So this has been a busy week. Hotel-wrecking always is. I think the tally of a broken dimmer switch, loo door and coffee machine is impressive. Perhaps not as impressive as the time we were nearly marched off Tilos, Mr Shey having kind of vandalized the island’s prize apartment, not to mention nearly left a pizza in the prize gym, due to be photo-shot the following morning. But then this latest was only an overnight stay.
So? Pairings. These are not the before and after pics of that hotel. These are same fountain, different views…ok not the exact same fountain…but since the one on the right is very familiar, I thought I’d snap the one on the left.
Aimee Duffy and Lady Fury out on tour together. Very nearly running into one another too on http://tamariasoana.blogspot.com/ Not a good idea since the relationship between Fury and Aimee is …well…
Here we have another sort of pairing. White rose, red rose,
more of which in a mo..
Well, the Scots have always bled away their people. From the Highlands often the result of force, from the Lowlands, usually in pursuit of a better life. World-wide, many tens of millions can claim Scottish descent.
My guest today doesn’t just claim Scottish descent. She was born in Scotland, for all, like so many before her, she now lives in Canada. She’s been here before to talk Roman names. Today she’s going to answer some questions on that rose picture. The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, is of course on UK tellies at the mo.
Christine Elaine Black’s new book isn’t about Elizabeth but it is set in the time of Wars of the Roses, that dynastic struggle between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists. It is my pleasure to welcome her here today to answer some questions, not just on her story but on her life as a Scot’s lass abroad.
Q. Your book has a very definite York/Lancaster title and theme. Can you tell us a little bit more?
A. Thanks a million for having me as a guest, Shehanne. It’s a pleasure to visit Scotland and a fellow Scot anytime. Rose for Lancaster is indeed out in time for lovers of the White Queen to enjoy. It takes place about a year after Henry VII
has won the throne of England and he’s married to
Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen.
Bit Henry and young Elizabeth feature briefly in the story. The main male character, Giles Beaufort, meets the royal pair and relates their relationship to his own marriage, as a Lancaster man married to a York woman. The story revolves around a real plot to overthrow Henry.
Q. Sounds fabulous Elaine. Just the sort of thing I love to read. Your previous books were Roman, what inspired you to move from Roman history to English history, because comparisons..well…can we make any here?
A. I’ve always loved ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian history as well as medieval, Tudor and some Regency. Also, my daughter who inspires much of my work is studying Shakespeare and her interest in Richard III piqued my interest again. I plan to write more royal tales in the Tudor Rose series shortly.
Q. Well, it’s really good to see someone do that. It gives so much more scope. Now we’ve talked writing a little, tell me a bit more about you. I can’t believe you’re from Glasgow!
A. I was born in Glasgow and grew up in a town not far from there. Had the best of both worlds as it was clean and spacious but still had the conveniences of good shopping, schools, and entertainment. I love Scotland and many members of my family live in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Galloway.
Q. Ah Rabbie Burns country. You obviously have tons of memories of Scotland.
A. Loads of memories, my Mum and two siblings live there currently and I’ve taken my daughter and husband (he’s Canadian) three times to make memories with and for them.
Q. Wonderful. Elaine, are there things you miss? Like the lousy weather for a start?
A. I miss lots of things about Scotland. Family, friends, the history, the rolling hills, the funny phrases that come to me now and again. My mum sent the Broons books over and my daughter and I read them and have a laugh.
Q. The Broons? Move aside the Lancasters and Yorks! You know at one point I worked for Thomsons, writing graphic comic strips. I never worked on this one though! But great stuff eh?
A Great stuff. If only I could be in two places at once… or maybe three or four when I need to do research!! Also miss the humour, went to the Panto when we were back at Christmas. lol – need I say more.
Q. At least you come back.
A Loads, probably six or seven times and the Scottish family have come to visit me in Canada a number of times, especially when my daughter was little. Phone calls and skype really help.
Q. What opportunities has Canada given you?
A. My husband! He’s Canadian so the main reason to stay here is for his career! It wouldn’t really translate into a job in the UK. I’m settled here and life is good.
Q. Glad to hear it. Just one beef though, a Scot’s lass writing Sassenach history! Tell me, do you have a favorite Scottish historical character and why?
A. So many great people came out of Scotland and the UK in general. I’d love to write about Robert the Bruce just because he sounds romantic. Hmmmm!!
Q Well, here he is a knight in armour. Quite a man. Quite a story. His wife’s too when she was captured and kept prisoner by the English. Will you write about him?
A. I will write a romance about a man in a kilt. Just need more hours in a day. I enjoyed featuring Henry VII and Elizabeth of York in A Rose for Lancaster and plan to have a real setting and event as a backdrop for my future Scottish historical.
Q. Where, can readers buy your Lancaster book now it has been released?
A. I’ve links for A Rose for Lancaster and my website, blog and twitter.
Q> Elaine…what a pleasure to see you today. Best of luck with this and all future projects.
A York woman and a Lancaster man are forced into a marriage contract to please King Henry VII.
Blanche Langley is swept into King Henry VII’s ambitious maneuvers to secure the throne. Tensions flare as a plot to overthrow the king is discovered. York forces gather to make one last effort to win the throne. Will Blanche betray her king, and her husband, Giles Beaufort?
Excerpt: I heard a commotion at the far end of the hall as my household men jostled a group of strangers dressed in riding clothes stained with mud. My immediate thought was to rush out of the hall to my rooms but as head of the house at Langley mansion I must deal with the arrival of newcomers. The steward talked with hasty gestures designed to delay the men, but they pushed past him and strode to the front of the hall.
I rose off my chair, regretting my choice of attire. The men looked roughened by hard riding and I had no wish to attract attention. They paused in a semi circle and shuffled their feet.
“What’s the meaning of this intrusion?”
A young man broke through the line of ruffians, boldly staring at my person. The sight of his proud stance, even though his dress left much to be desired, irritated me.
“We seek the mistress of the house.”
I flinched. He wore the livery of Lancaster and carried a missive bearing an official seal sending a shudder through my bones.
“You carry a message for Lady Langley?”
The young man held the parchment tightly. “It must be delivered in person.”
I dreaded the content of the letter. King Henry had the power to remove me from my home and pass ownership to another noble, driving me into destitution.
“Follow me, if you will.” We moved through the passageway leading to my father’s private room, used for dealing in matters of our estate. My steward discouraged the others from following and I faced my unwelcome guest with impatience.
“I am Lady Langley.”
My hand reached for the letter but he eyed me dubiously and refused to hand over the message.
“I seek the mistress of Langley. The woman betrothed to baron Somerset.” The strength and timbre of the voice belied his years, and cloaked in confidence his bearing held effortless grace. Steel gray eyes met mine without a shred of humility.
Give me the message.” His hesitation irritated me into sharp speech, a thing I did when vexed by servants. “Now, damn you!” I tore open the missive and read it twice before laughing in contempt.
“Somerset is reported dead. I can no more marry him than I can marry Richard of England.”
“You are Lady Langley?” The cheeky lout stared at me with a curious quirk on his lips.
“I am Blanche Langley, mistress of this house.”
“Indeed,” he mused.
“The king orders me to marry the baron of Somerset within the month. Does he not know the man died?” I shrugged in confusion.
“I am Giles Beaufort, heir to Somerset