Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Riddled Prophecy Blitz

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Historical Fiction, Short Stories
Date Published: March 2019
Publisher: Page Publishing
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Riddled Prophecy is a fascinating collection of short stories spanning 1200 years. The first five are historical fiction, all based on genealogical information from the author’s ancestors. The next eight are autobiographical and are arranged chronologically. The last one springs from a love of horses.
About the Author

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L. Marlene Payne, MD, is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who retired after forty years of private practice. She is married to John F. Payne, also a psychiatrist, and they have three married children and seven grandchildren. She and her husband live in McLean, Virginia. She had written two other books: Mission Possible and Call Life a Good Gift.
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Southern Gothic, Short Stories Publisher: Pen-L Publishing Church suppers and bingo nights. Dreams of Mexico.
Literature, Fiction, Short Stories Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Napili Press In Stories I Can't
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Defenders of the Texas Frontier – Blitz

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Historical Fiction
Date Published: April 2019
Publisher: iUniverse
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It was 1837 when John Coffey (Jack) Hays, only nineteen years old, arrived in Texas. He was too late to join the fight for Texas Independence but joined the ranging company of Deaf Smith and started his long history of defending Texans from raids by Comanche bands and Mexican bandits. By the time, he was twenty-three he was a captain of the Texas Rangers, known throughout Texas as a fearless fighter and a leader whose men would follow him anywhere, under any circumstances. Amongst his lieutenants were Samuel H. Walker, Ben McCulloch and William (Bigfoot) Wallace each of whom became leaders of Texas Ranger companies, and forged their own legends in Texas history.
Hays, more than any other man, symbolized the Texas Rangers during the era of the Texas Republic. During the Mexican War, Colonel Hays’ Rangers scouted, defended U.S. supply and communication lines from attacks by Mexican guerrillas, and fought with regular units of the U.S. Army. They earned a significant reputation for bravery and success.
Hays’ Rangers were almost always outnumbered in their battles with Comanche and Mexicans, but more than held their own because they had early access to the revolver. Hays made certain every one of the men under his command was a skilled marksman with the revolver and their other weapons. This novel tells the story of Hays’ life, loves, and the sense of honor and responsibility that motivated him to embrace hardship and danger.
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Chapter 1
My name is John Caperton. I have known and been a friend of Jack Hays since we were young boys teaching ourselves how to hunt and fish and live rough in the forests of Tennessee. I am six months younger than Jack. I followed him, and now I leave a record of his story.
            We arrived in Nacogdoches thirsty and decided to have a beer. Jack stood at the end of the ten-foot bar sipping at the mug of beer he held in his left hand. I was leaning against the far wall, no more than six or seven feet away. Jack was then nineteen, but he appeared to be maybe fourteen or fifteen years old. He’s still slight and is an inch or two shorter than most of the men in any room. His complexion is fair, his nose slightly aquiline. His mouth is firm with thin lips. His chin is square. His beard struggled to be noticed. He didn’t move his head, but his deep-set hazel eyes moved continuously, taking in everyone and everything in the room.
