Who else is fascinated by lost cities, hidden doorways and secret gardens? Parch marks reveal the lost #17thC gardens of Lydiard after being swept away 250 years ago! Suspecting that the prolonged dry weather might reveal garden archaeology, The Friends of Lydiard Park were delighted when local resident Phil Jefferies agreed to take some aerial photographs. Lucy Apsley and Lady Johanna St.John from my books would have known this landscape well and walked on these paths. #englishgardens #garden #history
I am SO excited about this gorgeous cover for The Godmother’s Secret, created by Jenny Toney Quinlan at Historical Editorial. Full of symbolism and mystery, she captures the book perfectly in one beautiful piece of art!
If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?
Pre-orders August 22, Launch October 4.
We absolutely dread writing blurbs – those 250 words that summarise years of research, countless hours of pounding the keyboard, sleepless nights, tears, laughter, the depths of despair and the “aha” moments that go into writing a book. If we’re not already exhausted and elated about finishing, now we have to reduce it all to one page! Aaargh. Anyhow, enough whining. Here’s my take on my new novel – this week!
If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or would you forever keep the secret?
November, 1470: Westminster Abbey. Lady Elysabeth Scrope faces a perilous royal duty when ordered into sanctuary with Elizabeth Woodville–witness the birth of Edward IV’s Yorkist son. Margaret Beaufort, Elysabeth’s sister, is desperately seeking a pardon for her exiled son Henry Tudor. Strategically, she coerces Lancastrian Elysabeth to be appointed godmother to Prince Edward, embedding her in the heart of the Plantagenets and uniting them in a destiny of impossible choices and heartbreaking conflict.
Bound by blood and torn by honour, when the king dies and Elysabeth delivers her young godson into the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation, she is engulfed in political turmoil. Within months, the prince and his brother have disappeared, Richard III is declared king, and Margaret conspires with Henry Tudor to invade England and claim the throne. Desperate to protect her godson, Elysabeth battles the intrigue, betrayal and power of the last medieval court, defying her husband and her sister under her godmother’s sacred oath to keep Prince Edward safe.
Were the princes murdered by their uncle, Richard III? Was the rebel Duke of Buckingham to blame? Or did Margaret Beaufort mastermind their disappearance to usher in the Tudor dynasty? Of anyone at the royal court, Elysabeth has the most to lose–and the most to gain–by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.
Inspired by England’s most enduring historical mystery, Elizabeth St.John, best-selling author of The Lydiard Chronicles, blends her own family history with known facts and centuries of speculation to create an intriguing story about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.
My recent trip to GB felt like the Whacky Races – I drove 2848 miles (thanks Avis!) in 17 days as I zig-zagged across the island, hugging every family member, enjoying late night chats and long country walks with dear friends, and meeting a couple of fifteenth-century relatives who appear in my new book, The Godmother’s Secret. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more, but here’s a glimpse of one day spent in the hallowed quiet of a country church, and an exploration of the adjacent manor house. Home to the Catesby family for centuries, at Ashby Manor I found Margaret de la Zouche – Meg in my new novel – along with her husband William Catesby, Richard III’s loyal Chancellor. Both Meg and Will were part of the unfolding drama of the succession of Edward V to the throne in the summer of 1483, and the subsequent disappearance of Edward and his younger brother Richard – the “Princes in the Tower.” Meg’s stepmother, Elysabeth St.John, is my ancestress and, as the godmother to Edward V, brings her own story to the mystery…
The Godmother’s Secret is a medieval historical fiction about the lost Princes in the Tower. Were they murdered by Richard III? Did Margaret Beaufort play a role in their disappearance? Elysabeth St.John is the godmother to Edward, the oldest prince, and Margaret’s sister. Of anyone at the Royal Court, Elysabeth has the most to lose, and the most to gain, by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.
I literally just got back from driving around the UK earlier this week – and my company was Amy Maroney’s audio book, The Girl from Oto. What great entertainment! Here’s my review, and more details. The Girl from Oto AUDIBLE Review
The Girl from Oto
(The Miramonde Series, Book 1)
By Amy Maroney
Narrated by Meg Price
A Renaissance-era woman artist and an American scholar. Linked by a 500-year-old mystery…
The secrets of the past are irresistible—and treacherous.
1500: Born during a time wracked by war and plague, Renaissance-era artist Mira grows up in a Pyrenees convent believing she is an orphan. When tragedy strikes, Mira learns the devastating truth about her own origins. But does she have the strength to face those who would destroy her?
2015: Centuries later, art scholar Zari unearths traces of a mysterious young woman named Mira in two 16th-century portraits. Obsessed, Zari tracks Mira through the great cities of Europe to the pilgrim’s route of Camino de Santiago—and is stunned by what she finds. Will her discovery be enough to bring Mira’s story to life?
A powerful story and an intriguing mystery, The Girl from Oto is an unforgettable novel of obsession, passion, and human resilience.
The Girl from Oto: https://mybook.to/girlfromoto
Mira’s Way: https://mybook.to/MirasWay
A Place in the World: https://mybook.to/aPlaceInTheWorld
Amy Maroney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning her hand to historical fiction. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of the Miramonde Series, a trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy’s new series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, features ordinary people seeking their fortunes under the rule of the medieval Knights Hospitaller in Rhodes, Greece. To receive a free prequel novella to the Miramonde Series, join Amy Maroney’s readers’ group at www.amymaroney.com.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: author.to/AmyMaroneyAmazonPage
Find out more about the extraordinary woman behind the memoirs. I’m so excited to be speaking in Nottingham on June 27th at the
Lucy Hutchinson Conference
Family Ties: How Lucy Hutchinson’s Royalist Family Impacted her Puritan Reality
Lucy Hutchinson was born into a life of power and privilege at the Queen’s House in the Tower of London. In her formative years she lived the highly advantaged life of a young girl whose father, Sir Allen Apsley, was a trusted advisor to King Charles I. Her station came as result of her mother’s aristocratic connections – Lucy St.John was born into an ancient English family proud of its royal ancestors, and Hutchinson’s aunt, Barbara St.John Villiers, leveraged the patronage of her brother-in-law, the Duke of Buckingham, to facilitate Apsley’s purchase of the office of Lieutenant of the Tower. By the time Lucy married Colonel John Hutchinson, civil war was imminent. But, despite Lucy embracing Colonel Hutchinson’s parliamentary views, and ultimately his role as a regicide, she maintained loving ties with her Royalist brother Allen, and favourite cousin Anne Wilmot, Countess of Rochester. And, throughout the interregnum and the subsequent restoration of the monarchy, Lucy Hutchinson accepted assistance from her influential Royalist relatives to secure a death sentence pardon for her husband, the king-killer. In this presentation, Elizabeth St.John explores Lucy Hutchinson’s powerful Royalist family connections, and how the St.John, Wilmot and Villiers families impacted Lucy’s life—ultimately securing the fate of the Memoirs.