The Art of Deception 30

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, Mr Spode took Lucy and  Alice for a ride. His, and their, plan was to provide a distraction to cover a room search.  They’ve reached the monument and are on the way back when Alice discovers her horse isn’t quite as suitable for young ladies and invalids as she thought.


Her mare, realizing that this was now the return journey and that she was in front, took off; first at a trot, then a canter and finally, when a dog from one of the farms by the lane barked at her, a full-fledged gallop; Alice was no mean horsewoman, but riding a bolting horse is never easy or enjoyable.

Fortunately, a man who was riding a horse uphill in front of her, realized what was happening and urged his horse to the rescue; as she bolted past him, he galloped along her left side and by urging his horse to turn to the right eventually forced the two animals into a field; they circled, in successively smaller circles, until her mare calmed.

Finally able to look up from trying to control her mare, Alice turned to thank her saviour, “Mr Stanton! What are you doing here? I thought you were ill.”

“Well, I have felt better, but a change of air seemed an excellent idea; I remembered that your party was bound for the monument and decided to seek your company.”

“I’m glad you found me,” Alice was still a little breathless, “I’m not sure what I would have done.”

“You were holding your own; I haven’t seen such a fine display of horsemanship in a long while.”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

You may wonder how Roderick could arrange for Alice’s slug of a horse to bolt. It’s not as if he could put corundum powder on the steering gear (as in an Inspector Foyle story) or let most of the petrol out of the tank as Jeeves does in “the old school chum.” He couldn’t arrange for the horse specifically to bolt, but he could ensure that there would be some crisis or another by “figging” or “gingering up” the horse. Figging is an old horse cooper’s trick where an irritant is shoved up the horse’s backside. It gives the animal the appearance of spirit and was used to pass off an old or sick animal as healthy. Needless to say, it is unethical and cruel. People still occasionally try it in dressage where the conformation of the horse’s tail is important. It’s also, apparently, a common practice in BDSM – at least to judge from what I found when I searched for a relevant illustration. Roderick only uses it because he believes he is chasing a French spy – a serious matter. After all, she’d do the same, or worse, to him if she had the chance.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

Amelia’s latest

Another installment of our work. Exploring writing horror. It’s harder than regency romance. If we put together all the stuff we’ve deleted on the way, it would be 70,000 words. As it is, 36000 right now.

The Art of Deception 29

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week Lucy received an invitation to go for a ride. In a 1920’s gangster book that would seem a tad sinister, but this is just on horses, properly chaperoned, and to a civil war monument. They’ve decided this is an excellent opportunity for Miss Aldershot to investigate the men’s rooms at the Pelican. Unfortunately, Mr Stanton is ill, the sausage having disagreed with him.


Alice’s frustration with her horse showed, “I see these are gentle beasts, suitable for young ladies and other invalids.”

Edward smiled, “It will leave us with the time for conversation, and I should never forgive myself if Miss Haytor’s mount should bolt.”

“Thank you for considering my comfort.”

“These slugs, bolt? Not likely.” Alice was still not amused with the horses; her mare spotted a stray cur and sidled with a loud snort of displeasure; she pulled its reins and the horse quieted, “At least this one shows a little spirit.” She glanced at the groom, “but no manners.”

He ignored her.

After they had ridden off, a plainly dressed, middle-aged woman left the Christopher, bound for the Pelican; on the way she passed a rather good looking, similarly disguised, man heading the opposite direction; neither one of them noticed the other.

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

An enquiry after stretchit in Gloucestershire. PAG8594
An enquiry after stretchit in Gloucestershire.

Having women ride astride is a very common error in historical films. Women generally rode sidesaddle. There were practical reasons for this as what the English call “pants” weren’t worn by the gentle gender. They did have leggings and stockings, but wore something closer to a suspender belt than modern undergarments. (for what it’s worth men wore something much like a cross between modern swimming trunks and “boxers”, with a drawstring and without the mesh inside.) Personally, the few times I’ve been on horseback I’ve been very glad to have both feet in stirrups and being able to grab the horses’ back between my knees. I can’t imagine what it was like to sit sideways. The young lady in the cartoon is “fast” and the Tar knows it. The featured image shows what could be done, if you had the guts. (If you look carefully, she’s raised from the seat and having significant “air time!”)

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 28

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week the two men discussed Lucy and Alice as they trudged back to the Pelican for a supper of dubious sausages washed down with excellent beer. Their discussion has borne fruit this week when Lucy receives an invitation for an excursion.


A message awaited Miss Haytor when she awoke Tuesday, “Mr Spode invites her and a companion, to ride with him and Mr Stanton; perhaps to see the Grenville monument, but certainly to take some exercise in the fresh air, away from the smells and smoke of Bath.”

“Could we?”

Miss Aldershot studied Lucinda, “What else does it say?”

“Merely that if riding were out of the question, he could hire a chariot; failing that, he’d meet us at the Bath; I should so like to ride.”

She stalled for time to think, “What do you think Alice?”

“It would get the two of them away from the Pelican; I’d be happy to, um, investigate their rooms while they are … detained by other activities.”

