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The Initiation of Lady de Winter

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)

How did a nice lady like Ann Audley become Lady de Winter, palace spy and arch-villainess of The Three Musketeers? Was she always a dangerous woman? Where did she come from and what is her story? The year is 1623. Europe quakes with dangerous ideas emerging from the halls of science and an unending holy war directed from the citadels of power. Lady Ann avoids political intrigue by living with her husband and toddler in the English countryside. But when a Vatican agent arrives on her doorstep and calls her into service Ann’s life is forever transformed. Ann and her husband Harald, Duke of Southampton, are drawn into a scheme to negotiate a marriage contract between England’s Prince Charles, a Protestant, and the Spanish Infanta, a member of the most powerful royal family in Europe, staunch Roman Catholics all. When the Crown Prince arrives in Madrid for the marriage negotiations, the Vatican agent presses him to embrace Catholicism, but Charles resists. As he woos Princess Maria, Ann realizes the Vatican agent has given up hope of converting the Prince and is instead twisting a sinister plot into motion. She must thwart his scheme before the Prince steps into a lethal trap. The Initiation of Lady d’ Winter allows readers a second look at this unapologetic woman who, in a world ruled by patriarchy, dared to be as strong as a man.