Thursday, 20 July 2017

THE LOVES OF THE LIONHEART - History's Forgotten Princesses


The Loves of the Lionheart

History's Forgotten Princesses 

This is a novel I have wanted to write for some time, since I became interested in the Queen of Richard the Lionheart. She was the only Queen of England who never set foot in the country and I found her a fascinating subject. However, as I got involved in the research for Queen Berengaria, in relation to Richard, I thought his first serious love interest, Princess Alys of France, deserved a mention.

Alys turned out to be a very interesting character, a sympathetic character, although very little is known about her. In fact, very little is known about either of these princesses, and I hope I have done them justice. I have studied many chronicles of the time, a lot of which contradict each other, but none of them really describe the thoughts and feelings of these two young women, especially Alys, who I feel was exploited and much maligned.

Anyway, this has been a new venture for me, to write about real people instead of fictional ones, to know where the story has to go because it is history, it has happened. I do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

It is available from today in both kindle and paperback versions. The kindle version will be on special offer for this week only.

As always, thank you all for your continuing support.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

I MADE IT TO THE FINALS!!!

I MADE IT TO THE FINALS!! 

Now I need your vote if I am to have any chance of winning and I know I can count on everybody on my list.

Here's how: 

Go to 
this link Scroll down until you come to 'Best Historical' and you will see my book, Once Loved, at the top of the list. Just click on it and your vote will be registered. Then, if you will, scroll down a bit more until you come to 'Best Romance' where you will see my book, The Minstrel's Lady, again at the top of the list. Just click on that to register your vote. It only takes a few minutes.

I was thrilled to have two books nominated for this award and I never expected to make it to the finals. With your help, I might even go farther.

Thank you so much!

Margaret

Monday, 10 July 2017

THIS WEEK ONLY - The Wronged Wife only .99 cents (or pence)


THE WRONGED WIFE

This has been a very popular book since it was first published in 2014. It is controversial, but it must always be remembered never to read historical fiction through 21st century eyes. Things were different then, attitudes and expectations were different then.

The story concerns Lord Richard Morton, an earl and courtier to King Henry VIII. In service of that King, Lord Richard is obliged to leave his wife and daughter for a whole year, to fight the King's war with the French.

On his return, he is heartbroken to find his beloved wife with child by his brother. In a blind rage, he lashes out at her and leaves, taking his five year old daughter with him.

It is seven years before he discovers his mistake when his dying brother sends for him and make his deathbed confession.

Now he is even more heartbroken, to think that he tore their lives apart, turned against his wife when he should have known better and given her his support. How is he ever going to make it up to her and to his daughter, who has been kept away from her mother for all those years?

He knows he must return to his Cornish home and reunite his daughter with her mother, he knows he can never ask forgiveness of either of them. 

But when he finds his wife studying the illicit and heretical teachings of Martin Luther, he fears he may have left things too late. He cannot leave his child with a mother who is likely to be arrested and charged with heresy, nor can he bear to separate them again.

This will be the hardest battle he has ever had to fight.

GET YOUR COPY NOW, WHILE IT IS $4 off!   It won't stay that way for long.

Martin Luther

By Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder - http://img.over-blog-kiwi.com/1/59/80/42/20150602/ob_92f938_942363-martin-luther.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54910617
One of the founders of the reformation was Martin Luther, a German priest who began to question the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. 

He particularly objected to the Church's sale of indulgences and the idea that entry into Heaven could be bought with money. In 1517, he posted his 95 thesis of objections on the door of a church, thus rousing others to begin to question in their turn. 

For centuries after Luther's rebellion, possession of his writings was illegal, heretical and could be punished by being burned alive.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Hartleighs of Somersham Book Two on special offer for this week only.

Lady Penelope's Frenchman is the second book in the series, a novella length Regency romance.

Although still in his early twenties, Christopher Hartleigh now finds himself Duke of Somersham and the head of the Hartleigh family. He thinks it will be an easy task until his young cousin, Penelope, brings up the subject of Pier Gaston, a French aristocrat left penniless by the revolution. Penelope's father, the late Duke, has already refused consent for her to marry Pier, believing his only interest to be in her fortune, but she has stubbornly kept writing to him. Now Christopher is Duke, she hopes that he will be more sympathetic to her cause and allow them to marry.

