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.
Jun 1, 2015
Apr 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!
Jan 27, 2015
Being a student of history, I find myself wondering about what advice was like back in the day. We live in a world where everyone wants to tell us how to eat so we can live to be 100, what to wear so we appear cool and confident, and how to survive the next attack, the next storm, or the next epidemic.
Advice from our parents' day now seems quaint and often wrong. The ads that told us real men smoke Marlboros. The Singer instruction manual that advised women to put on a clean dress and makeup and style their hair so they'd be "prepared" for sewing. The general view that a woman should not work once she became pregnant and should stay in bed for two weeks after the birth.
So I wonder, did the Tudors get advice from their doctors about how to live to be forty? Of course they did; people have always hoped some "wise" someone could tell them how to achieve good health and avoid early death. The "frog stones" in the title were ground up and put into a person's drink as a preventative for poison. Tudor doctors turned over a rock on the way to a patient's home and figured out from what they saw beneath it whether the patient would live or die. Nice to know there's a way to know for sure.
I imagine the Roman Empire sending advice to its far-flung citizenry, suggesting ways to live through an attack by raging Goths. I imagine the Great Khan sending out messengers to tout the benefits of eating only Chinese rice and not that cheap stuff coming in from the south. Maybe Cleopatra gave interviews, telling her palace folk that if they copied her outfits, makeup, and habits, they could borrow a little of her glory for themselves.
People have always sought advice, and there's always been someone willing to give it. It's odd to think that things we're advised to do will someday seem quaint, even ridiculous, by those who come later. As long as we think someone else is more qualified than we are to tell us what to do and how to live, there'll be advice, so take that umbrella with you when you leave the house today, and slow down on those slippery roads. Maybe you'll live to be 100.
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