I Shot the Sheriff by @ReginaJeffers is a Christmas Holiday Festival pick #regency #histfic #romance
Title: I Shot the Sheriff: Tragic Characters in Classic Lit Series Novel
Author: Regina Jeffers
Genre: Romantic Suspense; Regency Romance; Historical Fiction; Robin Hood tales; Classic Romance Fiction; Clean Romance
How does one reform the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham? Easy. With Patience.
William de Wendenal, the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham, has come to London, finally having wormed his way back into the good graces of the Royal family. Yet, not all of Society is prepared to forgive his former “supposed” transgressions, especially the Earl of Sherwood.
However, when de Wendenal is wounded in an attempt to protect Prince George from an assassin, he becomes caught up in a plot involving stolen artwork, kidnapping, murder, and seduction that brings him to Cheshire where he must willingly face a gun pointed directly at his chest and held by the one woman who stirs his soul, Miss Patience Busnick, the daughter of a man de Wendenal once escorted to prison.
I Shot the Sheriff is based on the classic tales of Robin Hood, but it is given a twist and brought into the early 19th Century’s Regency era. Can even de Wendenal achieve a Happily Ever After? If anyone can have the reader cheering for the Sheriff of Nottingham’s happiness, it is award-winning author Regina Jeffers.
“I told our godfather I do not approve,” her brother said when she explained her role in Lord de Wendenal’s protection and the story she had created to address his lordship’s sudden interest in her. “Pennington has overstepped his authority in this matter.”
“Would you object if the man was someone other than Lord de Wendenal?” she demanded.
“I am never comfortable when Pennington asks you to become involved in any of the Home Office’s investigations,” he declared self-righteously. “The work of the Home Office is not the work of women. You should be choosing a husband, setting up your household, and having children.”
Patience bit back her initial response. She wanted all those things her brother announced as her domain, but she was not certain those would ever be enough for her. She required a bit of mayhem periodically to make her feel alive. And, although she had reached her majority and was wealthy enough to live comfortably on her own, she would despise leaving her brother’s home. Patrick and Porter were all the family she had remaining in the world, and until Patrick married, she served as mistress of his properties. “I know you did not mean your remark as it sounded,” she chastised in calmer tones than she felt, for she was as high-tempered as was her elder brother. “As his lordship pointed out, he is not known for going about in Society. Assigning a male agent would only bring more notice to the assault practiced against him.”
“And you witnessed this assault?” her brother questioned suspiciously. “I wish I had been aware of your part in Pennington’s plan to capture Dylan Monroe. I would have remained in London to put a stop to such highhandedness on our godfather’s part. I do not like the idea of you being in danger.”
She presented him an impatient click of her tongue. “I shall remind you, I am of age, Patrick. I choose where and when I assist Pennington.”
“I cannot consider the real possibility, I might lose you also,” he said in solemn tones. She knew concern when regret marked Patrick’s features. “I do not think I could bare it.”
“Neither can I,” she said in sympathy. “Yet, you must understand being kept safe in a gilded cage would kill me quicker than any endeavor I undertake in the name of the Home Office. I am not made in the same mold as many women in Society.”
“I blame our grandfather for that particular fact,” he said testily. A heavy sigh of resignation followed. “That still does not mean I agree with your decision. Are you certain Lord de Wendenal did not accidentally step into the line of fire meant for Prince George or for the prince’s attacker?”
“The man who practiced the attack on his lordship was too far removed from both Prince George and the elder Monroe to have a clear shot at either or to know any accuracy if such was his objective. In fact, the shooter was beneath the balcony’s overhang and standing in the shadows. If Lord de Wendenal had not attempted to reach the elder Monroe, the man in the shadows would have shot his lordship in the back, likely claiming he meant to protect the prince if he were apprehended.”
“You are that certain the man meant to kill de Wendenal?” Patrick asked suspiciously.
“I have yet to decide whether the attack on de Wendenal was purposeful or whether the attacker took advantage of the opportunity,” she admitted. “But I watched the situation unfold, along the sight lines of my weapon, and I chose to protect his lordship.”
