A Queen from the North – preview!

A Queen from the North comes out on May 23, 2017 in ebook. (Right now the preorder is only up on Amazon, but we’ll have all the other major distributors up this weekend). Paperbacks will be available mid-June, and the audiobook (How excited are we? And our narrator is amazing!) will be out in late summer or early fall.

A Queen from the North is and M/F romance set in a modern but not-so-united kingdom where the wounds of the Wars of the Roses have never healed. The story is both a bit dark and a lot funny and contains raven prophecies, grad school rejections, fighting the paparazzi off with a pair of flip-flops, a genderqueer court witch, lesbians in the House of Lords, and Canada.

If you want a peek at our world, the opening of the book is below:

queenfromebook-1Chapter 1

ON TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF IMOGENE’S DEATH, ENGLAND MOURNS ITS PRINCESS

15 September

Year 20 of the Reign of King Henry XII

Arthur stared out the window of the car and watched the countryside pass in a blur of autumn colors. Visiting his late wife’s grave was always sad, but the ritual unsettled him far more now than when she had first passed. Then, he had been too mired in his own sorrow to notice what else went on around him. Now, ten years on, he resented the public intrusion into his life and the requirement that he perform a grief that, while yet deeply personal, had been dulled by time. But the public still desperately cared. Perhaps because he had never remarried; perhaps because his people, who had loved Imogene and adored their relationship, hoped he never would.

“Your Highness, may I address something to you?” Georgina, his sixteen-year-old niece, asked from beside him.

He snorted softly. “Since when do you speak to me like that?” Certainly, she had not been so formal an hour ago when she declared she would return from the burial site in his car and not the one shared by her sister, Princess Hyacinth, and her mother, Princess Violet.

“I am trying to get you to take me seriously,” the girl, milk-pale and prim blonde with a witch’s green eyes, declared. She took after Violet, Arthur’s sister. Arthur himself was taller, broader, with brown eyes and dark brown hair already going gray at the temples. In part because of conversations like this one.

“I always take you seriously, George. You know that.”

“You have to get remarried.”

Arthur turned his head to look out the window again. One of the prerogatives of being first in line to the throne was that he didn’t have to acknowledge things people said if he didn’t want to.

“I am serious.”

“Yes, you’ve just said.”

“Look, Arthur, the way I see it –”

He turned his head and raised an eyebrow to her. He hardly expected her to use titles or call him sir in private, but at least an uncle would do; some indication that at nearly forty he deserved a bare modicum of respect. But Georgina, who had demanded to be called George since she was eight, was bold, brash, and a teenager — a combination which God had ordained would always skirt the edge of terrible.

Arthur’s gaze was enough to make her falter for a moment, but she continued. “The way I see it, you have three choices.”

“And those would be?”

“You get over yourself, get married, produce an heir –”

“Yes, I am familiar with the concept.”

“Never remarry and become a tragic, mythological figure –”

“Well on my way already, don’t you think?”

George soldiered on. “Or embrace full-on loserdom, change your name, move to America, and have lots of sex with women who will sell the story to the papers.”

Arthur was glad the privacy partition between them and the driver was closed. “That’s startlingly specific.”

George had the poor grace to look pleased with herself.

“Well,” Arthur said as if he was indulging a child much younger than this princess, “what do you suggest I do?”

“You need to get married. Urgently.”

“And why is that?” Arthur was willing to listen to her. At least for now.

“Because, as you know, when I turn eighteen, and you don’t have an heir, my mother is going to announce that she’s taking herself out of the line of succession. Which makes me next in line after you.”

“And?”

“And I don’t want it.” George sat up straighter, as if to indicate her distaste for the weight of the crown.

“You’re the only young woman in the kingdom who would say that.”

“I’m not suited to be queen and you know it. Find a woman who is, and the country will be happier. I’ll be happier. And so will you be. You want a companion, not the friendship of your strange niece who plays hostess for you.”

“And?” Arthur prompted once more. The look on George’s face said she wasn’t done.

She leant towards him and dropped her voice to little more than a whisper.  “I had a dream.”

“Again?”

“Yes.”

“It’s been a while,” he said amiably, as if George were an ordinary child with run-of-the-mill nightmares.

“Yes.”

“Which one was it?” he asked as the car accelerated past rolling hills and old stone fences back towards the congestion of London.

“The one where all the ravens were dead.”

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