Thursday, February 28, 2013

#Tudor Troubles: King Henry VII

February 27

What Was King Henry VII Thinking?

Bust of Henry VII
By: Monica Arellano-Ongpin
Welcome back to Tudor Troubles. Catherine of Aragon was a Spanish princess who had married Henry VIII's older brother, Prince Arthur, on November 14, 1501. The seventeen year old princess' marriage to her fifteen year old husband only lasted twenty weeks. When we last left Catherine she was in a state of limbo due to the death of her mother, Queen Isabella of Spain. Without a husband, Catherine was dependent upon the mercy of her father-in-law, King Henry VII. The British king and her father, King Ferdinand, had arranged for Catherine to marry her late husband's younger brother. A short time after the arrangements had been made, Catherine's mother died and she lost and the British king cancelled the wedding. 

It may seem strange and cruel to women nowadays as to how Catherine of Aragon was treated by King Henry VII. Like most noble women, Catherine understood marriage wasn't about love. Noble marriages were created to unite kingdoms, maintain peaceful relations between two factors and enriching the husband's kingdom with land, power and money. Catherine's wealth mainly came from her mother's kingdom, Castille, which was larger then her father's kingdom of Aragon. Now that her sister ruled over Castille she no longer stood directly in line for the throne. 

King Henry VII decision to delay his son's marry to Catherine wasn't made in haste. He had spent his entire life building and securing his kingdom through noble marriages. 

A King's Perspective
Henry Tudor's troubles in establishing his rightful place upon the English throne stemmed out of his lineage and the War of the Roses. His claim to the English throne came from both sides of his parents. His mother, Countess Margaret Beaufort, father, John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset, had been the great-grandson of King Edward III through Edward's third surviving son, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Making Henry Tudor from the house of Lancanster. 

Margaret never knew her father, as he died before her third birthday leaving her his entire estate. She married the twenty-four year old Edmund Tudor on November 1, 1455 when she was twelve years old. The War of the Roses broke out six months prior to their nuptials. The War of the Roses was a military encounter between the two most powerful English families - the Lancasters and the Yorks. Both families were direct descendants of King Edward III and felt that they had the right to rule over England. You can read more about the War of the Roses here.

Lady Margaret Beaufort by Lisby
Edmund's parents were Owen Tudor and Katherine of Valois (the widow of King Henry V) which made him King Henry V's half brother. King Henry V ruled over England at the time of Henry Tudor's birth. Edmund joined the War of the Roses to defend his brother's rule and left his fourteen year old pregnant wife in the care of his younger brother, Jasper. Less than a year later,  the Yorks captured Edmund and held him captive at  Carmarthen where he contracted the plague. He died November 1, 1456. King Henry V passed Edmund's title and estate to Jasper after he learned of Edmund's passing.
Two months after the death of her husband, Margaret endured her own suffering in childbirth. Her tender age and small framed body had made childbirth difficult. The labor was so hard, she and Henry at one point were close to death. She delivered her newborn son into the world on January 28, 1457 at Pembroke Castle. She would never be able to bear children again. 

Four years later, the Lancasters lost the English throne when the Yorks captured King Henry VI at the Battle of Northampton. The Lancaster king was forced to acknowledge Edward IV as the rightful heir to the English throne. King Edward IV ascended the English throne in March of 1461. The new king relieved Jasper Tudor of his title and Pembroke Castle declaring his friend, William Herbert the new 1st Earl of Pembroke. With the loss of title and lands, Jasper had no choice but to flee to France, leaving Margaret and Henry at the mercy of the king's new earl. William Herbert remained Henry's guardian until he was killed at the Battle of Edgecote in 1469. Jasper Tudor had returned to North Wales in 1468 and confronted William Herbert but was defeated. Jasper briefly regained control of Pembroke Castle when King Edward IV, after realizing his army could not defeat the Lancaster army, abandoned the throne and fled to France. King Henry VI was released and restored his throne in 1470. In April of 1471, the Yorks defeated the Lancaster army at the Battle of Barnet. King Henry VI was captured and thrown into the Tower of London where he was murdered May 21, 1471. With the York king restored to power, Jasper took his nephew and fled to Brittany.