Christopher hopes she will meet someone more suitable at the London season, and steers her towards Viscount Michael. Her determination takes him by surprise and he feels inadequate to the task he has been given. He also believes the Frenchman is only interested in his cousin's fortune and refuses his consent to the marriage.

Naively, he hopes she will see sense and marry the Viscount; instead she elopes with Pier, an act which will cause a terrible scandal if it is known.


His duty now is to follow them and bring her back, hopefully before it is too late.


Only 0.99 for this week only so don't miss out

If you missed Book One, A Match of Honour, you can read it here. All my books are available to read via Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription service as well as to buy.



Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Wow! Two Books Nominated for the E-Festival of Words Award!


eFestival of Words List of Nominees 2017

I couldn't believe it when a fellow author emailed me with congratulations. I have been nominated for two awards.










Best Historical

This is Book Three of the Pestilence Trilogy, three books set amid the devastation of the Black Death, which spread throughout England in 1348. The disease is now known to be the Bubonic Plague and this was its first appearance in England.

Many scientists argue about whether it was actually the same disease that devastated London 300 years later in 1665, but it has always been accepted that it was the same. 

It came here, to England, on trade ships carrying black rats and their fleas, which spread the disease. This third book tells of how people's lives were changed by the devastation the plague left in its wake. It had the effect of changing the entire structure of society.

Pestilence Boxed Set





Best Romance


The Minstrel's Lady tells of a minstrel and his lady, Rose, who sings with him. They go to London on the invitation of their friend, Mark Smeaton, who has told Queen Anne Boleyn all about them and she wants to hear them play and sing.

But things don't go to plan when they arrive to witness the downfall of Mark and subsequently the Queen. They decide they would be safer at home, but first they remain to play and sing in the park on May Day.

Because of the impending executions, the crowds pouring into London cause the coach on which they are travelling to divert to a weaker bridge over the river Thames. The storm causes the bridge to collapse and Rose awakes in a tavern with no memory of who she is, not even her name.

When a nobleman appears and claims her as his bride, she has no way of knowing if she is who he thinks she is. She goes with him, falls in love with him, but is haunted by dreams of a young minstrel and a village just outside London.

Will she ever learn the truth? And if she does, will she lose the love of her life?

The final selections will be made in July when I shall be calling for votes, so keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

FREE BOOKS


Whether you are a fan of historical fiction, historical romance, historical fantasy or all three, there is bound to be something in this giveaway that you will love. Just click here to download lots of free books and discover lots of great authors.
 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

NEW COVERS FOR HOLY POISON


'the 6 books of holy poison are among some of the best books I have read,i could not put them down and the last one had me crying, what a author I have also read another 3 and they where just as good. could have given it 10 stars if I could,'

This was the lovely review given to my Holy Poison series and I decided such praise deserved an update of their covers.

There are six books in the series, set amid the violent and turbulent reign of Queen Mary I, known throughout history as Bloody Mary for her five year campaign to stamp out heresy and bring England back to the Church of Rome.

What was it like, to live through those days? What was it like to have lived for six years under the rule of the Protestant King Edward VI, who outlawed Catholicism and imprisoned and confiscated the property of those who defied that law. Before that, King Henry VIII had broken with Rome and set himself up as head of the Church in England, although he was still basically a Catholic, just not a Roman Catholic. Indeed, his sixth and last wife, Queen Catherine Parr, narrowly escaped arrest on his order for following the Protestant faith.

There were many, like the heroine of the first novel, THE JUDAS PLEDGE, who remembered nothing of Catholic rule and knew only that they were worshippers of idols and that their penalties were harsh. Don't forget, their very soul depended on their belief in their religion. To be suddenly told that they had to recant from the Protestant religion and once again follow the doctrine of Catholic rule, as well as the rule of the Pope in Rome, caused many of those Protestants to suffer the agonising death of being burned alive rather than deny their faith. It caused others to flee the country, to escape to France, where the King was helping English Protestants whilst still persecuting his own.