All the men in the room, with the exception of the bartender, were dressed roughly. Their wool pants were baggy and dirty with constant use, their shirts dirty and frayed at their collars and cuffs. The men’s coats were a variety of styles, including some uniform coats from 1812. Almost all the men wore wide leather belts with one or two pistols jammed in between belt and coat. Some held rifles. Most had large knives in sheaths hanging from their belts. All wore battered hats of indeterminate style and age.
Jack was also wearing wool pants, but his were less baggy. The collar of his homespun shirt was stained but not frayed, and his coat was a heavy wool with a tight weave. His hat was beaver felt, the crown crushed flat, the brim drooping. He had two pistols jammed in his wide belt, the heavy grips facing each other. His bowie knife resided in a sheath close to his right hand. A Tennessee long rifle was slung by a leather strap over his left shoulder.
The continuous murmur of men in quiet conversation pervaded the cramped room. Occasionally, the sound of chairs and boots scraping on the wide-plank pinewood floor penetrated the hum. The floor planks, apparently nailed down while green, were twisted. Men often stumbled while making their way to the bar, not always the result of having imbibed too much alcohol. Every time a newcomer entered the room, there was a shout of greeting. Adding to the ambiance was the sharp sound of playing cards slapped with enthusiasm onto the three rickety tables crowding the space. All the sounds were punctuated by the noise of shot glasses and beer mugs set down on the bar and tables. Chunks of thick, sticky Nacogdoches mud dried in the warm closeness of the room and fell in clumps from the boots of the men who were in the bar longest. This was all accompanied by the stench of stale beer, rough whiskey, cigar smoke, and the stink, rising like steam, from the filthy clothing of unwashed males.
Jack watched as some men left and others arrived, crowding past one another through the narrow doorway. The single room of the rough board cabin that served as the bar filled as more men crowded in.
“Shut the damn door!” someone yelled.
It was late April 1836. Wind and rain pounded the town of Nacogdoches in the new Republic of Texas.
The door crashed open again, and a very large man pushed through. This time nobody shouted a greeting. He shoved men aside to claim a place at the bar.
“Whiskey, damn it, George,” he shouted at the harried bartender, who, after glancing to identify the speaker, stopped pouring beer into the three mugs he held in one hand. He set the mugs down and poured a shot of whiskey, sliding it through the spilled beer lubricating the bar top.
The big man took up the glass, turned to survey the room, and then drank the cheap whiskey in a gulp. He returned the shot glass to the bar without turning.
“Hit me again, and keep them coming, George. Don’t just stand there with your thumb up your ass.”
I leaned in toward the man standing next to me and whispered, “Who is that guy?”
“The local bully,” he whispered back. “Before long, he’ll taunt somebody and wave one of those fists in his victim’s face.”
 I noticed all the men in the bar did their best to avoid looking at him, except for Jack, who didn’t take his eyes from the huge fellow.
The man standing next to me whispered again. “I noticed you came in with that young man at the bar. If he’s your friend, you best tell him not to do anything to provoke. After a couple shots of that rotgut, Big Al will try to pick a fight with someone, and if that youngster doesn’t stop staring at him, he’ll be the one.”
Jack kept his place at the bar and continued to gaze at the bully.
The big man quickly consumed three more shots of whiskey and then suddenly shoved the man standing next to him. “Back off, shithead. Don’t crowd me, or I’ll beat the crap out of you.”
The man backed away, gulped what was left of the beer in his hand, put the mug down on a table, and ran from the bar.
The bully smiled, pleased with the reaction he forced. Then he noticed Jack looking at him. “What you smilin’ about, twerp?” he shouted, pushing past three men to stand very close to Jack.
