Category Archives: The American Revolution

Historical Romance Novel Enemy of the King for the 4th of July!


“Passion Governs and she never governs wisely.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Enemyoftheking resized

Years ago, I was researching my early American Scots-Irish forebears when I often came across references to a battle fought during the Revolution called The Battle of Kings Mountain. The name alone drew me. I vowed to go back later and research that battle more in-depth. When I did, I uncovered fascinating fodder for the imagination.
I learned about the gallant, ill-fated British Major Patrick Ferguson who lost his life and Loyalist army atop that Carolina Mountain called King’s back in the fall of 1780. Ferguson is buried there beneath a stone cairn, possibly along with his mistress who also fell that day. He had two, both called Virginia. But it is believed one mistress made her escape on a horse by betraying his whereabouts to the advancing–and really angry–Patriots.

The hardy, sometimes downright mean, Overmountain men of Scots heritage, didn’t take kindly to Ferguson’s warning that they desist from rebellion or he’d bring fire and sword upon them and hang all these ‘enemies of the King!’

‘Book title,’ I said to self. And Enemy of the King sounds cooler than The Patriot. So I began what came to be my version of that famous movie, though I started my novel before it even came out. Whew, that WAS a while ago. I’ve invested years of research into the high drama and romance of the Revolution and gone on to write two more novels in what became The Traitor’s Legacy Series, with three novels set during and just after the war.

The Battle of King’s Mountain, a mega conflict that altered the course of a nation, plays a prominent role in the fast-paced historical romance that is Enemy of the King. And, being drawn to mysterious old homes and the notion that those who’ve gone before us are not always gone, I included a paranormal element.

I suspect my ancestors are speaking to me as I have a colonial forebear named Jeremiah Jordan and I discovered an early Meriwether in the family. My journey back through time gathers intrigue, and I wondered how the people who lived through anything as all-consuming as the American Revolution ever got their lives back to normal. The ripples from that enormous upheaval are still flowing out in concentric circles. They’ve certainly encompassed me.

Step into the elegant parlor of Pleasant Grove, an eighteenth century Georgian plantation built high on the bluff above the Santee River. Admire the stately lines of this gracious brick home and its exquisite décor. Stroll out into the expansive garden between fragrant borders of lavender and rosemary. Bask beneath the moss-hung branches of an enormous live oak, then saunter back indoors to dress for a candlelight dinner in the sumptuous dining room. But don’t plan on a lengthy stay, you’re about to be snatched away for a wild ride into Carolina backcountry.

Jeremiah Jordan is a Patriot and Meriwether Steele a Tory. She risks a traitor’s death if she fights for the one she loves.

Blurb: 1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from fever in the stately home of her beloved guardian, Jeremiah Jordan, she senses the haunting presence of his late wife. When she learns that Jeremiah is a Patriot spy and shoots Captain Vaughan, the British officer sent to arrest him, she is caught up on a wild ride into Carolina back country, pursued both by the impassioned captain and the vindictive ghost. Will she remain loyal to her king and Tory twin brother or risk a traitor’s death fighting for Jeremiah? If Captain Vaughan snatches her away, he won’t give her a choice.
‘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.’

The year is 1780, one of the bloodiest of the American Revolution. The entire Southern garrison has been captured and Lord Cornwallis is marching his forces deep into South Carolina. ‘Bloody Ban’ Lieutenant Major Banestre Tarleton and his infamous Legion are sweeping through the countryside. Revenge is the order of the day on both sides and rugged bands of militia are all that stand between crown forces and utter defeat.

“I thoroughly enjoyed Enemy of the King…the characters are memorable, the setting beautifully described…the action riveting & the romance tender…for anyone who loves a well crafted historical romance.” ~ Long and Short Reviews by Poinsettia

Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle

“An amazing and vibrant look into the American Revolution…this sexy historical is a must read!” ~ Coffee Time Romance and More by Danielle

Get Enemy of the King in Kindle or print at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Enemy-King-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B002C73OZW

Enemy of the King will soon be an audiobook. Traitor’s Legacy, the sequel to Enemy of the King, is an audiobook now. The narrator did an excellent job!

To listen to the Traitor’s Legacy audiobook at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Legacy/dp/B07BH7WC4P/

At Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Traitors-Legacy-Audiobook/B07BH7B5D6

Traitor’s Legacy is also in kindle and print at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Legacy-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B00MNTXQUW/

Historical Romance Series–The American Revolution

***The three novels in The Traitor’s Legacy Series are sold individually or as a box set from all online booksellers. The three novels have been reduced in price.

In Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Legacy-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B01L5PSE1K/

***If you are interested in reading and reviewing Enemy of the King, or any of the stories in the Traitor’s Legacy Series please contact me: bctrissel@yahoo.com

Love, Betrayal, and The American Revolution–The Traitor’s Legacy Boxed Set!


The Traitor's Legacy Series Box Set.jpg1

To say the American Revolution captivates me is almost an understatement. I’ve been intrigued by colonial America, both the frontier (think The Last of the Mohicans) and, especially, the revolution, ever since I can remember. Not only because of research into family genealogy, although that pointed me there. I’ve long been engrossed. Such a dramatic time period, so much happening on many fronts. Not dry-as-old-bones stuff, but enthralling, vivid, and vital. OK, so they wore funny looking wigs. Not all did. Thomas Jefferson wore his own hair, among others. Even so, that doesn’t negate this amazing era.

Never before, or since, has there been such a gathering of brilliant minds intent on creating a new country, unlike any in the history of civilization. The exalted list includes: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas JeffersonJames Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and Benjamin Franklin. (This is where I casually mention my kinship to James Madison.) These men didn’t always agree, but they came together to pull off the unimaginable, with help from some courageous wives, like Abigail Adams, and countless others who played their part.

Spies, intrigue, cunning, and betrayals are all going on behind the battles. The most infamous traitor of all, Benedict Arnold, inspired book two in my Revolutionary War series and the title–Traitor’s Legacy. When I wrote award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King, I didn’t realize two more novels would follow. Yes, people also fell in love back then. I have that straight from the lips of one of the historians who assisted me in my research. A little paranormal crept into the stories, as it tends to with me, but the history is there!

The Traitor’s Legacy Series Box Set with all three novels. Available from all online booksellers. The novels are also in print at Amazon and The Wild Rose Press.

In Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Legacy-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B01L5PSE1K

The Traitor’s Legacy Series and the American Revolution


Colonial American SoldierMystery, adventure, spies, turncoats, traitors, Patriots, Tories, and above all, romance, are interwoven in The Traitor’s Legacy Series. Book One is award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King, my version of The Patriot with ghostly flavors of Daphne Dumaurier’s Rebecca.  Pleasant Grove, the home featured in Enemy of the King, was drawn from Drayton Hall, the oldest preserved plantation in America that’s open to the public, located outside the city of Charleston, SC. I also depicted parts of the old family homeplace in Virginia.

Enemyoftheking resizedPart of the inspiration behind Enemy of the King came from research into my early American Scots-Irish and British ancestors who fought on both sides of the American Revolution. One direct forebear five generations removed from me, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC and kept a diary used by historians today. I was also inspired by the Battle of Kings Mountain, in North Carolina, that helped turn the tide of the revolution in favor of the Patriots and is featured in Enemy of the King. These accounts turned my focus to the Southern face of the war.

GeorgeEliot[1]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. While I’m on the subject of ancestors and the past, I should add that the research for this series is staggering, and seemingly endless. I’ve had help from historians, including the former head historian with colonial Williamsburg, Taylor Stoemer, and assistance from reenactors. I’ve visited the sites featured in the books, and read a lot. Watched every series on the American Revolution in general, plus specific battles and characters. But I digress. Frequently.

TraitorsLegacy_w8945_med.jpg (official cover) (2)The Wild Rose Press published Enemy of the King in 2009. A sequel featuring the fascinating antagonist, British dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan, tugged at my mind. I even had a plot and title, Traitor’s Legacy. But, I couldn’t settle on the right setting for the story, so left it to simmer and went on with other works.

In late spring, 2012, North Carolinian, Ann See, a big 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.

 the Owens House

the Owens House

At Ann’s invitation, my husband Dennis and I made a trip to 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.

Photo of Person's Ordinary #2JPGMuch of Traitor’s Legacy 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 British occupied the Ordinary 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 an extended 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. .

174389418Thornton Hall, the plantation home featured in Traitor’s Legacy, is drawn from a run down but once outstanding old house, known as Little Manor, 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 we 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.

Mystery, intrigue, spies, a coded letter, and stirring romance fill the pages of Traitor’s Legacy, while bringing history to life. The story concludes in Williamsburg and Yorktown.

Bay Stallion

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?~

colonial militia preparing to fireBack to the novel that started it all, Enemy of the King made the top ten Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009  and is on the 2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle. The story received a five cup review from Coffee Time Romance & More and was voted book of the week at Long and Short Reviews.

