Hello lovelies! I’ve got two posts for you today….First up, I’m delighted to be closing the blog tour with an extract of Katharina Fortitude by Margaret Skea; but first here’s all you need to know about the book.  Enjoy!

about katharina fortitude

‘We are none of us perfect, and a streak of stubbornness is what is needed in dealing with a household such as yours, Kat… and with Martin.’

Wittenberg 1525. The unexpected marriage of Martin Luther to Katharina von Bora has no fairytale ending.

A sign of apostasy to their enemies, and a source of consternation to their friends, it sends shock waves throughout Europe.

Yet as they face persecution, poverty, war, plague and family tragedy, Katharina’s resilience and strength of character shines through.

While this book can be read as a standalone, it is also the powerful conclusion to her story, begun in Katharina: Deliverance.

Authentic, immersive and packed with drama.

Published by: Sanderling; Illustrated edition (24 July 2019)

Formats available: Paperback & eBook.  Available on Kindle Unlimited

Purchase links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

extract

The first students are not long in coming, and whether it is my determination to offer good value, the price I place on board and lodging modest, or the lure of the opportunity to sit at table with the good Dr Luther himself that proves irresistible, the rooms are taken as quickly as I can I make them ready. Martin is in his element, his conversation at dinner an extension of his teaching, so that it isn’t long before some are spending more time scribbling away in the margins of his pamphlets than in eating.

In the privacy of our chamber I express my concern. ‘It won’t do, Martin.’

He turns, one stocking rolled down to his ankle. ‘What won’t do?’

‘All this talk while the students should be eating. They are paying to be fed in stomach as well as mind. I do not wish them to return home half-starved. It would reflect ill on us both.’

‘What can I do? They ask questions. I cannot refuse to answer them.’

‘We must set rules.’

‘We?’ There is a note of surprise in his voice.

‘We,’ I repeat firmly, and then to sweeten the pill, ‘They will, of course, be presented as your rules, and, as such, will be accepted.’

He straightens his shoulders, and I see I may have a fight on my hands, but it is one I am minded to win. Barbara’s voice rings in my head, He needs a wife, Katharina, and not some pretty little thing who would be all Yes, Martin, and No, Martin, and Anything you say, Martin. He needs someone who wouldn’t be afraid to challenge him if she thought him wrong, nor to shrivel if he reacted badly to the censure. It has already proved valuable advice in relation to small things, but this is the first major issue. I touch his arm. ‘It is not only the students who will benefit, but you also. We teach children not to eat and talk at the same time for a good reason, and it isn’t just to avoid seeing the half-chewed food in their mouths. Your digestion will benefit from the chance to work without competition from your tongue. And your health be improved as a result.’

‘What do you suggest?’

He is halfway to capitulating, so I press on. ‘Institute a time for discussion after supper.’

He is clearly considering, but remains silent.

Another idea pops into my head, one so appealing I think he cannot fail to approve it. ‘If it is afterwards, others, who don’t board here, will be able to join in. Like the discussions you used to have at the Cranachs’, only on a larger scale.’

‘I must have a name for it.’ His enthusiasm is building and I smother my smile, for if he can be brought to thinking it his own idea, it will ensure a speedy implementation.

He stretches out on the bed, his hands linked behind his head, pronounces, ‘I shall call it “Table Talk”.’

about the author

Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders. Awarded the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014 and Historical Fiction Winner in the Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition for her debut novel Turn of the Tide, the sequel A House Divided was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016. The third book in the series, By Sword and Storm, is due for publication in July 2018. Katharina: Deliverance is the first of two novels based on the life of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who married Martin Luther. She is passionate about well-researched, authentic historical fiction and providing a ‘you are there’ experience for the reader. An Hawthornden Fellow and award-winning short story writer – recent wins include, Neil Gunn, Chrysalis Prize, and Winchester Short Story Prize. Placings and listings include Rubery Short Story, Historical Novel Society Short Story, Mslexia, Fish – Short Story and One Page Prize and the Matthew Pritchard Award. She has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.

follow the tour

Thanks to the ladies at Love Books Tours for inviting me on to the tour, and to Margaret for sharing an extract with us.

If you read this, I’d love to know what you think so give me a shout!

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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