Tag Archives: romance set during the American Revolution

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.

If You Like Colonial American Romance Set During The Revolution~


“In addition to creating memorable characters, Ms. Trissel makes wonderful use of descriptive language. “Dreadful screeching, like the cries of an enraged cat, tore through the muggy night and into Meriwether’s chamber…The sweetness of jasmine wafted from the trellised vine as she peered down through moss-draped branches.”  Description like this can be found throughout Enemy of the King and really pulled me into the story so that I felt as if I were actually there.

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.”

~Poinsettia Long and Short Reviews

BHB READER’S CHOICE BEST BOOKS OF 2009 AT PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY BEYOND HER BOOKS

ENEMY OF THE KING AT: FIND A GREAT ROMANCE BLOGSPOT~

ENEMY OF THE KING ON BEST ROMANCE NOVEL LIST AT BUZZLE!

ENEMY OF THE KING AT HISTORY UNDRESSED~

ENEMY OF THE KING AT LITERATURE PROJECT~

ENEMY OF THE KING AT BEST ROMANCE NOVELS TODAY~

BHB READER’S CHOICE BEST BOOKS OF 2009 list~

1.  Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
2.  In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell
3.  Enemy of the King by Beth Trissel
4.  Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead (tie)
4.  Through the Fire by Beth Trissel (tie)
5.  Daughter of the Wind by Beth Trissel
6.  Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead
7.  The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber
8.  Tempted by P. C. Cast
9.  City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
10. Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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

ENEMY OF THE KING AT MISTRESS BELLA REVIEWS~

“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.

This tale was so wonderful; it really was a magical read. As soon as I started reading I felt like I was in the pages. The author has a way of pulling you into the story; this is your story. I could see the characters and the images Ms. Trissel described as if I were there or watching a film on TV. It’s a classic read for the ages and I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a true fairy-tale.”

Blurb: 1780, South Carolina: While Loyalist Meriwether Steele recovers from illness 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.~

ENEMY OF THE KING is Published by the Wild Rose Press~also available At Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers.

*THEME SONG FROM HBO’S PRODUCTION JOHN ADAMS~This song is awesome.  And if you haven’t seen the series, do.

Colonial American Historical Romance Novel For the 4th of July~


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

Years ago as I was researching my early American Scots-Irish forebears I often came across references to a battle fought during the Revolution called the battle of King’s 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 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.

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 movie, though I started my novel before it even came out. I’ve invested years of research 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 King’s 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 are not always gone, I included a paranormal element.

And I suspect my ancestors are speaking to me as I have a colonial forebear named Jeremiah Jordan and 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.

****

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 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.

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 my version of THE PATRIOT.

For more on my work please visit:

www.bethtrissel.com

To Purchase Enemy of the King

At: Amazon

At : Barnes&Noble

At: The Wild Rose Press

For your listening pleasure, the opening score from The Patriot. Poignant, perfect for this time period, and a deeply stirring soundtrack.  I love it, but especially the theme song.