The War of the Roses continued as Jasper and his nephew lived in the security of Brittany.  King Edward VI died in 1483 leaving the throne to his twelve year old son, Edward V. Edward was on his was to London for his coronation when he was unexpectedly detained by his uncle Richard, Duke of  Gloucester. Richard had his nephew taken to the Tower of London. Edward's brother, Prince Richard, joined him in the tower in mid July. The two boys were murdered and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, became King Richard III. King Richard III's meddling in royal affairs had been prosperous for Henry VI. With the death of the young princes, Henry Tudor now found himself as the Head of the Lancaster House and closer to the English throne than ever before. Henry realized the only way to stop this bloody war was to unify the two houses. 

Queen Elizabeth of York by: Lisby

In December of 1483, Henry promised to marry Elizabeth of York. Elizabeth was the eldest child of the late King Edward VI making her the sister of the two murdered princes. Opponents on both sides, outraged at the murder of their beloved princes, began to support Henry Tudor out of respect for his marital contract to Elizabeth of York. Henry gathered his army and invaded England in August of 1485. He defeated Richard III and the York army at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485 thus ascending him to King of England. Henry was coronated as King Henry VII on October 30, 1485 at Westminster Abbey. He won the right of his throne through pure conquest but his claim was not solidified until he married Elizabeth of York on January 18, 1486 in Westminster Abbey. King Henry VII could have married his bride before his coronation but chose not to because he wanted his kingship established through the Lancaster line of descent and not through his marriage to the York princess. 

King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York had seven children. Only four survived to adulthood; Arthur, Henry, Margaret and Mary. King Henry VII continued to establish stronger ties to his kingdom  his eldest daughter. He arranged for Margaret to marry King James IV of Scotland on August 8, 1503 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland. Their union united England and Scotland. Margaret was thirteen and James was 30. You can read more about her life at

What ever happened to his other daughter? King Henry VIII, would arrange the union of his sister, Mary, with King Louis XII of France on October 9, 1514 in order to solidfy peace between England and France. You can read more about that at
Elizabeth of York gave birth to a daughter on February 2, 1503 who only lived for a few days. The queen followed her daughter into death on February 11, 1503 after suffering from a post partum infection. She was thirty seven years old. King Henry VII mourned greatly for the loss of his queen and secluded himself in his chambers letting no one inside his private quarters. Elizabeth of York's death had occurred only eight months after the death of their son, Prince Arthur of Wales. Catherine of Aragon was already living in London at the time of the Queen's death. Some time after he ended his morning, King Henry VII had entertained the idea of seeking another queen. He searched all over Europe for a replacement. He could never find the right women to be his queen. He died of tuberculosis on April 21, 1509 with one request for his son, Henry VIII ------ MARRY CATHERINE OF ARAGON.

Tomb Effigies of King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York
By: Lisby


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NEXT BIG THING: Blood Red, Blood Dread

Graveyard's Door by echiner1

February 26

The Next Big Thing:

Blood Red, Blood Dread

I want to thank Tom Lucas for offering me a chance to participate in his The Next Big Thing blog hop. You can read about his Next Big Thing at  The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a way for readers to learn about new books that will be released soon. The rules are simple:

1) Thank the blogger who invited your to participate and place a link to their Next Best Thing blog post  at the beginning of your post.

2) Answer the questions about your next release.

3) Choose five bloggers to write about their next releases and post their names at the bottom of your post with links to their blogs.

That's it.

So here it goes.

1) What is the title of your book?

Blood Red, Blood Dread

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Last month I wrote a very short story about a girl who goes with her friends to the haunted St. Mary's Cemetery in Marion, Ohio to steal coins from the Gypsy Queen Cleo's grave. I had written it in first person. I submitted to a magazine for inclusion but was denied. After they returned it to me I decided to send it out to four beta readers. There were some grammatical and plot issues with the story. After I received their comments I decided to rewrite the story in third person and fix the plot issues.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Short Story

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Character                Actress
Amnah Patterson - Julia Jones

Katie McGarrett - Dakota Fanning

Jessica Morales - Anne Hathaway

Rachel Nicolby - Saoirse Ronan

Queen Cleo -  Bryce Dallas Howard

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A teenage girl and her friends dare to steal from the ghost of the Gypsy Queen Cleo but will they survive to tell their tale?

