Category Archives: Bluestocking Belles

Valentines from Bath: Regency Love Stories for Valentine’s Day!

The Bluestocking Belles Present:

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Valentines from Bath – Regency love stories for Valentine’s Day!

Available for pre-order for only .99 – available February 9th, 2019!

In five original stories, Jessica Cale, Sherry Ewing, Jude Knight, Amy Quinton, and Caroline Warfield bring you Valentines From Bath…

The Master of Ceremonies announces a great ball to be held on Valentine’s Day in the Upper Assembly Rooms of Bath.

Ladies of the highest rank—and some who wish they were—scheme, prepare, and compete to make best use of the opportunity.

Dukes, earls, tradesmen, and the occasional charlatan are alert to the possibilities as the event draws nigh.

But anything can happen in the magic of music and candlelight as couples dance, flirt, and open themselves to romantic possibilities. Problems and conflict may just fade away at a Valentine’s Day Ball.

25% of all our sales will be donated to the Malala Fund! You can go here: https://www.malala.org/ for more information on the Malala Fund.

The Umbrella Chronicles

John and Emma’s story

By Amy Quinton

A serious-minded, scientific man of learning seeks a complex and chaotic practitioner of all things superstitious who will upend his well-ordered life.

The Umbrella Strikes Again! Another Bachelor Has Fallen!

England, 1815…

Dr. John Edward Hartwell needs assistance, though not quite the kind of help he might think. True, he is well-organized, tidy, and pathologically set in his ways—a more serious-minded man one might never find.

But in his ways, I have determined, lies misery.

Enter Miss Annie Merryweather—a woman who is as lovely as she is chaotic. She is the perfect candidate to compliment our man of numbers and logical focus, bringing sunshine and superstition to redirect him away from a future of certain wretchedness.

Oh, aye, I said superstition.

And now that she has been categorically convinced that they are destined to be together—the signs, you see—no one can stand in her way, for she is as tenacious and optimistic as she is beautiful.

And none can resist her smile.

If I have anything to say about matters, and I always have something to say about matters, the signs will point the way.

They already have.

Lady Harriett Ross,

Self-proclaimed Motley Meddler * Mistress of Destiny * Wielder of the Infamous Umbrella

I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.

 

 

The Magic Ring – Bluestocking Belles’ Follow Your Star Home Blog Hop

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Welcome to my stop in the Bluestocking Belles’ Follow Your Star Home blog hop. Read on for a free short story about one of the many travels of the magic ring — the same ring that appears in all of the stories in Follow Your Star Home, our 2018 Holiday anthology — and comment for an entry in our holiday prize. Then, go to our blog hop page for links to the other Belles’ stories and for more information about our giveaway.

The blog hop is running for a fortnight, so keep checking back frequently to see if a new story has been posted.

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7 January 1815

Dearest Rebecca,

I hope all is well with you. I have the most exciting news to share. I have found the Lost Ring of Frigg! I am enclosing it as a gift for you, for I fear you could use its power far more than I.

Use it well and with all my heart.

-Emma Merryweather
Bloomfield Park
Bath, England

The letter above left Bloomfield Park the very afternoon of the 7th of January and bore witness to a somewhat incredible, though small in the grand scheme of things, series of events on its journey north before arriving at its final destination: Scotland.

Here is one of those stories:

Day One…

He was running terribly late.

George Torchwood scooped up the outgoing post from the silver salver in the front hall of Bloomfield Park and darted down the hall, across the kitchen, and out the rear servant’s entrance, headed for the stables. Lady Ross had specifically instructed him to deliver the pile of letters to the post office in Bath before the last mail coach departed. He only had thirty minutes; this was going to be close.

The stablemaster met him at the grand doors to Bloomfield Park’s magnificent stables, reins in hand and guiding a beautiful black mare, all saddled and ready. The burly man rubbed a hand down her muzzle. “She’s the fastest we have to hand at the moment, George.”

George reached for the saddle horn, his bag of mail slung over one shoulder, slid his foot into the stirrup, and hoisted himself onto the mare. Once settled, he patted the horse’s neck affectionately. “Aye, I’ve ridden Andromeda before; she’ll do.”

Ten minutes later, George was half way to Bath and making adequate time when a loud crack sounded, echoing loudly through the air. He turned in time to see a sizable limb falling from the sky towards him.

Then, nothing.

Day Two…

She was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen and vaguely familiar.

George blinked his bleary eyes and tried to focus on the angelic face hovering above him. On instinct, he attempted to sit up, but the woman laid a gentle yet firm hand on his shoulder. “Easy now. Ye’ve taken a nasty tumble.”

