IN A TREACHEROUS COURT: Guest Post & Giveaway Back to Blog
Update: The winner of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT is…Khelsey. Congrats!!
Today’s special guest is an author not to be missed. Michelle Diener‘s debut IN A TREACHEROUS COURT, promises to be a fabulous tale of adventure and action. I am super excited for Michelle’s upcoming release, and I’m very glad that she’s guest blogging with me today. Welcome, Michelle!
RULES OF BEHAVIOUR
Thank you to Cynthia for inviting me back to blog! As I count down to August 9th, the release date of my debut historical novel, In a Treacherous Court, which is set in the court of Henry VIII, I thought I’d get everyone into a courtly mood by doing a show and tell on some of the quotes I have at the start of each chapter in IN A TREACHEROUS COURT.
I couldn’t use the language of the time in the book (it would be like reading a book in Shakespearean English), but I wanted to set the scene, give readers a taste of the cadence and poetry of the speech of the time and some context to the rules and mores of behaviour under which my characters would have lived. My solution was to use quotes from THE COURTIER, an Italian book on courtly manners written by Count Baldessar Castillo around the time IN A TREACHEROUS COURT is set, which was translated into English by Sir Thomas Hoby a number of years later. The book is in four parts, and the first part is really the ‘quick guide’ or cheat sheet for the rest of the book, containing the main DOs and DON’Ts on how to behave at court. It was great fun choosing a rule for a courtier (my hero, Parker) and a rule for a lady in waiting (my heroine, Susanna) for the start of each chapter.
The main characters in IN A TREACHEROUS COURT are based on real people. My heroine, Susanna Horenbout, was trained as an artist and illuminator in her father’s studio in Ghent (in modern day Belgium), and art historians are sure she was sent over to Henry’s court ahead of her father and brother. The hero is John Parker, one of Henry VIII’s ‘new men’, courtiers who were not noblemen, but in the meritocracy Henry was trying to establish, loyalty, and usefulness, could definitely overcome a lack of blue blood. They are both outsiders, but talented enough, and intelligent enough, to find a place for themselves in the world they find themselves in.
The Count Castillo’s advice on the fitting and proper behaviour for those who wanted to advance at court just worked so well. Where I could, I tried to match up the quotes (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) to what was happening in the scenes of that chapter. Some of my favourites include:
The Chiefe Conditions And Qualities In A Courtier: Not to be a babbler, brauler, or chatter, nor lavish of his tunge.
Of The Chief Conditions And Qualityes In A Waytyng Gentylwoman: To shape him that is oversaucie wyth her, or that hath small respecte in hys talke, suche an answere, that he maye well understande she is offended wyth hym. (LOVE this one! )
The Chiefe Conditions And Qualities In A Courtier: To be handesome and clenly in his apparaile.
Of The Chief Conditions And Qualityes In A Waytyng Gentylwoman: To be heedefull and remembre that men may with lesse jeopardy show to be in love, then women.
The Chiefe Conditions And Qualities In A Courtier: His love towarde women, not to be sensuall or fleshlie, but honest and godly, and more ruled with reason, then appetyte: and to love better the beawtye of the minde, then of the bodie.
Of The Chief Conditions And Qualityes In A Waytyng Gentylwoman: Not to be lyghte of creditt that she is beloved, thoughe a man commune familierlye with her of love.
As you can tell, the Count Castillo had some great advice for the men and women of court .
Seeing as we’re talking about advice, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? There is a giveaway of a pre-release copy of IN A TREACHEROUS COURT to one randomly-drawn commenter (US residents only, unfortunately).
Looking forward to hearing some great advice!
Michelle Diener lives in Australia with her husband and two children. She’s worked as an editor, a publisher, managed a small IT business, and now writes full time. Her debut historical novel, IN A TREACHEROUS COURT, is due out with Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books on August 9th, and the second book in the series, KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS, is due for an early 2012 release. You can find out more about her at her website (http://www.michellediener.com), her group blog (http://www.magicalmusings.com) or follow her on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/michellediener ) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Diener/196593580366013)
About the book:
Henry VIII’s most lethal courtier and his newly appointed artist become the only thing keeping him on the throne – and if they survive, neither will ever be the same.
John Parker is one of Henry VIII most useful courtiers — utterly merciless and completely loyal. But one small favour for his King will pull Parker into a deadly plot against the throne, one that will test his courage, his resolve, and most especially, his heart.
A commission from Henry VIII should have been the crowning achievement of Susanna Horenbout’s career, but before the beautiful and talented artist even sets foot in England, she finds herself in possession of a secret that could change its history. With Parker as her only protection against killers who will stop at nothing to silence her, Susanna has to trust the dangerous, enigmatic courtier. She’s used to fighting in a man’s world, but she never expected to be fighting for her life.
What people are saying about IN A TREACHEROUS COURT:
“IN A TREACHEROUS COURT is an action-adventure-mystery-historical that grabs the reader on page one and doesn’t let go. It reminds me of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE in the way it captures the “feel” of Tudor England, moving with equal aplomb from royal palace to refuse-clogged London street to leaky rowboat on the Thames.” Kate Emerson (Author of BY ROYAL DECREE: Secrets of the Tudor Court)
“Awesome! History woven flawlessly into riveting fiction.” Tammy J. Schneider (Special Features Editor and book reviewer at “Affaire de Coeur” magazine)
“Just when readers think there is nothing new to be learned about Henry VIII, debut author Diener delivers a taut suspense . . . that will keep you turning the pages.” Kathe Robin (4 star review in RT Magazine August 2011 issue)