Tag Archives: Patriot

The Story Behind Award-Winning Historical Romance Enemy of the King–Featured at The Fussy Librarian


Enemyoftheking_WebsiteYears ago, I was researching my early American Scots-Irish forebears and 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 it more in-depth and 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 (large knob, really) 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’s believed one mistress made her escape on a horse by betraying his whereabouts to the advancing Patriots. I guess she figured better him than her and he was going down anyway…
MILITIA FIRINGlSpeaking of which, I discovered 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 their leaders, all these ‘enemies of the King!’
‘Book title,’ I said to self. And Enemy of the King sounds much cooler than The Patriot. So I began what came to be my version of that famous book/film, though I’d started my novel before it even came out. Years of research went into the high drama and romance of the Revolution.
Needless to say, the Battle of Kings Mountain, a mega conflict that altered the course of a nation, plays a prominent role in this fast-paced Historical Romance. And, being drawn to mysterious old homes and the notion that those who’ve gone before us aren’t always gone, I included a ghost.
(Image of British officer)
JEREMIAHI also suspect my ancestors are speaking to me, as I have a colonial forebear named Jeremiah Jordan and discovered an early Meriwether and a Steele in the family. Not to mention a British general whose grandson was fighting with George Washington. My journey back through time gathered 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, and now I’m at work on the sequel.
****
So, 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 decor. 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.
****
The Drama and Romance of the American RevolutionJeremiah Jordan is a Patriot and Meriwether Steele a Loyalist. She risks a traitor’s death if she fights for the one she loves.
‘Spies, intrigue, a vindictive ghost, the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING.
live oak tree with hanging mossThe 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.
enemy_of_the_king_brighter***Enemy of the King is featured today, Feb. 15th, at the Fussy Librarian (in an email notification). ‘Bewildered by the number of ebooks out there? Choose from 40 genres, select content preferences, and www.TheFussyLibrarian.com emails you.’ daily deals.
***ENEMY OF THE KING is available at in print and eBook at Amazon and  The Wild Rose Press. In eBook at Barnes & Noble’s Nookbook, All Romance eBooks, and many other online booksellers.
***I’m taking this opportunity to announce that I’ve signed a contract with the Wild Rose Press for Traitor’s Legacy, the sequel to Enemy of the King, more on that novel soon. Expected release date–August!

Sweet Saturday Sample from Historical Romance Enemy of the King–Beth Trissel



August 1780, Low Country, South Carolina

Dreadful screeching, like the cries of an enraged cat, tore through the muggy night and into Meriwether’s chamber.

She sat bolt upright in bed. “Demented owl,” she muttered and pushed back the short lengths of hair clinging to her forehead. Her shift was also damp from tossing. An indefinable restlessness drove her as a ship before the wind.

The clock downstairs struck two.

Meriwether stiffened at the echo of hooves on the cobblestones in the yard beneath her window. What business could anyone possibly have to conduct at this unearthly hour?

Perhaps it was a courier, and perhaps he’d come before. Images of phantom horses from past nights cantered through her mind. She had thought them dreams sprung from fever, but she was much better now and wide awake.

The sound of hooves stopped and the horse snorted.

Barn own in flightShe parted the muslin curtain around her canopied bed and slid her feet to the carpet. A great golden moon bathed the room in a pearly sheen.  She crept to the partly open glass—gasping as the screech owl flew at her from the live oak outside the window. Round yellow eyes stared into hers for a split second before the bird veered off into the darkness.

Meriwether breathed in sharply. The sweetness of jasmine wafted from the trellised vine as she peered down through moss-draped branches. The milky light streamed over two men standing in the yard, their heads bent in conversation.

JEREMIAHOne man in a dark coat and black tricorn held the reins of a bay horse. Neither he nor his mount was familiar, but she knew the other gentleman well.  Several inches taller than the stranger, he was simply dressed in a white shirt tucked into breeches that molded to his long legs and met his riding boots. Shadows hid his face and the chestnut hair pulled back at his neck, but there was no mistaking Jeremiah Jordan, master of Pleasant Grove and Meriwether’s guardian these past few months. Elegance cloaked him like a mantle.

Her heart quickened at the sight of Jeremiah, rarer and rarer these days. What wouldn’t she give to have him all to herself for even one single hour? That seemed as impossible as an end to this confounded war.