I left my place at the wall to move closer.
The bully was a full head taller and at least ninety pounds heavier than Jack. His broad shoulders tapered into a thick neck. Although I was three feet away, I could smell his rotted teeth. Jack did not back away from the stench. The bully clenched his fists.
“Wipe that smile off your face, shithead, or would you rather I wipe it off for you?” The bully raised his right fist and waved it in front of Jack’s face. “I said to wipe off that smile, or I’ll wipe it off for you.”
Jack continued to smile while gently placing his mug on the bar. The bully pulled back his fist. The pistol on Jack’s left side was in his right hand. The fist started forward, a cap exploded, and the coat over the big man’s heart burst into flames. He fell straight back, stiff as a felled tree. He was dead when the back of his head hit the floor, pushing his hat over his still snarling face.
Jack pushed his pistol back through his belt and then swept his eyes around the room. “Anybody think that man was not about to hit me?” he asked.
One man pushed his chair back from the table where he sat. The feet of the chair screeched and then caught on a twisted board. The man stood, pushing the chair over backward.
“That son of a bitch beat me near to death three weeks ago, and others in this room have suffered at those fists. Thanks, young man. We are well rid of that scum.”
Several other men in the room voiced their agreement.
“Is there a lawman in this town?” asked Jack. “I suppose I’m in deep shit for killing this man, but I wasn’t going to allow him to hit me.”
“It was self-defense. We all saw it,” said the man as he extricated his feet from the turned-over chair on the floor.
The door slammed open, hitting the wall on the hinge side. A gray-haired man with a four-day-old beard, his potbelly hanging over his gun belt, entered with a pistol in his hand and a badge pinned to his coat.
“I heard a shot. What the hell has Big Al Cranston done now?”
Jack motioned at the body on the floor with his chin. “Is that Cranston?”
One of the men in the room spoke up. “It was completely justified, Sheriff. Couldn’t expect the young man to wait until that asshole hit him. I want to buy our hero a drink.”
I finally found my voice. “I can verify that man on the floor was about to hit him, sir.”
Several men shouted at the bartender to pour Jack a drink.
Jack waved a hand in the air. “Thanks, gents. I’ve had all the alcohol I need. Maybe another time. We’re just passing through.” He grabbed my right arm above the elbow. “Believe we’ll be on our way, unless there is something else, Sheriff.”
“I’ll need you and your friend to come to my office and sign a statement, young man. You too, Sam, and anyone else who agrees Big Al was asking for it. I’ll have to file a report with the judge whenever he comes around again. What’s your name, youngster?”
“John Coffee Hays, sir,” Jack answered.
“Any relation to Harmond Hays of Tennessee?”
“Yes, sir. He’s my daddy.”
“How’s he doing?”
“He and my ma both died of the cholera about four years ago.”
“Sorry to hear that. I served with him in 1812 under General Jackson. Didn’t one of your uncles marry Andrew Jackson’s sister?”
“Yes, sir. She’s my great-aunt Cage, my ma’s side.”
“Well, boys, the tree this lad sprouted from is one tough giant of the US of A. Let me shake your hand, John Coffee Hays. Nobody in this town is likely to weep over the loss of Big Al. Some of you boys haul his carcass out of here. Leave him on the porch of my office until I can order a coffin, but wrap him up in a tarp first. No sense in spreading his blood all over town. George, looks like you’ll have a mess to clean up.”
The bartender replied. “He rarely paid for what he consumed, so no great loss. A bucket of water sloshed on the floor will get most of it. The rest will just mix with the dirt.”
As we followed the sheriff to his office, Jack whispered, “So that’s how it feels to kill a man. Glad I didn’t take the time to think about what I was doing. Just a reflex. Still, I’m glad I’m not in trouble. Wonder if Big Al has family who will mourn him?”

