Girl meets Books is happy to host the WINDS OF BETRAYAL, an Adult Historical Fiction series self-published by author Jerri Hines. We’ve got blurbs and excerpts from all the books and a Guest Post from the author as she talks about her inspiration for the entire series. Plus, Giveaways!
The winds of change brews over the colonies. Tension against the crown is mounting daily. In Williamsburg, the rebellion burns strong in the hearts of two siblings, Jonathan and Hannah Corbett. Spirited and headstrong, Hannah finds herself thrust in the middle of a conspiracy when her father receives a strange package from Philadelphia. Jonathan, a physician for the Continental Army, is torn between duty and family. With war looming on the horizon, the siblings soon discover there is a high price to be paid for the cry for freedom.
The Saga continues….
It’s a dangerous game you set to play, Miss Corbett. One that can have far worse than deadly consequences!
In the midst of the struggle of America’s bid for independence, Hannah Corbett makes a fateful decision, descending into a world of deceit. Spurred by revenge, she heads to New York, setting in motion a dangerous game for which there is no return. Searching desperately for the man who betrayed her family, she faces the cold and brutal reality of the life of a spy. Caught in a web of lies, living with betrayal, she is trapped. She has nowhere to turn except to a man it would be treasonous to love, setting duty and desire at war. Her heart is ripped apart when she must choose between the man who risks his career and life to protect her and the only thing that has remained constant in her life…her belief in her cause.
The tides of war have shifted. When all eyes turn south, Doctor Jonathan Corbett finds himself once more thrust into the war’s turmoil. On assignment from General Washington, the dashing doctor discovers his mission has taken him straight into a conflict where the British are not the only ones to be feared.
Rebekah Morse has no time to contemplate the exploding war around her. Caught up as a pawn in a deadly conspiracy, she finds her only hope lies with her old friend, but things have changed since they last saw each other.
Yet destiny has not intervened in their lives without cause. Rebekah’s strength, courage, and breathtaking sensuality set within Jonathan a desire he swore never to feel again. When Rebekah’s life is threatened, Jonathan is determined to save the stubborn woman whether she wants to be saved or not. Now Jonathan and Rebekah must face the perilous threat together—only to discover a passion they never imagined…
Guest Post from Jerri Hines:
INSPIRATION FOR WINDS OF BETRAYAL
Oh, what to write! A dramatic murder suspense? A scary page-turning paranormal? A love story for the ages? So many possibilities run rapid through my mind staring at a blank page. Why then am I drawn to historical suspense? Why does the past conjure up so many tales to be told?
Perhaps I romanticize the past or simply it’s a connection to the past I seek. I know only that I love the challenge of recreating a bit of history. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love history. As you might suspect with my writings, I find the American Revolution utterly fascinating.
So many ideas swirl around my little head when I do research and none more so than when I was doing research for Winds of Betrayal. It was how I discovered the Culper Spy Ring. The more I read, the more fascinated I became with the spy ring. Inspiration! Everything one could wish to write a thriller…action, intrigue, danger, love. So the Winds of Betrayal began loosely based on Washington’s elite spy network.
The danger of living the life of a spy was enormous. They lived with the constant fear of discovery. If discovered, they faced the hangman’s noose as was seen with the death of Nathan Hale. During occupation of New York by the British, Nathan Hale was caught by the Redcoats and hanged without trial. Afterwards, Washington appointed Tallmadge head of the Continental Army’s secret service. With that, Tallmadge established the Culper Spy Ring.
With secrecy being of the utmost importance, Washington never even knew the names of those in the ring. He knew them only by numbers or an alias.
My research led me to speculate about women’s roles during this time. With nothing being more dangerous at that time than spying and the price of being caught for a man was hanging, what about a woman? At the beginning of the war, neither American nor British thought women capable of such a deception. But I believe that women were…and would have been quite efficient in their efforts.