Martha smiled, “That is an idea, but no; I think it best, Alice, that I investigate your friends; you’ll enjoy the ride far more than I ever could and that dashing Mr Stanton won’t be tempted to cry off if you’re there.”

“If you insist.”

“I do, besides people are far less likely to remember a frumpy old maid poking around the Pelican than a pretty young thing like you.”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

Sir_Bevil_Grenville_monument
The monument as it looks today.

Sir Bevill Grenville fought for the royalists at the battle of Landsdown during the English civil war. The parliamentarian army camped on the hill overlooking Bath. Sir Bevill died, leading his regiment of Cornish pikemen, in fierce hand to hand combat. Unfortunately, for the royalists that is, they lost. This battle was one of several turning points in the civil war. Had the royalists won, they would have held onto the southwest. His good friend, the poet William Cartwright – who would also die fighting for the royal side, wrote the elegy that is inscribed on the column.

This was not Nature’s courage nor that thing,
We valour call which Time and Reason bring,
But a diviner fury fierce and high,
Valour transported into Ecstasy. 

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 27

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, Roderick and Edward met, somewhat to Roderick’s surprise, Alice and Lucy in Bath. They had an interesting and accidental meeting with an old acquaintance of Roderick’s. This week, the niceties over, the two men head back to the Pelican for as Roderick described it, “Sausages. Presumably made from pigs, but possibly with other, less savoury, ingredients.”


“Sausages for dinner, again?” Edward joked as he and Roderick trudged back to the Pelican.

“I hear they have a new cook; at least I hope so; in any case, the beer has a fine reputation and anything is edible – with enough of it; Did you catch their names and addresses?”

“Wondered how long it would take for you to ask me that, Lucinda,” He looked heavenward, “Lucinda is from Derbyshire, Thornsett, Miss Mapleton from the village of Easterly; I suppose that means we can write two villages off the list.”

“Not necessarily, Edward; the best cover stories are as true as is possible; fewer things to forget; Miss Mapleton did say her cousin was Miss Green … I think that is the name of the family thereabouts.”

Edward stopped, “You don’t think they’re involved?”

“Who?”

“Lady Green.”

“I’m impressed … know your minor nobility?”

“Lord no – they were friends of my parents; at least until Lord Green outran his legs; wonder what happened to them; last I heard they’d retired to the country; had a daughter, much younger.”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

IMGP3801Thornsett is a real village, more of a crossroads now, on the canal between New Mills and Hayfield in the peak district. New Mills (in the picture) is, as the name suggests, a factory town. It’s situated on ample water power and was being built about the time of this story. In 1804 Thornsett was the bigger of the three towns.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 26

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, Roderick and his companion awaited Lucy and Alice in Bath. The story, this week, starts after they’ve connected with Alice and Lucy. After exchanging greetings, Alice reminds ‘her charge’ that they need to enter their names in Mr Kings’ book.


“Our names must be entered in Mr Kings’ book, or else we won’t be admitted to the assembly; it may be too late for tonight’s ball, but it would be a shame to miss the concert or Thursday’s ball; we must remember to add your Aunt Heather as well.”

Edward gave Roderick a quick glance, “Shall we accompany them?”

Roderick nodded, Names, names and addresses, unless Mr King has changed the rules, “Absolutely,” He offered his arm to Alice, “Miss Mapleton, may I escort you?”

Alice breathlessly, despite her misgivings, nodded her agreement.

The two couples dodged their way through the crowds as they walked towards the pump room; eventually they made it onto the open Abbey square; however, by then Edward and Lucinda were far ahead.

An older man, dressed in the slightly faded colours of an old blue uniform, accosted them, “Sir Roderick, Mon vielle truand!  What are you doing in Bath; I was told you were in America, and yet I find you ici with such a prime article on your arm; was she expensive, she looks it.”

Oh God, not now, “Do I know you?”

Mais of course, General Charles Dumouriez, or have you forgotten our great times in Hamburg already?”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

Charles-François_DumouriezGeneral Dumouriez is an interesting real character from the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars. He helped to overthrow King Louis, and was an effective general during the war against the British and continental powers that immediately followed. The song ‘The Jolly Duke of York’ refers to one of the battles where Dumouriez handed the British a short sharp shock in the lowlands of Holland. He survived Robespierre’s reign of terror (rain of blood?) and the corrupt directory. However, the brutality and corruption of the revolution eventually was too much for him and he joined the British. (He may also have simply fallen afoul of Napoleon and had to depart in a hurry.) He then advised the British intelligence for the duration of the war.

This weekend:

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Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

Another Installment.

My coauthor’s put out another installment of our latest. Still looking for a title.

Cats are, sort of, important in the story.

The Art of Deception 25.

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, after service, she escorted ‘her charge’ Lucy to visit Mr Spode and delivered the details of a proposed trip to Bath. Roderick and his companion await them in Bath. They’re staying in the Pelican, a “historic” coach inn even in the regency. The great Doctor Johnson had stayed there. Hopefully, they’d changed the sheets since then.


