Tea with Pierce, Earl of Wainthorpe

Pierce, Earl of Wainthorpe finds himself in a position he never conceived of; in need of the haut ton’s approval. An unrepentant rake and member of the secret Wicked Earls’ Club, he must change his ways, or he’ll never gain guardianship of Bianca Salisbury—the young woman he won at cards. And for reasons, he can’t begin to explain, much less wants to examine closely, assuring her safety has become the most important thing in his life.

Barlow stood just inside the parlor entrance. “The Earl of Wainthorpe, Your Grace.”

Pierce surveyed the elegant room, and the even more elegant Duchess of Haversford. Well, he might as well get on with it. He’d come this far. He bowed over her hand, “Thank you for you invitation, Your Grace.”

“Wainthorpe. I am so pleased you could join me. Please be seated. Will you take tea?”

“Yes, please.” If he must. Pierce flipped his tails out of the way as he sank onto the dainty butter-colored chair. “As I said in my letter, I find myself in need of some direction, and who else, but someone of your pristine reputation to assist me?”

The duchess raised an elegant brow, but remained silent.

“Honestly,” devil it, Pierce felt like an errant school boy, “I wasn’t sure you’d see me. As you well know, I haven’t been the modicum of respectability.”

“I was indeed surprised to receive your letter, Wainthorpe, given your reputation. But I certainly have no interest in placing barriers in the way of a true intent to reform.” She lifted the silver sugar bowl. “Milk? Sugar?”

Don’t suppose he dared ask for coffee instead? No, better not. “Milk and two—er—three lumps, please.” It was about the only way he could abide the beverage.

“And tell me how I can help. And, more to the point. Why I should help.” She passed the cup, and began to prepare her own.

Piece took a sip while sorting while deciding on the best course of action. The duchess seemed a direct sort of person. “I’m determined to win the Chancery Court’s favor. In order to do so, I must have the support of peeresses like yourself.”

“Why?” She stirred her tea, not giving a hint of what she might be thinking.

Yes, definitely blunt and to the point.

Pierce leaned forward, trying to convey the urgency of the matter. “I won a young woman, Bianca Salisbury, in a card game against Lord Fairfax. He must not be permitted to remain her guardian.” He shook his head. “I shudder to think what would have happened to her had someone else won that hand of cards.”

The Duchess of Haverford straightened, and regarded him thoughtfully. “I think I need an explanation, young man. You won a young woman? I must say I agree that Lord Fairfax is a most unsuitable guardian, but are you any better? What do you intend for the girl, Wainthorpe?”

The last was sentence was arid.

This wasn’t going well.

Pierce set aside his teacup and pressed his lips together for a moment.

“Your Grace, she has no one to come to her aid. No one, save I, who cares enough to make sure Fairfax doesn’t use her as collateral again.” He sighed and had one finger inside his cravat to tug the choking cloth loose, before he caught himself. Pierce shook his head. “I freely admit I’ve been a rogue and a scoundrel, but I also have a sense of honor. My only intent is to keep her safe from her blackguard of a cousin.”

Hmm. She truly has no one else?” Duchess Halversford peered at him, her eyes slightly squinted. “When I received your letter, I asked my son Aldridge about you. And Aldridge gave me the same report.” She pointed a long finger at him. “You are a rapscallion of Aldridge’s own stamp, but at base a man of honor as well.”

“The two are not as incongruous as they might seem, Your Grace.” He glanced out the festooned window. “For her sake, I cannot fail.”

“Very well. I warn you, however, of two things,” the duchess said.

He cocked his head. “Yes?”

“First, we shall not convert all of Society. Some stick to their beliefs. However, I flatter myself that where I lead, others will follow, and you will have my approval and support.”

“And?” Hope flickered brighter.

“Conditionally, which is my second point. I count myself the young lady’s champion, my lord, and will be watching how you conduct yourself with her.”

Relief flooded Pierce. “I expected no less.”

Now all he had to do was convince Bianca she was better off with him.

Earl of Wainthorpe: (Wicked Earls’ Club)

Could you ever love the unrepentant rake who won you in a wager?

He didn’t gamble on losing his heart when he won her at the gaming tables.

Pierce, the Earl of Wainthorpe has finally thwarted his worst enemy. Except he can’t revel in his victory after winning his foe’s ward in a winner-takes-all wager. If Pierce refuses to assume Bianca Salisbury’s guardianship, the fiery-haired beauty with a matching temper may very well find herself sold to the highest bidder.

The shameful secret she guards makes it impossible to love a rogue.

Desperate to escape her blackguard cousin, Bianca Salisbury ventures to London to find a husband or employment. Instead, she’s bartered to a notorious rakehell. She either risks being compromised and accepts The Earl of Wainthorpe’s protection, or flees him and her guardian. But without money and a place to go, she fears she’ll face the same tragic fate as her mother.

Caution: This romance features a sexy, irredeemable scoundrel determined to thumb his nose at the haut ton, a saucy country miss unafraid to speak her mind but terrified of even a hint of scandal, a unlikely aristocratic matchmaker, a trio of busybody sisters you’ll adore, and a very pregnant calico that is convinced humans are only around for her convenience.

PURCHASE THE EARL OF WAINTHORPE FOR $.99 HERE

https://books2read.com/EOWcc

Before the price goes up to $3.99!

Meet Collette Cameron

USA Today Bestselling author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Blessed with three spectacular children, fantastic fans, and a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she lives in Oregon with her mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

Admitting to a quirky sense of humor, Collette enjoys inspiring quotes, adores castles and anything cobalt blue, and is a self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

Connect with Collette:

Website: http://collettecameron.com

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Spotlight on The Moral Compass

Today’s guest is KA Servian, who brings us her book, The Moral Compass.

Florence is a spoilt young woman shielded from the filth and poverty of Victorian London by her father’s money and status. When he suffers a spectacular fall from grace, she must abandon everything, including the man she loves, and start again in the empire’s furthest colony of New Zealand.

Compromise and suffering await Florence in her new home. Against the odds, she finds security and love. But her decision to risk everything to enjoy some of the trappings of her previous life costs her dearly. She must live with the heart-breaking consequences of the choice she has made.

As the first book in the Shaking the Tree series, The Moral Compass begins a journey that Florence will complete in the sequel, A Pivotal Right.

Link to the book on Amazon – it’s discounted to .99c US for all of February. https://www.amazon.com/Moral-Compass-Shaking-Tree-Book-ebook/dp/B076J4YG33/

An extract from The Moral Compass

Jack watched his wife as she sat poker straight in her chair beside the hearth, needle in hand. With deft movements, she worked the black thread through a piece of fine white lawn. He followed her every move, marvelling at her skill.

“What are you embroidering?”

She smiled as she raised her eyes to his and he noted a pink flush appear on her cheeks. “It is a handkerchief for you. I am putting your initials on it.”

“Can I see?”

She nodded, passing the square of fabric to him. He ran his rough fingertips over the intricately worked stitches. “It is beautiful. You have great talent.”

“It is a shame that I wasted so much time learning to embroider as now I have little need for the skill. Mending and general sewing do not require such fine stitching and I am terribly slow.”

He returned the handkerchief to her. “I am sure that with expertise such as this my mended socks will be the most exquisite in the town.”

She sighed. “I suppose so.”

Setting the handkerchief down on the small table beside her chair Florence picked up a book with a scuffed brown cover and opened it.

“What is that you are reading?” he asked.

She closed the book, keeping her finger inside, and lifted it so he could see the spine. He squinted at the faded gold letters. They were familiar, but some were backwards to his eyes and he could not make sense of the words they spelt. Shifting in his seat, he moved his gaze to the fire. “I canna read them in the dim light.”

She cradled the book like a cherished child. “It is called Pride and Prejudice.” She smiled. “It is one of my favourites. I have read it many times.”

“Why do you like it so much?”

Florence shrugged. “The hero and heroine are so different and at first they do not like each other, but then love grows between them and—” She looked down and gave a self-deprecating laugh. “It’s silly, really.”

He leaned forward in his seat and placed his hand over hers. “It doesna sound silly. Tell me about the hero. What manner of man is he that he is able to convince the lady to fall in love with him?”

“Mr Darcy seems proud and rude but he is shy and finds it difficult to speak freely of his feelings.” She paused. “But then he performs a great act of kindness for Lizzy, that’s the heroine. Well, more for her family, really. Then she sees him for the man he is and—”

“Is he a …wealthy man?”

She grinned, her eyes sparkling in the firelight. “Oh yes, he’s tremendously wealthy. He owns a beautiful estate called Pemberley. It is when Lizzy sees it for the first time that she realises that he is a man she could truly love.”

Jack released her hand and sat back. “Oh, I see.”

“Would you like me to read to you? I used to read to Mrs Branson sometimes. Her eyesight was fading, but she still enjoyed hearing stories.”

He stretched his long legs out. “Yes, I’d like that very much.”

Meet KA Servian

As a life-long creative, Kathy gained qualifications in fashion design, applied design to fabric and jewellery making and enjoyed a twenty-year-plus career in the fashion and applied arts industries as a pattern maker, designer and owner of her own clothing and jewellery labels.

She then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills accumulated over the years—design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver and screen-printing to name a few.

Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Writing quickly became an obsession and Kathy’s first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from the original manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.

Never one to do things by half, Kathy designed and made the costume for the cover of her first historical novel, The Moral Compass and has made several other costumes from various periods in preparation for the novels that will follow in her Shaking the Tree series.

Kathy has just completed a diploma in advance applied writing. She squeezes writing her novels in around teaching sewing part-time and being a wife and mother.

You can follow Kathy on her website  or Facebook page . Photography is also one of her hobbies. You can view her images on her Instagram feed

 

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Tea with [Insert your character here]

The Duchess of Haverford is resting from her New Year’s Charity Ball by planning her social calendar for the coming year. “Take dictation, please, Emmaline,” she says to the poor relation who is currently acting as her secretary, until such time as the duchess finds her a husband, a career, or a hobby fitted to her talents.

“The Duchess of Haverford invites authors from throughout the fictionsphere to send their characters to her regular Monday for Tea afternoons,” she begins, and Emmaline obediently writes the words down. Eleanor holds up a hand to stop Emmaline’s pen, as she explains, “I have had people from the far past and the distant future, even from a time after any of the authors are themselves in existence. How it works, Emmaline dear, I do not know. But it is very exciting.”

She gives a wave to indicate that Emmaline might record what she says next. “Please send Jude a note through the contact page on her website, with the date of your preferred Monday and, if you will, the name of the book you are promoting and the character or characters who will visit.”

She pauses, gathering her thoughts. “For the post, Jude will need a purpose-written piece that can be no more than a few paragraphs or up to 1000 words, in which your characters and I hold a conversation over a cup of tea or the beverage of their choice. If you wish, Jude and I can arrange a time and place to write this with you.”