I recently completed the third novel in the Traitor’s Legacy Series, entitled Traitor’s Curse, and submitted it to my historical editor at the Wild Rose Press. While also carefully researched historically, Traitor’s Curse has a ghostly element and a mysterious Gothic flavor. This novel will come out in 2015. I don’t know when yet. Release date to be determined.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, catch up by reading the two books already released in the series, Enemy of the King and Traitor’s Legacy are available in print and kindle at Amazon, and in eBook from all major online booksellers.

Book Launch for Historical Romance Traitor’s Legacy in Historic Halifax, NC


At the gala beside signs that resemble a colonial tavern.

At the gala beside signs that resemble a colonial tavern.

Discover Historic Halifax, at the forefront of the battle for independence, and the site of mystery and adventure. Where love wars with duty and allegiances, and false friends betray all.

A gala in a lovely home with special touches to make it resemble a tavern kicked off the three-day event. On Saturday, period reenactors, dancers, and musicians brought Historic Halifax to life for the book signing of Traitor’s Legacy. Like a mini Williamsburg, the town is a gem and well worth a visit. On Sunday afternoon, the charming 18th century tavern/inn, Person’s Ordinary, hosted me for a second book signing. Proceeds go toward preservation of Historic Halifax and the Ordinary. I can’t thank these good folk enough for all they did to make this a fantastic event.

Tavern style menu with dishes named after characters in the book.

Tavern style menu with dishes named after characters in the book.

Beth with the town crier

Beth with the town crier

Journey back to the drama and romance of the American Revolution where spies can be anyone and trust may prove deadly…historical romance novel, Traitor’s Legacy.

Story Blurb: 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?

At the Masonic Royal White Hart Lodge, No. 2

At the Masonic Royal White Hart Lodge, No. 2

In May, 1781, the British Legion, soon joined by General Lord Cornwallis with the rest of the army, occupied Halifax, NC. This episode in history drew me and I read all the accounts I could find. The bulk of Traitor’s Legacy takes place in the Halifax area during the British occupation, and culminates in colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown. While also being adventurous, Traitor’s Legacy is more of a mystery than Enemy of the King, with spies, turncoats, a coded letter, intrigue, and above all, romance.  I am at work on the sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, entitled Traitor’s Curse. These novels comprise the Traitor’s Legacy Series.

Three ladies who made the gala happen

Three ladies who made the gala happen

Quilt at the quilt show

They also had a beautiful quilt show.

Signing at the lodge with friends from the valley.

Signing at the lodge with friends from the valley.

The Old Homes Behind Historical Romance Novel Enemy of the King


Mysterious old homes, shrouded mountains and valleys hidden between misty ridges; the lure of Eastern Woodland Indians and Scots-Irish settlers in colonial American…this is what I know and love. But in writing Enemy of the King I spread beyond my Virginia home base and journeyed into the Carolinas at the height of the Revolution. Enemy of the King is my version of The Patriot with flavors of Daphne Dumaurier’s Rebecca.  Instead of Mel Gibson playing the lead in my historical romance, I have the very kewl Captain Jeremiah Jordan.

Pleasant Grove, the home featured in Enemy of the King, was drawn from Drayton Hall, the oldest preserved plantation in America that’s open to the public, located outside the city of Charleston, SC:

http://www.draytonhall.org/

I also incorporated elements of my ancestral Virginia home, circa 1816, located outside the historic town of Staunton. Called Chapel Hill(pictured above) this Georgian style brick house has been in the family for going on eight generations. The old kitchen, a separate building from the main house, no longer stands but I remember it from my childhood. Some outbuildings still remain; among them the smokehouse and stable. The house itself is filled with a wonderful collection of heirlooms. The miniature china dogs I played with as a child turn up in Enemy of the King.

The ‘snake thing’ in Chapter One is drawn from an incident that happened to me at Chapel Hill when I was a girl. Back in my contest circuit days, more than one judge told me a snake couldn’t possibly get into a house and wind around the antlers of a buck mounted up on the wall. They can and one did; a rather horrifying discovery for a child to make in the wee hours on her way to the bathroom. And then there’s the fact that I always suspected the house was haunted, not sure by whom…

More About Beth


As Galadriel said to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, “You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone.”

To be passionate about history so that you feel it in your very essence and long to commune with the past is often to be alone. One profound way I’ve found to connect with those who’ve gone before me is through my writing.  My work reflects the heart and soul invested in each word.

Years ago, while researching family genealogy, I gained the courage to take the leap from penning non-fiction essays about rural life to plunge into writing historical romance novels set in early America. That first story, Red Bird’s Song,  written and rewritten more than any other and the book of my heart.  I recently signed for Red Bird’s Song with The Wild Rose Press.  The original manuscript, about the length of Gone With The Wind, had to be considerably reduced.  I cut, cut, cut, and reworked without cutting out the heart of the story.  The initial idea for the plot came to me in a dream on New Year’s Eve 14 years ago, a  highly propitious time to embark down a new road.  Many dreams have guided me on my way.

Raw, powerful, the colonial frontier drew me with stirring tales of the French and Indian War, Pontiac, and Lord Dunmore’s War. My ancestors had interactions with the most feared tribe of that day, the Shawnee, including family members taken captive.  Some forebears returned with tales to tell, others didn’t; no one knows what happened to them except in my imaginings.  One man captured as a child and adopted into the tribe, was later restored to his white family.   He returned to the Shawnee and then journeyed back and forth between the English and Indian world, trying to keep a foot in both.

Much of my writing features my early Scot-Irish forebears who settled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and surrounding mountains, spreading into the Carolinas and Tennessee. The beauty of my valley and mountains inspires me. My extensive research has been generously aided by historians, anthropologists, archeologists, colonial reenactors and the Shawnee themselves.  Not to mention a mountain of reading.

This communion with the past is my motivation for the novels I create, not the market; I was informed early on by New York editors that I should write other settings, preferably European.  I’m thankful that at the Wild Rose Press a good story is judged according to its merits and not the perceived popularity of the time period.

So, welcome to the colonial frontier where the men fire muskets and wield tomahawks and the women are wildcats when threatened. Hear the primal howl of a wolf and the liquid spill of a mountain stream. Are those war whoops in the distance? Ever heard of bearwalking?

Daughter of the Wind is a light paranormal/historical fantasy romance with strong American historical roots. Set among the clannish Scots-Irish in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies, it’s a tale of the clash between peoples and young lovers caught in the middle. Ever influenced by my regard for Eastern Woodland Indians, I interwove mystical, Native American elements with ‘Daughter.’

A bearwalking Shawnee warrior, secrets from the past, a rugged frontiersman, gifted heroine, magical moonstone, love at first sight…DAUGHTER OF THE WIND.

Through the Fire is an adventure romance with a The Last of the Mohicans flavor and a mystical weave.  Some of the most unusual aspects of this story are based on individuals who really lived. A passionate love story set during the French and Indian War, Through the Fire has finaled in more contests than any I’ve written, including the prestigious 2008 Golden Heart®.

The French and Indian War, a Shawnee warrior, an English lady, blood vengeance, deadly pursuit, primal, powerful, passionate…THROUGH THE FIRE.

Not to neglect my fascination with gracious old homes and the high drama of the American Revolution. I have ancestors who fought and loved on both sides of that sweeping conflict. My research into the Southern face of the war was partly inspired by my great-great-great grandfather, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, who kept a journal of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, 1781, that is used by historians today.  Stick around for a wild ride into Carolina Back County and the battle between Patriots and Tories. Our hero is the former and our heroine the latter.  Both of them bear names that belonged to my ancestors.

Enemy of the King , a historical romance with paranormal element, is my version of The Patriot. A big fan of Daphne Du Maurier since my teens, I was also influenced by her mystery/ghost story, Rebecca. Our Virginia home place, circa 1816, and other early homes left deep impressions on me. I’ve long harbored suspicions that those who’ve gone before us are not always entirely gone.

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.

SomewhereMyLove_WRP_2024_300Which brings me back around to my first release, Somewhere My Love, a murder mystery/ghost story romance with flashbacks to early nineteenth century Virginia and Hamlet parallels.   Somewhere My Love won the 2008 Preditors &Editors Award Readers Poll for Best Romance Novel.  Most recently, it won the clash of covers contest at Embrace the Shadows blogspot.

Star-crossed lovers, flashbacks to early 18th century Virginia, ghostly, murder mystery, light paranormal romance, Gothic flavors…SOMEWHERE MY LOVE.

I am currently at work on the next in my ‘Somewhere’ series, a unique suspenseful Scottish time travel.

All three of my new releases won book of the week at Long and Short Reviews and received fabulous reviews.  Highly gratifying, but I would write them anyway.  I will always write what I love.  More recently they made the top ten Publisher’s Weekly Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009!  For more on that click on Barbara Vey.

My most recent release, not officially out until Dec. 11th, but already available as an Early Bird Special At The Wild Rose Press and at Amazon, is An American Rose Christmas, an anthology featuring six fabulous stories by American historical romance authors.  My story in this anthology is A Warrior for Christmas.

In addition to the next in my ‘Somewhere’ series, I’m writing sequels to Through the Fire and Enemy of the King.  For starters….

And this catches you up through December 2009~

For more on my work please visit www.bethtrissel.com