Wednesday, February 14, 2018

L.A.P. it Marketing Spotlight on MARY –Tudor Princess by Tony Riches

Pub. Date: February 1st, 2018
Publisher: Preseli Press
Pages: 322

Genre: Historical Fiction

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.

Excerpt from Chapter One – Midsummer’s Day 1509

After the long ceremony Mary sat with her grandmother under a golden canopy of state at the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall. Lady Margaret had offered to act as regent for the first months of Henry’s reign. Not one voice challenged her suggestion, a mark of her power and influence.

Henry and Catherine sat on high-backed gilded thrones before the highest nobles and clerics in the land. The men wore scarlet cloaks and the ladies displayed their finest jewels, saved for such special occasions. Mary wore a gold necklace of bright diamonds and pearls, another of her father’s treasures, now a gift to her from Henry.

The sense of history being made hung heavy in the warm summer air. Mary swatted at one of the buzzing black flies and frowned as it evaded her. She looked up as it flew high over the guests to join others, circling like carrion crows waiting for the sweet-tasting delicacies to be served.

She regretted the tight lacing of her new damask gown of deepest blue, another gift from Henry. The edges were trimmed with gold lace, despite her grandmother’s sharp retort that it was too soon to end her mourning, even to celebrate a coronation. Her long golden hair, plaited and looped under her ornate French cowl, prickled in the heat and she fanned her face with her hand.

Lady Margaret scanned the crowded tables with a critical eye. ‘Your brother asked me to select his advisors. I pray he will take heed of their experience and wisdom.’

Mary glanced across at Henry, who was enjoying being the centre of attention. ‘It’s good to see so many of father’s loyal supporters, Grandmother. They will know how to best serve his son.’

Although sure her grandmother had chosen well she guessed many would soon be replaced. Henry couldn’t be more different from her father and would appoint his own men, who shared his youthful tastes.

Startled by the sudden blast of a fanfare announcing the first course of the banquet, she turned to see the Duke of Buckingham riding a black charger with richly embroidered trappings. Behind him rode the Lord Steward on a horse caparisoned with cloth of gold, hooves clattering on the flagstoned floor.

They led a procession of servants in Tudor green-and-white livery carrying heavy gilded platters bearing delicacies for the feast. The servants were all young nobles, proud to represent their families in the service of the new king. The leading server, face impassive as his duty demanded, seemed to struggle with the weight of a whole swan. Others carried silver trays of game birds, spiced larks and cockatrices, made from the front half of cockerels grafted on to the back halves of piglets.

A handsome young servant filled Mary’s golden cup with rich red wine. She smiled as she raised her cup in the air and caught her brother’s eye.

‘To our new king. May God grant you a long and happy reign!’ Her clear young voice carried well, turning heads despite the chattering guests.

Henry beamed at her. ‘Thank you, my dearest sister.’ His voice echoed across the hall and he raised his own goblet. ‘To the future!’ He drank deep and gestured for the waiting musicians to strike up a lively tune. The music lifted Mary’s spirits and she even saw their grandmother manage a smile. The new era had begun.

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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, his Goodreads page, and his popular blog, The Writing Desk, and find him on Facebook and Twitter.


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