Wednesday, 29 February 2012

"Spies, Lies & Adultery" at Kenilworth Castle, Thursday 1st March

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Photograph: J.D. Forrester.

I shall be giving an author talk on "Spies, Lies and Adultery at Elizabeth I's court", plus a book signing, with refreshments at 'The Stables', Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, CV8 1NE, at 7pm on Thursday 1st March.

The talk is free, but if you wish to book a place, tickets are available from Warwick and Kenilworth Books or you can email

I'll be talking about my Tudor novel, 'The Queen's Secret', which is set entirely at Kenilworth Castle during Queen Elizabeth I's spectacular visit there in July 1575. The queen's visit was hosted by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who was left nearly bankrupt by its cost.

I'll discuss how Leicester, the queen's favourite and would-be husband, spent a small fortune on the most lavish entertainment, catering and accommodation for a queen and her court over a period of nineteen days, and how Francis Walsingham's spies would probably have worked to secure the queen's safety behind the scenes for the duration of her Progress.

The discussion will cover Leicester's rumoured adulterous relationship with the queen's cousin, Lettice Knollys, who was then wife to the Earl of Essex, but who later married Leicester himself in a secret ceremony. I'll also touch on that all-important question behind the controversial, life-long relationship between the Virgin Queen and her favourite: did they, or didn't they?

Kenilworth Castle is maintained by English Heritage, and this is a Meet the Author event.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Guest Blogging at "Cathie Dunn Writes" today

I'm delighted to be guest blogging over at Cathie Dunn's website today. Cathie's romances and gripping historicals are marvellously well-crafted and delicious to read, so it makes it a double delight to be featured on her blog today.

I've chosen to chat on Cathie Dunn's blog about writing multiple viewpoints, for those who are writing or would like to write fiction themselves.

Please do drop by there and leave a comment if you have time.

Book Signing at Hunt's Bookshop, Rugby, Warwickshire

This is me at a book signing at Waterstones, Coventry, last week. This weekend I'll be at Hunt's Bookshop in Rugby, Warwickshire, signing copies of The Queen's Secret.

Saturday 25th February: book signing at Hunt's Bookshop, Chapel Street, Rugby (town centre, opp. McDonalds), 11am to 1pm. 
Please do drop in if you're in the Rugby area, and remember there will be signed copies of The Queen's Secret on sale at Waterstones, Coventry, and at Hunt's Bookshop, Rugby, if you'd rather just call in another time and pick up a copy.

If you miss that, there will also be a short talk and signing at The Stables, Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, on March 1st, from around 7pm. Free entry and wine, details from Kenilworth and Warwick Books,

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

FREE Book Party Winners Announced!

I am absolutely delighted to announce that the three lucky ladies below who attended the cyber launch of my debut novel have been drawn out of the hat by my husband to receive a FREE hardback edition of The Queen's Secret.

Commiserations to those who didn't win, but I hope you'll eventually get to read my Tudor historical, and HOORAH to those who won. May you enjoy your free read!

Winners, please email me on victoria.lamb44 AT so I can dispense the goodies as soon as possible. Bubblewrap and jiffy bags all lined up here!

Victoria x

"The Queen's Secret" WINNERS: 
Madeline Ash
Rosemary Gemmel

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Signings for The Queen's Secret: Coventry and Rugby

As you can from the lovely poster above, I'll be signing hardback copies of The Queen's Secret today (Saturday Feb 18th) in Waterstones, Coventry, from 11am to 1pm. It would be lovely to see you there.

I'll also be signing copies at Hunt's Bookshop, Chapel Street, Rugby town centre, next Saturday 25th February from 11am to 1pm.

Then going off for a well-deserved cup of coffee, I imagine!

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Compromise of Historical Fiction

I have a nice little piece over on the HistoryTellers site today, talking about writing historically and the various techniques required for turning 'real' historical figures into fictional characters:
When reinventing a well-known historical figure or event, a tension develops between the dry historical facts and the storyteller’s natural inclination to make those facts fit a more exciting vision. Writing becomes a compromise between what we know or have been told is the ‘truth’, and what we like to believe really happened ...

I've also had a friendly review of The Queen's Secret today at Words and Pieces, plus an utterly marvellous review earlier this week at The Little Reader Library.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

LAUNCH DAY PARTY for The Queen's Secret!

