September 5, 2014

Maid of Deception Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Maid of Deception blog tour! Today I have a guest post written by the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway!

Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor #2)
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Elizabethan glamour and intrigue abound in this heart­pounding follow­up to MAID OF SECRETS, which Kirkus Reviews called “lively and fast­paced” with “plenty of action and plot twists.”

Love may be the most dangerous weapon of all. 

Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s secret protectors. Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men’s hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen’s court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court. 

Beatrice’s new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion...and her heart. Caught in a web of ever­more­twisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she’s known all along: in a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.

Also in the Maids of Honor series: MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan!
Queen Elizabeth’s Top Ten Biggest Pet Peeves 

Stephanie, hello! I decided to take your Top Ten theme and run with it, as Queen Elizabeth will be the first to let her opinions be known. Thank you so much for hosting me today, and for giving the Queen her chance to get a few things off her chest!

Elizabeth Regnant, Gloriana most high… take it away! Your Top Ten Biggest Pet Peeves are…

1. Usurpers to the throne 

This goes without saying. Though many might whisper otherwise, let no one dare speak it aloud. It is my God-given right to rule my kingdom, and I defy any and all who would wrest me from my throne. Even as enlightened as I am, in the end, the only good pretender to the throne is. . . well . . .

2. Vegetables

Nasty things. They have no business being on my plate or in my kitchens. Feed them to the servants and their livestock, or to other courtiers if you must. But do not beggar my fine table with such plants.

3. Uppity women

The true mark of the enlightened woman is that she acts with grace and discernment, knowledge, foresight and discretion. And also, that she remain humble and gentle in all her ways, not seeking to lift herself above her station by guile or overt act. I’m looking at you, Beatrice.

4. Meddling advisors

Though I entrust my counselors with my life, I do not entrust them with always knowing that indeed I do need to know everything, at all times. And indeed I do need to make my own decisions, at all times. They mean well, my advisors, but they are still men.

5. Those who do not dance

The day of a monarch is long and difficult, fraught with concerns of state and matters of the mind. A brisk walk or a bracing ride—these are absolute requirements to keep one’s senses keen. But an even better form of exercise, I find, is to dance with vigor and enthusiasm. To dance is to engage the heart and mind, the feet and hands, the eyes and ears. And if you do not dance, good sir, you are no friend of mine.

6. The Pope, or any Catholic priest who does not know his place

My soul belongs to God, and my strength and spirit and intelligence belong to England. I have no more to give to soothe the ruffled feathers of the men of the cloth. After all: It is well known that you can buy your way into the clergy, but you cannot buy your way into royalty. It is wise to respect that truth.

7. John Knox, or any Protestant clergyman who does not know his place

I am a tolerant Queen, and I have done much to mend the wounds created by my sister against Protestant believers during her reign. But even I will not suffer barbed attacks from those same Protestants who would say that I do not know how to rule both justly and soundly, and that my decisions are aught but the very best for England. To you, John Knox, with your despicable Pamphlet, I say: constrain your attention to the pour souls of your flock, and leave my soul and my reign to He who put me here.

8. Fickle Men

If you do protest your love for me, then do so with honor! In other words, remain true! I am the Queen of all of England, yes—the country is my consort. But I am a woman, too. Do not play the game with me, those of you would pay me court and gaze into mine eyes, or speak words of soft affection. Do not pretend to love me while secretly pining for some lesser woman of the court. For if you find you cannot give me your whole heart . . . you may find I cut yours out.

9. Inconstant Women

As Queen, it is my right to be attended by women stout of heart and stern of virtue. I have no patience for any of my household who might slip into a flirtation or—far worse—dare to fall in love where I have decreed no love to be. Women of my court must be ever-vigilant, for men are ever sly. I am truly glad of heart that my closest women dare not fall in love ever, without my prior approval. It is only the way it should be.

10. Those who dare to doubt the power of a woman

I see this in the eyes, and feel it in the hearts, of even those who say they follow me, who give to me their oaths of fealty. I hear it in the whispering beards of Parliament, who bemoan the fact that I will not take a king to my bed and to my throne. I see it even in my closest friends and colleagues, who would wish the burden of rule to be lessened upon my shoulders, that it might not wear me down. I see it and I defy it. For I am Gloriana, ruler of all England. And as long as I draw breath, I shall make this land the greatest in all of Europe. And here are my own words, which shall echo down through the ages: "Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak, you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind."

Thank you again, Stephanie!

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your spin on a Top Ten List with us! I loved reading what Queen Elizabeth's pet peeves would've been!

Jennifer McGowan was born in Ohio, grew up in Montana, and studied in Paris. She fell in love with the Elizabethan era as a college student and is now an unrepentant scholar of that period, happily splitting her time between the past and present. An RWA Golden Heart Award winner and multiple finalist, Jenn is the author of the Maids of Honor series, which currently includes Maid of Secrets (2013), the novella A Thief Before Christmas, and the forthcoming novel Maid of Deception (2014). She lives and writes in Ohio, and you can connect with her online at, find her on twitter via @Jenn_McGowan, or visit her Facebook page at

Want to get to know Jennifer better? Check out this exclusive interview!

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Giveaway: $25 Gift Card Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) and a Grand Prize “Queen for a Day” Spa Kit!

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  1. Steph, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog! Some of your listed books here are at the top of my TBR stack!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. You're so welcome!! Come back any time you want! :)