The Queen’s Spy

March 1584

As they stood up Tom could see a terrible incident being played out before the court. The key player, a man who unlike the courtiers was wearing plain garb in dark fustian and worsted fabrics, had been thrown face down on the floor. Whatever was being said to him was lost on Tom but he could tell by the Queen’s wild gestures, her hands balled into fists and her eyes flashing whilst she spoke through gritted teeth, that she was terrifyingly angry. The man had his head in his hands, congealed blood where his fingernails used to be and Tom could see his swollen face was bloodied and bruised. One of the guards hauled him to his feet and held him there as the man wobbled about as if his legs would give way. Tom felt his gut quiver in fright and for once he was relieved he couldn’t hear the screaming he imagined was happening, if the wincing from the other people around the room was anything to go by.

Finally, the Queen pointed to a door hidden in one corner of the room where the panelling had opened up to reveal a stone staircase beyond and the man was hauled off by his feet, his head dragging across the floor as if he were already a corpse. Tom caught a glimpse of the man being pulled away and down the stairs, the back of his head bouncing off every step as he disappeared from view. Hot acid bile clawed at the back of Tom’s throat. What on earth was he doing here? As he and Hugh were ushered forward it took everything he had not to vomit. As he knelt again, he could see specks of blood in front of him on the floor.

He turned his attention to the Queen. She was talking to Hugh but he caught the gist of what she was saying from the occasional word. Her mood seemed to have switched in an instant – all thoughts of the poor wretch dragged away just seconds earlier gone – as she exclaimed her delight for the vanilla flavouring which she’d never tasted before and insisted the two apothecaries sought out more. She got to her feet and turned towards Tom, her small dark eyes burning into his as if she could read everything tumbling through his mind; his thoughts and his fears laid bare before this diminutive woman who was the most powerful female in the world. His legs began to shake, her supremacy and confidence rolling from her in waves. Now they were closer he could see the pale face paint she wore was disguising a harsh pockmarked complexion and together with her hooked nose she was less attractive than the portrait he’d admired as he followed Hugh along the corridor a few minutes previously. 

‘I am told by my apothecary that you are responsible for bringing this new spice, vanilla, to my court.’ Tom had to watch her thin-lipped mouth carefully as she spoke. Thankfully she seemed to consider each word for a moment before she said it and he had little trouble understanding her. He bowed again from his waist, before standing up so he could watch her face once again. ‘And you can neither hear nor speak and yet understand what those around you say?’ Tom nodded, wondering what she was thinking and if his time at the palace was about to come to an end. He watched as she made her way back to her throne behind her, the weight of her gown almost swamping her tiny frame and preventing her from moving. 

Once she was perched on her throne and her skirts carefully arranged around her by a young girl with blond hair, dressed in a lovat green dress with simple ribbon decoration who’d spent the entire time stood silently to one side, the Queen addressed him once more. 
‘You intrigue me, Tom Lutton. You cannot hear and yet you are able to understand everything that I say. I have never come across someone like you before and I wonder if you may be of use to others at my court. And not just because you make a delicious bedtime drink.’ She looked over to Hugh. ‘You are both dismissed,’ she told him, before turning her attention to Tom and adding, ‘for the present.’

The Queen’s Spy 

By Clare Marchant

Blurb

1584: Elizabeth I rules England. But a dangerous plot is brewing in court, and Mary Queen of Scots will stop at nothing to take her cousin’s throne.

There’s only one thing standing in her way: Tom, the queen’s trusted apothecary, who makes the perfect silent spy…

2021: Travelling the globe in her campervan, Mathilde has never belonged anywhere. So when she receives news of an inheritance, she is shocked to discover she has a family in England.

Just like Mathilde, the medieval hall she inherits conceals secrets, and she quickly makes a haunting discovery. Can she unravel the truth about what happened there all those years ago? And will she finally find a place to call home?

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Barnes and Noble

Waterstones

Kobo

iBooks

Audio

Author Bio:

Clare Marchant

Growing up in Surrey, Clare always dreamed of being a writer. Instead, she followed a career in IT, before moving to Norfolk for a quieter life and re-training as a jeweller.

Now writing full time, she lives with her husband and the youngest two of her six children. Weekends are spent exploring local castles and monastic ruins, or visiting the nearby coast.

Social Media Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon Author Page

Fables: A Tudor Fairytale

Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn. Their love changed history.

