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Wednesday, 11 March 2015


HOLY POISON is a series of historical romances concerning the ordinary people who lived through the religious upheaval brought about by Mary Tudor's determination to return England to the Catholic Church.
Book One - The Judas Pledge
Original published as Book one of the Summerville Journals, the Judas Pledge is a revised and much longer version of the original.

It is 1553 and for five years the fifteen year old protestant King Edward VI has reigned with the aid of a Lord Protector. It has been twenty years since King Henry VIII broke away from the yoke of the Roman church and Catholicism is outlawed and a thing of the past.

Bethany is the daughter of a wealthy merchant and her only concern is to avoid an arranged marriage to the impoverished baron her father had found to marry her for her dowry.

When the wealthy Earl of Summerville suggests a marriage which will make her a very rich countess she is thrilled and his confession that he is a hated catholic and that he expects her to be the same, means little. If Bethany had thought about it at all, she had believed that there were no Catholics left in England. Her eyes firmly fixed on a handsome, amiable husband and the title, wealth and huge country mansion that comes with him, she believes she will never have to adhere to that condition, she believes that there will never be another catholic monarch, despite his assurances that the catholic Mary Tudor will succeed her brother to the throne.

She has no idea how hard it is going to be to keep that pledge when Mary gains the throne and begins a brutal campaign to bring England back to the Catholic church of Rome. As Bethany's protestant family and friends are persecuted for their beliefs, beliefs for which they are prepared to die a horrible death, she finds the struggle to support her Catholic husband and give lip service to his faith to be impossible despite having fallen deeply in love with him.

This is a tale of love, passion and betrayal in an age when God is a very real part of everyday life and the way he is worshipped worth of dying for.
Read the first chapter here.

Book Two - The Flawed Mistress
Previously published as Book Two of the Summerville Journals, this is a revised version of the story.

Lady Rachel Stewart is a stunningly beautiful woman, but that beauty has always been a burden to her and because of a horrific childhood experience, she resents any attention from any man. Forced to marry in order to survive, her beauty and poverty makes her a target for exploitation until she meets Lord Richard Summerville, and cannot believe that here is a man who wants nothing from her, whose only wish is to befriend and protect her. In order to keep her safe, he lets it be known that she is his mistress and under his protection. When he marries, he insists that he maintains his relationship with Rachel, to which his new bride agrees, until she falls in love with him and starts to resent this beautiful woman who will eventually take her place at her husband's side at the court of Queen Mary I, whose persecution of protestants has given her the nickname of Bloody Mary.

Rachel is prepared to face a possible charge of treason in order to repay Lord Summerville for his friendship, while his wife, Bethany, is allowed to believe that he risks the same for love of another woman.

This is the real story of Rachel, who appears as the other woman in the First Book of Holy Poison, the Judas Pledge.

Read the first chapter here.

Book Three - The Viscount's Birthright
When Viscount Robert's estranged father, the Earl of Roxham, dies, he returns home, eager to wed Lady Camilla Austin and make her his Countess.
But his plans are thwarted when he learns that his father had a young ward, Antonia, and his Will dictates that in order to inherit both the title and the estate, he must marry her.

Angry and disappointed, he consults lawyers and learns that the Will is valid. The only way he will inherit is to marry where his father has stipulated so he prepares to give up thoughts of marriage to Lady Camilla and do just that. But he reckons without Antonia who is determined not to comply with her late guardian's wishes, declaring that she would rather find work in service than marry such a boorish and angry man.

Set at the end of the reign of King Edward VI, Henry VIII's only surviving son, this is a love story, a tale of how one self important man discovered the meaning of an honest woman and of his battle to keep her.

Read the first chapter here.

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