The Bridled Tongue
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Alyce Bradley has few choices when her father decides it is time she marry as many refuse to see her as other than the girl she once was—unruly, outspoken and close to her grandmother, a woman suspected of witchcraft.
Thomas Granville, an ambitious privateer, inspires fierce loyalty in those close to him and hatred in those he has crossed. Beyond a large dowry, he is seeking a virtuous and dutiful wife. Neither he nor Alyce expect more from marriage than mutual courtesy and respect.
As the King of Spain launches his great armada and England braces for invasion, Alyce must confront closer dangers from both her own and Thomas’s past, threats that could not only destroy her hopes of love and happiness but her life. And Thomas is powerless to help.
‘You sound reluctant.’
‘Nay,’ Alyce said, calmer now, ‘but I detest putting myself on display for others to whisper at.’
They continued on their way around the market.
‘What do you think these others are whispering?’ Thomas asked.
Alyce did not answer.
‘Have you thought you might be the object of some envy too?’
‘Envy,’ she laughed. ‘You do consider yourself highly.’
‘My sister makes the same accusation.’ He stopped at a booth and picked up a length of scarlet ribbon embroidered with silver thread. ‘What do you think of this?’
Alyce brushed her fingers against it. ‘It is pretty. Isabel bought a length earlier.’
He dropped the ribbon. ‘I care little for whisperings and empty prattle. You should do the same. Treat the prattlers with contempt.’
‘But such whisperings can destroy lives.’ She thought of her grandmother’s friend, Bridget, and her jerking dance upon the scaffold.
‘Only the lives of the powerless. I am neither powerless nor friendless, and with me neither will you be.’
Alyce’s heart lurched—if only that were true.
You can read the first chapter here or go to Amazon and
The beautiful cover for the novel was designed by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Fiction Book Covers.