ONE SEED SOWN is the second in a series of four books about Cecylee Neville (1415-1495), mother of Richard III and Edward IV, Queen by Right and Abbess. This tale of Cecylee’s love-affair with an archer on the Rouen garrison will appeal to readers of Historical Romance.
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It is the summer of 1441. Cecylee is twenty-six years old and has been married to Richard, Duke of York for four years. Richard has just assumed the role of Governor of Normandy, and he, Cecylee, and their entire household have crossed the channel to take up residence in Rouen, the capital of English France.
During that summer, Richard sets off for Pontoise to teach the French a lesson. Cecylee is left to hold court in the castle of Rouen with the wives of Richard’s generals. Her life laps placidly onward during those sleepy days of high summer, when suddenly, a mysterious young man appears. Cecylee soon loses her heart to this charming stranger.
Cecylee’s private name for him is M. Beaujambs, because of his long, and very shapely legs, but history knows him as Blaybourne. Who is he? Is he an aristocrat of the House of Savoy? Or the son of a humble blacksmith? And if the latter, where did he get his exquisite manners? And his university education? And what is he doing in Rouen? By turns baffled and enchanted, Cecylee finds herself confronted by an intriguing challenge.
Set in the waning days of the Hundred Years War we see Cecylee struggle against overwhelming love, surrounded by well-wishers and those who would destroy her, while her husband strives to keep English France in English hands.
Rouen Castle, Rouen, English France
Feast of Saint Anne, Mother of Our Lady
July 26, 1441
On a day when hot winds carried the sharp scent of
herbs, I was riding back from a visit to the merchants of
Rouen—one of several—when I heard the thunderous sound
of hooves galloping toward me.
I stopped my palfrey on the slope that led up to the
Was it Richard? He’d ridden out with his army to
relieve Pontoise only two weeks ago, and I did not expect him
so soon. I clutched at the reins, causing my gentle palfrey to
snort and arch her neck.
Life as Richard’s duchess was not as bad as I’d feared.
I acquired a taste for gorgeous satin and thick velvet gowns
of every hue, for fur robes, supple gloves, elegant boots, and
jewelry. I grew to love the wink of precious gems, of
emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, and in the summer months, I
loved the subtle luster of pearls with lighter silks. Richard
proved to be a considerate husband, sparing no expense to fit
up his various residences for my pleasure. The only thing he
would not tolerate was refusal when he wanted to bed me. He
was gentle, but persistent.
And so I bore him three children in four years.
I hated the discomfort of pregnancy and the
messiness and pain of birthing, but my children were lovely.
My eldest, three-year-old Joan whom I named after Mama,
was the apple of my eye. She was a charming child, already
showing great beauty, and saying the funniest things. Her
sister, two-year-old Nan, was a much quieter soul who glowed
with contentment when playing with animals. Baby Henry,
born in February, was only five months old and had yet to
make his mark on the world. But Richard had been thrilled