Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A Local Legend - Smuggling

'The Smugglers' cottage, IOW, getting ready for the Diamond Jubilee!
18th century smuggling - a world of danger, daring, hi-jinks and romance!
This June, with the release of "Hope's Betrayal", welcome to a series of blog posts about the world of smuggling, including: press-ganged doctors, church hideouts, ghosts, tunnels, fake funerals, myths, pitfalls and more!
Low tide in St Helens harbour- the shallow waters made it ideal for smugglers to navigate.
The starting point on this journey is the Isle of Wight which is also the inspiration behind "Hope's Betrayal." I fell in love with the Island about ten years ago. In a strange quirk of fate for seven years I lived in Portsmouth, a twenty minute ferry ride away but without visiting. It took motherhood and two dinosaur mad sons both desperate to visit the newly opened "Dinosaur Isle" museum on the IOW (Isle of Wight) for us to go. 
Dinosaur Isle Museum (shaped like a Pterosaur) Sandown, IOW.
We stayed in a caravan park overlooking St Helens harbour and on a walk round the village I spotted a blue plaque on a fisherman's cottage. (In the UK places of special historical interest are marked with a 'blue plaque' giving brief details of who lived there.) Intrigued by the inscription about "The Lady of Chantilly" I visited the Newport Museum to do some research. The result was a fascinating true story of a humble fisherman's daughter, born around 1792, who was a part-time smuggler. This girl was so beautiful, that when caught her red-handed, the revenue officer couldn’t bring himself to arrest her. What a fabulous idea for a historical romance and out of this local legend, the idea behind "Hope's Betrayal" was born.
The blue plaque that inspired a novel!
My story is a fictional account of two people on opposite sides of the law, falling desperately in love. How can such love survive if it means compromising everything they believe in? In a choice between betraying your family, or losing a career, what you chose?
I was on the Island during the recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II and hope you enjoy the photos of some of the local cottages, decked out with bunting.
The local pub (overlooking the Village green) decked out with bunting.
Next week: Smuggling - Women Smugglers.

'Hope's Betrayal' - the story:
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.
Widget relaxing whilst on holiday on the IOW.


  1. Hi Grace,

    I just had a look on Amazon to see how Hope's Betrayal was going with reviews. Amazing!! Very good reviews for a wonderful book. Congratulations.

    How is the next one coming along? Can't wait to see how the story goes.


  2. Loved the book! It was fabulous, got the review done and am eagerly awaiting the next one...... Widget, sleep more, make Mommy write faster! Lol

    1. Thank you, Mel! Actually Widget is asleep beside me right now, but she's snoring in a rather distracting manner!
      G x

  3. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.


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