Holly and Hopeful Hearts ~ a new release from the Bluestocking Belles is on the way!

Amy Rose Uncategorized

The Bluestocking Belles have a new holiday box set release on the way, Holly and Hopeful Hearts! And it’s now available for pre-order! The release date will be November 8.
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When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?

You can read about all eight novellas, and find pre-order links, on the Bluestocking Belles’ Holly & Hopeful Hearts page and at the end of this post.

I’ve written the novella, Dashing Through the Snow…

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Miss Kate Woodville, teacher and bluestocking, enjoys her independence, thank you very much. But when a very determined viscount insists she accompany him on a mad dash through the snow to Gretna Green to stop his younger sister, Violet, eloping with Kate’s own brother, she has little choice but to go. She’ll risk the ruin of her own pristine reputation if it means she can save Freddie from Lord Stanton’s wrath.

As they race along the road north and then back to Hollystone Hall in Buckinghamshire for a New Year’s Eve charity ball, hearts and wills are certain to collide. But will anyone—Freddie and Violet, or Kate and Lord Stanton—find the path to everlasting love?

Here’s a sneak peak at the first-meet between the heroine, Miss Kate Woodville, and the hero, Lord Stanton, at a ball at Vauxhall Gardens…

Vauxhall Gardens

Vauxhall Gardens

Kate nearly laughed out loud when she chanced a glance at Lord Stanton’s face. His Lordship was not pleased at the turn of events, judging by the clearly visible scowl furrowing his brow just above his mask and the muscle working in his jaw. She imagined the short black spikes of his cropped a la Caesar hairstyle were actually bristling like the spines of a disgruntled hedgehog. She hoped Freddie monopolized Miss Violet Lockhart for at least another dance or two. It would serve the pompous Lord Stanton right.

To her astonishment, he suddenly turned his attention to her and bowed. “Miss Woodville,” he grated out between clenched teeth, “Would you also care to dance?”

Kate raised an eyebrow. She ought to refuse him—he was obviously only asking her so he could keep an eye on his sister and Freddie—but a wicked part of her thought it might irk him more if she accepted. “How could I resist such a charming invitation? Of course. I would love to, Lord Stanton.”

She took his arm—as hard as forged iron with tension—and accompanied him out onto the floor where a large number of other couples had gathered. Kate looked about but could not see hide nor hair of her brother and Violet. Neither could she see anyone taking up the requisite positions for dancing a quadrille, a cotillion, a reel, or another type of country dance.

Oh no. Kate’s heart clenched with horror as pairs of men and women drew very close to each other in holds as intimate as a lover’s embrace. The next dance couldn’t possibly be a slow-turning waltz, could it? She’d learned the steps under the tutelage of Mrs. Brooke’s Academy’s ancient dance master but she’d never danced it with someone as imposing as Lord Stanton. And certainly not in a public place.

Oh, dear Lord, it was a waltz. Before Kate had time to even think about voicing a protest, Lord Stanton had slipped his large hands beneath her elbows. He drew her so close, she could smell the spicy notes of his expensive cologne, the starch of his pristine white shirt, even the slightly musky scent of the man himself. She closed her eyes and tried to slow her breathing which had grown fast and shallow. Had Lord Stanton noticed she was trembling?

Indeed he had because his warm breath brushed against her ear as he murmured, “There’s no need to be nervous, Miss Woodville. I won’t bite.”

Kate grasped Lord Stanton’s broad, superfine clad shoulders beneath the black satin of his cape as the music swelled. “That’s not what I am afraid of.” Heavens, even her voice shook. She swallowed before continuing. “I’m not a very… experienced dancer. I know the steps but have never had to put them into practice on an occasion like this.” With a man like you.

When she looked up into Lord Stanton’s masked face, she was surprised to find he was smiling at her. The expression in his eyes had softened. “Relax if you can and follow my lead,” he said in a low voice. “Are you ready?”

Kate inhaled a deep, steadying breath and nodded. “Ready.”

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If you’d like to find out about the Belle’s other seven novellas in Holly and Hopeful Hearts, follow the links below…

A Suitable Husband, by Jude Knight

As the Duchess of Haverford’s companion, Cedrica Grenford is not treated as a poor relation and is encouraged to mingle with Her Grace’s guests. Surely she can find a suitable husband amongst the gentlemen gathered for the duchess’s house party. Above stairs or possibly below.

Valuing Vanessa, by Susana Ellis

Facing a dim future as a spinster under her mother’s thumb, Vanessa Sedgely makes a practical decision to attach an amiable gentleman who will not try to rule her life.

A Kiss for Charity, by Sherry Ewing

Young widow Grace, Lady de Courtenay, has no idea how a close encounter with a rake at a masquerade ball would make her yearn for love again. Can she learn to forgive Lord Nicholas Lacey and set aside their differences to let love into her heart?

Artemis, by Jessica Cale

Actress Charlotte Halfpenny is in trouble. Pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and out of a job, Charlotte faces eviction two weeks before Christmas. When the reclusive Earl of Somerton makes her an outrageous offer, she has no choice but to accept. Could he be the man of her dreams, or is the nightmare just beginning?

The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, by Jude Knight

James must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.

Christmas Kisses, by Nicole Zoltack  

Louisa Wycliff, Dowager Countess of Exeter wants only for her darling daughter, Anna, to find a man she can love and marry. Appallingly, Anna has her sights on a scoundrel of a duke who chases after every skirt he sees. Anna truly thinks the dashing duke cares for her, but her mother has her doubts.

An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield

Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?

Pre-order Holly and Hopeful Hearts now for only $2.99:

Amazon US   Amazon UK * Amazon Australia * Amazon Canada

 

New cover, new release, new series! Coming in October from Caroline Warfield!

Amy Rose Uncategorized

13923256_10154297249220833_2665876749316707228_oLove is worth the risk…

The heroes and heroines of Caroline Warfield’s DANGEROUS SERIES overcame challenges even after their happy ending. Their children seek their own happiness in distant lands in Warfield’s new CHILDREN OF EMPIRE SERIES.

In THE RENEGADE WIFE, first of the new series, reclusive Rand Wheatly finds contentment in his remote cabin in Upper Canada, intent on making his fortune in timber, until his precious solitude is disrupted by a woman running from an ugly past. He quickly realizes she wasn’t what she claims, but now she’s on the run again and time is running out for him to save her.

Caroline is celebrating with a GIVEAWAY on her website.

Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… Fiona Miers

Amy Rose Uncategorized

Fellow Aussie romance author, Fiona Miers, has dropped by my parlour today to chat about her upcoming release on May 28, Lady Charlotte’s Marquess (The heir and a spare, Book 2), a sexy Regency romance!

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  1. Amy: Can you share something about your writing? E.g. When did you decide to become a writer? What or who inspired you to write romantic historical fiction? What is your writing process?

Fiona: I starting writing seriously when I was on holidays reading Sabrina Jeffries, and literally got struck with the idea for a four part series.

My very first Regency Romance book was written by Sabrina Jeffries and from there I devoured everything she had written and published up to that point, and then Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens and Julia Quinn. I loved the genre, the heroes, the clothes! Everything about the world was amazing and I just had to write some too.

