Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Blog Tour: The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden

The Lost Duchess


  • ISBN-10: 0091949246 - Paperback $8.
  • Ebury Press (June 5, 2014), 448 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher
 
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An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World.
 
Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.
 
Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.
 
Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.
 
As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep...
 
Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; 'The Lost Duchess' explores what might have happened to the ill-starred 'Lost Colony' of Roanoke.
 

Review:
While I've always been fascinated by Queen Elizabeth, I hadn't given much thought to the explorers during her rule nor to the early settlers in America.  The Lost Duchess gives us the story of a young, beautiful, and relatively unimportant lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth.  We learn that Elizabeth ruled her ladies with strict discipline and quite a lot of jealousy - it appears that she discouraged romances and marriage for her ladies.  When Emme is targeted by a powerful, wealthy, and unscrupulous lord, she feels as though she has very little options.

She's young and idealistic enough to dream of escaping to the Americas with mariners under Sir Raleigh.  Given permission to travel and explore the new territory as long as she agrees to report back to her Queen, Emme undertakes the perilous journey.  She must go incognito and undertakes to work as a lady's maid to a middle-class settler.  While the sea voyage is difficult, the real danger that Emme and the settlers face comes when they reach Virginia.  The earlier settlers have disappeared, likely killed, and the natives have declared war on the English.  It is with luck, courage and much planning that Emme and Kit, her handsome mariner, are able to face the dangers and make a home for themselves. 

The Lost Duchess is a fun read for historical fiction fans.  It gives a clear impression of the dangers that the early settlers faced as well as a glimpse into the intrigues of Queen Elizabeth's court.  

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About the Author

I've had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city Jenny (Portrait 2)solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. The sequel centres on the first Elizabethan 'lost colony' of early Virginia. I am currently working on an epic adventure during the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada.
 
My work has appeared in short story collections and anthologies and I've written for non-fiction publications including the Historical Novels Review. I am active in many organisations, having run the 'Get Writing' conferences for several years, and undertaken the co-ordination of the Historical Novel SocietyĆ­s London Conference 2012. I am a member of that organisation as well as the Historical Writers' Association, the Romantic Nevelists' Association and the Society of Authors. I'll be co-ordinating the RNA's annual conference in 2014.
 
I have four children and now live on a farm in Dorset with my long suffering husband and an ever increasing assortment of animals.
 
I love travelling, art, reading and scrambling up hills and mountains (though I'm not so keen on coming down!).
 

Author Links

 

Also by Jenny Barden

Mistress of the SeaPublication Date: June 20, 2013
Ebury Press
Formats: Paperback, Ebook
 
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Mistress Cooksley may be a wealthy merchant's daughter, but she blushes at my words and meets my eyes look for look. Yet I cannot hope to court her without fortune, and a dalliance with a pretty maid will not hinder me from my path.
 
Captain Drake's endeavour might bring me gold, but I, Will Doonan, will have my revenge.
 
The Spaniards captured my brother and have likely tortured and killed him. For God and St George, we'll strike at the dogs and see justice done.
 
I thought I'd left Mistress Cooksley behind to gamble everything and follow Drake, and here she is playing the boy at the ends of the world. She's a fool with a heart as brave as any man's. Yet her presence here could be the ruin of us all...
 

Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, May 26
Book Blast at Reading the Ages
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Book Blast at Bibliophilia, Please
 
Tuesday, May 27
Book Blast at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read
 
Wednesday, May 28
 
Thursday, May 29
Book Blast at The Maiden's Court
Book Blast at Cheryl's Book Nook
 
Friday, May 30
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer
Book Blast at Curling Up by the Fire
 
Saturday, May 31
Book Blast at From L.A. to LA
Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books
 
Sunday, June 1
Book Blast at Lily Pond Reads
 
Monday, June 2
Review & Giveaway at The Tudor Enthusiast
Book Blast at The Bookworm
Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews
 
Tuesday, June 3
Book Blast at West Metro Mommy
Book Blast at bookworm2bookworm's Blog
 
Wednesday, June 4
Review at The Wormhole
Book Blast at Kelsey's Book Corner
 
Thursday, June 5
Book Blast at Books and Benches
Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise
 
Friday, June 6
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Book Blast at Kincavel Korner
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes
 
Saturday, June 7
Book Blast at Royal Reviews
Book Blast at History Undressed
 
Sunday, June 8
Book Blast at Book Nerd
 
Monday, June 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads
 
Tuesday, June 10
Review at She Reads Novels
Book Blast at Just One More Chapter
 
Wednesday, June 11
Book Blast at Books in the Burbs
 
Thursday, June 12
Book Blast at Big Book, Little Book
 
Friday, June 13
 
Saturday, June 14
Book Blast at Hardcover Feedback
Book Blast at One Book at a Time
 
Sunday, June 15
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
 
Monday, June 16
Review at Layered Pages
Review at Starting Fresh
 
Tuesday, June 17
Review at The Lit Bitch
Book Blast at Griperang's Bookmarks
 
Wednesday, June 18
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Book Blast at Princess of Eboli
 
Thursday, June 19
Review at A Bookish Affair
Book Blast at Girl Lost in a Book
 
Friday, June 20
Review at Broken Teepee
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
 
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