Midsummer Romance with Katherine Longshore + giveaway

July 29, 2014 2014, giveaway, historical, Wendy 61

Midsummer Romance with Katherine Longshore + giveawayPublished by Viking on June 12, 2014
Genres: historical
Pages: 528 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Historical fiction can make the past come alive in a way that a textbook never could. When I first heard that there was a series about the Tudor era, and specifically, books focusing on the women in Henry VIII’s life, I was pretty intrigued. We all know how his wives fared, so to pull that off for a young adult audience is no easy feat!

We’re pleased to welcome author Katherine Longshore to The Midnight Garden today as part of the Midsummer Romance Blog Tour. She’s here to talk about Brazen, a hefty book focusing on Mary Howard, Henry VIII’s only daughter-in-law. At the center of it is Henry Fitzroy, the king’s illegitimate son–and in the author’s eyes, he’s no dusty figurehead, but an attractive, vital young man. I bet a lot of young ladies (and men) would have paid more attention in history class if they’d imagined him this way, too.vine-divider-final 

Historical Hotties: Henry Fitzroy
by Katherine Longshore

Some historians believe that Henry Fitzroy was a sickly child and therefore a sickly young man. They cite his only surviving portrait as evidence–a pale boy with a weak chin, wearing what some have described as a sickroom cap. Certainly, this portrait does not make him appear attractive.

In Brazen, Mary remembers a little boy with no chin and an air of superiority. But on the day she marries him, she describes him this way:

His eyebrows arc high into the fringe of hair ready to fall into his eyes at any moment. Eyes the color of a clear winter dawn. His nose is perhaps a little too big for the mouth below it, the full lower lip complementing the now well-defined chin.

By digging into the relatively few biographical details of Henry FitzRoy’s life, we discover a boy who was raised in great privilege, but also with great responsibility. By the age of eight, he had his own household and lands as the Duke of Richmond and Somerset. He was taught not only reading and writing, jousting and swordplay, but also how to manage finances, tenants, and disputes. Quite a lot for your average third-grader.

Accounts tell us that Fitz was more fond of physical pursuits that he was of his schoolwork. His tutor had trouble keeping his mind on facts and figures, but his riding master had no trouble teaching him to keep his seat during a hunt.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the kind of man Fitz would have grown up to be. We know that Henry VIII trusted him enough to consider him as leader of an invasion to Ireland, and as an envoy to Scotland. But we don’t know if Fitz would have succeeded at either.

While writing Brazen, I imagined a young (Titanic-era) Leonardo DiCaprio. That lively expression, those gorgeous eyes, that flop of hair. While writing this article, I considered comparing Fitz to Heath Ledger, who burned brightly and died tragically young. But I’d like for you readers to think of Fitz as young and happy and healthy, so picture Alex Pettyfer—voted in British women’s magazines as one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors and one of Britain’s sexiest men. They probably would have voted Fitz the same.

*If you’d like a little historical man candy, we’ve posted a few photos of the candidates for Katherine’s Fitz on Tumblr. Enjoy!


Be sure to follow along with the rest of the blog tour for interviews with Katherine Longshore and more historical hotties!


Midsummer Romance Blog Tour Schedule:katherine longshore

Tuesday, July 8 – Good Books & Good Wine
Thursday, July 10 –Perpetual Page Turner
Tuesday, July 15 –Alice Marvels
Thursday, July 17 – Confessions of a Book Addict
Tuesday, July 22 – Novel Sounds
Thursday, July 24 – Starry-Eyed Revue
Tuesday, July 29 – The Midnight Garden
Thursday, July 31 – Novel Thoughts


Win a paperback copy of Courted!

Thanks to our friends at Viking, we have a copy of Courted to give away to our readers. This new edition includes the first two books in Katherine Longshore’s historical series, Gilt (Catherine Howard’s story) and Tarnish (Ann Boleyn).

Open to U.S. residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See entry form for complete details. Good luck!

Giveaway and review copies are provided by the publisher. Our thanks to Katherine Longshore for stopping by the blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



So, are you fan of historical fiction? Have you tried Katherine Longshore’s books before, or would you like to?

Wendy signature teal








61 Responses to “Midsummer Romance with Katherine Longshore + giveaway”

  1. Kris

    I adore historical fiction, and this seems like a really interesting book! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  2. Jenn Greiving

    Haven’t tried this author yet, but would love to. Historical YA fiction is my jam.

    Maybe I’m late to this party, but during the Austen-craze of the early 2000s, was there a lot of YA Austen tie-ins?

  3. Jessica

    I love historical fiction, but lately I have only been reading HF that takes place in the 1920s. These books sound awesome & seem like the perfect books to get me out of my rut!