  1. Amy: What story are you working on at the moment? Would you like to share an excerpt?

Fiona: I’m polishing up the third book in ‘The heir and a spare’ series. Rupert’s story which I believe will be called Lizzie’s Earl. Rupert is my biggest, most jovial hero.

Excerpt: (unedited)

“I can be very persuasive my lady.” Rupert said quietly, lacing his voice with honey and giving her a grin that she was sure had won many a woman before her.

Lizzie snorted, glaring up at the big oaf.

“You can be as persuasive as you like my lord, but I am not interested in a dalliance.”

“I can assure you I will make it a pleasurable interlude.” Rupert drawled, drawing Lizzie away from the main body of dancers, and pitching his voice low.

Again he smiled that dazzling smile and Lizzie frowned. Rupert Willoughby hadn’t been denied before, that was plain to see. She felt his thumb gently stroking her hand and that strange flutter low in her belly moved again. It was time to nip this in the bud.

“I want a husband my lord and children, not a pleasurable interlude. Can you give me what I want?” Lizzie asked him, batting her eyelashes and injecting honey into her tone. She knew the last thing this charming rakehell of a gentleman wanted, was to be shackled to one woman. The best way of making him stay away from her was to be honest about what she wanted from this London Season.

Rupert’s eyes grew wide and as they continued their dance he tripped and stumbled a little. Lizzie gripped his hand and waited for him to regain his composure.

“Uh, no.” Rupert answered, his calm facade wavering completely now.

Lizzie watched the play of strange emotions run across Rupert’s face and wanted to smooth his furrowed brow with her fingers. This thought was shocking enough to pull her out of her daze, and she snapped off the first thing that came to her mind.

“Then you will never get me into your bed. I suggest you take home the woman in green who has been eyeing you for the past hour and leave me alone.”

Damn! She hadn’t meant to be so obvious in her jealousy. She dropped her hands from Rupert’s and stormed away from him.

  1. Amy: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Fiona: I am definitely a pantser, starting a new novel with a single scene and not having any idea where the story is going. However, I have started to plot a little, once I started writing longer stories and getting lost in the middle. Not extensive, details plots, more like ten dot points with arrows and asterix’s.

  1. Amy: Do you write to a schedule (e.g. daily page/word count goal) or when the muse decides to visit?

Fiona: I generally write when the muse strikes, but due to wanting to increase my productivity, I’ve started doing some self publishing and putting my books up for preorder on Amazon- so I have a strict deadline to stick to. That’s been challenging, but quite fun!

  1. Amy: What helps you get into the mood to write?

Fiona: Writing books I want to write. Because I write under two pen names and don’t restrict myself on genre, I just write what I want when I want- which helps keep things fresh and alive.

  1. Amy: Where do you get your inspiration? E.g. Are you inspired by people, places or actual historical events?

Fiona: People more than anything. My man is the most beautiful hero I’ve ever met. He’s complicated, tortured, alpha and hot. I love writing my hero’s now that I have some one to base them on. Before him, I dreamed about how beautiful love could be.

  1. Amy: Do you have a particular period of history you are passionate about?

Fiona: I do love the Regency period. Obviously. It’s just beautiful.

  1. Amy: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Fiona: Everyone in my life being happy and healthy. Being loved by my husband, and being able to love him in turn. Adoring my children and having them adore me. Enough money to pay for the things we need and a few of the things we want. Being safe.

  1. Amy: What is your greatest extravagance?

Fiona: My nails. I love my manicures and pedicures. They’re one thing I became addicted to a few years ago and can’t seem to cut them out of my routine even when finances get really right.

  1. Amy: Which talent would you most like to have?

Fiona: I soo wish I could sing! I love to sing- but even my mother tells me I am tone deaf.

  1. Amy: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Fiona: Having healthy and happy children, and a happy and healthy husband. I work quite hard at keeping everyone in my family as happy as possible and I consider them my greatest achievement.

  1. Amy: If you had a day all to yourself and your only mission was to enjoy it, what would you do?

Fiona: Stay in bed, all day. I’d have massage therapists and chefs come to the house and feed me, pamper me, and of course have my beautiful man around for all that time in between…

Thanks much, Fiona! Please read on to find out more about Lady Charlotte’s Marquess

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Lady Charlotte is a Duke’s daughter to her very bones. She has everything her heart desires, except for the love that she secretlyLCM - Small 200x300 craves. A child of an ugly, planned marriage, she dreads the union that her parents have and swears never to marry for anything less that perfect love.

But that seems unlikely when she lives in a world of rogues, and callous gentleman. No-one is good enough for her and she will not give herself to anyone who is unworthy. Even if her brother’s friend Archie is mysterious and handsome, drawing her attention like no other.

Archibald Turner’s life took a swift turn at the tender age of eighteen when he learnt a horrific fate had settled on his brother, and Archie himself would inherit his father’s title. One of the famed ‘Spares’- he did not want the responsibility of his father’s mantle. However, duty called and he turned himself into the most perfect version that he possibly could, dreading the day fate will deliver the ugly blow.

The one thing he can’t control is his love for the strong, audacious Lady Charlotte. She makes him yearn for a future that isn’t his for the taking; and yet, when she starts to show him favour, the impossible starts to become possible and the dreams the Archie has suppressed for so long, swim into his life in bold, vivid color.

Excerpt:

“I don’t believe I’ll ever marry.” Charlotte answered with an airy wave of her hand, making an announcement of the plan on which she had only recently decided.

“Pardon?” The almost uniform reply of the five people surrounding her, with their accompanying horrified faces and wide eyes, was enough to make her giggle.

“Why ever not?” Oliver asked, his eyebrows so high on his forehead they looked closer to being part of his brow line.

“What else would you do?” John shook his head, obviously baffled by the idea that a woman would choose to remain unmarried.

Charlotte laughed again, enjoying the attention and general silence surrounding her.

“I don’t need the money or a home and I don’t necessarily think I want children. There isn’t any other reason to marry.”

Charlotte had actually spent several years thinking this through and now that she listed the reasons out loud, she had the clear realisation that it was all true. Her conversation with her mother the week before had merely solidified the idea. She also had a yearly annuity on which she could live without her father’s help should the need arise. It was also true that she would have no objection to marrying a man if she actually cared for one, but she wouldn’t be admitting to that. Not openly at least.

“What about love? Companionship?” Oliver wrapped his hand possessively around his wife’s waist and pulled her into his side.

Envy ripped through Charlotte and the feeling wasn’t at all pleasant. If she remained a single lady, would this become a frequent occurrence?

“I am blessed with family and friends for that. Besides, from what I understand from most of my married friends I’d be giving up a lot more than I could ever gain. If I do still feel a lack of something in my life, there are plenty of orphanages and charities on which I may expend my time and generosity.”

Charlotte looked towards a group of young women standing together in a corner of the ballroom. It was well known that all three had husbands who rarely spent a night at home.

