Book & Author Details:
by W.H. Doyle
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 9th 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Synopsis:In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty. The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.
Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate relations. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.
But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.
Cover Love (Why W.H. Doyle loves the cover!)
How do I love thee, Tudor Rose cover? Let me count the top three ways! First: Check out the power that just radiates from the central figure—Rose. Sure, she’s standing slightly demurely…but you just know from the look in her eyes that there’s nothing demure about the plans she’s dreaming up to win the Queen’s Challenge. Second: Let your gaze wander to the left and you’ll notice a character in the back—Avis. I love how this “wicked manipulator” isn’t portrayed in a stereotypical mean girl pose…because there is nothing stereotypical about the emotional layers and motivations of this main character. Third: And probably most obviously…the design. Wow. The colors, the typeface, the characters. I just love everything about it—and I guess everything would take me beyond three reasons.
If you’ve already fallen in love with the cover, get ready to fall even more in love with this excerpt!:
When she reached for the handle this time, she moved even more slowly. The door was a living creature now, something that could possibly harm her.
Her fingers connected with the metal and kept pressing down. When the door opened, Rose stepped timidly inside.
A torch, made from a single log and balanced perfectly on a marble perch, burned in the center of the room next to a bathtub.
Other than that, the only other visible items were crystals of all sizes and shapes. Some hung from string, other larger ones sat on shadowy shelves. Rose walked toward the tub. A single red rose petal floated in the steaming water.
The door slammed shut. She chose to believe it was a draft. Rose touched the water and then stepped back, a drop of liquid trickled down to her dress. The invitation was clear, but did she dare accept it?
Would she know when eyes were on her?
Would she be willing to take a chance?
Removing her clothes took a good ten minutes. Plenty of time for the water and her resolve to cool. There was no place for her to hang her hat, gown, or her corset, so she rolled them as neatly as she could and placed them on the floor. Finally, she removed the book from her purse and placed the precious item atop her clothing.
What will you tell them?
She was shaking slightly. Rose wasn’t ashamed of her body. She was, however, angry at being put in this position, and tried to remember the last time she had been completely naked in anyone’s presence—never mind, a stranger.
And she wasn’t about to start now, no matter what the stakes. She removed her stockings but kept her square-necked, close-fitting silk shift on.
She was quite aware that she didn’t have Sybille’s brash, pushy beauty. Hers was a more subtle, sleeker type. She sat on the edge of the tub and then brought her legs up and around into the water. She slid in as gracefully as she could. Because she didn’t wear the powder or perfumes that other girls did, the water remained clear. Too clear for her liking, considering the suddenly sheer state of her white shift.
Rose pulled the cheap hairpins out of her bun and tossed them on the nearby pile of clothing. She pulled the rich reddish brown strands free of their braids and let the ends float in the water around her.
Rose was completely and utterly exposed.
Still no sign of anyone else in the room. Even the torch appeared to stop flickering, awaiting her decision.
She had gone this far. Why not?
She placed the rose petal on the edge of the tub and lowered her head beneath the water. She knew this might be a mistake. But she had no choice.
When she re-emerged and had wiped the water from her eyes, she wasn’t surprised to discover that both the rose petal and the diary were gone.
AUTHOR BIO: Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children’s books, including stories of real-life war heroes in “Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage”; the pick-your-own-adventure “Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest”; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including “Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie”; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series “The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place.”
Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He’s written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.
Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at www.BillDoyleBooks.com.