Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Queen Mary's Daughter VBT

There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person's life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? What if King James VI of Scotland didn't succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away?

"Queen Mary's Daughter" presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.

“What?” the regent bellowed. “Not another Mary, and a Stuart at that. We cannot be related. Are we?” He winced in the dim light and bent forward to take a closer look. “You have her look about you. It is uncanny. You could almost pass for her. And that brooch. Where did you get that brooch?”

“I do not know, sir.” Mary Elizabeth took her time to choose her words carefully. She wasn’t sure how to answer about the brooch, so she steered clear of that comment, saying instead, “Are not all Stuarts somehow related?”

It was not the right thing to say. James Stuart, Regent of Scotland, was not amused. “Grab her. She must be a spy. Or a traitor. Either is punishable by death.” He pointed accusing fingers at the others. “The rest of you stay here. I will deal with this troublemaker.”

Emily-Jane, thanks so much for stopping by. How did you get started writing?
As soon as I could hold a pencil and knew my letters, I was writing stories. I have always loved writing. I grew up in a family of storytellers. We would sit around the dinner table sharing our stories. Being the youngest, I didn’t have much chance to share my stories, so, as soon as I could write, I wrote my stories. I particularly enjoy writing stories about real people and real life, though I’ve recently ventured into the realm of historical fiction, fantasy and sci-fi. I started my writing career in the late 1970s writing for small publications, telling people’s stories and writing about interesting places. I still enjoy writing these types of stories, but my passion for fiction insists that I write novels as well. Who inspired me? My mother and my grandmother. My mother was very creative and she encouraged me to write my stories. My grandmother was a wonderful storyteller, always full of stories to share. I wrote both my mother’s story, “F-Stop: A Life in Pictures” and my grandmother’s story, “Personal Notes”. And I still write little stories about these two special women.

What was the inspiration for your book?
First and foremost, my grandmother (Gran). She and I had a special relationship. When I was old enough, we traveled together. One special trip took us to Scotland where we traced Gran’s childhood memories (she was born in Scotland) and we followed the trail of Mary Queen of Scots. We had been enjoying a number of novels and biographies about the ill-fated queen and my grandmother ignited my interest by telling me about ancestors who helped in her escape from Loch Leven Castle. I always wanted to write about Queen Mary, but it wasn’t until the Brexit debacle and the ongoing desire of the Scottish people to separate from England, that I started looking more closely at the stories around Queen Mary. I knew she had given birth, prematurely, to twins while imprisoned at Loch Leven. History records that the babies died at birth and were buried on the island where the castle sat. An interesting footnote states that the location of the burial and the babies’ remains have never been found. So, I started thinking, ‘what if?’. What if there had been another heir to the Scottish throne and Scotland never did amalgamate with England and Ireland? And my story unfolded.

What’s a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Science fiction.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
Erotica. I only write clean. In fact, one of my current publishers is called Clean Reads Publishing. Good wholesome writing and good wholesome reading.

What are you up to now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
Several books and stories are in the works. I also just released a Middle Grade fantasy novel, “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” (TellTale Publishing), which is part of a series. It’s based on my childhood memories, dreams and fantasies growing up in a haunted house. As I mentioned earlier, “King Henry’s Choice”, the sequel to “Queen Mary’s Daughter” is also in the works. I like to have several projects on the go so I don’t tire and grow stale writing about one topic, one plot, one set of characters. I like to think this process enriches my writing.

I’m always working on something, new and old. Check out my website for updates:

Alright, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?

Favorite movie?    
The Sound of Music

Book that inspired you to become an author?
Jane Eyre

You have one superpower. What is it?
Immortality. But, then again, perhaps as a writer I already have that. Since the written word is immortal, than what I write makes me immortal.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
Mary Elizabeth, Marie de Guise and my grandmother.

Marie de Guise, the mother of Mary Queen of Scots, grandmother of the main character in my novel, “Queen Mary’s Daughter”, Mary Elizabeth. I fashioned this grandmotherly figure after my grandmother (Gran): smart, bright, full of life and full of stories. It’s been over twenty years since Gran passed away, but not a day goes by when I don’t think of her and find a way to place her in one of my stories. She always said we’d soon forget her once she passed away. I’ve proven her wrong. But that was the only thing she was wrong about (to my knowledge, anyway). I think it would be neat to enjoy a traditional Scotch feast, just the four of us, two adoring granddaughters with their very special grandmothers.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Mary Elizabeth. When I wrote the scenes that showed the special bond between Mary Elizabeth and her grandmother, I felt like I was describing my own special relationship with my grandmother.

That’s all from me, thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Thanks for inviting me.

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website

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