1559. A girl arrives in London to search for her brother.
Aalia, an awkward, arrogant teenager plans to bring William to his senses, until she discovers that both their lives are based on a lie.
Aalia must unravels a web of secrets but has the weight of her past to contend with.
Courageous and undisciplined, Aalia gradually comes to terms with the truth that William, her brother, has royal blood.
Deciding to undermine the men who want to use him as a pawn, Aalia must negotiate a world where secrecy arms the powerful. But unwilling to ask for anyone’s help she is forced into making a fateful decision.
Who can she trust when everyone around her is plotting? Is the truth really something worth dying for?
I am very pleased to share an extract with you. Enjoy!
Sanctuary – taken from the 29th Disclosure
Padruig sent for wine and had Georgiou fetch the lacquer-wood chairs and elegant cushions of damask silk. At least they could embrace formality without St. Thomas losing honour. But the tabard wouldn’t be creased. The herald stood waiting with his face set in steel. When Aalia was eventually brought to the chamber, eyes heavy with sleep, she was dressed in the fine velvet tunic she’d worn to ample effect at the Palace of Whitehall but instead of a turban a simple skull-cap calmed her hair.
‘Pretty pretty.’ Aalia came in spitting. ‘Can we keep him?’
‘Tush child!’ Padruig took her hand. ‘He has a duty to perform.’
‘Does it come in Latin… they like the dead tongues here, Semper Eadem gives any sin the seal of authority. Or why not quote regal France, ‘Dieu et mon droit’ they’re fond of claiming England as one of their own lands.’
Padruig threw him a silent reprimand. ‘The poor man wants his sleep as much as you. Behave, or I will call for a stick.’
‘I’ll lend you my sword.’ She said, unrepentantly.
‘You don’t know why he’s here yet Aalia. The herald might bear good news.’ He did not say, although it was in his heart, that bad news would have brought wardens.
The queen’s servant bowed, removed his cap, and bowed again. ‘I am commanded to invite the minstrel named Aalia to attend her majesty’s pleasure at Greenwich tomorrow noon, where she will perform in the company of Lord Scythan.’
Padruig had his hand over her mouth before she could broadcast an answer. It hardly fitted with his plans either but the herald came from the highest authority in the land and could not be denied. Still, it was unfortunate they couldn’t beg illness as an excuse. The queen’s herald had both eyes and ears and would report the girl entirely recovered from her recent injury.
So it was agreed. Despite Bedford’s warning, despite Padruig’s darkest fears, Aalia must remain in England. And the scheming Lord Scythan be damned.
Thank you, Angela King and Love Books Group Tours.
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