Friday, 29 October 2010

Guest Blogger Jerri Hines

Because I am procrastinating (quarterly reports breathing down my neck), and I think this is a fabulous book (and I love the cover!), I invited Wild Child author Jerri Hines to tell us a little bit about her new release Patriot Secrets. So without further ado, here's Jerri.

I first wrote Patriot Secrets well over ten years ago. After Dream Walker was published in 2008, I went back to it and decided to revise it. Soon, I realized there was no way to finish the story in one book. So I decided to make a series out of the manuscript. During my research for Patriot Secrets, I discovered the Culper Spy Ring. The more I read, the more fascinated I became. Inspired, you could say. Within Patriot Secrets, more so in the sequel Winds of Betrayal, I have a spy ring loosely based on the Culper Spy Ring. The whole of the story holds everything one could wish to write a thriller- action, intrigue, danger, romance...

When the British occupied New York in August 1776 after the Battle of Long Island, New York became a British stronghold and a major naval base for the duration of the Revolutionary War. Information on British troop movements and other plans was critical to General George Washington. Any intelligence that had been set in New York was extinguished with the British occupation. Then all changed in 1778 when Major Benjamin Tallmadge established a small group of men and woman from his hometown of Setauket, Long Island. This group became known as the Culper Spy Ring. Tallmadge's homegrown network became the most effective of any intelligence-gathering operation on either side during the Revolutionary War.

During the years of occupation, these people lived with the constant fear of discovery. The danger of living the life of a spy was enormous. And if discovered they faced the hangman's noose as was seen with the death of Nathan Hale. During occupation of New York, Nathan Hale was caught by the British authorities and was hanged without trial in New York City. In mid-1778, General George Washington appointed Tallmadge the head of the Continental Army's secret service. With that, Tallmadge established the Culper Spy Ring. Secrecy was of the utmost importance. Washington didn't even know the names of those in the ring. He knew them only by numbers or an alias.

Tallmadge recruited childhood acquaintances starting with Abraham Woodhull. He asked only those he could absolutely trust. One of the most colorful and daring was Caleb Brewster. He commanded a fleet of whaleboats against British and Tory shipping on Long Island Sound. Brewster was also the only member whom the British had definitely identified as a spy. Tallmadge went by the code name John Bolton, while Woodhull went by the name of Samuel Culper. The ring was well organized with each knowing their task. Robert Townsend was set in New York, posing as a Loyalist. Austin Roe and Anna Smith Strong rounded out the ring.

Within the Culper spy ring there was a mysterious woman spy known only as #355. To this day no one knows her true identity or if there was truly a 355. There is no solid information about her. Rumors abound that she was romantically involved with Robert Townsend. Some downplay this rumor. About the only thing that they agree on is that she died on board the Jersey, the notorious British prison ship (another rumor has it that she gave birth before she died). So much information that my little mind could imagine happening.

Patriots Secrets only leds up to the Culper ring. I love putting my heriones into these situation because I believe in this time period it could have happened. Men in general back then, British and American both, didn't believe that women were capable of deception. I believe they were and would have been efficient in their efforts. The women seemed to have been just as passionate for their cause as the men of that time. Did you know that it was even thought that General Thomas Gage's, the first British Commander in Boston, wife, Margaret Kemble Gage, was sympathic to the Patriot cause? Not so surprising because she came from a prominent American family from New Jersey, but it was suspected that she aided the Patriots in Boston by giving information about British movements. (Remember Paul Revere's famous ride?) Afterwards, her husband sent her out of the country to his country estate in England.

Times were different during the American Revolution. The war was fought on our own soil. Turmoil boiled. Emotions ran deep. People loved with an urgency not knowing what tomorrow would bring. Sacrifices given and lives lost, all for a deep rooted belief in a cause. From these embers a country emerged. It is this passion that I tried to capture within the pages of Patriot Secrets.

It’s a dangerous game you set to play, Miss Corbett. One that can have far worse than deadly consequences!

In the midst of the struggle for America’s bid for Independence, Hannah Corbett makes a fateful decision, descending into a world of deceit. Spurred by revenge, she heads to New York, setting in motion a dangerous game for which there is no return. Searching desperately for the man who betrayed her family, she faces the cold and brutal reality of the life of a spy. Caught in a web of lies, living with betrayal, she is trapped. She has nowhere to turn except to a man it would be treasonous to love, setting duty and desire at war . Her heart is ripped apart when she must choose between the man who risks his career and life to protect her and the only thing that has remained constant in her life…her belief in her cause.


