Winter 2017  

Friends:

We have a cover!

Like the other Royal Wedding stories, RUMORS AT COURT, out in May, features a solo heroine on the cover. Valerie of Florham is a widow, so at the beginning of the book, she is dressed in mourning, not with head uncovered and bare neck you see on the cover! But this image is symbolic of the moment in the book in which she kisses the hero for the first time and he asks that she put her mourning aside. I love the rich fabric and the castle courtyard looks much the way I pictured the hero’s home.
Rumors at Court by Blythe Gifford
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.  All rights reserved. ®and T are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license. Copyright 2017

As with the two other Royal Wedding Stories, this one incorporates real historical figures as characters, in this case two of King Edward III’s younger sons, John, Duke of Lancaster, and Edmund, later Duke of York. The brothers married sisters, heirs to the throne of Castile (Spain).

Valerie, the heroine of the book, is a widow, serving the Castilian queen in exile. Gilbert, the hero, is in the service of John of Gaunt, who styles himself the king of Castile. Here’s a peek at their story, as teased in the book’s back cover copy:
 
Wed by royal command!

Widow Valerie of Florham wants nothing more than to forget her abusive marriage and live peacefully at the mercy of no man. She'd never have dreamed of a liaison with handsome Sir Gil Wolford, but then comes a royal decree—they must wed!

Gil craves military conquest in Castile, far from his haunted past. Marriage to Lady Valerie is the last thing he should want, yet both have truths to hide from the rumormongers at court. They have no choice…and, once wed, the marriage bed changes everything!

I also want to give a shout out of thanks to Deborah Kinnard, a long time writer friend who was kind enough, and qualified enough, to save me from the errors of Google translate for the few phrases of Castilian (Spanish) I used in the book. Deb writes Christian fiction, both contemporary and time travel, and she’s a fellow lover of the medieval time period. “Their mindset was very different than ours,” she says. “The differences make for compelling fiction. For one thing, our medieval characters live and walk and work with their faith as an ever-present part of their lives. It informs the choices they make and the way they see the world.”

Finally, more news from me on RUMORS AT COURT as we get closer, but I’ve written a blog on the book, along with an excerpt, at Unusual Historicals. Enjoy!

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All my best,