Highlighting the facts behind the fiction with Penny Hampson.
Most of the action in A Bachelor’s Pledge, the third book in my Gentlemen Series takes place in Falmouth, Cornwall. Now, if you don’t know, Falmouth is a small seaside town on the south western coast of England. I chose this location because, during the Napoleonic Wars, Falmouth was an important hub for international communications. This small port was where the packet ship service was based. Established in the late 17th century with only two ships running between Falmouth and the Groyne of Corunna, by the 1830s there were forty vessels sailing to many places, including Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malta, Corfu, and Bermuda. By using sea routes, Britain was able to remain in contact with her trading partners when overland routes across Europe were closed.
As a bustling seaport, I thought Falmouth would be just the spot for a ship sailing under false colours to sneak in for some nefarious purpose. Even better, by flying a flag denoting that the ship was under quarantine, it meant Customs officials wouldn’t board the vessel until the quarantine period had expired. A perfect cover for some underhand goings-on. If you think that things like this couldn’t happen, they did. Thomas Cochrane, a commander in the British navy, used the ploy of sailing under a Danish flag and claiming that he had plague on board to avoid capture by enemy ships.
There is a real historical person who makes a fleeting appearance in my story, Governor Melvill, the commander of Pendennis Castle. He takes my two main characters on an escorted trip round the castle. His real-life adventures in India are far more hair-raising. Left for dead after a brutal battle, he was captured by enemy soldiers and held prisoner in atrocious conditions for four years. Once back home and suffering from poor health, he was eventually appointed Lieutenant Governor of Pendennis Castle where he formed the Pendennis Volunteer Artillery.
His new position was initially not an easy one, for the Castle’s troops were ill-disciplined, coarse, and often drunk. However, Melvill managed to turn things around. He got his men to build cottages for themselves and their families, laid out gardens on the slopes of the castle, and ensured the men received religious instruction. He also set up schools for the children of the garrison and the children of Falmouth. Melvill did so much for the poor and the sick in Falmouth that I could not leave him out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my book. You can buy it here:
About the Book: A Bachelor’s Pledge
Secrets, Scandals, and Spies
Saved by secret agent Phil Cullen from the house of ill-repute into which she’s been held against her will, Sophia Turner flees from her rescuer before he can learn her true identity. To tell the truth, Sophia is not sure who she is herself.
To Sophia’s dismay, Phil turns up in her life again just as she has established herself as a lady’s companion. He is on the trail of an elusive and ruthless French spy. Despite knowing that Phil has the power to ruin her new-found contentment, Sophia instinctively turns to this gallant gentleman when an even deadlier threat to her life as a respectable spinster reappears. Is this a mistake she will come to regret?
It isn’t long before Sophia’s life becomes a perilous adventure, where smiling faces mask treachery and deceit. No-one is as they seem, and danger lurks in unexpected places. Will helping Phil unmask his spy and solving the mystery of her own murky origins explain why she is being relentlessly pursued? And by uncovering dark family secrets will Sophia destroy her chances of finding true love?
Available on Amazon, including Kindle unlimited:
About the Author
Penny has also written a series of Regency romances because, as a historian, there is nothing she likes more than researching her favourite period in history and bringing it to life.
Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/pennyhampsonauthor
Penny’s blog: https://pennyhampson.co.uk/blog/
THE GENTLEMEN SERIES (Regency Historical Mystery/Romances)
A Gentleman’s Promise (new edition): purchase link ~ mybook.to/Gentlemans-Promise
An Officer’s Vow: purchase link ~ mybook.to/AnOfficersVow
A Bachelor’s Pledge: purchase link ~ mybook.to/ABachelorsPledge
SHADES, SHADOWS, & SPECTRES SERIES
The Unquiet Spirit (A spooky contemporary mystery/romance) purchase link ~ getbook.at/theunquietspirit
A Plethora of Phantoms (A paranormal gay romantic mystery) purchase link ~
Dark Scotland (An anthology of dark stories set in Scotland) includes ‘The Rowan Tree’, one of Penny’s short stories. All royalties got to two Scottish charities. Purchase link ~ mybook.to/darkscotland