Another aside to Emmaline. “We have a little space on Facebook we cowrite in. Don’t write this down, Emmaline dear. Facebook is a most peculiar fictional space where very little is as it seems, but Jude enjoys it. On the other hand, many writers prefer to simply produce their own piece after reading about visits from previous weeks, and that is perfectly all right. I have, occasionally, had to edit words that have been put in my mouth, but that is to be expected and I do not at all mind.”

She gives her skirts a flick to settle them more becomingly around her. “I look forward to entertaining your characters, and to promoting your book. Yours sincerely etc etc. Eleanor Haverford. There. That should do it.”

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Sunday Spotlight on the Hellions of Haversham

Somehow, I managed to miss this series from one of my favourite authors, Lorraine Heath, until last month, though the third book came out over a year ago, and the little novella that rounds things off was published in March.

I’m so glad I discovered it!

The Hellions are four boys raised at Haversham Hall by a Marquess who is sunk in a grief so deep that the world calls him mad. One is the son whose mother died giving birth to him; three the children of the Marquess’s best friends who died in a train crash.

I say ‘raised’, but for the most part they bring themselves and one another up, reaching adulthood to travel the world and conquer Society, which will forgive them anything for their charm and their tragic pasts.

Each of the three novels tells the story of one of the Hellions.

An unconventionial heiress, a rakish duke

In Falling Into Bed with a Duke, Minerva Dodger is an unconventional heiress whose fortune has been courted but who never expects to be loved for herself decides to attend the Nightingale Club, where women can maintain anonymity while choosing a lover. Spinsterhood is better than a marriage of convenience, but she would like at least one night of passion.

The Duke of Ashebury has one inflexible rule: never more than one night with a woman. He will not risk love, and when he meets Minerva wants nothing more than a photograph of perfection to add to his collection. It will be one more item in the wall of loveliness he builds to keep away the thoughts that haunt him. But he is soon intrigued, and  sets out to find her identity and woo her in earnest.

She has no reason to trust. He has every reason to be afraid. Heath deftly manages the reveal of his secret and Minerva’s hurt and repudiation of her deceitful betrothed without me losing sympathy for either of them. And Ashe’s response is just perfect.

On a side note, Minerva’s father is a delightful character.

The substitute

The Earl Takes All is my favourite of the books, mainly because of the character of the hero. He’s a better man than he realises.

Edward Alcott, twin of the Earl of Greyling, returns from his last adventure with his brother to bring the tragic news of his brother’s death. But to honour the vow he made to his dying brother, he must masquerade as Greyling until his brother’s wife has her baby.

It’s complicated. Edward has been in love with Julia since he kissed her in a dark garden, a kiss she accepted thinking he was Grey. Since that night, Julia has despised Edward, and Edward has acted to widen the breach to keep a distance between them.

Now Julia finds that her husband has changed, and is appealing in an entirely different way. But what will happen when she discovers the truth?

This could all have gone horribly wrong in the hands of a lesser writer. If Edward’s internal decency had not been so well drawn — the conflict between his desires and the differing calls on his honour — I would not have been nearly so invested in the outcome. And I loved Julia, too. A worthy heroine, truly in love with her husband, and capable of loving again, a different man in a different way.

I couldn’t see how this was going to work out. A man cannot marry his brother’s wife; that’s the Anglican rule. But Heath had a surprise up her sleeve, and I couldn’t have been happier.

One of the best marriage of (in)convenience stories I’ve read

The Viscount and the Vixen is about the fourth of the Hellions. Viscount Locksley is never going to fall into the trap of love. He knows that way lies madness, as happened to his father, the Marquess of Marsden.

But when his father advertises for a bride and Portia Gadstone arrives, Locke reads the contract and realises she just might be the answer to his need. She has been guaranteed a marriage. He wants a bride he can feel nothing for: and a fortune hunting vixen prepared to marry an elderly man for his title should be perfect.

But Portia is there out of desperation, not greed, and her secrets may ruin them both.

Portia is a wonderful heroine. I occasionally wanted to shake Locke, but his actions were totally in keeping with his character and the times, and he came through in the end. Another amazing novel to round off a superb series.

Not sorry I read it

When the Marquess Falls is a novella telling the love story of Locke’s mother and father, the doomed Linnie Connor and Marquess of Marsden.

The story is charming. He always follows the rules set by his inflexible mother. She is the baker’s daughter, and therefore completely unsuitable. And I liked both the main characters.

I thought Heath had set herself an enormous challenge in writing a novella for which readers of the series know the end, since we know that Marsden spent most of his lifetime sunk in grief.

I tell you, people, she just about pulls it off. The last three chapters are beautifully evocative. For me, the paranormal elements grate, but that’s me.

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Spotlight on The Viscount’s Seduction

Alina K. Field has joined me today, with book two of her series, Sons of the Spy Lord. It’s on sale at 99c from 26 November to 4 December everywhere except Google Play — Links below. The Bastard’s Iberian Bride, book one, is at 99c until 26 November, so get it today.

Revenge and Romance—can she find both with one determined Viscount?

Searching for the Truth

Lady Sirena Hollister has lost her family, her home, and even her fey abilities, but somehow the fairies have handed her an unexpected chance at a Season in London. From her place on the fringes of high society, she resolves to find the truth about her only brother’s vanishing, and settle her family’s score with the wily English Spy Lord, the Earl of Shaldon. Soon enough, her schemes stir up an unknown enemy…and spark danger of a different sort, in the person of the Earl’s handsome heir, Viscount Bakeley.

