Tea with Garrick and Coira

With wide eyes, Coira Easton held tightly onto Garrick of Clan MacLaren’s arm.

“Where are we…?” her whispered words trailed off whilst she gazed upon in the manor the likes of which she had never seen before. Polished wood panels with portraits hanging on the wall appeared as though the people depicted there were going to jump right out of the artwork. She had never seen anything like it in her entire life.

“…and how did we get here?” Garrick finished. “Were we not just upon the battlement walls of yer cousin’s keep ready to go and have speech with him or am I dreaming whilst I am fully awake?”

“If you are dreaming then we are at least together and I am thankful you are with me.”

A gentleman in clothing certainly different than their own came rushing to their side. “There you are. Please come with me. The Duchess is waiting for you.”

“Duchess?” They spoke in unison and broke out into a smile.

Garrick pulled her closer and leaned down to kiss her cheek. “I will keep ye safe, lass.”

“I know you will. Shall we follow him?”

“I am not certain we have another alternative since we know not where we are.”

Following what Coira assumed was a servant, they went down several passageways and she marveled at the treasures her eyes beheld at every turn. Completely lost in the maze of corridors, they at last came to a door that was promptly opened. “Tea is being served,” the man informed them. “Her Grace has been waiting for you.”

“Tea?” Garrick asked after leaning in to murmur in her ear.

She shrugged. “Do you suppose I should curtsy?”

“Mayhap but I cannot know for certain.”

They came to stand before a well-dressed woman. They glanced toward one another. Coira gave a short bob of a curtsy, whilst Garrick bowed.

“Lady Coira, is it not? And the Piper Garrick. You are most welcome. Please, be seated. May I offer you… now, how to describe it. A tisane that we enjoy here in my century.”

They both took a seat but continued to clasp each other’s hands. “Where are we, milady?” Garrick asked.

“Ah. Forgive me. I did not introduce myself. I am Eleanor Haverford, wife to the Duke of Haverford, and you are in my London townhouse. The more pertinent question is ‘When’ are you, for you have travelled far indeed to take tea with me, Master Garrick. How it occurs, I do not know, but every Monday my visitor book shows the names of those who will appear in my private sitting room, and I never know from when in time or where in space. My own place is here, in the nineteenth century after the birth of Our Lord. Your century, I would guess from your clothes, is the twelfth or thirteenth?”

Coira burst out laughing, ’til she noticed the Duchess continued to look upon them with a serious expression. “’Tis the year of Our Lord’s Grace 1182,” she answered.

“Seven hundred and seventy years!” The duchess’s eyes widened with awe. “How wonderful! I am so excited to have you visit me.”

“No offense, milady, but will we able to return to our own place in time?” Garrick asked tentatively reaching for the cup the duchess held out for him. He sniffed at the cup, uncertain if he should partake of what she offered him. Taking a sip, he sighed in pleasure, nodding to Coira to give the brew a try.

“Yes, indeed. I have had some visitors more than once, and they have returned to their own place as soon as they left me. But tell me, are you husband and wife?” She gave a pointed look at their joined hands.

“Nay, not as yet, Your Grace,” Coira replied, unclasping her fingers from Garrick’s. “We were just on our way to have speech with my cousin, Lord Dristan of Berwyck. Perchance you know of him?”

Her Grace’s brows furrowed as she considered. “Berwyck Castle, on the border with Scotland? I believe I know your cousin’s many-times great grandchildren, the current Duke of Hartford and his brother and sister.  Your cousin will be pleased with the match, I hope?” she added.

Garrick shuddered. “If he does not throw me in a pit first for my insolence, I may live to see another day.”

Coira gave Garrick a gentle slap. “Dristan will not dare put you in his pit. Besides, he is most agreeable to most things.”

Garrick choked on his tea. “Agreeable? He is known as the Devil’s Dragon and wants ye to wed a knight.”

The duchess met Coira’s eyes with a concerned glance. “Oh dear, Master Garrick. You are not confident, then?”

“He only wants what is best for me and thinks wedding a nobleman is what I need,” she replied. “Garrick will convince him otherwise, will you not?”

Garrick set down his cup and took her hand once more, raising it to his lips. “Ye know that I shall, Coira.”

“Good for you, Lady Coira. Marriage to a man who loves you is what you need, if the man is loyal and true.”

“Master Garrick, I wish you every success to you and your lady.”

“I am certain my cousin will agree, Your Grace,” Coira replied.

Garrick stood, assisting Coira to rise and tucked her hand in the crook of his arm. “My thanks for having us today, Yer Grace,” he replied with a bow.

The duchess rose, inclining her head. “It was truly my pleasure.”

