Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Natalie Murray | Why We Still Love to Follow the British Royals (and Write About Them)
Author Guest / June 14, 2019

When I worked as an entertainment reporter for a television news channel, we weren’t allowed to file stories about the Windsors under ‘entertainment’. Instead, they were to go beneath the banner of ‘world’ news, besides elections in India and China trade tensions. There’s a reason that felt misplaced: because the British royals are unquestionably a source of entertainment, once described by a psychology professor as “one of the longest-running reality TV shows in history” (which means we’re currently on season nine-hundred-and-fifty-something). At the time of writing, Princes William and Harry are jousting for the highest number of Instagram followers (William has 9.1 million and Harry has 8.4 million—that’s around the same number as Walt Disney and Game of Thrones). Nearly 23 million US viewers watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton in 2011, with viewers tuning in from more than 180 countries. The acceleration of technology has handily turned the British royals into a global brand, with millions following them by choice rather than decree. Plenty of fans worship the Windsors to connect with their past and preserve British tradition, but why are the rest of us still so captivated by the Elizabeths, the Williams, the Henrys, the Georges, and the…

Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Lesser-Known Tudors: The Lives of the Not-So-Famous and Powerful
Author Guest / April 17, 2019

One of the first harbingers of spring in my area is the appearance of several tiny flowers that thrive in the grass, a miniature violet with a bloom smaller than a fingernail and one plant with a bitty yellow snapdragon-shaped flower.  Easy to overlook, they are nonetheless beautiful. For this month of emerging spring, we will likewise look at the stories of some fascinating but relatively unknown Tudor ladies.  Most readers are familiar with the great names that dominate historical fiction of that era—King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Bloody Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth I.   Bypassing the famous, we begin with the woman who made one of history’s most shocking mésalliances. While most of the historical fiction interest centers on the later Tudors, ROOT OF THE TUDOR ROSE by Mari Griffith features the couple that began it all: Catherine of Valois and Owen Tudor.  All looked well for this French princess who married Henry V and soon gave him an heir.  But after his early death on campaign in France, Catherine is reduced to queen-dowager, living in the household of her young son, the boy-king Henry VI, and watched over by counselors eager to prevent an ill-advised remarriage–particularly her…