Seducing the Beauty

The impertinent hoyden Bakeley met years earlier was as wild as her Irish roots, and just as unlucky. And she’s still an Irish traitor’s sister! But Lady Sirena has grown into a beauty whose charm and courage intrigue him. When danger threatens, Bakeley comes to her rescue, risking scandal, the ton’s disapproval, his interfering father’s ire…and his own heart.

Buy Links for The Viscount’s Seduction

Amazon   ♥  Kobo   ♥  iBooks   ♥  Nook  ♥  GooglePlay

Excerpt: First Kiss

He snatched up her hand. “You look lovely tonight. Stay. Keep me company.”

She tried to pull away but he reached for her other hand.

“Do not do this, sir.”

The anger was giving way to fear, though whether it was real or feigned he couldn’t tell. He drew her closer to the light. Her eyes glowed with that same luminosity he’d noticed at Hackwell’s ball, her lips were plump and inviting, and gold highlights bounced off her dress and her hair. She was a beauty in daylight. By candlelight, she was a goddess, a golden siren. No wonder she’d had to run away from her cousin.

And that thought brought him up. He didn’t ravish women, unless they wanted it. This girl didn’t want it.

Unless he convinced her she did.

He eased in a breath. No. At least, no, not tonight.

“You and I, my lady, we’re looking for the same thing.”

She swallowed hard, her lovely throat jumping. “You are mistaken.”

“Am I? What do you think I’m talking about?”

She pursed her lips. Opened them. “A liaison.”

“An improper one?”

Her brow furrowed. “You’re mocking me now. Let me go.”

“First we should search together.”

“I don’t know what you mean, and we’ll be missed. Both of us gone? Together?” Her eyes became shiny. She’d drummed up some tears. “I’ll be…on the street. I’ll be fortunate if I’m sent back to serve as my cousin’s, my cousin’s—”

“Files, Lady Sirena. Files that say Hollister on them.”

A tear ran unchallenged down her creamy cheek and her mouth dropped. “Oh.”

He swept the tear away with his finger. So soft her skin was, as he dragged the moisture down to her lips and traced a path over them. Her chest rose, her breasts straining the modest bodice of the yellow gown.

He yanked her closer and settled his lips on hers, and a sharp gasp escaped her before she clamped her mouth shut.

“Just one kiss,” he whispered. He nibbled around her locked lips and stroked the line of her jaw until she shivered in his arms and her lips parted, allowing him entry.

He kissed her then, sweeping his tongue against hers, for long minutes, then tasting her skin, following the path of his fingers along her jaw and down to her neck, inciting a sharp gasp and a moan, and more wriggling. He wanted her, and she wanted him, and—

“Stop.” Her hands locked on his shoulders, pushing.

Heart pounding, he froze. He was a gentleman. Even if she had been no lady—which she most definitely was—he would have stopped. No matter how hard his cock screamed for release, as it did now. “Right.” He stepped back and straightened his neck cloth.

Sirena’s heart pounded so wildly she could barely find breath to speak. “The files,” she said finally.

“Yes. He wouldn’t keep them here in so accessible a location.”

Oh, he was lathered, she could tell, almost as much as herself. This was what was meant by seduction—not the graspy, slobbery, forced thing her cousin had attempted. If not for the housekeeper and butler and a strong dose of laudanum…oh, this was very different, and this man a far more powerful lord than her cousin.

She’d be lucky to survive this night with her maidenhead intact. But she wanted that file. She needed to know what happened to Jamie. “His study then? My father had a room like that.”

“Yes. We’ll look there.” He gazed down that bored nose, straightened his neck cloth, though not so much as a hair of the man was out of place, while inside herself, every nerve was dancing a jig. She pressed a hand to her throat and hoped her heart hadn’t pounded her bodice askew.

Meet Alina:

Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!

 

Visit her at:

http://alinakfield.com/

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Tea with NarrAy

Captain NarrAy Jorlan of the All People’s Liberation Army ran the words through her mind again, trying to fathom the meaning. Was this some kind of rebel code? Or imperial? Why would a duchess be inviting her to… what was it again?

“I’m sorry, Brox. I’ve been invited to what?”

“Just ‘tea,’ ma’am.'” Her adjutant showed her his screen. “See? It says it right here.”

“Just ‘tea’ and nothing else?” She squinted at the device. “You’re right. Tea is all it says.”

“Maybe ‘tea’ is code.” Broxus lowered his voice. “NarrAy, have you been spying on the Empress again?”

“No.” She set a hand against her bosom. “At least, I hope not.”

“What do you mean you hope not?” Broxus’s voice had risen to a squeak. He coughed into a fist. “Please tell me you haven’t been working for another faction.”

“Oh, of course not!” She waved away his concern. “I have enough to do, working for the rebellion. Believe me. I wouldn’t be taking on any more work.” She stood and picked up his notereader, tapped the screen. “I wonder what being invited for tea actually means.”

“Maybe it’s like tea that you drink.”

NarrAy laughed. “I doubt that.” She handed him back the device. If this was a trap she would soon know. “Tell her yes and thanks and get directions for me. Maybe she wants to offer her support. Trust me, if this has anything to do with the Imperial Armada, I’m going to know about it.”

