Tag Archive | Revolutionary War

Beth Trissel: Traitor’s Legacy

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About Traitor’s Legacy

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?

Excerpt

Cover_TraitorsLegacy copyShe fixed those wonderful eyes on him, more lethal than a backwoods rifleman. “Shall I lead the way, Captain?”

“Certainly.” He’d be tempted to follow her anywhere. A most unsettling thought.

Nothing about this fetching young lady struck Vaughan as calculating, but for the sake of her adored brother and sacred revolution he strongly suspected she’d try to deceive him. He’d hate to have to make her arrest. In fact, he should loathe it to his core. And he’d only just met her.

Why did she have such a potent effect on him, and why did it seem his fate to encounter beguiling females on the wrong side of this infernal conflict? If they weren’t Rebels to begin with, they inevitably adopted the cause.

Could he persuade Miss Monroe of her duty to the king, to him, and win her allegiance? Perhaps. She’d conducted herself splendidly thus far, and for such a prize he was willing to give his all.

About the Author

Author Beth Trissel copyMarried to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

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Guest Author: Debra Glass + Giveaway

Susana:

Today my guest is Debra Glass, who, like me, writes historicals for Ellora’s Cave, although hers are quite a bit more steamy than mine! Last year I loved her ménage book, Scarlet Widow, so I’m eager to hear about her latest release, Lover For Ransom. Welcome to Susana’s Parlour, Debra!

Debra: 

Thank you very much for hosting me in the Parlour today.

A Yankee Teacher Comes South in Lover for Ransom

Cathleen Ryan is one of my favorite heroines. She’s feisty and no nonsense and has a firm grip on everyone and everything—except herself. I thoroughly enjoyed writing her interaction with Southern hero, Ransom Byrne, who found he was far more intrigued with the Yankee hired help than he wanted to admit.

Leave me a comment and be sure to include your email address. One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Lover for Ransom!

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Byrne’s End, Thompson’s Station, Tennessee

June 3, 1866

Mr. John A. Bennett

Dear Sir,

I have arrived in Tennessee in one piece, though at times, I highly doubted that would be the case. Once my train crossed the Mason Dixon line, there was a marked change in the land. Many once grand dwellings are now but burned out shells, skeletal remains of the bastions of slavery I so fervently fought against during my tenure as an abolitionist prior to the war. I must admit, however, this area referred to as Middle Tennessee by its inhabitants is, for the most part, unscathed by the ravages of the war.

Upon my arrival, I was met at the station by Mr. Ransom Byrne who, I’m given to understand, contracted my service with the Perkins School for the Blind. Though pleasant enough, Mr. Byrne embodies all the qualities I would have heretofore ascribed to a former officer in the Rebel Army. With his easy and overly familiar manner of speech, he seeks to dazzle and woo, but I assure you, Mr. Bennett, those cavalier charms are lost on an affirmed spinster such as I, but not, as I so shockingly observed, on the local maidens.

Mr. Byrne took it upon himself to confide in me that, during the war, he had been brought home to convalesce during an illness which he unwittingly spread to members of the Byrne family, including my charge, his younger sister, Jenny. The illness resulted in her blindness, and I have clearly determined that my work with the sixteen-year-old has been cut out for me. Like many who have been robbed of sight in the bloom of life, Miss Byrne is disillusioned and bitter. I have no doubts I shall be able to rectify that and teach her that the blind can indeed live full lives.

It is obvious to me that Mr. Byrne feels beholden to his family and their business of horse breeding. In fact, the Byrnes and their servants alike, put far too much stock and trust in the wiles of the beasts, as I unfortunately learned firsthand after a mishap with a wagon and its novice driver, seven-year-old Charles Hunt.

I imagine a lesser woman would be intimidated by the Southern aristocracy, but not I. I fully intend to not only adhere to the standards I have adopted from my friends and mentors, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Miss Susan B. Anthony, but to instruct these Southern women, long repressed by their menfolk, the way to equality both in the home and at the voting poll.

