The Smuggler’s Escape
By Barbara Monajem
After escaping the guillotine, Noelle de Vallon takes refuge with her aunt in England. Determined to make her own way, she joins the local smugglers, but when their plans are uncovered, Richard, Lord Boltwood steps out of the shadows to save her. Too bad he’s the last man on earth she ever wanted to see again.
Years ago, Richard Boltwood’s plan to marry Noelle was foiled when his ruthless father shipped him to the Continent to work in espionage. But with the old man at death’s door, Richard returns to England with one final mission: to catch a spy. And Noelle is the prime suspect.
Noelle needs Richard’s help, but how can she ever trust the man who abandoned her? And how can Richard catch the real culprit while protecting the woman who stole his heart and won’t forgive him for breaking hers?
*Giveaway is now closed.
*Giveaway is now closed.
Barbara Monajem is giving away one Kindle copies of her fabulous book
Love and the Shameless Lady
All you need to do is answer this question:
If you lived in a smuggling village in the late 1700s,
which role would you prefer?
(For example, you could be a sailor smuggler, land smuggler, investor, lookout, decoy, innocent citizen looking the other way, revenue agent, or some other role I haven't thought of.)
• Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.
• Giveaway ends at 11:59pm BST on October 30th .
You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Giveaway is only open Internationally.
•Only one entry per household.
• All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
•Winners will be announced in the comments.
Pick up your copy of
The Smuggler’s Escape
A Smugglers life…
It’s a dark night – no moon – the best sort of night for a smuggler.
Yes, that’s what you are, but you don’t think of it as a crime. The government tariffs on French brandy (and other goods, such as tea, lace, tobacco and other spirits) are unfairly high, so almost everyone prefers to buy from the smugglers at a far better price. You’re an ordinary, mostly law-abiding citizen, but like everyone else in your English coastal village, your income from smuggling makes all the difference between poverty and a degree of comfort.
Sometimes smuggling turns violent, such as in the large gangs down the coast who will stop at nothing, even murder, to get the smuggled goods to their destination. But you’re not a violent sort. Yours is a small band funded by local investors, and you do your best to avoid clashes with the revenue men. Although you’re always a bit nervous when headed out for a smuggling run—because the penalty, if you are captured, is transportation at best or hanging at worst—you gird your loins and creep into the darkness to play your part. The smuggling vessel awaits in the cove. You may do one of many jobs. Perhaps you’ll row out to take tubs of brandy from the boat, or perhaps you’ll load the ponies on the shore. Maybe you’ll lead the string of ponies along sunken roads in the pitch darkness, taking the brandy to its destination—or to a hiding place along the way.
Why a hiding place? Because the revenue men are out tonight, hoping to catch you, while you do your best to evade them. There are many, many places to cache the brandy, because you never know when or where you’ll have to change plans. Your leader posts lookouts everywhere along the route, with secret signals to warn you if revenue men are nearby. Decoys—sometimes women—do their best to lead the revenuers away from the contraband, and other citizens, even the vicar, pretend they never saw you pass by. You press on, alert for the quack of a duck, the call of an owl, the flash of a lantern. Maybe you’ll have to cache the brandy in a cave by the sea. Or maybe you’ll take a detour on land and hide the brandy in a stable, a shed, a dovecote, or a table tomb in the churchyard, to be retrieved some other night.
But if you’re lucky, you’ll make it through and deliver the brandy safely, either to a distribution point from which it will be taken to the London market, or to local customers such as a wealthy landowner or an inn. Afterwards, you and your mates will head to the tavern for a celebratory tankard of ale, before going home for a deep sleep of satisfaction and relief. You foiled the revenuers once again!
Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young, then moved on to paranormal mysteries and Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Regency mysteries are next on the agenda.
Barbara loves to cook, especially soups. She used to have two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding (because it was too weird to resist) and to succeed at knitting socks. She managed the first (it was dreadful) but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.