“Yes, ma’am, but be careful. After what happened to your parents…”

She stiffened. “I don’t need reminding about that.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He stood, head lowered. “I apologize, but I worry about you.”

“I know. I appreciate it, but the Empress is not going to take me out as easily as she took them. Send the coordinates to my ship.” She picked up her gloves and drew them on. “And anyway, if it’s just drinking tea with a nice lady, how much trouble could I get into?”

By-the-book Captain NarrAy Jorlan meets playful thief Senth Antonello in At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, Kayelle Allen’s rollicking science fiction romance set in the far future. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy! This sweet romance contains action, adventure, danger, humor, and a malfunctioning automated suitcase that wreaks havoc everywhere it goes.

Available exclusively on Amazon or in print (autographed, shipping included) from Romance Lives Forever Books.

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
https://kayelleallen.com
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The dangerous pen

David Skinner’s ‘Terry Pratchett Tribute Graffiti’, installed at Code Street, near Brick Lane, London

I write, at least in part, as a way to explore ideas and feelings that are bothering me. Once, being bothered, unhappy, sick or grieved would send me into books written by other people. Today, in a world riven by strife and fear, at whom and abroad, I am just as likely to transmute those feelings into a world I create myself.

When I write, I see things more clearly. I can also rewrite reality to give me a better result, which can be easing to the soul. I do like happy endings.

Which is all by way of introducing a book I’ve been reading. I have been a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett’s since Strata, one of his first books. I have just been reading Raising Postal, his second to last Discworld novel.

On one level, it is the story of the coming of the railway to Discworld. On another, it continues Pratchett’s burning indictment of the stupidity of prejudice based on racism, sexism, or any other ism. And it eviscerates the mindset behind terrorism that results from such prejudice.

Here’s a typical footnote:

Scouting for trolls, dwarfs and humans was brought in shortly after the Koom Valley Accord had been signed, on the suggestion of Lord Vetinari, to allow the young of the three dominant species to meet and hopefully get along together. Naturally the young of all species, when thrown together, instead of turning against one another would join forces against the real enemy, that is to say their parents, teachers and miscellaneous authority which was so old-fashioned. And up to a point, and amazingly, it had worked and that was Ankh-Morpork, wasn’t it? Mostly, nobody cared what shape you were, although they might be very interested in how much money you had.

And here are the terrorists, recruiting:

‘Nobody has to be hurt,’ they said, and it may have been too that people would murmur, ‘After all, it’s in his own interests,’ and there were other little giveaways such as ‘It’s time for fresh blood,’ and such things as ‘We must preserve our most hallowed ordinances,’ and if you were susceptible to atmospheres, you could see that dwarfs, perfectly sensible dwarfs, dwarfs who would consider themselves dwarfs of repute and fair dealing, were nevertheless slowly betraying allegiances they had formerly undertaken with great solemnity, because the hive was buzzing and they didn’t want to be the ones that got stung. The watchwords were ‘restoring order’ and ‘going back to the basics of true dwarfishness’.

To kill innocents in the name of politics is very warped. To kill innocents in the name of God is, in my view, both warped and risky, as Pratchett points out in this brief passage:

… and in the gloom the locomotive spat live steam, instantly filling the air with a pink fog . . . The dwarf waited, unable to move, and a sombre voice said, PLEASE DO NOT PANIC. YOU ARE MERELY DEAD. The vandal stared at the skeletal figure, managed to get himself in order and said to Death, ‘Oh . . . I don’t regret it, you know. I was doing the work of Tak, who will now welcome me into paradise with open arms!’ For a person who didn’t have a larynx Death made a good try at clearing his throat. WELL, YOU CAN HOPE, BUT CONSIDERING WHAT YOU INTENDED, IF I WERE YOU I WOULD START HOPING HARDER RIGHT NOW AND, PERHAPS, VERY QUICKLY INDEED. Death continued, in tones as dry as granite, TAK MIGHT INDEED BE GENTLE. STRIVE AS YOU HAVE NEVER STRIVEN. YES, TAK MIGHT BE GENTLE, OR . . . The vandal listened to the sound of silence, the sound like a bell with, alas, no clapper, but finally the dreadful silence ended in . . . NOT. [Tak being the deity of the dwarves]

Pratchett’s great genius was in making us laugh while making us think. Rest in peace, Sir Terry.

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Inheritance for illegitimate sons

The Rightful Heir, by George Smith

Today’s Footnotes on Friday post is by Regina Jeffers. Welcome, Regina, and congratulations on the new book.

Could an illegitimate son inherit during the Regency? Or should we say could the illegitimate son inherit his father’s property, and not necessarily his peerage/title? First one must realize that there is actually a rule against perpetuity (which is a restriction saying the estate cannot be taken away from or given away by the possessor for a period beyond certain limits fixed by law) which addresses an entail lasting more than the three lives (generally the grandfather who is the holder of the entailed property, his first born son, and his first born grandson) plus twenty-one years. Keep in mind that an entail can be renewed when the original owner’s son (meaning the first-born son), as described above, becomes the grandfather, the original grandson becomes the father, and there is a new grandson.

