It has come to this writers attention that a young lady from our very own town is getting married to the grandson of the Duke of Dunsbury. Savannah is in an uproar. It has been well known that Miss Tara Wellesley was a Union Sympathizer during the War Between the States. Some speculate that she was a Union Spy but no evidence was found to prove said scandalous behavior. Sebastian Stafford, the man she is engaged to wed, is said to have been part of a secret society called the Rakes and the Crown. No evidence has been found to ascertain the validity of this either, since records don’t exist on the group, itself. Readers, you can’t get this anywhere else!
Strange events have been happening at night here in Savannah. Sounds of musket shots, canon fire, and sword clashing could be heard from near the river. Some have noticed British flags flying from the redoubts, men dressed in Colonial garb, and some even in the bright red coats of the English Army. This humble writer, would love to know more about these somewhat bizarre events and would like to see them for himself. Maybe even write a future article about it.
In other news, the Wellesley twins are back from their adventures in the North. There is gossip saying that one of them has a secret child housed at the Whispering Oaks plantation. Oh la la, readers! The other twin is said to have fallen for an English girl whom no one has heard of before. How scandalous! The women of Savannah will surely mourn the presence of such handsome gentlemen.
Readers, this author will have more gossip for you in my next article. Until then, check out “A Sea Between Them” by Jessica A Clements and follow this link to find out more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082S2KVJH.
About the Book
Tara Wellesley, a Southern belle, knew her world was going to change. The only one in her family with the second sight, she could see what would happen to those around her. What she didn’t see, however, was the English Rake that befriended her twin cousins—dragging them into a deadly battle with a rival spy ring. Sebastian Stafford, the grandson of the Duke of Dunsbury, came to the United States to resurrect the Rakes of the Crown, a spy syndicate that once supplied information for the English Crown. Now, far from England, Sebastian takes solace in Tara’s love and renames his group The Rakes of Liberty. The Rakes have one mission—to keep the Union together no matter the price. That means engaging in their own battle with the Order. But, fate has other plans. When the Order launches an attack against Sebastian’s family, he races back to England to save what is left of them. With a sea between Tara and Sebastian, will the Order get the upper hand or will love be enough to conquer an old foe?
I write with a warning for all who may consider a journey to the West Indies. The British Government wishes us to believe that Pirates no longer rule the waters of the Carribbean. That the so called ‘golden age of piracy’ ended with the captures and deaths of Edward Teach–commonly known as Blackbeard and Bartholomew Roberts. However, this is far from the case.
I know from my own experience that Piracy is alive and thriving in the Carribean and the coastal waters of the former Colonies. Our government calls it ‘privateering,’ and claims that such persons as Mr. LaFitte of New Orleans and the infamous Irish Red–supposedly of Jamaica have letters of marque placing them under the protection of legitimate governments and preventing our Navy from summarily executing them when captured.
This is a deception most foul and it must stop. I recently embarked on the merchant ship Tally Ho, returning to England from a visit to my sister who lives in St. Martin. We were three days out of port when sails were sighted on the horizon. Soon enough, it became obvious that the approaching ship was The Dragon’s Rest, flag ship, if you will, in the flotilla led by the pirate–I refuse to dignify this rapscallion with the title privateer, Irish Red.
The Tally Ho was out gunned and its Captain, poor man, unable to outrun or out manuever The Dragon’s Rest. We were boarded and subjected to a most humiliating search. All valuables were seized and our lives threatened, lest we refuse to give over all money, jewels and important papers. Thought what a pirate wants with bonds, certificates and government documents is beyond me.
As a last humiliation we were all assembled on the main deck and forced to kneel, heads bowed for that scum of the oceans Irish Red to inspect each of us personally. I thank heaven he chose to pass me by, though the woman next to me had her chin lifted and was forced to look the heathen in the face.
We were told that because of our cooperation our lives would be spared and the Tally Ho would not be confiscated. The pirate crew returned to their ship and departed. Thankfully no passenger was seriously hurt, although several of our valiant crew suffered wounds in attempting to prevent the pirates from boarding.
Frankly I was astonished that we escaped so easily. However, I was even more astonished to learn from the woman who was forced to face Captain Irish Red that the man is no man at all. It is an insult to the British Navy that it has allowed this renegade female to rule the Carribean for so many years. I call upon our government to do its utmost to capture this woman, and I most emphatically warn all my fellow citizens not to sail in Carribbean waters without well armed naval escort. Heed this warning or you will certainly lose your fortunes and may well lose your lives.
She who shall never again leave England.
A word about this post. This week I will begin my next story, which centers around the character known as the pirate Irish Red. The article above lays some of the preliminary ground work for Irish Red’s book. You can expect to see more about her and her adventures in the next few months. Thank you all for reading and sharing.
