Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Tag: The Teatime Tattler

Lord M’s Companion

Dear Readers,

You no doubt read this report from our intrepid Suffolk reporter last month:

The rustic seaside town of Fenwick on Sea is not as sleepy as one might think, especially with the travelers stranded by what might truly be called the Storm of the Century.

A Scotsman has arrived at the Queen’s Barque, his well-made coats soaked and his fine boots caked with mud. A tall, handsome specimen of our northern cousins, he claims the status of gentleman. And yet, dear Reader, he arrived with a local woman, with whom he plans to shelter in the inn’s oldest wing–alone!

Is she, in truth, a titled lady, as some say? She goes about in men’s trousers, is said to be not averse to a midnight sail, and often visits the inn with a tub or two in hand! Though on this occasion, it was her companion thus encumbered, so perhaps he truly is a gentleman after all.

The Teatime Tattler

My dear Lady F

I’m sorry I did not get a chance to bid you farewell before leaving town. My journey north was uneventful, apart from my diversion to Norfolk for my godson’s leave-taking. I just could not deny myself the opportunity to visit my cousin there who has not been well.

I found myself caught in that terrible storm flaying East Anglia, and thus, having broken an axle, stayed several nights at the Blue Boar in Yarmouth. I cannot tell you how surprised I was to see your relation there, young Lord M. Such a handsome and sober young man for a Scotsman. You recall that he attended my soiree with your other relation, Mrs. McB. That was a clever bit of matchmaking we managed there, bringing her back together with Major McB. As for Lord M, I saw him across the crowded inn yard as I was departing, and was about to send my man to fetch him, when he was joined by a boy of about twelve years of age, and, dare I say, a lady? She did appear to be a lady, and I was reliably informed that she was indeed a titled lady, and a quite comely with an air of assurance. You must write at your earliest convenience and tell me if there is news, because I had thoughts of introducing Lord M to my great-niece and must not raise her hopes.

Dear Readers, could this be the Scotsman and titled lady in men’s trousers from the Queen’s Barque? And who is the boy appearing with them?

About the Book: Storm & Shelter

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

About The Story: Comtesse of Midnight

A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay rescues a French lady smuggler from the surf during a devastating storm, and takes shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects his companion knows the woman he’s seeking, the one who holds the secret to his identity.

Marielle Plessiers may dress like a boy and go out with the local free traders, but she’s really the Comtesse de Fontenay. She trades in spirits, not secrets, but the information she holds will change Malcolm Comyn’s life forever.

Excerpt:

The Scotsman, however, was dead on his feet. She could almost feel sorry for him. He was far from home, and had been traveling for several days. His neckcloth was limp, his cuffs soiled, his coat wrinkled. His boots, well and carefully crafted, if not by Hoby then by some equally fashionable bootmaker in Edinburgh, had not been properly polished in the last few days.

He’d shaved though, probably very early that morning, because a delicious dark stubble had sprouted along his strong jaws.

Did he have a razor in his interesting valise? She wouldn’t molest him, unless he thought to do the same to her. If it came to that, and she prayed that it wouldn’t, she would use her own blade and not some unfamiliar shaving instrument.

“Is this one of your imports?” he asked, swirling the amber liquid. “It’s very good.”

His words stirred her out of her imaginings about handsome young men, and she realized she must manage the conversation else she’d slip into sleep, or perhaps something more inconvenient, without thinking.

The Comte had always succumbed to sleep when they’d conversed, no matter the topic. She must soothe this fine-looking and very fatigued man the same way.

Outside, the thunderstorm had moved on, and the rain pounded in a comforting downpour. With the warm fire, and the heavy blankets, and the sleeping dog, it was quite cozy.

But what to talk about? Most certainly not the free trade. It would be far too diverting to put him to sleep, and besides she had no idea what he would do with the knowledge.

The countryside? She might slip and drop a hint about her home at Bloodmoor Hill.

She thought back to her time on the fringes of a London society that she’d found unbearably dull.

The weather.

“I am glad you are enjoying the brandy,” she said. “But I daresay you are not liking this weather. It is quite the worst storm in many seasons, people are saying. Normally at this time of year the sea has quietened.” A lie, of course, but how would he know?

He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.

Oh. Given that it might remind him of her activities that evening and spark questions, the sea was an inappropriate topic, whether or not one was fudging a weather report. “Winters, however are generally mild.”

He yawned, and she went on, discussing the number of rainstorms in March and going back to February, and then January, and making up the story as she went along, until his eyes drooped and the empty glass fell into his lap and lodged itself next to his fall.

Warmth uncurled in her. His trousers were tight in the usual fashion for gentlemen, outlining masculine endowments that sparked her interest far too much. Retrieving the fallen tumbler was out of the question.

She set down her own glass and fought the urge to join him in slumber.

Storm & Shelter also includes novellas by Jude Knight, Carolyn Warfield, Sherry Ewing, Rue Allyn, Cerise DeLand, Mary Lancaster, and Grace Burrowes.

