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Archive for December, 2011

Duchess Debut: Lecia Cornwall

Her grace, Duchess Lecia Cornwall, debuted to great acclaim in March 2011 with her Regency romance novel, Secrets of a Proper Countess.


This week she’s here dishing with the other duchesses to talk about her new Christmas-themed novella, All the Pleasures of the Season, as well as her sophomore novel, The Price of Temptation.

Publisher’s Weekly says, “Cornwall’s luscious Regency romance has just the right blend of mystery, manners and passion… With truly nefarious villains, plenty of action, and a dash of glamour, this tome is a seductive read.”

Season for Romance says, “Ms. Cornwall has set the standard for a debut historical romance novel.”

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Interview with Her Grace Courtney Milan

A warm Duchess welcome to the ‘Incandescent’ New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Milan.

Duchess Courtney is smart as a whip, laugh-out-loud funny and just a tad forgetful about unnecessary things like cellphones. She knows good wine, dog training, and legalese. We are thrilled to have her join us today! Pour a cup of tea, Duchesses, and dare to lean back on the settee. Chat with Duchess Courtney about her latest releases, self-publishing and what’s new on the horizon.
We will be giving away three copies of her new novel ‘Unraveled’. Post in the comments below and enter to win!



Duchess Leigh: Tell us a little about Unclaimed.
Courtney Milan: Unclaimed is the story of Mark, the youngest Turner brother, who’s written a famous book about chastity. His enemies are sick of hearing about him, and decide to ruin him by hiring a courtesan to seduce him. Of course, it’s not that easy.
No, it’s never that easy. I loved her reaction to his fame.
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James V. Royal Bad Boy or Misunderstood Sovereign?

What do you get when you mix one power-hungry stepfather with one foolhardy, English-born queen, add a dastardly uncle and a baby king? The makings of a fascinating fairy tale, right?


Or, the real life of James V.


Born at Linlithgow Palace on April 10, 1512, James V was crowned King of Scotland at the ripe old age of seventeen months. His father had died at the Battle of Flodden, and within weeks, his mother, Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, remarried Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Like the proverbial evil stepparent found in all good fairy tales, Douglas used young James V as a political pawn and it  was this contentious relationship which colored much of the young king’s perspective and lead to several major events of his life, including his captivity. It didn’t help matters much that James’ mother, and his “Uncle Henry” (Henry VIII) also conspired against him to push their pro-English agenda at the cost of his Scottish loyalty.


But first things first.


After Sweet Baby James V was crowned, and Margaret married Douglas, the Scottish nobles formed a Board of Regents to rule the country until the king was ‘old enough’ to claim his throne. But Douglas used his position to accumulate more lands, titles, and wealth. He appointed his relatives to various government and church posts, solidifying the base of Douglas superiority. So much so, that his power eventually rivaled that of the monarchy.


Around age thirteen, James V began expressing concern over his stepfather’s growing authority and also his poor handling of certain skirmishes along the border between England and Scotland. James wrote to his uncle, Henry VIII, asking for assistance. Douglas responded by moving the king to remote Tantallon Castle, located along the southeast coast, and holding him captive. For more than two years, Douglas kept the boy king ‘entertained’ by providing him with prostitutes and ‘allowed him to indulge in allurements and improper pleasures,’ presumably thinking that if he kept James occupied, he wouldn’t be motivated to leave. Whether or not this impacted James’ future sexual appetites, he did grow up to become a complete, royal horn-dog. More about that later!


 By age sixteen (or thereabout) the king was ready to make a break for it. His mother, who had long wanted to divorce Douglas, was living at Stirling Castle, probably trying to develop a poison apple for her estranged spouse. Under cover of darkness, and allegedly disguised as a prostitute himself, James escaped to Stirling. It’s unclear how Queen Margaret reacted when her son showed up on her doorstep, but it is clear that she did little to aid him during his time of imprisonment. It’s also clear she’d made attempts to get him moved to England where he’d be ‘under the protection’ of her brother, Henry, even while knowing that could cost him his throne. Her loyalties were decidedly English. One historian remarked, “Margaret possessed all the flaws of the Tudor men, but none of their charm.”

At Stirling, James gathered together those nobles who were equally frustrated with Douglas’ abuse of power, and together they attacked Tantallon. Douglas escaped and made his way to England to cower under Henry VIII’s chair.

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