Welcome, devoted readers of the Teatime Tattler. My name is Tess Cochran, investigative reporter for the Weekly Informer, and I am here to bring you the truth. What truth, you ask? The truth behind the spiritualist craze sweeping our good nation. Now, this reporter can make no claim regarding the existence or non-existence of ghosts or spirits. But what I aim to reveal are the secrets behind the so-called mediums and other spiritualist practitioners who have made it their goal in life to defraud good people such as yourselves with false spirits.
Only yesterday, I attended a seance performed by the well-regarded medium Madame Xyla. Like others of her ilk, she exudes a mystical charm and an air of competence that lure her audience to believe her pronouncements. Aided by a room shrouded in darkness, magicians’ tricks of moving tables, mysterious noises, and sleight-of-hand create a compelling illusion of ghostly visitations.
To add to the allure of the seance, this event also hosted a spirit photographer peddling his wares. Still all the rage in America, in recent years these trick photographs have gained popularity and created a host of devoted believers on our side of the Atlantic. No mere portrait, these. For a price, Mr. Jack Weaver will pose you before the camera, using his knowledge of the art of photography to create a faint “spirit” standing or hovering beside you—a visitation, he says, by a dearly departed friend or relative.
But how does this trickster accomplish such a feat? One has heard, I am certain, of the double-exposure: a technique where two images are imprinted on the same photograph. During my own sitting, I saw no evidence to suggest that Mr. Weaver used such a method, but there are other, less obvious techniques, and I intend to learn them all. Rest assured, I will be keeping a close eye on Mr. Weaver as I delve into his mysterious art.
Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have acquired an invitation to the greatest spiritualist gathering of our time: a contest held at the remote (and reportedly haunted) castle home of the Earl of Bardrick. This two-week gathering of the most popular spiritualists of the day will give me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring to light the truth of these con artists. And you, dear readers, are the first to know of it.
Wish me luck, my friends. With my notebook and pen in hand, and a determination to save the good people of England from those who would swindle them, I prepare to depart. Be sure to watch for the Weekly Informer, where soon I will lay the truth bare for the world to see. Until then, I bid you farewell.
-T. Cochran, journalist and champion of truth
About the book:
Follow Tess’s adventures as she seeks the truth and tangles with roguish spirit photographer Jack Weaver in The Scoundrel’s New Con, a fairy-tale inspired Victorian romance set in the Lady Goosebury’s Tales shared world.
He’s pulling the con of a lifetime. Unless she exposes the naked truth.
Conman Jack Weaver has his eyes on the prize. The arrogant Earl of Bardrick has offered five thousand pounds to anyone who can prove his castle is haunted. With money like that, Jack can ensure he’ll never end up on the streets or in prison again. And his spirit photography skills are just the trick needed to convince all of the earl’s houseguests to believe in something unseen.
Investigative journalist Tess Cochran believes in one thing: the truth. She’s not going to let phony ghosts and trick photographs swindle anyone, even a snobbish aristocrat like Bardrick. And she’s certainly not going to let herself be swayed by Jack Weaver’s charming smile and mischievous antics.
When Jack and Tess stumble upon one of the castle’s many secrets, they realize something nefarious lurks behind the earl’s competition. To solve the mystery, these rivals forge a reluctant partnership. As they strip down the facts, Jack and Tess begin to find that the deepest truths may be concealed in their hearts.
Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her books are full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.
Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious girls. She loves steampunk and Oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in Renaissance Festival clothing, drinking copious amounts of tea.
What’s this about
you leaving your position with the Grenvilles?
Word is they’re a respectable family. I had hopes that their cook would
train you up. Good cooks are scarce. You’d never want for work with that kind
I must confess,
your new employers sound terrifying. I know you said they assist people who’ve
been done wrong, but they used to be thieves. Even the women! I can’t imagine
why you’d leave a fine household to work for such a strange group. But then,
you’ve always been one to leap before you looked.
I pray to God
every night to keep you safe. Your loving sister, Bess
To Mrs. Thaddeus
I know you’ve
been worried about me taking that new position with the Restitution League, but
I couldn’t be happier. Mrs. Crane and the rest are very kind, even if Mr.
Edison does scare the daylights out of us with his experiments. The explosions
do rattle one’s nerves, I don’t mind saying. Last week he built a brass
automaton that pours tea! It wasn’t long
before the poor fellow knocked over an end table and broke a vase. Mrs. Crane
was not pleased.
As you can see by
this letter, I’ve learnt to use the typewriter quite well. I’m to start lessons
on the telegraph machine next week. Learning Morse code seems impossibe, but
Mr. Edison says I’ve got the brains for it. Time will tell. I’m so happy to be
doing something besides sweeping and dusting.
I hope Thaddeus
and the children are well. It looks as if I’ll get a chance to see for myself
soon. Mr. and Mrs. Crane are going on a delayed honeymoon trip next month. She
says I’m to have a whole two weeks leave. The Grenvilles were never so
I’ve already saved up for the train fare, so
you can plan on having me at the first of the month. There’s no need to fret.
I’m happier than I could imagine. And wait until you see my new clothes! Office girls don’t have to wear stupid old
uniforms like maids do. I’ve got a smart new set of dresses to show you.
I can’t wait to
see you all. Your sister, the office
About the Book
A woman who disdains love collides with a man who lives for passion.
Ada Templeton believes in science. She believes in chemical reactions
and experimentation and old-fashioned common sense. She’s far too clever to be
seduced by a rake like Edison Sweet.
Over Ada’s objections, Edison agrees to guard her latest invention
from a mastermind willing to kill for it. He never expects to be intrigued by
the lovely widow whose body he finds as exciting as her mind.
Scientist and the other books in the Restitution League series are now
available in Kindle Unlimited.
daylight, Ada’s laboratory was nothing short of spectacular.
everything Edison’s own workshop was not. Beakers, test tubes, and glass
decanters, each in their proper place on mahogany workbenches, gleamed in the
bright autumn light. All neat and tidy and pleasingly arranged, not unlike the
scientist who worked there.
more so as he suspected the effect was completely accidental.
there was her scent. That light swirl of violets. Even in the midst of the
acrid, metallic odors emanating from every beaker and box in the crowded room,
it stirred him.
perfume aside, the woman’s obstinance was beginning to grate. Badly.
rubbed a hand over his eyes. “I can’t keep your device safe if you don’t tell
me where it is.”
a beaker to eye level, frowning as she measured dry plaster of Paris to her
liking. “It’s well hidden. Have no worry about that.”
worry? Are you addled?” He threw his hands up. “What do you think those men
were looking for last night? What about the men before that? They weren’t after
your excessive hoard of plaster.”
continued with her measuring. “You’ll have to trust me, Mr. Sweet…Edison. The
device is secure. What I do need your assistance with—and I am fully willing to
admit it—is protection for my family.”
Of course. We’ll keep you all safe. That’s the easy part. I sent the stable boy
to gather the rest of the League before I came down to breakfast. My
reinforcements will be here before lunch, I’m sure. But I can’t protect your
slammed the jar of powder down onto the counter. “You’re already taking a risk
to protect us. I won’t add to that. The device is safe. Even if it were not, I
won’t have you endanger yourself to save it.”
most women, she didn’t resort to coquetry. She met him head to head. Any other
time, he would have found that profoundly appealing. Under the current
conditions, however, it was unduly aggravating.
his eyes, wishing he were contending with the sort of woman who liked to be
cosseted and protected. He understood
those women—how they thought, what they desired.
How to get
what he wanted in return.
him lean close so his breath would caress her ear. He’d been told more than
once it made women shiver delightfully. “I’ll find it eventually, you know.”
melting, softening, shivering, or sighing, she jerked away as if he reeked like
all you like.” She measured chloride into the beakers. “You won’t find it.”
ground his teeth. Dear God, he’d seen granite cliffs less stubborn. If charm
had no effect, intimidation might.
the chloride from her hand and set it on the bench.
fiercely. “I beg your pardon?”
her and closed in, backing her up against a filing cabinet. When she could go
no farther, he spread his arms wide, his palms flat against the cabinet front,
pinning her in.
Editorial Note: This packet of correspondence came to the Tattler offices when one of our reporters shared drinks with a man at the Bull and Codfish pub. The young man, who seems to be a careless footman in the employ of Mrs. Andrew Mallet of Bedford Square, left it on the table. We of course forwarded the entire packet on to its correct destination.
Mr. Clemens made copies first, but given the involvement of
the Foreign Office, he declared they were not to be published. He must have
forgotten to lock his desk. Besides, nothing here relates to matters of
To the Duchess of Sudbury,
Lily,I am in London, but not at home to callers, family excepted of course. Andrew remains in Cambridge, make of that what you will. When I tell you what has happened you will understand my need to live apart. I beg your support.
