Beyond All Odds … a novel by J. Winfield Currie

Beyond All Odds … a novel by J. Winfield Currie

Beyond All Odds: Book II of The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy

The saga begun in Beyond All Reason continues.

March 15, 1781, late afternoon of a cold, dreary, unforgiving day, and the battle at Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, continues to rage on — both sides now showing equal signs of exhaustion. The unexpected arrival of fresh American troops inspires General Greene’s soldiers to fight with renewed vigor and steadily force the British army back.

General Cornwallis must level the playing field … or forfeit yet one more battle he cannot afford to lose. With only a moment’s hesitation, he gives the order. British artillery roars, spewing deadly grapeshot into the midst of the melee, killing indiscriminately … both rebel and British soldiers falling under the onslaught.

As the smoke clears, Lieutenant Jackson, a British dragoon officer, finds himself miraculously still amongst the living. Scanning the crumpled bodies scattered across the red, oozing mud, he mourns the devastating loss of friends, unknown foes … and two people who had encompassed his very life for the past five years.

But grieving must wait for he has a sacred promise to fulfill: rescue an innocent child before she becomes a pawn in this war. For she would be considered a ‘valuable prize’ by either side.

However … do appearances always represent reality? Has everything truly been lost on the battlefield? To whom can Lieutenant Jackson turn? Where can he go? And is the refuge to which he ultimately flees with little Gabrielle Tarrington truly a haven … or merely just another hell on earth?

Once again we watch the interplay between fictional characters and those who actually lived in that era: Lord Cornwallis, Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton and a new addition to the saga: John Paul Jones.

Excerpt from: Beyond All Odds: Lord Cornwallis – Chapter III

“General — General Cornwallis.” A loud, distressed voice pierced his troubled sleep. Rolling over, ignoring the grating sound, he pulled his blanket tighter — chilled despite the quantity of alcohol he had consumed earlier.

“Your Lordship — General. I must talk to you.” The tent flap raised as a rain soaked head thrust its way inside.

“For the love of God … quiet, man!” Cornwallis thundered, grimacing as throbbing pain pounded across his forehead.

“But your Lordship …”

With grudging effort and a muffled curse, Cornwallis rolled to face the intruder. Groaning, he swung his legs slowly over the edge of the cot. Forcing himself into an upright position, he raked a shaky hand back through his still damp hair. “What in God’s name could be so blasted important that you wake me from a sound sleep on such a godforsaken night?” he demanded.

“There is a man requesting … no, demanding to see you, your Lordship,” the young corporal stammered. Having stepped fully inside the tent, and now at risk of facing the formidable wrath of his commander, he hesitated, suddenly bewildered, distinctly uncomfortable, and eager to be gone.

Cornwallis pierced the young corporal with an icy glare. “Tell whomever it is that I am occupied. I have no desire, or need, to speak with anyone on this dreary night. Send him away!”

“But, sir,” he continued doggedly, “he has a young child with him … rather wet and cold … and bids me show you this.” He thrust a small wooden horse, with the grimy remnants of a blue ribbon, towards his Lordship.

The General’s eyes went wide, his face draining of all color. He would know that toy horse anywhere … had seen it so many times over the last few months, clutched tightly in a pair of small hands. “Bring them in quickly, Corporal. Not one word to anyone or you will draw your last breath tonight. Do I make myself absolutely clear?” Without waiting for an answer he added, “And bring whatever is available: hot broth, tea — anything to provide sustenance and warmth. Be quick about it!”

With a clipped nod and pledge to silence, the corporal ducked under the tent flap and disappeared into the storm.

Within moments, puddles of water spilled inside as the flap lifted once again and a tall man stepped into the dim light clutching a bedraggled child to his chest. Lieutenant Jackson, pale and drenched to the bone, faced Cornwallis eyeing him in silence. A tiny sob escaped as Gabrielle twisted in Jack’s arms to face the General. “Grampa,” she hiccuped, reaching a small hand out to touch him.

Cornwallis stifled a gasp and lurched to his feet — stone cold sober.

Beyond the Horizon: Book III of The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy, the ongoing saga of Jason and Kathryn Tarrington as they attempt to reinvent themselves in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War and desperately search for a new life in the unknowable wilderness … Beyond the Horizon. In this emotional, action-packed blockbuster there will be shared joys and sorrows as life moves on … coming full circle in a hauntingly memorable ending.

J. Winfield Currie: a fresh new voice in historical romance