The Piper’s Lady is Sherry Ewing’s story in Never Too Late, the 2017 collection from the Bluestocking Belles.

Never Too Late

Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.

Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday and More Anthology.

It’s Never Too Late to find love.

25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.

Never Too Late has its own page on the Bluestocking Belles website, where you can learn more about each story and find buy links. (It’s 99c for one more week only, so buy now.)

If you’re an Amazon US purchaser, buy it here.

 

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Spotlight on Nothing But Time

In today’s Sunday Spotlight is Sherry Ewing’s Nothing But Time.

This short Regency novel is the tale of Gwendolyn, married despite her protests to a nasty old man who bullies and abuses her, and cuts her off from contact with her friends. It’s also the story of Neville, the successful investor and rising aristocrat who falls in love, quite against his will, with another man’s wife.

Adultery is a daring topic for a romance. To keep our sympathy, the writer needs to give us extenuating circumstances, and Ms Ewing does so to the max. The story has it all: thwarted love, a villain,  a mad chase north, a heart-wrenching  separation, and a few passionate interludes to give us hope that all will be well.

I liked Gwendolyn’s compassion for her ungrateful spouse, and how hard she tried to be true to the vows she didn’t want to make. But Neville was my favourite of the two. He was not an innocent, but he was in love for the first time, and he was putty in Gwendolyn’s hands, as well as charming, determined, faithful, and brave.

The book was short and the characters only lightly painted. The horrible husband was a caricature, but the boorish elder brother and the mischievous younger one both show promise. I look forward to more stories of the Worth family.

They will risk everything for their forbidden love…

When Lady Gwendolyn Marie Worthington is forced to marry a man old enough to be her father, she concludes love will never enter her life. Her husband is a cruel man who blames her for his own failings. Then she meets her brother’s attractive business associate and all those longings she had thought gone forever suddenly reappear.

A long-term romance holds no appeal for Neville Quinn, Earl of Drayton until an unexpected encounter with the sister of the Duke of Hartford. Still, he resists giving his heart to another woman, especially one who belongs to another man.

Chance encounters lead to intimate dinners, until Neville and Gwendolyn flee to Berwyck Castle at Scotland’s border hoping beyond reason their fragile love will survive the vindictive reach of Gwendolyn’s possessive husband. Before their journey is over, Gwendolyn will risk losing the only love she has ever known.

 

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Neville’s first glance at Gwendolyn

He held her stare. How could he not when he had been admiring her beauty just a short while ago? He did not dally with women whose husbands were living, and certainly not one who was associated with a potential business associate. The last thing he needed was some man breathing down his neck challenging him to a duel, and that most assuredly included her brothers as well as her husband.

To say she was beautiful would not have done the lady justice. She was young, perhaps no more than twenty. Her light brown hair was swept up into a pleasing coiffure and one long curling ringlet cascaded down her left shoulder. He could not tell the color of her eyes from this distance but they were framed in a round face with a clear complexion. Neville should not let his gaze linger on those lips for long. They were meant to be kissed and kissed often.

Something about the lady continued to pull at his heart, and, for the life of him, he could not look away. She seemed sad, and he could only ponder the cause. Why her disposition was important to him he could not say, and yet, he had a sudden desire to sweep her away and fill her days with happiness. He squashed down the notion of what he would like to do with her nights.

They continued staring, one to the other, and he watched in fascination as her chest rose and fell as if she were attempting to catch her breath. Neville had been tempted long enough and he gave into the impulse by offering her the slightest of nods. She must have at last come to her senses at his gesture, for she quickly turned away, but not before Neville witnessed a lovely blush rising to color her cheeks.

Meet Sherry Ewing

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical & 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 member of Romance Writers of America, the Beau Monde & 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 and her published work at www.SherryEwing.com.

Website & Books: http://www.SherryEwing.com

Email: Sherry@SherryEwing.com

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Hearts Through Time: http://heartsthroughtime.com

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Welcome to Sherry Ewing – and A Knight to Call My Own

SE photoToday, I welcome fellow Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing to the blog. Sherry writes medieval and regency romances, some with a time slip element, and  She’s a bestselling author who writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. A week ago, she released her fourth book about clan MacLaren – find out more about A Knight to Call My Own below the interview.