About Rue Allyn: Award winning author, Rue Allyn, learned story telling at her grandfather’s knee. (Well it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) She’s been weaving her own tales ever since. She has worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of employment. She has lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that her two sons have left the nest, Rue and her husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south.
When not writing, enjoying the nearby beach or working jigsaw puzzles, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at <a href=”mailto:contact@RueAllyn.com” title=”Contact Rue Allyn” target=”_blank”>contact@RueAllyn.com</a>. She can’t wait to hear from you.
In truth, I find most teas to be dreadfully dull. There are only so many biscuits one can consume while listening to the other ladies gasp and giggle over the same weary gossip as was discussed at tea the day before. But propriety–and appearances–dictate I attend, just the same.
No one knows the inner goings on of a household better than the maids or housekeeper or the occasional footman, and it is not unusual to overhear them talking about their mistresses and masters or the rest of the peerage when they think we are sufficiently occupied.
Yes, dear reader. I admit I attend teas more so I can stand in darkened corridors, behind heavy doors, or in out of the way corners, and simply listen to the staff! I realize it is scandalous. And you now realize I may know your secrets, as well. But it has been this guilty pleasure that allows me to bring you two tidbits of gossip you have not heard elsewhere.
First, I only just learned the Marquess of Castlereagh has returned to London after a year’s absence. Much to the chagrin of the young ladies of the ton, as he is not only one of the most handsome of the eligible peers, but one of the wealthiest, he left London unexplainably at the beginning of last Season, immediately following the fire at the Darkshire ball.
If you will remember, that fire claimed the lives of several in society, including the aged Viscount Manderly and the young Lady Katherine, daughter of the Marchioness of Windham, whom we have not seen since the fire. The event put a damper on the Season, to be certain, but it doesn’t explain the marquess’s unseasonal absence.
Near the end of the Season last year, I heard the marquess had taken up with an Irish woman while in Ireland–a commoner, no less. That could certainly explain his extended absence.
Then, this week during my wanderings at one of the teas, I overheard the housekeeper tell the butler that the housekeeper of another house had told her there was an Irish peeress she’d never seen before being fitted in Madam Boutrey’s for the Gloushire ball.
Are these two Irish women one and the same? Will Lord Castlereagh be looking in the lines for a wife this Season? Or does he have a surprise in store for all of us?
In other news, sadly, I must report the passing of Gerald, Earl Dodson, the fourth cousin of the dowager Duchess of Wiltshire. It seems the earl left a young daughter behind, and Lady Maris has become the ward of the duchess. The girl was quite lovely on the one occasion I’ve had to make her acquaintance, and the duchess beyond delighted to introduce her to society.
I have yet to speak to anyone who personally knew the earl, but the duchess has referred to him at tea as her “country cousin”. Perhaps it is because Lady Maris has been kept in the country that the duchess’s nephew, former naval captain and the Marquess of Wellesley, is said to be so very protective of his young cousin.
Of course the staff of many houses are already wagering amongst themselves on his intentions, now that the Duke of Wiltshire (the duchess’s nephew by marriage) is escorting Lady Maris to the ball at Pepperstill’s. And at another tea, just this week, I heard one maid whisper that is the reason Lady Twila has at put her foot down and demanded the Marquess at last make good on the marriage arrangement that’s been in place for years.
As for me, dear reader, I suspect both the Marquess of Castlereagh and Lady Maris will make this Season one of the more interesting in ages!
Yrs Truly, Lady Doe
About the Book
THE BRIAR… One moment Raven is alone in the world and working as a maid in the gardens of a grand estate in Ireland; the next she finds herself handed the life of a lady by the dark and handsome Marquess of Castlereagh. Devan insists his intentions are honorable, and that he only wishes to help reunite her with her family. But Raven finds herself in a constant struggle to deny the smoldering attraction between them, and in her secret heart, wishes he wanted more.
THE ROSE… Devan, Marquess of Castlereagh, is tormented by his past and determined to live out his days in quiet solitude at his Ireland estate. That is until Raven enters his life. With the face of an angel, the body of Aphrodite, and the tongue of a drunken Irishman, he’s never met any woman so infuriating… so seductive… so… his match.
Laura Mills-Alcott’s first love was music, and she began her writing career at the age of eleven, when she wrote her first song. After graduating high school, she moved to Nashville, and some of her music was published.
Though she wrote her share of love songs, Laura’s favorite was the story songs–the modern day equivalent of the old ballads. However, she often found herself frustrated when attempting to fit a single title novel into three verses, a bridge, and a chorus. So one day she decided she’d try her hand at writing a book. “After writing the first paragraph,” she says, “I was hooked.”
