“I love historical romances. They are one of my favorites and anymore when I think of a historical I think of Beth Trissel.”~ Bella Wolfe for You Gotta Read
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Enemy of the King. Not only are the characters memorable and the setting beautifully described, but the action is riveting and the romance between Meri and Jeremiah is tender. I highly recommend Enemy of the King to anyone who loves a well crafted historical romance.”~ by Poinsettia for Long and Short Reviews
Stone lions the size of wolfhounds sat on either side of the imposing front door as if to devour unwanted guests. Perhaps Jeremiah enjoyed their significance. He seldom entertained and seemed happier seated astride a horse than in the company of most ladies and gentlemen. He turned the marble knob and led Meriwether out onto the crescent-shaped balcony.
He leaned momentarily on the iron railing. “Feel that breeze.”
“Delightful.” The cool wind fanned her hot cheeks.
Lifting her skirts, she walked arm in arm with him down the brick steps of the gracious Georgian-style home. Pleasant Grove had been built by his grandfather on a bluff above the Santee River and fashioned after the manor in Kent that Lord Jordan had been forced to flee in 1647 after fighting with Charles I, who lost his kingdom and his head.
Fortunately Jeremiah’s Royalist ancestor had fared better than the ill-fated king and escaped to America with his young wife and her jewels. But his near capture by Cromwell and the loss of everything else had given him a wariness he’d passed to his descendants.
Was Jeremiah secretly opposing a different king?
She cocked her head at him a little apprehensively. “Is there anywhere in particular you’re taking me?”
He smiled as if to reassure her. “Just farther in.”
“As you wish.” Being out here alone with him was like being in a glistening Eden. A thrush warbled from high above them in the live oak. Green-gray moss hung from its far-reaching branches and blew in the breeze, reminding her of the McChesney, her father’s largest ship, its sails billowing.
Jeremiah held her back, the warmth of his hand radiating through her sleeve. “You’ll spoil those fine shoes.” He led her around the sprawling puddle she hadn’t noticed and onto the green mat creeping over the path.
The fragrant thyme scented the air as they trod on the tiny leaves and wound deeper into the garden. Newly washed hollyhocks, rosy balsam, and wine-red salvia gleamed. The glowing colors, heady fragrances, her arm tingling at his touch…stirred a pulsing awareness in Meriwether that she’d never felt in the house.
There was so much she wanted to say, to ask, but couldn’t, and she darted glances at him.
He caught her eye. “What are you thinking?”
“Nothing of consequence,” she almost stuttered.
He quirked his left eyebrow at her; the narrow scar gave it a slightly crooked rise. “And earlier in the parlor?”
She glanced away from his searching gaze and focused on the toe of his boot. “Just chatter.”
“Are you truly worried?”
“Only as much as anyone these days.” Still evading his scrutiny, she bent and plucked a sweetly-scented nicotiana blossom.
He took the white flower from her hand as she straightened, setting her skin afire, and tucked it behind her ear. “I sense there’s much left unsaid. Why won’t you speak?”
Still battling the near irresistible draw of those blue eyes, she stared at his open neckline. “I prefer to listen.”
“Yet I would know what fills your fair head.”
“Perhaps you already do,” she said, hastily shifting her inspection from his bronzed chest back to the snowy blossoms.
His voice lowered even further. “No. You are not so easily read.”
Jeremiah grew silent and led her into the avenue, as he called it, strolling with her between rows of English boxwood that reached up over their heads. The clipped shrubs exuded the warm Old World scent Meriwether remembered from childhood.
“Stay a moment,” he said, stopping beside the fish pool. The statue of his father’s favorite spaniel sat on the pebble path beside the water, a whimsical touch. The brown stone was flecked with moss, as was anything that sat out-of-doors too long, but the cocker seemed as if he really were intent on the water.
She patted his granite ears and sighed. How could she confide her deepest longing and her fears?
“Such a weighty sigh. Has our walk overtaxed you?”
She lifted her gaze to his, bracing herself under the force of his study. “No. I’m much stronger now.”
“Good. You seem so. You were as weak as a newborn kitten when I first found you.”
“I only remember that you brought me here in your boat.”
He scooped up a pebble, tossing it into the pool. Goldfish scattered, and a little green frog plopped in among the lilies. “Charles Town is a graveyard. Thank God yours has not swelled the family plot.”
The intensity in his voice took her by surprise.
