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Desperate Hope by @FurlongLeigh is a Black Friday Deal pick #blackfriday #bookdeal #cybermonday
Title: Desperate Hope
Author: Susan Leigh Furlong
Genre: Historical Romance/Adventure
His new country needed him. He needed her more.
Revolutionary War soldier, Gavin Cullane, has desperate choices to make. He vows never to give up the fight for American freedom, but his role as colonial liaison between the Americans and the British brands him a seeming traitor to his own country. When he discovers the woman he loves is part of George Washington’s secret spy chain, his only choice is to expose his own lies so she can escape.
Tansy Carter risks her life to send messages to George Washington from the captured city of New York. When she is discovered, she must flee the city. Trusting her life to the traitor, Cullane, is the desperate chance she must take.
Will they discover a love as strong as the new country they are fighting for?
In unison the three men started moving toward her again, each man raising his brick weapon above his head. In one quick shove, Gavin pushed the bolts of cloth out of Tansy’s arms to the ground and pulled her back down the street.
She struggled against him. “Let go of me!”
Just before the men moved close enough to do some real damage, a woman’s shout came from one of the tents. “Horace, stop! Stop! I want the cloth!”
The woman said, “I’m grateful my husband is proud and brave, but he doesn’t know everything. He’s protecting his family as best he can.” She bent down, gathered up the cloth from the ground, and walked back to her shack with it while several other women followed her inside the flimsy structure.
Gavin didn’t wait to find out if the men had anything else to say as he dragged Tansy down the street despite her continuing protests. Two blocks away, he stopped and pulled her into an alley. Pushing her back against the wall, he held her there with his hands on her shoulders and spit out the words, “Don’t ever try anything so foolish again. Next time Agatha Marchand may not be there to rescue you.”
“Marchand? The Marchands who owned so many of the Sugar Houses?”
“Yes, The Burns (a burned out section of New York City) is filled with former rich loyalist families. You can see how far they have fallen despite expecting their loyalty to the crown to protect them. The longer they’re forced to live in those horrible conditions, the angrier and more violent they become, especially the men who’ve had to swallow their pride and their bank accounts. They revert to the poor people they used to have so much disdain for. You were very lucky today.”
Ducking her head, she spoke with regret and understanding. “I’m sorry for being so impulsive. Thank you for coming for me. How did you know where I was?”
The scent of whatever she used to wash her hair was perfect for her. Was it lavender? He leaned in slightly until his coat brushed against her breasts, and he felt her breathing on his neck. If Alden had survived the war, Gavin would have buried his desire for his friend’s wife until he couldn’t feel it anymore, but Alden was gone. He leaned his head until his lips were only a breath away from hers.
“What are you doing?” she said, putting her hands against his chest.
Stepping back with a jerk, he said, “I followed you for a reason that had nothing to do with The Burns or the cloth.”
She cocked her head, puzzled.
“Tansy, you and the whole family are in great danger.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We need to find someplace to talk and not be seen. I was followed here. Believe me, Tansy, this danger is real.”
“If there be snakes, it’s because you put them there.” Pulling out of his grasp, she walked away with long determined strides.
Following her, he said, “Tansy, you have to listen to me. You, Nate, Daisy, and even Charles will be hanged in eight days unless you listen to me.”
She stopped and turned back to face him, giving him a withering stare. “If that’s true, then it’s your fault! What have you done?”
“Yes, it’s my fault, my folly. I brought this down on your heads with my own arrogance, but I’m trying to make it right. You have to believe me.”
“Why should I?”
“I’ve known you for a long time.”
He took a deep breath. “I’ll start at the beginning. Alden told me all about you. We spent hours waiting for the next battle talking about you, and I felt like I knew you before I even met you. Once I did meet you, you were everything I hoped you’d be.”
Her eyes blazed. “You hoped I’d be? You knew Alden, and now we’re all going to be hanged! Tell me what you did.”
“We have to find someplace else to talk, someplace out of sight.”
She stomped her foot. “Tell me right now!”
“You can’t be seen with me. My orders include providing the evidence that will lead to your arrest, and Nate’s too. Please, let’s get off the street.”
All at once Tansy lifted her skirts and started running away from him. Taking chase, he caught up with her two blocks later. After shoving her, none too gently, into a recessed doorway, he held her against the wall.
“You have to believe me,” he said. “I want to help you escape New York so Simon Duffy can’t find you or any of the family. I’m telling you the truth.”
“Who in the name of all the saints is Simon Duffy?” she asked with a sharp punch to his gut that made him double over, but he put his arm up against the wall and stopped her from running off again.
“He’s the British officer I’ve been reporting to,” he choked out, knowing what he would say next would damn him to Hell. “He’s the one I’ve been giving information to about anyone not loyal to the crown.” From the look on her face, he knew she’d sentenced him to Hell already.
“He knows about my visits to your house. He wants me to persuade Nate to send a coded message to George Washington that could be a turning point for the war in British favor.”
She didn’t respond.
“Then Duffy will arrest him and you, Daisy, and Charles and hang all of you.”
Her fist cocked. He prepared himself for her second punch to his gut by tightening his stomach muscles, but he flinched just the same, impressed by the strength in her arm.
“Traitor!” she shouted.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
George Washington was a leader of men during America’s Revolutionary War, but without the intricate spy network created by five men and one woman of the Culper Six, Washington would have lost everything. The names of these patriots and their secret codes and message drops were not discovered until the 1920s. My fictional hero and heroine become part of this spy network and, along with the reader, realize that the battlefield is not the only place a war is won.
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Susan Leigh Furlong knew she had a special connection with words since she was a child. When she was 9 years old, she wrote and directed her first play for the neighborhood children.
Susan’s love for history fuels her resilience against the sneezes and coughs that old books give her as she delves into research for unique historical events to inspire her historical fiction romance novels. Susan captures her readers’ imagination with a highly enthralling style, chronological events, and smoothly flowing narratives that keep one’s eyes glued on her novels from the first page to the last.
Susan has written two non-fiction books about her hometown and three novels set in sixteenth century Scotland as well as several short stories published in national magazines. Her most recent release is Desperate Hope, a novel set during the American Revolution. When Susan is not combing through history piecing together her next novel, she writes, directs, and performs with a music and drama group.
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