Mercy of the Queen
By Anne Clinard Barnhill
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
A sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, At the Mercy of the Queen is a rich and dramatic debut historical about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.
At the innocent age of fifteen, Lady Margaret Shelton arrives at the court of Henry VIII and quickly becomes the confidante of her cousin, Queen Anne Boleyn. But she soon finds herself drawn into the perilous web of Anne’s ambition.
Desperate to hold onto the king’s waning affection, Anne schemes to have him take her guileless young cousin as mistress, ensuring her husband’s new paramour will owe her loyalty to the queen. But Margaret has fallen deeply in love with a handsome young courtier. She is faced with a terrible dilemma: give herself to the king and betray the love of her life or refuse to become his mistress and jeopardize the life of the her cousin, Queen Anne.
Speaking of Anne, Anne, the author (not the queen. In case you missed it, she died. Sorry to give a spoiler but it's kind of a well known beheading) is here today as my guest:
Anne Clinard Barnhill
Arthur Brandon strode onto the pages of AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN without so much as a 'beg your pardon' and once he was there, he refused to leave. He appeared as Madge Shelton and her nurse were making their way to London and, as if by magic, he became the romantic lead in the novel. It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that I realized he was a great deal like my husband, Frank.
He has the same features as my hubby--dark hair and brown eyes--and he also has that same confidence, the cocky walk and I-dare-you stance. As the novel progressed, I even dressed Arthur in colors that looked good on Frank. Interestingly, my husband's nickname is 'Chur,' a name earned when our family (three sons, two parents) took Kung Fu together when the boys were young. We would all practice our forms and the boys would soon begin chopping at each other with their hands, just like Bruce Lee. They provided noises to improve the effects. Ching-chang-chur!! Of course, my husband joined in and soon, they began referring to him as simply 'Chur.' Now, our grandchildren call him Chur, too. So, when Madge dubbed Arthur Brandon 'Sir Churlish', it seemed just right.
I would never have consciously modeled a leading man on MY leading man--as I said, I didn't realize I was writing about him until mid-way through the novel. I have found including caricatures of friends and family a dangerous ploy--often, they take offense and it's just not worth the hassle. But, I figure if a character shows up as adamantly as Arthur Brandon did, a writer has no choice by to let him have his way--even if he does act a lot like your husband.
Funny how the mind works and how we often put elements of our own lives into creating stories, even though those fictitious stories may have taken place 500 years ago. It's a little scary though. I'd hate to think what some psychiatrist might discover about my psyche by reading my work!
For more blog posts regarding Anne's Freudian insights (subconscious, I mean. Not her dad), visit more sites on the tour by clicking HERE.
More tidbits? Okay. Stalking Anne is not an inappropriate past time. Do so in the following ways:
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