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It will be published under Mountain Springs House.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'm still working on it.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Oh, I would say its probably like the ghost stories you tell at camp.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was wanting to write a ghost story that was located in my hometown. I think Marion, Ohio has a lot of  wonderful local legends that would make great stories to read.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

All the locations in my story are read right down to the details. The Queen Cleo Ghost story has been told for generations. I have embellished a little bit on it but did not tamper with the local legend that much. There really is a vertical grave and people still leave their pennies or other trinkets on her grave. Legend says if you mess with her headstone she will cast the Gypsy Curse upon you.

I would like to introduce you to the follow five bloggers. Each have agreed to share their Next Big Thing.

1) Veronica Hudson

2) Phil A. Davis

3) Ellie Mack

4) Wendy Seifken

5) Angella Graff 

Monday, February 25, 2013

#Tudor Troubles: #Queen Catherine of Aragon pt.1

February 25

Queen Elizabeth I Excommunicated

Queen Elizabeth I
 ca. 1600.
Queen Elizabeth Tudor has been one of the most influential and popular English monarchs throughout history. Good Queen Bess was coronated on January 15, 1559 after her eldest sister, Queen "Bloody" Mary, died of Ovarian Cysts or Uterine Cancer on December 14, 1558. Considered an illegitimate heir to the throne by Catholics, the Pope declared Elizabeth had illegally ascended to throne and had her excommunicated on February 25, 1559. The Virgin Queen went on to rule over England and Ireland for forty-four years.

This week will take an in depth look into Queen Elizabeth life and family. To understand why she was excommunicated and why her reign was filled with controversy you must first understand the circumstances in which she was born under.

Elizabeth Tudor was born on September 7, 1533 to King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn at Greenwich Palace. Immediately after her birth, King Henry VIII wrote to his eldest daughter, Princess Mary, demanding that she acknowledge the annulment of her mother's marriage to him and she relinquish her title as Princess of Wales. Princess Mary refused. Princess Mary was a devote Catholic. In her eyes, and much to the Catholic world, the true queen and wife of her father wasn't Anne Boleyn but her mother, Queen Catherine of Aragon.

Queen Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon was the daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castille, rulers of Spain. Her parents had financed Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage to the New World. Catherine had married Henry VIII's older brother, Prince Arthur, on November 14, 1501 at Old St Paul's Cathedral in London. After they were married, Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine moved into Ludlow Castle where he presided over the Council of Wales and the Marches. A few months later they contracted the sweating sickness that had been sweeping across England. Prince Arthur died on April 15, 1502. He was fifteen years old.

Catherine recovered and had expected to return to Spain a seventeen year old widow. But Prince Arthur's father, King Henry VII, didn't want to return Catherine's dowry. Henry VII offer his younger son, Henry VIII, as Catherine's husband once he reached the age of maturity. King Ferdinand had agreed to the union between his daughter and the twelve year old prince as long as Pope granted Papal Dispensation over the matter. It was against Canon Law for a woman to marry her husband's brother.
Catherine of Aragon by Michael Sittow
Catherine testified to the pope that she had never consumated the marriage with Prince Arthur. King Ferdinand and King Henry VII signed a martial contract on June 23, 1503. Each father had their own reasonings for joining their children together. Their children were betrothed two days later in secret ceremony. It was decided that the couple would have a proper ceremony upon Henry's fifteenth birthday on June 28, 1506. King Henry VII moved his Spanish daughter-in-law to Durham House in London. The parents had moved ahead of the Catholic Pope. The pope declared in 1504 since the marriage was never consummated then there had never been a marriage to begin with. Princess Catherine was free to marry Prince Henry VIII. The two kings quarreled much over the marital contract they had signed. King Ferdinand had hoped to cheat the English out of the portions they had to agreed to in the contract while King Henry VII had used Catherine's presence in England to secure the marriage between his daughter, Princess Mary, and Ferdinand's grandson, Archduke Charles. Catherine, like so many nobles, found herself a victim of politics.

The union of Catherine's parents in 1469 had united Castille and Aragon into one monarchy. Under their combined rule, Spain had achieved much power, success and prestige. The couple had seven children, five of who survived into adulthood.

