Welcome back to our week long event - Historical Romance Week - lovelies! And we can't have an historical romance anything without inviting author Amanda Forester. Please give her a warm welcome as she joins us with her recent release of the second book in her Marriage Mart series, A Midsummer Bride!
Here is an excerpt from the opening scene of Midsummer Bride by Amanda Forester:
The ship was going down. And since she was on said doomed vessel, the situation was most inconvenient.
The ship’s normal sway across the water ceased and it began to list to the port side. Harriet and Nellie had taken refuge in their cabin when the enemy frigate began to fire. Now the shouts and shots and clangs of battle raged on the main deck above them.
Harriet held tight to the bunk, trying to steady her balance and her nerves. Her father was a renowned American sea captain and had once told her he laughed in the face of battle. Harriet was a long way from laughing, but she was determined to keep a level head.
“I am sure it will be well,” soothed Harriet, trying to think of something comforting to say to her longtime maid, Nellie. Neither lady believed it.
“Trouble, the both of you,” muttered Nellie. “You are just like your mother.”
“You cannot possibly blame this on me,” defended Harriet. “All I wanted to do was go to New York to meet my parents. I have no idea where that English frigate came from.”
All became deadly quiet and the ship’s list became more pronounced. Harriet’s pulse raced. She had been on ships all her life, though never in a sea battle, and this movement of the ship was unknown to her. It scared her in a way that sickened her stomach. The only thing between them and the ice-cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean was heading to the bottom of the sea. If they didn’t want to go with it, they needed to get out of their cabin and abandon ship.
“We must get on deck,” said Harriet with what she hoped was calming cheerfulness.
“No! We’ll be killed,” gasped Nellie.
“Sounds like the battle is over. Hopefully we will find our dear Captain Wentworth has repelled these English scum. But either way, we need to get to the decks.” And find a lifeboat. She spared Nellie that last concern, the poor woman was terrified enough as it was. Truth be told, so was she.
Harriet led Nellie through the narrow passageway, which proved difficult. Furniture and stores and belongings had been thrown about, and they were forced to crawl over the debris and up the steep narrow stairs to find the main deck. Harriet had to use some muscle to clear enough of a path, but the thought of being trapped on a sinking ship was more than enough motivation to get her in the mood for a bit of exertion.
After some struggle, she reached daylight and slowly peeked out of the hatch. The main deck of their merchant brig was unrecognizable. The main mast had been struck and hung down at an odd angle; the canvas sails and rigging now littered the deck. The English warship was lashed to the side of their vessel. Much to Harriet’s distress, English sailors had taken command of their ship and were forcing the American sailors into a line.
This was supposed to be a quick sail from Boston to New York, where she would join her parents. How could it go so wrong? And why would an English ship attack them?
Although the situation Harriet Redgrave found herself when her American ship was attacked by an English frigate may seem farfetched, it is actually historically based. I often get my best inspiration for stories by ready history, which often seems more implausible than fiction!
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy routinely turned to impressments (the taking of sailors by force to serve in the navy) in order to man their 600 ship fleet. Press gangs could operate both on land and at sea. I had heard of press gangs operating in port towns, pressing British sailors into service, but I was not aware that by British law, any officer of the Royal Navy could, if the need arose, stop another seagoing vessel and press eligible men into service of the navy.
In the early 19th Century, British frigates stationed themselves outside U.S. harbors in order to search American vessels for contraband or men they considered eligible for impressments. Since Britain did not recognize American naturalized citizenship, they considered anyone of British descent to be fair game for impressments. In 1807 the American frigate, the USS Chesapeake, was attacked and boarded by a British warship and four sailors taken as deserters, one later put to death. These incidents outraged Americans and became one of the reasons America declared war on England during the war of 1812.
What is your favorite era to explore in historical romance? Have you ever learned little known historical facts by reading fiction? Comment for a chance to win a copy of Midsummer Bride!
Thanks so much for inviting me. I hope a little Midsummer Bride will warm your hearts this holiday season! I love to hear from readers so come visit me at my website, facebook, or twitter.
A Midsummer Bride
(Marriage Mart #2)
by Amanda Forester
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N
Love is one experiment this scientist hasn't tested...
Miss Harriet Burton, a horrendously rich American heiress, laughs too loud, states her opinion directly, and even conducts science experiments. Her uncle is desperate to get her off his hands and is offering a king's ransom to anyone able to arrange a suitable marriage that comes with a title.
To avoid marriage, Harriet swears off all men, until she meets Duncan Maclachlan, Earl of Thornton. But when Thornton is falsely accused of being a traitor, Harriet must use her knowledge of chemistry to find the real culprit and spark true romance.
Sourcebooks is giving away one copy of A Midsummer Bride to one reader, US/CA only please. To enter, just leave a comment on this post answering the author's question and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Love Amanda's books. I have had this one on my TBR list for a couple of weeks. I can't wait to start reading it. ThanksReplyDelete
I love this eraReplyDelete
congrats to Amanda on the new release! Looks and sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing ;)ReplyDelete
I enjoy reading about any era but I'm partial to the regency era. And yes I've learned some interesting facts from reading historical fiction.ReplyDelete
I enjoy reading about medieval times. I have learned some unusual facts from my reading.ReplyDelete
uhoh - I missed the first books - I've got some catching up to do!ReplyDelete
My favorite era(s) in historical romance are regency and Highland. I've also read Victorian, Georgian, Welsh and Irish historicals and I like those too. Pretty much it's all in the British Isles! And yes, I've learned historical facts I did not previously know in the fiction I've read. Sometimes I check it out online if I have doubts about what I've read. Thanks for the question!ReplyDelete
I have been wanting to read this author for quite some time, and the covers are so pretty. My favorite era?? That is so difficult, I really love early colonial times, I do enjoy medieval as well. You learn so many cool facts from reading historical's especially when its in the right setting and the facts of history go into the story. Thanks for sharing!!ReplyDelete
I'm a big fan of the regency era, I love reading all the different aspects from dress to the way they spoke and compare it to now.ReplyDelete
I enjoy regency time period the best but I also like to read about medieval times and the time of the Highlanders. Really, who doesn't love a Highlander?? :)ReplyDelete
It looks like a really good read.ReplyDelete
Like highlander and and Jane Austen regency type novels.
Congrats to Amanda on the new release.ReplyDelete
I love Scottish Historical Romance and Regency Romance first but real almost all genres. I always say that I have learned more History from my historical reads then when I was in school.
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com
I love a whole variety of eras. Each has its own quirks.ReplyDelete
I like the Victorian era, as well as the Edwardian and Regency. I think there's something to be said for just about every era that an author wants to write about, and I have learned lots of historical tidbits from reading historical romance.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to read this one!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the chance to win!
Who does't love a smart heroine? I love them so much because it would just ruin the story for me with a clueless heroine. And the hero is a Scottish man as well...now that is an added bonus. I can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete