Today, I welcome Amy Rose Bennett back to the blog, representing several of my favorite Regency authors, a group known as the Bluestocking Belles. They have a lovely boxed holiday set they are sharing with us. I preordered mine, and it has been delivered. Reading frantically… Check out a bit of each story. You will love this!!
Thank so much, Regina, for having the Bluestocking Belles on your blog again so we might share our latest release, a Regency holiday box set, Holly and Hopeful Hearts. We’re very proud of our latest joint story-telling endeavor as it features eight interconnected novellas that are centered around a Yuletide house party and New Year’s Eve charity subscription ball at Hollystone Hall, the country estate of the Duchess of Haverford.
Note: The Belles will be giving away an ePub or mobi copy of our anthology to one random commenter. The giveaway will end on November 20th, 2016 at midnight EST.
My contribution to the Belles’ box set is Dashing Through the Snow. I had such fun writing a story about a headstrong bluestocking with a strong philanthropic streak and a very proud nobleman who, despite opposing interests, find themselves falling in love.
Miss Kate Woodville, teacher and bluestocking, enjoys her independence, thank you very much. But when a very determined viscount insists she accompany him on a mad dash through the snow to Gretna Green to stop his younger sister, Violet, eloping with Kate’s own brother, she has little choice but to go. She’ll risk the ruin of her own pristine reputation if it means she can save Freddie from Lord Stanton’s wrath.
As they race along the road north and then back to Hollystone Hall in Buckinghamshire for a New Year’s Eve charity ball, hearts and wills are certain to collide. But will anyone—Freddie and Violet, or Kate and Lord Stanton—find the path to everlasting love?
All of our Regency heroines in this anthology take part in charitable endeavors to raise funds for furthering the education of the less fortunate and in particular, girls and women. Indeed, the major overarching theme linking all the stories is about charity and giving during the Christmas season. Fictional charities reflecting those that existed during the Regency era, plus one very real charity, are featured:
- The Duchess of Haverford, a character created by Jude Knight who features in all the novellas and Jude’s own two stories, A Suitable Husband and The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, is the hostess of the Yuletide house party and New Year’s Eve charity subscription ball. As befitting her elevated station, she is very much a philanthropist and is a patroness of many charitable causes both in the rural community surrounding her country estate of Hollystone Hall and beyond. During the course of the house party she arranges a gift giving visit to the local orphanage and on Boxing Day, she distributes charity to the tenants of her estate and the local poor.
- The Benevolent Society for the Women of Whitechapel is a charity close to the heart of my heroine from Dashing Through the Snow. Even though Kate Woodville is a music teacher at an exclusive young ladies’ finishing school, in her free time she conducts lessons for the children residing at White Church House, The Benevolent Society’s charity lodging house for destitute mothers in the Whitechapel area. The fictitious charity is also supported by the nearby St Mary Matfelon Church (sadly, this church no longer stands as it was badly damaged during World War II and later demolished). Kate intends to attend the Hollystone house party to seek more funding for her chosen charity.
- Lord Nicholas Lacey from Sherry Ewing’s A Kiss for Charity offers to donate rather a large sum to the Duchess of Haverford’s charitable fund for the New Year’s Eve charity ball.
- A school and orphanage for the poor at Southwark, London appears in Jessica Cales’ Artemis.
- The heroine of Nicole Zoltack’s Christmas Kisses, Lady Anna Wycliffe enjoys writing and reading stories to the orphans who reside within the fictional Home for Motherless Children. She also raises money to provide them with clothes.
- The heroine of Caroline Warfield’s An Open Heart, Esther Baumann, wishes to advocate for funds for a Jewish school for girls.
- The very real Foundling Hospital features in Susana Ellis’s Valuing Vanessa. It was a children’s home established in 1739 in London for the ‘education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children’. Despite its name, the institution was indeed a children’s home rather than a hospital; the word ‘hospital’ was used to indicate the notion of ‘hospitality’ to those less fortunate.
The Bluestocking Belles hope readers enjoy all our stories within the anthology. As a group we support the Malala Fund and 25% of the proceeds from the sales of Holly and Hopeful Hearts will be donated to this most worthy cause that supports the education of girls and women around the world.
About HOLLY AND HOPEFUL HEARTS releasing on November 8, 2016.
When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?
Genre: Regency romance, historical romance, holiday romance
Heat rating: G-PG13
Buy links for HOLLY AND HOPEFUL HEARTS:
ABOUT THE BELLES:
The Bluestocking Belles, the “BellesInBlue”, are seven very different writers united by a love of history and a history of writing about love. From sweet to steamy, from light-hearted fun to dark tortured tales full of angst, from London ballrooms to country cottages to the sultan’s seraglio, one or more of us will have a tale to suit your tastes and mood. Come visit us at http://bluestockingbelles.net and kick up your bluestockinged heels!
BLUESTOCKING BELLES ON THE WEB: Look for us online…
Website and home of the Teatime Tattler: http://bluestockingbelles.net
Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/BellesInBlue