Today I am so pleased to welcome Rebecca Cohen to Joyfully Jay. Rebecca has come to talk to us about her latest release, Anthony, Earl of Crofton. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
It might seem strange, but I was genuinely surprised to realise that the first outing of Anthony Redbourn and Sebastian Hewel, the leads in my new release Anthony, Earl of Crofton, was nearly seven years ago. Since then, I have moved overseas and moved back, and had my son – where does the time go?
Similarly, it seems a life time ago, that back in 2014 Forever Hold His Peace was published, and I was convinced this would be the last story for Anthony and Sebastian. But I guess they weren’t ready to keep quiet. The historical novels that make up the Crofton Chronicles were all written from Sebastian’s point of view, a young actor with Shakespeare’s company the Lord Chamberlain (later King’s) Men, but it seems Anthony really wanted his turn. And that’s just what he gets in Anthony, Earl of Crofton, where he takes the lead in all his larger than life, bull-headed glory. I have to admit it was lovely to come back to this couple, it was so much fun to write about spies, pretend breakups and secret meetings in Stuart London. And of cause the Shakespearean theatre of the day.
But Anthony, Earl of Crofton is not part of the Crofton Chronicles, this is instead the start of what will be a new series featuring four earls from four different eras, each with their own fully contained story. Anthony’s time is Early Stuart (1604), and I intend to write a novel for James (Restoration), Charles (Regency), and Henry (Victorian), so we’ll be moving through the centuries to see how the fortunes of the earls develop. I must admit, I gone from being very dispirited abut writing to a being stirred up once again.
Hope you enjoy Anthony and Sebastian’s final outing!
In the below extract a messenger has just arrive at Anthony’s London town house, he has been summoned to see King James, and Anthony can’t help but be worried.
“Gerroff,” came Sebastian’s groggy reply.
“Wake up, you unmitigated sloth. I have been summoned by the king.”
Sebastian sat bolt upright. “What?”
“I have to go. If you do not hear from me in a few hours, leave the city and go to Samuel Jenster in St Albans.”
“Why? What do you think the king wants?”
“I have no idea, but I have enough in my past for enemies to cause me trouble, even with the most nebulous of excuses. I will not put you at risk. We are so closely associated that if I have been accused of something then you could also be implicated.”
“But if it were so, an armed guard would have been sent.”
“Not necessarily. Perhaps I am being watched to see what I will do next. Trust me on this, Sebastian. It is better to be cautious.”
Sebastian leaned forward and grabbed Anthony’s hand. “I will not run away and leave you here.”
“You will be safe with Samuel.”
Samuel might be a crook, walking on the wrong side of every law, but he was a good friend, and Anthony could rely on him to keep Sebastian safe. He’d helped when Sebastian, still playing Bronwyn, had to escape the local sheriff over charges of witchcraft. He’d also been the one to provide the body when they’d laid Bronwyn to rest, since the real Bronwyn was still very much alive and living in Beckenham, Kent.
He placed a finger to Sebastian’s lips. “Please do this for me. If something were to happen, I would face it better knowing you were safe.”
Sebastian looked distraught, but he nodded. “I will wait until the city bells toll three. Then I will go.”
Anthony kissed him fiercely. “Thank you. Remember, whatever happens, I love you, and that will never change.”
He didn’t give Sebastian time to argue and strode from the room. He collected his sword, cape, and hat, and headed outside to find his horse waiting for him. The speed in which he covered the distance to Whitehall was much faster than when he’d returned to the townhouse the night before. He weaved his horse through the slow-moving merchants’ wagons, choosing to cut down quieter roads to get to the palace as fast as possible. He left his horse with one of the grooms of the stable and made his way inside, towards the private rooms King James used as his offices.
Anthony was halfway down the hallway when he was stopped by Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset. Being one of King James’s most trusted advisors made Dorset arguably one of the most powerful men in the country. Anthony imagined that when Dorset was a young man he would’ve been striking, and even now, as an elder statesman, Dorset was tall and lithe, and wore his office proudly.
“Ah, Lord Crofton. You arrive promptly as ever. I am sure His Majesty will appreciate you attending him.”
A tale set in Stuart England, where the king’s life depends on his most loyal of subjects.
Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, delights in his reputation as a charming rogue. Life is never quiet at the court of King James I, especially with his good friend and secret lover, Sebastian Hewel, by his side. As an actor with the celebrated King’s Men, Sebastian has his own admirers, but neither man has eyes for anyone else.
When a plot against His Majesty is uncovered it threatens Anthony and Sebastian’s charmed lives, and they are dragged into the political intrigue and the race to save the king from danger. Fear that a traitor is linked to the King’s Men leaves Sebastian and Anthony with no choice but to stage a very public dissolution of their friendship, so Anthony can be free to be the patron of a new rising actor, and Sebastian can be the prodigy of another noble.
It is a dangerous game they are playing to expose the plotters and still find a way to meet in secret, as Anthony is adamant that they will not sacrifice the love they have fought so hard to win. They will do whatever it takes to protect the king’s life, and their commitment to each other.
REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.
Rebecca has brought a great giveaway for her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize. In order to facilitate prize distribution, the winner name’s and email may be provided to a third party awarding the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Void where prohibited by law.