Going Green

January 28, and the day of our annual party to celebrate the anniversary of the demise of Henry VIII.  My favorite part is when all six of us get drunk at the end of the party and sing Greensleeves together…followed by a group raspberry.



Fuss and Feathers


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Preview Snippet from JoAnn Spears’ “Six of One”, available on Amazon.com

From Chapter Twenty-Six:  “A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down,” à la Katherine Parr

For a fleeting and frightening moment, Katherine Parr seemed a lot less like Julie Andrews and a lot more like Nurse Ratched. Fortunately, her return to composure was almost immediate.

“I did not mean to demean or offend you, Anne; forgive me if I did either,” Katherine Parr continued. “It is simply that you have had your say, and now, I must have mine.”

All what things considered? I was puzzled by the scene I had just witnessed. Katherine Parr could not have had much in the way of heartless acts to bless herself with. She did marry the studly Tom Seymour obscenely soon after Henry VIII’s death, but I didn’t think that someone as estrogen endowed as Anne of Cleves would hold that against her. I had to admit to myself that my curiosity about Katherine Parr was more than a little piqued. There was nothing prurient about my interest at all. My curiosity was strictly historical, and above reproach.

No sooner had I thought the word “above” than a bird flew into the room. I took its glide in my stride. I had already seen and heard so much that night that I was hardly surprised by it. I admired the creature as it soared around the room a couple of times, wings spread wide, and landed gently on Katherine Parr’s shoulder. The bird was a peregrine falcon with white-and-blackbarred feathers just like the barred satin of Katherine’s gown. An escapee from Arabella’s menagerie, I surmised. It had a golden chain, which Katherine fingered intently, attached to one of its legs.

“Eurydice is very fond of Katherine Parr,” Katharine of Aragon said. “Still, the creature’s visit is most ill-timed. Can I have a volunteer to bring the bird back to Arabella, where it belongs? Jane Seymour, perhaps?”

“With all due respect, Katharine,” Jane said, “I daren’t leave the room. I’d worry the whole time I was gone about what Ann Boleyn was doing to my chair.”

“I will do it!” volunteered Catherine Howard. In a trice, she had risen from her chair, but Katharine of Aragon pressed her gently back into it. “Thank you, Catherine, but you will remain where I can keep an eye on you.” The young Catherine meekly resumed her seat.

“I would do it, but you know how crazed the animals get when I come anywhere near them,” said Ann Boleyn, reaching out to stroke the falcon and being summarily clawed by it for her pains. “You see how it is, Dolly. That cursed Cardinal Wolsey’s cat has turned all of the animals here against me!”


The Heraldic Badge, not a sequel to the 80s soap.

Beyond the shadow of the gout



My “Six of One” preview snippet…all about the gout.  KP

Six of One, coming out in Fall, 2011!

From Chapter Twenty-Six “A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down,” à la Katherine Parr

“I don’t know how you stood it, Katherine, married to not one, but two sick old men before you even got to His Royal Goutiness, Henry VIII. Anyone would have charged at the red-hot Tom Seymour after all that. What a shame that your marriage to him was nothing more than another kind of trap. You poor little thing; you were only a bird in a gilded cage!”

“An apt metaphor, Dolly. I was no better off than Eurydice was—worse off, perhaps. Her wardress, at least, is predictably benevolent. His Royal Goutiness most definitely was not.”

I could not help but agree; gout, suppurating leg ulcers, morbid obesity, and tertiary syphilis are no recipe for benevolence. “It can’t have been a very pleasant existence for you, Katherine, having to take care of someone as sick and cranky as Henry VIII was by then. I cannot imagine any worse curse than playing nurse for someone so perverse. You must have felt like you were chained to his sickbed.”

From "Mad Tudor's Blog"...by a young lady who knows her Tudor history!