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Every wondered what a squeeze was like?

Originally posted on Angelyn's Blog:

People have not done talking of the squeeze at Gloucester House, which was a most exact and daughter-like copy of the Drawing-room, both in numbers and quality.”

Freddy: "Much of a squeeze?" Willis: "No, Sir, we are a little thin of company, the season having begun."Freddy: “Much of a squeeze?”
Willis: “No, Sir, we are a little thin of company, the season having just begun.”

— Letter from Lady Williams-Wynn to  the Hon. Mrs. Henry Williams-Wynn, May 18, 1818

A squeeze, as you know, is cant for a large number of persons crammed into a space too small to accommodate them.

A Regency hostess’ dream.

Purchased in 1806 by the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, Gloucester House became Grosvenor House, the new London residence of this vastly wealthy family. The squeeze Lady W.W. wrote of took place in the house as it was being enlarged and redecorated.

That evening, guests were ascending the great marble steps to the assembly rooms above, when:

“Mrs. Ross took a faint upon the stair-case, and in…

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Happy Sunday!

in the spinster's bedroom_ebookLet’s start with the winner of Sally Mackenzie’s book, In the Spinster’s Bed. Congratulations to Jacque McNeal!!



In book news, it is less than a month until the release of Lady Beresford’s Lover!! Naturally, it is on pre-order. For you bloggers and reviewers, it is on Netgalley. If you are already a Marriage Game fan, you’ll see a lot of the characters you’ve already met.

I really love this book, and I hope you will as well!! Just to pique your interest, I’ll tell you a little more about it.

Here is the cover.

lady beresford's lover_ebook


The blurb.

Ella Quinn’s bachelors are quite sure of what they want in life—and love—until the right woman opens their eyes…

After a painful heartbreak, Rupert, the handsome young Earl of Stanstead, has decided that when it comes to love, avoidance is best. Until he meets a woman who makes him forget his plan—and remember his longing for a wife and family. Yet he senses that she too has been hurt, though she attempts to hide her feelings—and more—in the most baffling and alluring way. Intrigued, Rupert is willing to play along, if winning her is the prize…

Crushed by her late husband’s scorn, Vivian, Countess of Beresford, believes she is monstrously undesirable. Sadly childless, she has moved to London resigned to a solitary life. Still, when she encounters Rupert at a masquerade ball, her disguise as Cleopatra emboldens her. Convinced he doesn’t recognize her, she begins an after-hours affair with him, always in costume—while allowing him to innocently court the real her by day. But when Rupert makes a shocking choice, will Vivian be able to handle the truth?…

And an excerpt.

“My lady—” Hal, who’d been her personal footman since her come out, hovered in the open door. “The new Lord Beresford asks if you’ll receive him.”

What could he possibly want? Since the reading of the will, Vivian hadn’t had much to do with her husband’s cousin and best friend who’d come into the title.

Well, whatever it was, she would not allow it to stop her from leaving.

“I’ll see him. Please bring tea and ask Miss Corbet to join me.” Silvia Corbet, the vicar’s eldest daughter, had been Vivian’s companion for the past year, and during that time Vivian had come to love Silvia like a sister.

“Yes, my lady. I’ll get her first.”

“Thank you. That would be best.”

Vivian was not completely conversant concerning the rules of being a widow, but she could not think they would allow her to be in the same room with a gentleman who was not a close relation. Or perhaps that was incorrect. She had heard that some widows took lovers. Still, she did not want to be alone with the man. In any event, he could have nothing to say that would interest her.

A few moments later, Silvia entered the room. “Hal said we have a visitor.”

“Indeed, the new Lord Beresford.” Vivian moved to the sofa. “Thank you for coming so quickly.”

“I was on my way to you in any event.” Silvia’s demeanor had changed from her normal friendliness to barely suppressed anger upon hearing his lordship had come. She chose a chair in the corner of the room near one of the windows, took out her embroidery, and gave a short nod.