I know you send private mail to Richard via official couriers and the packet ships. May I ask you to send the enclosed message as soon as it can be arranged? I need his help and my son must be alerted. I trust him to inform his nephew cautiously.
Athena is gone to
I know that shocks
you, but perhaps not is much as it ought. Since the Heyworths’ visit five years
ago she has spoken of nothing but Italy, reminding me daily that in Italy there
are medical schools that admit women. The desire to study medicine is
admirable; you and I would both cheer her on if the girl was, not to mince
words, normal. Even if she could cope with strangers…but of course she cannot.
She sailed from
Falmouth a week ago. Her brother Archie, who perpetrated this insanity,
accompanied her, which would be a saving grace if I thought he could handle her
in a crisis. Her father, the wretch, professes to be proud of him. For a
scholar Andrew can be remarkably obtuse. I can’t imagine how the poor girl
managed the ship to Rome, much less life in a foreign country. I dread the
condition we will find her in when she returns.
I discovered this
morning that Lochlin assisted Archie as well. I can forgive a young man— they
often think with body parts other than their brains—but I can’t forgive her
father. I suspect Andrew actually abetted the young fools. He denies it, but I
don’t believe him.
Enough! I will tell
you all when I see you.
Editorial Note: The young lady in question, Miss Catherine Mallet, known to her family as Athena, is a recluse who shuns society after some unfortunate incidents of panic and hysteria (this paper has reason to know one such incident occurred in the Pembrook’s ballroom). She rarely leaves the family home in Cambridge except to visit close relatives, and is reputed to have an unnatural interest in the anatomy of animals and humans. Rumors about this abound in that shire, where some consider her quite insane, but others merely the oddest member of a notably eccentric family.
The second missive, in the same hand, although entirely concerning a private matter, was sent through official channels to Cairo. One wonders if that is entirely ethical.
The Duke of Sudbury
Her Majesty’s Envoy to
the court of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Khedive of Egypt
Forgive me for presuming by sending personal mail through the foreign office channels, and troubling you when you are deep into affairs of state—although when are you not?—but time may be of the essence.
To get right to the
point, Archie has taken Athena to Rome from where she expects she can be
admitted to medical school. I don’t need to outline for you all the reasons why
this is nonsensical. Archie, the coward, sent a message from Falmouth saying
that once he had her safely settled (as if that might be possible!), he will
travel directly to Edinburgh and begin his own studies.
This will grieve
Aeneas mightily. He and Archie quarreled on the subject of Athena shortly
before he left for Egypt. Archie has the pudding-brained notion she should be
encouraged to pursue studies to be a physician. Aeneas, ever the level headed
one where his sister is concerned, knows she should be kept close where we can
I send this in the hope that you will use your connections to ensure our officials in Italy watch out for them. If I can further impose on your kindness, please make Aeneas aware that this has happened. If it should go badly, he needs warning.
Your loving sister,
Since you have a way
of discovering things anyway, I will tell you that Andrew and I have separated
over this at least for now. Do not chastise me. I suspect Archie acted with his
father’s blessing. I am too angry to patch things over.
Aeneas may be sensible
about his sister but not his work. I count on you to keep him from doing
something foolish like plunging deep into Africa in pursuit of some previously
undiscovered crumb of knowledge. I want him back in one piece.
Editorial Note: Our
readers who pay follow the doings of the haut ton know that there is little the
Duke will not manage on behalf of his family, his friends, or the Empire come
to that. They will note, however, how unusual it is to have a one of his circle
actually ask for help rather than having it thrust upon them.
About the Author
Caroline Warfield writes family centered historical romance, largely set in the Regency and Victorian eras. The saga of the Mallets, their friends, and their family began with Dangerous Works.
marquess who never loses control (until he does) and a very independent woman
conflict, until revolution, politics, and pirates force them to work together. (In
which Sudbury had not come into his title and was yet the Marquess of Glenaire)
Jamie fled to Rome to hide his shame he didn’t expect a vicar’s daughter and
her imp of a niece to take over his life, with complications from an
interfering nun, a powerful count, and a genial monk.
One of your Tattler contributors has cornered a witness to goings-on in Edinburgh:
“I am talking with Lady Eufemia here, down at the hotel in Edinburgh where THE DARK DUKE is rumored to have taken his bride for their post nuptials. However, they are not the story of the hour any longer, for the new Duchess of Canterbury has been seen having breakfast with the Honorable Hermione and the truly stupendous Countess of York.