About the Author
Dr. David R. Gross has co-edited three multi-authored textbooks and more than one hundred scientific articles. The first, second, and third editions of his single author text, Animal Models in Cardiovascular Research, can be found in most medical libraries. Since retirement, he has published Man Hunt, a historical novel, Animals Don’t Blush, a memoir, Travels with Charlize, a memoir, Succeeding as a Student, a how-to book, and most recently, A Mexican Adventure, a memoir, the sequel to Animals Don’t Blush.
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Historical Fiction, Short Stories Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Page Publishing Riddled Prophecy is a
Historical Fiction Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Vanguard Press An entertaining and lively tale of
A Tale of a Korean Orphan Boy Historical Fiction Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers Published: March
  The Tudor Trilogy, Book One Historical Fiction Publisher: Presei Press Based on the true


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The First Village – Blitz

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Historical Fiction
Date Published: March 2019
Publisher: Vanguard Press
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An entertaining and lively tale of love and ambition set around the end of the Roman occupation of Britain, AD 383 and the threats it brings to a dependent way of life. A strong backstory is the force of the new state religion, Christianity.
Wales AD 383 is the most remote province of Roman-occupied Britain, colonised for over 300 years. Magnus Maximus, known to the Celts as Macsen Wledig, has grown restless with his role as general of the Roman army in Britannia. His nights are broken by dreams of an impossibly beautiful Welsh maiden. He sets his sights on moving his legions out of Britannia to challenge Gratianus – the emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
Flavius Arcadius is less than enamoured by his general’s plans. The army’s withdrawal will leave his family, neighbours and all of Britannia unprotected and at the mercy of internecine conflict between the local tribes and the even greater threat of pagan invaders from the east. He does, however, have a vision for the future – a fortified villa surrounded by a self-sufficient community – if only he could find a way to stay behind when the legions move.
Flavius starts to plot…
Maximus is sufficiently in thrall to his fantasies to allow Flavius to set out with his two friends and fellow officers, Severus and Caradocus, to seek out, abduct and take this dream girl to him as his bride…
The three soldiers wander through the wilds of Cymru, intent only on delaying their return. To their astonishment, they come across a young woman who is the living image of Maximus’s dream maiden. Flavius and Severus are determined to bring the girl, Elen, to Maximus. Caradocus, however, engineers their escape.
Elen’s beauty is matched by her wit and intelligence; and her courage is demonstrated when she saves them both from capture. Before long, the two runaways are in love. But Caradocus and Elen are going to need more than their wits to survive, when they are being hunted – not just by Flavius and Severus, but by Elen’s father and, for all they know, the full might of the Roman army…
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Chapter 39
Deus ex Machina
Sometimes circumstances force your hand, even though you have a general plan for future action. Elen’s conclusion that Villa Arcadius offered the only possible sanctuary was abruptly a stark reality now. She knew with certainty it was time to move—without a moment’s delay. Thank the Lord God, she thought, for Sioned and Meirion—for their loyalty, for their resourcefulness, and for their resilience, for now she needed their help even more than ever.
Although she and Caradocus had begun to establish themselves and were more financially secure, the growing state of chaos in the town had meant many ordinary household goods had been in short supply. Now, when it was necessary to sell the more valuable of their possessions, many other people had the same idea, and there was a glut of second-hand items everyone was trying to off-load to make themselves more mobile. The prices Elen could command for their bits and pieces were much lower than she’d hoped. Still, every nummus helped, silver was silver, and a sturdy horse was worth any price. The family needed reliable mounts, even an extra one for all the personal items they couldn’t bear to part with. Packing and getting ready for the long ride to Venta Silurum and the safety of the Villa Arcadius was frenzied, and the baby needed lots of attention—and entertainment—as well.
“What about Caradocus?” Sioned asked gently, during one awkward pause in all this activity.
“Our priest at the church has said he will take care of him, and would include Macsen, as he always calls him, in his daily prayers. I’m sure he will be well looked after. When we’re safely settled with the baby and all, we might try to come back and make sure.”
Sioned knew what she meant, and the two young women held hands, staring silently out the windows of the now empty house. They looked down to the courtyard where Meirion was busy fussing with the horses’ saddlebags and halters, and across the thatched rooftops and sooty chimneys of the surrounding dwellings. Elen could just make out the church where she and Caradocus had been married, with its rounded stone arches, ill-matching pillars, and red-tiled roof, in need of repair. Like every other Christian church around these parts, it was a hastily converted pagan temple, once dedicated to Jupiter. Caradocus and Elen had been amused by the irony of thinking that slapping a wooden cross on top of the highest arch transformed it into a Christian edifice, but now Elen saw that incongruity as a symbol of confusion—was it still the settlement of a tribe, a Roman frontier town, a legionary headquarters for military raids into Cymru, or a new Christian community? If the latter, why did death seem so omnipresent?
They rode out of the tall gates of the town, the civitas of the Cornovii before the sun had risen over the wide River Sabrina. It was a cool, foggy morning with gusts of a chilly wind and there was no-one around. Even so, Elen could not help looking behind her. Sioned wondered if she was worried about footpads, or fantasizing Caradocus galloping hard to catch up with them.
Fording the river at the first available shallows, Elen let the other two ride on ahead. She stared into the water just beginning to reflect the pale light of the coming dawn. She thought with terror of the rotting body of a would-be assassin, a monk, now wrapped in one of their blankets, along with two heavy stones, all tied up with the same twine that had once bound her husband’s wrists and ankles. He hated to throw away useful things. She shivered, but not from the cold wind that was stirring ripples on the river. She reached into the pocket of her dress and took out a gold coin—the solidus
About the author:

