Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tudor Thursday: Brazen by Katherine Longshore (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop for Tudor Thursdays!
Today, Katherine takes us on a tour of Greenwich and gives us a sneak preview to Brazen!
Be sure to enter the giveaway below and don't forget check out the tour schedule for additional teasers and Katherine's favorite historical stops in Europe!

About the book:

Genre: Historical, Young Adult, Romance
  Publish Date: July 12, 2014
  Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  Event organized by: Kathy @ A Glass of Wine 
~ Book Synopsis ~

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

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Photo © of Katherine Longshore

The first time I traveled as a college student was on a study abroad program called the Semester at Sea. We spent 100 days living and studying on a ship that circumnavigated the globe. As we left the Mediterranean heading east, the voice of our geography professor came on over the loudspeaker, echoing as if through the space-time continuum, saying, “We are now approaching geographical nirvana—Prime Meridian. It is exactly 2:47, Greenwich Mean Time.”

This was my introduction to Greenwich, back when my obsession was geography and anthropology, not history.

The Palace of Placentia—where Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were both born—is no longer there, replaced by the Royal Naval Hospital after it fell into disrepair during the English Civil Wars (17th Century). You can go to Greenwich today and straddle the Prime Meridian. You can walk through the Royal Observatory, commissioned by Charles II, where you can see early telescopes and John Harrison’s marine chronometer (made famous to me by Dana Sobel’s Longitude). It stands on the site of Duke Humphrey’s Tower, where Henry VIII is said to have invited his mistresses.

In BRAZEN, Mary thinks her best friend, Madge Shelton, is getting involved in a dangerous game:

“What are you doing?” I call.

Madge turns and plants her fists on her hips.

“Trying to find some peace and quiet,” she says bluntly. “I was walking up to Duke Humphrey’s Tower.”

“By yourself?” I blurt. Everyone knows Humphrey’s Tower is where the king meets his mistresses.

Madge laughs. “Wouldn’t that just be the evidence the court needs?”

“So it’s true?” I ask quietly when we reach her.

Madge stops laughing and drops her hands to her sides.

“Gossip is rarely true,” she says. “But I suppose it’s what’s believed that matters.”

“Madge.” I reach for her hand, but she pulls away from me and starts up the hill again. “Madge, you can’t do this. He’s the king.”

“I’m not doing anything,” she says. “I just danced with him.”

“He left with you. The queen almost caused an international incident because of it.”

“He wanted to show me the stars.” Madge’s voice breaks, and she stops to look up at the sky. It’s the kind of icy blue that only happens in December. Her chest heaves, but I’m guessing it’s not from the near run up the hill.

“He talked about the stars,” Madge says. “The constellations. He told me the stories of Perseus, right up there in the sky.” She points upward as if she can still see it.

“What about the queen?” I ask, barely willing to break the spell Madge has woven around herself.

“She doesn’t care for astronomy.”


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