Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Change is in the Air - Anne of Great Britain by Stephanie Burkhart

Anne Stuart, 1705

As an American, I've always been intrigued by European monarchs. My favorite nations include: Britain, France, and Russia. I find it fascinating how that monarch shaped their times and how the times shaped the ruler.

Change was in the air when Anne Stuart was born. The Stuarts were probably the most controversial monarchs in history, torn between two religions, Catholism and the Anglican Faith, yet each of them tackled their struggles with a very human face.

Anne was the last Stuart monarch. What I find fascinating was how she faced the challenges of her time despite great personal hardship.

Anne was born to James, Duke of York and his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde in 1665. James had 8 children with his first wife, but only Mary and her sister, Anne, lived to adulthood.

Charles II, James' brother was the monarch at the time of Anne's birth. He was well liked and popular. Charles II had a slew of illegitimate children, but not one legitimate heir. Realizing Mary and Anne might succeed to the throne, Charles ensured they were baptized into the Anglican Faith.

Anne's mother died in 1670. 3 years later, her father converted to Catholism when he married Mary of Modena.

Charles II took matters into his own hands. He separated Mary and Anne from their father and they were given their own households. They were raised Anglican. James and his new wife had between 7-10 children, but only a boy, James, born in 1988 survived to adulthood. And there were plenty rumors swirling around his birth, too. (i.e. baby substitute)

Anne was 18 when she married George of Denmark in 1683. Two years later, her uncle, Charles II, died and her father took the throne. James II didn't last long. 4 years later in November 1988 (James II's son, James was born in June 1688.) William of Orange invaded with the intention of ousting James. He fled. The English people asserted James II abdicated his throne and welcomed Mary & William.

Anne came to the throne in March 1702. By all accounts her marriage to George was a happy one, but she had been pregnant 18 times. Only one son, William, survived infancy, but died in 1700 before she came to the throne. Imagine knowing how important it was to give the crown an heir and failing to complete the task?

Change was in the air, and Anne approved of the Act of Settlement dated 1701 in which the crown would be offered to the Electress Sophia of Hanover, a great-granddaughter of James I. The Electress Sophia was Protestant.

Anne's father, Catholic to the bone, died in 1701 after she agreed to the Act of Settlement. The British people had spoken – they wanted the Anglican Faith and they ensured its survival. After Anne, there were closer claimants to the throne, her younger brother born in 1688, but they were purposely excluded because they were Catholic.

The last openly Catholic Monarch (before James II) was Mary I, who succeeded her father, Henry VIII. Mary's cruelty earned her the nickname "Bloody Mary" and that cruelty resonated through the decades, guiding Anne and her people to take the nation down a different path to ensure the county's peace and prosperity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephanie Burkhart's latest release is a steampunk romance: "Victorian Scoundrel." Set in England, when Alice, Princess of York, follows her cousin, Edmund of Wales, into the past, will she cause more mischief than him by falling in love?

It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over form the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Prince Edmund of Wales back to the past and 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Alice soon discovers Edmund has struck up a friendship with their great-grandfather, Prince Albert, and his mischief making entails leaving a dinosaur-sized footprint in history. She also meets Grayson Kentfield, Earl Swinton, and the Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. The Prime Minster finds her odd, to say the least.

It's only when Alice falls for the handsome Earl Swinton does she realize the dangers of time travel. How can she give her heart to a man from the past while striving to stop Edmund from changing time with his forward thinking ideas?

BOOK TEASER ON YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

AMAZON KINDLE BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310085532&sr=8-1

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewindsordiariesbookonevictorianscoundrel-571272-141.html

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK BOOK BUY LINK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-windsor-diaries-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1104099940?ean=2940012813824&itm=1&usri=the%2bwindsor%2bdiaries

REVIEWS: 5 Stars, Readers Favorites, Molly E: I have never read a Steam Punk novel before, but because of her fantastic writing, her engaging plot line, and fun loving characters, it will NOT be the last. I highly recommend this with highest of 5 stars, and I can't wait until the second Windsor Diaries installment releases!

5 Stars, Tami Dee, Author of the Mists of Time Series: Stephanie Burkhart has a fresh, quick, quirky, inventive imagination and she gives the readers of Victorian Scoundrel a delightful mixture of all of the above!

Enjoy this excerpt:

Grayson escorted her to a door on the right, threw it open, and put his hand on her waist, guiding her inside. A gas lamp burned on a nearby table, throwing stark, deep shadows into the room.

Her determined man shut the door and pinned her against it. He plucked her glasses from her face and threw them onto the table with the gas lamp. Then he pinned her against the door, placing his hands on the door next to her arms. His breathing was erratic. The light from the lamp cast dark shadows over his chiseled features.


He stepped closer and lowered his hands, placing one on her waist. Heat spiked within her and settled low in her abdomen. His hazel eyes burned with desire. He drew in a deep breath and raised his forefinger, tracing her lips. Alice closed her eyes, but only briefly, savoring the gentle touch of his finger.

"You do wild things to my heart, sweet Alice," he finally whispered. His finger traced her cheeks, then her jaw.

She grew hot, yearning for more. Her senses spun from his sensual touch. She could hardly breathe. "Me?"

"Yes, you."
"What do I do to your heart?"

"You make it beat hard -- fast." He ran his finger down the side of her neck and traced the 'v' in her throat.

Alice met the raging inferno in his eyes and nipped at her lower lip with her teeth. "Is that all I do?"

He issued a low, deep groan from his throat and leaned forward. Their lips searched for each other, teasing, until finally they meshed into a heat-searing kiss.

Alice completely lost her head. His lips were hard, firm, staking his claim. His hands went to her waist as his long, lean body pressed against her. She placed her hands on his shoulders and glided her fingertips around the nape of his neck. She wanted this man. Etiquette and propriety be damned. Victorian values wafted to the floor. She wanted to feel every inch of him that she could. His lips trailed over her jaw, kissing the side of her neck.

"Oh, Gray..." she moaned, her flesh now highly sensitized to his touch.

She had never been kissed like this.

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Maggi Andersen said...

Great excerpt, gasp, Stephanie.

Freda Lightfoot said...

Interesting overview. I love this period too. May I tactfully point out you have a typo on a date.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Maggi, thanks for popping in. :)

Freda, thanks for the head's up. I'll go ahead and fix that. There's so much more to Anne and her reign that would have liked to have address like Sarah Churchill and her influence along with some innovations that occurred during her time, but I thought I'd save them for future posts.


Deb Hockenberry said...

I'm fascinated by this. Great post. It makes me want to read your book & research the Monarchy!

Maggie Toussaint said...

omigosh. pregnant 18 times. My heart aches for this woman. I hope she didn't go through morning sickness every time. I can't imagine being so important and constantly pregnant. It would be like my worst Groundhog Day.

I enjoyed the excerpt, Steph. Love Alice and Gray.


Stephanie Burkhart said...

Deb. Anne really interests me. I hope to read about her. Just found a Jean Plaidy book written by her so I hope to tackle that.

Maggie, yes, my heart breaks for the woman. Alice & Gray are fun, aren't they?


Mona Risk said...

Hi Steph, sorry I'm a day late here. I love History and like you my favorite countries were France, Britain and Russia, plus Austria. Thanks for the story of Ann.