“She wore a stunning confections, as always, her hat in perfect counterpoint, and showing off her pert countenance. In fact, according to our Lady Eufemia, it also showed up her tears as she went running from the dining room in a decidedly unladylike fashion. Tsk tsk.
“I ask the Lady Eufemia, what do you make of such shenanigans?
“Well, Lady Charissa, I am decidedly not one to gossip, but, I feel there is already a problem in the newlyweds marriage. And I think Lady Sarah may be at the crux of it. The duchess and countess have long been fast friends, but on the morning after the wedding, Lady Sarah slinks to another part of the dining room, only to run off crying a few minutes later? No, I tell you, Duchess Canterbury said something and Lady Sarah tried to compose herself. Then, when the upset just became to great, she left to find privacy to cry in.
“I am sure that we will see more of this rift back in town for the season.”
“Why, Lady Eufemia, you have the brightest smile when it is so engaged. Good luck with the season. I am telling you, something dark and nefarious is happening here. I just hope we learn the on dits first.”
About the Book
Dark times fall upon Lady Sarah and her friends as they try to unravel mysteries of who wants them dead.
Barely snagging Lady Lillian out of danger, Lady Sarah finds herself embroiled in some clandestine mischief. It causes her to doubt Lord Archer and her own feelings for him. But this fashion loving countess is not able to give up on her dreams and love for him. She enlists the aid of her two best friends to piece together what might really be happening. For she couldn’t bear it if he was a traitor to the crown.
Lord Archer’s hero in the spy organization he and his family had long been a part of are in Edinburgh to reveal a traitor to the crown. Only, his boss wants him to spy on the woman he loves and the best friend of her and his own sister. Could he have really fallen in love with a traitor? He keeps his own counsel from his boss. death.Upon deciding that there is no way his beloved could be a traitor, he recruits them all to uncover the dark underworld doings which could lead to Queen Victoria’s
While their lives and love are under attack, the two of them work to bring down one of England’s most powerful lords before he can kill the Queen.
Hermione and Lady Lillian laughed. “I said, you’re thinking about women’s rights again, aren’t you? About the battles and the queens?”
A flush stole over her in embarrassment. “Yes,” she mumbled. “Though I do not see how you are always able to tell when such things cross my mind,” she added primly. “One might think you possessed some magical powers if one lived in the dark ages.”
They laughed harder. “It does not take a genius to see the look on your face. After these many years, I have come to learn this look quite well,” Hermione said. “It used to scare me witless, afraid Father would not approve of you and your ways.”
“Your father would not dare to have offended mine,” Sarah said, a little laugh escaping. “They had too many business interests together. How do you think we ended up playing together so much as children?”
Their food came, and the three of them ate and laughed, enjoying being women. Soon enough, Lord Clarence would come and steal Lady Lillian away again, so Lady Sarah would enjoy that morning together before her best friend left to Lord Clarence’s Scottish estates.
She’d have time later to think of her own marriage and other long-lost stories and dreams.
As they finished their meal, Sarah noticed a man having undue interest in their table.
“Hermione, Lillian, I wish to have tea before we all leave. Care to join me in the suite of rooms? I’ll have some sweets brought up. We must plan our next get together, and I find I need to go…” She flicked her napkin, trying to think of a probable story that would not be a lie. She let out a sigh. “I need to check a few things. I will fill you in when I have been able to finalize my thoughts on the matter.” A half-formed plan to stay in Scotland rather than go back for the slowly starting season began to play on her mind.
“Of course,” Hermione said. “I will be up when I finish this scone. I find I am hungry more and more these days.”
“I will wait for Clarence, and he can escort us both to the gardens then to your rooms,” Lillian said, a blush stealing over her cheeks once more. No doubt from calling His Grace by his first name.
“Then it is settled. I will meet you for tea. Thank you.”
She stood and shook her skirts out in a deliberate manner, trying to see the man from the corner of her eye. Most definitely watched her much too closely. A pillar stood near him. She would make her way around to there and try to listen in on the conversation. Call her paranoid, but after what they’d just gone through with Lady Amber and Lord Jarvis, on top of her ugly valentine, she would take no chances. Rather to feel foolish than feel dead. She nodded her head as she walked, then proceeded to listen.
