Thursday, November 23, 2017

By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John


By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John

Publication Date: October 12, 2017
Falcon Historical
eBook & Paperback; 381 Pages

Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction


Royalist Sir Allen Apsley thinks his choice is clear, but when his mother embraces the Puritan cause, and his beloved sister Luce falls in love with John Hutchinson, a Roundhead soldier, his loyalties are tested. Is it family first? Is it country first? As England falls into bloody civil war, Allen must fight for king and country, while Luce embraces Parliament’s radical views and confronts the very core of the family’s beliefs. And when their influential Villiers cousins raise the stakes, Allen and Luce face a devastating challenge. Will war unite or divide them? In the dawn of rebellion, love is the final battleground.

Based on surviving memoirs, court papers and letters of Elizabeth St.John’s family, By Love Divided continues the story of Lucy St.John, The Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England’s great divide, and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.

"I am completely blown away by Elizabeth St. John’s follow up novel, By Love Divided. The depth of her characterization, the elegance of her prose (and dialogue) and the masterful way in which she presents the realities of the English Civil War such that we’re bleeding for both sides is nothing short of brilliant. If you want a compelling, exquisitely written story to immerse you in the past, By Love Divided is a must read! I consider it one of my favourite historical reads and it's earned a place on my keeper shelf! 5 plus stars!" -Cryssa Bazos, Author of The Traitor's Knot

Available on Amazon


Excerpt:
By Love Divided
By Elizabeth St.John
Chapter 14

The court was entertained with masks, stage plays, and sorts of ruder sports. Then began murder, incest, adultery, drunkenness, swearing, fornication, and all sort of ribaldry, to be no concealed but countenanced vices, because they held such conformity with the court example.
Luce Apsley
16th August 1637


Fairy-tale turrets adorned with colorful pennants capped the towers of Richmond Palace. A spritely breeze from the Thames teased the shimmering streamers, tossing them to and fro like exotic wings in flight. The castle was poised to levitate above the earth, so celestial did it appear, so ethereal in the golden August light.
Lucy calmed the fluttering in her stomach and marched forward, Luce and Babs on either side. Defying her better judgment, they attended this masque honoring the king and queen as they paused at Richmond on their journey to Whitehall. But Allen insisted, James pressured, Babs implored, and Luce was indifferent. For all four reasons, Lucy could not refuse.
Babs chattered in excitement, her words cascading. “First there is the antemasque. Then the masque, which will consist of disorder being tamed by order. And they finish with the revels, where we all join in.”
“I know, sweeting. I have been to many a masque. They have changed little since I witnessed Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones collaborating at Whitehall.” Lucy smiled at her daughter.
“You were there? You’ve attended the Banqueting House?” Babs asked reverently. “There were none nobler, and no better setting, either. You did not tell me this, Mother?”
Lucy’s stomach tightened again. “It was a long time ago, my darling. Back when your father was honored by the king, and our favor was high.”
“Perhaps he will remember you, Mother. You should arrange an introduction tonight.”
“I think not, Babs.”
“Leave court introductions to Allen, Babs,” Luce interrupted. “Mother is only here to chaperone us.”
Lucy was thankful again that she had taken her daughter into her confidence about her experience at court. There was no telling what Allen would have done with that story, for his ambitions were ignited as only a young man’s could be. Luce would keep circumspect the old rumors and was not influenced by court ambitions.
“Oh, look. Look how beautiful.” Babs’s sigh was lost in the chatter of the other guests converging on the gatehouse, which was wreathed in hundreds of roses and draped with garlands of ivy and ferns. As they passed through into the courtyard and the sun dropped behind the high towers, a thousand torches blazed, and leaping shadows flickered on the walls. Gymnasts on invisible ropes danced down the sides of the sheer walls, their toes on the stone, bodies arching out over the crowd. Mr. Coleman’s musicians played exuberantly, and Lucy and her daughters stopped, transfixed by the aerial gavotte.

About the Author

Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...

By Love Divided, Elizabeth's sequel to The Lady of the Tower, follows the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War, and is out now.

For more information, please visit Elizabeth St. John's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, November 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 5
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Monday, November 6
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, November 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 10
Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, November 13
Review at Bookish

Wednesday, November 15
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 16
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, November 17
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, November 20
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, November 21
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, November 23
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Saturday, November 25
Review & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, November 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Tuesday, November 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of By Love Divided to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

By Love Divided


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