Guest Post & Giveaway: The Queen's Exiles by Barbara Kyle

Please welcome author Barbara Kyle to Passages to the Past today! Barbara is currently on Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for her latest release, The Queen's Exiles, and today I'm pleased to be hosting her very entertaining guest post. I also have one copy of The Queen's Exiles up for grabs!
by Barbara Kyle

While writing my first historical novel years ago, I discovered an eye-opening research resource: my husband.

That first book, The Queen's Lady, is set during the reign of Henry VIII. Now, Henry and my husband share no similarity regarding tyrannical rule and beheaded wives—I married a thoughtful, peaceable man. He is, however, endowed with the standard issue male anatomy, and this helped my research. Here's how.

In a first draft I had written a scene of a Midsummer Eve celebration in which boisterous revelers dance around bonfires, lovers steal kisses, and a drunk old man pisses as he staggers through the crowd.

Wait a minute, I thought. Can a man do that— urinate while walking?

I took the problem to my husband. "Can a man do that?" I asked.

"I'll go try it," he said, and walked out the door.

Thankfully, we lived in the country then, on sixty acres at the end of a dead end road. Not a soul around.

Five minutes later he came back in. "Yup," he reported.

You can see why I value this resource.

At other times I've been grateful to have my husband set me straight on how men think.

For example, again in The Queen's Lady I had written a scene of high drama in which my heroine, Honor Larke, to save her friends' lives, takes a terrifying risk by hiding in the hold of a ship and ends up trapped there as her enemies roam the ship's top deck. If she is found, it will mean her death.

I couldn't leave Honor there. Since the ship belonged to her business partner, Richard Thornleigh, who loves her, I wrote a scene of Richard coming on board and bargaining with her enemies for her release.

"I wouldn't do that," said my husband with a frown when he read the scene. "If the woman I loved was trapped in the hold and facing death I'd burn the ship to the waterline and get her out."

I was agog. Of course Richard would do that!

Final draft: Richard swims to the hull at night, climbs aboard unnoticed, sets fire to the mainmast and yells, "Fire!" In the chaos of shouting men he slips down to the hold, frees Honor, throws her through a gun port into the bay, and dives in after her. Saved!

The Queen's Lady was my first novel in the Thornleigh Saga. Five more have followed. The sixth, The Queen's Exiles, has just been released. In creating each story I've had my husband read the first draft, chapter by chapter, and he has often made suggestions of sheer magic.

Did I use his suggestions? You bet.

So when I thank him in my novels' acknowledgements, you know my gratitude is heartfelt.

The Queen's Exiles 

Pub Date: May 27, 2014 | Kensington Publishing | Formats: Ebook, Paperback

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Europe is in turmoil. A vengeful faction of exiled English Catholics is plotting to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and install her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. And in the Netherlands the streets are red with the blood of those who dare to oppose the brutal Spanish occupation. But amid the unrest, one resourceful young woman has made a lucrative enterprise. Scottish-born Fenella Doorn salvages crippled vessels. It is on one of these ships that she meets wealthy Baron Adam Thornleigh. Secretly drawn to him, Fenella can’t refuse when Adam enlists her to join him in war-torn Brussels to help find his traitorous wife, Frances—and the children she’s taken from him. But Adam and Fenella will put their lives in peril as they attempt to rescue his young ones, defend the Crown, and restore a peace that few can remember. With eloquent and enthralling finesse, Barbara Kyle illuminates one of history's grimmest chapters. The Queen's Exiles breathes new life into an extraordinary age when love and freedom could only be won with unmitigated courage.


Praise for The Queen's Exiles

“Riveting Tudor drama in the bestselling vein of Philippa Gregory” – USA Today

“A bold and original take on the Tudors that dares to be different. Enjoy the adventure!” – Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author

“This moving adventure pulses with Shakespearean passions: love and heartbreak, risk and valour, and loyalties challenged in a savage time. Fenella Doorn, savvy and brave, is an unforgettable heroine.” – Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival

“Brilliant. A page-turner of love and loyalty in treacherous Tudor times. A truly unforgettable adventure.” – Deborah Swift, author of A Divided Inheritance

“A vivid and compelling novel by an author at the very top of her craft.” – Diane Haeger, author of I, Jane

