Please join me in welcoming Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exile to Always With a Book! If you missed my review, you can read it here. Today Barbara guest blogs about one special email from a reader.
Enjoy and be sure to enter the giveaway below!
THE ACORN AND THE PINE CONE
by Barbara Kyle
I welcome every letter and email I get from readers, but there's one that I particularly cherish. Here’s the story.
Some years ago I was in England researching The Queen’s Lady, the first book in my Thornleigh Saga, and spent a day exploring Hever Castle in Kent. This was the home of the Boleyn family, and Henry VIII came here to court Anne. That tempestuous affair, as we know, changed the course of England’s history, and is pivotal to my book’s plot.
As I strolled the grounds in a happy haze of imagination, I picked up an acorn. I squirreled it away in my pocket and brought it home to Canada, and it sat on my desk beside my computer, a potent reminder of its birthplace as I wrote The Queen’s Lady.
The acorn was still on my desk when I wrote my next book, The King's Daughter. It had become a touchstone that spirited me back to the Tudor world. I was very fond of it.
Then my husband and I moved, and in the shuffle the little acorn got lost.
A few months later, as I was preparing for the publication of book #3 in the Thornleigh Saga, The Queen’s Captive, I got a cheery email from a fan telling me he was on his way to England for an “Anne Boleyn Tour,” during which he’d be staying at Hever Castle. There would be dinners in the Great Hall where Henry and Anne ate, plus lectures, plays, and demonstrations – “A once in a lifetime experience,” he said. I replied to wish him a happy trip and told him about my acorn. His name is Colonel Elmer K. Follis and he lives in Tennessee.
Some time later a small package arrived in my mailbox. It was from Colonel Follis. Inside was a note: “I looked for an acorn to replace the one you lost but couldn’t find one. I did get you this.” Nestled under the note was a pine cone. He had scoured the Hever grounds for it. “It’s from the area where Henry courted Anne, according to the castle staff,” wrote the Colonel.
I was so touched. The pine cone has had pride of place on my desk beside my computer as I've written three more Thornleigh Saga books. The Queen's Exiles is the latest.
Thank you, Colonel Follis, for what you gave me. A once in a lifetime experience.
Thank you Barbara Kyle for sharing this wonderful guest post with us!!!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS - (US/Canada only)
Thanks to the Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours I have one paperback copy of The Queen's Exiles to give away to my readers.
This giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only and ends July 30th.
- Leave a comment below & be sure to include your email address.
- Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
- You MUST include email address or entry will be invalid.
- I will contact winner at the conclusion of the giveaway & they will have 2 days to respond or I will pick a new winner.