“Whatever do you mean that you would be giving up more than you gained?” Sarah asked, her voice raising into a squeak. Sarah was a vicar’s daughter who had married a duke. She had gained a lot when she married Oliver, not just emotionally but financially. Charlotte laughed out loud and covered her mouth with her fan. Surely Sarah could see the humor in her question?

“I mean, legally my husband would own me. I would no longer have any control over my own money or assets and he, to make matters even worse, would have complete physical access.”

Charlotte shuddered and grimaced, then she heard her brother mutter under his breath.

“And you wonder why men keep mistresses?”

It was well known to both of them that their father spent time with his mistress every week and when the London Season was over, he was completely hers. Charlotte had told John her opinion on that.

“What do you mean?” Charlotte glared at her brother, wanting to stamp her foot on the polished floor boards.

She didn’t wonder why men kept mistresses, she already knew. Men were beasts, unable to contain their base urges, but she wasn’t going to be the wife waiting at home for her husband to return.

“I mean, if a lady like you dreads going to her husband’s bed, why would you assume a husband would want to bed you? He’d prefer the arms of a woman who would welcome him.” Although it was in no way appropriate for Lord John Dunford to be discussing such a thing with his unmarried sister, Charlotte smiled at her brother. She had never been an ordinary lady.

Buy Links:

Amazon

ARe 

Kobo

Nook

Connect with Fiona…

Fiona Miers has a super busy life, like most modern women, but always finds time for reading and writing romance. Her love 12032019_10154190867960830_8007849037675673008_naffair with the romance genre started when she was only 11 years old, when her mother, and nana, handed her, her first mills and boon. Since then she’s built her own business, become a mother to two beautiful little girls, and fallen in love with the most spectacular man on the planet.
Fiona writes MF contemporary and historical romance, writing more erotic stories under the pen name Tamsin Baker. Thank you for reading this, and hopefully you’ll love reading about her characters as much as she loved creating them.

Social media links:

Facebook
Twitter

Email: fiona.miers@gmail.com

The Master of Strathburn is up for pre-order!

Amy Rose Uncategorized

A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.-5The Master of Strathburn, my upcoming release with Escape Publishing, is up for pre-order! It’s due for release on May 15, 2016. But in the meantime, here’s the blurb and all of the pre-order buy links if you’d like to check it out…

A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.

Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realizes that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

Pre-order Buy Links:

The Bluestocking Belles’ Holiday Wassailing Tour

Amy Rose Uncategorized

Welcome to the third stop of the Bluestocking Belles’ Holiday Wassailing Tour.

The Earl and Countess of Arlington

The Earl and Countess of Arlington

The Bluestocking Belles trust you are enjoying the tour so far. On this third stop, the Earl and Countess of Arlington of All She Wants for Christmas, by Amy Rose Bennett, welcome you to Arlington Abbey. Jasper Hargreaves and his lovely wife Tessa are newly wedded and such is their conjugal bliss, they are more than happy to share their Christmas cheer with guests.

To win a Kindle (digital Amazon) copy of Amy Rose Bennett’s Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal, comment below with:

a) what your favourite Christmas dish is, and

b) the answer to the following question… What dish was served during the ‘fish course’ at the Duke of Buckingham’s Christmas dinner in 1808? (Hint: you can find the answer at the previous stop on the tour, Nicole Zoltack’s blog).

The randomly chosen winner will be announced at the end of the wassailing tour! All the stops are below.

To help you, our most esteemed guests, feel welcome at Arlington Abbey, please do take a seat in the Great Hall before the Yule log fire and enjoy a glass of ratafia or holiday wassail as carollers regale you with Deck the Halls. The third course, a stuffed roast turkey, will be served presently…  

Chambers_Yule_Log

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Holiday Wassail 

Found on Jane Austen.co.uk ~ Here We come A Wassailing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup tea (can use herb tea)
  • Place in a cheesecloth sack:
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon whole allspice
  • 2 sticks cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

This is great cooked in a crock pot. Let it simmer very slowly for 4 to 6 hours. You can add water if it evaporates too much. Your home will smell wonderful! Serve warm, garnish with orange slices. Serves 20.

With thanks to the Jane Austen Society (Please see link for an in-depth discussion of the recipe).

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Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.12.40 PMWhen confirmed bluestocking, Tessa Penrose, is thoroughly compromised at a Yuletide ball by Jasper, the Earl of Arlington, she is none too pleased to have to marry him. But not only her reputation is at stake. Can Tessa trust this disreputable rogue with a secret she will do anything to hide?

One thing is certain: she dare not trust her husband with her heart.

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Excerpt from All She Wants For Christmas

The door opened then closed, and Tessa sagged into the cushions at her back. Thank God that was over. Lord Arlington—Jasper—would leave and then she would lock the door.

And tomorrow she would tell Christopher exactly what she thought of his so-called friend. Rakehell was too polite a term to describe a thorough reprobate like him. Aunt Beatrice had been right. He was a devil.

A soft snore penetrated the silence.

Oh no. Tessa ground her teeth together in frustration. It seemed Lord Arlington wouldn’t be leaving her studio after all.

Well, she certainly wasn’t going to stay.

She quietly and carefully rose to her feet then cursed under her breath when she realized she wore only stockings on her feet; she’d left her matching cerise slippers on the Aubusson hearthrug by the very settee where Lord Arlington rested. He and Lady Montagu must have been so caught up in—well, whatever they’d been doing—they hadn’t noticed them.

You don’t need them, Tessa. Just sneak away.

 But what if someone did catch sight of her traipsing about Penrose House sans shoes? She had to make her way back to the main staircase to reach the stairs leading to the third floor. And the servants’ stairs were at the other end of the hallway. Either way, she had to traverse the main landing in full view of the hall leading through to the ballroom, and there would be guests about, of that there was no doubt. She glanced down and scowled at her feet. Given the hem of her new silk gown barely skimmed below her ankles, her fashion faux pas would be clear to see. And she refused to cause a stir. She could never do that to Emma on her special night.

There was nothing for it. She was going to have to retrieve her slippers.

Taking a deep breath, Tessa slipped between the curtains and tiptoed toward the hearthrug. Lord Arlington had stopped snoring, but when Tessa chanced a glance at his face—no she wouldn’t look more closely to see if he was as handsome as she suspected—it was clear he was still asleep. Permitting herself a faint sigh of relief, she rounded the settee. Her slippers lay exactly where she had discarded them… right beside Lord Arlington’s very long and very muscular, outstretched legs.

Desperately trying to ignore the fact his black silk evening breeches and white silk stockings seemed to be molded quite indecently to every hard curve of his thighs and calves, she bent down toward her slippers.

“I wondered who those belonged to.”

Tessa squealed and jumped backwards as Lord Arlington sat up straight and yawned. He ran a hand down his much too handsome face, and despite the fact he still looked half asleep, his perfectly sculpted mouth tipped into a wolfish smile. “Good evening, m’dear,” he drawled. “How do you do?”

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Arlington Abbey, Little Arlington, Surrey

Tessa, Lady Arlington, on the arm of her very handsome and very attentive husband, approaches the assembled guests as they sip their glasses of warmed wassail. “I hope you are hungry, my dear friends,” she says with a smile as bright as the ruby and diamond necklace she wears at her throat, “as I believe the main fare for this evening is ready. Mrs Newbury, our cook, declares it is the finest turkey she’s ever served. There is also ratafia for those of you who would prefer something a little lighter to drink with their meal.”

