Miss Darcy celebrated the beginning of summer with the Daughters of Sweet’s Racing Club. Most of the ladies were overly excited by the thought of the 2013 Summer Splash Blog Hop running from July 26th through July 29th. Due to their distraction Miss Darcy managed to win at whist once more. She is considering putting out her shingle as a cardshark although she would never consider fuzzing the cards (cheating).
Now Miss Darcy is aware you are anxious to learn about the 2013 Summer Splash Blog Hop and you’ll find the information below the excerpt.
For those gossipmongers who are anxious to hear the latest titbits, Letitia Bellingham was at the summer card party and she reminded us all of the scandal associated with her ancestor Judith Hallowell. You may not remember the story but at the time the gossip mongers had a field day. And it all began so simply as you’ll see in this excerpt:
“You want me to spy on your grandson?” Lady Judith Hallowell’s well-bred voice was tinged with astonishment as she looked over the rim of the bone china teacup at Lady Letitia Bellingham.
Under Judith’s baleful glance, the older woman had the grace to look self-conscious but it was only a momentary lapse. Catching the twinkle of mischief in her goddaughter’s golden-hazel eyes, Letty snorted.
“I always warned your mother, my girl, that you had the tongue of an adder. No wonder you’re not married,” she snapped.
“I know you think I’m quite on the shelf. Twenty-five and still not married. But believe me, my sharp tongue has had little effect driving away suitors. It seems that any young woman with a sizeable portion is fair game in the marriage mart.”
“No need to be cynical, Judith. Your face and figure would assure you of a husband if you hadn’t a groat.” Letty fussed with her lacy cap, ignoring the saucy grin of the young woman. “Now back to my business. I am not asking you to spy on my grandson. That behavior would be prodigious, um, outré .”
“You wish me to question the man as to his principles and political ideals.” Judith leaned forward, her lovely face set in a somber expression. “It would seem to me that no matter how you tie it up in clean linen, the fact remains that I would be spying on the poor fellow.”
“Fustian! Let’s not deal in stupid crochets, Judith. I would never involve you in anything if I felt you would be behaving shabbily. I only wish to find out if Nathanael’s sympathies lie with England or with America.”
“But, Aunt Letty, your family has always been for England,” Judith said, surprised at the request.
“Quite so. But the lad was born in the Colonies and, despite the fact that he was educated here in England, it is possible that he no longer feels an allegiance to this country.”
“But when Nathanael was at Cambridge, you must have had a chance to assess his loyalties. He must have given some indication.”
“I hesitated to ask,” Letty admitted. “I know it was cowardly, but I was so afraid he would make a hasty decision that both of us would regret. All I could do was show him the kind of life he would lead if he were to return.”
“Yet he returned to America?” Judith asked with surprise.
“He was still young, my dear. His father was ailing and he was needed at home. It was no time to force a decision. Now that you’re going to visit your father in America you’ll have plenty of time to get to know Nathanael. And since you’re available you might even consider a betrothal to my grandson.”
“Good heavens, Aunt Letty! You’re not putting out a shingle as matchmaker?”
“The idea has a certain amount of merit, my dear,” Letty said. “After all, Nathanael has both background and breeding. He is well formed, polite and appears to enjoy life. Financially, the lad would make a good catch.”
“I’ve never even met the man and already you’re planning to call the banns,” Judith said, throwing up her hands in exasperation.
“Never mind, child. It was just an interesting thought that crossed my mind. You needn’t marry Nathanael unless you’ve a mind to.” Letty laughed at the appalled expression on Judith’s face.
Thus begins Judith’s adventures in America in The Divided Hearts.
* * * * * *
What an exciting story it is. How was Judith to know that this simple beginning would lead to a scandal that would rock society? Even Downton Abbey hasn’t seen the likes of this!
Now Miss Darcy is aware you are anxious to learn about the 2013 Summer Splash Blog Hop and her own giveaway prizes.
From July 26 until Midnight July 29th you will have a chance to meet 48 independent authors and win some fabulous prizes.
To enter Miss Darcy’s contest and to hear the rest of the details CLICK HERE!
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PS: There is much to be learned in the coming months as Miss Darcy sifts through the rumors and gossip. Surely you don’t want to be left in the dark! If you’re on her Mailing list, Miss Darcy will send you infrequent emails to make you privy to any news items worthy of her attention, offers of free or discounted books and pre-publication announcements for members only. You can sign up here: Newsletter List