I was honoured to be asked to be part of the blog tour for A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover, part three of the Herzberg Trilogy.
Two powerful 19th-century English and Prussian families are still riven by the consequences of an ancestral marriage – one that bequeathed venomous division, rivalry and hatred. Three beautiful women – each ambitious and musically gifted – seek to break these inherited shackles of betrayal, revenge and cruelty in their pursuit of sexual freedom and love. But the past proves a formidable and vicious opponent. Set against the backdrop of Europe’s inexorable slide towards the First World War, the final resolution of this ancient and destructive quarrel hangs by a thread and with it the fate of an 18th-century music book full of secrets. The last volume in the thrilling Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons finally solves the intriguing mystery at the heart of the series – in a definitive and surprising way. Amazon
Edward Glover kindly agreed to select an extract from his book to share with you all to celebrate the publication of A Motif of Seasons on 18 November 2016.
Extract for A Motif of Seasons Blog Tour
Across St James’s Park, Charles Hardinge sipped a whisky, perusing the closing arguments in favour of the defendant in the morning. His beloved Victoria laid asleep, her sheets of music fallen from the bed and scattered on the floor. He gathered them up, stroked her still auburn hair loosely tied back with deep blue ribbon. He softly kissed her cheek. She smiled at his touch.
Along the corridor Alice looked into the mirror as she watched her hair – released from its pins – cascade in gentle waves on to her delicate shoulders. She saw Nicolas watching her from the bed in expectation. Her life as a small child in Whitechapel had hung by a thread. Now she was woven through divine fate into a rich family tapestry where the struggle for fame and prestige was passionate in a world of legendary rivalries amongst the acclaimed of the musical world. Her visit to the East End two days before had been an unforgettable reminder that she should constantly strive to retain her husband’s love and loyalty, never to take them for granted; and also a reminder that a close companion in her life would forever be the fear of her existence once again hanging by a single strand. She had resolved as they returned from the Palace hand in hand that she would now play the part of Scheherazade to the King her husband to be sure he never relinquished her.
She stood to face him, letting slip her crimson shawl held against her breasts to reveal her slender alabaster body just as a butterfly silently sheds its silken chrysalis to reveal the beauty of its unfolding wings. With a bewitching smile Nicolas had not seen before she beckoned him. Entwined in each other’s arms, they stood pressed together – skin against skin – barely breathing. Then they lay together warmed and illuminated by the flickering fire. He slipped easily into her, her arms pulling him in ever deeper. Alice had become the magical Princess enticing her King with the promise of more. Their love she resolved would be enduring.
Extract from A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover out 18th November. Available to order here
The Man behind the Book
Edward was born in London in 1943. After gaining a history degree followed by an MPhil at Birkbeck College, London University, he embarked on a career in the British diplomatic service, during which his overseas postings included Washington DC, Berlin, Brussels and the Caribbean. He subsequently advised on foreign ministry reform in post-invasion Iraq, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. More recently, for seven years he headed a one-million-acre rainforest-conservation project in South America, on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Guyana Government.
With an interest in 16th- and 18th-century history, baroque music and 18th-century art, Edward was encouraged by the purchase of two paintings and a passport to try his hand at writing historical fiction. His first title The Music Book is a story of intrigue, betrayal, revenge, death and redemption, set in 18th-century Europe.
Edward and his wife, former Foreign & Commonwealth Office lawyer and leading international human rights adviser Dame Audrey Glover, now live in Norfolk, a place that gives him further inspiration for his writing. Edward sits on the board of trustees for Size of Wales and is a director of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Association, an associate fellow of the University of Warwick’s Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies and a board member of The King’s Lynn Preservation Trust.
When he isn’t writing, Edward is an avid tennis player and – at the age of 71 – completed the 2014 London Marathon, raising almost £7,000 for Ambitious about Autism.