A huge THANK YOU to Natalie and Literary Crush Publishing for introducing me to a new YA Historical Romance!
Today is the book birthday for Emmie & the Tudor King and I can’t wait to finish it this week! I’m loving it so much so far and I hope you’ll be adding it to your TBR piles after you read the details and Excerpt & Author Interview below!!
Title: Emmie & the Tudor King
Author: Natalie Murray
Published by: Literary Crush Publishing
Publication date: June 11, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance
One moment, Emmie is writing her high school history paper; the next, she’s sitting with a gorgeous 16th century king who vacillates from kissing her to ordering her execution.
Able to travel back to her own time, but intensely drawn to King Nick and the mysterious death of his sister, Emmie finds herself solving the murder of a young princess and unraveling court secrets while trying to keep her head on her shoulders, literally.
With everything to lose, Emmie finds herself facing her biggest battle of all: How to cheat the path of history and keep her irresistible king, or lose him—and her heart—forever
When he started pulling off the luxurious doublet, I threw the ring at him. “Do whatever you want, like you always do. Even here, you think you get to decide everything. Well, you may have been a living god four hundred years ago, but guess what? The world’s moved on. You’re nothing here. You are literally ancient history.”
He tipped back on his heels, his mouth curving downward. “Mistress Grace, I am merely trying to—”
“We’re back to Mistress Grace again?” I shook away tears, which was pointless because they kept spilling. “I’m not trying to be a jerk, Nick. But you can’t come here and dismiss my world, tell me it’s unrefined—which is a massive joke—and then take off back to head-chopping land without so much as a thank you and expect me to be happy about it.”
His mouth fell open. “You want me to thank you. For deceiving me, stealing my property, fooling every nobleman and gentlewoman in my court, and then bringing me here to demonstrate your superior land in comparison to which my kingdom pales. Am I wrong?”
“Are you serious right now?” His face blurred through my accelerating tears. When he reached for me, I jerked backward. “No, it’s okay, I get it. I’m just a poor, unsophisticated, common girl from the future, who did nothing but cause you trouble. And, clearly, I don’t mean anything to you.”
His eyes widened with dismay. “You believe that sincerely?”
“I believe it sincerely.”
He exhaled heavily, a hand on his hip. For several moments, we just stood in silence, drawing loud breaths but not speaking. I saw myself standing there, the spitting image of my mother, trying to convince a boy to want me who clearly didn’t. I’d never felt so pathetic. It made me want to scream and throw up at the same time.
“Aren’t you going to go then?” I eventually muttered, hearing the devastation in my voice. “If that’s what you want.”
Nick barked a humorless laugh. “You speak as if I am permitted to have wants and act on them.” He shook his head, his face pained.
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous; you’re the King of England, for crying out loud.”
He stepped forward, his hands shaking as much as his voice. “You truly believe my every desire is granted? That I know not the pain of yearning for what I cannot have?” His skin flushed pink, his hands clenched at his sides. Our faces were inches apart.
“Like what, Nick? You’ve got jewels beyond belief, a palace out of a fairytale, the most perfect princess I’ve ever seen, enough gourmet food to feed an entire country, people waiting on you hand and foot…what on earth could you possibly want that you can’t have!”
He grabbed my collar and tugged my mouth to his, our lips connecting like burning magnets. White-hot need surged through me as he kissed me with a depth of hunger that made me cry out softly. My hands grabbed him, my mouth desperate for more as we fell to the ground. The incredible taste and feel of him made my head spin.
When we finally parted for air, he pulled me into him. “I want you, you beautiful, stubborn fool,” he breathed into my skin as we hugged each other tightly. Every cell in my body was an exploding firework showering glitter from the sky. I’d never felt so consumed, so besotted.
Nick turned into my neck, his breath like sparks of electricity on my skin. “You know not what you have done to me…my miracle girl.” He pressed his forehead to mine. “You are the most divine, the most dear—”
“Emmie?” cried a voice from far away.
I sprang up. Mom swung open our gate, her head leaning toward Bayberry Street.
“What’s she doing?” I hissed. Something gleamed from her hand.
Nick grabbed his waist. “My belt.”
“We have to run…now. We’ll find another spot.”
“The diamonds in it were my mother’s.” He pressed his palm to his forehead, his hair still rumpled from our kiss. I leaned in to kiss his mouth again, the taste sweeter than honey. It literally hurt my heart to pull away. “I’ll get the belt. You wait here…stay behind the trees.”
By the time I got to the house, Mom was halfway back inside. Her palm flew to her chest when she saw me. Tristan’s jeans and t-shirt were draped over a dining chair.
“Emmie, what were you doing out there? Ruby’s barking woke me up.”
“Sorry, I was just getting some air.” My lips were still tingling.
“It’s fine, I was oversleeping.” She blinked rapidly at my shimmering sea-colored dress. “What on God’s green earth are you wearing? It’s…stunning.”
I seized the belt from her. “My drama costume. I need to redesign it, and I can’t work out how, hence the walk. But I think I’ve got it, so I’m…I’m going to go to Mia’s for a bit to show her. I’ll be back soon for dinner.”
“Do you know what these clothes are? They were near our gate.” Mom lifted a corner of the black t-shirt.
“They’re Tristan’s. Here, I’ll take them back to him.” I reached past Mom to grab the clothes, trying to ignore the spider’s web of confused lines on her forehead.
