Tag Archives: spies

LOVE, BETRAYAL, AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION–THE TRAITOR’S LEGACY SERIES


Much of my writing features the early Scot-Irish, my ancestors among them, who settled in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains. My absorption with Colonial America extends to the high drama of the Revolution, the focus of award-winning historical romance novel Enemy of the King (Book 1, The Traitor’s Legacy Series).

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, 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.

LOVE, BETRAYAL, AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION! THE TRAITOR’S LEGACY SERIES

The Boxed Set of all three novels in The Traitor’s Legacy Series is available in eBook from ALL online booksellers. In Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Legacy-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B01L5PSE1K

Historical Romance Series series set during The American Revolution


Book One: ENEMY OF THE KING

Enemy of the King, historical romance with a 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.  Most of all, I’m a Southern Virginia author, and it shows.

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.

“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 for Long and Short Reviews

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

“I love historical romances. They are one of my favorites and anymore when I think of a historical I think of Beth Trissel.”~Reviewed by Bella Wolfe, You Gotta Read 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.” ~Historical Romance Author Kris Kennedy ( for Enemy of the King)

TRAITOR’S LEGACY–Sequel to ENEMY OF THE KING (The Traitor’s Legacy Series)

Colonial American historical romance novel

Mystery, 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 would recommend this story for fans of historical romance and anyone who likes a sweet romance.” ~By Brony83 Reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock

Historical Romance Novel TRAITOR’S CURSE (Sequel to TRAITOR’S LEGACY in the Traitor’s Legacy Series)

traitors curseGhostly, Gothic, historical romance novel, Traitor’s Curse, the sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, and the third novel in the series, came out in print and eBook autumn 2015 from The Wild Rose Press.

Set in historic Halifax, NC, on the heels of the American Revolution, Traitor’s Curse builds on the central theme in Traitor’s Legacy.  Both novels center around the hidden treasure collected by a band of Patriots to bribe a Loyalist into revealing the whereabouts of the infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold, the man they badly wanted to hang.

Although America’s most wanted ultimately fled to England, the treasure remained in Halifax where the haunting mystery in Traitor’s Curse unfolds.

While the historical aspects of that era are authentically depicted in the story, intriguing paranormal elements are also interwoven; among them, a ghost. Other possibilities for his presence in the home are suggested, so choose as you will. It’s kind of a mind game, but significant clues are given for the discerning reader. Bear in mind that the author believes in ghosts and cursed treasure.~

Fog, Farm, Mist, Cemetery, Tree, Wet, Tombstone, Field, Morning, Grave

 “The supernatural interventions mixed with foreshadowing are well done and believable, whether or not the reader doubts the ghostly possibilities and curses, they work well in the story … and do keep the reader turning the pages. The rapidly developing love story carries with it some inner turmoil in matters of belief and trust, but the gripping external conflicts are laced with danger and evil intent.
The story draws the readers into the midst of the fray. And keeps them there. I readily recommend this novel, “Traitor’s Curse” to anyone who wants to settle into a captivating read created by Beth Trissel, as she weaves her knowledge of the South, herbs and history into this enjoyable love story.” ~Marion Spicer

“A wonderfully spun novel that will keep a reader engaged till the end.” ~Stephanie Lodes for InD’tale

 Won Creme de la Cover monthly contest

Nominated for Reader’s Choice at The Romance Review


Follow My Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6

Historical Romance and the American Revolution!


Mystery, adventure, spies, traitors, Patriots, Tories, and above all, romance, are interwoven in The Traitor’s Legacy Series. Book 1, award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King, is 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 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. 

Story Description for Enemy of the King:

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.

TraitorsLegacy_w8945_med.jpg (official cover) (2)The sequel To Enemy of the King, entitled Traitor’s Curse, features the fascinating antagonist, British dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan.

Inspiration behind Traitor’s Legacy:

I’d pondered the sequel, but couldn’t decide on the site. Then in spring, 2012, North Carolinian, Ann See, a big fan of Enemy of the King and colonial American enthusiast, contacted me about setting a sequel in the historically significant town of Halifax, NC. As Enemy of the King takes place in North and South Carolina, and I have strong ties to both states, this suggestion was appealing.

 the Owens House

the Owens House

At Ann’s invitation, hubby 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 inspired by 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 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, and resurrected its glory days. 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.

The third novel in the Traitor’s Legacy Series, entitled Traitor’s Curse, takes place soon after the American Revolution. While also carefully researched historically, the novel has a ghostly element and a mysterious Gothic flavor. Traitor’s Curse came out out November, 2015.

Enemy of the King, Traitor’s Legacy, and Traitor’s Curse are available in print and kindle at Amazon, and in eBook from all major online booksellers.

My Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6

The Vivid Contrast of Colonial American Settings


old sailing shipColonial America spans a fascinating swathe of time–the ultimate adventure series–from early European settlements in the late 16th century up through the American Revolution. I have ancestral ties in America from its beginnings, including a Churchman listed on the ship’s roster from the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. And then there’s the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Got that bizarre era covered, too. Research into family genealogy spurs my interest and spawns story ideas, along with dreams and a feeling of being led by my ancestors; I’m definitely inspired by them. I never set a story anywhere not associated with those who’ve gone before me.

the last of the mohicans

Many eras and settings within this intriguing period haven’t yet made appearances in my work. That’s not to say they won’t. I tend to favor the mid to latter 18th century. Anything from lavish manor homes in posh society to rustic log cabins and Indian lodges–think woodlands and mountains in the colonial frontier–think The Last of the Mohicans. March with Revolutionary War soldiers and Shawnee Warriors, though not in the same scene. Gather around campfires in jovial company, or in preparation for battle. Frolic at balls and dinner parties, whoop it up at raucous frontier weddings. Savor idyllic Christmas celebrations and run for your life during fort assaults. Enjoy carriage rides and hang on tight in wild gallops. Visit ghostly homes and search for haunted treasure. Saunter arm in arm or load muskets. Decipher a coded letter. Who’s the spy? Could be anyone.

colonial womanGentlemen and frontiersmen, ladies and warriors, pirates and redcoats, Colonial America is all about contrast. The very wealthy, the hardy and heroic who survive by their wits, sumptuous homes, the untamed land and the even wilder men who battle for their place in it. All are a part of this dynamic era.

I meticulously research my work, and think where the stories will go, but they have a way of asserting themselves. The past will speak out.

Step back in time with mystery, adventure, and romance.

Enemyoftheking resizedEnemy of King:  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.


Traitor's Legacy resized pgTraitor’s Legacy (Sequel to award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King)
: Recent Release!

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 American Christmas Romance

Colonial American Christmas Romance

A Warrior for Christmas (also available in audio): Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. He plans to return to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity–until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Deaf since a childhood bout of Scarlet fever, Dimity Scott intends to be cherished for herself, not her guardian’s purse, even if it means risking spinsterhood. Then the rugged newcomer arrives, unlike any man she’s ever known. Dimity has learned to manage her silent world, but unaccustomed to the dangers of the frontier, can she expect love and marriage from Corwin, who longs to return to his Shawnee life?

Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

Red Bird’s Song: Can a Scots-Irish woman terrified of warriors fall in love with her Shawnee captor?

Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl.

George III’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts.

As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.

Award-winning historical romance novel

Award-winning historical romance novel

Through the Fire Will love inflame these two natural-born enemies in fiery destruction?

Passions run deep in the raging battle to possess a continent, its wealth and furs. Both the French and English count powerful Indian tribes as their allies.
English lady Rebecca Elliot, having eloped to America with a British captain, finds herself a widow. When she ventures into the colonial frontier with the militia to seek her uncle, she unwittingly enters a dangerous world of rugged mountains, wild animals, and even wilder men. The rules are different here and she doesn’t know them, especially those of the savagely handsome warrior who captures her body and her heart.

Half-Shawnee, half-French warrior Shoka, former guide for English traders, is the hawk, swift, sure, and silent as the moon. He knows all about survival in this untamed land and how deadly distraction can be. His intent is to sell Rebecca to the French before she draws him under her spell, but if he lets her go he can no longer protect her. If he holds onto her, can he safeguard his heart? With battle looming and an enemy warrior bent on vengeance, Shoka and Rebecca must decide whether to fight together or be destroyed.

The French and Indian War, A Shawnee Warrior, An English Lady, Blood Vengeance, Deadly Pursuit, Primal, Powerful, Passionate…Through the Fire~

2c646-historicalromancekiradaughterofthemooncoverbyraremonetKira, Daughter of the Moon (sequel to Through the Fire):

With the terror of the French and Indian War fresh in her mind, can Kira love a white warrior?

Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.

Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay–and anyone else from getting too close. Now that he’s back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.

Several other titles are set in the frontier just after the American Revolution, The Bearwalker’s Daughter and my short story, The Lady and the Warrior. I’m at work on a third set shortly after the war, the sequel to Traitor’s Legacy, Traitor’s Curse. Onward ho. The adventure continues.

Release Day for Historical Romance Novel Traitor’s Legacy!


TraitorsLegacy_w8945_med.jpg (official cover) (2) Traitor’s Legacy, the sequel to award-winning historical romance novel, Enemy of the King, is finally out in eBook and print!

Journey back to the drama, intrigue, and romance of the American Revolution, where spies can be anyone and trust may prove deadly.

Traitor’s Legacy 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?

 Traitor’s Legacy is available at Amazon, The Wild Rose Press, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers.

Step Into the Garden With Meriwether And Jeremiah


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 descendents. 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.

“Entirely?”

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?”

“Quite possibly.”

****

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

For more on my work please visit: http://www.bethtrissel.com/