“Rather than the Prince?” her brother accused.
“There were three trained Home Office agents assisting Prinny. No one, but me, observed the danger in which Lord de Wendenal stepped,” she explained. “My role was defined by the circumstances.”
“And you are comfortable in this farce, especially knowing de Wendenal’s part in our father’s loss of reputation?”
Patience chose her words carefully, resisting the urge to fidget, for her brother would mark the gesture as a reflection of her own qualms regarding the baron. She possessed doubts, but they were not about assisting Lord de Wendenal, but rather about her strong reaction to the man. “When we were forced to visit Papa in debtor’s prison, I despised the sheriff who had brought him there, for, at the time, I placed the fault on everyone but who was truly to blame. The merchants who sought redress. Grandfather for permitting it to happen. The courts who sentenced our father. And, naturally, the man who escorted him to London to face his charges. We both know it was Pennington who stepped in and convinced our grandfather that Papa had learned his lesson. And it was Pennington who insisted we sell off River Abbey, which brought Papa home, and, with his disgrace, our father became a reformed man, instructing both of us in how properly to maintain the estate.”
“Those facts do not answer my question,” Patrick insisted.
“Yet, they do,” she argued. “Papa said repeatedly that what occurred to the family was his fault, no one else’s. When we presented him permission for his actions, by saying he was grieving for Mama and had lost his way, our father would always say his weakness was his own to claim—no excuses. If our father did not blame Lord de Wendenal for his role in our family’s downfall, then why should either us? The man only performed his duty to his position.”
“You sound more like our mother every day,” Patrick said with affection in his tone.
“Mama would approve of what I have taken on. She was always one to believe women ruled more than just a man’s household.”
Patrick laughed easily. “I doubt your being an agent for Pennington was what our mother meant.”
“The late Lady Busnik would be pleased to discover we repaid Pennington’s kindness by assisting our godfather in this business. In many ways, Lord de Wendenal’s actions and our grandfather’s vision prevented our father from destroying the viscountcy.”
Share a holiday family tradition:
I still each mincemeat pie for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Mince pies became a popular treat around the festive period thanks to a tradition from the Middle Ages, which saw people eat a mince pie for 12 days from Christmas day to Twelfth Night. Doing this was believed to bring a person happiness for the next 12 months. With the craziness of 2020, I certainly will not abandon this tradition this year.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
With complete artistic license and an abundance of hubris, a dozen of Regency romance best authors are retelling some of the great stories of literature, setting them in Georgian England and giving these tragic heroes and heroines a happily-ever-after.
In this series, the reader will encounter some of their “favorite,” or should I say, “least favorite” characters found in classic literature. The parameters of the project were quite simple. (1) The story must be a full-length novel of, at least, 50,000 words. (2) Instead of the original setting for the tale, all the stories in this series take place between the late Georgian period and early Victorian, meaning late 1700s into about 1840. (3) Each novel is based on a different tragic character from a public domain novel, story, or poem.
The idea is to provide the tragic character a “happily ever after.” It does not matter if he/she was the protagonist or the antagonist in the original tale, in these new renderings he/she will be the hero/heroine.
In the series, you could meet fallen heroes who have succumbed to vice, greed, etc. He/She could originally have been detested for what values he accepted, but, in these new tales, he redeems himself: His fate changes. He will find the fortitude to change his stars, learn to accept what cannot be changed and move beyond the impossible to discover “Love After All.”
I grew up despising the notorious Sheriff of Notthingham, but no more. In this tale, you will come to love the man as much as you loved many who portrayed him on screen, actors such as Alan Rickman, Melville Cooper, Joseph Fiennes, Matthew Macfadyen, and Peter Finch. “I Shot the Sheriff” turns the Robin Hood tale upon its head. This is the second release in the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit Series. Two novels will be released each month.
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Runs December 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on January 4.
Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”
Social Media Links:
Every Woman Dreams https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com