The Boy King
by Janet Wertman
Publication Date: September 30, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 374 pages
Series: The Seymour Saga, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical
The Unsuspecting Reign of Edward Tudor
Motherless since birth and newly bereft of his father, Henry VIII, nine-year-old Edward Tudor ascends to the throne of England and quickly learns that he cannot trust anyone, even himself.
Edward is at first relieved that his uncle, the new Duke of Somerset, will act on his behalf as Lord Protector, but this consolation evaporates as jealousy spreads through the court. Challengers arise on all sides to wrest control of the child king, and through him, England.
While Edward can bring frustratingly little direction to the Council’s policies, he refuses to abandon his one firm conviction: that Catholicism has no place in England. When Edward falls ill, this steadfast belief threatens England’s best hope for a smooth succession: the transfer of the throne to Edward’s very Catholic half-sister, Mary Tudor, whose heart’s desire is to return the realm to the way it worshipped in her mother’s day.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOY KING
January 16, 1549
Quiet clinking on the other side of the bedchamber’s back door slowly penetrated Edward’s consciousness. The hair on his neck twitched, and he opened his eyes into the near dark. Only the one candle remained at the far end of the room, and it trembled low in its sconce, casting ghostly shadows around it. Wind whined at the windows. Danger hovered over the room. Had he returned from a nightmare? One he couldn’t remember?
Edward stirred and felt Argos laying over his leg. The movement woke the dog, who crawled up to lick Edward’s cheek. The giggle dissipated Edward’s lingering tension.
With some pushing, Argos receded back down to Edward’s stomach. Edward nestled around the dog’s curled-up body and relaxed back into the fluff of his pillows. He pulled the soft blanket closer around his chin against the lingering chill.
He worried the nightmare would return even though he could not remember it. He tried to remember happy times from the day before, particular translations he had come up with, something to refocus his mind.
The hair on his neck stood again when he heard the slow, metallic scrape of the lock cylinder turning. Why would anyone be coming into his room in the middle of the night? More important, why would anyone be sneaking into his room in the middle of the night?
Argos tensed. The scraping stopped.
The wind outside picked up again, wailing now. Edward held his breath. The heavy air in the room suffocated all sounds except his heart beating in his ears.
The loud silence dragged on, long enough for Edward to take twenty-three breaths. Nothing further. It must have been his imagination.
Edward settled back into his bed, but every muscle tensed at the quiet creak of the hinge. His door was opening. Should he call out? This could not be danger. He was the King. He had guards. This had to be one of his men.
Suddenly Argos started yapping loudly and launched himself off the bed. He scrambled toward the back door and was through it before the intruder could close it. A muffled curse and scuffling added to the commotion, then the sound of a sword being drawn. The barking stopped mid-snarl and a deathly quiet descended.
About the Author
Janet Ambrosi Wertman grew up within walking distance of three bookstores and a library on Manhattan’s Upper West Side – and she visited all of them regularly. Her grandfather was an antiquarian bookdealer who taught her that there would always be a market for quirky, interesting books. He was the one who persuaded Janet’s parents to send her to the French school where she was taught to aspire to long (grammatically correct) sentences as the hallmark of a skillful writer. She lived that lesson until she got to Barnard College. Short sentences were the rule there. She complied. She reached a happy medium when she got to law school – complicated sentences alternating with short ones in a happy mix.
Janet spent fifteen years as a corporate lawyer in New York, she even got to do a little writing on the side (she co-authored The Executive Compensation Answer Book, which was published by Panel Publishers back in 1991). But when her first and second children were born, she decided to change her lifestyle. She and her husband transformed their lives in 1997, moving to Los Angeles and changing careers. Janet became a grantwriter (and will tell anyone who will listen that the grants she’s written have resulted in more than $30 million for the amazing non-profits she is proud to represent) and took up writing fiction.
There was never any question about the topic of the fiction: Janet has harbored a passion for the Tudor Kings and Queens since her parents let her stay up late to watch the televised Masterpiece Theatre series (both The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R) when she was *cough* eight years old. One of the highlights of Janet’s youth was being allowed to visit the Pierpont Morgan Library on a day when it was closed to the public and examine (though not touch!) books from Queen Elizabeth’s personal library and actual letters that the young Princess Elizabeth (technically Lady Elizabeth…) had written.
The Boy King is third book in the Seymour Saga, the story of the unlikely dynasty that shaped the Tudor era. The first book, Jane the Quene, tells the story of Jane Seymour’s marriage to Henry VIII; and The Path to Somerset, chronicles Edward Seymour’s rise after Jane’s death to become Lord Protector of England and Duke of Somerset (taking us right through Henry’s crazy years). Janet is currently working on a new trilogy about Elizabeth, and preparing to publish her translation of a nineteenth century biography of Henry. And because you can never have too much Tudors in your life, Janet also attends book club meetings and participates in panels and discussions through History Talks!, a group of historical novelists from Southern California who work with libraries around the state.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, October 20
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Thursday, October 22
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Saturday, October 24
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Sunday, October 25
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Monday, October 26
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Tuesday, October 27
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Wednesday, October 28
Review at Impressions In Ink
Thursday, October 29
Review at A Books and a Latte
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Boy King by Janet Wertman! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.