About the Book
Book: Byway to Danger
Author: Sandra Merville Hart
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: July 19, 2022
Everyone in Richmond has secrets. Especially the spies.
Meg Brooks, widow, didn’t stop spying for the Union when her job at the Pinkerton National Detective Agency ended, especially now that she lives in the Confederate capital. Her job at the Yancey bakery provides many opportunities to discover vital information about the Confederacy to pass on to her Union contact. She prefers to work alone, yet the strong, silent baker earns her respect and tugs at her heart.
Cade Yancey knows the beautiful widow is a spy when he hires her only because his fellow Unionist spies know of her activities. Meg sure didn’t tell him. He’s glad she knows how to keep her mouth shut, for he has hidden his dangerous activities from even his closest friends. The more his feelings for the courageous woman grow, the greater his determination to protect her by guarding his secrets. Her own investigations place her in enough peril.
As danger escalates, Meg realizes her choice to work alone isn’t a wise one. Can she trust Cade with details from her past not even her family knows?
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Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog, https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.
More from Sandra
In Byway to Danger, Book 3 of my “Spies of the Civil War” series, both Cade and Meg—our hero and heroine—are Union spies living in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. As if this isn’t dangerous enough, Meg is also a former Pinkerton spy. One Pinkerton spy was hanged in the spring and three others now sit in Richmond jails.
Meg works as an assistant in Cade’s bakery. The strong, quiet man keeps a secret from Meg to protect her, for he’s a conductor on the Underground Railroad. He provides food, clothing, and a safe place to stay until he’s able to take them on to the next stop several miles outside the city. Cade has done this for years before the Civil War and continues as the war rages, a perilous mission.
Historically, early in the war on May 23, 1861, three men escaped slavery and fled to Fort Monroe. Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend had worked on Confederate fortifications before escaping on a rowboat. They sought the safety of Union soldiers at the fort. The men informed Union Major General Benjamin F. Butler that they escaped from Confederate Colonel Charles K. Mallory of the 115th Virginia Militia.
The next day, Confederate Major John B. Cary arrived at Fort Monroe under a flag of truce. Cary met with Butler and requested he return the enslaved men to Mallory as required by the Fugitive Slave Act.
Butler did some fast thinking. Since the three men had been building fortifications for war, they could be seized as “contraband of war” and didn’t have to be returned. His refusal to return the men was a pivotal decision and sparked a future law that protected fugitives who sought the protection of Union camps.
Dozens of fugitive men, women, and children had joined Baker, Mallory, and Townsend at Fort Monroe within three days. Many others fled to the fort in the following months. “Grand Contraband Camp” was established about three miles from Fort Monroe on the charred remains of Hampton to accommodate the hundreds of fugitives. It was the nation’s first self-contained black community. By 1865, thousands lived in this camp.
Part of my research for this novel involved a trip to Virginia’s Fort Monroe. (If you love history and have never visited Fort Monroe, I recommend it!) Though I wasn’t certain of my story at the time of my visit, I was so inspired by the fort’s history that I knew it had to be part of my story. And it is!
Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion and Byway to Danger are set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.
Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.
My Review of Byway to Danger
This was the first book I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last. Even though I didn’t realize this was Book #3 in the series before I started it, this book could definitely be read as a standalone. It was amazing. I fell in love with Meg and Cade immediately. My heart went out to Meg and all that she had lost; yet, the book wasn’t sad and depressing, focusing on what she lost but instead focusing on what she could do to help others. She turned her inward pain outward to be a blessing to others in her life. This book was full of romance, mystery, suspense, espionage, and biblical values, shown in the way the characters lived them out on a daily basis. How being a Christ follower trumped where they lived in the country during the war and treating others with Christ’s love despite the political, legal, or cultural views. I cannot wait to read the whole series now. Sometimes reading about war right now with all that is going on in our world is hard, but this book gave hope, inspiration on how to love others through Christ, and how to be part of the solution instead of ignoring or agreeing with the problem through silence.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.
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Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 21
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22
Spoken from the Heart, July 22
Bizwings Blog, July 23
Inklings and notions, July 24
Betti Mace, July 25
Book Looks by Lisa, July 25
Texas Book-aholic, July 26
For Him and My Family, July 27
Connie’s History Classroom, July 28
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 29
deb’s Book Review, July 30
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 31
Vicarious Living, July 31
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2
Blossoms and Blessings, August 3
To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.