As soon as Vivian’s companion had settled, his lordship was announced. At the same time, Hall brought in the tea tray, setting it in front of her, and obviating the need for her to stand and greet the man. “Good afternoon, my lord.”

Lord Beresford glanced at her, bowed, and smiled, apparently not even noticing that Silvia was in the corner. “Good day. I hope I find you well.”

“Yes, thank you, quite well.” And she’d be even better when she left this place. What she did not understand was how the man could fail to notice Silvia; however, he hadn’t glanced her way. What could he want that had him so focused on Vivian? “Would you like some tea?”

“Please. Two sugars and milk, if you would.”

The Queen Anne sofa opposite her groaned as he lowered his large, muscular frame onto the delicate piece. Vivian winced, expecting it to splinter at any moment. Nothing in this parlor was made for persons of his size and weight. Finally satisfied the sofa would not break, Vivian handed him the cup.

He took a sip, focusing his solemn brown gaze on her. “Have you made plans for what you will do after your year of mourning is over?”

Vivian glanced up, then lowered her eyes. By any standards, he was a handsome man with thick sable hair, a straight nose, and well above medium height. However, his resemblance to her late husband was too strong for her to be comfortable in his presence, and she had no intention of telling him of her cousin Clara’s invitation. “Have you need of the dower house?”

“Of course not,” he assured Vivian hastily. “You are naturally welcome to remain as long as you wish.” He set his cup down, clearing his throat. “There is, however, a proposition I’d like to place before you, if I may?”

He probably wanted her to act as his hostess until he married. She would tell him she was not interested. Vivian wanted no more dealings with anyone by the name of Beresford. Unfortunately, curiosity had always been another one of her faults. She raised her brows and returned his gaze, praying she presented the image of a calm, composed widow, when in fact her stomach churned as it had when facing her husband. “Go on.”

“I’d like to propose a marriage between us.”


In the year Lord Beresford had been at the abbey, he hadn’t once sought her out, and now he proposed marriage? Did he think she was simply to be a piece of property to be traded at will? Fury pierced her like lightning during a summer storm. After what his cousin had put her through, he must be mad. It was all she could do to maintain her countenance. How could he think she would exchange one Lord Beresford for a newer version? She would never even consider such a suggestion. And if she did, she’d be made a laughingstock among the servants and the villagers. If his expression weren’t so serious, she would have thought he was playing a sick joke.

When she didn’t respond, he continued. “You are, after all, familiar with the abbey and the area. It would not be a love match, but neither was your union with my cousin. I believe I can promise I will never embarrass you or cause you any distress.”

As her husband had done when she’d discovered his long-standing affair with a local farmer’s wife. She took a few shallow breaths, attempting to gather her wits and find a way to end this conversation civilly. “We barely know one another.”

For some reason, that seemed to hearten Lord Beresford. “A state which may be easily remedied. The fact remains that I am in need of a wife, and you fit the bill. I can give you children.”

Vivian’s cup rattled. She was that close to throwing cup, saucer, and pot at him all at once. The next thing she knew, the delicate china was taken from her hands. Silvia put her arm around Vivian’s shoulders and sat next to her.

Beresford jumped to his feet as if a bee had stung him. “What are you doing here?”

“Why am I not surprised?” Silvia replied in a voice of icy distain. “Apparently you have forgot I am Lady Beresford’s companion. Now, my lord”—her tone took on the manner of a queen—“I believe you’ve said quite enough, and it is time to take your leave.”

He flushed as he stood, strode to the door, opened it, and fixed his fierce look on Silvia. “You may leave. I wish to speak with her ladyship alone.”

“Over my dead body,” Silvia mumbled just loudly enough for him to hear.

He opened his mouth, and Vivian decided to step in before all-out war could ensue. She knew nothing about his lordship’s manner, but, as much as she appreciated her companion’s championship, she’d never seen Silvia so exercised or rude.

In a calm but unapologetic tone, Vivian said, “I asked Miss Corbet to remain with me.”