He settled back into the soft pillows beneath him and felt a feint stab of discomfort. He reached up to touch his forehead, only distantly noting the strange added weight on his hand. He lightly probed his face and winced when he touched a goose-egg-sized lump at his hairline.

The woman pulled his hand away. “Oh, you. Leave it be.”

He smiled at her concern and the strength behind her command. He cleared his throat and blurted out, “Name’s George.”

Smooth, George. Quite, smooth.

She blushed slightly and dipped her head. “Moira.”

“Moira…” he repeated, his voice laced with awe. And then she smiled, and he suddenly remembered why she’d seemed vaguely familiar. He’d seen her at a village fair last summer, where he’d been helping his sister sell her hand-made embroidered linens. They’d never had a chance to speak, and he’d been largely disappointed when he’d finally managed to break away and couldn’t find her. She could have been from anywhere; he himself hadn’t been local. “I remember you…at the fair…near Oxford?”

Her face brightened. “Yes, that’s it.” She had a nice laugh. She dipped her head as if offering him a curtsey. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”

“Indeed.” Finally!

He glanced away, to hide just how large a grin he wore, and realized she still held both his hands in hers. He noted her absently rubbing her thumbs over his knuckles. He quite liked her touch. He liked her touch quite a bit, indeed. Her skin was so warm, so soft.

Once again, they shared shy smiles, then glanced away. This time, he felt a slight blush rise in his own cheeks.

It was then that he fully noted the abnormal weight on his hand, for he wore a man’s ring, gold with a star engraved on the top. “What is this?” he asked, his eyes darting toward the ring in question.

Moira followed his gaze. “I don’t know. You were wearing it when I found you.”

“That’s impossible.” He’d never seen it before. Besides, that ring was probably worth more than he made in a year, perhaps more. “It’s not mine.”

For a moment, they both stared at it, equally confused.

“That is strange.” She met his eyes. “Do you remember what happened?”

He made to put a hand to his brow, and she squeezed his hands to stop him.

“Thanks.” That would have bloody well hurt. “Um. There was a loud crack, then I spun about in my saddle in time to see a large tree branch falling towards me, but not enough time to dodge it. Then, nothing.” Once again, he tried to run his hands through his hair, and once again, she held on tight. Apparently, he performed the gesture more often than he realized.

She frowned; her forehead wrinkled adorably. “There wasn’t a branch nearby where we found you.”

That was strange. “My horse?”

She nodded. “Tethered in the lean-to ‘round back.”

“Oh God, my bag of letters? What day is it?” He tried to sit.

“Shhh… they’re over there.” She gestured towards a corner of the room where his bag lay. “And it’s the 8th of January.”

This time he had to bite his tongue as he successfully pulled his hand free and ran it down his face. Right over his injury. But never mind that. “Oh, no, Lady Ross wanted those letters to the post office yesterday; she’ll be cross.”

Moira shook her head. “Lady Ross will understand. She may be opinionated, but she’s a generous sort.”

“You know her?”

Moira laughed and shrugged. “Who doesn’t? She’s infamous…and a neighbor.”

“Still—” George once again attempted to sit. “I must go. I must…”

Moira stayed him with a hand to his chest. “It’ll keep, George. You’ll be dizzy with that nasty bump; give it a day. There’s nothing in that bag worth risking further injury for, I’m sure.” She gently pulled back a lock of his hair that had fallen over his eye.

Aye. Maybe, she was right.

That night, as he settled down to sleep, he removed the strange star-ring and placed it on the table by the bed. He smiled as he drifted off, more than pleased to have found his mystery woman from the fair; she was as wonderful as he’d imagined she’d be.

And in the morning, neither one of them remembered the mysterious ring, nor noticed that it was gone; it’s job complete.

Where did it go, you ask? Well, that is a story for another day.

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FYSH Quinton Blurb

Throughout time, it has never been too late for love…

1814

I hope you enjoyed your stay in Revolutionary France of 1795 via Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s Blog. You are now in Regency England!

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Coronation portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence of King George IV

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to 1814: a time of decadent balls, glorious gowns, sharp dressed men, and, unfortunately, war. Our time machine will be visiting 1814 twice, so for this stop, we are focusing on the first half of 1814.

1814 is the year my novella, The Umbrella Chronicles: George & Dorothea’s Story, in the Never Too Late anthology takes place.

The setting is England during a period of time known as The Regency. This is because King George III had become unfit to rule and so his son, George, ruled by proxy as the Prince Regent beginning in 1811 until his father’s death in 1820, at which time the Prince Regent became King George IV.