The women seemed to have been just as passionate for their cause as the men of that time. Case and point, Margaret Kemble Gage, American born wife of General Thomas Gage, Commander of the British Army at the beginning of the American Revolution in Boston. Did you know that it was highly suspected that Margaret Gage supplied information to Patriot leaders? It was suspected she may have even given the information that led to the famous ride of Paul Rever. Her punishment…General Gage sent her to England.
Although for another woman, I doubt the punishment would have been as lenient, especially after the war began to turn in favor of the Patriot cause. But without question, I write about strong, opinionated women, who have to overcome adversity to achieve their happiness.
Winds of Betrayal saga is a riveting, captivating historical series. I invite you to be swept away back into the past. Enjoy!
Peter Lanson threw his glass into the fireplace shattering it into a million pieces. Damn it, he was late again. Leaning against the mantle with his hands, he watched the burning flames. He shook his head. The whole of the family destroyed. He had yet to see the girl, but he didn’t even know if anyone would let him. The cousins had descended on the house. One, a reverend from Richmond, the other in the militia, had been called home.
Lanson wheeled around to the voice. Standing in front of him stood a shadow of the girl he remembered in the spring. Dressed in mourning, her face held a hollowed look, her eyes dimmed.
“Miss Corbett?” he asked, surprise within his tone. “I can’t express how deeply I regret what’s happened. My condolences.”
Hannah lifted her hand to stop him. “There is no need. I have no intention to wallow in self-pity. My intention is to see justice is served.”
Lanson stared at the young woman. She stood with a letter tightly held within her hand. He motioned for her to sit, pulling out a chair.
“I can assure you, Miss Corbett, I will do everything in my power for your brother, yourself, and our country.”
“I appreciate your effort, Mr. Lanson. You can well imagine how hard this is for me. Not only losing my mother in the raid, but to find out that my father and brother have been hung as spies.” She choked up and paused to regain her composure.
“I loved my family very much, and I believe strongly in the cause that they have lost their lives for. I can’t shut my eyes at night without seeing Zachary’s eyes, or my mother lying lifeless. I can hear their screams. I feel I’m left with no choice but to do what I can to correct this injustice.”
Lanson walked over to her side, a confused look upon his face. “I’m not quite sure what you want to do.”
The letter clutched tighter within her hand. She looked down at it and then handed it to Lanson.
“I’m no fool, Mr. Lanson. I know my family was betrayed, and it stemmed from my grandfather. Within this letter comes an invitation to live with my grandparents, expressing their concern for my welfare,” Hannah said without a sign of emotion.
Lanson accepted the letter and scanned over it. She watched in silence his reaction. She continued. “My father considered my grandfather a ruthless, unscrupulous man, but he wouldn’t fathom I would betray him.”
Lanson looked up from the paper in front of him. “Miss Corbett, are you proposing you infiltrate your grandfather’s house in hopes of finding our leak? I don’t believe you can comprehend what your grandfather is capable of. He’s a very shrewd man. It’s almost an impossible task in the best of circumstances.”
Hannah halted his words. “I don’t believe you understand me, Mr. Lanson. My mind is fixed. If it takes everything I have within me, I’m going to avenge my family’s deaths with or without your help.”
* * * *
Peter Lanson studied the young woman in front of him. He didn’t like this, but there wasn’t much as of late that he did. Hannah stood before him with the look of a sacrificial virgin; her long hair flowing, her sad eyes…willingly, walking blindly into a fire. In their first meeting he had promised her nothing, but after meeting with Nathaniel Sackett, now directing what was left of their counterintelligence, the decision had been made to proceed.
“Set it up, Lanson,” Sackett said as he sat across the desk from him. “Have contacts readied for her, and an escape plan. Prepare her the best you can. I believe she’s correct in her assumption her grandfather wouldn’t suspect. In this arrogance, we may be able to find a foothold. Find the leak and get her out.”
