Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Awe-filled Thank You . . . and Teaser Tuesday :)

To say that I am grateful for all the comments and emails and messages sent my way since my last post would be an understatement. Astonished would be nearer the mark. Perhaps gobsmacked, if I were British. My eyes have filled with tears many times at the generosity of all of you, friends and not-yet friends, who have taken the time to let me know I'm not alone. I hope I can repay the kindness in future.

I meant to begin Teaser Tuesday last week, when I still had Four Tuesdays before The Boleyn Deceit release day. Instead, you shall get a double teaser today :) The intent is to give you one Deceit snippet from each of the four main characters' POV. Today it shall be the royal siblings.


     They had reached the final course, an array of sugared fruits and candied ginger, when a newcomer entered the dining hall. She was not a servant, that much was clear from her brocaded green dress, but Elizabeth could not easily place her in the family.
     Silence descended, broken by Northumberland who, after a sigh that Elizabeth heard distinctly, said, "We did not know you were coming."
     "I did not know I would not be welcome."
     "Of course you are always welcome. Come, make your recognition to the Princess of Wales."
     Elizabeth felt all eyes on her, except for Robert's. He had gone dead white and was staring at the woman as though she was a particularly unpleasant ghost. Elizabeth remained seated as the woman--who seemed much of an age with her, with round cheeks and fair hair, not uncomely--approached the table and sank into a low curtsey. "Your Highness," she said, something in her tone at odds with her outward submission. "I have waited a long time to meet you."
     "And you are?" Since no one, not even Northumberland, seemed eager to give the woman a name.
     From her curtsey, the woman raised her eyes and said slyly, "I am Amy Dudley. Lord Robert's wife."


[Has just announced to Dominic that he intends to raise him to the position of duke]

     "Wouldn't you like to be my lord Duke of Exeter? Come on, Dom. Say something."
     "You have lost your mind."
     "Say something less insulting."
     "Your Majesty--"
     "Don't call me that."
     "People will say it's favoritism."
     "And so it is."
     "Damn it, Will!" Dominic ran his hands through his black hair, an unusual sign of aggravation. "Be reasonable!"
     "Finished yelling at me?"
     They glared at one another.
     Then William nodded. "Good. Now give me credit for not being stupid. I know what some will say if I make you a duke. Just as I know what some will say about restoring Norfolk's title to his grandson. People always talk, Dom. I don't care about that. I care about having a council that represents England and a nobility that is balanced."

    "Northumberland and Norfolk," Dominic said thoughtfully. "Protestant and more-or-less Catholic."
     "Yes. With my plan, I will have one duke loyal to the Catholics and one duke loyal to the Protestants. Then there's my uncle--Protestant as well, but loyal primarily to himself. What I need to round it all out, Dom, is you."
     "So that I have one duke in England who is loyal only to me."