Cynthia Haggard’s “The Thwarted Queen” ~Thirteen Thursday Pre-Review Commentary!!

Elizabeth Woodville (1437–92), Queen Con...

Elizabeth Woodville (1437–92), Queen Consort of Edward IV of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edward IV Plantagenet (1442-1483)

Edward IV Plantagenet (1442-1483) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Thwarted Queen” is a beautifully written historical novel I’ll be reviewing next week, but in preview to that, I’d like to bring you these two notices: a quick summary and “Thirteen Thursday!”   Here’s a summary of the book~

“Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. The seventh daughter, she is the only one left unmarried by 1424, the year she turns nine. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. The Earl of Westmorland plans to marry his youngest daughter to 13-year-old Richard, Duke of York, who is close to the throne. He wants this splendid match to take place so badly, he locks his daughter up.

The event that fuels the narrative is Cecylee’s encounter with Blaybourne, a handsome archer, when she is twenty-six years old. This love affair produces a child (the “One Seed” of Book II), who becomes King Edward IV. But how does a public figure like Cecylee, whose position depends upon the goodwill of her husband, carry off such an affair? The duke could have locked her up, or disposed of this illegitimate son.

But Richard does neither, keeping her firmly by his side as he tries to make his voice heard in the tumultuous years that encompass the end of the Hundred Years War – during which England loses all of her possessions in France – and the opening phase of the Wars of the Roses. He inherits the political mantle of his mentor Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and become’s the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France. But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows.

This book is filled with many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time. By their courageous acts, these fifteenth-century Londoners set the stage for American Democracy.”

Now, Let the Games Begin!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen, Ms Haggard! 


REASON NUMBER THIRTEEN: I came to novel writing by accident, taking courses in creative writing to hone my prose style. But once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. I love writing novels and hope that every reader enjoys reading my work as much as I enjoyed writing it.

REASON NUMBER TWELVE: I wrote this novel because I heard that British historian Michael K. Jones had come across some evidence showing that one of Cecylee’s sons was illegitimate. Since that particular son became Edward IV of England, and since the present Queen of England traces her lineage through this monarch, it throws her claim to the throne into doubt.

REASON NUMBER ELEVEN: I wrote this novel because I had a burning question: What on earth did Cecylee say to her husband Richard of York, when he returned from his summer campaign only to find her expecting another’s child? How did she manage to persuade him to keep the child and make that child his heir?

REASON NUMBER TEN: Before I wrote a word of THWARTED QUEEN, I consulted many history books about the time period (the wars of the roses).

REASON NUMBER NINE: I started the actual writing of the novel by taking THREE courses on the craft of writing.

REASON NUMBER EIGHT: I took SEVEN years to write it, to perfect my craft.

REASON NUMBER SEVEN: I solicited feedback from many people, including professional writers and editors.

REASON NUMBER SIX: I spent money to have it edited.

REASON NUMBER FIVE: I hired a professional to transform my Word documents into Mobi and ePub files.

REASON NUMBER FOUR: I organized a photo shoot to obtain images I could use for the cover design.

REASON NUMBER THREE: I taught myself Photoshop in FIVE days to design the cover. I also did the interior design.

REASON NUMBER TWO: I turned a hobby into a business, educating myself about the publishing industry by going to conferences, and taking online courses and webinars.

REASON NUMBER ONE: The story is fabulous. Cecylee is an engaging character. And I tell the whole story of her life, from age 9 to age 80.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this feature, and will come back to read the interview of Ms Haggard and more about her book next Friday, May 25th.  I’m also holding a GIVEAWAY  at that time!!!

Thanks for taking time to stop by!                Deborah/TheBookishDame