Tag Archives: Queen Mary

Book Review: The Travelers

In 1947, the luxury liner Queen Mary transmits a routine message which is intercepted by an extraterrestrial intelligence. A dying alien world uses the beacon to transport a mother and her two young children to the ship amid flashing electrical lights and a raging storm. James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his British war bride returning to New York are astounded by the apparition of a woman with her two children who gradually assumes corporeal shapes. Jess is drawn to the pathetic woman and accepts her silent entreaty to take her children. As the woman retreats into fog and disappears, the Bennett’s return to their cabin with their children. Despite the biological math being off a bit, the Bennett’s claim the children as their own and raise them on the family farm.

Sideboard 001Flash forward to the present. Guy Turner, a melancholy black film maker, is tasked with filming a history of the Queen Mary. While the film will be a boost to his career, his personal life has recently fallen into shambles. His girlfriend of many years gave him “the ultimatum.” While he was fine with marriage, the idea of bringing children into the world was intimidating – so much that he allowed the love of his life to leave.

BookWhen Guy interviews James and Jess who are now divorced for his film, he never imagined he would be drawn into their lives and another extraterrestrial visit. When the flashing lights and storms appear and decades-old messages are received signaling another visit, his friend, a government employee he’d shared the couple’s strange story with, demands that he become involved in the new visitation.

The Travelers goes beyond fantasy to portray the life journeys of the characters to the limits of anxiety, despair, grief, and joy. A great read that not only entertains but challenges the reader to put him or herself in the shoes of the characters and perhaps examine his/her own priorities in life.

The Travelers is author Keith Wayne McCoy’s debut novel with Champagne Book Group: Burst. The Travelers was a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Click the cover for buy link.

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Elizabeth in the Tower of London

HolbeinThomasWyattAfter the Wyatt Rebellion in 1554, Princess Elizabeth Tudor was imprisoned in The Bell Tower at The Tower of London by order of her half-sister , Queen Mary I of England. When their father, King Henry VIII, died, he-was succeeded by their Protestant half-brother, Edward, the son of Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour. After Queen Jane’s death, Henry acquired three more wives, but no additional children.
Edward, a staunch Protestant, was nine years old when he became king. He was brilliant but sickly and died from tuberculosis in 1553 when he was only seventeen years old. Although he had named his cousin, Lady Jane Grey as his successor, she reigned for only nine days before Princess Mary Tudor put her aside. She and her husband, Guildford Dudley, were later beheaded for treason.
Queen Mary I, a staunch Catholic in the now Protestant England, was thirty-four when she succeeded to the throne. Her father had divorced her mother to marry his pregnant mistress, Anne Boleyn. She had been declared a bastard, removed from the succession, and forced to play nursemaid to her sister. Her mother had died in relative poverty which she often shared.

When Mary succeeded to the throne, she did so with the support of both Catholic and Protestant supporters. Thomas Wyatt the Younger, the son of one of Anne Boleyn’s accused lovers, rose up in rebellion when it was announced that Mary would marry King Phillip of Spain. Having seen the Inquisition first hand, he wished to spare England. He wrote a letter to Elizabeth pledging his support. When Thomas was captured as he prepared to attack the Queen in London, Elizabeth was suspected of treason and almost lost her head. Wyatt was beheaded and later, hung, drawn and quartered. (Portrait of Thomas the Younger c. 1540 by Holbein)

Tomorrow, Elizabeth’s Fate. Rita Bay

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