Lord Arlington nods; his own smile is wide as he catches everybodys’ eye. “Indeed. I think this year’s Christmas dinner at Arlington Abbey will be the best I’ve ever sat down to.” His hazel eyes, glowing with pride, return to his wife. “And with the loveliest company,” he says softly.

With his blushing countess on his arm, Lord Arlington leads the party into the dining room where the most glorious feast awaits!

A Stuffed Christmas Turkey

Recipe from: Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1747 shutterstock_334791641

To Roast a Turky [sic]

The best Way to roast a Turky is to loosen the Skin on the Breast of the Turky, and fill it with Force-Meat made thus: Take a Quarter of a Pound of Beef Sewet, as many Crumbs of Bread, a little Lemon-peel, an Anchovy, some Nutmeg, Pepper, Parsley, and a little Thyme; chop and beat them all well together, mix them with the Yolk of an Egg, and stuff up the Breast; when you have no Sewet Butter will do: Or you may make your Force-Meat thus: Spread Bread and Butter thin, and grate some Nutmeg over it; when you have enough roll it up, and stuff the Breast of the Turky; then roast it of a fine Brown, but be sure to pin some white Paper on the Breast till it is near enough.

With thanks to the Jane Austen Society (Please see link for an in-depth discussion of the recipe)

 

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Ratafia

Still Life with Liqueur and Fruit, by Raphelle Peale, 1814

Still Life with Liqueur and Fruit, by Raphelle Peale, 1814

Recipe from: Robert’s Guide for Butlers & Other Household Staff, published in 1828.

Into one quart of brandy pour half a pint of cherry juice, as much currant juice, as much of raspberry juice, add a few cloves, and some white pepper in grains, two grains of green coriander, and a stick or two of cinnamon, then pound the stones of cherries, and put them in wood and all. Add about twenty five or thirty kernels of apricots. Stop your demijohn close and let it infuse for one month in the shade, shaking it five or six times in that time at the end of which strain it through a flannel bag, then through a filtering paper, and then bottle it and cork close for use; you can make any quantity you chose, only by adding or increasing more brandy or other ingredients.

With thanks to Laura Chinet (Please see link for more information about the recipe).

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Box-Set-3D-Square-WebMistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem: A Bluestocking Belles Collection
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

Goodreads Reviews

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Donate to the Malala Fund

SeparatorNow that the dinner is done, make sure you link back to all of the Belles’ holiday wassailing stops, with a different Regency era Christmas carol, dinner selection, and beverage, and wassail recipes at every stop that you can make in the modern kitchen. The following links for the stops will be updated as they become available.

christmas

Digital Christmas Card by EKDuncan using digital Christmas ornaments of Regency ladies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas at Arlington Abbey – #HistoricalHeartsBlogHop #Giveaway

Amy Rose Uncategorized

24th December 1816

Dearest Readers,

As you know, I— Letitia Wellbeloved, roving correspondent—have been commissioned by the chief editor of The Lady’s Magazine to visit the most splendid country houses of several well known and respected members of society and to share with you, a little about the Christmas traditions of these families. And my, what a wonderful whirlwind of a tour it has been so far! Not only have the most delightful Christmas recipes been shared, but there’s also been a fare amount of juicy tidbits of gossip sprinkled throughout each report… Let me assure you, dear Readers, you are about to hear a few more… er, recipes and Christmas traditions that is!

At the end of this post, I have included the list of other grand homes I will be visiting, together with details of two generous prizes donated by the editor of The Lady’s Magazine. All you have to do is enter something called a RAFFLECOPTER… whatever that is! You can click HERE to enter it or go to the end of this post.

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Today, I have the pleasure of reporting from Arlington Abbey in Little Arlington, Surrey, home of the very newly wedded, Jasper and Tessa Hargreaves, the Earl and Countess of Arlington.

The Earl and Countess of Arlington

The Earl and Countess of Arlington

[ As an aside, dear Readers, you may have read in certain society pages such as the Teatime Tattler (although it is rather naughty of me to mention such a salacious tome), about the events leading up to the sudden betrothal and marriage of the notorious, but-oh-so-scrumptious rake, Jasper Hargreaves, Lord Arlington and Miss Tessa Penrose, the sister of Viscount Trevilian.

For many years, Miss Penrose had been a relative stranger in the realm of the haute ton. A confirmed bluestocking, she devoted much of her time and energy to supporting charities and to pursuing a ‘career’ (quite outrageous, I know) as a portrait artist. It was a shock indeed when whispers about the scandalous behavior of the quite singular Miss Penrose and Lord Arlington reached this correspondent’s ears. Apparently, this spinsterish miss was publicly compromised by Lord Arlington—and by compromised I mean the pair were actually ‘caught beneath the kissing bough’—at a Yuletide ball at Penrose House in London at the start of this month. It is my understanding that Lord Arlington decided to take the course gentleman should always take in these situations and offered for Miss Penrose’s hand in marriage straightaway. This seemingly mismatched couple have since been united in holy matrimony in the private chapel right here at Arlington Abbey. Only time will tell if this hasty union will be a love match…] 

Now, without further ado, I’d like you to meet Mrs. Greenaway, the housekeeper of Arlington Abbey… 

LW.: Dear Mrs. Greenaway, I must thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I understand you were very much involved in preparations for Lord and Lady Arlington’s wedding breakfast last week, and I also hear the earl has planned a grand feast for the estate’s tenants on Christmas Day (heavens, is it really tomorrow?)

Mrs. G.: Yes, that is indeed correct, Miss Wellbeloved. And what a right busy time it’s been. However, it’s been such a pleasure to organize both events for his lordship and his new countess. And such a beautiful sweet-tempered woman she is—I can see why Lord Arlington appears so smitten, even though the wedding was… ahem, so sudden. I don’t mind the extra work, considering his lordship seems so happy. After he returned from Waterloo last year… Oh it was such a sad time… [Mrs. Greenaway takes a moment to dab at her eyes with her apron before I feel I can ask my next question]

L.W.: As I mentioned, it must have been quite a surprise for you and the other staff to hear your master was getting married. I can’t imagine you had much time to prepare for Christmas considering the wedding was on the 18th December. Are there any Christmas traditions particular to Arlington Abbey and the earl’s family that you would care to share with the readers of The Lady’s Magazine?

Mrs. G.: Well, yes. However, Lord Arlington’s father—he passed away last year—was not one for celebrating Christmas. So the festivities Jasper has organized (I’ve known his lordship since he was a boy so it’s hard for me to think of him as Lord Arlington), they will be new traditions. It is wonderful to see the house brought to life again.

L.W.: How lovely! Do tell me what has been planned.

