#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger ~ New Release from Tony Riches: Brandon – Tudor Knight

Please help me welcome guest blogger Tony Riches back today. Tony is sharing the news of his latest release, Brandon – Tudor Knight, and offering some insight as to how he got started writing his wonderful historical fiction biographies.  I know you’ll enjoy this and will share far and wide, just in time for the Christmas seasonl, so without further ado, here’s Tony!

Development of a Tudor Historical Fiction Series 

It all began with my research for a novel about the life of Henry Tudor, who like me was born in the Welsh town of Pembroke. I collected more than enough material for a substantial book – and discovered there were no novels about his amazing story. I think this was partly because Henry had been (mistakenly) labelled as dull and miserly, when in fact he was an extravagant gambler, who knew how to broker peace and end the Wars of the Roses. Continue reading

Guest Post – New Release from #TonyRiches

Today, I’m happy to have guest Tony Riches, sharing the news about his latest work of historical fiction, Mary, Tudor Princess. I’ll let Tony tell you about this one in his own words, and I know you’ll help him get the news out.

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I chose to write about Mary because I’d researched her birth and early life for my last book, Henry – Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy. In the trilogy I’d moved forward one generation with each book, so it appealed to me to write a ‘sequel’ which did the same. I’d become intrigued with Mary’s story of how she risked everything to defy her brother when he became King Henry VIII.  

I also wanted to explore Mary’s vulnerability as well as her strengths, and I was assisted in this by her brother, who broke off her engagement to young Prince Charles, future Emperor of Rome, to marry her off to the fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France. Although Mary was barely eighteen at the time, Henry saw his younger sister as a small price to pay for a treaty with France.

I enjoyed untangling the many myths about what happened next, from causing the death of King Louis with her ‘passionate exertions’ to her dying of ‘grief at her brother’s divorce from her friend Catherine of Aragon.’ I also had the benefit of knowing a great deal about the people and places of Mary’s world.

Mary – Tudor Princess is now available on Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon AU in eBook and paperback. An audiobook edition will be available later in the year.
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BLURB

From the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her.  Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love? Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this ‘sequel’ follows Mary’s story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.   


Author Tony Riches

About the Author Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors.  For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Goodreads as well as  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

#ExcerptWeek – A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow

This morning, I’d like to welcome Judith Barrow, who is sharing an excerpt from her latest book, A Hundred Tiny Threads, which is now available for pre-order. I know you’ll enjoy this one, and will remember to share hither and yon, as you can. Thanks so much, and thanks, Judith, for taking part in #ExcerptWeek. Welcome!

SYNOPSIS

Gritty family saga set in Lancashire in the 1900s and Ireland at the time of the Black and Tans.
Winifred is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother. When her friend Honora – an Irish girl, with the freedom to do as she pleases – drags Winifred along to a suffragette rally, she realises that there is more to life than the shop and her parents’ humdrum lives of work and grumbling.

Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood echoes through his early adult life and the scars linger, affecting his work, his relationships and his health. The only light in his life comes from a chance meeting with Winifred, the daughter of a Lancashire grocer. The girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting Honora’s intelligent and silver-tongued medical student brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down and she finds herself pregnant. Bill Howarth reappears on the scene offering her a way out.

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EXCERPT FROM A HUNDRED TINY THREADS

… Brought back to Bill the distant memory of the day his father died.

Wilfred Howarth had given Bill a beating that morning for not getting up when first called and had promised another when he returned home after his shift. He’d said he was getting Bill used to an early rise because the following day would be his thirteenth birthday; the day he was to follow his father down the mine as a putter. It didn’t bother Bill; he’d always known that pushing the small wagons along the metal plates through the workings to the passages where the horses could be hitched up to them was to be his lot in life.

Bill remembered hearing the thump and rush of running feet on the cobbles outside his house at the same time he heard the warning siren from the mine. He’d run with the crowd before even knowing what was happening; seeing with the strain on the faces and the hearing of the sobs and cries of the women and children around him that life in the village had changed forever.

‘What’s ’appened?’ Bill caught the arm of a woman.

‘They say there’s been a flood.’ Her eyes were wild. ‘My three lads are down there. What am I going to do? I have two more bairns to bring up. Their da’s already gone; killed in that explosion last year.’ She grabbed his sleeve before dropping to her knees.

Pulled down with her Bill looked around for somebody to help the woman but there was no one; they might as well not be there for all the notice paid to them.

He dragged her to her feet. ‘C’mon. Unless we get to the gates we’ll never know who’s safe and who’s still down there.’

The management had closed the gates. The cries of despair soon changed to shouts of anger in an effort to discover what had happened. When a grey-faced man in a suit approached the crowd the silence was instant. He held up his hand to quiet them, an unnecessary gesture, before he spoke.

‘From what we can gather there was break through to an old abandoned mine that was flooded. We know some of the men are safe—’ He waited for the cries of relief to abate. ‘But we don’t know how many yet.’

Then a huddle of men, bowed, silent and trailing a thin stream of black water behind them, appeared, walking towards the gates.

Bill knuckles grated together as the woman’s gripped his hand. And then she screamed. ‘Eddie!’ She looked at Bill and laughed; a high-pitched noise. ‘That’s Eddie, my eldest.’ Then turning she shouted, ‘Where’s your brothers.’

As the young man came closer Bill saw the white tracks cutting through the black of coal dust on his face.