“Roddy, old chap, we can afford a much better place than this; it’s old and out of the way.”

“I know, which is precisely why I chose it.”

“But I can’t entertain Miss Haytor here,” Edward stated his real objection.

“True, hire a parlour at the York or the Bell if you want, or simply take her to the pump room.”

“Have you tasted the waters?”

“Thoroughly disgusting and therefore good for you.”

“You are not being helpful, Lord Fitzpatrick.”

“Seriously, Edward; this is for the best; you don’t know anything about the lovely Lucinda; if her companion weren’t so dashed smoky I’d gladly push your case.”

“She’s a sweet, lovely innocent-”

“Accompanied by a skilled French spy; I hope, for your sake, she’s been duped by the dashing Miss Mapleton or Miss Green … if either of those are her real name, which I doubt; because otherwise she’s for the drop.”

 

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

1090242The Pelican was not fashionable. This picture, from the 1920’s, shows the stables. It was relatively inexpensive, and out of the way on the London side of town. Fashionable people stayed at places like “The York Family Hotel” or “The Christopher.” The Christopher was rebuilt after those dashed Germans bombed it, but is now out of business. You can still stay in the York. The Pelican survived into the twentieth century but was demolished before world war 2.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 24

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, Alice was surprised by Roderick, in church, just after she congratulated herself about ‘doing her bit’ for Britain. This week, after service, she escorts ‘her charge’ Lucy to visit Mr Spode and deliver the details of a proposed trip to Bath. Alice has just been asking questions of the innkeeper where Mr Spode and Mr Stanton are staying. Roderick finds her in the process.


Alice spun round and coloured, which did not stop her from replying, “You were asking your share of pointed questions about me on our walk here, Mr Stanton; I thought it only fair that I asked my share about you.”

“Roddy, old boy!” Edward joined them and interrupted what could have been an interesting exchange, “I see you’ve found the lovely Miss Mapleton; Lu- Miss Haytor says you have a message for me.” Lucy was not far behind him.

Glad of the respite, Alice pulled a letter from her reticule and handed it to him, “Sorry … here it is Mr Spode; this gives our plans for travel to Bath, and Miss Haytor’s address there; I, of course, shall be staying with her, as well as her Aunt, Miss Heather.” She curtsied and then turned to Lucy, “Miss Haytor, our carriage should be here soon; I shall see if it’s here … Lucinda, please come.”

Once the two women left, Edward asked his friend, “So My Lord did you find anything out about the young Miss Mapleton?”

“Only that she’s got her wits about her; gave me a long line of faradiddles and Canterbury tales; she didn’t trip up once; I must say the French are recruiting a better class of agent than they did in the past.”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

The Gillray cartoon I’ve added as a featured image is suggesting that maybe, in 1793, the British should not follow the French into revolution. It’s sort of relevant in these days of Brexit (though I would have voted remain – had I a vote). None the less, it is reasonably humorous. By the way, the “Thomas Pain” staymaker, refers to the “Thomas Paine” author of “the American Crisis” – from the American Revolution.

In searching for the cartoon, I found a number of modern cartoons that directly quote Gillray. Here’s an example that I think is safe to use.

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Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 23

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  (My apologies, I have no idea why there are two links to this post on the site.) This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar.  Last week Lucy and Alice are being debriefed, to use a modern phrase, in their carriage on the way back to their rooms. Her instructors decided that Roderick, while not certainly a French spy, was dashed suspicious. Alice, accompanying her mistress, Lucy, and Lucy’s “Aunt Heather” is at church prior to delivering the bait to Roderick and his companion.


Alice smiled to herself at the prayer to save the nation from the French; she was doing her bit by laying a trap for a perfidious French agent; after service, she planned to take a stroll to the Swan and deliver the bait. Seated next to her charge, Miss Haytor and sandwiched by Miss Haytor’s ‘Aunt’, Miss Aldershot – now called Miss Heather, she let her attention wander.

It snapped back; there, seated almost within reach, in the next row, was that spy; how could she have missed him? He turned, tilted his head, and smiled at her;  was he following her; This wasn’t the local church for the Swan? He had not been there when they first sat in their pew; she nudged Miss Aldershot; once she had her attention, she discreetly pointed to the man and whispered, “That’s him.”

The only response this brought was a brief raising of her eyebrows, and a whisper in return, “You’ll have to introduce us after the service.”

As the final stanza’s of the last hymn finished and everyone closed their book of common prayer, the man turned to her and said, “Miss Green?”

“Miss Mapleton.” She curtsied, at least as much as she could in the confines of the pew. “Miss Green is my rich cousin, or don’t you remember?”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

During Sunday prayers, at every church in Bristol, if not in Britain, the priest added a prayer for the nation. “Preserve us from the invading French hordes.” Across the channel, in Boulogne, l’Armee d’Angleterre waited, rumoured to be a million men, all veteran French soldiers, all thirsty for English blood – and English maidens. An exhortation to join the militia, and a reminder that drill practice was after the service usually followed the prayer. Nearly every able young man had joined, hoping, and secretly praying, enthusiasm would make up for a lack of equipment and experience.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.