Mrs. G.: You may have noticed how bright and welcoming the Great Hall is. Lord Arlington asked his steward to procure an enormous Yule log for the fireplace and his lordship lit it himself this very morning. I’m sure it will continue to burn right through the season (and what a dreadfully cold year it has been. We surely need it!) The Hall and the main living areas have also been beautifully decorated with boughs of holly, ivy, mistletoe and Christmas roses. And so many candles. No expense has been spared, let me tell you. I’m sure Lady Arlington will be delighted to see what the master has done to make her feel welcome.

L.W.: And what will be served for Christmas dinner, Mrs. Greenaway? I’m sure it will be a veritable feast!

Mrs. G.: I certainly hope so considering the menu I planned buycheap-pillsonline.com with Mrs. Newbury, the head cook here. There will be ham, roast goose, turkey and duck aplenty, a haunch of venison, roast beef and even a suckling pig. There will be stuffing from the fowl, roast chestnuts and vegetable dishes of course—Mrs. Newbury has even managed to obtain asparagus and Brussels sprouts! And then to finish there will be trifle and Christmas pudding all washed down with mulled wine, cider or ale.

LW.: And what particular family recipe will you be sharing with us today, Mrs. Greenaway?

Mrs. G.: As a special treat for your readers, I would be happy to share my tried-and-true recipe for plum pudding. The late Countess of Arlington—Jasper’s mother—loved it so. And I hope the new Lady Arlington loves it too!

Regency Dinner

Traditional Plum Pudding

Ingredients for the fruit mixture:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 225 grams/½ pound of butter
  • 450 grams/1 pound of dried mixed fruit (e.g. sultanas, currants, raisins, peel, glacé cherry pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon of marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Ingredients for the cake mixture:

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • ¼ cup of toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and mixed spice

To serve: custard and cream

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the fruit mixture—except for the bicarbonate of soda—in a large saucepan. Stir over low-medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is combined. Bring to the boil and let the mixture simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda—the mixture will froth up at this point. Set aside to cool for an hour.
  2. Sift the flours and spices into a large bowl. Add the cooled fruit mixture, lightly beaten eggs, vanilla, brandy and toasted almond slivers. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to a greased pudding basin with a lid (grease with butter). Seal well. Place a trivet in the bottom of a very large soup or stock pot, then place the basin on top of this (this will stop the top of the pudding from sticking too much). Carefully pour boiling water from a kettle around the pudding until the water level is about half-way to two-thirds up the side of the basin. Bring the water to the boil over low-medium heat, place the lid on the pot, then boil/steam the pudding over low heat for 3-4 hours. Check the water level every so often and top up with more boiling water from the kettle as required.
  4. After 3-4 hours, very carefully remove the boiled plum pudding from the pot of boiling water.
  5. Let cool then store in a cool, dark place for several weeks (even a month to six weeks). Every week, you can remove the top of the pudding basin and sprinkle the pudding with a little more brandy.
  6. To serve the pudding hot on Christmas Day, place the pudding basin in another pot of boiling water as described above and ‘steam’ for an hour or two until heated through. Remove from the basin, turn out onto a pudding plate and serve with thick custard and cream.

This is Letitia Wellbeloved bidding farewell to Arlington Abbey. I hope you will join me at one of the other places I will be visiting. You can click here to join the hop or scroll further down to find each stop…

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If you want to find out more about Miss Tessa Penrose and Jasper Hargreaves, Lord Arlington, you can read about their romance in the Christmas novella All She Wants For Christmas by Amy Rose Bennett. It’s one of seven novellas in the recently released Bluestocking Belles’ Christmas box set, Mistletoe, Marriage, & Mayhem.

All She Wants for Christmas, by Amy Rose BennettMMM Box-Set-3D-Square-Web

When confirmed bluestocking, Tessa Penrose, is thoroughly compromised at a Yuletide ball by Jasper, the Earl of Arlington, she is none too pleased to have to marry him. But not only her reputation is at stake. Can Tessa trust this disreputable rogue with a secret she will do anything to hide?

One thing is certain: she dare not trust her husband with her heart.

Mistletoe, Marriage, & Mayhem

In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after. ***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

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Join the Historical Hearts for a weekend of Christmas revelry in the tradition of all good historical romances. Take a sneak peek behind the scenes of the grand houses and share some of the gossip about ‘them up there’ as well as forgotten traditions and favorite family recipes.

Click on any of the following links to start the Blog Hop …

Alison Stuart – Writer

Tea Cooper, Romance Author – From the Outback to the Ocean

Suzi Love – Historical romance, sexy to hot

Cassandra Samuels (Author)

Elyse Huntington – Christmas at Cavendish House

Sasha Cottman – Keeping Historical Romance Fresh

Elizabeth Ellen Carter – Love’s Great Adventure

Erin Grace – Historical Romance Author

And especially for the readers of The Lady’s Magazine, there is a chance to win yourself a Christmas present of one of two Amazon Gift Vouchers. Just make sure you enter the Rafflecopter right here!

Rejected Lovers Gossip – Part One

Amy Rose Uncategorized

Welcome! You’ve dropped in at just the right time to hear some juicy behind-the-scenes Regency gossip from the Bluestocking Belles’ soon-to-be-released Christmas box set, Mistletoe, Marriage, & Mayhem.

In the following never-before-seen vignette, Cordelia, Lady Montagu, the villainess from my Christmas novella All She Wants for Christmas catches up with Enid, Lady Bosville, the villainess from Jude Knight’s Gingerbread Bride. The following post features the first half of an exclusive chat with these two arbiters of ton gossip. Then drop by Jude Knight’s blog to read the remainder of their scandal laden conversation. There’s quite a bit of delicious inside information sprinkled throughout each post about other characters featured in Mistletoe, Marriage, & Mayhem. Go on, read on… You know you want to…

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Enid, Lady Bosville can barely hide her boredom. The Stanton musicale is a dismal affair—mostly ladies, with a smattering of husbands. And they are actually listening to the music! She hides a yawn, and forces a smile as the newly wedded Julia Stanton passes by. How nauseating it is that the young woman appears blissfully happy as she gazes up at her new husband, Oliver Stanton—and a commoner no less! How utterly dreadful.

Enid wonders if she can steal away; perhaps pretend a call of a delicate nature and revisit the tea table in the other parlour. The afternoon tea, at least, is to her taste. No sooner thought than put into practice, she slips from her seat and glides quietly to the door.

But someone is before her at the tea tables…

* * *

Cordelia, Lady Montagu, scans the chattering crowd seated in the drawing room and only just manages to hide a bored sigh behind her fan. The musicale at Oliver and Julia Stanton’s Manchester Square residence had turned out to be a frightfully tedious affair. Not an unexpected circumstance at this time of year, mid-December. But she’d had rather high hopes of meeting some roguish fellow up to the task of keeping her warm in bed tonight. However, all the men present this afternoon are either well into their dotage or sickeningly devoted to their spouses. It seems that all of the rakes have left Town and have retired to their country estates for Yuletide. Deciding to seek diversion elsewhere, Cordelia rises from her seat and makes her way toward the tea tables in the adjoining parlour. Her mouth curves into a genuine smile when she spies her friend Lady Bosville. She had no idea Enid was attending the musicale. This afternoon might be quite entertaining after all.