Napoleonic Wars: The Sixth Coalition versus the French

One couldn’t talk about the year of 1814 without mentioning the Napoleonic Wars. 1814 saw the Sixth Coalition of allied forces (Austria, Russia, Prussia, UK, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and several German states) battling the French under emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Numerous battles took place over the course of the year, concluding with a very short-lived time of peace (for despite exile to Elba in April, the infamous Battle of Waterloo (1815) has yet to take place).

Here are some of the major battles and events surrounding the Napoleonic Wars that occurred in the first half of 1814:

January 14 The Treaty of Kiel is signed ending hostilities between Denmark-Norway (French ally) and the UK and Sweden (part of the 6th Coalition).

January 29 The French defeat Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Brienne.

February 1 The French defeat Russia in the Battle of Champaubert.

February 17 The French defeat Russia and Austria in the Battle of Mormant.

February 18 The French defeat the Austrians and Württembergers in the Battle of Montereau.

March 1 The Sixth Coalition sign the Treaty of Chaumont.

March 7 The French defeat Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Craonne.

March 21 The French, severely outnumbered, flee from the Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube.

March 30 Sixth Coalition forces march into Paris after defeating Napoleon.

March 31 Forces allied against Napoleon capture Paris.

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Russians enter Paris in 1814 Artist Unknown

April 11 Napoleon abdicates unconditionally; he is exiled to the island of Elba, and the French Bourbon monarchy and King Louis XVIII is restored. The Treaty of Fontainebleau is signed, allowing the Congress of Vienna to redraw the map of Europe.

April 26 King Louis XVIII lands at Calais from England.

May 4 Bourbon reign restored in France.

May 30 The Treaty of Paris (1814) is signed returning French borders to their 792 extent.

 

War of 1812

The War of 1812 is a conflict between the US and the UK and their respective allies. The War was fought from 1812 – 1815 and was declared by the US against the UK as a response to the British blockade of trade with France (due to the Napoleonic Wars) and impressment of American sailors into the British Royal Navy to fight against the French.

March 27 Battle of Horseshoe Bend: General Andrew Jackson defeats the Red Sticks, part of the Creek Indian tribe near Dadeville, Alabama.

May 5 British attack Ft Ontario, Oswego, NY

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Attack at Ft. Ontario Artist Unknown

Other European Politics

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King Ferdinand VII by Francisco Goya

February 11 Norway proclaims its Independence.

May 4 King Ferdinand VII of Spain signs the Decree of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism.

May 17 Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden (National Day).

May 17 Norwegian constitution passed.

May 17 Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian.

The Arts

February 1 Lord Byron’s “The Corsair” is published and sells 10,000 copies the first day.

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Lord Byron by Richard Westall

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Febuary 27 Ludwig von Beethoven’s 8th Symphony in F premieres.

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Potrait of Ludwig von Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

The Environment

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Mayon Volcano, Albay, Philippines photo by Tomas Tam

February 1 Tragedy strikes when Volcano Mayon in the Philippines erupts killing 1,200

 

 

 

 

 

Notable Deaths

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Potrait of Joséphine de Beauharnais by Firmin Massot

March 26 Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, French physician and freemason who proposed and became the namesake of the guillotine, dies of natural causes at 75

May 29 Joséphine de Beauharnais, first wife of Napoleon I and first Empress of France (1804-14), dies of pneumonia aged 50

 

 

 

 

Fashion & Style

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Embrace by Frédéric Soulacroix Note the Regency classical style of the room and the Regency clothes.

We can’t talk about Regency without noting the fashions and decorating styles of the day; it’s one of the many reasons romance readers love romances that take place in the Regency time period.

Classicism was the favored style in Regency England, particularly Roman and Greek motifs which were blended with French and Egyptian elements giving Regency Classicism a visually rich elegance.  Noted in this style are heavy floral motifs, gilded designs, scrolling leaves, and classical friezes. You can see more at http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/s/style-guide-regency-classicism/.

 

 

 

 

Women’s Fashion

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Confidences by Frédéric Soulacroix

Women’s dresses of the period, particularly among the haute ton (society), were noted for their high, empire waists. Women would wear their gowns over a shift or chemise, which would be made of a sturdier material so that it could be washed frequently. Whereas the gowns themselves would be made of much finer material and would not be washed with each use unless particularly soiled.

Society women would change their clothes often during the day, depending on what activities were planned. They usually had specific types of dress for different activities. For example, a society lady might have several:

  • morning gowns
  • visiting gowns
  • walking gowns
  • promenade dresses
  • carriage dresses
  • riding habits
  • dinner dresses/gowns
  • ball gowns

No wonder they employed a lady’s maid to sort their daily attire! Not to mention that fashions were constructed such that one couldn’t put on all the requisite stays, petticoats, dresses without assistance.