‘Gone, Ma. They’re gone.’ He shook his head, bewildered. ‘There was so much water–water and thick mud. One minute we were working together and then all this water came flooding through and they were gone.’

She fainted. The manager unbolted the gates and the crowd surged around her, pouring into the yard before milling around in sudden confusion. The man’s blank gaze fastened on Bill in a blink of recognition. ‘Your da was with ‘em.’ He nodded, his voice trailing away. ‘He’s gone too…’

Bill thought his feet would never move from the spot he stood in. Then he turned, jumped over the lifeless form of the woman and ran for home, shocked by sense of release and freedom that coursed through him.

He tumbled through the doorway of the house.

‘Didn’t you hear the siren?’ He held his side against the pain of the stitch.

‘I did.’ Marion didn’t lift her head from staring into the small fire in the grate. ‘I reckon someone would tell me sooner or later what‘s happened.’ Now she did look at him, her eyes narrowed. ‘And here you are.’ She slowly moved her head up and down. ‘Here you are. You’re going to tell me he’s gone, aren’t you?’

Bill nodded, a succession of small bobs of the head. ‘Yeah. The mine—’

‘I don’t want to know. All I want you to know is that you’d better make sure you’re ready to take his place as wage earner in this house.’

It had taken months to recover some of the men’s bodies. But never Wilfred Howarth’s.

~~~


Judith Barrow, Author

Judith Barrow, originally from Saddleworth, near Oldham, has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for thirty eight years.

She has BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University and a MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. She has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions. She has completed three children’s books.
She is also a Creative Writing tutor.

She says:-
My next book, A Hundred Tiny Threads, is the prequel to the trilogy and is the story of Mary Howarth’s mother, Winifred, and father, Bill. Set between 1910 & 1924 it is a the time of the Suffragettes, WW1 and the Black and Tans, sent to Ireland to cover the rebellion and fight for freedom from the UK and the influenza epidemic. It is inevitable that what forms the lives, personalities and characters of Winifred and Bill eventually affects the lives of their children, Tom, Mary, Patrick and Ellen. And so the Howarth/Pattern trilogy begins.

You can pre-order A Hundred Tiny Threads here:

Amazon.co.ukhttp://amzn.to/2ss6dtX
Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2hch4Vo

Reach Judith here:

https://judithbarrowblog.com/

https://twitter.com/barrow_judith

https://www.facebook.com/judith.barrow.3

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

#ExcerptWeek – JASPER – Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches @tonyriches

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 Following the best-selling historical fiction novel OWEN – Book One of The Tudor Trilogy, this is the story, based on actual events, of Owen’s son Jasper Tudor, who changes the history of England forever.

England 1461: The young King Edward of York takes the country by force from King Henry VI of Lancaster. Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, flees the massacre of his Welsh army at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross and plans a rebellion to return his half-brother King Henry to the throne.

When King Henry is imprisoned by Edward in the Tower of London and murdered, Jasper escapes to Brittany with his young nephew, Henry Tudor. After the sudden death of King Edward and the mysterious disappearance of his sons, a new king, Edward’s brother Richard III takes the English Throne. With nothing but his wits and charm, Jasper sees his chance to make young Henry Tudor king with a daring and reckless invasion of England.

Set in the often brutal world of fifteenth century England, Wales, Scotland, France, Burgundy and Brittany, during the Wars of the Roses, this fast-paced story is one of courage and adventure, love and belief in the destiny of the Tudors. 

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Chapter One
February 1461

He held his breath and shivered as he strained to listen. Sound travelled well in the frosty woodland. The rustle of a blackbird foraging for worms in fallen leaves and the sudden, wooden creak of an old branch, bending in the cold air. He heard the noise again, the heavy scrape of hooves on the stony track, coming his way, hunting him. Too tired to run, he would not be taken prisoner by the men of Edward of York.

Jasper remembered his father’s warning. Their proud Welsh army marched over a hundred miles from Pembroke, stopping only at night and starting again each day at dawn, when his outrider returned with grave news. They had sighted York’s army camped near Mortimer’s Cross, on the old Roman road near the crossing of the River Lugg, directly in their path.

‘We should avoid them, head north under cover of darkness,’ his father suggested, his voice kept low so the men wouldn’t overhear. He had looked his age from their long, cold march across Wales. Too old to fight, his father insisted on riding with them. ‘I owe my life to King Henry,’ he argued, ‘and I owe it to your mother to support him now.’

Jasper recalled his terse reply. ‘It’s too late.’ He saw the pleading in his father’s eyes and softened his tone. ‘They know we are here, Father. I will try to negotiate terms if we are given the chance, but we must be ready to fight.’ In truth he doubted York would be in any mood for talking, since his own father, Richard, Duke of York, was beheaded by over-zealous Lancastrians the previous December.

Then came the news that Sir Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and York’s right-hand man, had captured King Henry, Jasper’s half-brother. He had thought York’s soldiers were no match for the men of Wales and the battle-hardened mercenaries who rode with them, but he could not have been more wrong. Their enemy outnumbered them more than two to one and proved to be experienced and well-prepared fighting men.

The salvo of arrows descended without warning in a black cloud of death. One struck deep into the neck of Jasper’s horse, which reared with a demented whinny of pain, throwing him from his saddle. He barely managed to scramble to his feet and draw his sword before York’s men-at-arms charged, hacking with axes, maces and swords, slashing and killing without mercy. Continue reading