He glared at Silvia as if he’d argue.

“However,” Vivian continued firmly, “I do not believe I need to hear any more of your proposition, my lord. My answer is no. I have no desire to wed you. In fact, I have no desire to marry anyone ever again. Once was quite enough, thank you.”

As he stalked out of the parlor, he glanced over his shoulder. “I’ll speak to you again when you are in a better frame of mind, my lady.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it,” Silvia hurled at his retreating form.

His shoulders hunched, then the door snapped shut behind him.

Buy Links: Kensington  ~ Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo

On to boat news. As you know, I’ve been sailing up the east coast.

After leaving Deltaville, we spent the night in the St. Inigoes River and caught up with one of Alicianna’s (our puppy) sisters.

Alicianna and Chelsa June  2 2015Alicianna and Chelsa June  3 2015

Then on to the Solomons, Maryland for a night.

Anchorage at SolomonsAnchorage at Solomons2

And finally Annapolis where we’ll remain until July 5th.

Annapolis 4


Contact me if you’re in the area and wish to get together.




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Please welcome USA Today bestselling author Sally Mackenzie back to the blog! Sally is here today to showcase her novella, In The Spinster’s Bed! And she’ll give a copy to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you’d like a copy!

We’ll start with the  beautiful cover.

in the spinster's bedroom_ebook

Now a blurb

At Spinster House, a woman can enjoy the spoils of single life—or find the love of a lifetime…  

It has been twenty years since Lord William Wattles laid eyes on Annabelle Frost. Still, he remembers everything—her ethereal beauty, her bookish intelligence, her surprisingly modern attitudes about love…and lust. But Belle’s allegedly wanton behavior led her father to send her away to save the family’s reputation. Now she resides at Spinster House in the village of Loves Bridge, where an unmarried lady can live—and in Belle’s case, support herself as a librarian—in peace…

Beautiful, passionate Belle—sworn off marriage? William can’t believe the woman he once knew could end up like this. But when the hands of fate bring him to Loves Bridge, his long-lost love might just end up back in his arms. Is their unwavering desire worth the sweeping scandal that is sure to follow them both? Absolutely.

And an excerpt.

William backed out from under the heavy oak table in the Spinster House kitchen. He’d come by after supper to see if Belle had found out where Poppy had got in. She hadn’t, so he’d insisted on having a look himself.

He glanced up to see if his head had cleared the tabletop—and caught Belle admiring his arse.

Lust exploded in his gut.

She’d been so passionate, so fearless as a girl. No hiding in the darkness or under the covers for Belle. She’d wanted to see him naked—and she hadn’t shied from his eyes either. She’d been beautiful, her skin white and smooth, her breasts and—

Zeus, I’m so hard, even these baggy breeches can’t hide my cock.

If only he still had on his waistcoat and coat, but he’d shed them along with his silly peruke and sham spectacles so he could crawl under the furniture more easily.

“Are you going to stay down there all night?”

Did Belle sound a little breathless? Perhaps she was feeling a bit lustful herself. He’d be happy—delighted—to take care of that for her.

Did she still make that odd, throaty little noise just before she came?

His cock swelled even more, and his bollocks ached.

“Well, did you find the hole?”

He’d like to find her—

No. He had to think about something else, but his randy mind was stuck in a burning quicksand of lust and sinking fast.

And then the bloody cat landed on his arse, her sharp claws digging deep.

“What the—!” He jerked upright and slammed the back of his head into the tabletop. “Fu—oww!”

He collapsed onto the floor, not sure whether to grab his head or his arse.

He decided on his head.

“Oh, oh, are—” Belle had to gasp to get some air, she was laughing so hard. “Are you all right?”

“I’ve been better.”

“I’m sure Poppy didn’t mean to hurt you. She was just jumping down from the table and your, ah… That is, your, um…”

He looked up at her.

She gestured at his hindquarters. “You were in the way.”

“So I gather.”

