#NewRelease – Katherine, Tudor Duchess by Tony Riches

Today, I’m delighted to share Katherine, Tudor Duchess, the latest release from Tony Riches, author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy.  If you have read any of Tony’s work to date, you won’t be surprised to learn that this book is a #1 Hot New Release on Amazon. Anyone who loves historical fiction will certainly want to check it out! And just look at this gorgeous cover! Please remember to pass on Tony’s news far and wide, too. Thanks!

BLURB: 

Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward.

When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the death of Jane Seymour, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.
When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Katherine, Tudor Duchess  is Available in eBook and paperback here:
 Amazon UK and Amazon US
Also on Goodreads
(Audiobook edition coming in 2020)


Author Tony Riches 

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess and Brandon – Tudor Knight. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

#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

#ShareAReviewDay #TuesdayBookBlog Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

I’m very happy to welcome Tony Riches to The Write Stuff. Tony is sharing a review of his book Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy, and he and I would both love for everyone to reblog and tweet this out all over the place. It’s a great review, and well worth passing along! Thanks!

Staci of Pursuing Staci posts:
Okay, seriously. If you have spent any amount of time with me at all, be it here on my blog/social media/in real life, you know that I am  obsessed with all things Tudor Era. What you probably don’t know is that my obsession climbed to the “nth” degree when I found out that I am a descendent of Owen Tudor. So, needless to say, when I discovered that Tony Riches (Tony Riches, you guys. *enter unladylike squeal, here*) had written a book about Owen (and Jasper and Henry!) I absolutely had to have it. And as expected, I was not disappointed.

Tony Riches has this incredible way of fleshing out historical characters, bringing them to life and dragging them smack into the present. I didn’t feel like I had to step back into time to get into Owen’s story; the author brought Owen’s life to me. The historical research done was impeccable, allowing me to escape into the story with ease. I could picture the sights and the scenery, the sounds and politics of court life. The plot moved quickly, with plenty of tense moments, character victories and unforeseen events. My favorite part of the book, however, was the character development. Each character was vividly their own person. And Owen! I absolutely loved getting to know him. I found myself in awe of his strength, his integrity, his compassion, his talent for surviving court life. He was intelligent, had hopes and dreams, made mistakes and followed his heart. He was human and flawed and perfect and I couldn’t put the book down.

I am thrilled that this is a series, because I am not ready to say goodbye to this family.

BLURB

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.

England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.

They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?

This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told.

Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy is a new addition to story of the Tudors in the historical fiction tradition of C J Sansom, Conn Iggulden, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel.

Buy  Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy HERE


Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.

For more information please visit Tony’s website http://www.tonyriches.com and his blog The Writing Desk at http://www.tonyriches.co.uk. He can also be found at Tony Riches Author on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

