Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward.
When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.
Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the death of Jane Seymour, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.
When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.
Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Tony Riches is a full-time UK author
of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and
is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the
early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The
Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of
The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess and Brandon – Tudor Knight. For more information about Tony’s
books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The
Writing Desk and find
him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches
J. Dunn is an Australian author, playwright and poet who has been obsessed by
Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of
three Tudor novels: Dear
Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction
Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, The Light in the Labyrinth,her
first young adult novel, and Falling
Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters – the first part of her Katherine of Aragon story.
While she continues to have a very close
and spooky relationship with Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder, serendipity of life
now leaves her no longer wondering if she has been channeling Anne Boleyn and
Sir Tom for years in her writing, but considering the possibility of ancestral
memory. Her own family tree reveals the intriguing fact that her ancestors –
possibly over three generations – had purchased land from both the Boleyn and
Wyatt families to build up their own holdings. Yes – Wendy’s ancestors knew the
Wyatts and Boleyns personally.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Wendy is
married and the mother of three sons and one daughter—named after a certain
Tudor queen, surprisingly, not Anne. She is also the grandmother of an amazing
grandson. He is not even three and already knows who Henry VIII is and that he
had a lot of wives.
Wendy’s published Tudor novels:
Dear Heart, How Like You This?
A woman who sees her destiny as England’s
A King who destroys what he no longer wants.
A poet’s love that will never be forgotten.
A KING WHO WOULD NOT BE DENIED. A woman
who would be queen. And a gentle poet forced to watch helplessly as his one
true love slipped out of his arms forever. These are the elements in Wendy J.
Dunn’s poignant novel, Dear Heart, How Like You This?
Dear Heart tells the story of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. The
novel is written in first person, from the point of view of Anne’s cousin, Sir
Thomas Wyatt. Tom has secretly loved Anne his entire life, but has always been
told he is not highly born enough to pursue her. He carefully masks his
feelings, especially after Anne catches the eye of the king, and remains at
Anne’s side as one of her staunchest friends and supporters. Then the
unthinkable happens. After marrying Anne, the king tires of her and falsely
accuses her of adultery. Imprisoned himself on the whim of the king’s arrogant
brother-in-law, Tom watches helplessly as his true love and his closest friends
go on trial for their lives…
Dear Heart is a novel that grips you before the end of the first sentence and
doesn’t let go until the bitter end. In Dunn’s more than capable hands, Anne
Boleyn comes to life, first as a whimsical child, then as a hurt and angry
teenager, then as a woman both frightened and exhilarated by the dangerous game
she is playing, and finally as a bruised-but not broken-victim of the king’s
cruelty. Through Anne’s tumultuous life, her cousin Thomas is a spellbinding
narrator, reporting the events around him with a reporter’s keen eye and a
poet’s tender heart.
framed as an account of arguably the most famous of Henry VIII’s six wives,
DEAR HEART, HOW LIKE YOU THIS? is far more than another re-telling of a
well-trodden tale. For entwined with the glamorous, ultimately tragic, story of
Anne Boleyn’s life and death, is that of an inherently good man’s struggle with
the evils of his time, and of the toll that is often exacted of those who finds
themselves immersed in the sweeping tides of historical change.” – C. W.
The Light in the Labyrinth
Queen fights for her life. A King denies his heart and soul. A girl faces her true identity. All things must come to an end—all things but love.
IN THE WINTER OF 1535, fourteen-year-old
Kate Carey wants to escape her family home. She thinks her life will be so much
better with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and the aunt she idolises.
Little does Kate know that by going to attend Anne Boleyn she will discover
love and a secret that will shake the very foundations of her identity. As an
attendant to Anne Boleyn, Kate is swept up in events that see her witness her
aunt’s darkest days. By the time winter ends, Kate will be changed forever.
Light in the Labyrinth is quite the read – no matter the age of the reader. And
yes, thanks to Kate, a new voice has been added to the well-known haunting
melody – a voice that mellows and matures as the story evolves and yet retains
a touch of bittersweet innocence right to the bloody, inevitable end.” – Anna
Belfrage for The Review.
FALLING POMEGRANATE SEEDS: THE DUTY OF DAUGHTERS
Dońa Beatriz Galindo. Respected scholar. Tutor to royalty. Friend and advisor to Queen Isabel of Castile.