The blasted cat came over to stare at him before sitting down and turning her attention to her right paw. He had the distinct impression she’d known exactly where his lascivious thoughts had been headed when she’d pounced upon his posterior.


Buy links: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kensington Books ~ Apple iBooks ~ Kobo


About Sally.

Sally MacKenzie

Sally MacKenzie

USA Today bestselling author Sally MacKenzie writes funny, hot, Regency-set books for Kensington Zebra. Her Naked Nobility series concluded (at least for the time being) with The Naked King, which was named one of ALA Booklist’s top ten romances for 2011; now she’s hard at work on a new “Duchess of Love” series. The prequel novella, “The Duchess of Love,” is a 2013 RWA RITA® finalist in the Romance Novella category. Bedding Lord Ned, the first full-length book in the series, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and also made Booklist’s top ten romance list of 2012. Surprising Lord Jack, the second book, received a starred review from Booklist. Loving Lord Ash will release March 2014. Her books have been translated into Czech, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. Sally graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame in the first class of women. She’s a Cornell Law School dropout, former federal regulation writer, recovering parent volunteer, mother of four grown sons (and mother-in-law to two daughters), and middle-of-the-pool Masters swimmer. A native of Washington, D. C., she still resides in suburban Maryland with her husband.


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Welcome to Sunday News!! Let’s start with the winner of Liza O’Connor’s book. Congratulations to Laura!!

In a comment a few weeks ago, someone pointed out that Miss Featherton’s Christmas Prince was not due to release until December 22d. That seemed a bit late to me, but I was busy. So I sat on it for a while. Low and behold, when I contacted my editor, the date was immediately changed to November 10th!

Ella Quinn’s wealthy, titled bachelors think they’re immune to romantic notions. Yet no matter how they try to evade it, love somehow finds a way…

miss featherton's christmas prince_ebookIn the two seasons since her triumphant debut, Meg Featherton’s heart has been tested to its limits. Her first suitor: a criminal. The second, a cur. For her third act, Meg vows to leave love completely out of the marriage equation. She has set her sights on a newly made viscount whom she could take or leave. However, now she must avoid his handsome, roguish, irresistible best friend like the plague. It’s no easy feat, as they are all attending the same house party…

Damon, Marquis of Hawksworth, cannot imagine why Miss Featherton seems so damn disinterested—or why he cares so terribly much. Certainly Meg is a fine wifely prospect for a man in his position, but more than that, he finds he longs for her as he has never done for another woman. She may be determined to protect her heart, but Damon is equally set on winning her over, one delicious kiss at a time…

This week has been fairly slow. We left Hampton on Tuesday and arrived in Deltaville, VA that afternoon. It was the first time we went from one marina to another. But we had some boat work that needed to be accomplished, and marine repairmen prefer the boat to be at a dock. Here is our view.

Deltaville, VA

It’s been really hot, but if there is a breeze to be had, we get it. I’ve been able to finish the edits my editor sent me and do some writing on the 3d book of the next series. On Tuesday, we will continue our journey north. I had wanted to spend the 4th of July in DC, but Hubby didn’t want to go up the Potomac, back down the Potomac, then up the Chesapeake Bay, and back down the Delaware River. So it looks like we’ll be and a currently unknown location.

Don’t forget to come by tomorrow for Monday Excerpts. I’ll be focusing on secondary characters.

What are you doing for the 4th? And how was your week?


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The things one learns thanks to Angelyn!

Originally posted on Angelyn's Blog:

 “A young lady in France had the fatal habit of cleaning her ears with pins; a   trifling humour was the result, which terminated lately in a cancer. The brass and quicksilver used in the preparation of pins may easily account for this circumstance, and which render them so very pernicious to the teeth when used as tooth-picks.”

— La Belle Assemblee, Vols 17-18, Jan-Dec 1818

I shan’t say anything further on the matter. You’ve been warned.

From the same issue of said Magazine--a detail of evening dress with white satin turban and pear-shaped pearl earrings. From the same issue of said Magazine–a detail of evening dress with white satin turban and pear-shaped pearl earrings.