“Tristan Fairbanks? Isn’t he fifteen?”
“I’m not dating him,” I said with an exasperated whine. “He lent them to us for the show.”
“The school show, or the one in Southbridge?”
I gave her a quick kiss and waited for her to stop gawking at me like I was the creature from the black lagoon. I waved at her through the kitchen window and closed the gate behind me. The field was a black hole now that the sun had set.
“Nick?” I whispered, running back to the trees, the belt swinging from my hand. But the spot we’d just been in was empty. I thought I had the wrong place, so I jogged in and out of clearings all the way along the river. I called his name with rising volume until the Rottweilers in the corner house on Bayberry Street started barking like beasts.
It took nearly two hours of tramping through the leafy mud banks in a sixteenth-century ball gown for the truth to shatter me into a million pieces.
Nick was gone.
Where do you get your writing inspiration? Where did you get the inspiration for Emmie?
I’ve been writing romance scenes in my head ever since I discovered the thrill of reading romance (which goes back a loooong way!). Since picking up a dog-eared copy of Boy-Crazy Stacey from The Baby-Sitters Club series, I’ve been besotted with the idea of first crushes and first love, and every swoon-worthy novel I’ve read since then has inspired me, leading up to more adult works like the epic The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons. I’m also regularly inspired by cute couplings in TV series and films, especially if they can’t-be-together-yet-want-to-be-together (that’s your cue, Buffy and Angel!).
For Emmie and the Tudor King, my inspiration was equal parts wanting to write an epic, star-crossed love story about an impossible romance, and a voracious interest in the Tudor period. I’ve been drawn to tales of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth I, and the Stuarts since I was a child poring over through historical picture books. While watching The Tudors TV series one day, I thought: “What would happen if a girl like me time traveled back to Tudor England and fell in love with the king, but the king was different to the real King Henry? And what if that love felt true and I couldn’t imagine letting him go, yet I didn’t want to live in a world where people were burned at the stake for having a different point of view?”
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a hybrid, but I swing more toward being a plotter. For the first draft of Emmie and the Tudor King, I plotted the first half and pantsed the rest. When I read the novel back, the first half of the book worked well and the second half felt lost. I ended up having to plot and restart the second half, and that focus brought it all together. Nowadays, I usually create an outline before I write, which I then break into chapters, before I sit down and let the writing flow. Occasionally the characters want to take a different turn and I always follow them, but the overall structure rarely changes, and I always know the climax and ending before I even begin the book.
Where and when do you write?
Are you ready for the most engrossing answer you’ve ever heard to this question? I write… at home! Ha. I have two young children, so I need to stay close to the wet wipes, the vacuum, the band-aids, and the apple slices, but luckily I have a separate room to write in when my husband is home and I can shut out the world. When my children are at school, I like to duck out to a café for a few hours. It surprised me to discover I write better in noisy environments.
My ideal time to write is in the morning over a hot cup of strong coffee, which I usually reheat at least twice in the microwave. However, I have been known to write before dawn, after dusk, or even at midnight! At the moment I write Mondays to Fridays and try to save weekends for my young family, but when I’m close to deadline time, that usually turns into an intense six or seven writing days a week.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?
The only advice I would ever insist upon is to finish the book. I have come across many aspiring authors who have made a start on a piece of work, only to put it back in the drawer when they realize it’s awfully hard to finish an entire novel. However, I subscribe to the theory that ‘done is better than good’, and if you just keep writing—even if it’s 200 words per day—you will reach the end, leaving you with a complete story to play with and mold, which to me is the fun part. You can also learn a great deal of what you need to know simply by coming up with a solid story structure and putting all the words down onto the page. So just finish the book. Everything else has been said a million times, and all aspiring authors know it: keep reading, keep learning, and keep writing. With regard to published authors, I would suggest finding a supportive group of other authors to rant and rave to. For me, it’s the Debut Authors ’19 group, which has saved my soul on more than one occasion. This industry can be confusing and brutal at times, which can damage your creative spirit. Other like-minded authors and kindred spirits will be the shoulder you need to cry on, and the inspiration you need to steer you back on course.
What are your current projects?
I’m in the middle of writing the second book in the Hearts & Crowns series, and I’m excited to be traveling to England in July to conduct a Tudor research trip. Tough gig, right?
Natalie Murray has been writing to make people happy ever since her short story ‘A Dog Story with a Happy Ending’ won first prize in a writing competition when she was eight (she didn’t quite understand titles and spoilers then!). Now slightly *cough* older, Natalie is irreversibly committed to writing novels she loves to read: anything involving high-stakes adventure, touches of history or fantasy, and star-crossed lovers with buckets of exquisite angst.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Communications at Australia’s Griffith University, Natalie landed the role of entertainment reporter for Sky News Australia and New Zealand, interviewing such high-profile personalities as Elton John, Angelina Jolie, Sylvester Stallone, Dustin Hoffman, Cameron Diaz, Matt Damon and Jerry Seinfeld. She’s also worked as a corporate copywriter, Bollywood movie dancer, and dementia care worker, but Natalie knows what she loves doing most of all: looking after her family and writing YA romance fiction.
When she’s not writing, you can find Natalie clinging to her family (literally; she’s super affectionate), packing or unpacking a suitcase, forgetting to update her website at http://www.nataliemurrayauthor.com, or playing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.