In The Briar and the Rose, she combines her love of music with her love for romantic novels and history.
Laura and her work have been featured in Romantic Times Magazine, on the “Talk America Radio Network”, and she acted as a consultant for the daytime talk show “The Other Half” on a segment dealing with why women read romance novels. Her non-fiction interviews have been published in newspapers and online, and her short stories have been published in a variety of print and electronic formats.
Laura currently resides in NE Ohio with her husband, where she spends her time restoring historical homes, and owns a remodeling company – Regency Remodeling – with her husband. She loves spending time with her children and two beautiful grandchildren, as well as her three dogs, and too many cats.
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
You can learn a lot in pubs and cafés. Your Teatime Tattler
has long had a policy of lingering in such establishments on the fringe more
posh neighborhoods—the sort of places servants might gather on their off days.
The Little Brown Hen Pub has been particularly useful
lately. It seems one of our “better” squares, one populated by two earls, a
wealthy baron, and a dowager duchess to name a few, has had an abundance of
havey-cavey behavior lately—enough to make a debutante blush.
First off an upstairs maid from the Earl of W—’s house and a footman from Mr. M.C.’s both were at pains to tell our man on the spot about strange arrangements in the Earl of C—’s fashionable townhouse—he who came into his title just last summer.
“Y’don’t see them servants here, do ya? They keep to themselves they do. Downright unfriendly,” complained the footman.
“That butler o’thern looks more like a prize fighter than a
butler, if you ask me,” the little maid sniffed. “And have you seen that
footman missing one ear? His visage has an ugly scar. What kind of earl hires
They scurried off to fetch more ale when an older woman, dressed in black, and obviously an upper servant shooed them away. She introduced herself as Her Grace’s dresser—that would be the dowager—and insisted on tea. “Only tea,” she said with a sniff. This bird seemed a bit high class for this pub, but then maybe widowed duchesses don’t pay as well as others.
“If you’re interested in the Earl of C—, I can tell you more
interesting things about that house than deformed footmen,” she said, rubbing
two fingers together. We’re always willing to spare a few coin for a woman who
can use ‘em. We obliged.
“To begin with the man doesn’t live there. He has rooms at the Albany, and God only knows what bachelors get up to there. When the old earl died, the older sister—she who is the Duchess of M— came to look after the younger girl, a flibbertigibbet of the first order, in my opinion.” She drew breath and our man quickly suspected she had many opinions loosened by coin.
“Now the Duke of M— is a fine man, but his wife is a pale shadow of a thing, utterly incapable of minding the hoyden. They must have gotten fed up with her foolish starts and outlandish taking because they up and left. Closed up the house but for a few servants.”
She leaned over and dropped her voice, those fingers moving. Another coin may have slid across the table. “I saw them leave. Saw the carriage pull round, the duchess get in, the duke pull their boy by his collar and toss him in, and then they left.”
Our man waited, and not in vain. “I did not see the younger sister get in that carriage. Nor the one with the maid, valet, and baggage,” she went on. “Neither one. I watched the whole time.” He took her meaning, but to be sure he asked, “Are you telling me the Earl of C—’s young unmarried sister is living on her own in a house that’s supposed to be closed?”
“Well I know I didn’t see her leave with ‘em, and more.” She
leaned in again. “I’ve been watching a girl her size wearing the clothes of a
scullery maid but walking with the bearing of a countess coming and going
through the tradesmen’s door. That chit is up to something, no doubt about it,
and heading for ruin.”
“Is that it?”
“Well. The Earl of C— feeds anyone who come to his kitchen. Her Grace has complained mightily that it attracts all sorts of unsavory types. This very morning I saw a particularly horrid specimen—a filthy one-armed ruffian—parade through their garden as free as you please, and get taken in. Taken in and that girl in residence! Not an hour later he was out on the street. Did they toss him on his fundament? No! One of those deformed footmen was giving him directions. I ask you, is that how a respectable household conducts itself?”
The Earl of Chadbourn makes it a policy to hire as many
veterans in need of work as he can. The result has been a rather unusual
collection of servants. As to his sister, perhaps he wasn’t watching as closely
as he should.
When a young woman marches into an alley full of homeless
former soldiers, Ethan Alcott feels something he thought dead stir to life: his
sense of honor. Effort at charity put the chit in danger; someone needs to take
her in hand.
Lady Flora Landrum discovers that the mysterious one-armed ruffian she encountered in a back alley is Lord Ethan Alcott, son of the Marquess of Welbrook; her astonishment gives way to determination. As Ethan comes to admire Flora’s courage, perhaps he can reclaim his own.
About Fire & Frost
Join The Ladies’ Society For The Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veterans in 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?
Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020 with six interconnected Regency romances from the Bluestocking Belles.