Elizabethan glamour and intrigue abound in this heartpounding followup to MAID OF SECRETS, which Kirkus Reviews called “lively and fastpaced” with “plenty of action and plot twists.”
About Maid of Deception:
Love may be the most dangerous weapon of all.
Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s secret protectors. Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men’s hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen’s court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court.
Beatrice’s new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion…and her heart. Caught in a web of evermoretwisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she’s known all along: in a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.
Want to get to know Jennifer better? Check out this exclusive interview!
Also in the Maids of Honor series: MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan!
About Jennifer McGowan:
Jennifer McGowan was born in Ohio, grew up in Montana, and studied in Paris. She fell in love with the Elizabethan era as a college student and is now an unrepentant scholar of that period, happily splitting her time between the past and present. An RWA Golden Heart Award winner and multiple finalist, Jenn is the author of the Maids of Honor series, which currently includes Maid of Secrets (2013), the novella A Thief Before Christmas, and the forthcoming novel Maid of Deception (2014). She lives and writes in Ohio, and you can connect with her online at JenniferMcGowan.com, find her on twitter via @Jenn_McGowan, or visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferMcGowan.
What’s YOUR story: Jennifer McGowan and the Maids of Honor
Hello, Stacy! Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I had great fun with this post, and you’ve asked some amazing questions, so I’ll just dive right in!
How did you get into writing?
I’ve always loved writing. My first book was a “choose-your-own-adventure” tale I wrote as a computer program for the Commodore Vic-20 and then the Commodore 64. Yes. I really am that old. J But it was called “The Silver Key” and it was all about adventure and romance. I was I think about twelve or thirteen when I wrote it!
What advice do you have for authors?
Keep writing. I began seriously working on my craft about ten years prior to selling my first book, and though part of that time was spent climbing the corporate ladder (which made for long breaks between writing spurts), the main reason I finally sold is that I kept writing—and reading, and then writing some more. I’ve now sold two series under two pen names, with a third coming out shortly that I’m publishing myself. If writing is your dream: Keep writing.
Secondly, I would suggest watching well-written movies. The pace of movies is a great teacher for keeping your writing focused and tight.
What are you working on now?
Book 3 in the Maids of Honor series is currently in edits! Maid of Wonder, Sophia’s story, will be out in August, 2015.
What has been the most challenging part of writing, publishing or marketing your book?
The challenges of getting your book out into the world are all fascinating, but some are more daunting than others. I think for me it’s finding an audience for a book about Elizabethan spies. It’s not a topic that teen readers typically consider when they look through new stories to fall in love with, so getting readers to take that leap of faith and open the book is perhaps the biggest challenge—and the most rewarding one.
What has been your favorite part?
My favorite part has been the writing—getting into the story of each of the spies. So far, I’ve explored the worlds of Meg (the thief), Beatrice (the beguiler) and Sophia (the seer)—all very different! And then Anna (the genius) and Jane (the assassin) still remain. Also, when a reader truly connects with your story, it’s the most amazing thing. As a new author, I haven’t had a ton of interaction with fans, and so I’m completely shocked and humbled when I learn that someone truly loves my story.
Who are your favorite authors?
I adore historical fiction, and YA historical fiction is a truly vibrant genre! Some brilliant current authors publishing YA historical fiction include:
Katherine Longshore (Tudor and Edwardian),
Jessica Spotswood (1890s New England),
Cat Winters (early 1900s American),
Elizabeth May (1840s Scotland),
Sharon Biggs Waller (Edwardian),
Laura Golden (Depression Era Alabama),
Susan Hill Long (1925 Missouri),
J. Anderson Coates (13th Century Wales), and
Renee Collins (Old West Colorado)!
My very first Elizabethan author was actually Anya Seaton, however. I LOVED “Green Darkness” – a book from all the way back in 1972, which is described as “the story of a great love, a love in which mysticism, suspense, and mystery form a web of good and evil forces that stretches from Tudor England to the England of the twentieth century.”
Yep, just my cup of tea.
What gave you the idea for the story?
I’ve long been a fan of Elizabethan England, but the Maids came about when I read a contemporary court account of a foreign ambassador, who noted that Elizabeth’s advisors were peeved that she knew things she “shouldn’t.” I thought: Who better to keep the Queen informed of all the goings-on at the castle, than her very own corps of female spies? And thus the Maids of Honor were born.
If you could be any character in the book, which one would you be?
Wow! This is hard. I think I most identified with Meg when I began the books. Beatrice has too difficult a path to walk, with all the court intrigue she must balance; and I’m just not smart enough to be Anna. (She’s named after my sister, Ann, who is that kind of smart.) But I must admit both Sophia and Jane would be fascinating characters to embody. Jane because she guards so much of herself behind a wall of ice, and Sophia because she has a gift that transcends this world. And now, having just written Sophia’s book—I’d say Sophia. Especially given the way her book ends.
What other books have you written and/or are working on for the future?
In the land of bunnies and rainbows (aka, my future, after the Maids of Honor books are all finished), I envision a spinoff series of books for one of the Maids. With regular cameo appearances of her former fellow spies, of course!
What’s your favorite quote?
William Jennings Bryan — ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.’
What’s your favorite supernatural creature?
The Time Whisperer—able to make time slow down or speed up depending on whether or not I’m on deadline or waiting to hear book news.
Thank you so much, Stacy!!
Prize: $25 Gift Card Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) and a Grand Prize “Queen for a Day” Spa Kit!