Some of you may have been wondering why book-release-wise, I was so quiet over the last couple of years. I was wrangling a massive idea! This past year has been delightful but also stressful, as I wrote and rewrote several versions of a novel that originally intended to cover ten years, then a year, and wound up covering six months.
A few of you have been around long enough to remember the novel I wrote years ago about Katharine of Aragon. She has refused to abandon me and I decided to tackle her again last summer. I decided I wanted to broaden the book’s scope, and make it about more than just Katharine… also, the Tudor family. Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII, Prince Arthur, etc. I quickly found that trying to tell a bunch of stories simultaneously left me either with an enormous novel (that became confusing to my beta readers) or forced me to rush through incidents so fast, none of them had much staying power.
I decided to go with my gut instinct — to write a series of books set in Tudor England, about different people. There will be some characters who appear in every book, but others will focus more on certain factions than others. I have books planned around the Spanish, and their lives in England (Katharine, her dueña, and her ladies in waiting); I have books planned around Henry VII and Elizabeth of York and their children; I have ideas for books about Thomas More and his friends; for Margaret and Richard Pole and their children; and I have book ideas for prequels and side series set in France, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands; in short, if I keep my momentum up, I will be writing a massive series for years to come and God only knows where it will end (and yes, I have books in mind that eventually introduce Anne Boleyn). It’s either an ingenious idea or total insanity, but I often encounter both in my hobbies.
As some of my friends will tell you, I fretted over what to “do with” this series – whether to release them myself as I have done my previous books, or to try and find a traditional publisher. I decided the latter but found, whenever it was time to send out queries, I didn’t want to. I tweaked, I decided to proof-read again, I looked for any excuse not to query agents… until I admitted, I don’t want to have to write what other people want me to write. I don’t want to be told, “No, we don’t like that idea for book 6, we want you to go with this character instead.” I don’t want to have to make choices between what I believe and what a publisher wants. I don’t want to be stuck favoring some characters over others. I intend to write books where everyone has a fair representation and I do not have to choose between Protestants and Catholics. I cannot work like that. I have to be free to write what I want, when I want, to write as many books as I want, and to end the series whenever I want.
So, this is the result:
I need reader / reviewers for the first book.
You get a free e-copy (either as a Kindle .mobi file or a PDF) in exchange for your review (on Amazon, preferably, but I also appreciate them on Goodreads and/or your book blogs). And I would like you to have it read and reviewed by its release date, November 24, 2017 or within a few days of its release.
The first book opens with the execution of Edward Plantagenet as part of Henry VII’s bargain with Ferdinand of Spain in exchange for a dynastic marriage between Prince Arthur and Katharine of Aragon. As treason brews in Guînes and Hampshire, a storm blows Katharine into England…
Here’s the official summary:
Henry VII faces traitors on all sides.
In a darkened abbey in Hampshire, a dozen monks conspire against him.
In a French garrison, a governor favors his enemies.
And one of them holds a secret to devastate England.
Katharine of Aragon arrives in the midst of a storm, bought in a traitor’s blood. The death of Edward Plantagenet turned the queen’s cousin, the Duke of Suffolk, against Henry. He has since fled to the Netherlands to recruit an invading army. Henry hopes to keep his new daughter-in-law close, but Suffolk’s allies stir corruption in Wales, forcing him to send his son into the north.
There, a brutal feud threatens all Prince Arthur holds dear.
As his ruthless enforcer, Sir Thomas Lovell, closes in upon his enemies, Henry’s last hope lies in his children, and in a dynastic marriage to unite two kingdoms…
It is equal parts fact and fiction, with third person point of view chapters by Margaret Pole (cousin to Queen Elizabeth), Henry VII (King of England), Sir Thomas Lovell (the king’s enforcer and spymaster), Katharine of Aragon, Prince Arthur, and Katharine of Aragon’s lifelong friend, Maria Estrella Salinas.
Please let me know if you are interested, either here (I will need a valid e-mail address and preferably, a link to your blog and/or Goodreads profile) or via my femnista e-mail address and please send this post along to any friends who are interested in historical and/or Tudor fiction. (For Christian readers who are interested, the book contains some violence and sensuality but I tend to keep things tame.)
I’m very excited about this release (and am halfway through revising the second novel in the series!). =)