Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Author, Beth Trissel on INTO THE LION'S HEART

Welcome back to History Undressed Beth! I have always enjoyed reading your books and I look forward to reading your new release, INTO THE LION'S HEART.  Thanks for visiting with us today!

Presenting INTO THE LION'S HEART by Beth Trissel

I’m delighted to celebrate the release of my first English historical romance, Into the Lion’s Heart, with the gracious Eliza Knight at her lovely blog.  I believe this is my third visit to History Undressed, but it won’t be the last.  Into the Lion’s Heart has the honor of launching the new series The Wild Rose Press is debuting called Love Letters.  Authors were invited to participate, so I’m doubly honored.  The premise behind this theme is that a letter must be the cause of bringing the hero and heroine together.  At 96 pages, Into the Lion’s Heart is an easy but satisfying read.  However, I did as much research for this story as I would a full novel.

The connection I feel to the past and those who’ve gone before me is the ongoing inspiration behind my historical romances, including the time travels in my ‘Somewhere’ series.  I’ve done a great deal of research into family genealogy and come from well-documented English/Scots-Irish folk with a smidgen of French in the meld, a Norman knight who sailed with William the Conqueror.  One family line goes directly back to Geoffrey Chaucer.  And there’s a puritan line with involvement in the Salem Witch Trials—my apologies to Susannah Martin’s descendants--but that’s another story.  With Into the Lion’s Heart, I more deeply explored my British ancestry.

Captain Dalton Evans
Set in 1789 England, the story opens with the hero, Captain Dalton Evans (fought in the American Revolution) journeying to Dover to meet the ship carrying a distant cousin, Mademoiselle Sophia Devereux, who’s fleeing the French Revolution.  *Pause here to note all the research the revolution took, not to mention Georgian England in general, Cornwall in particular, rum smuggling, stage coach travel and sailing in the late 18th century....you get the idea. But I digress. Back to Dalton who’s irked with his mission, not only because he finds it tedious, but he resents the French, partly as a result of their aid to the Americans during the war and some of the Frenchmen he fought during that lost cause.  Plus he thinks French aristocrats are arrogant.  However, the young woman he rescues from the sinking ship is nothing like he expects and rocks his world.

The Scarlet Pimpernel
During all the copious research, I discovered this is a fascinating time period on both sides of the channel.  I’m already hooked on The Scarlet Pimpernel, having read all the books in that series several times and watched every film version (ask about my favorites) and am drawn to other novels and productions set in this era, such as the rich epic series, Poldark--read the books and own the Masterpiece Theater production.

As to the language ‘thing,’ my youngest daughter, Elise, who recently graduated summa cum laude with a double major in art and French, was a huge help with the sprinkling of French words and phrases.  And she can debate with anyone who begs to differ with her translation, why she chose a particular verb or whatever.  My French is weak, so I’m going with her and will just say it’s a beautiful language.  I hope you enjoy the story.

As the French Revolution rages, the English nobility offer sanctuary to many a refugee. Captain Dalton Evans arrives in Dover to meet a distant cousin, expecting to see a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, he’s conquered by the simplicity of his new charge. And his best friend Thomas Archer isn’t immune to her artless charm, either.

Cecile Beaumont didn’t choose to travel across the Channel. And she certainly didn’t expect that impersonating her own mistress would introduce her to a most mesmerizing man. Now she must play out the masquerade, or risk life, freedom – and her heart.~
Choking on the brine, she thrashed to right herself. Dalton spat saltwater from his mouth and fought to regain his seat while pulling her up with him. Not his most dignified effort. She was the devil to get hold of—kept slipping away. He grabbed her again, only to be knocked back down and rolled with her in the swill on the bottom of the boat.
Damn and blast! Tom and another man hoisted them upright in the prow.

“Thanks,” Dalton grunted, biting his tongue in the presence of a lady. “All right?” he shouted at her, and shifted her securely onto the seat beside him.

“Oui!” she sputtered when she’d recovered her breath.

She shook all over—must be chilled to the bone. They’d be fortunate if she didn’t catch her death, probably bruised too from tossing about in the skiff. The sooner she was safely housed indoors by a toasty hearth, the better.

Keeping an arm around the sodden woman, he peered into a striking pair of charcoal-gray eyes set above a pert nose and framed by fine dark brows.

She parted trembling, bluish lips. “Merci Monsieur—Que Dieu vous bénisse—Les saints nous bénis en préservent,” she stammered, thanking, blessing him, and calling on the saints.
Dalton was tempted to call on them himself, but her outpouring took him by surprise.

Not content with acknowledging his aid, she turned to Tom, crouched on her other side, and blurted similar gratitude—nearly incoherent in the tumult raging around them. Tom gave a nod through gritted teeth then bent his head over the boat and heaved the contents of his volatile stomach.

She tilted her head at Dalton, eyes crinkled in sympathy. “Mal de mer,” she said, using the French for seasick.~

Into the Lion’s Heart is available at The Wild Rose Press and other online booksellers.

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

My blog is the happening place: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

Leave a comment today and your email address for a chance to win an ebook copy of INTO THE LION'S HEART!


Refreshing One said...

Beth - You are such a wonderful writer, and I love historical romance fiction. I would so love to win a free copy of Into The Lion's Heart. Looks like a great read. Please, keep 'em comin'! lol

Nightingale said...

Beth, this sounds like another winner! I was captivated by the excerpt and must read!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Fantastic post, Beth!! Your research sounds fascinating as does your new story!!

Judy said...

Beth, as usual, you manage to give us a great sense of time and place with an interesting story! I love the premise..so much fun! I know you'll do well with it...

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks so much! And to Eliza for having me on her wonderful blog.

Alison H. said...

I love this time period, Beth, and the story sounds wonderful. Congrats on branching out!

Jennifer Jakes said...

Oh, loved this excerpt! What an interesting time period and a great premise for the series.
Congrats! :)

Mary Marvella said...

Beth, you make me believe in reincarnation. You must have past lives that help you write historicals so well! Loved the excerpt and the blog!

Josie said...

What beautiful writing, as always. I smiled when I read about all the research you put into this historical. Best wishes for your continuing success.

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks for the kind comments. Yes, Joanne, the research is daunting.

Sandy L. Rowland said...

See what you did? Now I have to read it.
Totally sold. I love The Scarlet Pimpernel!

Mona Risk said...

Congratulations Beth on the new release, another winner for sure.

Winona said...

I'm off to TWRP to get mine. You are an amazing author. I look forward to this but "Red Bird's Song" is probably still going to be my favorite.

Keep writing!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks ladies, and Winona, Red Bird's Song will always be my favorite, but onward and upward. :)

Beth Trissel said...

'Refreshing One' won the ebook of Into the Lion's heart. :)