The Turncoat by T.J. London
Publication Date: May 23, 2019
eBook & Paperback
Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Spy. Redcoat. Traitor.
After Captain John Carlisle’s dance with death, he’s retreated to the serenity of the Oneida village with his beloved Dellis McKesson, trying to hide from the inevitable truth: war is coming. But when duty calls, and John’s expertise is needed to negotiate a treaty between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Crown, he’ll once again be faced with a decision: his King or his conscience.
Many truths that have yet to be revealed, and a deal with the Devil made in desperation, threatens to ruin Dellis and John’s hard-won love. As ghosts of the past resurface, and bitter family rivalry exposes betrayal from those closest to her, Dellis is dragged down a devastating path to the truth of her parents’ murders.
Now, the die is cast as war comes to the Mohawk River Valley in the Summer of 1777. St. Leger and his native allies siege Fort Stanwix. They’re also plotting a secret attack that will force the Rebels and the Oneida to face off against the Crown and their allies, further dividing John’s loyalties, leaving him on the precipice of another decision: Rebel or Redcoat?
Taking a deep breath, John counted, one… two… three…and then let the air out in attempt to quell the miasma of impending doom that pervaded while he waited for the signal. His hands shook, the wooden stock resting against his shoulder, his eye gazing down the line of the barrel.
Can I do this? Should I?There was no more time to consider; Anoki nodded, cocked his musket, and fired. The crack of the gun discharging sliced through the languid silence of the forest as the Mohawk closest to John dropped, the other two racing off into the trees towards Wood Creek. Aiming, he cocked his muzzle loader and then pulled the trigger, sending a ball whizzing through the air and into the calf of his target with pinpoint accuracy. The brave limped but didn’t stop, bolting through the forest. John gave chase, unhindered by the ten pounds of steel and wood in his hand, his soldier’s training making him deft and skillful, navigating the hilly terrain with the grace of a cat.
A shot of adrenaline coursed through his veins; the thrill of the chase, in accord with the blazing heat, making him lightheaded, like inhaling a heady mix of whiskey and tobacco would. Just ahead, he spotted one of the Mohawks racing up to a canoe docked on the muddy shore of the creek. John stopped abruptly, pulled out his pistol, and aimed, zeroing in on his target.
It was Roger DeLancie’s former right-hand man and scout, Eagle Eyes.
The giant Mohawk grinned. “Come and get me, traitor.”
“By all means.” John steadied his breath and pulled the trigger, but the Mohawk dodged swiftly, the ball dropping into the water with a plunk and a spatter.
“Damn!” John let out a barrage of expletives, watching his old adversary row up the river and out of range, recognizing the look in those onyx eyes: unabashed hatred. Their private war wasn’t over. The Mohawk was on the hunt for vengeance, and it was blood he craved—John’s blood.
Turning back to the woods, he stopped, the sounds of heavy breathing coming from a few feet to the west, over his shoulder. Damn!He had no rounds left, both his musket and pistol fired. Throwing down the useless weapons, John pulled out his knife and tomahawk, ready for some hand to hand, just a little skirmish to work off the extra adrenaline from facing Eagle Eyes. Fisticuffs was John’s specialty—next to aiming a pistol.
With each step, theshallow breathing got louder, the rapid pace guiding John to his target. When he stood at the feet of the injured Mohawk, John held up his weapons for his adversary to see, an inducement to stand down.
“Why are you here?” John demanded.
The brave smiled defiantly, his bright, white teeth flashing against black and red paint smeared on ruddy, dark skin.
“What do you want?” John yelled, that time in Kanien´ keha, Mohawk dialect.
“You, John Carlisle,” the brave replied and then whipped a hunk of dirt in John’s face.
Too stunned by the answer to react, the caustic debris landed in his face, burning his eyes and obstructing his vision. Reflexively, he rubbed them, further adding insult to injury, his eyes watering profusely. Pushing the advantage, the brave rolled on his side and reached for his tomahawk, taking several swings at John’s ankles. Through blurry vision, he managed to dodge the blade, jumping left and right, and then threw himself on top of the brave, pinning him to the ground.
“Who sent you? Was it Butler?” John grabbed the native by the collar of his shirt, slamming him into the ground. “Who are you working for?”
Eagle Eyes rarely worked alone, a notorious thug for hire, and a tenacious one at that. Someone put him up to it.
John held the blade to the brave’s neck, letting him feel the sharp edge, giving him a moment to reconsider his next move, a soldier’s courtesy. “Tell me.”
The Mohawk defiantly put up his chin, offering his neck, so John dug in, blood trickling from the small slice. “Tell me, now.”
“Just One, stop,” Anoki yelled from behind. “He’ll admit nothing.”
John froze, trepidation giving him pause, until Anoki stepped up with warning in his dark eyes. Against every instinct, John sheathed his blade and stepped back.
Anoki grabbed the Mohawk’s arm and pulled him to his feet. “You’re trespassing on Oneida land. Now, you’ll answer to our chief, spy.”
John glanced over his shoulder at the river; Eagle Eyes was barely in sight, rowing against the current. Damn.
“What will Joseph do with him?” John asked.
“We’ll take him to the Colonel at Stanwix. They’ll use him to negotiate with the Mohawk.”
“Lot of good that will do.” He shook his head despondently. The situation was hopeless. The Mohawks were fiercely loyal to the King’s cause, and the Oneida had thrown their lot in with the colonists. Brother against brother.
But am I not a King’s man andan Oneida?
Damned divided loyalties.
Bending down, John grabbed his musket, hooked his pistol back on his hip, and then started towards the village. The longer he walked in the tranquility of the forest, the more shattered it appeared as memories seeped into the present; around him, the innocent lay bleeding in the grass, and the outstretched hand of a woman reached through the forest to find him. “Justice… John.”His haven, his shelter from the storm, had been breached. Eagle Eyes was back to settle old scores, and war was the inevitable recourse.
John could hide no longer. Karma had come for him.
About the Author
T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, July 8
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, July 9
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 10
Guest Post at Passages to the Past
Thursday, July 11
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Friday, July 12
Excerpt at Words and Peace
Saturday, July 13
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Monday, July 15
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, July 16
Review at Gwendalyn_Books_
Thursday, July 18
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away some fabulous prizes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
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4. My favorite T-Shirt to wear when I write my Revolutionary tales, that says: The original New England Patriots, from 1630 in Boston
5. A stuffed founding father doll by Little Thinkers to inspire the Rebel in you
6. And a Founding Father book of quotes. Seditious banter from our brash Rebels!
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