“Are you content at Pleasant Grove, Miss Steele?”
“Yes,” she answered in growing confusion.
She shied away from his inquiry and watched goldfish rippling through the water like orange silk. “Why doubt me?”
“I must know.”
His earnestness made her stomach churn. “For my part, I am content. I trust you don’t find my presence burdensome?”
“Not yet,” he said gravely.
Her eyes startled back to his. “Do you think I will become so?”
1780 South Carolina, spies and intrigue, a vindictive ghost, the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING.
‘Enemy of the King is an amazing and vibrant look into the American Revolutionary War and tells the story through the eyes of a remarkable woman. While Jeremiah Jordan himself is a strong soldier and heroic patriot, it is Meriwether Steele who makes such a great impression in this epic novel. Her dedication to the man she loves, the lengths she must go to defend herself and others, and the unstoppable force that she is makes Meriwether one heck of a heroine. Ms. Trissel brings the countryside and its people alive with her fascinating and at times gory details. This sexy historical book is a must read!’ ~ Danielle, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More~
Colonial American Romance Novel ENEMY OF THE KING,a fast-paced Adventure Romance, is my version of THE PATRIOT. The novel is available in print and/or digital download at: The Wild Rose Press,Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers. On sale for .99 though the first two weeks of July.
***The sequel to Enemy of the King, Traitor’s Legacy, will be out August 13th, 2014!
Drama, adventure, intrigue! The American Revolution has long called to me. Part of my draw to this era stems from research into my early American and British ancestors who fought on both sides of that sweeping conflict. One direct forebear five generations removed, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC, and kept a diary used by historians today. Another tie to the past is my grandfather, seven greats back, Sir George Augustus Elliott, a British general and Governor of Gibraltar during the American Revolution. He was awarded the title Lord Heathfield, Baron of Gibraltar, in honor of his bravery in its defense during the attack by the Spanish and French. While Sir George was giving his all for king and country, his grandson was fighting under George Washington as a commissary officer. There must have been quite a rift in that family.
The first book to come out of this rich well of inspiration was award-winning historical romance novel Enemy of the King, published in 2009 by The Wild Rose Press. I didn’t stop there. A sequel featuring the fascinating antagonist in Enemy of the King, British dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan, tugged at my mind. I even had a plot and title, Traitor’s Legacy. Try as I might, though, I couldn’t settle on the right location to set the story, so left it to simmer.
In late spring, 2012, North Carolinian, Ann See, a huge fan of Enemy of the King and fellow colonial American enthusiast, contacted me about writing a sequel set in the oft overlooked, but historically significant town of Halifax, NC. As Enemy of the King takes place in North and South Carolina, and I have strong ties to the Carolinas, this suggestion was appealing.
At Ann’s invitation, husband Dennis and I made a trip to Historic Halifax, and were given a royal tour of this carefully preserved glimpse into our nation’s dynamic past. The quaint town is like a mini colonial Williamsburg. Most impressive among Halifax’s claims to fame, in the spring of 1776, North Carolina’s Fourth Provincial Congress met there, and on April 12, unanimously adopted a document later called the ‘Halifax Resolves,’ the first official action by a colony proclaiming their independence from England. This made Halifax a nest of rebels and thorn in the side of the British––what I needed for my plot.
(Image of Beth and the guide touring a home in Historic Halifax)
Some people ask, ‘Why write historical romance?’ I reply, ‘Why not?’ Folks fell in love back then too, and romance adds that thrill of excitement. The attraction between British Captain Vaughan and Patriot Claire Monroe most certainly leaps off the pages in Traitor’s Legacy.They were one of my all-time favorite couples to write.
Much of the story takes place in and around Historic Halifax. Person’s Ordinary, featured in the novel, was an important stage-coach stop and is the oldest landmark in Halifax County. Located in Littleton, Person’s Ordinary is the oldest preserved structure of its kind in the East, and once served as a tavern owned by Thomas Person. The Ordinary was occupied by the British in May 1781 when they made their way through Halifax en route to Virginia. The British Legion, also known as Tarleton’s Legion, headed by the infamous Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, were on horseback and out in front of the rest of the army under command of General Lord Cornwallis. Tarleton underestimated the harassment inflicted by the local militia, whose stubborn resistance resulted in a prolonged stay by the British and reprisals against the town. In fact, there was so much looting that when Lord Cornwallis arrived, he had to court-martial and execute one sergeant and a dragoon. Apparently, his lordship didn’t want to leave a trail of animosity everywhere his army went. (Image of Person’s Ordinary)
Thornton Hall, the plantation home featured in Traitor’s Legacy, is drawn from a run down but once outstanding old house located a mile or two from Person’s Ordinary. The original home was also built by Thomas Person. He wouldn’t recognize it now. Dusk was falling when Dennis and I, guided by Ann, drove to the overgrown site to see the derelict house. I knew at once I’d found the perfect home for the novel. Ann supplied me with descriptions of the old house in its glory days and I resurrected it, like restoring the Titanic, with some poetic license, of course. I’d love to move into Thornton Hall. The gardens are also lovely. I hope you enjoy your tour.
Mystery, intrigue, spies, a coded letter, and stirring romance fill the pages of Traitor’s Legacy. Bringing history to life.
Story Description: 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?
“I thoroughly enjoyed Enemy of the King…the characters are memorable, the setting beautifully described…the action riveting and the romance tender. For anyone who loves a well-crafted historical romance.” ~Reviewed by Poinsettia for Long and Short Reviews
“Beth Trissel is a skilled storyteller and scene builder. She immediately plunges the reader into action and excitement with a vivid sense of time and place.” ~For Enemy of the King by Award-winning Romance Author Kris Kennedy
Traitor’s Legacy is coming out August 13th, 2014 by the Wild Rose Press. The third book in the Traitor’s Legacy Series is in the works. Romancing Colonial America, a growing event evolving around the book signing, will take place on Oct. 11th in Historic Halifax.
Experience the best of colonial America during this special event packed with activities, demonstrations, tours, music, dance, a book signing, and more on Saturday, October 11th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Historic Halifax State Historic Site.Romancing Colonial America will highlight the eighteenth century from pirate days through the revolution!
A book signing and reception will be held at the Royal White Hart Masonic Lodge, No. 2 (130 Saint David Street, Halifax, NC) 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pre-order your copy of Traitor’s Legacy, available for $15 each, call (252) 583-7191 to reserve copies, and make checks payable to Historical Halifax Restoration Association, Inc. Pre-orders can be picked up on the day of the event.
Enjoy colonial period musical performances and dances at various times throughout the historic site. Folk musicians, flutists, singers, and costumed dancers will provide eighteenth century entertainment in various locations on site. Also, throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., colonial era living-history demonstrations performed by costumed re-enactors will take place along with tours of the site’s historic buildings which date from circa 1760 through the 1830s. Stop by the Historic Halifax State Historic Site Visitor Center to pick up a complete schedule of activities and an event map.
For more information about Romancing Colonial America and any related activities, please call Historic Halifax at (252) 583-7191 or visitwww.halifax.nchistoricsites.org. Historic Halifax is within the Division of Sate Historic Sites in the NC Department of Cultural Resources and is located at 25 Saint David Street, Halifax, NC 27839
I’m working on my latest novel, Traitor’s Curse. the sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, due out in August. And Traitor’s Legacy is the sequel to award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King. Think the drama and romance of the American Revolution, spies, coded letters, intrigue and above all, romance. More on that soon. Meanwhile, some fitting quotes for my writing journey from The Fellowship of the Ring.
(Think I could write here. Few interruptions.)
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ~Bilbo
“I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains, and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet, without a lot of relatives prying around, and a string of confounded visitors hanging on the bell. I might find somewhere where I can finish my book..” ~Bilbo (The full quote)
“If you’re referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved.” ~Gandalf (I keep wanting to include a dragon, but I’m writing a historical with only a touch of paranormal. I just can’t keep away from ghosts. Not entirely.)
“The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow if I can.” ~Bilbo (So must I.)
“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” ~Arwen (Fitting quote for a romance author)
“Be on your guard. There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world.” ~Gandalf (Indeed there are)
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” ~Galadriel (I believe this. I truly do.)
“Not all those who wander are lost.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (I sort of know where I’m going in this story. But must listen well or the muse may flee. Fickle muse.)
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Very wise. I write, garden, love my people and my furbabies, pray for world peace…write some more. Watch too many instant videos. Stall for time. Back to writing. I’ve tried waiting for the elves to do it, but no matter how long I sleep, novels are never finished by morning. Although I might have a very helpful dream. Even meet new characters.
“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (But I’m trying my darnedest to figure out this ending.)
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (Duly noted)
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring