Monday 16 July 2012

Inspired by Britain by Grace Elliot

            Hello! My name is Grace Elliot and it seems appropriate visiting a blog titled "British Romance Fiction" to post about how British scenery provided the inspiration for my latest historical romance, "Hope's Betrayal."
            I love the Isle of Wight and it's a favourite bolt hole for me and my family. The irony is that I worked in Portsmouth for seven years, within sight of the island, and never once visited. It took moving to London and a dinosaur-mad son wanting to visit the newly opened Dinosaur World Museum in Sandown, IOW, for us to take our first holiday there, and now we go back at least once a year - but I digress!
            We stay on the coast near an area of notoriously treachorous shallows, where the beaches shelve for miles out to sea making navigation difficult at anything other than full high tide. It is only as the tide runs off that the hidden twisting channels are revealed, like silver-ribbons at twilight, and it is these hidden waterways that offered a passage for seasoned sailors over three hundred years ago. In the Britain of the late 1700's, the local fishermen knew these passages and it meant that if they turned to smuggling, they could run rings around the Revenue men who grounded their boats in pursuit.
            Even to this day, walking across the Duver out towards St Helens beach, you can still get a strong sense of the history of the place. It doesn’t take much imagination to walk along the causeway at nighttime with a torch and wonder at the skill and nerve of those fishermen who navigated the waterways in total darkness. And then there is the village green, with it's cluster of stone cottages where the fishermen of old used to live. If you are anything like me you can stare at them for hours, waiting for the stones to surrender their secrets.
            This wonderful setting comes with its own history and local folk lore - and that's where the inspiration for "Hope's Betrayal" came from. One local story is that a local girl, a fisherman's daughter, helped her father with his illicit smuggling. The Revenue men suspected him, but couldn’t prove anything so they stationed an undercover officer on the Island. But the story goes that the smuggler's daughter was so beautiful that the officer fell in love and when she was caught on a raid, he couldn’t bear to arrest her and let her go.
            The storyline to "Hope's Betrayal" was triggered by the idea of two people on opposite sides of the law falling for each other. The clash of morals would challenge and test their attraction, not to mention having a profound impact on their families and colleagues. The result is story about smuggling, human nature and…betrayal.

Book Blurb and buy links.

Hope's Betrayal (#2 The Huntley Trilogy.)

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.

Available from:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



Author Bio.

            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!

Social Links.
Grace Elliot (blog) "Fall in Love With History."

Grace Elliot website

Grace Elliot Facebook



Grace Elliot said...

Thank you for hosting me,
Grace x

Barbara Elsborg said...

It's ages since I went to the Isle of Wight. I do think little islands are fascinating places. Your story sounds great!