I’m delighted to host Pam Lecky today, who writes wonderful historical fiction in several eras and genres. What a talent! This excerpt is from her brand new release, Her Last Betrayal, published by Avon Books UK / Harper Collins. Thanks for stopping by Pam!
I loved this historical fiction adventure romance, and a couple of weeks ago shared my five star review here. Today, I’m excited to welcome Amy Maroney to my website to share with us an excerpt from her beautiful novel. So, take a deep breath, relax and be transported to the mysterious and alluring Greek Isles.
The Stone Rose
by Carol McGrath
London, 1350. Agnes, daughter of a stonemason, is struggling to keep her father’s trade in a city decimated by plague. And then she receives a mysterious message from the disgraced Queen Isabella: mother of King Edward III, and widow of Edward II. Isabella has a task that only Agnes can fulfil. She wants her truth to be told.
Much has been whispered of the conflicts in Isabella and Edward’s marriage. Her greed and warmongering. His unspoken love for male favourites. But as Agnes listens to Isabella, she learns that she can be of help to the queen – but can either woman choose independence, follow her own desires, and survive?
The sweeping third instalment of Carol McGrath’s acclaimed She-Wolves Trilogy: the gripping series exploring the tumultous lives and loves of three queens of England – and of three women who lived in their shadow.
Based on the extraordinary true story of the female stonemason who carved a queen’s tomb.
Such an excellent novel! Here is my review on Goodreads:
I knew I would enjoy The Stone Rose for Ms McGrath’s impeccable biographical fiction skills…I was even more delighted to be so enthralled with her creative narrative that brings this complex period of history to life. The depth and detail of Ms McGrath’s research gives us enlightening insights to draw our own opinions of Edward II and Queen Isabella, their ambitions, weaknesses and terrible mistakes. The Stone Rose brings us into the centre of medieval politics and machinations, and bursting with a massive cast of characters, Isabella’s story is one that takes time and concentration to fully appreciate. Ms McGrath’s impressive scholarly skills guide us on the queen’s journey capably and with authority, and I learned a great deal about this time.
That being said, my true joy in this novel was the story of Agnes, who starts with her own precipitous journey through plague-ruined England. In contrast to the ebullience and restlessness of the court, Agnes takes us into a world as spare and unyielding as the stones she carves, and I would have enjoyed even more of her world. Both stories intertwine to illustrate the enduring power of women – both Isabella and Agnes find a way to survive and thrive in what is essentially an unforgiving and challenging world.
Ms McGrath has written a fascinating and memorable novel, with beautiful narrative, enthralling characters and immersive detail. These women’s stories will stay with me for a long time, as I think about the full spectrum of medieval world. The Stone Rose is a window into that world that I highly recommend.
Carol McGrath is the author of the acclaimed She-Wolves Trilogy, which began with the hugely successful The Silken Rose and The Damask Rose, and continues with The Stone Rose. Born in Northern Ireland, she fell in love with historical fiction at a young age, when exploring local castles, such as Carrickfergus, and nearby archaeological digs – and discovering some ancient bones herself. While completing a degree in history, she became fascinated by the strong women who were silenced in record and was inspired to start exploring their lives. Her first novel, The Handfasted Wife, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards, and Mistress Cromwell was widely praised as a timely feminist retelling of Tudor court life. Her novels are known for their intricacy, depth of research and powerful stories.
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Love Vikings, Normans and early Medieval Historical Fiction? Today I’m thrilled to feature an excerpt from Ascent, Cathie Dunn’s brilliant new release in her Norman Women Hist Fic series. Enjoy!
Sea of Shadows
by Amy Maroney
A gifted woman artist. A ruthless Scottish privateer. And an audacious plan that throws them together—with dangerous consequences.
No one on the Greek island of Rhodes suspects Anica is responsible for her Venetian father’s exquisite portraits, least of all her wealthy fiancé. But her father’s vision is failing, and with every passing day it’s more difficult to conceal the truth.
When their secret is discovered by a powerful knight of the Order of St. John, Anica must act quickly to salvage her father’s honor and her own future. Desperate, she enlists the help of a fierce Scottish privateer named Drummond. Together, they craft a daring plan to restore her father’s sight.
There’s only one problem—she never imagined falling in love with her accomplice.
Before their plan can unfold, a shocking scandal involving the knights puts Anica’s entire family at risk. Her only hope is to turn to Drummond once again, defying her parents, her betrothed, even the Grand Master of the Knights himself. But can she survive the consequences?
With this captivating tale of passion, courage, and loyalty, Amy Maroney brings a lost, dazzling world to vivid life. Sea of Shadows is Book 2 in a series of stand-alone historical novels packed with adventure and romance.
Universal Buy Link
I loved this book! Here’s my review:
A passionate slow-burn love story, exotic locations and fast-paced action thrill in Sea of Shadows, a glorious historical fiction immersion into a world fraught with intrigue and adventure. Ms Maroney has created a stunning gallery of characters and places that take us on a voyage to 15th century Rhodes, and the secret world of the Knights Templars. I fell in love with Anica, a spirited Venetian artist who meets her match in Drummond, an equally full-blooded Scottish privateer. These two attract and repel like magnets, creating a tense and increasingly fated relationship, with each impacting the other’s destiny.
In their fascinating medieval world of grand deceits and threatening invasions, Anica and Drummond follow their own emotional life paths, always drawing closer in their growing attraction. Ms Maroney doesn’t make it easy for them, and along with absolutely gorgeous details of art and sorcery, warfare and politics, family feuds and tender love, these two encounter tragedy and heartache on their journey. Fortune comes in many guises, and ultimately Anica and Drummond discover the true meaning of love, loyalty – and sacrifice.
Ms Maroney’s superb scene-setting and historical detail is built on a foundation of research that supports the exciting story, but never dominates. I loved the opportunity to sink into a world that I knew little about, and found myself unwilling to leave. Sea of Shadows is all about action, adventure, fabulous settings and a love story that gifts us the full spectrum of the human heart. An enthralling and enchanting novel. Highly recommend.
I spent an amazing couple of days at the Medieval Festival at Bolton Castle last September, doing some thoroughly enjoyable research for my current novel, which is partially set there in the 15th Century. Without giving away too much (more news to come in April) this involves two princes in the Tower of London, a mysterious disappearance, and a family secret that has been kept all this time. How I love writing historical fiction!
I’m thrilled to welcome Mercedes Rochelle to my website, who has kindly given us an excerpt from her exciting Historical Fiction novel, A King Under Siege, to enjoy. Set in the tumultuous times of the Wars of the Roses, Mercedes brings to life the colourful Plantagenet court, and all the struggles, intrigue and betrayal that went along with it. Read an Excerpt