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Ian M. Evans is a British-born clinical psychologist who grew up South Africa. After completing a doctorate at King’s College, London, his academic career has taken him to universities in Hawaii, New York, and New Zealand. A Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, his research and practice focused on emotional and family challenges for young people with disabilities. Ian lives with his wife in Honolulu, where their children, grandchildren, and friends love to visit. This is his second novel (following Forgive Me My Trespasses, Archway, 2015).
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Historical Fiction Date Published: April 2019 Publisher: iUniverse It was 1837 when John Coffey (Jack)
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Returned and Reborn – Blitz

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Tale of a Korean Orphan Boy
Austin Macauley Publishers
March 2019
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than 200,000 South Korean infants and toddlers left their motherlands in the
arms of strangers from the postwar era. “Returned and Reborn: a Tale of A
Korean Orphan Boy” is the first novel about such an orphan–a boy fathered
by a missionary priest who established the first Catholic Adult Institute in
South Korea. This fiction is based on a true story, mixed with Korea’s modern
history–Vietnam War in which 300,000 South Korean troops fought (5001 were
killed); the unintentional harm the American military caused to the Korean
people by disposing millions of gallons of toxic chemicals called “Agent
Orange” in the Korean water ways and soil; and the Korean society’s
contempt against children of mixed blood, children born of unwed mothers, and those
born with birth defects. It’s the story of a young man’s journey of self
discovery from an aimless American with no knowledge of himself or his roots
who returns to his birth country, reunite with his Korean birth mother dying
from cancer caused by consuming toxic water over time, but unexpected accident
separate them permanently. Yet, through her and his deceased father’s former
co-workers, he learns of his father’s greatness as well as his weakness, as an
ambitious American Jesuit who fulfilled his big dreams but caused his birth and
troublesome journey as an orphan forced to leave his mother who couldn’t raise
him. Still, in a mysterious way, he finds his own path–the path to a mission
trip to North Korea.
the Author

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Park came to the United States to be a cellist with the Kansas City
Philharmonic (now the Kansas City Symphony) in 1966. After 30 years, she
retired and began writing. Her first novel A Gift of the Emperor (published in
1997) is about a Korean schoolgirl forced into military prostitution by the
Japanese government during World War II. With this book, Park was one of the
featured authors at three national bookfairs in 1998: The Los Angeles Bookfair,
The Miami Bookfair, The Heartland Bookfair. A Gift of the Emperor was selected in
the reference volumes Reading Groups Choices for 1998 and she was mentioned in
Contemporary Authors 2001.  Her second
novel: “When a Rooster Crows at Night” is based on her own experience
of the Korean War she lived through as a child.
Her third “The Northern Wind: a Forced Journey to North Korea”
deals with intense inner war between the two Koreas divided by two extreme
ideologies–Communism and Capitalism after WWII. 
recently published “Returned and Reborn: a Tale of a Korean Orphan
Boy” published by Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC. in New York, NY.
has written more than 400 essays and articles that have been published in The
Kansas City Star, The Sun Publication, The Graybeard, the National Korean War
Veterans Magazine, The Best Times, and Our Family (Canada), The Beat Magazine
and Korea Bridge (South Korea) and more.


