Blog, Interview

Queen Mary’s Daughter – Emily-Jane Hills Orford


GENRE:   historical fiction/fantasy

Print Length: 291 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: Clean Reads

Date Published: March 6 2018



QueenMarysDaughter1800X2700.jpgThere are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person’s life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? What if King James VI of Scotland didn’t succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away?

“Queen Mary’s Daughter” presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.


As the wind picked up, blowing her deep red, unruly curls helter-skelter over her face, Mary Elizabeth’s eyes focused on her hands. She stretched out the left hand, revealing the old ring that sat on her baby finger. It was a tiny ring and it only fit on the one finger. At the same time Gran bestowed the heirloom gift on her granddaughter, she had shared her story of the ring, at least as much as she was willing to share. The ring had been in the family for generations and only the firstborn daughter of the firstborn daughter (and so on and so on) could wear it. The ring was her connection to a past she wasn’t sure she believed in, a past that had been shared from one generation to the next. Or was there more? Was there a story her grandmother never managed to share?

What would she find at Loch Leven Castle? The clues had to be there. But the boy said it was mostly ruins, crumbled walls and tumbled stones, except for the tower. Queen Mary’s tower. What could she possibly unearth to collaborate Gran’s story? And she only had two weeks to do it. She couldn’t afford more time away from work. Even though it was a poorly paid entry level job, she didn’t want to risk losing it.

A glow emanated from the ring on her outstretched hand. She felt a warmth spread up her arms. The wind picked up, violently tossing her hair in every direction, swishing her coat ends like laundry hanging loosely on a clothesline. She faced into the wind, allowing its vicious impact to draw her forward. She took a step, then another, until she felt the cold wet of the lapping waves of the loch splash over her feet. The water was cold; it jolted her back to reality. What was she doing walking into the loch? What was the strong pulse pulling her forward? She allowed her eyes to glance out across the loch, now almost obliterated by the darkened storm that raged all around her.

“Miss.” She heard a voice from behind her as the power continued to drag her into the loch.

“Miss!” A hand gripped her arm, yanking her back toward the dry shore. “Miss!” The hands tightened their hold as she tried to pull away, tried to return to the loch. A scream pierced the air. She didn’t know where the scream originated. It sounded like it came from across the water.

It also sounded like it came from deep within herself.

Another scream and everything went black

The Author

Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at:

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Who are some of your favorite authors?
Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, Sharon Kay Penman, Susan Vreeland, Diana Raab, Anne Perry, David Rosenfelt, Carla Neggers,

Who are some authors in your genre that inspire you?
Sharon Kay Penman, Susan Vreeland, Diana Raab

What are some great books you’ve read recently?
Ernesto H. Lee “Out of Time”, Barry L. Hughes “The Quakkies”, Hannah Ross “Wild Children”, Rachel Caine “Ink and Bone”

What types of books do you enjoy in your downtime?
Mystery and some fantasy.

What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
Several books and stories are in the works. I also just released a Middle Grade fantasy novel, “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” (TellTale Publishing), which is part of a series. It’s based on my childhood memories, dreams and fantasies growing up in a haunted house. As I mentioned earlier, “King Henry’s Choice”, the sequel to “Queen Mary’s Daughter” is also in the works. I like to have several projects on the go so I don’t tire and grow stale writing about one topic, one plot, one set of characters. I like to think this process enriches my writing.

I’m always working on something, new and old. Check out my website for updates:

What are the upsides and downsides to being an author?
Upsides – I get to create my own characters and get rid of the ones I don’t like.
Downsides – Like all writers, I have to spend a lot of time editing, rewriting and promoting. All very time consuming. I’d rather just write.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
I like to start my day with a good dose of writing. I call this my practice. Just like musicians have to practice their instruments, writers also have to practice their writing. Once this practice is done, my day is off to a good start. I launch into one of my novels and write as much as the mood inspires me. Then I take my dog for a walk. We discuss story ideas (yes, I do talk to my dog). I come back from the walk, work on some other creative projects (I also paint, compose, and do needleart). Then I return to my writing about mid-day and plow through some work that have deadlines. Since I also write book reviews, I view this as part of my writing process/routine. I read and write reviews in the afternoon before returning to my larger projects: my novels.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
No. I believe in determination. If my ideas aren’t flowing with one writing project, I work on another writing project or I do some writing exercises to hone my skills. Writer’s block is an excuse. I neither need nor want an excuse not to write. I just do it. Every day.

Out of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite?
My favorite is “To Be A Duke” which is my dog’s story.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
20 published books, 3 contracted and waiting publication, 3 in the works

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Lots. Online. Books. I read a lot of books: history, biography, fiction. I also use the internet. Who wouldn’t in this day and age. It’s quick, easily accessible and more current. But one has to be careful what sites to believe. There’s a lot of garbage and falsehoods on the internet, along with all the good stuff. It is all interesting. I think the clincher was the footnote that suggested that Queen Mary’s dead twin babies were never found. I somehow knew I could weave a story around the missing twins. So, the historical part of my novel required research to confirm facts. The fantasy that developed the alternate timeline was woven out of my vivid imagination.

The Giveaway

Emily-Jane Hills Orford will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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