Showing posts with label Queen Elizabeth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Queen Elizabeth. Show all posts

Dec 19, 2015

30 Days of Christmas Day 25: Her Royal Highness' Christmastide

An Elizabethan Christmas
My old friend Simon,
I have thought of you often in recent days. It has been some years since we last met and I sent you off to Scotland. I am certain you have grown ancient, for I myself am old. It came to my mind to write to you of my days in Christmastide. Perhaps you will in turn tell me of yours.

We are keeping Christmas now, since it is December 24th. The next twelve days will be busy ones, with parties each day until the last and largest one on Twelfth Night. Much of it is silliness, with men dressing as women and women as men. There is also gambling, which some abhor, but I believe life must offer good times to balance the bad ones we cannot avoid.

I have ordered the cooks to spare no expense in feeding the household, so we shall dine on meats of all kinds, marchpanes, pies, custards, frumenty, plum porridge, and much else. I look forward to the Christmas pie of neat's tongue, eggs, sugar, lemon, orange peel, and spices. As I told you when last we met, sugar is a wonderful food, and very healthful, too, I'm told.

Several pageants are planned for the holidays, and I believe tonight's is the tale of St. George and the Dragon. I am at Greenwich Palace, which, though small, is my favorite place for the celebration. It is decorated with holly, ivy, box, yew, bay, laurel, holm, and oak branches, any that can be found that are still green. The Yule log has been chosen, and tonight the men will go forth, cut it, and drag it to the hall fireplace. A bit of last year's log has been preserved to light this year's version, and if it burns all night long, that will signal prosperity for our land in the coming year.

HollyIt was suggested to me that this year we might set an image of the Christ child on the chapel altar. I see nothing wrong with that, for we must be reminded that despite all the banquets and dancing, this is a time for reflecting on God's gifts to us all.

Write me if you can, Old Friend, and tell me news of your family and your activities at Christmastide.

Signature of Queen Elizabeth I
Her Royal Highness Elizabeth
 (though you, of course, may call me "Highness")


So now is come our joyful'st feast,
Let every man be jolly.
Each room with ivy leaves is drest,
And every post with holly.
       Though some churls at our mirth repine,
        Round your foreheads garlands twine,
        Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,
And let us all be merry.
            George Wither (1588-1667)

Jun 1, 2015

Simon & Elizabeth Are Back

At my signing on Saturday, a reader asked about the next Simon & Elizabeth book. Sometimes I feel like I neglect them, but it's mostly because my publisher accepts the manuscripts and then sets a date for release 20 years in the future.

Okay, maybe not 20.

Five Star is an excellent publisher, and they have a large number of authors who keep writing more books, so each submitted manuscript is put into a queue. I sent them the fourth in the series in late 2013 and got June 18, 2015, for my release date. Once I've done the work they require, editing, writing cover copy, etc., that leaves me with well over a year to forget the book exists. So if I haven't mentioned my historical series lately, that's why.

Book #4 is called HER MAJESTY'S MISCHIEF. Elizabeth is now queen, (hence "Her Majesty") and she wants Simon to go to Scotland and form an honest appraisal of Mary, Queen of Scots. The "mischief" in the title might refer to Mary and her plotting, but Elizabeth was no slouch at plotting mischief herself. She's thinking of offering Mary a husband (and not just any husband!), but reports of the Scottish queen's character vary widely. Some say she's sweet and innocent; others say she's a conniving, evil woman. Scholars actually still argue about which impression is most fitting, and the events in the book concerning Mary are true, except that Simon didn't go along because Simon didn't really exist. For our purposes, however, he does, and Elizabeth trusts his judgment. Unlike the rest of the men surrounding her throne, he has no political agenda.

Simon does have an agenda, though. He's recently learned that his brother-in-law was murdered, and being Simon, he wants to investigate. Elizabeth, being his monarch and possessing her father's Tudor stubborn streak, insists on having it her way. While Simon is gone to Scotland (where he gets into all sorts of trouble), his son Henry decides he'll investigate. That, of course, leads to its own set of perils.

The book is up for pre-order on Amazon & Barnes & Noble (maybe others, I just checked those two). So far it's hardcover only, and I have no idea when e-books will be available. They claimed there would be paperbacks this year, but nobody tells the authors the scheduling of any of that. We wait and see just like everyone else.

Apr 13, 2015

Freebie Day 3: April 13, 2015




Her Majesty’s Mischief

Want 2 free copies of this book? I'm giving away two books each day until the release of the 3rd Dead Detective Mystery, DEAD FOR THE SHOW, on April 20. The books are mixed up, so if you want a specific title, watch this spot daily until the one you want shows up. Then respond here or on Peg’s News on Facebook to be entered in the daily drawing.

Yesterday's winner is  Lori C.N. Congratulations!
 
NOTE: This one isn’t out yet, so you’ll have to wait until I get copies, May-ish.


Book #4 of the Simon & Elizabeth series
Setting: Tudor London & Scotland
Elizabeth I sends her loyal friend Simon to Scotland to bring back an honest assessment of Mary, Queen of Scots. While Simon’s away, his wife and son get into hot water trying to solve a murder. Nobody has a good time for a while, but things work out in the end.


Check out DEAD FOR THE SHOW on Amazon, where it's up for pre-order for Kindle and will be available in print one week from today! 


How About a FREE Print Book?

Readers love book deals, right? Here’s the situation: I have books I didn’t sell, largely due to COVID. I’m not interested in doing li...