Chest fluttering, she knelt at the window to better overhear their low voices.

“Men are gathering,” floated up to her from the stranger.

Her stomach knotted in tight twists. Was this nocturnal visit prearranged? Worse—had Jeremiah joined the Patriots? Her Loyalist sympathies recoiled at the awful possibility.

He’d never voiced any open fervor for the rebel cause. The neighbors thought him still too distraught over his wife Rachel’s death to take an active role in the war, but doubts gnawed at Meriwether. She had seen the flash of anger in Jeremiah’s blue eyes whenever British Lieutenant Major Tarleton’s name was mentioned. Perhaps it was just the effect Bloody Ban had on any decent person, but Meriwether suspected far more lay beneath Jeremiah’s outward reserve than he’d ever revealed.

Lacy white clouds feathered the moon as she leaned out the window for a better look at the two men. Jeremiah glanced around the yard then passed what looked like a leather pouch into the stranger’s hand. She glimpsed a flap in the center and a shoulder strap like the pouch that couriers used.

“The usual place,” reached her straining ears.

Jeremiah lifted his head and stared up at Meriwether’s chamber. She sprang to her feet stumbling back. What would he say if he knew she spied on him?

HISTORIC HOME IN CHARLESTONHer thoughts flew like quail flushed from cover. Were his frequent absences from home truly plantation business or far more dangerous errands? With Charles Town fallen to the British and the entire Southern Garrison captured, South Carolina was rapidly becoming a crown stronghold. If Jeremiah were mixed up in this rebellion, he courted disaster.

Remaining in her chamber wouldn’t answer any questions. If she slipped down the back stairs and edged closer to the yard, she might learn more. Eavesdropping on the man who’d graciously taken her in after her father’s death smacked of disloyalty, but how else was she to discover the truth?

She hesitated only for an instant. She wasn’t Captain Steele’s daughter for nothing. Mettle accompanied the name. Arms outstretched, she felt her way in the darkness around the clothes press and washstand and then opened the door and tiptoed from her room out into the hall. The eerie sensation of unseen eyes sent prickles down her spine as she stole along the dim corridor.

SMALL GHOST GIRLPerhaps it was the portraits of Jeremiah’s ancestors watching from the walls or perhaps even someone else, someone gone, yet not gone. She’d had this uncanny feeling before. It made her want to run outside, away from this disturbing presence.

Meriwether sped past the room where Jeremiah’s elderly aunt, Miss Anna, slept—stubbing her bare foot on the low table crouched in the blackness like a jungle cat. “Ouch!” she cried softly and rubbed her throbbing toe, expecting footfalls on the steps.

No one came. Miss Anna could slumber through howling wolves. One clumsy young woman would not disturb her.

full moon with cloudsWishing she’d worn her shoes, Meriwether limped to the landing. Moonlight pouring through the recessed window at the top of the stairs lit the glassy gaze of the eight point buck mounted above her.

She froze, her eyes riveted on the deer’s head. A snake—perhaps venomous—wound around the antlers. Meriwether was no coward, but she’d rather face a Legion dragoon with a bayonet than this serpent. It must have slithered in through the open window.

Strangling a cry, she bolted past the writhing mass and down the steps. Never mind that the boards creaked beneath her feet. She hit the ground floor at a run and flung open the door. She flew outside, nearly forgetting why she’d come in her haste. Breathing hard, she halted in the archway.

Calm yourself, she admonished, and quietly closed the door behind her.

Flattened against it, she ran her eyes over the yard. Both men were conspicuous only by their absence. Not surprising. She’d unwittingly given them warning. They might have ducked into the stable or carriage house, or melted away into the night, spiriting the horse with them.

Locusts droned and crickets chirped as she poised in the entryway. Horses nickered from the pasture. Nothing more.

What now? She couldn’t go back inside with that snake dangling there and had nowhere else to go except the kitchen, a short distance from the manor house. Keith Daws, Jeremiah’s right hand man, and his family slept inside its stone walls. Jeremiah and Keith Daws had been friends ever since she remembered, rare between an Englishman and a Negro.

Meriwether didn’t want to risk waking any of the Daws. Keith’s oldest son, York, was a light sleeper and would be more than a little curious to discover her wandering shoeless in her nightdress. Better to remain as she was than to try and find her way to the front of the house in the dark.