Within the early November morning air, Hannah had set to plant tulip bulbs outside her grandmother’s window. She wanted to surprise her grandmother in the spring with the emergence of flowers that had bloomed beautifully around her home in Williamsburg. She wondered how her home looked now. Her heart pained and with her manner in dealing with that pain, she pushed all it back within her. No, she told herself, she had a mission and had no time to grieve or her heart would rip apart.

Sitting upon the ground, she looked up. In front of her Marcus stood, dressed in clothing similar to when she had first met him. Was he going out again to deceive others into betraying their cause?

He smiled at her, a charming, disarming smile. He extended his hand to her. She pulled her gloves off, accepting his assistance. With ease, he pulled her up to him, much too close. She wanted to back away, but he held firm. His eyes lay intent upon her.

“I was looking for you. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard, but wanted a minute of your time.”

She dusted her skirt off and pushed back her unruly hair. “Of course not, but I’m sorry about my appearance, Marcus. I wasn’t expecting anyone this morning."

He didn’t reply. His fingers wiped her cheek where a streak of dirt lay. His hand lingered on her arm. She glanced up at him. He stared into her eyes. She wanted desperately to turn from his gaze, but wouldn’t show a sign of weakness. Her heart beat rapidly, but he said nothing.

“You’ve a purpose to this visit, Marcus,” she asked. “Or do you want to see Grandfather? I’m sure he’s within his study.”

“No, it’s you I wanted to see,” he answered under his breath. Suddenly, his hands went securely around her waist.

“Marcus,” she protested her hands against his chest. “Pray, what do you think you’re doing?”

“I find that I must once more depart. And I have only one question for you Hannah. Are you going to be here upon my return?” He drew her closer. His hand touched her cheek, easing behind her neck. “I wonder. I wonder if you will remember what it is like to have my arms around you as they are now. I wonder if you will dream of me while I’m gone.”

“Please release me, you arrogant man!” she pleaded. “Someone will see.”

“That’s no answer,” he whispered. She wanted to be able to jerk away and run, run far away from him, but she found she couldn’t move. His hand caressed her cheek, running down her neck. “You’re a strange one, Hannah Corbett. Why are you really here?”

“I have told you, my grandmother,” she murmured, finding it difficult to find her words.

He gently held her, but firmly. “I know what you told me, Hannah. How you wanted to leave before the invasion and would do so now if you could. It’s just…I imagine if you really wanted to leave, you would do so. I find it hard to leave you. I can imagine all sorts of trouble you could find yourself in.”

“I don’t believe it’s your concern, Marcus. I wish you well in your journey.” Her tone emotionless, she twisted, but his gripped only tightened. He pulled her to him. Her protests drowned as his lips came down hard upon hers. His mouth settled upon hers. She could feel a fire within him as his mouth claimed hers. And to her horror she found herself responding to him.

Her hands, which once pushed against him, trying to resist, opened freely and she pulled him to her. Her body betrayed her mind, melting into his, his touch, his kiss. His mouth kissed her cheeks, her neck, and back up to her lips again.
She couldn’t breathe. Her chest heaving, she finally broke away. Ashamed she responded so; she found she had no words. Oh what was she going to say that her body had so willfully denied with his touch. He caressed her cheek again.

“You make it hard to leave, Hannah Corbett,” he said softly. He gave her no opportunity to utter a response. He quickly kissed her lips once more. Then without another word, he departed.

Where to buy Patriot Secrets:

Where to find Jerri Hines:


Sarah Masters said...

Ooooh! I like the way he calls her by her full name. Something sexy about that.


Faith said...

Gorgeous cover, and I love historicals!

Anthology Authors said...

I love historicals too. :) Another book added to the list to read. LOL

Victoria S. said...

Love the cover! Have to check it out. Sounds like a good read!

Joan B. said...

Interesting. I love a good spy story. A mix of danger and romance perchance!

Jerri Hines/Carrie James-Haynes said...

Thanks for having me as a guest blogger and appreciate the comments. Love talking about my book. I hope everyone enjoys it!

Anthology Authors said...

Our pleasure, Jerri. :) Thanks for coming.