  • Why do you write in your chosen genre or genres? I first picked up The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss when I was a teenager and I’ve been hooked on historical romances ever since. It was only natural I would write in the same genre.
  • Do you base any of your characters on real people? Surprisingly (or maybe not) yes, along with my own experiences from my life. I think there’s a little bit of me in everyone one of my characters and I would think that applies to every author.
  • What’s your favourite scene and why? I have a scene where Lynet and Ian are alone for the first time after not seeing one another for six years. Lynet is overwhelmed with emotions and she is unclear if she should hate him or love him. I could read that scene a hundred times and still love it.
  • What was the hardest scene to write and why? I always have difficulty writing sex scenes. It may sell books but I tend to highly romanticise those passages and leave the reader to use their own imagination.
  • What do you like to do in your spare time? I’m a huge NASCAR race fan and tend to do my best writing on race day.

Sherry enjoys interacting with her readers. You can email her on her website or find her on these social media outlets:

Website & Blog  *  Bluestocking Belles  *  Facebook  *  Pinterest  *  Twitter  *   Tsu

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A Knight to Call My Own

SE A Knight to call my ownWhen your heart is broken, is love still worth the risk?

Lynet of clan MacLaren knows how it feels to love and not have that love returned. Her brother-in-law has decided a competition for the right to wed Lynet is just the thing his willful charge needs to force her hand.

Ian MacGillivray has returned to Berwyck in search of a bride. But Lynet is anything but an easy conquest and he will need more than charm to win her hand.

From the English borders to the Highlands of Scotland, the chase is on for who will claim the fair Lynet. The price paid will be high to ensure her safety, and even higher to win her love.

Buy Links:

Amazon US  *  Barnes & Noble  *  iBooks  *  Inktera  *  Kobo  *  Oyster  *  Scribd

Amazon AU  *  Amazon CA  *  Amazon UK

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An interview with Sherry Ewing

11086780_10206606130775444_1686985195_oToday, I’m starting something new: interviews with guest authors, starting with my friend and fellow Bluestocking Belle, Sherry Ewing.

Sherry Ewing is a self-published author who writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Her three books are all currently on bestseller lists on Amazon, and her latest release, Only For You, is currently in the top 20 on a historical romance list.

Sherry, when did you begin to write, and why?

Although I wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember, I didn’t actually start writing until 2008 when a friend of mine asked why I hadn’t written that novel I always wanted to write. Since my children were for the most part grown, I had the time to throw myself into the manuscript. It’s a total train wreck since I’ve learned so much in the past several years on the craft of writing, but I hope to edit it in the next several months with a release in early 2016.

Today, you’re showing us Only For You. (See below for an outline and buy links.) Who is your favourite character in the book?

It’s hard to determine whether my hero or heroine is my favourite characters since I love them both. But if I must choose, then it would be Katherine. She’s a modern day woman thrown back in time who quickly adapts to her new surroundings as she begins her life with her very medieval husband.

What’s your favourite scene and why?

Katherine and Riorden share their dreams so there is one dream scene in particular, when they think that all hope is lost, that is very memorable to me towards the end of Only For You. But I’ll let your readers find it out for themselves since I don’t want to give any spoilers.

Most writers start as avid readers. What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

I’m probably dating myself when I tell you I read The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss as a teenager. It was my first historical romance and I’ve been hooked ever since. She is most likely the reason why I write in this genre today. She was my ideal author and I wanted to write wonderful stories that carried me away to another place in time just as she did.

If you could give that kid one piece of advice, what would it be?

Just because an English teacher tells you that your writing will never amount to anything, don’t let that stop you from going after your dreams of becoming an author. Keep on writing and never give up. It may take years for those dreams to become reality, but in the end it will be worth it!

Only For You – A medieval romance with a hint of time travel, Release date March 17, 2015

One gorgeous cover!

One gorgeous cover!

Katherine de Deveraux has it all, or so she believes, when she begins her life with her husband Riorden. But as she settles into her duties at Warkworth Castle, she finds that an easy life is not only difficult but downright dangerous to her well-being.

Consumed with the haunting memories of his father, Riorden must deal with his sire’s widow who just happens to be his ex-lover. Yet how could he know just how far Marguerite is willing to go in order to have the life she feels they were truly meant to live?

Torn apart by circumstances neither Katherine nor Riorden could ever imagine, Time becomes their true enemy even while Marguerite continues her ploy to keep Riorden at her side. With all hope lost, will Katherine and Riorden find a way to save their marriage and have their happily ever after ending, or will Katherine be whisked back to where Time truly feels she belongs?

Buy Links:

Amazon; Barnes & Noble; iBooks; Kobo; Amazon Australia; Amazon Canada; Amazon UK

Find Sherry on social media:

Website & Blog: http://www.sherryewing.com

Bluestocking Belles: http://bluestockingbelles.com

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

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SherryLEwing

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Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/sherryewing

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A Chat with Our Characters by Sherry Ewing and Jude Knight

PeterThis is Peter Pritchard of Regency Morning Gazette, and I am reporting today from the Crock and Bull Inn, a mysterious accommodation house that has appeared in a number of counties simultaneously, and that is currently providing lodging to a vast cast of characters written by the eight Bluestocking Belles and their guests.