“Cordelia!” Enid appears delighted when she approaches. “I have not seen you since that rather astonishing evening at Penrose House! Tell me, are the rumours true?”

Cordelia smiles archly. “Yes, my dear, Enid. They most certainly are.” She places a hand on Lady Bosville’s arm and leans closer to speak in a low voice, “We should find a quiet corner to sit and chat about the supposed wedding of the year. I’ve been dying to share the details.”

Enid’s eyes gleam. “I knew you would know what had really happened that night. Perhaps… the library? Does a banker have a library, one wonders?”

Cordelia sniffs. “I suppose Mr. Stanton thinks he can afford one. However, I believe there might be a sitting room nearby.” Armed with cups of tea and all manner of salacious tales to tell, the ladies repair to a small side parlour and seat themselves on an over-stuffed sofa. “Now, what would you like to know, Enid?” asks Cordelia, with a conspiratorial smile. “How thoroughly disreputable Jasper, Lord Arlington is, or how odd and entirely unsuitable his affianced, Miss Tessa Penrose appears to be?”

“I am well aware of how disreputable Jasper can be, my dear Cordelia,” Enid replies with a smirk. “I would love to know how disreputable he actually was! And with his best friend’s sister, by all accounts!”

Cordelia takes a sip of tea, pulls a face as she suspects it is really not the best quality, then puts down her cup on the occasional table beside her. “Well, Jasper was certainly a busy man that night,” she says with a knowing smirk of her own. “And perhaps I’m partly to blame for what happened. Jasper had been in such a lather earlier that evening, poor boy, I felt compelled to soothe the proverbial savage beast. But I obviously didn’t soothe him enough. Mind you, I wasn’t present when the ‘incident’ with Miss Penrose occurred. That happened later. Apparently, Jasper was caught flagrantly kissing her during the height of the ball at Trevilian House. By her aunt, Lady Cardew and that shocking old tabby, Lady Salter.”

“No! After he already…? Cordelia, I am shocked!” Enid is openly grinning. “One can admire his stamina, if not his taste. But surely Miss Penrose is not even out. Was it not her first ball?”

“Ah, you are thinking of Viscount Trevilian’s youngest sister, Miss Emma Penrose,” explains Cordelia. “The ball was held for her – a trial come-out ball or some other such nonsense, I believe. But it was the eldest Miss Penrose, Tessa—such a strange woman—who was compromised. I hear that not only does she hire herself out as a painter, she is also,” Cordelia pauses for effect, “a bluestocking. Why Jasper kissed that bizarre creature, is a complete mystery to me. Although, he was quite foxed when I left him.” She smiles slyly. “Perhaps he mistook Tessa for me.”

“Poor Jasper!” Enid crows, clearly delighted. “How ever will he manage!”

Cordelia shrugs. “Lord knows. Although, he is always welcome to cry on my shoulder. And he well might. There are certain things society does not know about Tessa. I rather suspect that leg-shackled or not, it won’t be long before Jasper and I take up where we left off.” She shudders and adds, “Miss Tessa Penrose really is a most unsuitable match for a man like Lord Arlington. Forced marriages. They never work.”

“I dare say,” Enid agrees. “And Miss Penrose can hardly expect him to be faithful. Not Arlington. Certainly not under the circumstances. A spinster at her last prayers? And a peculiar one at that? She saw him foxed and took her chances; you mark my words! And a marriage begun with a trick is unlikely to be a happy one. You may remember, Cordelia, that I told you how I and Bosville… Well, he wanted me, of course. I merely helped things along a little. It wasn’t the same thing at all as this sad situation with the Penrose chit.”

Cordelia inclines her head in agreement. “Yes, one must always look out for oneself. And take comfort wherever and whenever one can.” She eyes Enid with interest. “How is your husband these days if you don’t mind my asking?”

Her friend sighs almost as dramatically as an actress from Vauxhall Gardens. “His whores and his horses keep him entertained and out of my way. So boring, all these people who pretend to be enamoured of their spouses. So plebian. He was a fine figure of a man before he put on all that weight, but no patience, Cordelia. Always in a rush… if you understand me.”

Cordelia touches Enid’s hand. “Oh yes I do. Completely. My husband—God rest his soul—could barely even rise to the occasion. Now, men like Lord Arlington…” Cordelia smiles wistfully as she recalls their last encounter. “I’m sure that starchy Miss Penrose will have no idea how to keep him happy. Mark my words, Enid, I’m sure it won’t be long before the earl casts a look my way again.” She gives her friend an assessing look. “Speaking of straying spouses, what news do you have of that entirely delicious Rick Redepenning? I know he married Mary Pritchard some years ago. Surely he’s grown tired of her by now.”

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To read the remainder of the gossip, see the second half of this post on Jude Knight’s blog.

Buy your copy of Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem to find out:MMM Box-Set-3D-Square-Web

  • the full story of what really happened at the Penrose Ball—and how Tessa Penrose and Lord Arlington fared afterwards in All She Wants for Christmas
  • the real story of the courtship of Rick Redepenning and Mary Pritchard, and how Bosville and Enid attempted to derail it, in Gingerbread Bride.
  • how the Stantons come to meet and marry in The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis

And don’t miss our Facebook launch party on 1 November!

 

 

 

Welcome to Amy Rose’s Parlour… H.C. Brown, Author

Amy Rose Uncategorized

Multi-published, best-selling and award winning author of romance, H.C. Brown is visiting my parlour today to talk about her writing and her latest Scottish historical romance release Charmed – The MacKenzie Trilogy, Book One.

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Welcome, H.C. Brown…

Amy Rose: What or who inspired you to write romantic historical fiction?

H.C. Brown: I write across a number of genres, but I read a great deal of historical fiction. So many authors wonderful stories and events in history capture my imagination.

Amy Rose: What is your writing process? (I’m 2/3 plotter, 1/3 panster)

H.C. Brown: I’m a pantser but with historical fiction I spend a lot of time researching the era to make sure I have the right flavor for my story. Then I write every day stopping only to check my historical detail or to edit and polish.

Amy Rose: What story are you working on at the moment?

H.C. Brown: I’m working on an Australian Outback Mystery Romance titled Run.

Amy Rose: That sounds exciting. Would you like to share an excerpt?

Excerpt of Run by H.C. Brown

Moving through the airport’s sliding doors and into a wall of humidity, she waited on the footpath as the other passengers climbed into cars and drove away. Perspiration tickled between her breasts and ran down her stomach to soak the waistband of her white skirt. She batted away a group of persistent flies peppering her blouse and making every effort to climb up her nose. Deciding inside had to be better than becoming an insect snack bar, she turned and dragged her bags back into the terminal. At least inside, she would be out of the sauna like conditions and enjoy the small comfort of the inadequate air conditioning.

The stark emptiness of the building unnerved her, not one person remained. She moved toward a drink dispenser and dropping her bags in a heap by her feet, searched her purse for change. She selected a bottle of water and waited for it to thump into the collection slot. Nothing happened. The next moment the machine shook violently and the plastic bottle shot from the front opening. As she bent to secure her purchase, a dark shadow fell across her path.

