When Love Unlocks Time is a gripping Tudor time-travel novel which gives Miranda a unique opportunity for another try at life. Things aren’t going well for Miranda when she finds a way to travel back in time.
Without warning she is plunged into the intrigue and mesmerising romance of Tudor times amongst the wildly ambitious Boleyns and Seymours. Fabulous gowns, jewels, balls and manor houses play their part in this story, and sensuous fragrances, oils and wines set the scene for intimate encounters. Henry VIII is in his irresistible prime, and passion ignites and blazes into being until Miranda’s heart is shattered when the King turns his back on her when Anne Boleyn starts whispers of witchcraft.
Lord Benedict risks everything to save her life, and when Miranda comes to her senses she braves a return to Tudor time to help him secure the Marchant family fortune. But what the King wants the King gets, and falling in love with Lord Benedict brings terrible danger to all.
Can Miranda find the courage to brave the wrath of the King and make a life in centuries past with Lord Benedict and his formidable grandmother, or will she return to her own time and leave behind a love that spans centuries?
Will Miranda dare to find her inner strength and secure fabulous wealth for her descendants after a lifetime of losing out to others?
Will Lady Marchant’s aristocratic pragmatism and esoteric secrets save the day when all seems lost, or will she too turn her back on Miranda?
A fabulous romp across time with a depth and intelligence to please the discerning reader.
The King’s mood was light as he left, and as soon as he had gone Lady Marchant’s servants set to work. Within two hours Miranda had been moved lock, stock and barrel to a beautiful room in Lady Marchant’s apartments. Betsy was tenaciously holding on to her new post, insisting on taking charge of unpacking and arranging Miranda’s few possessions, being careful not to mention that she wasn’t Miranda’s normal maid. She needn’t have worried; Lady Marchant’s servants weren’t looking for any additional duties.
Miranda’s tete-a-tete with Lady Marchant didn’t get off to a good start; after a gracious welcome Miranda told her story of accidentally ending up at the ball. Lady Marchant did an excellent impression of a kindly elderly lady while she listened.
‘Have you quite finished?’
Miranda was a little disconcerted by the gimlet stare, ‘Er, yes, Your Ladyship.’
‘I find it so odd that younger people should try and patronise their elders, do you really think that those who are some years in advance of you will be taken in by such obvious, and frankly, pathetic lies? Do you really think that we haven’t also plotted and used our many and varied charms in our youth to jump over people’s heads? Do you think that women haven’t always used their influence to get what they want? What do you think happens? That when we reach the age where the plump and pretty cheek loses a little of its softness we suddenly forget how all this is done? People would sell their kin to get an invitation to a royal ball; nobodies do NOT just walk in and accidentally get directed to join the dance. Now, start again, and King or no King you will be dismissed from my chambers if I don’t hear the ring of truth in your tale.’
Miranda’s wine goblet shook in her hand, it was like being interrogated by a High Court Judge you had mistaken for a sweet old lady selling jam at a village fete. Miranda had yet to learn that she had a lot to learn.
She took a deep breath and started again. ‘I am from a very humble background, My Lady, I had an old friend amongst the Palace Servants and I asked them to help me meet the King. I confess that I believed that if we met I could win his interest. I have long dreamt of living a different life. If I was a man I would have tried my chance in battle, instead I use different weapons in my quest.’
Lady Marchant nodded. ‘Better, who is this friend?’
‘I will never say, My Lady. If you want me to leave Court and never return, then I will, but I will never tell you who helped me find my way to the King’s ball.’
‘Good, loyalty is an excellent quality, although do not believe for one moment that you wouldn’t betray your friend if the King decided that there had been treasonous behaviour,’ said Lady Marchant approvingly. ‘So, what are your ambitions? What do you want from this? No nonsense now, let us understand one another.’
‘I would like the King to admire me. I have such love and loyalty in my heart for him.’
Lady Marchant looked at her steadily. ‘And?’
People of all sorts of noble heritage had quailed before Lady Marchant’s stare; Miranda was no match for her. ‘If the King’s notice could help me live a little less humbly, I would be grateful.’
‘And find you a good husband when your time in the sun is over?’ No one could accuse Lady Marchant of short-term thinking. Miranda realised that Janet the bulldozer faded into insignificance when held up to the light against the real thing.
‘Indeed no!’ Miranda burst out. ‘I’d like to have enough wealth to live as I please!’
Lady Marchant laughed aloud. ‘I think that we are hearing the truth now indeed. Believe me, living as you please comes after many years of paying your dues as a wife if you’re lucky enough to outlive a husband or two. You won’t escape the marriage bed, my dear; whether you get a well feathered one will depend on how much you please the King and how graciously you accept the farewell when it comes.’
Miranda’s head felt as if it would explode with all the tightropes she was walking. Here she was, an independent woman of the twenty-first century, talking about marriage as the only career option, indeed, talking about being the King’s mistress as a career option!
What if she never got back? What if this did indeed become her life? What if she didn’t get back for work tomorrow? What if the people around the King made more determined efforts to investigate her background? The most her stepmother and the bulldozer could do was keep her short of money. Henry VIII had chopped off the heads of two of his wives! Although he didn’t know that yet, of course.
She wanted to see him again, this disturbing man with an animal magnetism that eclipsed even his power as King. At this point in time he was not the monster that history had subsequently painted him, overshadowing the years where he was the favourite of the Court and the people and reigned with the wise and guiding hand of Katherine, Princess of the blood, beside him. Miranda could not help her mind going a little way down a path where the meeting with Miranda diverted the known flow of history.
Lady Marchant brought her out of her reverie. ‘The King likes you. I will help you navigate the traps and pitfalls of the Court. Both you and I will make sworn enemies of Anne Boleyn and the many others who will be sorely tried to see you best those who jostle to be close to the King. Never underestimate those who would act against you; this is no game, the stakes are high and the losing can be fatal. But if you can keep the King happy for the summer, you will reap rewards. If you can keep him happy for longer, you may well benefit your line for generations to come. The King is immensely generous to his favourites. Now, to your poetry, speak now, did your father write it?’
‘No indeed, Madam, he did not!’ This at least was a firm truth.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I live in the Isle of Man, it’s a great place to live and lots of people have heard about it because of the TT motorbike races, it’s pretty peaceful the rest of the year. I have travelled all over the world with my career, often being away for more than a month at a time so always good to come home.
I have written and published a great deal in my professional field and always written fiction and poetry in my free time. ‘When Love Unlocks Time’ is my first venture into published fiction. I have always loved the Tudor period of history and also always loved the concept of Time Travel, who wouldn’t want the chance to wipe the slate clean and start again?
I am married with one grown up daughter who is lucky enough to be on the graduate programme at the library in one of the ancient beautiful Oxford colleges, pretty amazing surroundings! We have a miniature schnoodle called Molly who encourages me to get out walking in all weathers which is very good for my writing.
I am working on the sequel to ‘When Love Unlocks Time’, The Marchant Family are now mixed up in a very controversial topic, a minor character has just started to complain about her role and is insisting on having a bigger part to play!