By Joanna Courtney
The beginning of a brand new Historical fiction series by bestselling author Joanna Courtney. Discover the real women behind Shakespeare's most infamous queens . . .
Cold. Ruthless. Deadly. The myth of Lady Macbeth looms large. But behind the villainous portrait stands a real woman. This is her story . . .
Scotland, 1020 AD - King Malcolm II is fading fast. It is North vs South, for two families have a claim on the inheritance of his crown. Who will gain the Scottish throne?
On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, a flushed and nervous Cora MacDuff waits to marry her sweetheart, Macbeth. But her dreams are about to be stolen from her as the night she was hoping for turns into a brutal slaughter. In order to reclaim the life she was promised, she will learn to use every weapon at her disposal - even her son.
The beginning of a brand new Historical fiction series by the bestselling author of the Queens of Conquest series, her new trilogy unearths the real women behind Shakespeare's most infamous queens . . . If you love Elizabeth Chadwick and Anne O'Brien you will adore Joanna Courtney
What readers are saying about Joanna Courtney:
'I was hooked from the very first page and didn't want to put it down. Joanna Courtney is a new talent in the world of historical fiction and one that I would highly recommend. I look forward to reading more by this fantastic author' Bookbabblers
'A strong sense of atmosphere and place and time. I really got into the story, in fact I was so gripped by it at one point that I missed my bus. It was a really good, exciting, read. I cannot wait to read the next two books.' Michelle Birkby, author of The House at Baker Street
'Amazing' (Miranda Dickinson)
'A glorious, rich, epic story of love, friendship and sacrifice which will sweep you up and transport you to another time. I absolutely loved this and can't wait for the next book in the series' (Rachael Lucas, author of Sealed With A Kiss and Coming Up Roses)
'An absorbing and emotional debut novel' (Candis magazine)
'A beautifully written multi layered tale with a tremendously authentic sense of place and time . . . an epic feel . . . highly recommended' (LizLovesBooks)
'The story reaches a heart-rending climax. A must read. I loved it' (Freda Lightfoot, author of The Amber Keeper)
'With lovely writing and a terrific sense of narrative drive, Joanna Courtney portrays an era of change through a story about a long forgotten Queen. In The Chosen Queen, Edyth is a heroine who inhabits a convincingly re-created historical world, peopled with personalities whose lives leap from the page. Superb! (Carol McGrath, author of The Daughters of Hastings trilogy)
An outstanding opening to this new series set to rival historical fiction heavyweights like Philippa Gregory and Susanna Dunn (Lisareadsbooks)
My first literary accolade was a creative writing prize at primary school and from that point on I wanted to be a novelist. I was always reading as a child and often made up stories for my brother and sister on long car journeys. I was also a huge Enid Blyton fan and by ten I was writing my own (doubtless terrible) boarding school novels. Perhaps inevitably, I took my degree in English literature and it was at Cambridge, specialising in medieval literature, that I first discovered what has become a true passion for ancient history.
I took a sidestep after university to work in a wonderful textiles factory in Lancashire - a move that led me to my lovely husband, but didn't satisfy my yearning to write. Married and living in Derbyshire, however, I took up my pen again in the sparse hours available between raising my two stepchildren and two more of my own. At that hectic time I primarily wrote shorter fiction and had well over 200 stories and serials published in women's magazines. With the older two left home, however, and the younger two at secondary school, my time has opened up and it's been a joy to fill it by writing historical novels.
I find ancient history absolutely fascinating and was delighted when, in the course of research for my Queens of the Conquest trilogy, I came across mentions of King Macbeth and, more importantly, his wife. I was intrigued to learn that they had been real rulers who ruled Scotland wisely and well for about fifteen years. These were not the cruel, frantic, half-mad characters of Shakespeare's wonderful play. I had to know more.
Further research unveiled other great Shakespearean women lurking in the wings (where women in the 'dark ages' are so often consigned). History from these times is sparse but it is there when you mine deep enough and I was able to dig out some gems: Hamlet was a real Danish king in around 600 AD, with Ofelia as his consort and shield-maiden; Lear was a Midland's warleader around 450BC and his daughter Cordelia a Boudicca-style warrior princess. These, then, were stories that had to be told.
Dearly as I love Shakespeare, I knew that these three amazing women had to be freed from the shackles of his brilliant but restrictive narratives and allowed into the world as they truly were. Blood Queen, the first in the Shakespeare's Queens trilogy will be published by Piatkus in September 2018, with Fire Queen and Iron Queen to follow.
Feel free to contact me via twitter - @joannacourtney1, facebook - joannacourtneyauthor, or my website - www.joannacourtney.com
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- Publication date:
06 Sep 2018
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