  4. Larissa

    I adore historical fiction, within YA it’s got to be one of my favorite genres. Libba Bray, Cat Winters… there’s some seriously talented YA historical fiction writers out there. I have seen the covers for Katherine’s stories, but always assumed they were part of some really long series that I would never find the time to read them all. Perhaps I was confusing her covers with somebody else?? Probably. Lol that happens a lot, there’s been some similar covers in YA.

    Anyway, Brazen seems interesting. I’ve read about Anne before, but never Mary Howard. I think reading from her perspective would be an interesting change. Henry FitzRoy also sounds very intriguing [; Leonardo Dicaprio a la Titanic? Sign me up hehe.

    Loved this post (: Thinking about giving this one a real try now.
    Larissa recently posted…Review: The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston

  5. Ariana

    I absolutely LOVE reading about Tudor England, so I’m so excited to discover this series!!

  6. Katie F

    I love that time period and any historical fiction about it! Excited to read this one!

  7. Rashika

    Okay so. Wow. I absolutely adored this guest post but at the same time, I am still scared out of my mind about reading this series. I actually have this one on my TBR list anyway but I am so worried that it’ll end tragically and even if it won’t… I’ll know that.. it did and that’s one of the reasons why even though I adore Historical Romance, Historical Fiction is a genre I’m always a little vary about reading.

    I have to say though, history would definitely be more interesting if everyone were eye candy :D (shallow me)

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Wendy!! :)
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

    • Wendy Darling

      I know what you mean about being scared! That’s partly why I’ve put off reading GILT, you have to be in the right mindset to prepare yourself to have THAT happen, you know? That, and I don’t know whether I need to/should read TARNISH first. I’m unfamiliar with Fitzroy’s story, though, and his wife’s too, so there’s more of a mystery with this one. Maybe it’s one that ends relatively happily? I don’t know, I don’t know! And there’s only one way to find out.

      It’s not shallow. Generally speaking, everything is more palatable if the people are hot.

    • Wendy Darling

      I am wildly curious how many avid historical fiction readers have been launched because of A&E or BBC shows! I know movies adapted from books cause spike in book sales, I’m sure the result is the same for miniseries, even if there isn’t a specific book associated with it.

      I hope you enjoy this author’s books. She has a great reputation as a historical fiction author.

  8. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I haven’t tried this author’s books before, but I’m definitely a fan of Historical Fiction! I grew up reading all the classic ones (like Mara, Daughter of the Nile and Mary Bloody Mary) and this does sound cool. Although, I have to admit *coughs* I must be REALLY tired because I thought the cover said “Brozen” for a minute and I just started singing Let It Go. Yup. VERY tired. XD
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Let Us Peruse Cait’s Bookshelf of (Pitiful) Author Collections

    • Wendy Darling

      I had no idea the first two books were being repackaged, either–it’s such a good idea! I guess waiting to package all three together would be crazy, as the book would be like 1000 pages, hah.

      I always mean to read more historical fiction, too…this seems like a good place to start.

  9. Rachel

    I do enjoy historical fiction from time to time and this sounds wonderful. I think I like Heath Ledger’s photo best of the choices. It’s always nice to put a face of a character you’re reading about. So much easier to fantasize about them that way, lol! Great post Wendy and Katherine, and thanks for the giveaway! :)
    Rachel recently posted…Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, Heath Ledger–still so tragic when I think about it, such a talented actor. And yeah, I agree, sometimes I don’t like seeing fantasy casting choices, but I liked the ones she chose here. Somehow easy to imagine all three as young royals.

      I am leery about posting photos without permission here, but I figured Tumblr and Facebook are a little more lax about these things. Still could have looked up credits and links, I guess–maybe next time!

      • Rachel

        Heath Ledger always makes me so sad. I will always think of him as he was in 10 Things I Hate About You. :(

        I’m hesitant to post photos on the blog, too! So I totally understand linking to FB & Tumblr. I agree, sometimes the character picks are a hindrance especially if it’s someone you don’t care for. That image can stay in your brain.
        Rachel recently posted…Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop

        • Wendy Darling

          You know, I didn’t watch 10 Things until after he passed away (so weird, I know), and the whole experience was bittersweet. I think it’ll kill me the next time I watch BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, which is one of my favorite films of his. :(

          Yeah, I’ve read too many horror stories about bloggers being fined and taken to court for unauthorized use of images. There’s a certain amount of fair use for some things, but it’s better safe than sorry on our own happy spaces, I say.

  10. Kelley

    Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I have Brazen on hold at my library right now and I can’t wait for it to come in.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Carina! If I hadn’t already intended to read these, I certainly would be more interested too, after seeing how the author imagined her characters.

  11. Rebecca

    I love historical fiction, especially the Tudor period, and I’ve been wanting to read Gilt and Tarnish for a while. Brazen sounds really good as well. Definitely something I’ll be picking up at some point!