In the first book we meet Lord Richard Summerville and his wife, Bethany. The story begins at the end of the reign of Edward VI, when Richard decides that Bethany, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, will make him a good wife. In order to accept, she must promise to give up her faith and follow his Catholic beliefs. But she finds it almost impossible to support her Catholic husband when Mary Tudor gains the throne, despite having fallen in love with him.

Their turbulent marriage almost destroys them both.


In THE FLAWED MISTRESS we meet Lady Rachel Stewart, a woman who Richard presented to the Queen as his wife, a woman who Bethany always believed was her husband's favourite mistress and whom she has always despised for that reason.

But there is far more to Rachel's story than anyone is allowed to know. 

THE VISCOUNT'S BIRTHRIGHT sees little of the Summervilles, but tells the tale of Lord Robert Roxham, an arrogant young viscount whose plans to wed Lady Camilla are thwarted. For when his estranged father dies and he expects to inherit the earldom, he learns that a proviso in his late father's Will means he will only inherit if he marries the late Earl's ward, Antonia Jarvis. Having taken legal advice and learned that the Will is perfectly legal, Robert decides to comply and forget Camilla, but Antonia has other ideas and declares she would rather find work than be married to such an arrogant and boorish man.

However, on further consideration she can see where her best interests lie and agrees to the marriage. She is devastated when she falls ill and suspects that Robert is trying to poison her so he can have his inheritance and Lady Camilla.

Believing that he has lost Antonia anyway, Robert decides to join Thomas Wyatt's rebellion to oust Mary from the throne of England and replace her with her sister, Elizabeth.

BETRAYAL tells the tale of Lord Adrian Kennington whose plan to marry Lady Frances, a maiden to whom he has been betrothed since childhood, is shattered when his brother, Mark, tells him that he is in love with her and she with him. Having no wish to be tied to a wife who is in love with his brother, Adrian gives them his blessing and helps them to elope to the Americas. 

Now he is free to taste the delights of the seedier side of London and there he meets Marianne, a young girl whose father is trying to sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Having rescued her, Adrian forms a loving relationship with her, not realising until it is too late that he can never marry a tavern girl.

He meets Lady Elizabeth, a woman still grieving from an incident in her past when her former betrothed was revealed as a secret Catholic who betrayed his entire family for their heresies. Adrian falls for her and swears to devote himself to her and leave Marianne. But his weakness for his tavern girl follows him into the future and when Lord Richard Summerville tells him he must accept a place at Mary's Catholic court, Elizabeth sees history repeating itself.

They are driven apart by the Queen's suspicions and Adrian's own weakness for another woman.

THE HERETICS tells the tale of Lady Julia Winterton, Bethany's sister, whose marriage to the cruel Sir Geoffrey Winterton was arranged by her father to win his title. But Sir Geoffrey's preference is not for women and Julia cannot help but be attracted to her handsome neighbour, Lord Richard Summerville. But when he marries her sister, she has no option but to flee and she cannot forgive Bethany for knowingly marrying a Catholic.

Her journey takes her to a farm, where she meets Charles Carlisle and gives birth to Richard's child. Together they build a life together and risk everything to help fleeing Protestants to escape to France.

CONSEQUENCES tells of the aftermath of Mary's reign. When the Queen dies, Richard narrowly escapes with his head and he returns to Summerville Hall and the wife who betrayed him, and whom he still loves. They swear to put the past behind them and build a new life together, away from the court and the influence of the Monarch, But past transgressions and resentments threaten to ruin their love and Richard's rift with his cousin, Anthony, whom he raised from childhood, threatens their future.

Will the consequences of the past actions and betrayals of the Summervilles allow them to live in peace?

The series is also available in a boxed set, although I've decided to leave that cover alone for the time being.

AND if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read them all through that service. The best news is that the first month's subscription is free.

Thank you for reading; I hope you like my new covers and the books.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

My First Regency

So, I have been a bit out of touch, having moved house again. It had to be done; when autumn arrived, so did the mouses. Hundreds and hundred of mouses. I took the tea cosy off the teapot one morning and there was a little Mickey sitting on the lid waving at me! Well, I'm not scared of mice, but I don't want to share my limited space with them.

Now I have started a new Regency series. It is clean and wholesome, no sex, just the hint of some. It is called A Match of Honour and is available to buy at the reduced price of $2.99 for the first week. The paperback will be along soon, but it seems Amazon don't like the English spelling of 'honour' on the cover, although they don't have a problem with it on the kindle version!