As soon as I begin my instruction with Miss Byrne, I will write to you and inform you of my progress. Again, I appreciate the opportunity you have afforded me to travel from my hometown of Boston to this godforsaken land where I might not only help this young woman, but also enlighten my Southern sisters.

Very Truly Yours,

Cathleen M. Ryan

loverforransom_msrSMwebAbout Lover For Ransom

Ransom Byrne has been ravaged by guilt since an illness rendered his little sister blind. The former Confederate cavalry officer has resolved to make amends by hiring a Yankee tutor who’ll hopefully restore order to his sister’s life. Once accomplished, he’ll be free to leave Byrne’s End.

From the moment she steps off the train in Tennessee, Cathleen Ryan makes a startling first impression. With her feminist ideas, the irrepressible Bostonian quickly outrages everyone—especially Ransom. He deems the bespectacled teacher too uptight and prim for his tastes. Appearances, however, are deceiving. She tenders decadent proposals that shock and intrigue him, and sultry nights spent submitting to his every illicit request offer them both love and redemption.

But when her steadfast convictions attract the attention of dangerous men, Cathleen risks losing her chance of becoming more than just a lover for Ransom.

Inside Scoop:  This 19th-century tale contains mild violence, spanking, sloppy puppy kisses, more spanking, fiery suffragette speeches and an attitudinal horse named String Bean.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt From: LOVER FOR RANSOM

Copyright © DEBRA GLASS, 2013

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Don’t you ever read anything for pleasure?”

She toyed with the earpieces of her glasses, her mind fixed on the way his velvety drawl had played havoc with the word pleasure. She cleared her throat. “There are far too many important things to read to waste my poor eyesight on frivolities, Mr. Byrne.”

He closed her book, set it on the table and stood. Cathleen flinched as his leg brushed hers when he passed on his way to the bookcase. He opened it and pressed his fingertip to his lips in thought as he perused its contents.

Cathleen studied his casual stance. His weight shifted to one leg and his head cocked to the side. He looked back at her, stared so long it made her insides quiver and then turned back to the collection and removed a slender book from the shelf.

“I shall read to you then,” he said with a smile and he returned to his chair. “To protect your poor eyesight from…frivolities.”

Cathleen gulped as his long fingers opened the book and he thumbed through the pages. It looked like a child’s volume in his hands and she couldn’t help but wonder what he’d chosen.

“Ah, here,” he said, placing his elbow casually on the armrest of his chair to hold the book at a comfortable height. “It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea, that a maiden lived there that you may know by the name of Annabel Lee.”

Edgar Allan Poe. Of course she was familiar with the famed Baltimore author. But she’d read his works in braille, and certainly had never heard them read aloud by a man with such a hauntingly husky voice. This night—this moment, with the clock’s pendulum ticking off the seconds in time with the poem’s meter and the flickering glow of the lamp—seemed to be made for the dark, beautifully macabre poem about a woman who’d died before her time.

“For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee,” Ransom continued.

Cathleen closed her eyes, picturing a pair of young lovers walking hand in hand on a stormy beach. Ransom’s voice transported her and she felt the anguish of the author who’d lost his love only to find himself frequented by her ghost.

“And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side, of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, in the sepulcher there by the sea, in her tomb by the sounding sea.”

Eyes still closed, Cathleen sat in the stillness, absorbing the song contained in the words. When her lashes fluttered open, she was surprised at the tear that traced down her cheek. Blushing, she swept it away. “Very nice, Mr. Byrne.”

He raised his eyebrows in mock warning.

She giggled. She actually giggled. Closing her eyes for a split second, she struggled to compose herself. She was acting like a bashful schoolgirl. “Ransom,” she corrected, her voice but a breath.

In that instant, something had suddenly changed between them and she was at a loss to decipher it.

Staring, he inhaled. “With your hair loose, you reminded me of the woman in that poem.”