The rule against perpetuities

The common rule against perpetuities forbids instruments (contracts, wills, and so forth) from tying up property for too long a time beyond the lives of people living at the time the instrument was written. For instance, willing property to one’s great-great-great-great grandchildren (to be held in trust for them, but not fully owned, by the intervening generations) would normally violate the rule against perpetuities. The law is applied differently or not at all, and even contravened, in various jurisdictions and circumstances. Black’s Law Dictionary defines the rule against perpetuities as “[t]he common-law rule prohibiting a grant of an estate unless the interest must vest, if at all, no later than 21 years (plus a period of gestation to cover a posthumous birth) after the death of some person alive when the interest was created.” At common law, the length of time was fixed at 21 years after the death of an identifiable person alive at the time the interest was created. This is often expressed as “lives in being plus twenty-one years.” (Wells Law Blog http://wellslawoffice.com/2011/05/remember-the-rule-against-perpetuities/)

Property and peerages followed different rules

Another point to keep in mind is that property and peerages followed different rules of inheritance, so customarily matters were set up so that the family seat went along with the title.

Property was disposed of through deeds, marriage settlements, and wills. Trusts were established to hold property for the benefit of the real owners. The rules of descent and distribution of these trusts could be set up any way one wanted-—within reason, of course. If property was disposed of by a settlement that was in force for the three lives in being + 21 years (as described above), at the end of that time it would need to be resettled by creating a new entail. That is what many did. If the property was not resettled, or dealt with in a will, it descended through PROPERTY LAWS, not by LAWS GOVERNING PEERAGES. As long as the  property went from father to son or from grandfather to grandson along with the title, all was well. However, if there suddenly was no male heir in the direct line, other provisions were established for disposing of the property. The title might go to a cousin twice removed, but the property could even go to a daughter or the offspring of a daughter. [If there was no male heir, i.e., Mr. Collins, in Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennet’s property could have been left to his daughters or the eldest son of one of the Bennet sisters. Interesting idea…]

Male heirs were preferred only because males, especially of the gentleman class, did not want the property to go to another family. Though daughters have as much family blood as a son, when a daughter married (at least, by law up until the 1870’s) her property came under the control of her husband. Her son would belong to a different family then.

The laws of descent and distribution and inheritance of real estate are complex. It should be remembered that property and peerage have different rules of descent. The family seat can be separated from the title. Property cannot be extinct, though titles could be. Property was rarely forfeited to the Crown due to lack of heirs. Usually it was due to a criminal action.

Illegitimate sons who inherited

For example, Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, died without legitimate issue. In 1871, his illegitimate son, Richard Wallace, inherited all his father’s unentailed estates and an extensive collection of European art, while the title and a country estate passed to a distant cousin. Later, Wallace was made a baronet [not part of Hertford’s titles] for his services during the siege of Paris, when he equipped several ambulances (using his own funds), founded the Hertford British Hospital, and spent lavish sums to bring relief to those afflicted by the clash.

Another example of the illegitimate son inheriting comes to us from Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, who was the eldest son and heir of Sir William Wyndham and Catherine Seymour, daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. He succeeded to the Orchard Wyndham estates as 4th baronet on his father’s death in 1740, and in 1750, he succeeded by special remainder as 7th Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Egremont and received his share of the Seymour inheritance, the former Percy estates, including Egremont Castle in Cumbria, Leconfield Castle in Yorkshire, and the palatial Petworth House in Sussex. Charles’ son George, the 3rd Earl of Egremont, inherited in 1763, but after the 3rd earl’s death in 1837, his son inherited all but the title due to illegitimacy. How so, you may ask?

George Francis Wyndham, 4th Earl of Egremont was the son of William Frederick Wyndham (youngest son of Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont and Frances Mary Hartford, the illegitimate daughter of Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore. George’s father’s eldest brother, George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont of Petworth House, Sussex, died without legitimate male issue and so George Francis Wyndham as the male heir succeeded him as Earl of Egremont, as well as Baron Wyndham and Baron Cockermouth. Unfortunately, George Francis Wyndham did not inherit the Petworth estate or mansion, which was inherited by the 2nd Earl Egremont from the Percy family). Instead, the 3rd Earl of Egremont bequeathed that property to his natural son, Colonel George Wyndham, who was created Baron Leconfield in 1859.

Royalty often bestowed titles upon their illegitimate children. King William IV, for example, presented his illegitimate son, George Augustus Frederick FitzClarence with the title(s) 1st Earl of Munster, 1st Viscount FitzClarence, and 1st Baron Tewkesbury on 4 June 1831.

For a more modern take on the law of perpetuities, check out this piece from CBS News, dated 9 May 2011. “Millionaire’s Heirs Get Inheritance After 92 Years.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/millionaires-heirs-get-inheritance-after-92-years/

The Earl Claims His Comfort

Introducing The Earl Claims His Comfort: Book 2 of the Twins’ Trilogy (releasing September 16, 2017, from Black Opal Books)

Hurrying home to Tegen Castle from the Continent to assume guardianship of a child not his, but one who holds his countenance, Levison Davids, Earl of Remmington, is shot and left to die upon the road leading to his manor house. The incident has Remmington chasing after a man who remains one step ahead and who claims a distinct similarity—a man who wishes to replace Remmington as the rightful earl. Rem must solve the mystery of how Frederick Troutman’s life parallels his while protecting his title, the child, and the woman he loves.

Comfort Neville has escorted Deirdre Kavanaugh from Ireland to England, in hopes that the Earl of Remmington will prove a better guardian for the girl than did the child’s father. When she discovers the earl’s body upon road backing the castle, it is she who nurses him to health. As the daughter of a minor son of an Irish baron, Comfort is impossibly removed from the earl’s sphere, but the man claims her affections. She will do anything for him, including confronting his enemies. When she is kidnapped as part of a plot for revenge against the earl, she must protect Rem’s life, while guarding her heart.