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Historical Fiction Date Published: April 2019 Publisher: iUniverse It was 1837 when John Coffey (Jack)
Historical Fiction Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Vanguard Press An entertaining and lively tale of
  The Tudor Trilogy, Book One Historical Fiction Publisher: Presei Press Based on the true


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Owen – Blitz

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The Tudor Trilogy, Book One
Presei Press
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on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s
incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.
1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new
mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the
warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France,
and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her
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of 1422
tense at the sound of approaching footsteps as I wait to meet my new mistress,
the young widow of King Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois. Colourful Flemish
tapestries decorate the royal apartments of Windsor Castle, dazzling my senses
and reminding me how life in the royal household presents new opportunities. My
life will change forever, if she finds me acceptable, yet doubt nags at my
doors open and Queen Catherine’s usher appears. I have been told to approach
the queen and bow, but must not look directly at her or speak, other than to
say my name, until spoken to. Taking a deep breath I enter the queen’s private
rooms where she sits surrounded by her sharp-eyed ladies-in-waiting. I have the
briefest glimpse of azure silk, gold brocade, gleaming pearls and a breath of
exotic perfume. I remove my hat and bow, my eyes cast down to her
velvet-slippered feet.
Tudor, Your Highness, Keeper of your Wardrobe.’ My voice echoes in the
high-ceilinged room.
of her ladies fails to suppress her giggle, a sweet enough sound, if you are
not the reason for it. I forget my instruction and look up to see the queen
regarding me with confident, ice-blue eyes.
are a Welshman?’ Her words sound like an accusation.
full name is Owain ap Maredydd ap Tudur, although the English call me Owen
Tudor. I come from a long line of Welsh noblemen, Your Highness.’ I regret my
boast as soon as I say the words.
Tudor…’ This time her voice carries a hint of amusement.
put on my hat and pull my shoulders back. She examines me, as one might study a
horse before offering a price. After years of hard work I have secured a
position worthy of my skills, yet it means nothing without the approval of the
look more like a soldier than a servant?’ The challenge in her words seems to
tease me.
have served in the king’s army as a soldier.’ I feel all their eyes upon me.
you have no sword?’ She sounds curious.
are not permitted to carry a sword in England, Your Highness.’ I am still
bitter at this injustice.
remember the last time I saw her, at the king’s state funeral in Westminster.
Her face veiled, she rode in a gilded carriage drawn by a team of black horses.
I followed on foot as the funeral procession passed through sombre crowds,
carrying the king’s standard and wearing the red, blue and gold livery of the
royal household.
fought in France?’
the king’s bowmen, Your Highness, before I became a squire.’
queen has none of the air of sadness I expected. Slim, almost too thin, her
childlike wrists and delicate fingers are adorned with gold rings sparkling
with diamonds and rubies. Her neck is long and slender, her skin pale with the
whiteness of a woman who rarely sees the sun. Her golden-brown hair is gathered
in tight plaits at the back of her head and her headdress fashionably
emphasises her smooth, high forehead.
Henry V chose as his bride the youngest daughter of the man they called the
‘mad king’, Charles VI. They said King Charles feared he was made of glass and
would shatter if he didn’t take care. Charles promised Henry he would inherit
the throne and become the next King of France and there were rumours of a
secret wedding dowry, a fortune in gold.
a year into his marriage, the king left his new wife pregnant and alone in
Windsor. He returned to fight his war in France, capturing the castle of Dreux
before marching on the fortress at Meaux, defended by Jean de Gast, the Bastard
of Vaurus, a cruel, brave captain. The king never saw his son and heir, his
siege of Meaux was hard won and he suffered the bloody flux, the dreaded curse
of the battlefield. Men had been known to recover, if they were strong and
lucky. Many did not, despite the bloodletting and leeches. The flux is an
inglorious way to die, poisoned by your own body, especially for a victorious
warrior king who would never now be King of France.
