This post appeared the last week of September 2015 on Caroline Warfield’s most-excellent blog on historical fiction/fact, but I thought I’d share it here in case some of you missed it.
The first seven books of my award-winning “The Realm” series took place during the height of the Regency Era. Book one (A Touch of Scandal) began in early 1814, and Book 7 (A Touch of Honor) ended in the spring of 1819. Although I am quite familiar with the Regency, I set the series’ conclusion (A Touch of Emerald) in 1829. In fact, George IV’s death in June 1830 is mentioned briefly in the latter chapters of the book. The shift of ten years made it necessary for me to revisit several points of history, most specifically the fashions of the day, but there were other details that required a bit of research.
That being said, another point of interest was weaponry used by the members of the Realm. During the Regency, the single-shot rifle and pistol were common (although the Americans had developed rifles with longer ranges) and many of the British army used the Baker rifle. “The Baker rifle (officially known as the Pattern 1800 Infantry Rifle) was a flintlock rifle used by the Rifle regiments of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. It was the first standard-issue, British-made rifle accepted by the British armed forces. The Baker Rifle was first produced in 1800 by Ezekiel Baker, a master gunsmith from Whitechapel. The British Army was still issuing the Infantry Rifle in the 1830s.” (Wikipedia) It was the mid to late 1800s before the public saw major improvements in the bolt-action rifle.
In A Touch of Emerald, my hero, Daniel Kerrington, Viscount Worthing, lived in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars, serving as his father’s assistant to several foreign courts. Worthing has the opportunity to purchase a gun developed by Jean Samuel Pauly and another by Casmir Lefaucheux. In the novel, he uses them in his rescue of Lady Sonalí Fowler.
Pauly was an artillery sergeant with the Swiss Army, who wrote a manual on firearms in 1799. With French gunsmith François Prélate, Pauly developed the first self-contained cartridges with a copper base and integrated potassium chlorate primer powder, a paper casing, and a round bullet. The cartridge loaded through the breech and fired with a needle or pin. A firearm was developed by September 1812. Pauly traveled to London in April 1814, where he worked under Durs Egg, the maker of the Ferguson rifle.
Casmir Lefaucheux received his first patent in 1827; he brought the world one of the first efficient self-contained cartridge systems. Lefaucheux’s early work was based on that of Pauly’s. The Lefaucheux possessed a conical bullet, a cardboard powder tube, a copper base, and an incorporated primer pellet. Lefaucheux’s was one of the first breech-loading weapons.
A Touch of Velvet: Book 2 of the Realm Series – Brantley Fowler, the Duke of Thornhill, and Miss Velvet Aldridge
A Touch of Cashémere: Book 3 of the Realm Series – Marc
us Wellston, Earl of Berwick, and Miss Cashémere Aldridge
A Touch of Grace: Book 4 of the Realm Series – Gabriel Crowden. Marquis of Godown, and Miss Grace Nelson
A Touch of Love: Book 6 of the Realm Series – Sir Carter Lowery and Mrs. Lucinda Warren
A Touch of Emerald: The Conclusion of the Realm Series – Daniel Kerrington, Viscount Worthing and Lady Sonalí Fowler
The Realm is a group of covert agents working behind the lines throughout Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. The men of the Realm possess personal demons, but they return to England after the war to reclaim their titles and search for a bit of contentment. However, an old enemy follows them to England. Shaheed Mir, a Baloch warlord, believes one of he Realm stole a fist-sized emerald, and Mir means to have it back.
Book Blurb: A Touch of Emerald
Four crazy Balochs. A Gypsy band. An Indian maiden. A cave with a maze of passages. A hero, not yet tested. And a missing emerald.
For nearly two decades, the Realm thwarted the efforts of all Shaheed Mir sent their way, but now the Baloch warlord is in England, and the tribal leader means to reclaim the fist-sized emerald he believes one of the Realm stole during their rescue of a girl upon whom Mir turned his men. Mir means to take his revenge on the Realm and the Indian girl’s child, Lady Sonalí Fowler.
Daniel Kerrington, Viscount Worthing, has loved Lady Sonalí since they were but children. Yet, when his father, the Earl of Linworth, objects to Sonalí’s bloodlines, Worthing thinks never to claim her. However, when danger arrives in the form of the Realm’s old enemy, Kerrington ignores all caution for the woman he loves.
Book Excerpt Teaser:
A horrifying sense of inevitability swept over Sonalí. Icy dread claimed her spine, but Mir’s hand caught the fist, which came to her lips to stifle the scream drowning out the sound of the gun, to wrench her arm behind her. Sonalí’s gaze remained riveted upon the pain crossing Daniel’s features. She longed to rush to his side – to wrap Daniel in her embrace – to cradle his head in her lap.
“Move!” Mir growled as he shoved Sonalí forward.
She strained to reach Lord Worthing, but the Baloch pulled upward upon her arm, bending Sonalí over at the waist. She stumbled forward unable to straighten her stance.
They paused beside Worthing, who stilled. Even in the semi-darkness, Sonalí recognized how the blood seeped from his wound; regardless, his steady gaze demanded hers.
“Leave her with me,” Worthing pleaded. “Lady Sonalí is of no use to you. Just go. Neither of us is capable of giving pursuit. You can travel faster without her. Lady Sonalí is injured.
Although Sonalí could not see the Baloch’s expression, she could hear the vehemence in his tone.
“You dared to spill…my blood…on English shores,” Mir hissed. “I returned…the gesture.”
A prickle of foreboding ricocheted through Sonalí. Her tears rolled down her cheeks to drip upon Worthing’s upturned face.
“Lady Sonalí…will protect me…from your…father. Linworth killed Talpur…and I will kill…his son,” Mir declared with relish.
“No!” Sonalí wailed. “You cannot!”
“I can,” Mir assured. “And you may watch.”
Meet Regina Jeffers
The Award-winning author of twenty-three Austenesque and Regency romance novels, Regina Jeffers has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”