Like all my books, it is available to read for free via the Kindle Unlimited program, for which you can still get a month's free trial. 

So, here is the tale:

Christopher Hartleigh is the 21 year old heir to his father’s brother, the Duke of Somersham. Because the present Duke has no sons, only three daughters, and their mother is determined that the estate stay with her own bloodline, the Duke tells Christopher that he should marry his cousin, Susan, the eldest of those daughters.

Christopher initially finds the idea amusing. Susan has been like a sister to him all his life and he tells his uncle he has no intention of marrying her.

However, wanting to discuss the matter with Susan, and perhaps enjoy a joke with her about the suggestion, he seeks her out. When he sees her going into the woods, dressed in peasant’s garb, he follows her to the cottage of an old wise woman, the local herbalist and seer, and his curiosity is piqued.

He waits outside the cottage for Susan to emerge and there he discovers a secret to make his amusement turn quite sour.

And here is a teaser from the first chapter.


CHAPTER ONE
The Only Suitable Match


Christopher laughed out loud. He could not quite take this conversation seriously, could not believe his father was even suggesting it.
“It is no jest, Christopher,” George said. “I am but passing on the suggestion your Uncle has made, as I promised him I would. If the idea does not appeal to you, if you are firmly set against such a plan, then that will be the end of it.”
“Will it?” Christopher turned to face his mother, who sat quietly with her hands clasped loosely in her lap. She wore an enigmatic smile and he would have given a year’s allowance to know what she was thinking. “Mother? What is your opinion of this ridiculous suggestion?”
He thought she would reject the idea out of hand, but she surprised him by not answering straight away. When she did find her voice, it was to utter words he would never have expected.
“I think it would be a good match,” she said quietly.
Her husband turned to look at her sharply and raised his eyebrows.
“Jane? That is not what you said when I first mentioned it.”
Jane stared at her husband, George, Lord Hartleigh, brother of the Duke of Somersham and father of her sons, Christopher and Mason. The elder of those sons was the heir and would inherited the title when the Duke died, which everyone expected to be very soon.
Finally, Jane replied.
“No, but I have had time to consider.” She turned to her son. “If you, as the future Duke, do not marry Susan, who will you marry? You will be an important and wealthy man. Something should have been arranged years ago.”
“Then why was it not?” Christopher demanded.
“Because,” George replied, “it would have been disrespectful to your Uncle. Not knowing if he would one day have a son meant that we could not in all conscience find the right bride for you.”
“Well, Mother, you probably know that I would prefer to find my own bride. The days of arranged marriages are long gone, I hope.”
“Yes, they are, but even so you must choose from among maidens of your own class. We have neglected our duty by doing nothing to introduce you to such girls. That being the case, your cousin would be the most suitable match.”
Christopher shook his head and got to his feet. He still wore a little grin, still found the situation amusing. Marry Susan, indeed! He had nothing against her, except the slight resemblance to her mother’s superior attitude that he found hard to tolerate. She was a nice enough maid, and, as the eldest daughter of the present Duke, certainly of the correct status to wed the future Duke. But this was not something he had ever expected.
She was his cousin, a childhood playmate of his own age. He had thought about a marriage over the years, of course he had, but if he had considered anything it was that he might go to London, perhaps to court and meet some young lady there. Lord knew there were enough of them paraded before suitable young men every season and Christopher was certainly suitable. He was an excellent catch for all the mothers desperate to have their daughters well married. Indeed, he was one of the most eligible bachelors in the country and would be more so when his uncle passed away.
It was rumoured that the Prince Regent kept a jovial court and quite informal. Christopher would not be averse to spending time there, to discovering for himself whether the rumours were true.
“Give it some thought,” George said as his son moved toward the door.
Christopher turned back with his hand resting on the doorknob, still wearing that amused smile.
“I will, Father,” he said. “But do not hold out too much hope. I trust you have made no promises to His Grace.”
“Of course not. I would like to see his mind at rest though. That I cannot deny.”
Christopher was still grinning when he saddled his horse and went for a ride about the estate. It was something he liked to do when he had things to think about and this was certainly something to think about.

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