About the Author
Leona Bushman is a USA Today best selling author. She is a crazy writer taught by dragons and known as Dragon Queen of the North. She loves to write and paint, even when her muse tries to muck things up. She chases after the three out of the five children still at home, and sometimes after the other two and the grandbaby. She has many hobbies like SCA, quilting, sewing, and gardening. Or, as one blogger succinctly put it, Leona Bushman is a whirlwind made of sheer will with a dash of clumsy to keep her grounded.
It has come to our attention here at the Teatime Tattler that in a certain town in Maine, there is a widow in charge of the lighthouse. Perhaps the population there is so sparse that they must press ladies into occupations better suited to gentlemen?
We have investigated this untoward circumstance thoroughly, to see if there is some suitable explanation. Perhaps she holds domestic sway while a son does the more — muscular, dare we say, — duties? While there is a son, he is to attend medical school, leaving the widow to attend the lighthouse, her home, and take care of the raising of two younger girls.
Those in town report the widow has taken the duties of lighthouse keeper upon herself. We can only imagine her grief at the loss of her husband has rendered her incapable of understanding her feminine limitations. Why, much mechanical work must be done to keep the lens in order. And much courage is needed to keep the light burning during stormsy weather. Reading the list of instructions for a lighthouse keeper, it becomes clear that only a man is up to the task.
You may suggest that we, who do not live in this town, have no business reporting on their lighthouse keeper. But you forget that the lighthouse is all that prevents ships from foundering in the dark, in the fog, and in stormy seas, where Mother Nature wreaks her bad temper on unlucky sailors. Do we want our sailors coming near a lighthouse where a widow is in charge? We think not. It has been reported, but we can scarcely credit it ourselves, that the widow had attended the lighthouse well, in all her duties and the town wishes her to remain in place. If so, we have a suggestion for them: please find that widow a husband, forthwith.
The sight of her new home stole Betsy’s breath away. The lighthouse perched like an ancient warrior goddess atop the throne of rocks that acted as a bulwark against the relentless surf. The sound and scent and feel of the water permeated through everything, enfolding her in its powerful embrace. She breathed in, closed her eyes—then opened them and carefully picked her path up toward the entrance.
The front door was constructed of heavy, unpolished wood, as though it had been salvaged directly from the waves. Its austere beauty reminded her of the duke’s ancient manor home, stalwart and secure. The cracks and peels in the dirty white paint around the base of the massive structure became clear as she approached, but they only added to the picture of a home that would stand through a storm and show little damage for it.
She frowned slightly, looking around. Not that a woman’s hand wasn’t needed here, she was relieved to see. What scrubby grass had managed to pry its way through the stones was left untended. A child’s faded toy ball sat lonely in the center of the footpath, half-deflated. She would make her mark on her new home. Her husband would see that she was a worthwhile addition to his life.
Betsy paused. She gazed at the sun-bleached, wind-worn outer walls, at the two crumbling steps leading up to a bare stoop. The light above the doorway was clouded with grime. She glanced over her shoulder, but the driver was long gone. All she had left by way of companionship was the lighthouse and the sea. Where was her new family? Why had they not come outside to greet her yet.
She sighed, hoping that this lonely doorstep wasn’t the beginning of a huge mistake. Then she steeled herself once more, climbed the stairs, and knocked. It was cool in the shadow of the building; she felt a chill run through her. The crazy notion of running away, simply turning and bolting down the long ocean road, flashed through her mind—but right behind it was something Kate had said to her as they parted — the only impossibility is the possibility you fail to see.
The door began to open. In moments, it would be too late to flee.
Betsy squared her shoulders and plastered a smile on her face. Emile Laverdiere was a possibility she must see before she let fear chase her away.
A wraith of a man stood just inside the threshold, his pale eyes huge in the gaunt frame of his face. Betsy bit her tongue just in time to keep a gasp of surprise from escaping her lips. Though she had not chosen to follow the healer path her mother had taken, with her herbs and potions, she knew this man was gravely ill.
“Betsy Lawton?” he asked in a voice that matched the rest of him—thin, frail, reedy.
“Emile Laverdiere?” She looked into his eyes and saw that he had registered her dismay. No doubt he had been expecting it.
He smiled, and his cheekbones stood out like mountain ridges underneath his sunken eyes. There was humor there, despite the ravage of illness. “The one and only. We have been counting the minutes until your arrival. Though it may be impolite, we must ask what you think of your new home?”