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Happy Sunday!!

As we usually, let’s start with the winner of Janis May’s book, Curse of the Exile!! Congratulations to Luanna Stewart!!

In just over a month, Lady Beresford’s Lover releases!! This is book #7 in The Marriage Game and is available for pre-order. You might remember the hero, Rupert, Earl of  Stansted, from The Temptation of Lady Serena. I tried my hardest to get him to wait until he was older, but he insisted he was ready to find his happily ever after.

lady beresford's lover_ebook

Ella Quinn’s bachelors are quite sure of what they want in life—and love—until the right woman opens their eyes…

After a painful heartbreak, Rupert, the handsome young Earl of Stanstead, has decided that when it comes to love, avoidance is best. Until he meets a woman who makes him forget his plan—and remember his longing for a wife and family. Yet he senses that she too has been hurt, though she attempts to hide her feelings—and more—in the most baffling and alluring way. Intrigued, Rupert is willing to play along, if winning her is the prize…

Crushed by her late husband’s scorn, Vivian, Countess of Beresford, believes she is monstrously undesirable. Sadly childless, she has moved to London resigned to a solitary life. Still, when she encounters Rupert at a masquerade ball, her disguise as Cleopatra emboldens her. Convinced he doesn’t recognize her, she begins an after-hours affair with him, always in costume—while allowing him to innocently court the real her by day. But when Rupert makes a shocking choice, will Vivian be able to handle the truth?…

Buy links can be found here.

In boating news, we arrived in Hampton, Virginia around 10 PM on Thursday night after rounding Cape Hatteras, NC. Fortunately, we were able to anchor off the university.

Hampton VA anchorage

The next day we moved to the City Docks where we’ll remain until Tuesday morning.  We’ve been kept busy trying to sort out our electronics. Hubby finally got a new phone, and my computer is in the shop. I hope they can fix it. We’ve also been meeting with friends.

On the ICW

Tuesday morning we set sail to Deltaville, Virginia to get some work on the boat done.


I forgot to post this photo from the ICW last week.

2d Anchorage in Hampton

What have you all be up to? Is anyone near me?





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Please welcome historical author Janis Susan May to the blog!! Janis is here to tell you about her latest release,   She will be giving a copy to one of you who tells her you want it!

We begin with the cover.


Next the blurb.

“CURSE OF THE EXILE is a traditional Gothic mystery reminiscent of the best of Victoria Holt and Virginia Coffman that no lover of Gothics should miss. A courageous heroine, 1860s Scotland, two handsome brothers, a moldering castle, an unknown villain bent on a horrid vengeance… delicious! A perfect book for curling up with for a long enjoyable trip to the past.”

Carla Renard, The Literary Lady

After an unhappy childhood and a cruelly broken romance, Angelina Barstow has found a kind of respectable life working as a librarian with her charming but womanizing father. In 1860 they come to the Scottish castle called Merlon Motte, where the owner and his much younger brother are sharply divided on the necessity of selling the place. An ancient sword is stuck into the ceiling of the Great Hall and family legend says it was put there by a long-ago exiled son, who promised to curse anyone who endangers the castle. Angelina regards this as just a charming family story until the prospective buyer is murdered, the Sword of the Exile driven through his heart.

In spite of herself, Angelina has fallen in love, but though she loves one and sincerely likes the other she doesn’t know which of the brothers is the murderer. She thinks things can get no worse, but then there is another, more shocking death when her father is found drowned and the prospective buyer’s friend, the same man who so tried to dishonor her years before, says he intends to make her his mistress by force if necessary. Two more long held secrets threaten Angelina and her beloved before the Curse of the Exile is finally lifted.

And an excerpt.

