For this Friday, I thought I’d share a photo of a wonderful place to read, the Libreria Acqua in Venice. Can’t you imagine curling up here, with the water lapping all around you?
Welcome to Spun Stories, where I find books for book groups, give advice on the craft of writing, share tips on self-publishing, make bookclub recommendations, and spin stories from threads of the past
Thwarted Queen: A Saga About the Yorks, Lancasters and Nevilles
Cynthia Sally Haggard. Spun Stories Press, $18.99 paper (478p), ISBN 978-15120884-96; $5.99 e-book ISBN 978-0-9848169-1-0
As the Hundred Years War comes to an end and the War of the Roses is about to begin, the wife of Richard, duke of York, bears a son after a love affair. Here is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a king brought down by fear.
Cecylee Neville is 9 years old when she’s betrothed to Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York. Years after they marry, an affair she has one night leads to the birth of an illegitimate heir, an event that alters the course of history. As King Henry VI of Lancaster descends into madness, the house of York—comprised of Cecylee’s husband and, later, her sons Edward, Richard and George—begins a long, hard-fought campaign, often marked by betrayal, to win the throne of
England for themselves.
Through careful, comprehensive research, Haggard creates a world rooted deeply in fact that’s also rich with dramatic detail. Descriptions of Henry’s descent into madness are particularly striking, as are the myriad relationships and duplicities that shaped the era, ultimately causing the war, which unfold intimately as Haggard couples fact with the affecting personal details.
"THWARTED QUEEN" is extremely interesting and cleverly written-I was completely enthralled! Lucy Bertoldi, HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY.
“THWARTED QUEEN is a gripping, well-researched historical novel, revealing a violent age. Cecylee and the other characters are well-drawn, with great subtlety and depth." Lindsay Townsend, author of TO TOUCH THE KNIGHT.
"The author immerses the reader in a complex and vivid world that is depicted with persuasive confidence." Curtis Sittenfeld, author of AMERICAN WIFE.
"THWARTED QUEEN is a wonderful novel to introduce Cecily Neville and historical biographical fiction to young female readers." Mirella Patzer, author of THE PENDANT.
"Haggard delivers a swift epic that is both entertaining and informing. The writing is crisp and clear, the characters well-defined, and the emotion overflowing. This book has something for everyone—romance, intrigue, and plenty of action." US REVIEW OF BOOKS, May 2012.