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Island Inspiration, HOPE'S BETRAYAL and a giveaway with Grace Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, it’s a minor miracle you are reading this post because I’m on vacation on theIsle of Wight and forgot to email Ivybefore I left home! But with a lot of help from my techno-wiz hubs – here I am – phew! Anyhow, this isn’t totally irrelevant because my post is about how the Isle of Wight was the inspiration behind my latest release, “Hope’s Betrayal.”

I fell in love with the Island about ten years ago. In a strange quirk of fate I’d lived seven year in Portsmouth on the mainland, a twenty minute ferry ride away but without once visiting. It took motherhood and two dinosaur mad sons desperate to visit the newly opened “Dinosaur Isle” museum on the IOW (Isle of Wight) for us to go.

We stayed in a caravan park overlooking St Helen’s harbour and on a walk round the village I spotted a blue plaque on a fisherman’s cottage. (In the UK places of special historical interest are marked with a ‘blue plaque’ giving brief details of who lived there.) Intrigued by the inscription about “The Lady of Chantilly” I visited the Newport Museum to do some research. The result was a fascinating true story of a humble fisherman’s daughter, born around 1792, who was a part time smuggler. This girl was so beautiful, that when he caught her red-handed, the revenue officer was so smitten he couldn’t bring himself to arrest her. What a fabulous idea for a historical romance and out of this local legend, the idea behind “Hope’s Betrayal” was born.

My story is a fictional account of what could happen if two people on opposite sides of the law fall desperately in love. How can such love survive when it means compromising everything they believe in?

In a choice between betraying your family, or losing a career, what you chose?

 

One wild, winter’s night two worlds collide.

            Known for his ruthless efficiency, Captain George Huntley is sent to stamp out smuggling on the south coast ofEngland. On a night raid, the Captain captures a smuggler, but finds his troubles are just beginning when the lad turns out to be a lass, Hope Tyler.

            With Hope as bait, the Captain sets a trap to catch the rest of the gang. But in a battle of wills, with his reputation at stake, George Huntley starts to respect feisty, independent Hope. Challenged by her sea-green eyes and stubborn loyalty Huntley now faces a new threat – his growing attraction to a sworn enemy. But a love where either Hope betrays her own kind, or Captain Huntley is court-marshaled, is not an easy destiny to follow. 

Injured on a smuggling run, Hope wakes to face the naval officer who captured her.  

 

 

Hope kept her eyes closed as she became conscious of a man’s heavy tread pacing the room. She waited until he was at the window and opened her eyelids a fraction. With the light behind him she saw an athletic man with wide shoulders, tall enough to have to stoop under the sloping eaves. Her stomach felt hollow with foreboding, for without doubt, this was the same man who’d pursued her over the dunes.

He must have sensed a change in her breathing, for suddenly he turned. He stared, with piercing blue eyes that penetrated her soul. Dressed in a naval uniform, the jacket cuffs ringed with gold braid, the man exuded authority. He continued to stare, his face unreadable; wilful, she decided, and yet uncommonly handsome. She blushed and reached for the covers, pulling them up to her chin.

“So, enough pretending. You are awake at last.” His voice, deep and melodic, brooked no argument.

“Please, sir, where am I?”

“Under house arrest.” He growled, obviously no friend. And yet, she touched her bandaged head, someone had taken care of her.

“You are in pain?” His consideration was surprising.

“Not so much now.”

The answer pleased him. “Good, then you have some explaining to do.”

“Please, sir, who are you?”

The man threw her a sideways glance and started to pace.

“Captain Huntley, RN. And you are?”

She decided against lying, her name alone couldn’t incriminate her family.

“Hope Tyler.”

“Well Miss Tyler, have you the slightest idea how much trouble you’re in?”

“Yes.”

The Captain stared at the ceiling. “A man died because of your felony. A Revenue man. He leaves a wife and three children.”

“I’m so sorry.” She whispered in distress.

“His fellow officers are baying for blood.”

Hope trembled, things were worse than she imagined.

“Someone must hang for his death.”

Her throat closed over.

“Be it you…or the man who pulled the trigger….my men don’t care.” Captain Huntley stepped closer, his presence dominating the room. She couldn’t breathe, he seemed made of granite, his eyes like flints, sparking with anger. “But I’m different.” His expression softened imperceptibly. “I like to think of myself as a fair man.”

Hope nodded, to encourage him.

“Any fool can see you are just a bit-player, a lackey. The men I want are the leaders, those who finance the contraband and organise the landings. Tell me who they are, and I shall intercede on your behalf with the authorities.”

“What if I don’t know their names?”

His wide mouth twitched downward. “Then I cannot help you.”

She would have shaken her head had it not been too painful. “The men you speak of aren’t stupid. They will know I am taken, and know if I betray them. If I do… they will come for my family.”

“Then put them behind bars.”

“It’s too risky. This way, it’s only me.”

He tried to hide it, but he looked surprised. She saw him drinking in the logic of her words and a shadow darkened his face. Clasping his hands behind his back, he turned to stare through the window.

“Tell me,” he said benignly, “what does it feel like to be abandoned? Because that’s what the smugglers did. Sailed away without a backward glance and left you to your fate.”

 

Grace is generously offering one (1) lucky commenter  their choice of one (1) of the following ebooks:

DEAD MAN’S DEBT, EULOGY’S SECRET, or HOPE’S BETRAYAL.    Giveaway ends @12 a.m. est on 8-23.  Winner will be randomly chosen shortly thereafter.   Good luck y’all!

Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night.Grace believes intelligent people need to read romance as an antidote to the modern world. As an avid reader of historicals she turned to writing as a release from the emotionally draining side of veterinary work.

Grace lives near London and is addicted to cats. The Elliot household consists of five cats, two teenage sons, one husband, a guinea pig – and the latest addition – a bearded dragon!

Grace’s Blog ~  Fall In Love with History 

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HOPE’S BETRAYAL

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6 comments to Island Inspiration, HOPE’S BETRAYAL and a giveaway with Grace Elliot

  • LilMissMolly

    I’m with you, Grace. Intelligent people need to read romance as an antidote to the modern world. I read t escape my dull life as a government pencil pusher.

  • Lovely cover! The book sounds quite intriguing!
    minadecaro@hotmail.com

  • Good luck with the giveaway Lil Miss Molly –
    and once again a big thank you to Ivy for being so patient.
    Grace x

  • Denise Z

    Wow I am so envious (not in a bad way) of your awesome vacation. Next time just give a heads up and I will stowaway in your luggage, would love to see the Isle of Wright 😉 Thank you for taking the time to share with us, it is always enjoyable to learn of inspirational places for a good read, somehow it brings the stories even more to life in the imagination.
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  • bn100

    I enjoyed the excerpt. The book sounds good.

  • Ivy

    Congrat’s LilMissMolly!

    You’re Grace’s winner. Please check your email and spam.
    Thanks to everyone who participated. Hope to see y’all often!