Monday, July 29, 2013

Thoughts on historical fiction: Girl on the Golden Coin

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to write historical fiction. In my own preferred genres--SF&F--while there are tropes to understand (and use or subvert) and some amount of research needed to make the imagined worlds feel fully immersive, by and large, I have carte blanche to make things up.  The degree of careful research and accuracy needed for historical fiction makes me want to hide under my bed.

And then there are writers like my fellow #SFWG partner, Marci Jefferson, whose playground is the very real and well-documented world of the Stuarts and who revels in that sort of research and authenticity. And after she's gotten the details right, she still has to weave an imaginary tale in and around the history-that-was. Just thinking about it gives me a migraine!

So it is my great pleasure to show off the lush cover and tell you about Marci's debut novel, THE GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN.

Marci Jefferson’s first novel is about Frances Stuart, who rejected three kings and graced England’s coins for generations as the model for Britannia. The book will release February 11, 2014 from Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press. But pre-order this week and comment on Marci’s blog  for a chance to win a pair of sterling-silver pearl-drop earrings like the ones Frances wears on this elegant cover (be prepared to present your receipt).
Impoverished and exiled to the French countryside after the overthrow of the English Crown, Frances Stuart survives merely by her blood-relation to the Stuart Royals. But in 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and springs to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches King Louis XIV’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty, she has Stuart secrets to keep and people to protect. The king turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He banishes her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and stop a war.

Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers through the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him. He believes her love can make him an honest man and even chooses Frances to pose as Britannia for England’s coins. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. Until she is forced to choose between love or war.

On the eve of England’s Glorious Revolution, James II forces Frances to decide whether to remain loyal to her Stuart heritage or, like England, make her stand for Liberty. Her portrait as Britannia is minted on every copper coin. There she remains for generations, an enduring symbol of Britain’s independent spirit and her own struggle for freedom.

"In her wonderfully evocative debut, Girl on the Golden Coin, Marci Jefferson recreates the fascinating story of Frances Stuart, whose influence over England's Charles II became the talk of a nation. As vibrant and delightful as the woman it's based on, Girl on the Golden Coin is a jewel of a novel!"
—Michelle Moran, New York Times bestselling author of THE SECOND EMPRESS and MADAME TUSSAUD

"Beauty is not always a blessing, as young Frances Stuart finds out when her lovely face pits her between the desires and politics of rival kings Louis XIV and Charles II. Frances makes an appealing heroine, by turns wary and passionate, sophisticated and innocent, as she matures from destitute young pawn to the majestic duchess whose figure would grace Britain's coins for centuries. Her struggles to support her loved ones, uncover her family secrets, and somehow find a life of her own amid the snake-pit courts of the Sun King and the Merry Monarch make for lively, entertaining reading in this lush Restoration novel by debut author Marci Jefferson."
—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of MISTRESS OF ROME

"Girl on the Golden Coin is a fantastic novel. I couldn’t put it down. The plot is fast-paced and compelling, with intriguing characters, lush settings and captivating narrative voice. Jefferson’s debut paints an intriguing portrait of Frances Stuart, a novel worthy of the determined, golden spirit of the woman whose face became the model for Britannia herself."
—Susan Spann, author of CLAWS OF THE CAT

“Girl on the Golden Coin is a sexy, exciting tale featuring vivid characters, rich historical detail, scintillating court intrigue, and a complexly rendered heroine in Frances Stuart, Maid of Honor to the Queen of England, who will capture the reader’s heart -- as will the man she loves, that rascal King Charles II.”
-- Sherry Jones, author, FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS

Barnes & Noble    

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, I'm honored that you've hosted me on your fantastic today to help me reveal the cover for Girl on the Golden coin! I have to laugh about your musings on the headaches that historical fiction research can cause...but I'm not going to laugh...because you're actually quite right! Nonetheless, I absolutely LOVE the history behind this gleaming coin and this shimmery portrait and the golden spirit of the woman they portray. It was a labor of love, and I'm so excited to share it with the world!