Max King & Daisy Colston. Not so much.

They despise each other as they play the part of the fabled lovers in a film considered the-next-big-thing about the legendary Tudor affair.

A chance encounter at a New Orleans tarot shop could seal their destiny.

Some love stories last forever. Some are tragic.

Some just…need magic

Available now on the NEW Kindle Vella platform. Get the first three episodes FREE!

Kindle Vella is a fun reading experience launched by Amazon in early July. Much like Wattpad & Radish, it offers readers a taste of a story in a serial format. Look for a new chapter of Fables: A Tudor Fairytale to be launched weekly. In keeping with the ambience of the New Orleans setting of the story, I’ll be drawing a card from my tarot deck each week and basing each episode on that card. For instance, Chapter 3 is called The High Priestess; Chapter 4 – The Chariot.

Download, like & review here.

Thank you & please enjoy!

King and Collector

‘Packed with absorbing detail and brilliant insights … I was gripped from the first paragraph’ Alison Weir 

‘Beautifully written and impeccably researched … Exquisite’ Tracy Borman 

‘If you are visiting Tudor England, this book will be a sure guide to what to look at and how to look at it’. Hilary Mantel

This is a book about Tudor art – the stories within and around each artwork – and the story of Henry himself, as we follow his path from handsome prince to crippled tyrant.  The works reveal much about both his kingship and his insecurities. King and Collector tells this unique story of art and power, peeling back the layers of propaganda to show the true face of this most notorious of Tudor monarchs.

King & Collector is a sumptuous guide to the art of Henry VIII—with analysis of what his collection of paintings and artworks reveal about the man and his reign

No English king is as well-known to us as Henry VIII: famous for six marriages; for dissolving the monasteries and creating the Church of England; and for the ruthless destruction of those who stood in his way. But Henry was also an ardent patron of the arts whose tapestries and paintings, purchased in pursuit of glory and magnificence, adorned his lavish court and began the Royal Collection. In contrast to later royal collectors, this king was more interested in storytelling than art for its own sake, and all his commissions relate to one central tale: the glorification of Henry and his realm. His life can be seen through his art collection and the works tell us much about both his kingship and his insecurities. 

King and Collector by Linda Collins and Siobhan Clarke tells a unique story of art, power, and propaganda in Tudor England.

Purchase here

Amazon pre-order

Short Bios

Linda Collins is an accredited lecturer for the Arts Society and a member of the Association of Art Historians. Siobhan Clarke is a Guide Lecturer at Hampton Court Palace. Both authors worked for Historic Royal Palaces for 20 years and both appeared in PBS Television’s ‘Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace’. They have also written: The Tudors: The Crown, The Dynasty, The Golden Age.

Kathryn Howard

Late November 1541 was a traumatic and unbearable time for Henry VIII’s fifth queen, Kathryn Howard. This is vividly brought to life in Alison Weir’s book The Tainted Queen – the American title is The Scandalous Queen

It’s said that when she was arrested at Hampton Court Palace, she broke free from the guards and ran to the doors of the Chapel Royal, where she believed Henry was at prayer.

Enjoy this little video of Siobhan Clarke, Guide Lecturer at Historic Royal Palaces/ AWT, a part of which recreates Catherine’s flight down the gallery.

The History Guides
Share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. www.youtube.com

Purchase by clicking on the following books:

A Note from Tudor Author Dr Wendy Dunn

A note about self publishing from Tudor author Dr. Wendy J. Dunn

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Dear all,

My current Work-in-Progress, Falling Pomegranate Seeds: All Manner of Things, was originally set to be published this year. In light of the current global circumstance, however, I decided to delay its release.

I am delighted to announce that I have officially set a new publication date: January 15th 2021.

I cannot even begin to express how excited I am for this novel to enter the published world. Not only is All Manner of Things the longest novel I have ever written, it concludes my Katherine of Aragon story.

To commemorate this milestone, I have lowered the eBook price of the first book in this series, Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters, to 99c until All Manner of Things is released.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FePe_Bkp0-bk%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DePe_Bkp0-bk&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FePe_Bkp0-bk%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

I must admit, however, that this joy is not without reservation. After self-publishing my previous novels ( The Light in the LabyrinthFalling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters, and Dear Heart, How Like You This?: The Cost of Love) under my own imprint, I have seen firsthand how involved and expensive the publishing process is. Consequently, I find myself more and more worried that the costs involved in publication might simply prove too much for me.

