Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Lifelong Love of Libraries by Her Grace the Duchess of Chellingworth (and a GIVEAWAY!)



Books with Welsh love spoons, and a traditional Welsh blanket
by Stephanie Twyst, Duchess of Chellingworth - aided and abetted by Cathy Ace, author of The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries

THE CASE OF THE UNSUITABLE SUITOR 
is shortlisted for this year's Bony Blithe Award
for Best Canadian Light Mystery!


Hello there – my name’s Stephanie Twyst. Delightful to meet you. Welcome to our wonderful library here, at Chellingworth Hall. May I pour you some tea?

Yes, Wales is rather beautiful, you're right. And here in Powys we're blessed with the type of rolling, green countryside some people can only dream about. If you have a chance when you leave here, you should drive through the local village of Anwen-by-Wye; it's wonderfully picturesque.

How should you refer to me? How kind of you to ask. Properly speaking, I’m "Her Grace, The Duchess of Chellingworth"; you’re supposed to call me “Your Grace” or “Duchess” in conversation, unless we’re in the company of other Duchesses, in which case – of course – you’d use “Duchess of Chellingworth”, because, otherwise how on earth would you differentiate between us? 

But you can call me Stephanie. Just for now, while we’re alone. My mother-in-law’s not due to join us for a while, so maybe you’d better use “Duchess” then, because she can be a bit of a stickler for the proper form of address. Maybe that’s because – like me – she wasn’t born with a title, but acquired one through marriage. She was a dancer on the West End stage when she met Henry’s widowed father; it must have been an odd change of lifestyle for her. I’ve grown to love Althea – that’s the Dowager Duchess’s name – since I came to Chellingworth. You call her “Your Grace” or “Duchess” too, by the way. She prefers “Your Grace”. 

Me? I was the public relations manager here at the Hall when I met the Duke, Henry, my husband. 

No, I don't think one could say it was "love at first sight", but we did get along terribly well, and that helps, of course. From friendship grew affection; the best way.


Sugar?
 No, me neither; all those nasty calories add up so quickly, don’t they? On the other hand, I believe the scone is completely calorie-free! I rather miss being called Stephanie. It’s odd when you marry the man you love and, just because he’s a Duke, thereafter he’s pretty much the only person who uses your given name when addressing you. I adore it when Henry says my name; I love him very much, you see. And I know we’ll both love our firstborn a great deal – when it finally pops out. Honestly, I feel as though I’ve been pregnant forever! 


But you’re here for the books, really, aren’t you?


 Yes, we do have a magnificent collection. When we’ve finished this tea we’ll take a closer look, with some white cotton gloves on, of course. This library is nothing like the ones I used when I was growing up; public libraries are wonderful too, aren’t they? My mum and dad couldn’t really run to buying lots of books for me when I was little, so I don’t think I’d have become the reader I am today without access to all those books at my local library. 

Brecon library
 Shall I tell you a secret? My favourite author was Enid Blyton. I’d read anything she wrote. I started with Noddy, moved onto The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, then I found Mallory Towers. All those midnight feasts, all those adventures! I lived through those characters, and never imagined I’d end up living in a grand place like this, with books from floor to ceiling…though most of them are rather old and dry, and none of them would be suitable for our little boy or girl at all. 



Our local libraries – in Builth Wells and Brecon – aren’t
Builth Wells library
huge, but at least they still exist. And there’s the mobile library bus that tours the south of Powys each month, of course. It’s something I’ve been thinking I might make my “mission”. Every Duchess should have a “mission”; Althea’s been hugely involved with healthcare and educational charities, over the years. With this little one on the way, I’ve been thinking about the basics – and reading is, I believe, the most critical; the ability to read is the best path toward fulfillment for any individual.

The library bus, south Powys

Pardon? Oh, yes, you’re right, literacy and libraries do sit well together. How true. 

Now – how about this Bible here…would you like to take a look? Created in the late 1400s it’s a stunning work of art…









If you’d like to win a LARGE PRINT copy of THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS COOK - which begins with a tap leaking from a bathroom into the library at Chellingworth Hall, and develops to requires the skills of all four of the private investigators at The WISE Enquiries Agency – please comment below, with your email address, telling me about the library to which you'd like to donate the book. Open to all library lovers...anywhere in the world!