It sounded so simple, but he knew Clay well from previous dealings. Not only was he a shrewd man, but an extremely dangerous one. Lanson had confidence that Clay had helped the British infiltrate the Corbett’s home, but the pressing problem remained the leak in the first place. How had the British known that Corbett had the device to begin with?
Clay, long known for his stance behind the crown, arranged for Hannah’s move to New York. For this same man to have enacted his revenge against her father, which included his own grandson, Lanson wondered how cold his blood ran. But did Clay have access to the leak they were seeking?
He didn’t know. And now he allowed this unseasoned young woman to enter this game he knew so well…that her actions could have far worse than deadly consequences.
Hannah was disturbed beyond measure. Since the British occupation, Marcus Durham had become a frequent visitor to the Clay’s mansion. Without question, his attention was directed on her. Having been left alone in New York without a contact hadn’t been easy. She knew well she walked on dangerous ground, and Marcus only added to the pressure upon her.
She had been cut off from Tepper. He remained in a holding prison where the British continued their questioning of him. Of that she knew, but not much more. The British now held several suspected of being loyal to the Patriot cause.
Hannah sensed Marcus’ desire to find out why she stayed in New York and she enjoyed the challenge. In a sense, she liked the thrill of the game… a game where she made the rules. She was disturbed, though, by the way she felt at times he could read her mind and seemed to know her every thought.
Susanna had questioned Marcus’ attentions, but Hannah understood he suspected she was here for more than a visit with her sick grandmother. She made up her mind she wouldn’t be intimidated by his presence, though she would wager his attention toward her was an attempt to do so. She would never allow him to come between her and her objective.
Marcus seemed to take great pleasure in taunting her. She would never confess even to herself the flutter in her heart when he danced with her or held her hand in his. Nor would she ever acknowledge that the way he looked upon her took her back to their first meeting, when his arms had wrapped around her and his lips met hers… No, she reprimanded herself harshly. How could she feel so with poor Gabriel out fighting for their cause?
She had a mission. She would take solace in the fact her grandfather’s manner toward her had eased greatly. His excitement with the appearance of the British within New York set his mood high. And at the moment, he gave little thought to her for her grandmother seemed content.
An unseasonably warm early November morning found Hannah in her grandmother’s garden. Having risen early, she had in mind to plant tulip bulbs outside the old woman’s window. She wanted it to be a surprise for her grandmother in the spring. With the emergence of flowers blooming beautifully, Hannah was confident her grandmother’s spirits would lift, as would her own.
A memory of her home in Williamsburg surged within her. Briefly, she wondered how her home looked now. Her heart pained. In her usual manner of dealing with that pain, she pushed it all back within her. She refused herself the remembrance. She had a mission. She had no time to grieve or her heart would rip apart.
She looked up from the ground where she sat. Marcus stood in front of her. He wasn’t dressed as a British officer. Instead, he was dressed as she had first seen him. Was he going out again to deceive others into betraying their cause?
Marcus smiled at her, a charming, disarming smile. Giving her no time to contemplate his visit, he extended his hand to her. She pulled her gloves off and accepted his assistance, more than a little suspicious of his intent. With ease, he pulled her up to him… much too close. She wanted to back away, but he held firm. His eyes fixed upon hers.
“I was looking for you. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard, but I wanted a minute of your time. I felt certain you would be up and about.”
“You are up early, Marcus. You will have to excuse my appearance. I wasn’t expecting anyone to call at this time of the morning. I do hope you will forgive me, but I’m in the midst of planting bulbs. Grandmother loves flowers. I was hoping for blooms in the spring for her. I know she will so enjoy them.”
He didn’t say a word, just wiped her face where a streak of dirt lay. His hand lingered longer than it should. She glanced up at him only to find him staring deep into her eyes. She wanted desperately to turn from his gaze, but she dare not show a sign of weakness. Still, she could not contain her heart beating rapidly.
“You’ve a purpose to this visit, Marcus?” she asked, finding her voice. “Or do you want to see Grandfather? I’m sure he’s within his study.”
“No, it’s you I wanted to see,” he answered under his breath. Suddenly, his hands went securely around her waist.
“Marcus,” she protested. Her hands pushed against his chest. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I find that I must once more depart. And I have only one question for you, Hannah. Are you going to be here on my return?” He drew her closer. “I wonder. I wonder if you will remember what it is like to have my arms around you as they are now. I wonder if you will dream of me while I’m gone.”
“Please release me, you arrogant man!” she pleaded. “Someone will see.”
“That’s no answer,” he whispered. She wanted to jerk away and run… run far away from him, but she found herself helpless as he pushed her back against the wall of the house. “You’re a strange one, Hannah Corbett. Why are you really here?”
“I have told you, my grandmother,” she murmured, finding it difficult to find her words. “Is that so hard to believe?”
He held her gently, but firmly. “I know what you told me, Hannah. How you wanted to leave before the invasion and would do so now. It’s just… I imagine if you really wanted to leave, you would do so. And now I find it hard to leave you. I can imagine all sorts of trouble you could find yourself in.”
“I don’t believe it’s your concern, Marcus. I wish you well in your journey.” Her tone held no trace of the emotion raging within her. She twisted, but his grip only tightened. He pulled her to him.
Her protests faded away as his lips came down hard upon hers. She could feel a fire within him as his mouth claimed hers. And then to her horror she found herself responding to him. Her hands, which once pushed against him, trying to resist, opened freely and she pulled him to her. Her body betrayed her mind, melting into his… his touch, his kiss. His mouth kissed her cheeks, her neck, and back up to her lips again.
She couldn’t breathe. Her chest heaving, she finally broke away. Ashamed she responded so, she found she had no words. Oh, what was she going to say that her body had so willfully denied with his touch. He caressed her cheek again.
“You make it hard to leave, Hannah Corbett.” Lowering his head to hers, his lips touched hers delicately. He whispered against her lips, “This I promise you. I have restrained myself. If you are here upon my return, I will do so no more. I give you fair warning. I want you.”
He kissed her again, ravishing her mouth until she surrendered to the moment. He kissed her neck, her pulse, and caressed the front of her bodice. Shocked overwhelmed her when she felt his hand boldly cup her breast. Then abruptly, he stopped. “You made me almost lose my head, my love. Remember my words.”
He kissed her once more. Then without another word, he departed. She could do nothing but stare after him with an open mouth.
She needed not hear anymore. She spun on her heels, castigating herself as an absolute idiot. Rory was after her! Oh, what a fool she had been! She backed up, knocking into the table in the hall. The vase came crashing down. Trembling uncontrollably, she edged down the wall. Hearing hurried footsteps, fear encompassed her when she saw two men running up the staircase. Rory’s men! She panicked.Bolting in the opposite direction, she headed for the back stairs. Her hope of slipping down the stairs undetected dissipated hearing the rumblings behind her. Rebekah quickened her pace, rapidly taking each step until she hit the first floor. She hit the back door running, struck by an impelling urge to get as far from the inn as possible.
Fleeing through the rainstormed night, she tried to peer through the pouring rain. She had gone some distance when she gasped for breath. Leaning against a brick building, she hadn’t a clue where she had run. Clasping her side against the pain, she blinked away the water streaming down her face, not knowing whether it was the rain or tears.
Suddenly a hand grasped her shoulder…
“Rebekah!” Jonathan fought the wind. Doubting she could hear him, he ignored the pelleting rain and rushed forward, grabbing her arm. In one swift motion, he swirled her around to face him.
Instantly, a look of sheer terror swept across her face. Slowly, recognition flooded her. She gripped tightly to his arm. “Oh, Jonathan!”
The next moment she collapsed into his arms. He wasted no time, but carried her down the street into the waiting carriage. A large black man quickly opened the carriage door for Jonathan. “Is she…?”
