It’s a pleasure to appear as your blog guest today. With Valentine’s Day on Friday, what a wonderful time to think about romance.
I’m excited about the recent release of the second book in my Civil War Secrets & Spies series, Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies. To celebrate, I’m giving an early Valentine’s Day present—one lucky commenter will have their choice of Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies and Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies, the first book in the series.
Set during the months just before the conclusion of the Civil War, Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies revolves around a pair of Union petticoat spies operating out of Richmond and the men who love them. Led by a cagey matron who passes herself off as crazy as a bedbug, Amanda and Kate use their talents and their beauty to gather intelligence and outsmart the enemy. In Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies, no-nonsense agent Amanda recruits a dashing Union agent for a desperate mission—break a double agent out of a Confederate prison before he’s executed as a spy.
Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies was inspired by the stories of petticoat spies operating in both the North and the South during the Civil War. Spymaster Betsy Kincaid was modeled after Elizabeth Van Lew, a Richmond spinster commonly known as Crazy Bet. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she was an ardent abolitionist whose methods were ingenious and varied. She pried men with food, even charming her way past a Confederate prison commander. She funneled information into the prison in baskets equipped with false bottoms and even hollowed out eggs to ferry intelligence to Union generals. Crazy as a fox, she was a loyal and valued part of the Union war effort. Her use of food as an entry ticket to the prison inspired Crazy Betsy Kincaid’s strategy of baking her way into the prison.
Another petticoat spy who worked for the Union in the Confederate South was Pauline Cushman. Born in New Orleans, she moved to Michigan as a child, then took off for New York at eighteen to pursue a career on the stage. She traveled the country in road shows and seized an opportunity to spy on the Confederate troops while she was performing in Kentucky near the start of the war. Through a series of deceptions, she spent time following the Confederate Army, gleaning information from soldiers and serving as a Union Messenger. At one point, she escaped a death sentence for spying when Union Forces invaded the Tennessee town where she was being held. After the war, she wrote a book about her adventures and toured the country with tales of her exploits. When Miss Cushman died in 1893, her gravestone bears an unusual designation: Union Spy.
Of course, the Confederacy employed petticoat spies as well. One of the best known was Rose Greenhow. A popular Washington, D.C. hostess, she flattered secrets out of the nation’s political and military elite. “Rebel Rose” quickly proved her mettle as a spy, utilizing her charm and ingenious methods to ferry information to Confederate generals. Arrest and imprisonment did not curtail her activities, and she became a propaganda tool for the South until her tragic death off the North Carolina coast on her return from a trip to Europe to garner support for the Confederate cause from dignitaries including Queen Victoria. Mrs. Greenhow was buried with full military honors in Wilmington, North Carolina.
These brave women used their talents and their cunning to become some of the most effective spies this nation has ever known. I find their stories and those of other petticoat spies to be fascinating and tremendous inspiration for historical romance.
I’d love to know your thoughts…leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy of either Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies or Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies. Please check back to see if you’re the winner.
Now, here’s a peek at Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies…
Passion flares when an alluring but no-nonsense petticoat spy recruits a daring Union agent for a desperate mission.
Like any good secret agent, Amanda Emerson knows how to get what she wants—in this case, a man with guts and a gun—a man heroic enough to break a notorious double agent out of a Confederate prison. But first, she’ll have to save her hero’s own neck.
Caught with Rebel plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham’s luck has run out—until a cunning beauty shows up at the jail and engineers his escape. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides preventing him from dangling at the end of a noose—he’s the key to her daring scheme.
Steve may be trading one execution for another, but the tempting—and off limits—operative draws him into the perilous mission. Falling for Amanda is a complication he can’t afford, but Steve’s never been one to play it safe. The spoils of victory will be Amanda’s surrender. And the terms of surrender promise to be sultry and sweet.
Here’s how to connect with Tara:
Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies and Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies are available exclusively on Amazon:
Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies: http://tinyurl.com/q2d9zgo
Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies: http://tinyurl.com/q6tkwn4
Through The Storm
The Wade family saga continues in this work of historical fiction set in post-Civil War Missouri. Love reigns in the home of Leann and Ralph Wade, although tested many times during the course of their marriage. Sonny Wade, Ralph's brother, harbors a secret passion for Leann, and Joan Smith, a family friend, desires Ralph. Leann and Ralph struggle to overcome the storms of life through faith, courage, and commitment to each other.
About The Author
The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.
Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.
Amazon Author's Page
WHAT will you win and HOW do you win? Let me tell you. All you have to do is leave a comment and I will randomly choose a winner for each author.
Brenda is giving away an e-book of Through The Storm and Tara is giving a away an e-book also and the winner gets to choose which book they want.
Thanks for stopping by!