Her eyes widened. “Dead?”

He chuckled without mirth. “No. Wild and windswept.”

This time, Cathleen did begin to smooth her hair down.

“No,” he said. “No. Don’t touch it. It’s perfect the way it is.” He must have realized he’d said too much. “I mean, it’s only you and me. There’s no need for pretense.”

Cathleen nodded. Her gaze fell to the brown leather covered book in his hand. “Do you believe such love exists?”

He snorted and closed the book. “This was the fancy of a man who imbibed too much and who thought too much. Love like that is for the young and foolish—for people who haven’t experienced the things I have.”

Cathleen gnawed her bottom lip. “Are you referring to your time during the war?”

He suddenly looked uncomfortable. His big and masculine exterior seemed incongruous with his sudden unease. “Yeah,” he admitted. “I saw and did things no living human being should ever have to see or do. Things that’ll make you hate yourself.”

Cathleen didn’t know how to respond. Newspapers told of the hardships and combat. She’d seen soldiers boarding trains to join the fighting. She’d watched neighbors don their widow’s weeds. She herself had received a telegram informing her that her brother had been killed. But even when the war had come into her very home, it had always seemed a distant thing. But these Tennesseans had lived the war. This man had fought it. Federal troops had occupied their home. While on the train, she’d overheard tales about frightening guerilla raids from both sides, about men who didn’t live by any code of decency, who took what they wanted and killed indiscriminately. These families had lived day to day, wondering if their hard-earned food stores, their homes or even their very lives would be taken from them.

“No,” Ransom continued. “The war was anything but glory.”

Still, Cathleen remained uncharacteristically silent. While she pitied the plight of these people, in her eyes, the war had been a necessary evil, a vehicle through which an entire race had broken the bonds of slavery and declared themselves free. And yet, she didn’t feel free to admit her thoughts on the matter to Ransom Byrne. Not tonight.

“What about you, Cathleen?” he asked, his gaze finding and holding hers, daring her to correct him. “Do you believe in that kind of love?” His tone was almost mocking.

Realizing he’d shifted the conversation back to the poem, she let out a laugh. “Of course not. In fact, I don’t agree with marriage at all and I shall never marry.”

“How did you come to this conclusion?”

“Contrary to what you might think, I haven’t chosen a life of spinsterhood because I am bookish and outspoken, not to mention plain.” She straightened, confused at the way a belief she’d always maintained with pride, now hurt. “No. I simply do not accept as true that a woman should have to marry and live out her days in subjugation.”

“Subjugation?” he asked and then laughed. “I’ve always thought that was the other way around. All the married men I know are pretty beholden to their wives.”

“That’s but a puerile joke. We all know that marriage gives husbands rights to a woman’s livelihood and even her body, if he so chooses to claim them. For a woman, marriage is nothing but legalized…rape.”

This time, both his eyebrows shot up. “That’s a mighty strong word.”

“A married man can demand his rights anytime he chooses. Therefore, if a woman is forced into coitus with him, it is legalized rape.” Cathleen lifted her chin, awaiting an argument. It was a strong word. But he needed to know how she felt about subjugation. She needed him to know it.

Instead, he surprised her. “Don’t you ever feel desire?”

Yes, I’m feeling it this very instant.

Can’t wait for the drawing? Buy Lover for Ransom (available in all ereader formats ) at Ellora’s Cave today! http://www.ellorascave.com/lover-for-ransom.html

glass_SMAbout the Author

DEBRA GLASS is the author of over thirty-five books of historical and paranormal romance, non-fiction, young adult romance, and folklore. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Professional Authors’ Network as well as RWA’s Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic Chapters.

She lives in Alabama with her real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts, and a diabolical black cat.

www.DebraGlass.com

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

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Lady Pendleton, Damian Ashby’s eccentric aunt (see the epilogue to Treasuring Theresa on Susana’s web site), is visiting Susana from the early 19th century. She’s intrigued by life in 21st century Toledo, Ohio, and, of course, Susana is thrilled to have the opportunity to pick her brain about life in Regency England. It certainly gives her a great deal to write about in Susana’s Parlour!

