England, mid seventeenth century. When young Sarah finds out that innkeeper Amos Jennings is not her father, she feels uncertain and scared. Her problems grow bigger when she starts a job as housekeeper and gets involved with two men who both want her love: the earl of Linfield, and his younger brother Richard. To escape these problems, Sarah takes off to London to begin a new life as actress at His Majesty’s Theatre.
Richard cannot forget the young woman her met at his brother’s. He is determined to find Sarah and make her his own--even his wife, despite what his family thinks of it. But love never comes easy. Richard and Sarah will have to face many a storm--even the Great Fire of London--before they can become one.
Guest Post From Author
I don’t really have a favourite film which is set in 17th century England. There was a tv series though, from the BBC, which dealt with the Civil War. I don’t recall the title, as I could only see an episode from time to time. Remember, I’m talking about the 1970’s. We only had antenna’s on our roof in those days, and we could only pick up the BBC when the wind sat right. Now we have digital TV anywhere and we receive broadcasts from the wide world.
As far as I remember, this series was about a daughter from a royalist family who falls in love with a roundhead officer. It also told about the problems this caused as befriended families found themselves at opposite sides…
Not so long ago, the BBC showed another series about King Charles the Second, recalling his life from the day he watches his father’s execution until his death in 1685. It was in four parts and I found it rather good.
But talking about films that had an influence on my writing, then there is only one I really favour: The Three Musketeers. Ever since I was a little child, I loved the romance and action in this film (and of course I had also read the book more than once). I could imagine d’Artagnan coming to my rescue (and I would be a queen, naturally) and being my gallant hero.
Alexander Dumas has written more than one novel that captured my interest, and he has been a great influence on my writing. Growing up, I realized I could also write a story which contained elements of romance, adventure, action and suspense such as The Three Musketeers. All of my novels have those ingredients, I think, and I will continue to write stories in this epic manner. It is my style of writing – I know I could not do a simple romance, or a clever thriller.
I also know that all of my books would be suited to be filmed. There is enough action in them to make them fit for the screen and I can well imagine them in my mind, adding my favourite actors to the roles of say Sarah and Richard from The Gold Crucifix or Margeruerite and Anthony from The Medici Diamonds. Johnny Depp would make a great Cartouche – but I forgot to ask him when I met him a year ago…
Excerpt From The Gold Crucifix
(here we meet King Charles II, who also plays an important role in the plot)
As Hart had predicted the performance went smoothly. When Sarah appeared on the stage, her armpits were wet with transpiration. Nevertheless she said her first lines without the slightest hesitation and then became fully absorbed with her role.
She not once looked into the auditorium and therefore was not aware of the fact that most of the male audience was paying more attention to her than to the actual play.
In the royal box the king and his brother were more attentive than normal. Charles looked more than once at the leading actress, to his brother’s amusement.
“I won’t pretend Shakespeare is my favorite playwright,” the king whispered into James’s ear. “But this Ophelia… She’s a damned good actress and a pretty wench as well. Is she a new acquisition?”
“I don’t know,” James answered.
“Her name is Sarah Davenport,” George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, interrupted. The duke was one of the gentlemen in the king’s suit. He also was a frequent visitor of the theatre. “She is one of Hart’s new discoveries and he thinks rather well of her.”
“Davenport? Interesting,” Charles commented
He kept silent for a while, completely forgetting the presence of the others. His thoughts lingered away and a secretive smile curled his mouth.
Oh yes, this could become a special occasion indeed…
- The Author will award two personally autographed print copies of her novel, The Haversham Legacy, to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (open to everyone; this is an international contest!)
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Nickie Fleming was born and raised in the historical town of Dendermonde, Belgium – home of the legendary Horse Bayard.
She read English Literature at the University of Ghent, and got her master’s degree in philology. Since then, she has been working as a high school teacher.
Her interests besides reading and writing are travelling, skiing in winter and enjoying fine food.