Today Christina Courtenay is over with a post about smugglers, and there is a giveaway of her new book at the end :)
What is it about smugglers that makes them seem romantic and fascinating when in actual fact they were nothing but common criminals? It’s strange, but they are almost on a par with pirates and highwaymen, their misdeeds seen through rose-tinted glasses. We should abhor these men, but we don’t – we love them!
Perhaps it was their spirit of enterprise that captivates us? Or the fact that they helped put food in the mouths of the poor hungry fishermen’s families who might otherwise have starved? One could argue that they were like Robin Hood, only operating on water instead of deep inside Sherwood Forest.
The truth about their lives and nefarious activities was probably not in the slightest bit romantic, but you wouldn’t expect that to stand in the way of a romantic author, would you? Which is why the hero of my novel The Secret Kiss of Darkness is a smuggler AND a good guy, not a criminal.
Smugglers didn’t refer to themselves by that word, they were ‘free-traders’. To me, that says it all - they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. On the contrary, it was obviously their opinion that the government of the day was wrong in preventing them from trading freely with the French and putting such high taxes on imported goods. It makes sense when you think about it, although the small fact that they were breaking the law does sort of weigh against them.
We all know poor people had a hard time in the past, so can we really blame them for wanting to earn the kind of money smuggling could bring? I don’t think so.
If you visit the coast of Devon or Cornwall, in south-west England, you’ll find lots of secluded creeks and coves which are eminently suitable for ‘free trade’. It’s easy to imagine the longboats of these free-traders rowing silently towards the shore with nothing but a feeble moon to guide them, then pulling onto the sand and beginning the task of unloading their precious cargo. They would have worked in almost complete silence, everyone knowing their job and what had to be done. In no time at all, the goods would be making its way either to local hiding places or towards London, where it was usually sold. And unless the Excise men knew where to look, they didn’t have any hope of catching anyone.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? And not really so very bad. Well, that’s my take on it anyway – what do you think?
Thank you very much for having me as your guest today!
1 copy of The secret Kiss of Darkness
1. Open to all
2. Ends Feb 22
3. Just go ahead and enter :)
And be free to ask questions
And be free to ask questions
PS. Check that your email is in your profile, otherwise you wont be entered. And if not then leave email or twitter here.
You have 48 hours to respond if you win.
Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?
Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.
Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he'll take any risk to be with her.
Over two centuries separate ies separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?
Amazon US: (not until March)