She sank down in the doorway, knees drawn up, feet tucked under the linen hem. No serpent was sliding across her bare toes. It was childish, perhaps, but couldn’t be helped. She buried her head in her arms. What a farce she’d made of spying. “Ah, Papa,” she whispered, imagining his hearty chuckle and badly wishing he were still alive. He’d been her compass. She couldn’t find her way without him and her twin brother, Bobby, off fighting for the crown.

“Are you staying the night out here, Miss Steele?”

Meriwether jerked up her head, her heart in her throat. Jeremiah stood at the base of the brick steps that led up to her perch. “Mister Jordan! You move like a ghost.”

“You rather resemble one in that shift, dear heart.”

Moonbeams silvered his well-muscled figure in the full-sleeved shirt and thigh hugging breeches. She drank in every glorious inch. The magical light hinted at his penetrating eyes and aristocratic, almost haughty nose softened by his sensuous mouth. It could be a hard mouth when he was angry, which wasn’t often and never with her; at least, not yet.~

***My talented daughter Elise created the special promo image. Photograph of the curving steps taken by my sister of the very staircase I wandered at night in the old family home place. Remaining images are royalty free.

***To visit other Authors Participating in Sweet Saturday Samples Click HERE:

ENEMY OF THE KING is published in print and ebook by the Wild Rose Press, also available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and all online booksellers.

***All royalty free images

Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are–Beth Trissel


ENEMY OF THE KING has 15 Five Star reviews at Amazon and nothing less.  I don’t have any control over what readers leave there so this strikes me as significant, but also means not enough people are reading it. Every story has its critics.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.  But first, you have to read the book.  If you’d like to take the challenge and see if ENEMY OF THE KING lives up to its reputation, I welcome your thoughts.  Leave it a review. Normally 4.99, the ebook is .99 at Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble’s NookbookFictionwiseand All Romance eBooks. (Sale through the 17th)

ENEMY OF THE KING received a five cup review from Coffee Time Romance, earned Five Books and won book of the week at Long and Short Reviews, received a super review and a You Gotta Read rating fromYou Gotta Read, came in third at the 2009 Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books, and made the Best Romance Novel list at Buzzle.

“An amazing and vibrant look into the American Revolutionary War…this sexy historical book is a must read!” ~Danielle Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

The Story Behind Historical Romance Enemy of the King–Beth Trissel


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

Years ago, I was researching my early American Scots-Irish forebears and 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 it more in-depth and 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 (large knob, really) 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’s believed one mistress made her escape on a horse by betraying his whereabouts to the advancing Patriots. I guess she figured better him than her and he was probably going down anyway… 

Speaking of which, I discovered 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 their leaders, all these ‘enemies of the King!’

‘Book title,’ I said to self. And Enemy of the King sounds much cooler than The Patriot. So I began what came to be my version of that famous book/film, though I’d started my novel before it even came out.

Years of research went into the high drama and romance of the Revolution. I don’t regret a moment and am seeking like-minded persons to share in this passion with me. That has an unfortunate e-Harmony ring to it.

But I digress, (often). Needless to say, the Battle of Kings Mountain, a mega conflict that altered the course of a nation, plays a prominent role in this fast-paced Historical Romance. And, being drawn to mysterious old homes and the notion that those who’ve gone before us aren’t always gone, I included a ghost.

I also suspect my ancestors are speaking to me, as I have a colonial forebear named Jeremiah Jordan and discovered an early Meriwether in the family. Not to mention a British general whose grandson was fighting with George Washington. My journey back through time gathered 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, and now I’m at work on the sequel.

****

So, 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 decor. 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 Loyalist. She risks a traitor’s death if she fights for the one she loves.

‘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.

***ENEMY OF THE KING is available at Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble’s Nookbook, All Romance eBooks, The Wild Rose Press and other online booksellers.

“I love historical romances. They are one of my favorites and anymore when I think of a historical I think of Beth Trissel. She is an author who has proved herself over time. She is a beautiful storyteller. Ms. Trissel can take a story line and make it a work of art. And she did just that with Enemy of the King.” ~Bella Wolfe, You Gotta Read

***Daughter Elise created the promo images. The remainder are royalty free

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…