t have allowed the young pup the informality of his first name, respectable though Wes was. The malaise of his first long winter’s sojourn at Whitlaw Grange, his new estate near what was once the Debatable Land, had made him more sociable than was his wont.

Still, he’d found the friendly lad more sensible than most his age, and the family connection had intrigued him. His late mother had written frequently about the Twisdens, the jovial late baronet and his amiable wife. He knew of their mutual ancestor, Sir Ebenezer Twisden as well, and so, he’d jumped at the chance to visit Twisden Hall. His very resemblance to the old warrior was astonishing, and Gus had been impressed with the well-run estate. Much of it the late baronet’s sensible widow’s doing, Gus’s valet had learned.

And so, when Wes proposed visiting his stepmother and attending the York races and then sweetened the deal with the notion of a marriage mart—it had been a very long, lonely winter—Gus agreed to this sojourn in York.

He turned back to his young erstwhile host. “Practically doddering, you said.”

Wes looked up from pouring spirits from a flask into a tumbler. “What?” His blue-eyed innocence was genuine. Wes saw his stepmother as an ancient, when she could scarcely be much beyond thirty. He ought to have paid more attention to his mother’s descriptions of the Twisdens.

“I cannot stay under your stepmother’s roof, Wes.”

“Whyever not?”

“She is not by any means doddering. She’s a widow, and one young enough that even with you here some of the time…” Wes had planned to depart for several days to visit his Grandmother in Harrogate. “The presence of a single man in her household might stir gossip.”

“She’s three and thirty and is known to be very proper. Plus…” He glanced back at the closed door and lowered his voice. “Though she’s clever and good, she’s plain.”

Gus gazed back at the now empty street. Perhaps plain was the right word to describe each of Lady Twisden’s entirely unremarkable features. But taken as a whole, he would call her appearance amiable, moving, and in fact… pretty. The spark in her eyes when she spotted him, the color rising in her cheeks, those had stirred him as well.

Desperate Daughters:   A Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection

Love Against the Odds

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.

They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and al fresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the season to a close?

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Alina K. FieldAuthor bio:

USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a gold-eyed terrier and only occasionally misses snow.


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Whispers from the Countess of H. regarding Those Scamps, the Devereaux triplets!

A Gentleman in Search of Revenge

August 7, 1815
Brighton, England

Today is a sad day, I tell you, when three young ladies from Ireland are brought to our distinguished shores to celebrate among the ton the end of Bony’s horrid regime.

Why, you may ask?

Oh, truly, these triplets appear to possess the best credentials. They are ladies by birth, the granddaughters of an earl, recently deceased. They are ladies by training, although one does wonder what caliber of education one can acheive in Dublin! They are ladies by inclination, even if it whispered that they have no dowry of any worth. And that, my dear friends, we may lay at the doorstep of their rapscallion grandfather who had quite a few marks against his character.

But then verily, I say that these three young ladies—dare I call them that—are known in Dublin and Waterford as…yes…scamps! Now I am astonished that they are brought here by that light of London society, Lady William Downs.

That formidable scion of our social order, it turns out, is cousin to the three girls’ dear departed mother. Having been favored by that lady when she was young, the lady who is their chaperone and mentor is eager to introduce these three young ladies to our English shores and our estimable English gentlemen.

Of course, these triplets are so unique that to look at them is to gasp in astonishment at their beauty. They are elegant of face and form, beautifully attired in the latest fashion, courtesy of their cousin.

A lady who wants to reform!

But what of their character?

Ahh. It has been whispered (not by me, of course) that one is rather…ahem…light-fingered. She has been known to acquire a few things that are not her own.

The oldest is light-fingered in another way and we shudder to think in what way. The third and the youngest, Adelaide, has no marks against her character. Lovely beyond belief. She certainly is a Diamond. But is she also a bit of an airhead?

I shudder to think at what will occur when these three ladies debut this evening at the latest ball of the season.

Countess of H.



The lady wants to be good.
Lady Imogen has reformed! She’s witty, from an old Irish family, in pursuit of a fine man to marry—and she swears she’ll never indulge in her little…um…peccadilloes again!

She’s arrived in Brighton with her two sisters and her cousin for the Season—and she’ll ignore anyone who gossips about Grandpapa’s notorious odd talents—or her own tiny scandal. After all, a lady can change.

The gentleman wants revenge.
Returning home after the wars, Lex Rowlandson, the Earl of Martindale, vows to find the cur who sold him and his father into the hell of Napoleon’s dungeons.

With a few clues to the identity of the creature who stole years from his life and caused the death of his father, Lex seeks out suspects at a Brighton ball. But he’s captured by the effervescent woman whose smiles light the dark corners of his heart.

He should not be distracted from his cause. Yet he cannot resist the lure of Imogen’s charm. When he witnesses her plight at the hands of one fellow who threatens her reputation, Lex saves it—and marries her.