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To counteract this, I have started a crowd funding campaign on Pozible, in hopes that I can source enough money to publish All Manner of Things.

While I am uncomfortable with the thought of needing to ask others for money, especially given the current circumstances, I know that I need to take every chance I can to further secure my latest novel’s publication.

If you are able to spare a $1 or so to help, that would be absolutely wonderful. Alternatively, if you know of anyone who might be interested, I would be so thankful if you could pass this information on to them.

I understand that times are tough right now, that’s why I am offering donation incentives, such as personalised pre-ordered copies of All Manner of ThingsI am also inviting every pledger to the novel’s launch party, so that I can pass on my personal thanks to each and every supporter of my novel.

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Stay safe and well!

Wendy

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Have 3 minutes to spare?

I would love your feedback on my next novel’s book cover

How would you rate the above book cover?lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10    highest

How likely are you to pick up a book with the above cover?

lowest 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 highest

Do you think this cover is consistent with the previous novel in my Katherine of Aragon series?

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The First Book in my Katherine of Aragon Series,
Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters

More about Wendy Dunn & her work as an author:

Author of FALLING POMEGRANATE SEEDS: The Duty of Daughters “…magnificent, riveting reading” ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews.

THE LIGHT IN THE LABYRINTH
“… thanks to Kate, a new voice has been added to the well-known haunting melody…” — Anna Belfrage for The Review.

and …

DEAR HEART, HOW LIKE YOU THIS?, “Seriously one of the best books ever written about Anne Boleyn.”
http://amzn.to/2ujwiu

‘FALLING POMEGRANATE SEEDS: All Manner of Things’ coming on January 15th, 2021.

See its pozible campaign!
https://www.pozible.com/profile/wendy-j-dunn

wendyjdunn@optusnet.com.au

Lecturer and Tutor, Master of Arts (Writing)

Faculty of Higher Education

Swinburne University of Technology

Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen

KH2

Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen: Review by Samantha Yorke

From the publisher: Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir tells the tragic story of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, a nineteen-year-old beauty with a hidden past, in this fifth novel in the sweeping Six Tudor Queens series.

In the spring of 1540, Henry VIII, desperate to be rid of his queen, Anna of Kleve, first sets eyes on the enchanting Katheryn Howard. Although the king is now an ailing forty-nine-year-old measuring fifty-four inches around his waist, his amorous gaze lights upon the pretty teenager. Seated near him intentionally by her ambitious Catholic family, Katheryn readily succumbs to the courtship.

Henry is besotted with his bride. He tells the world she is a rose without a thorn, and extols her beauty and her virtue. Katherine delights in the pleasures of being queen and the power she has to do good to others. She comes to love the ailing, obese king and tolerate his nightly attentions. If she can bear him a son, her triumph will be complete. But Katheryn has a past of which Henry knows nothing, and which comes back increasingly to haunt her–even as she courts danger yet again.

*****

There can be little doubt that Alison Weir has made an indelible mark on the public’s fascination with Tudor History. I was hesitant to take this ARC copy at first because I generally find the author’s fiction to be difficult to read. However, there are many good points to be taken from this fictional story of Katheryn Howard.

The book begins are the death of Katheryn Howard’s mother. From there we are taken on the journey of her short, tragic life. Ms. Weir shows us a young girl who is overlooked and passed first from relative to relative, then from man to man, all the while she merely yearns for a home and a place to be loved and belong.

She catches the eye of King Henry VIII. The reader will feel the anxiety that the young queen experiences, afraid that her past lovers will come to light. We share her joy as the King spoils her and she finally appears to delight in being cherished and adored.

Then, just as quickly as she ascended, Katheryn Howard is doomed by the shadows and whispers of her past. Weir vividly paints a sympathetic, doomed young girl trapped and caged in the trappings that she has grown to love as she finally felt secure in the world the King created for her.

Weaving a novel length story about a life that we know so little takes a great amount of skill and talent.

This book is not as long as most of Ms. Weir’s fiction, which will be a bonus for some readers who may find her rambling, extensive stories tedious. The book opens with brief family trees of the Tudors, Howards, Culpepers, and Derehams-which is impressive. Her devoted following will love this book, and I believe she will garner new appreciation for the sheer volume of research she did on the life and story of this poor pawn in the machinations of a tyrannical king. This is also an ideal book to get lost in for a few days. Due to these factors, I’m giving the book four stars.