There is so much I could say about the fashions of the day, but Author Kristen Koster has an excellent Primer on Regency Women’s Fashion, here that covers all the major terms and forms of dress for women in Regency, England.

 

Men’s Fashion

display_imageBe still my beating heart. Society Men were well dressed and also put forth a lot of effort toward their toilette. In fact, society men usually employed a valet to care for and dress them appropriately.

Regency men’s dress is most noted for it’s waistcoats, cravats, and Hessian boots.

In the picture to the left, you will note the hallmark Regency characteristics of a cravat, jacket, knee breeches, boots, and even a caped great coat draped over the back of the chair.

For more details on men’s regency fashion, author Kristen Koster has an excellent Primer on Regency Men’s Fashion, here.

 

Beau Brummell

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Beau Brummell by Richard Dighton

We cannot talk about fashion and style in Regency England without mentioning the infamous society figure and self-proclaimed dandy: Beau Brummell.

George Bryan “Beau” Brummell was born in London in 1778. The son of a politician, he became an iconic figure in Regency England as a an arbiter of men’s fashion and well-known friend of the Prince Regent. If Brummell did it, every dandy in London copied it.

Brummell was a witty, educated man having attended Eton College and then Oxford before joining the military in 1784 as part of the Tenth Royal Hussars, which was later renamed to the 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars) in honor of King George IV.

After leaving the military, Brummell took a house in Mayfair, where he became a major influencer of style and personal hygiene. He was known to be fastidious, cleaning his teeth, bathing and shaving on a daily basis. It was once rumored that he spent 5 hours a day on his toilette, and that the Prince Regent, himself, visited Brummell’s rooms to witness this man’s morning lengthy ablutions.

Unfortunately, being an icon of fashion does not pay well, quite the opposite in fact, and in 1816, Brummell fled London for France to avoid debtors prison where he lived the remainder of his life in exile.

Giveaway!

Comment on all eight blogs in the tour and be entered to win a $25 gift voucher from Amazon and a print copy of Never Too Late!

You can get to all eight blogs via the time machine page on our Bluestocking Belle’s website once all tour stops are published.

The Umbrella Chronicles

NTL - Quinton - Meme - Blurb

Farewell from 1814

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found your stay informative and glamorous. For your next stop, you’ll be traveling to 1916 Picardy, France via Caroline Warfield’s blog. Or you can return to the time machine page on our Bluestocking Belle’s website and pick a year as they are posted over the next few weeks.

I wish you safe travels. Good luck. Try not to land in the midst of the Battle of the Somme!

Love,

Signature

Never Too Late – Available Now!

My latest short story, the first in the Umbrella Chronicles, is available now via Never Too Late – A Bluestocking Belles Collection, and it is only $.99 for a limited time!

It’s Never Too Late to find love!

Never Too Late 3D Book

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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 Anthology and More.

25% of all our sales will be donated to the Malala Fund! You can go here: https://www.malala.org/ for more information on the Malala Fund.

The Umbrella Chronicles

George & Dorothea’s Story

by Amy Quinton

The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.

George St. Vincent doesn’t realize it, but his days as a bachelor in good standing are numbered.

He has a fortnight, to be precise—the duration of the Dansbury House party.

For I, Lady Harriett Ross, have committed to parting with several items of sentimental worth should I fail to orchestrate his downfall—er, betrothal—to Miss Dorothea Wythe, who is delightful, brilliant, and interested (or will be).

If I have anything to say about matters, and I always have something to say about matters, they’re both doomed.

Did I say doomed? I mean, destined—to a life filled with love.

I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.

NTL - Quinton - Meme - Quote 4

Never Too Late – Available for Pre Order!

My latest short story, the first in the Umbrella Chronicles, is now available for Pre Order via Never Too Late – A Bluestocking Belles Collection.

It’s Never Too Late to find love!

Never Too Late 3D Book

amazonamazonAUamazonuk

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 Anthology and More.

25% of all our sales will be donated to the Malala Fund! You can go here: https://www.malala.org/ for more information on the Malala Fund.

 

The Umbrella Chronicles

George & Dorothea’s Story

by Amy Quinton

The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.

 

George St. Vincent doesn’t realize it, but his days as a bachelor in good standing are numbered.

He has a fortnight, to be precise—the duration of the Dansbury House party.

For I, Lady Harriett Ross, have committed to parting with several items of sentimental worth should I fail to orchestrate his downfall—er, betrothal—to Miss Dorothea Wythe, who is delightful, brilliant, and interested (or will be).

If I have anything to say about matters, and I always have something to say about matters, they’re both doomed.

Did I say doomed? I mean, destined—to a life filled with love.

I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.

NTL - Quinton - Meme - Quote 4