Falling in love with her husband, Imogen sees that the best way to thank him for saving her is to commit the very crime she vowed never to repeat.

But can a man whose life was stolen from him love a wife whose skill is taking from others what is not hers?


Cerise DeLand embarks on her next romcom adventure with these three Irish ladies in this new series! She hopes you forgive their peccadilloes…and love how they reform and how they catch their man. Or, in these books, most often how the dashing men catch them! Cerise is really Jo-Ann Power who has been published since…well, forever! She is currently counting the number of novels she’s published because she has not kept track! Enjoy a laugh with Cerise DeLand’s newest releases, NAUGHTY LADIES from Dragonblade Publishing!

Shhh. The Trouble with Governesses!

Art Institute of Chicago.

English Drawing Room of the Georgian Period, 1800. Art Institute of Chicago.

London, 1815

One would think that finding and keeping a governess would not be a difficult thing, but apparently it is for Lord Preston Ambrose, Viscount Melcombe. He has had three in less than a year but is hopeful that the fourth will prove to be suitable for his household and settle in nicely to guide his nieces for the next few years.

The trouble with governesses started last spring when Lord Melcombe became the guardian of his five nieces, ages five to fourteen. They’d had a governess at the time, but she was sacked and we’ve yet to discover why.

Once the former governess had departed, Melcombe made no effort in finding a replacement, though he knew that he should. Then, one bright winter day, Miss Althea Claywell stepped off the mail coach. Melcombe was also aware that she was running and offered her the position within his household, which she gladly accepted.

All worked out well, until the two fell in love and married. Thus, Melcombe was in need of a governess again. This time he placed an advertisement, and was hopeful when the perfect candidate replied, a Miss Katrina Carrick. In fact, he and Lady Melcombe were quite pleased with the interview, and Miss Carrick was hired. But, before she could begin her duties, love arrived to claim her.

Lord Melcombe has now contacted an employment agency and is hopeful that the woman scheduled to arrive for an interview will be the fourth and final governess to be employed for some time. However, if that does not turn out to be the case, I might suggest that any miss wishing to wed become a governess in Viscount Melcombe’s home. No doubt, you will barely be unpacked before the love you have been waiting for finds you.  




Regina started at the pounding on her door and stepped away.

“Regina, open this door.”

All hope of Alec thinking she was someone else fled. Or, had Lord and Lady Melcombe broken their promise and confirmed her identity?

“Open the door, Regina,” he called again.

If she remained silent, perhaps he would think she was somewhere else and go away.

“The girls told me you are in here,” he said.

She still didn’t move or answer him. It wasn’t as if he could do anything if she refused to unlock her door.

There was a sudden thud against her door and then it splintered, flying open. Regina quickly turned her back on him.

“I know it is you, Regina,” he said. “I simply wish to know why you have let me believe you were dead for a year.”

She bit her lip, not certain what to say.

“Please,” he begged in a softer tone. “Why won’t you look at me?

Tears sprang to her eyes. He couldn’t see her.

“Why?” he asked.

“It is for the best,” she finally answered.

“Best!” he yelled. “I loved you. Was in love with you. Do you know I wanted to die when I learned what happened?”

“I am sorry,” she whispered. What more could she say?

“Sorry?” he asked. “That is all you have to say! I thought you loved me as much as I loved you.”

Oh, she did. She still did. Even though Regina Rutledge died, her love for Alec had not. But she needed him to go away. “What we had is over. Please go.”

“That’s it? You are rejecting me without an explanation? One day you’re across my lap you cry out my name, and now you want nothing to do with me.”

“Please lower your voice. The girls will hear you.” She didn’t care what he thought of her, but her charges did not need to hear such talk.

“I now understand how misses and ladies feel after they have been ruined and discarded.”

Pain and anger merged within his tone, but Regina held her tongue. It was best for both of them if he hated her.

“At least face me while rejecting me after everything we shared.”

“I cannot. It’s best that you go.”

“Cannot, or will not?”


“If you want me to go, then you need to turn around and tell me. Swear that what we shared meant nothing to you.”

Regina had been dreading this moment, and hoped the day would never come, but Alec was going to be stubborn.

She took a deep breath and slowly turned around.


Jane Charles, AuthorUSA Today bestselling author Jane Charles is a prolific writer of over fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. Her love of research lends authenticity to her Regency romances, and her experience directing theatre productions helps her craft beautiful, touching stories that tug at the heartstrings. Jane is an upbeat and positive author dedicated to giving her characters happy-ever-afters and leaving the readers satisfied at the end of an emotional journey. Lifelong Cubs fan, world traveler and mother of three amazing children, Jane lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two dogs and a cat. She is currently writing her next book and planning her dream trip to England. Be sure to join Jane on Facebook @JaneCharlesAuthor for Wine Pairings Wednesdays.






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