She staggered back and tripped over her bags waving both arms. Someone grabbed her arm and she gaped up at a tall man wearing a battered cowboy hat. Embarrassed, she straightened, intending to move past him to recover her drink. “Thank you.”

“No worries.”

His deep calming voice settled her nerves but the sight of him mesmerized her. Her gaze moved over shoulders wide enough to carry a piano, encased in a pale blue tee shirt stretched across a muscular chest, then down to jeans and dusty boots. He scooped the bottle up in one suntanned hand then held it out to her and the deepest blue eyes, she had ever seen in her life scanned her features. She stared back at his handsome face with a long straight nose and determined chin. The ragged pink scar along his jaw gave him a roguish look and didn’t detract from the animal magnetism given off by the stranger. A lock of raven hair had fallen over one eye and she had the sudden need to tuck the curl under the rim of his hat. Oh my God! You are gorgeous. Dragging her attention back to reality, she took the water, and smiled. “Thank you again.”

***

Amy Rose: Do you write to a schedule (e.g. daily page/word count goal) or when the muse decides to visit?

H.C. Brown: I write to a schedule and try to write 1500 words a day.

Amy Rose: What helps you get into the mood to write?

H.C. Brown: Music, walking on the beach.

Amy Rose:  Where do you get your inspiration? E.g. Are you inspired by people, places or actual historical events?

H.C. Brown: Historical events. I studied history and its part of my life. Sorting through old documents is my kind of fun.

Amy Rose: Do you have a particular period of history you are passionate about?

H.C. Brown: I like the Georgian Era. So many things happened in this time, it is a font of inspiration for me. Wars, historical characters, scandals..what more could I ask for?

Amy Rose: Who is your favorite historical ‘go-to’ author or what is your favorite historical romance book of all time?

H.C. Brown: Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander Series.

Amy Rose: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

H.C. Brown: Walking on the beach with my husband.

Amy Rose: What is your greatest extravagance?

H.C. Brown: A mint condition 1877 English Sovereign.

Amy Rose: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

H.C. Brown: Patience.

Amy Rose: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

H.C. Brown: My husband, 43 years and counting J

Amy Rose: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

H.C. Brown: Having my children.

Amy Rose: Thanks for visiting my parlour today, H.C. Brown. It’s been a pleasure. 

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H.C. Brown is also sharing an excerpt from her Scottish historical romance release Charmed – The MacKenzie Trilogy, Book One. Please read on…

Chapter One

Lady Adrianna Beachwood slid into the shadows masking the terrace, her attention captivated on the tall stranger bowing over Lady Bracken’s hand in the receiving line. At last, a gentleman worthy of my consideration. He straightened and bestowed a brilliant smile on his hostess before moving through the reception room in her direction. Sauntering past in elegant glory leaving the expensive fragrance of bergamot in his wake, he astounded her. Dangerously handsome and with the hungry countenance of a wolf, he cast a predatory gaze over the silk encased ladies gathering in the foyer. From the enthusiastic titters beside her and the flutter of fans in her periphery, his perfect proportions, and elegant form had attracted more than a few ladies devotion.

She admired tall men and he was indeed the most stylish of gentlemen. His magnificent broad shoulders fit snugly inside a dark blue jacket nipped at the waist and worn over crisp ivory linen with an overindulgence of lace in the French mode. Her gaze drifted in wanton abandon from his expertly folded silk cravat tucked into a heavily embroidered waistcoat to his breeches cut tight enough to enhance his long muscular legs. Lifting her fan to hide her heated cheeks, she gaped after him. Rather than covering his head with a wig, he had queued his glossy ebony hair at the nape without one trace of powder, yet he certainly appeared to be a devotee to fashion by the cut of his cloth, and the expensive lace at his cuffs.

Her attention matched his swagger in the direction of the ballroom and entranced by his devilish countenance, she stepped into the hallway and followed him along the passageway. She picked up her step, but he sauntered straight past the ballroom without as much as a glimpse within and continued in the direction of the card room. Bother! Adrianna pressed her lips together and stared after him. Determined not to miss the opportunity to catch his eye, she cleared her throat. The temptation of a man stopped abruptly and turned to face her. His languid gaze traveled over her and as he inclined his dark head, the corners of his full mouth twitched into a secretive smile.

A booming voice, announcing the arrival of her father, broke the spell.

“Ah, there you are Adrianna. Why, may I ask do you find it necessary to dally so close to the card room? It is not seemly for a lady to be in close proximity to gamesters, my dear.” He moved to her side then his gaze slid past her and darkened at the sight of the handsome stranger. “Come along, I am sure there are more suitable gentlemen waiting to fill your card.” He offered his arm.

Annoyed by her father’s untimely appearance, she composed her features into a mask of disinterest, and rested one hand on his arm. “I noticed you in the company of Lord Somerton in the receiving room and assumed you would pass this way so I waited for you, Papa.”

His nostrils flared in disgust and he bent his head lowering his voice. His acid tongue lashed over her like a whip.

“You are not a girl on her first come out and should know better than to expose yourself to rakes and ne’re do wells.”

She turned to him aghast. “Oh, Papa, your worry is unfounded. To be sure, Lord Bracken would not allow scoundrels within a mile of Lady Bracken’s soiree.”

Her father raised both eyebrows and peered at her thoughtfully through his quizzing glass.

“Adrianna, your naivety astounds me. It would seem I will have to keep a closer eye on you this evening.” He tucked an errant curl into her chignon with unexpected skill. “Come along, I have arranged for a number of respectable gentlemen to make your acquaintance.”

Genre & heat level : Georgian, Scottish Highlander, Smugglers, Pirates, spicy Romance

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Highlander Drew Mackenzie’s double life as a respectable gentleman and the notorious, smuggler, Le c-tm-hcb-fullDiable Noir, comes into jeopardy the moment Lady Adrianna Beachwood’s father rejects him as a suitor. He devises an ingenious deception to meet her in secret by using his cousin, the respectable, Lord Rupert as a decoy.

Nothing goes to plan and when the feisty goddaughter of George II is thrust into danger, her only chance of survival lies in the hands of her courageous and deliciously handsome Scottish warrior.

 

 

 

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H.C. Brown is a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author of Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, BDSM, Time Heather BrownTravel, Action Adventure, Suspense, and Contemporary Romance. In 2015, she was delighted to be named Luminosity Publishing’s Bestselling Author of 2014. In 2015, Highlander in the Mist placed 3rd Historical and Rock ‘n’ Leather placed 3rd GLBT in the Easychair Bookshop Competition. In 2011, she was delighted to receive nominations in three categories in the 2011 CAPA Awards: Favorite Author, Best GLBT Romance, and Best Science Fiction Romance. She was nominated for Best Historical M/M in the 2013, Goodreads Book of Year Awards. H.C writes about strong alpha male heroes and girl next door heroines in complex settings, and all her stories have happy endings.