Preorder on Amazon

Excerpt:

Howard’s expression became more serious. “In the beginning, I enjoyed the novelty of the situation. When we called in at the clubs, everyone thought Troutman was you. I knew a few meals would not break your credit, and so Frederick and I considered it amusing. But soon I heard rumors of your accepting invitations to some of the ton’s finest events. I am profoundly grieved, Remmington, that my lack of forethought encouraged Troutman’s deception.”

“So this Troutman fellow learned of my directions and my habits from you?”

“I fear so,” Howard admitted. “I beg you to extend your forgiveness.”

“When we finish our conversation,” Rem instructed, “I will expect you to repeat your story to Sir Alexander.”

Howard nodded his agreement. Rem had not offered his forgiveness, but eventually he would. He learned long ago to keep Howard on a short rope.

“How long did you remain Troutman’s associate?”

“No more than a fortnight,” Howard confided. “I enjoyed his company at first, but over the first sennight his interrogation regarding your comings and goings began to wear thin. In the midst of our second week of acquaintance, Troutman said something that set my hackles on alert.”

“And that was?” Rem asked suspiciously.

A vaguely disturbing smile crossed his cousin’s features. “One day in the midst of a conversation as we reviewed new quarters for my residence, Troutman said if he were the earl, then he would see that I did not go without, and that is was a grave oversight on your part that I was to know less than I deserved. I attempted to explain how my fortune came from a yearly allowance from my revered father, and I was not your dependent, but Troutman was adamant that I was your responsibility.

“Then he said it would serve you right to lose the earldom to a stranger with ties to the title. I explained that, with my father’s poor health, many saw me as your heir presumptive for even if father first succeeded, I would soon follow. I also explained that if another had a right to claim the earldom that it would not lessen your position in Society. Parliament accepted you as Remmington, and even if another proved to be the earl, the fortune and the unentailed lands would remain with you. The claimant would have Tegen Castle and Davids Hall and little else. From what could be salvaged from those properties, your mother retains her widow’s dower.”

Rem wondered if his pretender had aspirations of unseating him as the earl. “Is there anything else that I should know?”

“Yes,” Howard said as he set his glass upon a nearby table. “The remark that caused me to curtail my association with him was when Troutman asked if I thought you were the father of Lady Kavanagh’s daughter.”

Rem lifted his brows in surprise. He wondered who spoke so intimately to Troutman of Rem’s business.

Howard continued as if Rem had not reacted to the remark. “Certainly it is possible that Troutman overheard those awful rumors, but as many in Society thought Troutman were you, I cannot imagine any fool would speak so freely to your face.”

Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep: Book 1 of the Twins’ Trilogy

Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal “angel,” who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt’s difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother’s annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart. As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart–and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side?

Meet Regina Jeffers

With 30+ books to her credit, Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era-based romantic suspense. A teacher for 40 years, Jeffers often serves as a consultant for Language Arts and Media Literacy programs. With multiple degrees, Regina has been a Time Warner Star Teacher, Columbus (OH) Teacher of the Year, and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar and a Smithsonian presenter.

Every Woman Dreams: https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.rjeffers.com

Austen Authors: http://austenauthors.net

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Regina-Jeffers-Author-Page-141407102548455/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/reginajeffers

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Regina-Jeffers/e/B008G0UI0I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1479079637&sr=8-1

Also on Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Now for the GIVEAWAY. I have two eBook copies of The Earl Claims His Comfort available to those who comment below. The giveaway will end at midnight EDST on Tuesday, September 19.

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Spotlight on Sunday: Caroline Warfield’s 2017 Christmas novella

This beautiful cover for Caroline Warfield’s 2017 Christmas Novella comes with the announcement that the book is available for pre-order from various retailers.

Love is the best medicine and the sweetest things in life are worth the wait, especially at Christmastime in Venice for a stranded English Lady and a dedicated doctor.

About the Book

Lady Charlotte Tyree clings to one dream—to see the splendor of Rome before settling for life as the spinster sister of an earl. But now her feckless brother forces her to wait again, stranded in Venice when he falls ill, halfway to the place of her dreams. She finds the city damp, moldy, and riddled with disease.

As a physician, Salvatore Caresini well knows the danger of putrid fever. He lost his young wife to it, leaving him alone to care for their rambunctious children. He isn’t about to let the lovely English lady risk her life nursing her brother.

But Christmas is coming, that season of miracles, and with it, perhaps, lessons for two lonely people: that love heals the deepest wounds and sometimes the deepest dreams aren’t what we expect.

Pre-order it on Amazon here. ♦ Pre-order it on Smashwords here.

About the Author

Traveler, poet, librarian, technology manager—award winning and Amazon best-selling author Caroline Warfield has been many things (even a nun), but above all she is a romantic. Having retired to the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania, she reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures while she nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart. She is enamored of history, owls, and gardens (but not the actual act of gardening). She is also a regular contributor to History Imagined, a blog at the intersection of history and fiction, and (on a much lighter note) The Teatime Tattler, a blog in the shape of a fictional nineteenth century gossip rag.

Her current series, Children of Empire, set in the late Georgian/early Victorian period, focuses on three cousins, driven apart by lies and deceit, who must find their way back from the distant reaches of the empire.

Click here to find out more here.