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you stumbled upon this giveaway, then! I have GILT, but I don’t have TARNISH. All three sound really good.

      • Rebecca

        They really do! Especially Brazen – I don’t think I’ve ever read about Henry Fitzroy. I like seeing how different authors approach the Tudor period too. I’ve read most of Philippa Gregory’s books, plus a couple other “adult” HF books, but I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever read a YA novel about the Tudor period.

  12. Christina R.

    What an awesome way to get people interested in history – it’s like she researched every little detail and brought him to life!

    Lovely post :)

    thank you :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I’m sure a ton of research goes into these types of books, enough to make me tired just thinking about it, hah.

  13. Emma

    I really love historical fiction and I think that this sounds like a book I would like.

    • Wendy Darling

      If you love historical fiction, this author certainly seems to be the one to read! She has a book set during Downton Abbey-days if I recall correctly.

    • Wendy Darling

      I find history that far back fascinating because so much of what we’ve learned is not first hand knowledge–in that a lot of what we read is filtered through a writer reading another writer who’s read another writer and so on, as there aren’t too terribly many first-hand accounts from what I understand. Being that far removed, there seems to be some room for creativity. We know much more about the 20th century, for example, so you can’t really fudge as many details or facts and figures without scrutiny.

  14. Mara

    Whaaatt FitzRoy wil always make me think of my uncle’s little dog who was the cutest little thing who would follow you around everywhere and plop down beside you… but anyway… It sounds like a fun book and the “tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations” sounds like a fun fun, delicious read indeed. ANd oOoO a Titanic Leo and Heath Ledger… dreamy…

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, the image of a little dog does NOT compute with the fine young men that the author has described above. :P It does sound like a fun book though, doesn’t it? Hopefully this Fitz will eclipse your uncle’s Fitzroy as you read it.

  15. Amy

    I love historical fiction . I’m really looking forward to reading this.

    • Wendy Darling

      Fingers crossed for your entry! But either way, the book is out already, so you won’t even have to wait for it.

  16. Michelle Lee

    I love to read historical romance so i’m really excited to read Brazen. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, nice! I am curious to read blog posts about this series, will definitely search them out after I’ve had a chance to read the book.

  17. Vivien

    I am such a fan of historical fiction!! Being transported back into the past by a book is truly one of the more magical aspects of reading. When I first started getting into reading a lot of books and very rapidly, this genre was one of the ones to stand out to me. I would notice that I take my time reading instead of zooming right through them, just to linger a bit longer in that time period. I rather enjoyed the first two in this series and have been eager to get my hands on Brazen. Katherine succeeded in making me feel like I was living in the Tudor era!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, are you? I don’t think I knew that about you, Vivien! You’re totally right about having to slow down to read historical fiction/fantasy, though. This does mean that I usually have to be in the right mood for it and have the proper amount of concentrated brainpower (most of my reading is done late at night before bedtime), but slowing down and savoring the experience is a pleasure indeed. I’m excited to read BRAZEN soon, too! I’m glad to hear you’re a fan of this author.

  18. Kristy Petree

    Simply put, historical fiction. This is something I used to steer clear of, thinking it would be stuffy and boring. But now I know better. Plus, there tends to be at least an ounce or two of fact in historical fiction, so I often also learn something along the journey. Thanks! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I have a hit or miss relationship with historical fiction/historical fantasy, but when it’s done well, the books have been some of my favorites! And yes, the “ounce or two” of fact is fun, hah. We just did a readalong of a middle grade book that follows a group of young girls in the early 1900s, and I was saying on that thread that when history comes alive for you through books, it tends to satay with you.

  19. Miranda Lewis

    I’ve been getting more into historical fiction books, because obliviously they’re so much not like what history class was :) These are already added to my TBR list and goodness do they look amazing.

    • Wendy Darling

      Man, if my history teachers had told me to imagine a long-dead king or duke as Alex Pettyfer, my classes would have been a LOT more exciting.

      Hope you enjoy the books when you get the chance to read them, Miranda!

    • Wendy Darling

      Yesss. It’s a gift to be able to sweep readers away and make them think about history in a way they hadn’t before. History can sometimes be so dry, but imagining these figures as living, breathing people definitely makes them more memorable.

  20. Nikki

    I am really excited for Courted. I love books about the Tudor court and Ann Boleyn is one of my favorite historical women to read about.

    • Wendy Darling

      Sounds like you need to get your hands on this ASAP, then! I’m very curious how the endings of those two books are handled, hah. I’ve heard really great things about them.

    • Wendy Darling

      I imagine even those who have illnesses weren’t always that way–or at least, that they might have a vibrancy and spark despite that. It’s fun to romanticize and speculate, anyway!