Susana (to the Reader): One of my traditional New Year’s goals is to work on clearing up the clutter in my basement office. I use a FlyLady timer that my friend Ellen sent me and tackle the mess fifteen minutes at a time. Well, I was going through some of the travel paraphernalia I brought back from England last May, and I found a $100 bill I had taken along just in case my debit card got eaten up by some greedy ATM. Since I usually carry around $60 or less at one time, I was just about to take out a bank deposit envelope when Lady P caught sight of the picture of Benjamin Franklin on the bill and mentioned that her father had been a great friend of his and that she had met him several times during her come-out. And she did have some fascinating things to say about this famous American statesman and his progency that you may not have heard before.

Lady P: My father dabbled a bit in science, you know. Younger sons do need to find something to occupy their time, even if they marry heiresses, as Papa did. In any event, Papa was a great patron of the sciences, and he and Mr. Franklin took to each other immediately. Papa visited his lodgings on Craven Street quite often to conduct experiments and whatnot.

Susana: How fascinating that you were able to meet Benjamin Franklin! What was he like?

Lady P: Quite a charming man. Not a dasher, you understand, though exceedingly well-groomed. But his witty conversation and elegant manners…goodness, if his son William had inherited even a small portion of his father’s charm…I daresay he could have married into the ton, despite his unfortunate birth.william_franklin

Susana: Unfortunate birth?

Lady P: Indeed. He was a natural son, you know. Acknowledged, of course, and a British Loyalist all his life. Much better looking than his father, even in his sixth decade, as he was when I met him in the 1790’s, but certainly lacking his father’s éclat. you understand. Landed on his feet, though. Married a sugar heiress, I believe.

Susana: An illegitimate son who was a British Loyalist. Fascinating.

Lady P: Not so unusual. Like many colonists, the elder Mr. Franklin had divided loyalties. Why, Papa told me that many a time Mr. Franklin bemoaned the fact that neither side was willing to compromise on their positions. In the end, he took the side of the colonists and never returned to England, but his son William did. Fathered an illegitimate son of his own, too. Who in turn fathered two illegitimate children by two different women.william_temple

Susana: Oh dear. So many illegitimate children! Must have been quite scandalous at the time!

Lady P: Not really. Natural children are quite common. Our Englishwomen are known for their attraction for the male sex, you understand. It’s all in the complexion.

Susana: Er, yes. Of course.

Lady P: Dear Pendleton, of course, was much too prudent to indulge in such behavior, but his uncle–goodness, I could tell you endless stories about his escapades. Poor Aunt Lavinia was forever being humiliated…

Unfortunately, Susana never did finish de-cluttering her office. But she has pages and pages of notes about late 18th/early 19th century scandals that she plans to turn into a book one day. Lady P predicts an instant best-seller.

See you on Monday! As always, please comment if you have any specific questions you’d like Susana to pose to Lady P while she is here.

The Lady P Series

Episode #1: Susana’s Adventures With Lady P: The Introduction

Episode #2: Lady P Talks About… Pride and Prejudice?

Episode #3: Lady P and the Duchess Who Lost a Billion Dollars

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

Episode #5: In Which Lady P Discovers Sparkly Fabrics and Ponders Violating the Prime Directive

Episode #6: Lady P Dishes the Dirt on the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #7: The Political Exploits of Lady P and the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #8: Lady P and the Prince Regent’s Illicit Marriage

Episode #9: In Which Lady P Depletes the Cooking Sherry During Her Discussion of Caroline of Brunswick

Episode #10: Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Episode #14: In Which Leticia, Lady Beauchamp, Pops In For an Interview On Her Personal Acquaintance With Princess Charlotte of Wales

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”