Title: To Entice a Spy, by Diane Scott Lewis
LG: Welcome Diane, it’s great to have you here on my blog today.
Bio: Diane Parkinson (Diane Scott Lewis) grew up near San Francisco, joined the Navy at nineteen, married in Greece and raised two sons in Puerto Rico, California, and Guam. She’s a member of the Historical Novel Society and wrote book reviews for their magazine. She’s always loved travel and history and has had several historical novels published.
Her spy novella, To Entice a Spy, is set in England during the French Revolution—two former lovers chase a ruthless spy; will their love rekindle as murder stalks them?
Diane lives with her husband and one naughty dog in western Pennsylvania.
For more on her books visit her website: www.dianescottlewis.org
LG: Here is an excerpt from Diane’s new release: To Entice a Spy. And I have to say it’s a wonderfully written novel.
“Don’t you wish to celebrate with us, Citizeness?” A drunken man with pocked cheeks spewed spittle in her face. “Where’s your tri-color cockade?”
“I’ve lost mine.” Eseld swept her hand to her collar and winced. “Please excuse us; we’ll celebrate later.”
She swore silently as she’d forgotten to use her roughest French. Her tricolore had been swiped by a scrubby boy near the entrance gate.
Hester held aside her cloak, displaying hers.
Eseld gripped her friend by the shoulder and rushed with her into a narrow passage, which turned at a right angle. The hotel was located in a court, at number 8. Dank air filled her lungs as her pulse hammered.
“That one sounded like a ci-devant,” the drunk accused, his shout echoing after them. “I want to know what they’re up to.”
He and his slouching friend ran after them, boots beating on the cobbles.
“We should’ve brought a pistol, if we owned one,” Hester said with a gasp as they hiked up their skirts and bolted.
The two men were on them in a few seconds, in a waft of perspiration and cheap wine. The first drunk, in his ragged black coat, grabbed Eseld and swept off her hood. “She’s a pretty one. With witch’s red hair.”
“Please, let us go.” Her lips trembled, but more with anger than fright. She struggled to stay calm. “We are loyal citizens. You have no reason to harm us.”
“I’ll wager your skin is soft.” The drunk shoved her up against a mold-stained wall. His lips hovered near hers.
Eseld recoiled, fingers groping for something to strike him in the face.
LG: I thought it would be fun to have a little fun with character interviews and Diane kindly agreed to have a chat with two of them.
Today we sit down with Baron Robert Penhale and Countess Eseld Trehearne to talk about their recent activities concerning spies and a possible romance.
“Robert, I understand you work for the newly formed Secret Services?” I ask.
A handsome man with dark brown hair and intelligent brown eyes, he nods. “Yes, after my wife’s recent death, I decided to get more involved in the British government’s efforts to keep the revolution in France from causing havoc here in England.”
I turn to Eseld, an attractive woman with reddish hair, elegant in a green, closed-robe gown. They are both in their late thirties. “And you recently returned from France. How is the situation there?”
“Unfortunately, my dear companion was murdered by the rebels in Paris.” Eseld’s eyes moisten but determination firms her lips. “I had to leave. Everything is in chaos across the Channel.”
“Isn’t there more to your return, Eseld?” Robert probes, eyes narrowed.
She smiles slowly, but her gaze sharpens. “And why would you think that?”
“Aren’t you two childhood sweethearts, but you married other people?” I ask, sensing the tension between them.
Robert stiffens. “Eseld’s father thought it best she marry an earl, and who wouldn’t?”
Eseld clasps her hands in her lap. “I’m sorry it happened that way, but my husband and I were very much in love. His death devastated me. That’s why I fled to France, sadly, right before the revolution began.”
“Aren’t you here to avenge your companion’s murder?” Robert shifts in his chair. “Something I advise you not to pursue.”
“Is there a chance for you two to reignite your relationship?” I ask, ever the romantic.
“I’m beneath Eseld in rank. She could never marry me.” Robert looks away.
“Rank doesn’t matter to me,” Eseld huffs, chin raised. “But if you must know about the other matter, there is a spy here in town. One who is rumored to be after me personally.”
I stare in shock.
“I’m telling you to leave any spy-catching to the professionals.” Robert grimaces. “I want no harm to come to you.”
“If rank doesn’t matter,” I change the subject, “then there is a chance for a future marriage?”
“Don’t condescend over searching for spies, Robert. Women have as much brains and capability as men.” Eseld stands, straightening her skirt. “I should go.”
“Eseld. Don’t you realize I still love you? That’s why I worry about your involvement in espionage.” He rises and tries to embrace her. “This man is rumored to be ruthless, a killer.”
She steps back, then touches his face. “You know how I feel about you. But I have work to do, and an evil man to catch.” Eseld nods to me and strides from the room.
“What will you do now, Robert?” I stand and watch the agitation in his expression.
He puts on his cocked hat. “I must find this spy before she does. Then we’ll sort out whether a romance, a marriage, is in our future.”
LG: Thank you Baron Robert Penhale and Countess Eseld Trehearne for joining us today. It was a fascinating interview.
My thanks also go to Diane for sharing a little more about herself and her new release.
That’s not all folks. Please find below the links: