Summer is going by so fast, I thought I'd offer a quick update before autumn arrives.
On the book release front, in case you missed it, THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI is out in paperback with a beautiful new cover. I'm enjoying hearing from people who have read it and am always available to chat with book groups. Like THE LAST QUEEN before it, this novel has generated some marvelous book group chats so far, with readers expressing strong opinions of who Catherine was and what she did. For me, it is the highest praise to be among readers who care enough to debate the life of a woman who lived and died so long ago.
My novel on Isabella of Castile is finished and currently with my editor. Various titles are being mulled over, so as soon as I know the official title, I'll tell you. Title changes can be difficult for a writer to cope with; if we have a working title we really love and have become attached to, it's hard to re-adjust our thinking and think of something new, but between my agent, editor, and I, we've come up with some great alternatives. The novel is scheduled to be published in the US on June 12, 2012. When I have a UK date, I'll make sure to let you know.
I'm still writing SPYMASTER 2. It does have a working title, which I won't reveal, because as circumstances have shown, who knows what it'll end up being? However, I'm enjoying returning to Brendan and his dark, Tudor world. This time, he's on a mission in Mary Tudor's court and must overcome the lethal Imperial ambassador, scheming earl of Devonshire, and another, unexpected opponent. Elizabeth is once again in peril, and Brendan must set aside much of what he thinks he knows about her to safeguard her life. Oh, and of course he gets to match wits again with Robert Dudley, now imprisoned in the Tower with his brothers. THE TUDOR SECRET has generated a lot of new fans for me - which I love - but it also increases my desire to give you a worthy sequel. I've had to do some significant plot revisions, so I'm not sure about publication dates at this time. Most likely, it will hit stores sometime in 2013.
Lastly, I signed a contract with Ballantine Books for my fourth stand-alone historical novel, this time about the infamous Lucrezia Borgia. I'll be exploring her Vatican years, when she found herself being used as a marriage pawn by her father, Pope Alexander, and her tumultuous, dangerous relationship with her seductive brother, Cesare. I love the Italian Renaissance and the Borgias, who hailed from Spain, are the perfect family for journeying into the cutthroat politics, elaborate pageantry and power-plays of papal Rome. I'm researching the novel now and am finding Lucrezia as interesting, and misinterpreted, as my previous Italian-born heroine, Catherine de Medici. I'm excited to bring her to life, as I've had a fascination with her since I was a child. The chance to work with her is a dream come true.
I hope you're all having a wonderful summer and thank you for reading!