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.
~~~

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 – 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

#ExcerptWeek – The Shell: An African Adventure by Tony Riches

The Shell – An African Adventure, by Tony Riches 

Mombasa beach: The dream holiday of a lifetime turns into a nightmare for a young couple. Brutally attacked and kidnapped, she has to battle for survival in one of the remotest and most dangerous areas of north east Kenya. He has to find and rescue her – before it is too late. Palm trees line an idyllic beach of white coral sand. An Arabian dhow sails on the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Two lovers are ruthlessly torn apart, perhaps forever.  Lucy is bound and helpless, taken far from the safety of the world she knows. Unconscious and bleeding, nothing has prepared Steve for what he needs to do. 

# # #
Chapter One

The storm that ravaged the coast had completely passed. A stranded boat and a few damaged palm trees were the only sign it had ever happened. They had come to the beach to see the boat, lying wrecked on its side, several hundred yards from where it had been moored.

A hermit crab dragged the heavy conical shell it had borrowed across the white sand, leaving a meandering trail to mark its progress. Steve picked it up to show to Lucy.

She looked at it and smiled. ‘It needs a bigger shell, there’s no room for its claws.’

The little crab waved a pinkish orange claw in the air defensively. Lucy handed it carefully back to Steve and he placed it back on the sand. They watched as it continued stubbornly on its path.

The sea looked so calm and inviting it was difficult to believe that it was the same ocean they had watched smashing onto the beach last night. Lucy kicked off her sandals and stepped into the water. It was warm and crystal clear, gently lapping round her toes.

‘This is how I always imagined Mombasa.’

‘I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had meant to read up more about it on the Internet but never got round to it.’

‘I checked the hotel website but they didn’t say anything about tropical storms.’

Lucy slipped her hand into his as they walked and pulled him close to her. She felt happier now they had decided to start a family.

‘We must ring Dad to let him know we’re O.K.’

Steve nodded. ‘He does worry about you.’

She looked out across the deep blue of the Indian Ocean to the white breakers on the distant reef, absent mindedly brushing her blonde hair out of her eyes. Nothing seemed to worry Steve. He was a risk taker. Even when they broke down on a dusty, potholed road in the middle of the African bush and their driver started making frantic calls for assistance on an ancient mobile phone. He made her feel safe.

That was a big part of what had attracted her to him, as well as his rugged good looks and their shared sense of humour. He was the first man other than her father who really cared about her. She liked his dark hair, cut shorter for the holiday and the way his stubble shadow meant he always looked like he needed a shave.

They walked on in silence on the warm white sand. Lucy felt she should defend her father.

‘Dad paid for everything before I had my first teaching job. I took it for granted at the time. And he’s accepted you!’

‘I had to marry you first!’

Lucy kissed him. ‘No regrets?’

‘No regrets.’

‘You like him really?’

Steve pretended to consider. ‘He would make a really good grandfather.’

Steve’s words hung in the humid air for a moment, they still hadn’t really talked about what starting a family would mean.

Lucy smiled. ‘I think he will.’

They reached the boat. A tangle of ropes lay next to it and there were a few bottles and bits of broken fishing equipment strewn around. Steve could see that the wooden hull had taken quite a hammering. Parts of the planking were broken and some had come loose.

Lucy stood looking at it. ‘This is someone’s life. I doubt they would have any insurance?’

Steve shook his head. ‘I wouldn’t think so. People here seem quite resourceful. I bet we’ll see it back on the water before we leave.’

They walked around the boat and could see the beach north of the hotel. Lucy recognised the leaning palm tree, bent over towards the sand, where Steve had taken her photo on their first night in Mombasa. It was only three days ago but seemed much longer. The rocky headland, jutting out into the sand, was as far as they had walked that night but she could make out the beach continuing on the other side.

Lucy walked towards it and spun round on the sand to call to Steve. ‘Want to explore? It looks like it’s going to be another nice day.’

Steve followed her and climbed up on the rocks. ‘It’s a great beach. No seaweed.’

Lucy smiled. ‘The man we saw with the rake when we were kayaking must have been here before us.’

He reached out to pull her up and she climbed next to him. The pristine white beach went on for as far as she could see, in a long slow curve until it disappeared into the early morning haze. A line of tall palm trees fringed the sand. It was completely deserted.

Steve helped her down the other side. He picked up Lucy’s abandoned sandals and looked back towards the hotel. He was surprised at how far they had already walked. The boat was out of sight and the rocky headland hid the hotel from view.

Lucy pointed to a dark spot the horizon. ‘It’s a dhow. I had a dream about one of those the other night. It was in a storm though, not like today.’

They stood and watched its steady progress, the sail bent over.

Lucy pointed to the dhow. ‘‘There must be more wind at sea. There’s hardly any breeze here today.’

‘I think it’s coming closer.’

Lucy pulled her camera from her pocket. ‘Good. I was hoping to get some pictures of one before we left.’ She held up the camera but the dhow was still too far off.

‘Let’s keep on walking to where it’s headed’

Steve took her hand again and they carried on along the beach, Lucy glancing out to the ocean to see if the dhow was any closer.

 She bent and picked up a shell from the sand and showed it to Steve. It was a type of scallop shell, bleached even whiter than the sand, the inside perfectly smooth. He handed it back to her and she slipped it into the pocket of her shorts. It was her special souvenir of a wonderful morning in Mombasa.

Steve checked his watch, a habit he was finding hard to break, after so many years in a job when time was money and he was responsible for deadlines being met. Lucy tried to persuade him to leave it at the hotel but he liked the feel of it on his wrist.

He was about to suggest they should turn back when Lucy pointed. ‘It’s coming in.’

Steve could see the dhow had changed its slow but steady course and was going to pull up on the beach a little way ahead of them. It looked a bigger boat than they had seen before, built for long voyages on the open ocean. As it came closer he could see the dark silhouettes of two men, one at the helm and the other bracing the huge triangular sail.

‘Do you think they will mind me taking their picture?’ Lucy remembered the safari guide had warned them about the Maasai not liking tourists taking photos, although they’d seemed happy enough when Steve gave them a five hundred shilling note though.

‘We can ask if they come close enough.’

Lucy looked at the dhow using the viewing screen on her camera. ‘That scene hasn’t changed for centuries!’ It was still too far out to sea but she used the zoom.

They watched the dhow come closer to the beach. It was a sturdily built boat with a long bowsprit and a single curved mast that towered into the clear blue sky. The coffee coloured lateen sail was an impressive piece of engineering, perfectly evolved for the conditions and easily handled in a stiff breeze. The man at the helm had brought the boat round so that it was skimming effortlessly through the water, as fast as any modern sailing racer.

Lucy was standing at the water’s edge taking pictures while Steve carried her sandals and watched it approach. Everything happened very quickly. The dhow beached and both men leapt out. Steve realised they were in real danger. One of the men was carrying a rifle. He rushed at Steve and smashed him hard in the head with the butt. He heard Lucy scream his name as he passed out. Continue reading