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kgRmLG

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3lZYHja

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-shelter-bluestocking-belles/1137958115

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3o0z977

Google books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Grace_Burrowes_Storm_and_Shelter?id=TNMhEAAAQBAJ

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/38Rr8w

About the Author

Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!

Website: https://alinakfield.com/ 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield 

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/alinakfield

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alina-k-field

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alinak.field/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/

Newsletter signup: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3

A Golden Opportunity

She slipped out the side door of the private wing and crossed Mrs Brewster’s personal garden.

At this time of day, the Brewster family were fully occupied with their duties in the inn. No one was present to see their maid — their now former maid –unlock the private gate to the lane with the keys she had lifted from their hook in Mr Brewster’s office.

She would leave them in the lock. By the time they were discovered, she would be far from here, on her way to a position far, far away.

Freddie was waiting in the lane with his family’s gig and pony. It wasn’t elegant, but it would get them to the nearest coaching inn on the highway, 20 miles away inland.

His eyes widened as he took in the picture she made in her new gown and bonnet. One of the outfits she’d acquired for her new life. As she approached the gig, she saw that he’d found the bag and trunk she’d hidden in the stables last night. She hoped no one saw him take them away. Almost, she asked him, but, no, she mustn’t give him any reason to think she doubted him.

She let him lift her up into the gig, and hurry around to the other side.

“You look right pretty today, Miss Alice,” he said, as he took off the brake and gave the reins a shake. “Walk on, gray mare.”

Alice kept scanning the surroundings, to make sure no one saw them leaving. Not that they could stop her. She was the Brewster’s employee, not their slave. Had been the Brewster’s employee. Her resignation letter was hidden in the clutter of papers on Mr Brewster’s desk. He would find it about the time she was due back at work after her day off.

No, they couldn’t stop her, but if they knew what she had been doing and where she was going, they might make her departure difficult. Certainly, Freddie would not be allowed to transport her.

She smiled at him, and tucked her hand into his arm. Dear Freddie. He was a kind soul, and she felt just a little guilty for using him in this way, but needs must. She wasn’t going to settle for a fisherman’s son and spend the rest of her life in Fenwick.

She had new clothes, a job waiting for her, and money jingling in her reticule. She would say goodbye to Freddie at the coaching inn. Perhaps she would even give him a peck on the cheek — some sort of recompense for the trouble he was going to be in when he got back to Fenwick on Sea.

Freddie was chattering away about the men who had arrived at the inn to question all the servants about the source of the reports that had been published in the Teatime Tattler.

Alice smirked. Miss Abney always said that education gave you opportunities. Alice had found an opportunity. She had always been good at listening to people, putting two and two together, telling stories. Writing them was not much different. Sending them to Mr Clemens had been a clever idea, if she did say so herself.

And Miss Abney was right. The first opportunity had given her another. “I can use someone like you,” the letter from Mr Clemens had said. “Someone with the skills to work within a household and the brains to collect the stories I need.”

Alice was off to London to take up a permanent job as a reporter with The Teatime Tattler.

Alice is a character in the stories of Storm & Shelter. See the link for novella blurbs and buy links, and the collection for some of Alice’s Teatime Tattler reports.

Read more Storm & Shelter flash fiction at our blog hop, where our characters try to figure out who the mystery reporter is.

And congratulations to our prizewinners, who read the book, correctly named the reporter, and had their names drawn in the prize draw.

A New Season

London April 1821

Welcome lords and ladies to a new London Season! It is sure to be an exciting one, as fresh doe-eyed debutantes embark on an untested journey in life. The art of husband hunting! How exciting! Among the arrivals are a pair of wealthy cousins, the ladies J and O St. J. I’m told that lady O has a rather large problem. I’m sure she will not gather the special attention of anyone in particular. She may gain notice for her rather large dowry. There are a number of fortune hunters who would be happy to assist her. At the top of the list is one Baron B, who’s finances are in such dire straits that if he does not marry soon, he may find himself in debtors’ prison. The list of eligible gentlemen is long and prosperous, one could only hope to snare one. A lady has many options from the boyish blonde-haired Marquess of H, who is possibly the only true bachelor looking for a wife. Perhaps Lady J, who I’ve heard is full of energy, could catch his eye. Unfortunately, his family’s twenty-year scandal doesn’t paint him in a favorable light.

The bachelor that every mama will be hoping to attach their eager daughters to, is none other than the Duke of K. known to all as the Bachelor Duke. It has been ten years since he inherited the dukedom, which is one of the wealthiest in England. His estate in Norwich is bountiful, and dare I say, he is one of the handsomest men I’ve ever had the pleasure to behold. When a lady finally wraps her delicate gloved hand around his arm, she should hold on and never let go. How terribly disappointing.

Last Season our Bachelor Duke found himself pursued by the now Countess of W. There were a select few among us who even thought that the widow Lady E had a chance with him, alas another season went by without our duke even glancing at a lady. Will this Season irrevocably change all of our lives? Will the Bachelor Duke finally marry?  I don’t particularly see circumstances changing for him, but in matters of the heart one never can be sure.

Word has reached this reporter that the Bachelor Duke has just arrived in town for the Season! I am sure there will be broken hearts from here to Bath. It is an unfortunate truth that he shall never marry.

Whatever happens this Season, it’s sure to be a wild carriage ride. I suggest you hold on and watch it all unfold. I know I will.

About the Book

The Bachelor Duke meets a beautiful, curvaceous lady.
Remington Warren, The Duke of Karrington, lives his life by the name society has thrust upon him. Having witnessed cruelty against the fairer sex with his own eyes, he vows never to marry to prevent himself from becoming like the monster who raised him. After ten years of being The Bachelor Duke, his life is irrevocably changed when he sees Lady Olivia St. John across the ballroom floor. 
Having lived a sheltered, pampered life, surrounded by her loving family, Lady Olivia St. John longs to know passion and love. She is beautiful, bold, and has a rather large dowry. According to society, she would be a diamond in the first water of this season if it wasn’t for her one flaw.
Will she find all she longs for and more in the arms of The Bachelor Duke, or will heartbreak be her demise?

Excerpt from The Bachelor Duke

Remington led Livie into the secluded opera box, drawing the curtain closed behind him. They were utterly alone for the first time. He cupped her cheek and gazed into her eyes. Heat spread throughout her body. Her heart began to beat wildly in her chest. “Livie, I am very sorry you had to be subjected to their gossip.” His hand traveled to the nape of her neck, guiding her head back as he leaned down, their lips a whisper apart. Her tongue wet her dry lips in anticipation. “Let me assure you that I find every single inch of you pleasing, and I cannot wait until the day I may call you mine.” Remington’s lips pressed to hers. His free arm encircled her waist and pulled her closer to him. A groan of pleasure escaped him. Livie was excited, knowing she was the one that caused him to react in such a way. He brushed his lips softly against hers, allowing her time to become accustomed. She relaxed in his arms. Her lips parted, releasing a sigh of contentment. Taking her bottom lip into his own, he sucked gently, before gliding his silky tongue along it. Livie whimpered, the pure ecstasy of his lips touching hers was a feeling she had never felt in her life. His hand spread wide on her lower back branding her through the fabric of her dress. “Remington,” she sighed against his lips, hearing voices all around them. She wanted to stop the madness with all of society just on the other side of the curtain. But she could only grasp his lapels and hold on tight as she opened to him, allowing him the freedom to devour her. Time stood still while they kissed for what seemed like forever, their lips unable to part, even for something as basic as breathing. The dull sound of voices all around her was drowned out by the rushed beat of her heart. Remington trailed kisses down her neck, and she tilted her head back, gasping for sweet air while new sensations traveled down to the apex of her thighs. “Livie, my God, Livie,” he groaned out before he covered her mouth again with his.

About the Author

 Cecilia Rene is a creative, happy, and outgoing Detroit native who majored in Broadcast Communication at Grambling State University. Immediately following her graduation, she started her new life in New York City. As a self-proclaimed New Yorker, her stimulating and diverse career in advertising sparked a drive for hard work and dedication. Her love and passion for writing followed her from childhood through adulthood, where she wrote short stories, poems, and screenplays. Always an avid reader, she stumbled across a book that ignited a deeper need for more and joined a fandom of like-minded individuals. Cecilia and her family made a huge move five years ago to the great state of Texas, where she currently lives with her loving husband, wonderful son, and spoiled fur baby, Sadie. Cecilia Rene loves romance, humor, and all things spicy. For this reason, she will always give you a Happily Ever After.

Follow Cecilia Rene:

☆Website: https://bit.ly/3krehUG

☆Instagram:https://bit.ly/30DWh1S

☆Facebook: https://bit.ly/3ihR8lV

☆Twitter: https://bit.ly/30Dl71N

☆Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3gCuyny

☆Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3ieZwCw

☆bookbub: https://bit.ly/3bERf8Y

Mr. Clemens Requests

Gentle Readers and Erstwhile Contributors,
We are filled with Gratitude at the response you have given to our Humble Efforts to bring facts and stories of Interest and Entertainment to the people of London.

The response from people of All Stations has been gratifying to say the least. We hope to continue for many years to come. To that end I wish to announce that our Little Paper has openings for Discerning Contributors of all types. We would welcome new contributors as well as added contributions from those who have joined us in the past. We are always looking for:

  • Purloined letters that may interest the Reading Public
  • Opinion pieces on the Fancies and Foibles of high society
  • News that otherwise might go unreported about the Private Lives of the poor and the prominent.
  • Instructive stories whose morals might serve as admonition to the unwary

As well as (dare I say it) items of a more salacious and titilating nature. Be it noted that those who contribute may also provide our readers with exciting news about their books as well.

Should any of you have an interest in making such a contribution, kindly contact me**. Should you wish instead to seek the advice of our most excellent Aunt Augusta (and receive mention of your book title) there is a form for that as well.

I Remain etc etc

 

 

Samuel Clemens, Printer, of London

**Mr. Clemens had deputized this work to staff. If you wish to participate kindly send three Wednesday dates, your name and writer name, and book title to warfieldcaro@gmail.com

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén