Victoria Gray | Female Spies? Oh My!
November 20, 2010
What comes to your mind when you hear the word spies? James Bond, gadgets, an
eccentric Civil War-era spinster known as Crazy Bet. Yes, that’s right...a
spinster known as Crazy Bet - Elizabeth Van Lew, a Richmond spinster known as
Crazy Bet, used her eccentric behavior as a cover for her ingenious schemes,
disarming the people she’s deceiving without ever using a weapon. The daughter
of a prominent Richmond businessman, she spent her inheritance buying and
freeing slaves before the war. During the war, she spied for the Union,
supplying information to Union generals; during her frequent visits to the
Confederate prison in Richmond, Crazy Bet brought food and books for the
imprisoned Federal soldiers and much desired treats for the guards while she
gleaned information she could funnel to Union officers. Using her reputation as
an eccentric to her best advantage, she adopted the touched persona of
"Crazy Bet" to further avoid suspicion of her activities.
Elizabeth Van Lew’s story inspired the character of canny spymaster, "Crazy
Betsy" Kincaid, in Angel in My Arms, the story of Amanda Emerson, a
beautiful Union spy and Captain Steve Dunham, the Union officer she recruits for
a suicide mission. Steve Dunham’s facing a noose when sable-haired beauty Amanda
Emerson and her crazy matron "aunt" engineer his escape from jail.
There's a catch - Amanda needs him to break into Libby Prison to rescue a
notorious double agent who may or may not be on the side of the Union. He’s
trading one noose for another, but Steve can’t resist her. He’ll possess her
love — if he lives long enough.
The rugged soldier she recruits for her plan looks more like a Viking warrior
than a disciplined officer, but Amanda’s drawn to Steve’s courage and
tenderness. As the danger surrounding them thickens, every moment he’s with
her jeopardizes their lives, but they discover a passionate love that’s worth
Steve Dunham, the hero of Angel in My Arms, was
introduced in an earlier novel, Destiny. When I wrote Destiny, I knew I’d have to
give Steve his own love story. Throw in a gang of gun-runners who specialize in
stolen military weapons, a nest of beautiful spies, a heroic Confederate officer
whose ties with Steve go back to their Army service in the western territories,
and a villain with a thirst for revenge, and you've got a plot that isn't your
mother's Civil War romance.
To learn more about Angel in
My Arms and read an excerpt, please visit my website, and my
Angel in My Arms is now
available in print and as an eBook from The Wild Rose Press.
15 comments posted.
Re: Victoria Gray | Female Spies? Oh My!
I'm not usually excited by the Civil War period for books, but it sounds as if it would be perfect for your characters and plot. I will definitely have to add it to my must-read list.
(Susan Driskill 8:33pm November 20, 2010)
Thanks, Susan! I love an intriguing plot, and the backdrop of the Civil War seemed the perfect time for a novel about female spies...especially given the history of female spies during the war.
(Victoria Gray 11:53pm November 20, 2010)
I think French Resistance when I think of female spies. 'Angel in My Arms' sounds wonderful.
(Mary Preston 2:59am November 21, 2010)
Sounds like a very interesting idea. I'd love to read it.
(Penny Mettert 3:11am November 21, 2010)
I haven't read any books with the Civil War as background, so can''t say too much about it.
(Diane Sadler 9:49am November 21, 2010)
Who knew the Civil War could be anything but dull!! You had me at the title, but the story line has me totally intrigued!! I honestly have to say that I'm not familiar with your books, so it sounds like I have a little bit of catching up to do. Congratulations on your latest book!! It sounds like you have a winner on your hands!
(Peggy Roberson 9:51am November 21, 2010)
Your book sounds great and I must read it, You offer it in e-book form?
(Vickie Hightower 10:36am November 21, 2010)
I don't think I've read a story that is set against the
backdrop of the civil war. But sounds intriguing.
(Lisa Richards 2:26pm November 21, 2010)
Victoria, Your books sounds facinating. I love that you modeled her after a real person.
(Robin McKay 4:40pm November 21, 2010)
i agree it sounds very good; something new to add to my wish list
(Barbara Studer 6:47pm November 21, 2010)
The Civil War was an intesting time in American history. Now I wasn't there of course, but I have read a great deal about it and actually have visited some of the locations where the battles were fought. You book sounds intriguing.
(Gladys Paradowski 12:16pm November 22, 2010)
I love female spies, after all they've been around for centuries. There's even one in the Bible, Rahab, a prostitute who helped Israelite spies in Jericho to conquer the city.
And there are certainly accounts of female spies who did a great service to their countries. I always appreciate a book even more if it's based at least partially on fact or if it's an actual biography.
(Sigrun Schulz 12:29pm November 22, 2010)
I love your books and love how you came up with this story. You always manage to come up with something unique in your stories.
I had heard of women joing the army pretending to be men but never being spies. Can't wait to read this book.
(Jeanne Miro 9:22am November 22, 2010)
would like to read this one
(Natalie Kozaczka 7:54pm November 22, 2010)
Why not include more feminine spies, since a husband/sife team made news with their spying on the side.
(Alyson Widen 12:18pm November 23, 2010)
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