  • Isabella (1470–1498) married firstly to Alfonso, Prince of Portugal, no issue. Married secondly to Manuel I of Portugal, had issue.
  • Margarita born and died on 31 May 1475 in Cebreros
  • John (1478–1497), Prince of Asturias. Married Archduchess Margaret of Austria, no surviving issue.
  • Joanna (1479–1555), Queen of Castile. Married Philip the Handsome, had issue.
  • Maria (1482–1517), married Manuel I of Portugal, her sister's widower, had issue.
  • Anna (1482), twin of Maria. Born 1 July 1482 at dawn.
  • Catalina later Catherine (1485–1536), married firstly to Arthur, Prince of Wales, no issue. Married his younger brother, Henry VIII of England and was mother of Mary I of England.

Things grew worse for Catherine when her mother died on November 26 of the same year. As long as Isabella was alive, Catherine's union with Prince Henry VII brought wealth, power and prestige to England. Her father did not stand in line to ascend to the Castillan throne. As such, the throne of Castillan fell to Isabelle's eldest child, the lunatic, Joanna. Catherine's financial situation quickly changed with her eldest sister's ascension. King Henry VII persuaded his son to postpone his wedding stating "Catherine the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon was a much less attractive proposition as a daughter-in-law than Catherine the daughter of the Catholic kings of Spain” 

Prince Henry VII agreed. His father lowered Catherine's allowance.  With little funds and not enough staff to maintain her household, Catherine  constantly wrote to her father complaining of her living arrangements. You can read one of her letters here:

Catherine should have returned to Spain since the dissolution of her marital prospect to the English prince but she believed deeply that God would intervene on her behalf despite having to endure virtual poverty and the extreme unkindness King Henry VII showed her. King Ferdinand had encouraged Catherine to stay in England while the English king had refused to grant her marriage. With both families not wanting to bother with her, Catherine found herself in a state of limbo depending upon the Tudors to provide for her.  Eventually, King Ferdinand decided to help his daughter by granting her the position of Spanish Ambassador to England. Her finances improved and she was able to bear her wait.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

#Publishing House Changing the #World One #Author At A Time.

Allison Bruning operating a sound board. 

February 24

Hello Literary World 
Mountain Springs House

Yesterday I told you that there were two exciting adventures awaiting for my readers and I this week. You were introduced to a new historical blog that I will be co-hosting with other historical fiction authors. The River Time will have historical essays on a topic chosen by the author of that week and will expose the reader to experts who will offer comments on that topic. 

The second surprise I have for my readers is something that I am very excited about. I have decided to open my own publishing house, Mountain Springs House. Mountain Springs House will offer all their authors a personalized publishing experience with 30% royalties paid quarterly. We will also provide some social media and marketing. Our staff are highly qualified with years of experience in the literary world. We will only produce high quality books and short stories. Once an author is assigned to an editor that editor will work with the author throughout the publishing process. Some publishing houses have several editors working on the same book which can cause the finish project to have missing chapter and alot of grammatical mistakes. We will never do that to our authors unless something unforeseen, such as death or illness, happens to our editor. We provide both print and ebook versions of the author's book unless it is under 100pages in length, excluding Children's and Poetry books. 

That all sounds great, right? Wait there's more. Mountain Springs House has affiliated with Elizabeth Delana Rose Author Services and FilmSmithPro to provide marketing solutions that will enhance our author's sales potential. Any author who signs with our company will receive discounted offers from these two companies. Products such as book trailers, websites, blogs,  merchandise, and more can be purchased through these two highly talented companies. Mountain Springs House has also teamed up with Full Sail University graduates, Krsytol Diggs, Stacey Bee and Allison Bruning. These three ladies will offer script consulting services to any author who chooses to write the screenplay version of their book. 

Mountain Springs House will also produce three yearly anthologies to help any author, whether they are published with us or not,  with getting their name out. These anthologies will be:

February (Erotica)
October (Horror/Paranormal/Ghost Stories)
December (Holiday Short Stories)

We will also have Camp NANO and NANO events for all authors, whether they are published with us or not. These events will be help from our Facebook Group Site. You can access the group at

So what are you waiting for?
Join us for our Launch Party at The event will last from 7am to 10pm EST on March 1st. You don't have to be there all day. 

Get Ready To Party!

A #New #Blog, A New #Historic Adventure

Allison Bruning in 19th century period dress. 

This upcoming week holds two exciting adventures for my readers and I. Each opportunity deserves it's own posting so today I will tell you about one exciting project then tomorrow I'll tell you about the other. 