Part 1 of my report will be on Sherry Ewing’s blog, and part 2 on Jude Knight’s.

I am with Amiria of clan MacLaren and wife to Lord Dristan, first Earl of Berwyck, and Anne, Countess of Chirbury, wife to Stephen Redepenning, eighth Earl of Chirbury. Lord Dristan is also known as the Devil’s Dragon, and Lord Chirbury as The Wild Trapper Earl.

The two noble ladies normally inhabit different fictional worlds and different eras. Lady Amiria is normally found in the twelfth century and between the pages of If My Heart Could See You by Sherry Ewing. Lady Anne is from the early nineteenth century, and Farewell to Kindness (to be published 1 April) by Jude Knight.

Thanks to a magical time-spanning ever-expanding coaching inn, and a shared adventure in the nearby woods, the two ladies have found much in common and have become friends.

See Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing’s blog for Part 1.

PART 2

medievalI understand that you, Lady Amiria, were able to assist Lady Anne during the unpleasant episode involving her sons.

Amiria: Indeed. When my new friend Anne’s twin sons were kidnapped, I could not stand idly by and do nothing when I could be of some use. ’Tis a good thing I brought my sword and crossbow so I could assist the dear lady. I am an excellent swordswoman.

Do all women of the twelfth century carry such weapons of war?

’Tis most unusual, but I have been practicing with my brother since I was but a child. My father indulged me, since I seemed to thrive in the lists. Then, Dristan himself presented me with this very sword as a wedding gift. He is quite sentimental in offering me presents that are more useful to my skills and talents. I am not one to sit in a solar with needle and thread, you see. (Amiria leans forward to whisper softly) But do not mention that I said such about my husband. He has a fierce reputation to uphold, after all.

And, Lady Anne, I am told that you did not sit idly by.

Anne: I am not the warrior that my new friend Amiria is. But when those at love are at risk I will not stay at home weeping and wringing my hands. Happily, I had my archery equipment with me, and was able to make a contribution to the task of bringing my little boys safely home.

This is not the first time you have drawn your bow in the cause of your family’s safety. The Battle of Abbey Farm? The incident with your guardian?

You have been talking to the servants, I see. I cannot discuss those past matters, Peter. Archery has been my hobby since I was a young girl. And, yes, I have had cause in the past to… defend those I love. And will do so again if their safety is threatened. Or, Peter, their reputations. Let us say no more of that.

Were the kidnappers apprehended?

Amiria (with a scowl): I do not have much patience with those who would steal children to retrieve a ransom from their parents. I, too, am a mother so I know how I would feel if someone dared such an offense with mine. Dristan would not be so lenient as to just let someone who took his children wallow in our dungeon. Nay…he would have their heads sitting on a pike outside our gates as a warning to any with such foolish thoughts.

Dristan and Riorden were not pleased that they were not allowed to kill off at least one or two of the villains who were involved with the escapade. Even a bit of torture to glean information would have made them happy, but times are apparently more civilized here than where we come from.

Anne: I was well satisfied to have my children back and the kidnappers imprisoned. I believe that even their leader, who was injured in the rescue, will live to go on trial. Indeed, (here Anne looks down at her hands and colours slightly) I discovered once again that the veneer of civilization is thinner than we care to think. I hardly like to think of what I said and did to get the information we needed to find the villains and my babies.
But make no mistake. I would do it again.

Were the kidnappers given a ransom?

regency ladyAmiria: Bah! Another annoyance for me. Anne’s husband handed over a fair amount of monies to Mrs Angel. I know she was more involved with the taking of those children than she let on.

Anne: My boys must have been fed, for they were in good spirits. Whatever her sins, she looked after them. And she returned them safe and sound. I am grateful that they were not at the apprehension of the villains, where they may have been hurt.

Amiria: Since Mrs. Angel had a daughter, Connie, I can only pray she will use some of the coinage in taking better care of the young girl and show her a better life. I may live my life in hose, boots, and tunic on most days, but I am still a lady and my mother’s daughter, and I am able to show a fair bit of compassion now and then.

Anne: Her Grace of Wellbridge invited mother and child to stay at the inn, and will undoubtedly help the woman to find respectable work, should she want to do so. My husband suspects that she is seeking work of a quite unrespectable kind, but we shall hope for the best.

At this point, a servant comes to tell the ladies that their husbands are waiting for them to join the wedding party, and they leave.

So this is Peter Pritchard, signing off from the Crock and Bull inn.

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