From the archives — Reading Bev Brenna and Falling for Henry

This was originally posted on September 7, 2011.

Reading Beverley Brenna (or at least, reading her books) is a use of time I can highly recommend. In fact, I do recommend that pastime, over and over again.

I know that those of you whom I’ve already turned on to Bev’s books are awaiting the release of Falling for Henry with barely-disguised impatience. I have been figuratively pacing outside the birthing room of this novel for some years now. (As those of you who are writers will know, the gestation period for a book varies with each book.)

Finally the due date is near. November 15, 2011 is the date that has been quoted. My pacing now has purpose. The labour is over, the birth pangs are beginning.

What is this book that has made me wait so eagerly, telling people about this book long before it was ready to see the light of day, asking Bev about its progress more often than she likely would have liked, and now eagerly trumpeting its pending birth when that day is still more than two months away?

To quote Bev, from the interview I posted previously, “This time-slip fantasy offers the historical fiction context of Tudor times for a close look at relationships and dealing with personal loss. Relieved to escape the challenges of the present day, Kate establishes herself in Katherine of Aragon’s place with some relief, until she begins to worry about what her future will be like as the wife of charismatic young Henry, soon to become Henry VIII.”

Can you imagine being a girl in ordinary, modern time and finding yourself transported to the world of the young Henry, the Henry who was still Prince Hal, not-quite-King? Then, not only in that world, but a major part of that world, taking the place of Katherine of Aragon? What would your thoughts be? What would your feelings be? How different would your life be?

To get a better picture of that life, Bev traveled to England and spent time doing research in Greenwich and Hampton Court Palace (since the actual setting of the book, Greenwich Palace, no longer exists). She was able to immerse herself in that world through her vivid imagination, and the photographs on her website give us intriguing glimpses into the research process.

I have seen Bev deal with the slightly fantastical in The Keeper of the Trees, and I have fallen in love with her deftly drawn characters in The Moon Children, Wild Orchid, and Waiting for No One. In November, I fully expect to find myself, along with the central character Kate, falling for Henry.

Stay tuned tomorrow as Random Acts of Publicity Week continues, and I review other books of Bev’s, both here and on Amazon. Then Friday, there will be an announcement of a cool give-away that you won’t want to miss!

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