Praise for Barbara Kyle's Books

“Kyle knows what historical fiction readers crave.” – RT Book Reviews on Blood Between Queens

“A complex and fast-paced plot mixing history with vibrant characters” – Publishers Weekly on The King’s Daughter

“An all-action thriller, bringing to life the passion and perils of the Tudor period.” – Lancashire Evening Post on The King’s Daughter

“Riveting…adventurous…superb!” – The Historical Novels Review on The Queen’s Gamble

“An exciting tale of the intrigue and political manoeuvring in the Tudor court.” – Booklist on The Queen’s Captive

“Boldly strides into Philippa Gregory territory…sweeping, gritty and realistic.” – The Historical Novels Review on The Queen’s Lady

Buy the Book

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Book Depository

About the Author

Mikhail PetgraveBarbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed, internationally-published Thornleigh Saga novels which follow a middle-class English family's rise through three tumultuous Tudor reigns:

The Queen's Exiles
Blood Between Queens
The Queen’s Gamble
The Queen’s Captive
The King’s Daughter
The Queen’s Lady

Barbara was a speaker in 2013 at the world-renowned Stratford Festival with her talk Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers' organizations and conferences. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.

For more information visit You can also connect with Barbara at Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, June 16
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, June 17
Excerpt & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Friday, June 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, June 23
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, June 24
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, June 25
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, June 26
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Monday, June 30
Review at HF Book Muse-News

Wednesday, July 2
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Book Muse-News

Monday, July 7
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Wednesday, July 9
Review at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, July 10
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Connection

Friday, July 11
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Monday, July 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, July 16
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Thursday, July 17
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Friday, July 18
Interview at Griperang's Bookmarks

Monday, July 21
Review at Always with a Book

Wednesday, July 23
Guest Post & Giveaway at Always with a Book

Thursday, July 24
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, July 25
Review at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews

Monday, July 28
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, July 29
Review at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, July 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 31
Interview at Passages to the Past


To win a copy of The Queen's Exiles please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents and ends on June 30th. Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I think I discovered this novel's upcoming release when I first got into your fantastic blog several months ago -- I noted it as one to look forward to buying/winning and to keep my eyes open! Thanks for introducing me to great new historical fiction and for this chance to win! --Kara

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Kas. I'm delighted that you're enjoying my blog, and I hope you'll enjoy the adventures of the Thornleigh family in my Thornleigh Saga novels. Best of luck in the draw!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicole. If you do, I hope you enjoy it!

  3. This looks so good and I laughed at her husband being so willing to help :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed my little story, Sheila! Good luck in the draw :)

  4. There's always room for another Tudor story!

    1. I like your attitude, Katherine! Tudor people and Tudor times are endlessly fascinating. Good luck in the draw :)

  5. Congratulations to Barbara on her new book and I had to laugh at her husband's willingness to herlp her.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Maureen. (I laughed at the time, too :)

  6. I'm so glad to hear what a great help your husband is with your work. I've actually seen the peeing and walking scenario you describe - not a place anyone really wants to be. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. You're so right, Carl - wise to keep one's distance! Good luck in the draw.

  7. Fascinating and intriguing. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks for your comment! Good luck in the giveaway.

  8. I just love your comments about your husband as your research assistant.

    1. He certainly comes in handy, Denise :) Good luck in the draw.

  9. Great post! Your husband is such a good sport.

    1. He is definitely that and more, Raquel. Thanks for your comment, and good luck in the draw!

  10. Your husband is definitely a valuable resource. It never hurts to have a different viewpoint and opinion. I admire his willingness to try things out/research for you.

    Few of us can appreciate the conditions people were subjected to in the past. Unfortunately, tolerance was often in short supply. At times, it seems we are headed in the same direction today.

    Best wishes for a successful release of THE QUEEN'S EXILES.

  11. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. You make an interesting point about intolerance, so common in the past, making a sad resurgence these days. Certainly, the religious paranoia of the Tudor and Elizabethan era is disturbingly echoed in our post-9/11 world. That kind of parallel between past times and our own is one of the reasons I love writing historical fiction, and why so many readers enjoy the genre. Cheers!

  12. a definite 'must-read' for me!!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  13. This is right up my alley. Love finding a good book, then enjoying sequels and prequels.. Thanks for the giveaway.


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