My Love For BRAZEN

One of the joys of being part of the YAMuses is getting to be a part of the journey of a story from an idea to finished novel.  As Katherine mentioned in her beautiful blog post yesterday, BRAZEN was not an easy story for her to write.  You would never know it from the gorgeous words inside the finished book, which seem to flow effortlessly, pulling you through the story as your heart soars and breaks for Mary Howard and her friends in Henry VIII's court.  Katherine bled her own heart on the page, and it makes for a powerful, emotional read.

I was lucky enough to be at a writing retreat with Katherine the weekend she started the scene that would become the first scene in BRAZEN.  At the time, she was still playing with the idea, trying to decide if there was a story there, but from the moment she read those opening pages, I knew she was onto something.  I couldn't wait to find out what the future held for young Mary Howard and her teen bridegroom, married at fourteen through the political machinations of their families.

The scene opens as Mary makes her way to the chapel on her wedding day, catching her first glance of Fitz as he waits in the church:

Marriage is a word that tastes like metal-the steel of armor, the gold of commerce, the iron bite of blood on prison bars.

But also bronze.  A bell that rings clear and true and joyously.  Like hope.

As my father guides me through the palace rooms to the chapel, I don't know which way the door to my cell will swing.  It could ring loud, metal to metal, locking me into a life I never asked for.  Or it could open wide, hinges creaking, into a life I never imagined.

I concentrate very hard on not tripping over my own train as we turn the final corner and proceed through the chapel doors.  I will never hear the end of it from my mother if I blunder.

Henry Fitzroy is already there.  Watching me.


From this introduction, I was hooked.  I already loved Mary, who still held out hope that her arranged marriage might bring her happiness even when she feared it would not, who fretted over her overbearing mother, who loved words and thought about how they might taste.

From there, I was hopeless to do anything but follow Mary as she tries to navigate her new life, get to know her husband, and dares to defy the king in the name of love.  I like to give Katherine a hard time because she once told me she could never write a romance, and I find her books are some of the most romantic I've ever read.  BRAZEN is beautiful, heartfelt and yes, insanely romantic.

I love this book, and I'm so glad that Katherine stuck with it.  You will be too.


SWOON--it IS insanely romantic. That opening scene hooks me, too!

It is so great! I think it was at your Staycation retreat that I first heard it!

Indeed it was! At least, that's where I remember it. And you know how Katy usually lops off the first 50 pages or so, and I thought, "If she cuts THESE first pages, I may die." :)

It was that Staycation retreat and I had to write 50 extra pages that came before so I could lop THEM off. :)

Post a Comment

Grid_spot theme adapted by Lia Keyes. Powered by Blogger.


discover what the Muses get up to when they're not Musing

an ever-growing resource for writers

Popular Musings

Your Responses

Fellow Musers