Book Title: Muskets and Masquerades
Series: Muskets Trilogy
Author: Lindsey S. Fera
Publication Date: 18th April 2023
Publisher: Pompkin Press
Page Length: 500
Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Romance
Twitter Handle: @AuthorLinzFera @cathiedunn
Instagram Handle: @bostonduchess @thecoffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub
Tour Schedule Page: https://thecoffeepotbookclub.blogspot.com/2023/03/blog-tour-muskets-and-masquerades.html
Book Title and Author Name:
Muskets and Masquerades
Lindsey S. Fera
Jack and Annalisa are married only five months when, enroute to France, a shipwreck separates them. On different shores, each believes the other dead. But when Annalisa learns Jack is alive, she returns to America and discovers much has changed. After a betrayal, she flees town as her alter ego, Benjamin Cavendish, and joins the Continental Army.
Unbeknownst to Annalisa, Jack has also joined the Continentals, harboring shameful secrets from his days in mourning. Against the backdrop of war with Britain, façades mount between Jack and Annalisa, and the merry minuet of their adolescence dissolves into a masquerade of deceit, one which threatens to part them forever.
Muskets and Masquerades
Annalisa wiped the sweat and grime from her face and, clutching her musket, hurried after George and Quinnapin. Her brother sought General Benedict Arnold, who rode wildly up and down the lines atop his brown gelding. Annalisa thought the general might fall from his horse with the force of his vigor.
“Rally, men, rally! To Breymann’s Redoubt!” General Arnold galloped into the fray toward British and Hessian lines.
Annalisa regarded George and Quinnapin. They’d all been fighting most of the afternoon, and the British had retreated back to Freeman’s Farm, all their advancements from the first battle gone. Breymann’s Redoubt, to the British far right, appeared weaker than Balcarre’s Redoubt, heavily defended by both British and Hessians forces, and situated mid-field.
“He’s daft,” George said, “but if we can overtake that fortification, we’ll be behind British lines. This will be a decisive victory, Little One.”
With lips pursed, Annalisa nodded. Her musket loaded and bayonet affixed, she sprinted into the fray with Quinnapin; George fell behind.
“By my side, Cav,” George shouted over the deafening boom of cannon and musket-fire. He wielded his firelock on a charging Hessian, but the soldier sliced Annalisa’s right arm.
“Fie!” She hollered.
Her brother discharged his fowler on the assailant, and with a sputter, the German fell. George turned to her. “Quick, your neckpiece.”
Blood spilled from the gash as she untied the linen cravat from her neck, and with George’s help, wound it tightly about her arm.
“I’ll be fine,” Annalisa said, though it burned.
She loaded her musket then fired, striking a Redcoat in the chest, then thrust her bayonet into an oncoming Hessian. Beside her, George reloaded his fowler with expert quickness, firing three volleys a minute at the onslaught.
“Quinn!” Annalisa fired her Brown Bess on advancing British. Quinnapin swung his tomahawk into their opponent, an echo of their coordinated efforts at Freeman’s Farm.
The battlefield ebbed with smoky, sulfuric discharge of gunpowder, the scent mingling with coppery blood. Such sights and smells often returned Annalisa to Bunker Hill, but she peered ahead. At the foreground of their ambuscade, General Arnold rode recklessly about the field. If only we had someone like him at Bunker Hill. Then we may have proved victorious that day.
Cloistered amidst her charging militia, Annalisa lost sight of General Arnold, and fired upon a Hessian foolish enough to advance, despite his retreating army. The soldier toppled to his knees and landed upon his face. He gurgled and gasped into the earth. Pitying him, Annalisa bayonetted him, and his gurgle ceased. Would that this unknown German have done similarly for me had I fallen. With a shiver, she cradled her wounded arm, stepped over his body, and hastened after George.
Quinnapin, who just maimed a Lobsterback, cleared his blade on the soldier’s red coat. Beside him, George nodded to her arm, now soaked with blood.
“Would that I’d killed that Hessian before he got to you,” he said.
“Worry not, ’tis but a scratch,” she replied, recalling his gruesome injury from Lexington and Concord, of which he’d said the same. Her right bicep throbbed viciously beneath the tied cravat, but she was confident she could treat it once they returned to camp.
“They retreat!” a militiaman shouted above the roar of explosive gunpowder.
As the sun made a lazy departure toward the horizon, the Redcoats and Hessians hurried from the field, leaving behind the dead and wounded. Freeman’s Farm, empty of Burgoyne’s army, left the Continentals and militia behind Breymann’s Redoubt. Her body beginning to ache, Annalisa wound her good arm about George and together, they hobbled through the body-littered field. This must be how Oliver was presumed dead.
Quinnapin sidled up beside them. “That looks to be a nasty wound, Cav. Have you enough within your supplies to remedy it?”
“I do.” With nothing to distract her, the searing burn of the gash amplified, but she withheld a grimace. The cut is deep, but not long.
“Cav!” A familiar voice rang through the evening smog, and William, encrusted in blood and dirt, bounded toward them with Bartlett at his heels.
“What is it, Wilhelmina?” George asked.
“’Tis General Arnold,” he replied, his face pink beneath a layer of grime. “He’s been badly wounded.”
Annalisa stared at Quinnapin, whose healing capability far eclipsed her own.
“How bad is his injury?” Quinnapin asked, catching her glance.
“We know not, only that he was shot in the leg, and had fallen from his horse,” Bartlett answered for William.
“Where’s Jack?” George asked.
“I know not,” William replied. “I’ve not seen him since this morning.”
Bile rose into Annalisa’s throat. What if he’s wounded, or dead? I must search this field for him…
“Josiah and Isaac are with Captain Fleming and the rest of the Massachusetts regiment burning British tents,” William added. “Arnold is with the Connecticut regiment. You must go, quickly.”
Annalisa hesitantly followed Quinnapin as he weaved through the confusion of men and tents.
“He has surgeons and doctors enough, I’m sure,” Annalisa said. “How could they know to ask for us?”
“We’ve a reputation, Cav,” Quinnapin replied, looking back. “We healed many after Freeman’s Farm.”
The sky quickly darkened, as autumn is wont to do, but the mask of night hardly obscured the vestige of battle. Campfires and lanterns lit the smoky landscape in eerie glow, and Annalisa choked on the sulfur still clogging the air. She quivered, unsure if it was her untreated wound, or the otherworldly nature surrounding her.
I’d rather be any place but here, tonight. And we must find Jack…
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYxkoV
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Muskets-Masquerades-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B0BWKGCSH1/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muskets-Masquerades-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B0BWKGCSH1
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Muskets-Masquerades-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B0BWKGCSH1/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Muskets-Masquerades-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B0BWKGCSH1/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/muskets-and-masquerades-lindsey-s-fera/1143036124?ean=9798986756509
LINDSEY S. FERA is a born and bred New Englander, hailing from the North Shore of Boston. As a member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets & Minuets, a planned trilogy.
When she’s not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she’s nursing patients back to health. Muskets & Masquerades is her sophomore novel.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Lindsey-S-Fera/author/B09598KYNM
Thank you for hosting Lindsey S. Fera today with such a fabulous excerpt.
The Coffee Pot Book Club
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