Today sees the launch of my debut historical THE QUEEN'S SECRET, and I am giving away THREE hardback editions of my novel. Here it is, in all its finery:

To celebrate this very special launch, I have come to the party as Elizabeth I in her Rainbow phase. Here I am, looking particularly bright and rainbowish.

We have coffee and delicious cakes this morning, then a selection of cheeky cocktails in the afternoon, followed by chilled champagne and canap├ęs in the evening. If you have hopped over here at any point during the day to read my launch party blog post, please join in the fun. Say hi below, and maybe let me know which historical or fictional character you have come as.

THREE hardback copies of The Queen's Secret are up for grabs here to randomly selected winners who leave comments. If you don't need a copy - because you have one already, naturally! - just say so and I'll leave your name out of the draw. Remember to check back in a day or two to see if you've won.

Otherwise, you can find a copy of The Queen's Secret in hardback and ebook in the UK, and as an ebook in the States

Happy Launch Day to me!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Book Signing at Waterstones, Coventry, this Saturday

Just a reminder that I'll be signing hardback copies of my novel The Queen's Secret this Saturday February 18th at the Coventry branch of Waterstones, in the heart of the city centre, from 11 am to 1pm.

If you're in the area, do drop in and say hello!

And for UK residents only, there's a second 10-book Giveaway on at Goodreads right now for The Queen's Secret, since all ten winners of the last Goodreads Giveaway happened to be in the States. You can enter to win a free hardback copy here.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Ten Copy Giveaway at The Book Bag

Congratulations to all those who won hardback copies of The Queen's Secret last week via the big Goodreads Giveaway organised by Bantam Press.

Now here's a chance for the unlucky ones to try again - and visit a very interesting book site at the same time.

The Book Bag is also hosting a giveaway in the next few weeks. They are giving away another ten copies of The Queen's Secret. Just answer one simple question about the back history of the story, and email your entry to them by March 14th for the chance to win a hardback copy.

Good luck!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Goodreads Giveaway: TEN free copies up for grabs

My thoughtful publisher has arranged a Goodreads Giveaway for The Queen's Secret!

There are no fewer than ten free copies available for some lucky Goodreads members, so please do click over there if you'd like to be in with a chance to win a beautiful hardback copy of this:

Only don't take too long to hit Enter. The Giveaway ends soon.

Monday, 6 February 2012

'The Queen's Secret' makes two Picks of the Month

I'm utterly delighted to find 'The Queen's Secret' has been awarded the Top Pick of the Month spot at Betty Bookmark and also Debut of the Month at the Love Reading site.

It's just fantastic news. As I sit down to write this morning, it makes the still-white world a little warmer to know my debut historical has been singled out as a page-turner. Besides which, I can recommend exploring those sites for other new books. I've already spotted several interesting new novels that I can't wait to buy and add to my stack.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Thank You to the Romantic Novelists Association

I'm utterly delighted to be interviewed on the Romantic Novelists Association blog today.

I first joined the RNA back in the mid-noughties, a little diffidently, not really sure what direction to take as a novelist. Nonetheless I made some excellent friends that year, including the marvellous Katie Fforde, whose advice was to follow my heart and write the kind of fiction that appealed to me as a reader. But perhaps because I had three very young children at that stage, and my head wasn't quite in the right space to begin a new novel, I fell away from the RNA and forgot about commercial novel-writing for a few years.

In 2010, with my kids all having started full-time school, I rejoined the RNA. I was bursting with fresh energy and ideas that year, and determined to begin a new career as an historical novelist. And the friends and contacts I made there were so helpful and encouraging, I can recommend the RNA to new or returning writers as a place where dreams do come true.

Within less than a year of rejoining the Association, I'd signed with Luigi Bonomi - deservedly Literary Agent of the Year in 2010 - and landed a three book contract with Transworld. Soon afterwards, I signed another three book contract, this time with Random House Children's Books for a Young Adult paranormal Tudor series (launching this summer with Witchstruck).

Two years on, I'm over the moon to have The Queen's Secret coming out this month, plus an interview on the RNA blog, and to feel I've finally 'arrived' as Victoria Lamb. So many thanks to everyone at the Romantic Novelists Association for continuing to support writers like me and tirelessly promote women's fiction to the world.