By Beth Trissel

She risks a traitor's death if she fights for the man she loves.

Step into the elegant parlor of Pleasant Grove, an eighteenth century Georgian plantation built on the bluff above the Santee River. Admire the elegant lines of this gracious brick home and its exquisite d├ęcor. Stroll out into the expansive garden between fragrant borders of lavender and rosemary. Bask beneath the moss-hung branches of an enormous live oak, then saunter back indoors to dress for a candlelight dinner in the sumptuous dining room. But don’t plan on a lengthy stay, you’re about to be snatched away for a wild ride into Carolina back country.

Hooves echo on the cobbles beneath Loyalist Meriwether Steele’s bedroom window and rouse her from a restless sleep. What business can anyone possibly have to conduct at this unearthly hour?

Meriwether peers down through moss-draped branches to see two men standing in the yard. One man in a dark coat and a black tricorn hat holds the reins of a roan horse. He isn't familiar, but she knows the other gentleman well. Several inches taller than the stranger, he is simply dressed in a white shirt tucked into breeches that fit his long legs and meet his riding boots. Shadows hide his face and chestnut hair pulled back at his neck, but there’s no mistaking Jeremiah Jordan, master of Pleasant Grove and her guardian these past few months. Elegance cloaks him like a mantle.

Her heart quickens at the sight of Jeremiah and she strains to snatch a word of the men’s hushed exchange. Jeremiah glances around guardedly, then passes what looks like a leather pouch into the stranger’s hand. Her stomach knots in apprehension. Is this nocturnal visit prearranged? Or worse, has Jeremiah joined the Patriots?

Jeremiah knows Meriwether is a dangerous presence in his home, a Tory who could betray him whether she means to or not. If only he hadn't noticed how fetching she looked in that shift with her bare toes peeking out from beneath the hem. Her soft cheek was so smooth beneath his fingers and she smelled deliciously of violets. He couldn't see her eyes in the dark but he knows the beguiling shape and the tenderness that warms their brown depths whenever he’s near, but he doesn't know what, if anything, she might be willing to sacrifice for the cause of freedom so sacred to his heart.

The year is 1780, one of the bloodiest of the American Revolution. The entire Southern garrison has been captured and Lord Cornwallis is marching his forces deep into South Carolina. ‘Bloody Ban’ Lieutenant Major Banestre Tarleton and his infamous Legion are sweeping through the countryside. Revenge is the order of the day on both sides and rugged bands of militia are all that stand between crown forces and utter defeat.

Enemy of the King, a multi-contest finalist, is coming to the Wild Rose Press later in 2008


  1. Nightingale // April 23, 2008 at 2:14 PM  

    Love the lead in, taking us into the Southern manson on the Santee. Just happen to have been in that neck of the woods. The teaser of a story grabbed my attention.

  2. Beth Trissel // April 23, 2008 at 4:44 PM  

    Thanks Linda. Very kewl story to write, but it took an unbelievable amount of research. I'm planning a sequel because I love this time period. Filled with high drama.

  3. Mary Marvella // April 23, 2008 at 11:41 PM  

    Whoa! I'm in. Great job and winner of a cover.

  4. Beth Trissel // April 24, 2008 at 3:08 PM  

    Consider yourself in, Mary. Think I may make the cover into wearable art.