Betsy somehow kept her smile in place as she took his offered hand and stepped into the lighthouse. Her soon-to-be-husband’s fingers were cold and bony against hers; she feared that if she squeezed at all, his hand would break. “You have a magnificent landscape at your command,” she answered honestly. He had said nothing of illness in his letters. Nor had those who had attested to his honest character and true desire to wed. Could it be recent? Or had she been duped?
His air of acute attention told her he waited for more. There was an air of patient acceptance in his waiting eyes, as if she could tell him the truth. That she did not want to wed a dying man. Did not know if she truly wanted to immure herself on an isolated jut of rock like Rapunzel in one of the duchess’s favorite fairytales.
But she had come all this way, she would not be her practical mother’s daughter to throw everything away without discovering all she could about this place. Her eyes roamed the interior of the lighthouse’s living space, and she found it plain but comfortable. The rounded room was cozy, softly lit, warmed by a small stone hearth. A spiral staircase formed its centerpiece, climbing up and up through the ceiling. Her eyes could not help following it upward into the unknown. She could hear a slight scraping sound, some rustling, a whispered exchange so low she could almost dismiss it as the sound of the wind.
She looked at her soon-to-be-husband. “What is up there?’ Her eyes swept back upward, toward the sound.
He seemed to approve of her question. “Take a look for yourself, if you like.” He gestured upward. “But forgive me for not accompanying you. I will only slow a young woman like you down. It takes me a while to climb up and down, thought I do it three times a day.”
Of course, Betsy thought. That was why he had not been down to greet her quickly. He had come from the top of the lighthouse. She felt a sympathetic ache in her own healthy joints at what he must endure to do his duty three times a day.
She looked upward, walked to the iron railing, and grasped the cold metal. She began to ascend. On the first landing, she paused at what sounded like sudden whispers, but she saw nothing, so she continued upward.
At the very top, she found her answer. The view that had seemed magnificent when she first arrived, had become almost godlike here, above the sea. She could see for miles. She could pick out the people in the village going about their business, but also the sea life in the ocean. Her breath caught. She leaned closer to look. A whale. She could see a whale in the distance, breaching repeatedly like a child at play.
She was careful not to touch any of the instruments that controlled the light. Emile would teach her to use them, she was certain. She had always been an apt pupil. Living in a duke’s household had exposed her to many lessons not always provided to a governess’s daughter. Living with the Fenster siblings had provided her with lessons that went beyond what was possible even in a duke’s household. She had seen one Fenster sister start a business making beautiful high fashion buttons with a cottager, another become an artist of repute, and one a card sharp that others admired. Kate, her best friend and youngest Fenster sister, had won prizes for the roses she created in her greenhouse.
The gleaming brass of the instruments called to her, but she did not touch, except for one, loving stroke. If she accepted the dying man downstairs as husband, this could be hers.
About the Book: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Bride
At long last, Book 8 in the Once Upon a Wedding series has arrived
Raised almost as a sister in a duke’s household, Betsy Lawton has let the duchess’ love of fairytale endings lead her to believe she has a chance at true love with a man far above her station.
Betsy Lawton, the governess’ daughter, dares to give her heart to an earl. When he crushes it under his heel to marry according to his family’s expectations, she turns her back on England and departs for America, where rank and station are no impediment to her dreams. Not that Betsy desires true love any longer. Instead she will be the mail order bride of a lighthouse keeper. It is the lighthouse she will love, she vows.
Matthew Thigpen, Earl of Battingston, had always regretted not fighting hard enough to marry the woman he loved, despite her lack of rank and family. But now he needs to find her. The woman he jilted is the only woman who will understand his predicament and keep his daughter safe.
Now a widow, Betsy must marry again to keep her job at her beloved lighthouse. Matthew offers her a devil’s bargain that will allow her to keep her job at the lighthouse she loves and keep his daughter safe as well. But is his bargain worth the lighthouse, if he breaks her heart all over again?
Kelly McClymer fell in love with Cinderella,
Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White as a child. Her most prized possession
is her copy of The Complete Tales of the Brothers Grimm. These are the
stories which gripped our ancestors as they huddled around the fire at
night, which taught countless children to persevere through hardship and
succeed against the odds. Her favorite fairytale remains “The Six
Swans” — where a young sister must not speak a word for six years in
order to save her brothers from their stepmother’s evil spell.