Tell us a little bit about your release.
“Hope’s Betrayal” is a historical romance set against the background of smuggling on the south coast of England. Captain George Huntley is a man of honor, governed by his duty to King and country. He has been assigned to stamp out a notorious smuggling ring, but when he captures one of their number and discovers ‘he’ is actually a ‘she’, Hope Tyler, his troubles are only just beginning.
When Hope and Huntley fall in love, theirs is a difficult destiny to follow, since love on opposite sides of the law means either court-marshal or Hope betraying her family.
What was your inspiration for this story?
The idea for “Hope’s Betrayal” came from seeing a cottage on the Isle of Wight, where in the 18th century, a smuggler’s daughter lived. Local folk lore had it that this young woman was so beautiful, that when she was caught red-handed on a smuggling run, the officer couldn’t bring himself to arrest her.
This set me thinking about how a woman might use her looks to evade justice, and this led onto to wondering about the price to be paid, when people on opposite sides of the law fell in love.
I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?
I’m like you and think character names are incredibly important. Indeed, it is the name that defines the character and I don’t start thinking about the plot until I have a firm idea of the characters involved.
In the case of “Hope’s Betrayal”, the hero Captain George Huntley, needed to have a solid, dependable name. His surname was already decided (book two in the Huntley trilogy) – but again, Huntley was chosen because it implies action, skill and cunning – so George it was.
Hope’s name came about because I wanted to imply striving, that the heroine wanted a better future and yet was somehow vulnerable.
Oh yes, “Hope’s Betrayal” is book two in the Huntley trilogy, and book three, “Verity’s Lie” has a provisional release date in two months time.
“Verity’s Lie” is the story of the eldest brother, Lord Charles Huntley – rake and secret agent.
Lord Charles Huntley, notorious rogue…and secret agent. His latest assignment is to protect a politician’s daughter, Verity Verrinder, while her father negotiates an alliance against Napoleon. Huntley embarks on a campaign of seduction to keep Verity under his watchful eye, but hasn’t anticipated falling in love with his charge.
When Lord Huntley turns his bone-melting charms on her, Verity suspects she’s exchanging an overbearing parent, for a domineering rogue. Denying her attraction to the handsome Huntley, Verity goes in search of freedom, only to run into the clutches of French kidnappers. This leaves Lord Huntley with a stark choice between saving Britain’s peace negotiations or the life of the only woman he has ever loved.
Who was the first romance author and book you read?
This was “Prince Charming” by Gaelen Foley.
What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
I have a none-existent sense of balance, so the bravest thing I’ve every done was to visit a dry-ski slope. It was terrifying! I hated having the ground slipping past and kept falling over. OK, so this isn’t exactly dare-devil – not in the grand scheme of things – but it was for me. (I’m also wise enough never to go again!)
Now, Lightning Round:
What is your favorite amusement park ride?
Dragon ride – Legoland.
Tea or coffee?
French manicure or color (and if color, what color)?
You’ve hit a nerve here because I’d love to have beautifully manicured nails, but my ‘day job’ prevents it. I’m a veterinarian, as well as an author, and so my fingernails have to be nude – no polish allowed since I have to scrub up for ops and flakes of nail varnish would pose an infection risk.
Beach or mountains?
Beach – but to walk, not sun-bathe.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate – every time!
Boxers, briefs or commando?
Comfy briefs I’m afraid!
Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color)
Dark brown with a floppy fringe…
Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?
I am absolutely terrified of heights. So much so, that I froze whilst on the ramparts of Warwick Castle. When I looked over the wall it was as if the ground was pulling me towards it. The only way I could get down was so sit on my bottom and shuffle.
So scuba diving it is!
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London?
London – which is just as well because I live within commuting distance. One of my favorite hobbies is to explore London’s lesser known historic sites. Recently I went to St James’s Street, where the famous Georgian gentlemen’s clubs, White’s, Brooke’s and Boodle’s used to be, to see how things had changed. Next I intend to visit the Tower of London (not a one way trip, I hope.)
What’s the one thing you would never do?
Jump out of a perfectly good plane. Parachuting is definitely not for me!
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!
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 of England. 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.
Lass Not a Lad.- Captain Huntley Makes a Discovery About his Prisoner.
Alone with his prisoner the Captain set to work, his face all harsh angles in the lamplight.
First to stem the bleeding. Working with deft hands, he pulled the bloodstained scarf from the felon’s head. Surprise registered, as he noted the delicate ears and elegant neck. The boy’s hair gleamed like polished-coal in the lamplight; tied back in a pony tail, black-as-the-devil’s heart.
Huntley reached for a rag to wipe blood from the boy’s eyes and cheek. Soft skin emerged from beneath the clotted mess. The boy was young…a round face with pointed chin, a tipped nose …and lips, softly parted and provocatively plump….just ripe for kissing. A flush of heat warmed Huntley’s cheeks. What was he thinking?
Wiping his sleeve across his eyes he forced himself to continue. He bathed the laceration, cleaning away sand and blood. Something about this lad had stirred deep emotions and the captain didn’t like it one little bit. He glanced toward the door, not wanting to be alone with the smuggler and these strange feelings he stirred.
“What the devil’s taking that wench so long?”
The fire was crackling nicely now, steam rising from the lad’s clothes. But it wasn’t warm enough; cold could kill every bit as much as blood loss.
”Hell’s teeth, do I have to do everything myself?”
With rising irritation, Huntley set to stripping the lad of his wet clothes.
He peeled back the patched jacket, twice its weight with water, and dropped it to the floor. A patched and frayed shirt, sticky with blood, clung to the lad’s lean frame. Huntley tugged the shirt-tail free of the lad’s sodden breeches and off over his head, with the result that the Captain’s pulse raced alarmingly.
“Get a grip, man.” Huntley muttered.
The lad had unexpectedly slim shoulders, a silver stiletto strapped to his thin upper arm.
Unsheathing the knife he held the elegant blade toward the firelight; a finely crafted weapon of silver filigree over an ivory handle— a lady’s weapon, and obviously expensive.
“Who did you steal this from, then?”
Placing the stiletto safely out of reach, he turned back to the table. Stripped of his shirt, it seemed the lad had broken ribs, for his chest was strapped. The bindings were soaked and must come off. Shifting the unconscious lad into a sitting position, balancing him against his shoulder, Huntley unwound the bandages.
As he lay the lad back down on the table, Huntley was suddenly struck by the peculiar shadows playing across the boy’s chest. A flush of blood heated his cheeks. That explained a lot! Huntley’s mouth dropped open; he threw back his head and laughed aloud with relief.
“Tis not a lad….but a lass!”
Alone in the scullery with a half-naked girl…no, not a girl, for she had the soft curves of a woman. Huntley took a step back. The sense of relief was overwhelming, that it was a woman who had excited his body so. He looked around for someone to share his astonishment, but the maid had not yet returned.
In his experience women were tiresome, wearisome creatures that sapped the spirit and drained the mind, but he studied this one with interest. Dark lashes lay brushed against her cheek, an almost catlike tilt to her closed eyes. Her skin was clear, fresh, and unblemished. Her face was wide, round even, but with a pointed chin and a nose turned up at the end. In all he decided, she was beautiful with the stubbornness of a mule and fragility of a china doll. She had been a worthy advisory on the dunes; agile, brave and resourceful and it thrilled him to the core. Lost in thought ,Huntley shrugged off his outer coat and covered her over, then removed himself to a respectable distance.
Nothing had changed, he told himself. She was a felon and would pay the penalty demanded by law. And if Huntley felt uneasy at the prospect he suppressed the emotion, it was just that he had to get used to the notion of interrogating a woman.