Monday, February 6, 2012

Blog Tour Guest Post + Giveaway: At the Mercy of the Queen

Please join me in welcoming author Anne Clinard Barnhill to Let Them Read Books! Anne's new novel is a sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, a rich and dramatic debut historical about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

Check out this guest post from Anne as she talks about where she finds writing inspiration, and then enter to win your own copy of
At the Mercy of the Queen!

And now, Anne Clinard Barnhill:

People frequently ask me where my ideas come from. While I believe the generation of ideas is basically a mysterious process, one I don't understand when I try to analyze it, I can answer the question in some very general ways. Sometimes, a word or phrase appears in my head, a random grouping of words. Usually, this indicates a poem coming on. Kind of like when you get a migraine, you sometimes have a hint of it before it manifests. Other times, a character begins to speak to me--not exactly like hearing voices but similar, I imagine. One short story I have, "Namesake," (in my collection, WHAT YOU LONG FOR) the character started talking and I just wrote down what she said. It was the easiest story I've ever written, though not the best!

I walk almost every day and sometimes, what I see or hear around me gives me an idea. Strolling through cemeteries is very inspiring (yes, I realize that is an odd sentiment) because I begin to imagine all the stories buried there. Sometimes, especially in old graveyards, you'll find a story written on the stones--Mary, aged 23, beloved wife of John--and next to her, you'll see --John, Jr, aged 2 days. There is a story there, tragic and still filled with power.

I am an avid people-watcher. As I observe my fellows, I can be taken with a face, a gesture, a turn of the head. This leads me into imagining that person's story. Sometimes, hearing certain pieces of music can induce a mood that must find expression in a poem or story. Whatever the stimulus, something within me must respond at a deep level to be inspired to write. Writing is hard work and the thing within must struggle mightily to get out. Left to my own devices, I'd probably never think of writing. But these nudges from the universe force it out of me.

I'm very thankful they do.

Thanks, Anne!
Want to win a copy of'At the Mercy of the Queen?
Simply leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win!
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 1:59pm Wednesday, February 15th.
Thanks and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected.
Stay tuned for more great giveaways!

At the Mercy of the Queen is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the tour schedule with more reviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to visit Anne's website!



  1. Thank you for sharing how you get your inspiration. I find it very interesting how the stories come to life.

    Tmrtini at gmail dot com

  2. Enjoyed your post, and related esp. to the comment about cemeteries. I love looking at old grave markers and trying to imagine the stories behind them. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. That is an awesome inspiration. Sometimes I think that we forget how full our world really is. I'd love to win a copy of this book.

  4. The most inspiring grave I saw was in Bath Abbey. The marbled figures of a woman with her husband beside her semi-reclined. The husband lay waiting to join sad but inspiring. There's a story there. Enter me in your giveaway, please.


  5. Linda, I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys cemeteries! And Allison, it is so easy to forget how rich and deep life is--we just get stuck in the details! Thank you, Let THem Read Books, for hosting me-
    All Best,

  6. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I'm always happy to meet fellow cemetery lovers! Wherever we go I'm looking for the old cemeteries and wandering through them, and they are great places for inspiration. I think one of the most inspiring I've seen is Colonial park in Savannah. So many of the men buried there were war heroes or died in duels.

  8. I too like looking at old grave stones. Sometimes they have really beautiful engravings on them and like the author said, sometimes they can really tell a story.

    Please enter me for the giveaway - dolleygurl[at]hotmail[dot]com

  9. Loved this guest post -- walking in cemeteries also provokes my curiosity! All those stories -- so fascinating. No need to enter me in the giveaway -- thanks to you both for this great post!

  10. I would love to read this book ! Thanks for the "giveaway" Lynda716@HOTMAIL.COM

  11. I'm so excited for the release of this book!!

    Thank you for the entry!



  12. I always love reading books that take place during the time of Henry VIII!


  13. would so love to win this giveaway!! thank you for having it!!!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  14. Please put me in the giveaway contest (fingers crossed)
    Thanks, Jo Ann Butler

  15. I would love to win a copy of this book! Please enter me:

    Thank you!

  16. I, too, am another for wandering through old graveyards hoping to stumble upon a story or two.
    I'd love to win a copy of this book. Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway!

  17. I'd love to read this book! janesteen(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

  18. I'd love to read this. Please enter me!

    niteofblu at gmail dot com

  19. I love walking through old cemeteries, and wondering about the people & their lives.

    Thnx 4 the chance!!!

    ctymice at gmail dot com

  20. Please enter me! Sounds like a great read :)


  21. I absolutely love historical books!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  22. Many thanks for this fascinating historical.elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  23. What a great post. this book would be a treasure. thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com


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