The next book I've selected for the 2014 Most Anticipated Event is actually two books for the price of one. This author has TWO amazing sounding novels coming out in 2014 and I couldn't pick just one. Katherine Longshore's Brazen and Manor of Secrets.
Here is the Goodreads synopsis for Brazen
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?Here is the Goodreads synopsis for Manor of Secrets
The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .One is being compared to Downton Abbey and the other is historical Tudor goodness. I can not wait to get my hands on either of them. Katherine was kind enough to answer a few questions about BOTH novels for me. Here is our Q and A
Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.
Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.
Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.
1. Describe Manor of Secrets in three words.
The tagline on the front cover pretty much sums it up:
Upstairs. Downstairs. Drama.
2. Can you give us a little tease about the third Royal Circle book (which we now know is called Brazen)?
BRAZEN takes place in the time period between TARNISH and GILT and follows the story of Mary Howard (daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, who we also see in GILT). There are weddings and funerals, secrets, betrayals, friendship, ruination, love and hope. It was also the most difficult book I've ever written, possibly because I was being more brave with my writing and the emotion often struck close to home. My editor says it’s my best work yet.
3. Both novels are historical, but sound quite different. How did the research differ for each book?
Because I have already done so much reading and research on the Tudor era, my research for BRAZEN was very specific to time, place and character. Unfortunately, there’s not much written about Mary, so I had to do quite a lot of digging! Many, many hours in front of the computer trolling through the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII.
Researching MANOR OF SECRETS was completely different. I wasn't’t writing about real people, so I didn’t have to research hair color or personality quirks or who was where, when. But I did have to catch up on my history. Before I started writing, all of my early 20th century knowledge came from E.M. Forster novels, my costume design classes, and Downton Abbey. I had an absolutely wonderful time reading about how a Manor house was run, what daily life would have been like (dressing for dinner every night?) and what events shaped the summer of 1911. My favorite part of that research was reading the biographies of women in service—kitchen maids and cooks, especially. Even now that MANOR is finished, I read these books for fun!
4. How would the main character in Manor of Secrets describe the main character in the third Tudor book and vice versa?
Charlotte (the duke’s daughter in MANOR) would probably think that Mary’s life is romantic and adventurous—the royalty, the opulence of the court, falling in love. Janie (the kitchen maid) would possibly think Mary was spoiled—she never had to work a day in her life. But Janie would also see the difficulty and tragedy beneath the romantic veneer of the Tudor world.
Mary would recognize a kindred spirit in Charlotte—leading a life that on the surface is perfect, but in reality is full of demands and disappointment. And Mary might almost be jealous of Janie—a girl who can earn her own wage and therefore has control of her own life.
But when they really got to know each other, I have a feeling that all three girls would be friends.
5 What 2014 release are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to so many! INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi, A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller, MAID OF DECEPTION by Jennifer McGowan, ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO by Stasia Ward Kehoe, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE by Huntley Fitzpatrick…I could go on—so many wonderful books coming out next year!
A huge thank you to Katherine for taking the time to answer these. Brazen will be in stores June 12, 2014. Manor of Secrets will be in stores January 28, 2014.
If you want to learn more you can visit the author's website, or the Scholastic/Penguin websites.
You can pre-order Brazen at the following retailers
Barnes and Noble
You can pre-order Manor of Secrets at the following retailers
Barnes and Noble
You'll have a chance to win one of these titles soon, as I will be hosting a giveaway that these interviews may help you win!
Be sure to let me know what you think of either of these titles, Katherine's Q and A, or anything else in the comments!