A few weeks ago, I was approached by author Linda Lee Greene with the offer to co-host a historical blog with her and several other authors. Her idea was for each author to host a week where they would present a historical topic of interest and invite experts to write posts of historical topics that were interests to them. I thought the idea was wonderful and I was honored that she had chosen to include me on her project. She named the blog, The River Time. I am proud to announce the The River Time, will launch on March 1st. You can read more about it below. I will still be blogging on this site as well.

Announcing the Launching 
of The River Time, 
a Blog of Essays on History

The host-authors of the new blog The River Time are stoked by the line-up of distinguished guest writers who will be featured in the coming weeks.  The recent discovery of the remains of Richard III of England has created quite a stir among interested people, and one of them is the blog’s host-author Stuart G. Yates.  On March 1st he will kick off the blog’s essays on history with his composition about the unearthing of Richard’s bones titled Some Mysteries Surrounding Our Kings.  During the same week, Yates will host journalist and blogger Nicholas Wade with his essay Richard at Bosworth.   In addition, on this 50th anniversary of James Bond and his various Cold War opponents, Yates will bring you author Brian M. Hayden and an engaging excerpt of Hayden’s new book Memories of the Cold War.

March 8th will mark the debut on the blog of host-author Linda Lee Greene.  She will take readers to World War II with When the Lights Went Out in America, which is an excerpt of her book-in-progress, “I Received Your Letter….”  During the week of the 8th, Greene is so excited about the fact that her first guest will be the gifted author K P Kollenborn with yet another essay on the Second World War titled Japanese American Internment.  Greene’s second guest, author John Paul Catton, coming to us from present-day Japan, will enlighten us with a bit of the history of Japanese historical dramas in his fascinating piece, Jidai Geki.    

Author Dixon Rice and his guests will unveil week three of the blog; author DeEtte Anderton and her guests will do the honors on week four, as will author Allison Bruning and her guests on week five.  Stuart Yates will come back at the opening of week six and down through the line again.  Guest appearances by other great authors, historians, and history buffs are already in the works and will be announced as we near their assigned days.  

There are countless messages in history for us to discover if we stop and pay attention.  And if we yield to history’s call, if we allow it to enlarge our humanity, we will bring about an improved history-at-large that is unfolding in our time, as well as enrichment to our personal lives.  The host-authors of The River Time invite you to help us to get the blog going with a great send-off by joining us as followers and by leaving comments.  The link to the blog is

All Hail The #Pirate #King

Pirate by Kate Haskell

February 23

A High Seas Adventure

I am taking a break today with my historical posts and interesting holidays to bring you an exciting new book by author Jim DeAcutis titled, Peter Cooper and the Pirate King. I've asked Jim to tell us alittle about his book. Take it away, Jim.

What do magic amulets, giant scorpions, a maniacal sorcerer and an adventurous boy have in common? Well, normally, almost nothing but in Peter Cooper and the Pirate King you’ll find that sometimes they do. 
From the time Peter Cooper is a baby he’s lived up with his aunt and uncle after losing his war hero dad and loving mom under mysterious circumstances. Despite the loss he grows up happy in their loving home without a clue that a centuries-old madman has him in his sights and is planning to use the young lad’s life-force to rejuvenate his eternal soul.
Early on, all seems normal for our young hero (save for the occasional strange dreams of malevolent ovens and melting clowns; a portent to come?) until the night of his thirteenth birthday when a terrible storm hits his hometown of Harmon and brings not only overwhelming rain but also a visitor of unimaginable evil. The Pirate King, Bill Kyuper, has been getting “creaky” over the years and has Peter lined up for his latest “age-defying” treatment. When Bill arrives in Harmon he works his malevolent “magic” to get Peter from point A to point… and manipulate him to his lair on Scorpion Cove for the ultimate battle.
But, before he does, we meet an oddly eclectic group of friends and sailors both at Peter’s home and on Harmon’s docks as well as Peter’s first crush. The story is touching and horrifying and excruciatingly funny. There are moments when you will laugh and cry and other’s where you will not want to turn the lights off as you follow Peter and his friends on the ultimate journey of good versus evil.

Author James DeAcutis grew up fascinated by the worlds created by Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, John Varley and Edgar Allen Poe and with this, first novel, he hopes he’s created a world and characters that will fascinate a new audience. An avid cook and hockey player, he is also a prolific songwriter influenced by progressive, heavy metal and folk-rock. He lives in New York with his wife, a school teacher and their three children.