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A Widow with Nowhere to Go
Commanded by Queen Elizabeth into marriage with a Catholic, Protestant Lady Arabella Purfoy dares not refuse. Belle must give fortune, family and even her body into the care of her new husband's steward, Master James Wyatt.
A Man Determined to Expose Her
Jamie is certain Lady Purfoy is a Protestant spy sent to prove Squire Nicholas Hollier a traitor. Jamie will do anything, even pretend to be Nick, to protect his dearest friend from the tides of treachery that threaten to destroy them all.
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Lady in White was born on my first trip to England, which my then not-quite-husband arranged for me. Our first night in an ancient inn included doorknobs that rattled all night long as something invisible kept trying to get in. We visited eerie Glastonbury Tor and haunted Evesham. On our very last day we stumbled on Clearwell Castle, a picturesque castle converted into a hotel.
We stepped inside the foyer and looked through a pair of closed glass doors into the great hall. Thinking we might stay, I went around the corner to the concierge desk while Ed waited in the foyer. Above the desk was an old newspaper article, telling how the castle's owner had rebuilt the main stairway to stop the ghost from running up and down them. As I was reading that poor Ed was watching the hall's glass doors open by themselves. When the concierge escorted me back to the foyer to join Ed, the doors slammed shut with such force that everyone jumped.
She followed us out the door and all the way to the castle's gate-and, yes, I am very certain she was a she. I wanted to stay the night, just to see what would happen next. Sensible Ed talked me out of it.
It was this experience I drew upon as I spun the haunting tale of Belle, Jamie, Nick and Cecily.
I also allude to the changes in the weather, the Little Ice Age, that was experienced in Europe during this time frame. Prior to the 13th Century people grew grapes in England as far north as York and England's Midlands was the breadbasket of Europe. By 1300 warm summers cease to be dependable across Northern Europe. By 1550, a little before Elizabeth takes the throne, the glacial ice pack begins to expand, cooling Europe enough that people start counting on rivers freezing during the now much longer and more tumultuous winter season.
I was ten before I realized the cosmos played a terrible joke on me. I was in the wrong century! While everyone else studied computers and listened to rock music, I wrote a history assignment in Egyptian hieroglyphics and spent endless hours designing ball gowns for Marie Antoinette. I taught myself what every true lady must know: how to sew a fine seam (by hand), to embroider skillfully, and to play an instrument (piano, and nothing later than Beethoven, thank you). I did my best to fit in with the rest of modern society, running two property management companies and inventing an electric lock, only to realize happiness for me meant historical research. Now, writing is my time machine and words recreate the vitality of eras where I feel more at home. Not only do I experience the drama of their time, but I do so with indoor plumbing. Enjoy!
Denise lives with her husband on a soon-to-be farm in Northern Arizona along with various cats, chickens and one dog. You can follow their exploits on her blog: Living with the Other Ed.
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Book Description Onyx, 1999. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0451407725