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The inspiration for Harry

In the following post, Mari Anne Christie tells us about a giant of American journalism who is little known today.

My great-great uncle, (Percy to friends and family, P.H. to readers) was rather a giant of a man in the world of letters, and was the inspiration for Harry Wentworth, protagonist of Blind Tribute. The writing of the book began with me envisioning him sitting at his desk, writing something. (I will defend to the death my contention that he placed himself at the start of the Civil War, most likely to be allowed to write the epistolary editorials and letters that were, more than any other part of the book, all but automatic writing at first draft stage.)

P.H. Whaley’s name, and his conjoined contribution to journalism and the business world, have been muted by history, but in his time, he was an internationally known journalist—before journalists were known internationally—recognized worldwide for the contributions of the Whaley-Eaton Business Service (W-E), an international newsgathering organization based in Washington, D.C, an entrepreneurial venture started with partner Henry M. Eaton.

My “Uncle Percy,” whom I never met, but who is—not incidentally—the caricature on the cover of Blind Tribute, is the man from whom Harry inherited his profession, his Charleston ancestry, his barrier-island plantation, his beloved (but not enslaved) black nursemaid, and his writing career (to say nothing of his monogram). My favorite story about him is the origin of Harry’s initials and “the delivery [Harry] used to roar across newsrooms and offices.” In his later years, beset with emphysema, Uncle Percy was known to bellow/growl at the telephone operator when calling Washington D.C. from the first (then, the only) telephone on Edisto Island, South Carolina, in the public post office: “P as in Peter, H as in Hell, Whaley!”

Educated at Hobart and Kenyon, he was admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 1905 and the Washington DC Bar in 1922, and received an honorary doctorate from Hobart in 1932. He served as an editorial writer for the Charleston News and Courier beginning in 1909, a reporter for the Philadelphia Public Ledger from 1913 to 1914, the first Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger from 1914 to 1918, and Founding Publisher of W-E from 1918 to 1957. He died in 1964 at Prospect Hill Plantation on Edisto Island, South Carolina, on land owned by our family since the 1700s.

Analogous to Wentworth and Hoyt Business Service in Blind Tribute—although almost 60 years after Harry’s venture— W-E was an international wire service headquartered at the Munsey Trust Building in Washington, DC. Over the years, W-E also had offices, at various times, in London, Paris, and Tokyo. As well as private economic and market research on behalf of business clients, and multiple periodicals through the years, W-E published bimonthly Whaley-Eaton Pamphlets on matters of interest to businessmen, and the Whaley-Eaton American Letter and Foreign Letter, the first widely circulated investment newsletters in the United States. These weekly publications were precursors to, and friendly competitors with, The Kiplinger Letter, still in circulation, often wrongly cited as the “first business newsletter” in America. (Some sources claim The Kiplinger Letter has never reached the same print circulation as the Whaley-Eaton American Letter, but this is disputable, and somewhat irrelevant in the age of the internet, which has broadened Kiplinger’s reach exponentially.)

A description of Whaley-Eaton from the Papers and Proceedings of the Forty-Third Annual Meeting of The American Library Association, June 20-25, 1921, from which I extracted excerpts as descriptions of Wentworth and Hoyt, would have been a point of particular pride for both Percy Whaley and Harry Wentworth, and might describe either of their business ventures.

“Mr. Whaley states: ‘Our object is to perform a distinctly personal service for our patrons in the form of a comprehensive study of tendencies and movements as they relate to the formulation of policies.’ [Whaley-Eaton] representatives are in close touch with people of importance and thus ascertain the pulse of sentiment. They decline in every way to perform the functions of lobbyists, confining themselves entirely to information. They keep in touch with European affairs, maintain a principal office in Paris and correspondents in all of the important European capitals. They publish a series of letters describing points of interest at Washington, administrative policies and congressional activities. They also furnish their clients with a series of foreign letters based upon information supplied by their London and Continental bureaus. Much of the data contained therein is of great commercial value. The information concerning European politics is well expressed and informative. The Whaley-Eaton Service is an unusual form of news gathering which is based upon confidence and the highest type of intelligent journalism.”

Eventually, in the 1980s, as Whaley-Eaton’s readership declined, the Kiplingers bought out the last vestiges of the company and its subscriber list. According to Knight Kiplinger, current CEO of Kiplinger, Inc., his grandfather made the decision to purchase the ailing company because “he didn’t want to see the name exploited by people who would discount Whaley-Eaton’s contributions to journalism.”

Through the course of my research for Blind Tribute, I found myself in touch with Mr. Kiplinger, who put me in touch with John Eaton, a noted jazz pianist and grandson of Henry Eaton. (One of the oddities of writing books is that small coincidental things crop up that the author never intended, but have much larger significance. I did not realize until very recently—after the July 2017 publication of the book—that Henry Eaton was called Harry. To be clear, this was not the genesis of Harry Wentworth’s name. Wentworth was so named because his middle name was Harrold, and to mirror Uncle Percy’s initials.)

It has become clear through my discussions with Mr. Eaton, that we are both interested in finding a way to dust off the W-E name and place our illustrious forebears in their proper context in the history of journalism. As such, although I had thought Blind Tribute was the vehicle by which I would honor the man who passed me the writer’s genetics, we will now be seeking out an academic library to open a special collection of the extremely rare W-E catalog. I am determined that the next person to do research on my great-great uncle will not find it so difficult to ferret out his legacy.

For further posts on Blind Tribute, including blurb and buy links, see:

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