The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week I continue another book, that will now won’t come out via booktrope (they’re shutting down). It’s a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. We’re following Roderick, Lord Fitzpatrick for the moment. Last week described the immediate consequences of his practical abolitionism. He’s in New York this week, having fled Washington. Unfortunately the British consul has decamped with a local beauty and instead of taking his ease while waiting the monthly packet, he is pressed into service. He’s also been landed dab in the middle of a diplomatic crisis brought about by an overzealous Captain. He’s dressing down a midshipsman in this section.
“What was your Captain thinking? Assuming he is capable of thought. Chasing a merchantman into New York harbour and then firing on her; let alone killing the helmsman – a Mr Pierce. There were riots in the streets yesterday.”
“She didn’t stop when we hailed her … the ball hit a different ship, the sloop Richard.”
Roderick rose and escorted the young sailor to the front window of the British Consul’s house in Brooklyn; the tip of Manhattan was visible, across the river, “Do you see that? The battery … the blasted Jonathans are rebuilding it … all the harbour defences … it’s now only a matter of time before we’re at war.”
The midshipman nodded, “How many guns?”
Roderick said, “It’s in the letter ;I know he won’t but I’m demanding that Captain Whitby leave; he’s causing more harm to the crown by stopping ships than the contraband he confiscates could ever do; you’re already banned from resupplying in any United States port.”
“Halifax isn’t far.”
Roderick quietly ground his teeth in frustration, “Why couldn’t the admiralty see that they were driving the American’s straight into the willing arms of the French? “
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The date is shifted, but they are discussing the Leander affair. The British Navy stationed two warships outside New York harbor and intercepted American merchant ships. The ships were searched for contraband and often taken to Halifax as prizes. Eventually even the tax-averse Democratic-Republicans had to rebuild the navy and chase them away. Roderick is right, war with the Americans was only a matter of time after that.
Booktrope shuts it’s doors May 31. This opens a whole slew of questions, including whether to return to an earlier pen-name (R. Harrison being dead common.) It also means that come June 1, the current version of “The curious profession of dr Craven.” will be unavailable. I will get the rights back without trouble.
I’ve also released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere This is a fun read, and unlike “The curious profession of dr craven ” seems to not carry a curse. However, Dr Craven is on sale this week.
Frankenkitty is available.
What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.
Fort Pulaski, shown as the cover image, is a third generation coastal defense fort. I don’t have any pictures of Battery Park or Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which are second generation forts built at the time of the story.
Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.
9 thoughts on “The Art of Deception 12 #wewriwar #amwriting”
Thanks for the historical background. It added to my enjoyment. Good luck finding a replacement to Booktrope!
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My American history knowledge is non-existent, so this story is fascinating. Thank you for the background info!
Very sorry to hear about Booktrope.
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So many trouble all at the same time. I wonder how he is going to solve this. The war didn’t sound good at all on their side.
The French revolution/napoleonic wars were an amazing combination of cruelty, bravery, and honour. There were many missed opportunities (mostly English I might add) to bring them to an early close. In the US we tend to skip them because other than buying Louisiana from Napoleon we didn’t exactly do very well. They’re well remembered in Canada – because the Canadian army “kicked butt.” There’s a surprising amount of modern technology that gets a boost from them – Robert Fulton (an ancestor of mine) worked developing weapons for the British, the French, the British again, and finally the Americans. The British navy left New York harbour and Long Island sound alone because of his steam-powered floating fortress, floating torpedoes and (not his) a couple of submarines. They came very close to sinking a British ship in Long Island sound – it was the first time that anyone had damaged a ship with a submarine in war. Both the French and the British used optical telegraphs to send messages in minutes from one end of the country to the other.
Sorry to hear about Bookstrope. They were a bit of a flash in the pan. Good luck with a replacement. I enjoyed the historic romp. Great snippet.
Interesting view of a time I’m not all that familiar with. Excellent excerpt. Sorry to hear about BookTrope, best wishes on figuring out your smoothest path forward. Of course I believe in self publishing LOL.
I self-pubbed before, and will do so again. I’ve learned an amazing amount about writing from the editor(s) I’ve had. The one who was most helpful was on a book that was in process (argh) so I have to figure out what’s next with that. This one, I’ll ship to a couple of publishers since it hasn’t been published – except for these brief extracts. One of BT’s troubles was that they helped with editing/covers/assembly, but then more or less said – “Marketing, you’re on your own kid” (not quite, but close). I’d just finally put together a team that could do it, and the place goes ‘tit’s up’ (I like the english expression here. The French would say they’re eating dandelions from the roots.)
Love the tension in this and the sense of inevitable doom. War is coming and no one seems willing or capable of avoiding it. Great snippet!
I love the tension in this excerpt. Fascinating situation. 🙂
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