Once the project was actually under way working at Petter’s Subscription Library was not so bad. We obtained rooms most reasonably within a few minutes’ walk and there were several inexpensive chop houses in the neighborhood. The area could not have been what it was when Miss Petter opened her establishment, but it still held on to a sort of respectability, which meant I could go and come alone without fear. As usual Pappa spent the first two days with me, directing, arranging, making a great number of his beloved notes and generally getting in the way before he finally decided that he had a ‘few little things’ to see to and left me to it.

I had never before worked in a shop – closed or open – and although the experience was different, it was by no means frightening. In fact the bustle of people outside the shrouded windows, the clatter of carts and waggons and carriages and horses over the cobbles outside was stimulating. I had no fear of being there alone, as I was neither of an age nor a station to be noticed by anyone and the shop was perfectly safe. Or so I thought until the afternoon Nairn MacTaggert entered and after that nothing in my life was ever the same.

Seduced by the sunny summer afternoon I had opened the shades and the door and pulled my table into one of the yellow spills of light. From that lapse of discipline it was easy to slip even further; before I knew it I was curled comfortably on the splitting leather divan, lost in the pages of a book and far, far away from Bath. It was unlikely I should be caught, as in all the days there I had never been disturbed. Doubtless all the denizens of the city seemed to know that Petter’s Subscription Library had died with the late Miss Petter, so when a large shadow fell across the page the surprise jerked me back into the present with a start.

The sun was behind him and for a moment all I could see was a large, indubitably masculine silhouette. Unnerved more by my unaccustomed rush of fear than by his sudden appearance I quickly stood and straightened up to my full height – a maneuver which had seldom failed to intimidate both males and females. In this case it was utterly wasted. He still topped me by several inches.

“May I help you?” I asked in arctic tones.

“What a great number of books!”

He had stepped out of the direct glare, giving me a chance to see him. I tried not to stare, but it was difficult. I had never seen such a handsome man. My heart, painfully schooled to being nothing but a working organ, gave a fluttery little jump as if I had been nothing but an impressionable schoolgirl. Even my memories of Myles paled in comparison.

His skin was burnished to a golden bronze by a sun that had never touched this clime. His curly hair was thick and richly chestnut-colored, while his eyes were remarkable, being the same brilliant turquoise of a dimly remembered Mediterranean Ocean. His body was lithe, but with an unquestioned look of strength. Only a rugged cast to his features and a nose that seemed to have taken a fair amount of abuse over time kept him from being downright pretty.

No, that wasn’t quite right. On closer inspection there was a harshness about his face, a hint of ruthlessness in the eyes that would make one cautious about crossing him. Despite the heat in the stuffy little shop a tiny shiver danced on my spine.

“Well,” he asked, “am I acceptable as a customer?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but the library is closed.” Embarrassed both at being caught in a dereliction of duty as well as scrutinizing him so openly, I spoke more coldly than usual.

“But your door is wide open.”

“I did not make myself clear. The library is permanently closed and has been since Miss Petter’s death. I am a librarian here to compile an inventory for the heir.”

He did not seem surprised. “And do you like being a librarian?”

“What an extraordinary question!”

“Quite right. I apologize.” He smiled and a flash like summer lightning shot from his eyes. My knees trembled. “But it is the most extraordinary luck, too.”

“I do not understand.”

“Because I am seeking a librarian.”

“A librarian?” I repeated stupidly, mesmerized by those glowing eyes. Seldom had I seen a man who appeared less likely to need the services of a librarian. “But why?”

“To take home with me, of course. Home to Scotland.”


Buy Links:


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Amazon ~ iBooks ~ KoboB&N

About Janis.

Janis Susan - colorJanis Susan May/Janis Patterson is a 7th-generation Texan who writes in mystery, romance, and horror. Once an actress and a singer, Janis has also been editor-in-chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups as well as many other things, including an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist. One of the original founders of RWA, Janis belongs to several RWA chapters, The Authors Guild, NINC, Sisters In Crime, and MWA, where she is a board member for the Southwest Region. Janis’ husband even proposed in a moonlit garden near the Pyramids of Giza. Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.



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