 

To connect with H.C. Brown, you can find her at the following places:

A chat with our heroines from ‘Mistletoe Marriage & Mayhem’ – by Amy Rose Bennett and Sherry Ewing. Part One…

Amy Rose Uncategorized

bookshop photo

Mrs. Marlowe’s Book Emporium and Teashop

The Bluestocking Belles are having a blog hop this month in anticipation of the release of our Christmas box set Mistletoe, Marriage and Mayhem, due out on November 1st. The pre-order buy links are at the end of this post, and all proceeds are being donated to the Bluestocking Belles’ chosen charity, the Malala Fund, which supports the education of girls and women around the world.

Peter Prichard

Mr. Peter Prichard, reporter from the Regency Morning Gazette

Following is Part One of an exclusive interview with the heroines from Amy Rose Bennett’s and Sherry Ewing’s respective Christmas novellas…

This is Peter Prichard from the Regency Morning Gazette, reporting to you from Mrs. Marlowe’s Book Emporium and Teashop. Today I have the pleasure of sitting and chatting with Miss Tessa Penrose, the heroine of Amy Rose Bennett’s ‘All She wants for Christmas’ and Miss Margaret Templeton, the heroine of Sherry Ewing’s ‘Under the Mistletoe’. Both stories are contained within the Bluestocking Belles’ Christmas anthology ‘Mistletoe, Marriage & Mayhem’. Ladies, thank you for your time. It is such a delight to speak with you.

Margaret: Thank you for asking us to join you.

Tessa: Yes indeed, thank you for the invitation, Mr. Prichard. You are most kind.

Peter: As I just mentioned, both of you will be featured in your own novellas within a box set entitled ‘Mistletoe, Marriage, & Mayhem’. That must be very exciting.

Margaret: It is indeed, Mr. Prichard. I never imagined that someone like me would have their very own novel, let alone that people would be interested in reading about my life. I understand that the box set collection is selling very well and it has not even been released as yet. I am very pleased to be a part of a book where the proceeds are being given to a charity to help bluestockings around the world.

Tessa: I agree wholeheartedly, Miss Templeton. I consider myself to be a bluestocking and within my story ‘All She wants for Christmas’, I am a patroness of the London-based charity, The Benevolent Society for the Women of Whitechapel. To see all of the proceeds of the Christmas box set going to the Malala Fund—a charity that supports the education of girls and women around the world—is most satisfying.

Peter: Let us take a few moments to learn a little more about you both. Please tell me, what are you most proud of in your life?

Portrait of a Young Woman Gilbert Stuart

Miss Margaret Templeton [Portrait of a Young Woman Gilbert Stuart]

Margaret: I must admit that my greatest accomplishment has been raising my youngest sister, Sophie. After our mother passed away, my father was beside himself and it was only natural that I took Sophie into my care. She’s an imaginative child and a bit fanciful. I never know what that girl will do next.

Tessa: I am most proud of the fact that I have a great deal of independence and because of that, I am able to pursue my passion, portrait painting. I’m also proud that any income I earn from my commissions, (combined with the small wage I receive as an art tutor at Mrs. Brooke’s School for Young Ladies in Kensington), I give to charity. I must make mention of the fact that my brother, Christopher, Lord Trevilian, is most supportive of my philanthropic endeavors. Society may look askance at me for taking up paid work, but my brother understands it is all for a good cause. Besides, it is hard to set aside a calling. I would not give up my painting, for anyone. It is part of who I am.

 

Peter: What are you most ashamed of in your life?

Mary Anne Bloxam by Thomas Lawrence

Miss Tessa Penrose [Mary Anne Bloxam by Thomas Lawrence]

Margaret: Oh my…you really do wish to get to know us with such a question. To be honest, I did not handle very well the way in which I refused a certain gentlemen’s offer of marriage many years ago. He was my best friend, you see, but he was titled, whereas I was not. His parents never would have approved of our match. At the time, I thought I was doing him a favor, but now I am not so sure I made the wisest choice. But I shall not say another word on the matter of Viscount Frederick Beacham. You will need to read about it in our book.

Tessa: Oh my goodness! Isn’t that a veritable hornet’s nest of a question? Hmmm. I think I will respond by saying that there was a time that I was not always the most dutiful of daughters. My father, the late Henry Penrose, Viscount Trevilian, and I did not always see eye to eye. I am ashamed to admit that I had a youthful tendency to be rash and over-confident. But that is all I am willing to divulge at this moment lest I reveal too much about myself! As Miss Templeton said, you will need to read each of our stories to find out more.

Peter: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?

Margaret: I would like to hope that people think kindly of me even though most would not care that I consider myself an educated woman. My father always put great stock in my ability to learn new things and I spend a great deal of my time with my books.

Tessa: At the age of five and twenty—and did I really just admit my age? Oh dear!—I think most members of the ton would find me to be a quiet and considered individual. At least I hope so. I know there are whispers about ‘the eldest Penrose sister’ because of my bluestocking tendencies, and the fact I am rarely seen in society even though my brother is well-connected. But they are only whispers and do not bother me overly much.

Peter: What is your greatest fear?

Margaret: Disappointing my father.

Tessa: I cannot say. You must read my story, ‘All She Wants for Christmas’ to find out. Although I will admit that I loathe social functions of any kind… and that places me in a most difficult position as I will be chaperoning my younger sister, Emma, who is due to make her debut next Season! I love my sister, but my very bones quake when I think about all of the balls and soirees and garden parties that I will be required to attend. I also fear having my heart-broken. And that is why I have decided to never marry. Ever.

Part Two of the interview with Miss Tessa Penrose and Miss Margaret Templeton is featured on Sherry Ewing’s blog. Click here to read more.

You can also join in all the release day fun on November 1st at our Bluestocking Belles’ Mistletoe, Marriage & Mayhem Launch Party on Facebook.  There are some wonderful giveaways, so please do join us.

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Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem: A Bluestocking Belles Collection is releasing on November 1, 201511891469_386705598205207_1563724846616892015_o

In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

All She Wants for Christmas by Amy Rose Bennett

A frosty bluestocking and a hot-blooded rake. A stolen kiss and a Yuletide wedding. Sparks fly, but will hearts melt this Christmas?

When confirmed bluestocking, Tessa Penrose, is thoroughly compromised at a Yuletide ball by Jasper, the Earl of Arlington, she is none to pleased to have to marry him. But not only her reputation is at stake. Can Tessa trust this disreputable rogue with a secret she will do anything to hide?

One thing is certain: she dare not trust her husband with her heart.

Under the Mistletoe by Sherry Ewing

When Margaret Templeton is requested to act as hostess at Captain Sander Morledge’s Christmas party and possibly agree to marry him, she did not think she would see the man who once held her heart. Viscount Frederick Beacham had never forgotten the young woman he had fallen in love with, and his feelings are evident when he sees her at a holiday gathering.

In a swirl of Christmas miracles and joyous celebration, will the two finally put down their differences and once again fall in love?

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

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Sherry Ewing’s Author Bio_DSF0006

Sherry Ewing is a bestselling author who writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a national and local member of Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and The Bluestocking Belles. Sherry is currently working on her next novel and 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 on her website at www.SherryEwing.com.

Connect with Sherry Ewing:

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Amy Rose Bennett’s Author Bio:

Amy Rose Bennett JPG

Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She has worked as a speech pathologist for many years, but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.

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The Bluestocking Belles Website