Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Mystery - Napoleonic Espionage

HIGHLANDER’S HOPE-Historical Suspense
by Collette Cameron

“Highlander’s Hope is set in the post Napoleonic War period. The plot revolves around a covert group of agents, the Diplomatic Corps. Much like espionage today, spies and agents continued to function even during peace times.

Heiress, Yvette Stapleton fled Boston MA after a suspicious riding accident nearly kills her, and both her parents suddenly become ill and die. She suspects her stepbrother, Edgar Marquardt, is responsible for both events. What she doesn’t know is Edgar was a spy during the English’s war with the French. He’s being hunted by Viscount Sethwick, Ewan McTavish—also a Scottish laird—as well as other agents in the War Office’s Diplomatic Corps. Someone besides Ewan knows Edgar’s dirty little secret and is blackmailing him.  
The Diplomatic Corps is covert group of bachelors who are intimates with the War Secretary and the Prince Regent himself. Their elite status permits them access to state secrets. One of their members continues to use his prestigious position to conceal his treasonous actions during the war. He is systematically eliminating every agent or informant who suspects his identity. Ewan is determined to discover who the spymaster is.

The closer he gets to exposing the traitor, the more agents meet a violent end.

Ewan unwittingly draws Yvette into deadly peril and international intrigue when he agrees to escort her to Northumberland. He danced with her once, two years ago, and she’s haunted him ever since. She’s also the common thread between Marquardt, the Diplomatic Corps’ traitor, and a hired Italian assassin, Pauline Borghese. When multiple attempts are made to abduct Yvette, Ewan escapes with her to his ancestral home, Craiglocky, where he is confident he can protect her.

During their flight, they are forced to seek shelter in an unsavory inn. To prevent Yvette from being ravished, Ewan exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding. She’s even more outraged when he refuses to allow her to leave Scotland. He knows those pursuing them haven’t given up, and even at Craiglocky, danger lurks.

It’s only by trusting on another they survive betrayal and murder, and at last acknowledge their love for one another.

About Collette:
In February 2011, Collette decided to sit down and write a Regency suspense romance. She wrote HIGHLANDER'S HOPE, the first book in her Blue Rose Trilogy. It releases from Soul Mate Publishing in May 2013. She has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master's in Teaching. She's been married for almost 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Her puppy, Ayva, sits on her lap while she writes. Ayva also nibbles at and lies on the keyboard. Collette loves a good joke, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. She just finished THE VISCOUNT'S VOW, the second book in the series. It releases from Soul Mate Publishing next year. You'll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.

Rising, Yancy walked to the multi-paned window dominating the wall behind his desk. “I wasn't exaggerating when I said Prinny was livid. He raged, You couldn't see a snake beneath your nose, Mr. War Secretary!”
Sagging against the sash, Yancy stared out the window.  “That's what gave me the idea.”
He spoke so quietly, Ewan had to strain to hear.
Yancy swung his jungle gaze around to meet Ewan’s. “I suspect we’ve hunted too far abroad for our spymaster. This last death is too coincidental.” The urgent message his stare conveyed caused Ewan to suck in a great gulp of air.
Plopping into chair opposite Yancy’s desk, Ewan leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. He furrowed his forehead in worry. “You mean one of us?”
Yancy responded with a curt inclination of his head.
Ewan struggled to control his anger, though he was sure Yancy could see the outrage simmering in his eyes. He could feel it strumming through his veins.
“The devil you say? It stands to reason, though. That’s why our traitor has always been one step ahead, how he’s continued to elude us. Why our agents and informants have gone missing.” Ewan slammed his fist into his palm. “Because, the damn fools trusted him.”
Yancy nodded his head. “As have we all.” His lips twitched. “By-the-by, I do like how your brogue becomes pronounced when you're agitated.”
He reclined in his chair and closed his eyes.
Ewan rose and began pacing the length of the War Office.
After several moments, Yancy murmured tiredly, “Do stop pacing. You’re wearing a path in my expensive Persian carpet.”
Ewan waved his hand dismissively. His steps slowed. Facing his friend, he didn’t mince words. “This,” he spread his hands, “stays between us. I don’t need to tell you how dangerous this could be if you’re proven right. If ‘tis one of us, he has access to the same information we do.
 Hands fisted, Ewan closed his eyes. “We are all targets. Even the Regent.”


Soul Mate Publishing Author's Blog:


Caroline Clemmons said...

This is not a period I write, but it's one I love reading. Yours sounds like a great story, so I'll add it to my TBR list. Wishing you continued success.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read this book. You started writing a few months before I did, and in the same way. I tweeted.

Christy C said...

Like Caroline, I don't write this period, but you make it sound so deliciously interesting that I want to! :) Nothing like war and spies and Scotland to catch a reader's interest. Like many others, I can't wait to read this book!

Melissa Keir said...

Who wouldn't fall in love with a hot guy who is out to protect the country?

I wish you many sales!


Ally Broadfield said...

This sounds fabulous! I'm in the middle of editing a secret agent type book that takes place during the war, just before Napoleon invades Russia. This is just the sort of book I love to read!

Gerri Bowen said...

This sounds like something I would enjoy, Collette!

Anonymous said...

Thank you ladies for your kind words! It was a bit of a stretch for me to include the post-war spy element. But after doing some intense research, I found that just like today, spies were doing their thing even during peace times.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, spies! How did I not know this book also had spies? Now I'm doubly hooked. Scotland, amazing hero, strong heroine, and spies. May is way too long to wait for this. :)

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

As other have asked, we have to wait until May? Sounds like a winner, Collette!

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt

bn100candg at hotmail dot com