queen has an appraising look in her eyes. She has buried her hopes for the
future along with her husband. I remember I am looking at the mother of the new
king, once he comes of age. One thing is certain; she will not be left to raise
the prince alone. Ambitious men are already vying for their share of power and
last she speaks. ‘And now you are in my household?’
appointment to your service was made by Sir Walter Hungerford, Steward of the
King’s Household and constable here at Windsor.’
Walter was one of my husband’s most trusted men—the executor of the king’s
worked as squire to Sir Walter for many years, in England and France.’
speak French?’
little, Your Highness.’ I answer in French.
you with King Henry at the siege of Rouen?’ Now she speaks in French.
was, Your Highness. I will never forget it.’ I answer again in French. I
learned the language on the battlefield and in the taverns of Paris and can
swear as well as any Frenchman.
heard the people of Rouen were starving… before they surrendered.’ Her voice
is softer now and she speaks in English.
is cruel, yet now there is less appetite for it.’
pray to God that is true.’ She glances back at her ladies, who are watching and
listening, as ladies-in-waiting do. Queen Catherine regards me, giving nothing
away. ‘I welcome you to our household, Master Tudor.’
you, Your Highness.’
first meeting is over. She is unlike any woman I have known, fascinating, intriguing
and beautiful. More than that; there is something about her I find deeply
attractive, a dangerous thing to admit. Perhaps my fascination is with the
glimpse I’d seen of the real woman, the same age as myself, behind the title of
Dowager Queen of England.
high, boy,’ my garrulous longbow tutor once advised me, his voice gruff from
too much shouting. ‘It’s not the Welsh way to play safe and wait until you have
a clear shot!’ The man spits hard on the ground to add emphasis and stares
knowingly into my eyes, standing so close I can almost feel the coarse grey
stubble of his beard. ‘When you aim high,’ he points an imaginary bow up at the
sky, ‘your arrow will fly far into the enemy ranks and strike with the full
vengeance of God.’
of course, is on our side.’ A daring, foolhardy thing for a boy like me to say
to a man who can punch me to the ground or worse.
a moment I see the old man’s mind working as he tries to decide if I am being
disrespectful, sacrilegious or both. The moment passes. I notch a new arrow
into the powerful yew longbow and fire it high into the sky, without a care for
where it will fall.
smile at the memory as I return down the long passage to the servants’ hall.
Life as a king’s archer was hard, but I enjoyed the camaraderie of the other
men and it taught me many things. As well as how to use a longbow, I learned to
watch my back, when to speak up and when to remain silent. My tutor died in the
thick mud of Normandy, yet his lesson serves me well. I know to aim high.
night, wide awake in the darkness, I reflect on the unthinkable turn my life
has taken. I always imagined I would become a merchant, setting up shop
somewhere in the narrow, dirty streets of London, or perhaps an adventurer,
sailing off to seek my fortune. I remain a servant, yet for the first time I
have my own lodging room, however small and cramped.
reward for long and loyal service as squire to Sir Walter has been this new
appointment, a position of great responsibility. The queen’s wardrobe is a
treasure store of priceless gold and jewels, as well as all her expensive
clothes and most valuable possessions. Such a senior post in the royal
household pays more than I have earned in my life and carries influence,
allowing me regular and privileged access to the queen.
resolve to become indispensable to her. High and mighty lords and dukes will
come and go, with their false concerns and self-serving advice, yet I will see
her every day, tending to her needs. I recall how she referred to Sir Walter as
one of the king’s most trusted men. That is what I wish to become; Queen
Catherine’s most trusted man.
the Author

 photo Owen Author Tony Riches_zpsc5sikbwc.jpg

Riches is a UK historical fiction author living in Pembrokeshire, Wales. You
can find out more on Tony’s website www.tonyriches.com and his blog ‘The
Writing Desk’ at www.tonyriches.co.uk.
Find him on Twitter @tonyriches. Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy is
available in eBook and paperback on Amazon, where it is a #1 historical fiction
bestseller.  There is a short video
trailer for the book on YouTube http://youtu.be/ELH4IU5pxds


RABT Book Tours & PR
A Tale of a Korean Orphan Boy Historical Fiction Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers Published: March
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I used to murder people for money, but lately it’s become more of a survival


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