Beatriz is an uneasy witness to the Holy War of
Queen Isabel and her husband, Ferdinand, King of Aragon. A Holy War seeing the
Moors pushed out of territories ruled by them for centuries.
The road for women is a hard one. Beatriz must
tutor the queen’s youngest child, Catalina, and equip her for a very different
future life. She must teach her how to survive exile, an existence outside the
protection of her mother. She must prepare Catalina to be England’s queen.
A tale of mothers and daughters, power, intrigue,
death, love, and redemption, in the end, Falling Pomegranate Seeds sings a song
of friendship and life.
A MASTERPIECE ~ Charlie Fenton, The Tudor Society.
Wendy J. Dunn
is an exceptional voice for Tudor fiction, and has a deep understanding of the
era. Her words ring true and touch the heart, plunging the reader into a
fascinating, dangerous and emotionally touching new world ~ Barbara Gaskell
Although I was born
within sight of Pembroke Castle, I only began to study its history when I
returned to the area as a full-time author. I found several accounts of the
life of Henry Tudor, (who later became King Henry VII and began the Tudor
Dynasty) but there were no novels that brought the truth of his to life.
The idea for the Tudor Trilogy occurred to me when I realised Henry Tudor could be born in book one, ‘come of age’ in book two, and rule England in book three, so there would be plenty of scope to explore his life and times.
I started with a year
of research, as I like my novels to be as historically accurate as possible.
There are many ways to approach historical fiction, including imaginative
‘alternative histories’, but I feel the role of the historical fiction novelist
is to fill in the gaps with a plausible narrative – and explore how people
might have reacted to often quite dramatic events. (I’ve also found actual history
has more amazing stories than anything I could dream up.)
The first book of the Tudor trilogy was my fourth novel, so I had a good idea about the structure, and it had a ‘natural’ and dramatic end point (not wishing to give anything away for non-Tudor aficionados). In book one, OWEN, a Welsh servant of Queen Catherine of Valois, the lonely widow of King Henry V, falls in love with her and they marry in secret. Their eldest son Edmund Tudor marries the heiress Lady Margaret Beaufort, and fathers a child with her to secure her inheritance. Unfortunately, Lady Margaret is barely thirteen years old and the birth of her son, Henry, nearly kills her. When her husband dies mysteriously without even seeing his son, his younger brother Jasper Tudor swears to protect them.
This all takes place
during the Wars of the Roses and in book two of the trilogy, JASPER, Owen’s son
Jasper Tudor and young Henry flee to exile in Brittany and plan to return and
make Henry King of England. In the
meantime, King Richard III has taken the throne and has a powerful army of
thousands – while Jasper and Henry have nothing. Even the clothes they wear are
paid for by the Duke of Brittany. So how can they possibly invade England and
defeat King Richard at the Battle of Bosworth?
In the final book of
the trilogy, HENRY, I explore how Henry Tudor brought peace to England by
marrying the beautiful daughter of his enemy, King Edward IV. I also wanted to help
readers understand how their son, who became King Henry VIII, became such a
tyrant and transformed the history of England forever.
Towards the end of final book of the trilogy I began researching the lives of Henry Tudor’s daughters, Mary and Margaret, and became fascinated by Mary Tudor’s story. I realised how she’s often confused with Queen Mary Tudor, and that there was a ‘sequel’ to be written which continued the story of Mary’s time as Queen of France and marriage to Charles Brandon. This was published as MARY- Tudor Princess, and followed with the same story from Brandon’s point of view.
My newest Tudor novel,
which will be out before Christmas, concludes what has now become a series of
six books with the story of Brandon’s last wife, Lady Katherine Willoughby,
which will be published as KATHERINE – Tudor Duchess. Katherine was fascinating
to research as she knew each of King Henry VIII’s six wives, as well as his
children Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. Best of all, KATHERINE takes me to the
start of the reign of the last Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I – and the start of my
new Elizabethan series.
About the Author
Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling fiction and
non-fiction books. He lives by the sea in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK, with
his wife and enjoys sailing and kayaking in his spare time. For more
information about Tony’s books, podcasts and audiobooks please visit his website
www.tonyriches.com and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.