*****

Special thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review. Release date is May 12, 2020.

You may purchase the book here.

KH

The Ultimate Tudor Christmas Package

Gorgeous!

From author Natalie Grueninger and illustrator Kathryn Holeman…

We are thrilled to announce the perfect, complete gift package for the Tudor queen or king in your life. Fans of Tudor history know well that gift-giving is a dangerous business, and this package allows you to curate your selections to ensure peace and joy in your realm on Christmas morning.

The Ultimate Tudor Christmas Package includes:

  • 1 limited edition ornament. 3” x 3” frame with ribbon for hanging. Choose from 3 options: Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, or Elizabeth Woodville.
  • 1 copy of Colouring History: Tudor Queens and Consorts.
  • 1 box of 12 color pencils.
  • 1 bookmark. Pick from 2 options: Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth I.
  • 1 necklace. Pick from 3 options: Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, or Katherine of Aragon.
  • 1 notepad. Pick from 2 options: Tudor Floral or Tudor Florals & Creatures.
  • 1 coaster set. Pick from 2 options: 15th c. Tudor pattern or The Tudors.
  • 1 notecard. Pick from 3 options: Henry VIII and his 6 wives (humor), 15th c. Tudor pattern, and Winter’s Evening at Hampton Court Palace. This card will be placed on the outside of your wrapped package so you can write your own message to the recipient. NOTE: If you want us to write your note for you, there is a spot on the form at check-out for you leave us instructions to do so.
  • A beautifully gift-wrapped box including all items.

The limited edition package includes $100 worth of Tudor treasures for only $59.99 USD. It is gift wrapped with care using our illustrated Tudor pattern paper and ships for free within the United States. We also offer low international flat rate shipping.

The last day to order this package for Christmas Day is December 19, 2019.

All wrapped & ready to ship!

Shop now!

Colouring Tudor History

The Ravenmaster

UK Cover

‘Packed with insight and anecdote, his story brings the Tower ravens to vivid life, each bird with a personality of its own. I’ve been fortunate enough to tour the Tower and meet the ravens a few times in years past; after reading this book, I cannot wait to go back’ George R. R. Martin

The first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens at the world’s eeriest monument

The ravens at the Tower of London are of mighty importance: rumor has it that if a raven from the Tower should ever leave, the city will fall.

The title of Ravenmaster, therefore, is a serious title indeed, and after decades of serving the Queen, Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife took on the added responsibility of caring for the infamous ravens. In The Ravenmaster, he lets us in on his life as he feeds his birds raw meat and biscuits soaked in blood, buys their food at Smithfield Market, and ensures that these unusual, misunderstood, and utterly brilliant corvids are healthy, happy, and ready to captivate the four million tourists who flock to the Tower every year.

US Cover

A rewarding, intimate, and inspiring partnership has developed between the ravens and their charismatic and charming human, the Ravenmaster, who shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the ravens and the Tower. Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower’s true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.

Get this book at these sites!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

With very special thanks to Peter Jones & The Ravenmaster, Christopher Skaife, for surprising me with a signed copy of this fantastic book during my recent visit to London. How great is that? It’s the best gift ever!

About Me

Thank you for dropping by All Things Tudor today. I’m author and historian Deb Hunter and I write as Hunter S. Jones.

I’m also a historian for Past Preservers Casting. When not writing, talking or tweeting about kings, queens and rock stars, I live in Midtown Atlanta with my Scottish born husband.

I’ve been involved in academic projects at Harvard University, The University of Texas, UCLA, Vanderbilt University, University of The South, University of Notre Dame, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve been associated with the prestigious Society of Authors founded by Lord Tennyson, Royal Historical Society, Society for U.S. Intellectual History, Atlanta Historical Society, American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Society of Civil War Historians (US), Dangerous Women Project, Romance Writers of America (PAN member), and Historical Writers Association.

Currently I’m a Stage IV cancer warrior and can’t be very physically active, so I decided to launch this site to celebrate and explore Tudor history and works of Tudor historical fiction. If there is a topic you would like to explore, please let me know and I’ll see if we can make it happen!

All best ~ Deb