“She’s fine. She has only just fainted…”
“Jasper, Dr. Corbett, Jasper,” the old man said and closed the carriage’s door, but not before Jonathan heard the servant utter, “Thank the good Lord.”
Jonathan wrapped a blanket around Rebekah while he felt the wheels of the carriage move beneath him. He drew her into his arms and instinctually, she nestled into him. He stroked her head. As much as she claimed she had changed, she still inspired love and loyalty into those around her.
The wind picked up, shaking the carriage; the rain pounded harder. He was drenched and soaked. Strange—warmth spread through him he hadn’t felt in years.
“Jasper.” Jonathan set Rebekah down in the middle of her bedroom. A young blackie girl followed, frantically crying that her mistress was dead. No, Rebekah wasn’t dead, he thought. She had wakened and she wasn’t happy. “Jasper, shut the door and keep everyone else out.”
“Oh, Mistress Esther won’t like that none,” Rebekah’s maid uttered. “No sir.”
Jonathan shot her a look that silenced the girl. Rebekah pushed back from Jonathan, stumbling. Reaching out, he caught her arm. “Be careful,” he said in a harsh voice, his patience lost.
“Leave,” she answered his behavior. “You have done your duty.”
“Duty?” Jonathan’s voice rose. “Duty? You call looking for you in the midst of a torrential storm duty? Where was your head, Rebekah?”
“You would not understand,” she said. Her eyes flamed at him, but her hand reached down for her midriff; her hand trembled.
Immediately, he swept her back into his arms and carried her to the side of her bed. He motioned for the maid to step forward. “Get her dry clothes! She is to be put to bed.”
“Sully,” Rebekah said. “It is fine. I need only to get out of these wet clothes.”
Sully nodded, but fear shone in her eyes at Jonathan. She skirted to the wardrobe and withdrew a nightgown. Turning, she waited for Jonathan to leave, but he made no movement.
“If you don’t get her out of these wet clothes, I will.”
The young maid looked at Rebekah inquiringly, reluctant to begin undressing her mistress in front of a man.
“It is fine, Sully,” Rebekah said as she slung off her cloak. “Obviously, Dr. Corbett feels it is his duty.”
“I do.” Jonathan walked to the door. “I will be right outside. This is not over, Rebekah.”
He slammed the door behind him, shaking the wall. He found Jasper in the hall with a set of dry clothes for him. “Mistress Esther left these for you. You can change in the room down the corridor. I’ll take your boots to dry. It was some of Mistress Esther’s husband’s. Master Ian’s would be too small. She sent word to the others that Rebekah’s been found. I’ll stay here and make sure no one enters.”
“And Mistress Esther?” Jonathan asked.
“Said you can deal with Miss Rebekah.”
About the Author:
One can find other historical series under her name of Jerri Hines. She has a historical romance series, the Tides of Charleston: The Judas Kiss, the Promise, and Another Night Falls with Whiskey Creek Press. She also has a historical fiction series the Winds of Betrayal: The Cry For Freedom, Embrace of the Enemy, Kiss of Deceit, and coming 2014, The Heavens shall Fall.
Colleen Connally is one of the pen names of Jerri Hines. Under Colleen Connally, she has written a historical romance series, Secret Lives, which is riddled with romantic suspense and a touch of paranormal. The Secret Lives Series consist of Seductive Secrets , Broken Legacy, and now Seductive Lies. Fragmented, Book One Boston’s Crimes of Passion, marks MsConnally’s first contemporary suspense thriller.
She began using a pen name, Carrie James Haynes, when she released the fantasy saga, Whispers of a Legend. Shadows of the Past (free ebook) is the first in the series. She is excited about Whispers of a Legend, a sweeping epic fantasy saga filled with adventure and romance. Whispers of a Legend, Part One-Shadows of the Past and Part Two- The Path Now Turned, Part Three- Vision of Destiny, and Part Four-Time of the Nuxvenom has been released. She also has released a paranormal suspense, Dreamscape.
Connect with Jerri Hines:
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