Comments close at midnight (Eastern) on 24th April 2018.  

Cathy Ace is the award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. Find out more about Cathy's work and life at her brand new website: http://www.cathyace.com/

 

35 comments:

  1. I would love for the Wolcott Public Library to have a copy. thanks for this chance
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  2. i would love for the Milford ,Ct library to have a copy. thanks for the chance - jcook22@yahoo.com

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  3. I'd love to donate to our local libraray in Roanoke Texas...Roanoke Public Library.

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  4. Twelve Bridges Library in Lincoln, CA. We have a large senior population so large print books are wonderful to have. Zibbby at gmail dot com

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  5. The Arlington Public Library (Arlington, Va.) would greatly appreciate this book. We seldom remember this segment of our population. Thank you for the opportunity.
    davisel1830 at hotmail dot com.

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  6. I would love for the Forsyth County, Reynolda Branch, to have a copy. Thank you for the opportunity! Dspinlexo@aol.com

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  7. I would love for the Sandy Springs, GA Public Library to have a copy. The library is located across the street from Mt. Vernon Towers, a senior citizens residence facility.

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  8. I hoe Her Grace won't hold it against me that is like a little sugar in my tea. But, definitely yes to scones!
    I'd like to offer it to my local library branch of the Palm Beach Library system, the West Boca Branch.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Thanks for entering Libby. I'm sure her Grace won;t mind you having sugar :-)

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  9. If I am lucky enough to win, I would love the book to go to Old Bridge Public Library in Old Bridge NJ. Thank you for this chance! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. I would love to win a copy for the Highland Park branch of the St. Paul Public library in St. Paul, MN. Thanks for the chance. ematov(at)comcast(dot)net

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  11. The south Powys library bus is much more colorful than the bus for our rural county library. Our rig looks more like one of those monotone package delivery trucks, but it brings the world to the farmhouse doors for young and old alike. I would love for my neighbors in Dog Walk (yup, that's the name, alright) Kentucky to learn more about Wales and Chellingworth Hall through the Lincoln County Library. luann(dot)braley(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    1. Thanks for entering LuAnn...those mobile library vehicles do great work! :-)

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  12. I would love for the Gladbrook Public Library, Gladbrook, Iowa to win this book as we are just now adding cozies to the collection & I have donated all the cozies that I have won, bought & received as gifts to the cause, included the earlier book in this series that I won from you.
    Thanks for your consideration. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Good for you, Doward! Thanks for entering :-)

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  13. Ashtabula is a very small town along the shore of Lake Erie in the northeast corner of Ohio. Most of our county consists of farms and fields with corn, soybeans and fallow growing in them. Manufacturing is slim and our county is considered a poverty county. Tourism is one of the most prosperous incomes since many people come to fish and vacation along Lake Erie. Based on this information Ashtabula County District Library is my choice to donate the book too. We have many senior complexes in the area of the library and the large print would be a blessing to them. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. It sounds like a beautiful place to live, despite its challenges. Thanks for entering Robin :-)

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  14. Well Stephanie, your Grace, I'd like to donate it to our local library here in Madison, Indiana. It's just celebrated it's 200th anniversary. Although not the original building, it is the oldest library in Indiana. I worked there as a custodian for 20 years and only quit when medical problems made it hard to do my job.Your tea sounds lovely. Thanks for this opportunity. jluebke(at)frontier(dot)com

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    1. 200 years old? That's wonderful...think of all those folks who are readers because of it :-) Thanks for entering

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  15. My Thompson Lane Branch library would love a copy. Even in a big city, the libraries never have enough money to buy all the new releases. I donate my books to them once I finish reading them. Thanks for the chance to win. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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  16. I would like for my local branch library (Algonquin) to have a copy. It seems like cozy mysteries are always in demand! anajs95 at gmail dot com

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  17. I don't know if my library accepts book donations (I'd like the book myself). I know they take cash. It's a big system with 18 or 19 branches. They take book donations for the library book sale.
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. This competition is now closed - thanks to everyone who commented. I have emailed the person whose name came out of the digital "hat".

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