book 5

Following her perilous fall from a throne she’d scarcely owned to begin with, Mary, Queen of Scots, has fled to England, hoping her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, will grant her asylum. But now Mary has her sights on the English crown, and Elizabeth enlists her most trusted subjects to protect it.

Justine Thornleigh is delighting in the thrill of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to her family’s estate when the festivities are cut short by Mary’s arrival. To Justine’s surprise, the Thornleighs appoint her to serve as a spy in Mary’s court. But bearing the guise of a lady-in-waiting is not Justine’s only secret. The weight of her task is doubled by fears of revealing to her fiancé that she is in truth the daughter of his family’s greatest enemy.

Duty-bound, Justine must sacrifice love as she navigates a deadly labyrinth of betrayal that could lead to the end of Elizabeth’s fledgling reign…

Praise for 

A middle-class English family's rise through three tumultuous Tudor reigns during which they make hard choices about loyalty, allegiance, duty, family and love.

"A complex and fast-paced plot mixing history with vibrant characters"  Publishers Weekly on The King's Daughter

"Riveting...adventurous...superb!" Historical Novels Review "Editor's Choice" on The Queen's Gamble

"Meticulous research...perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory" lovereading.co.uk on The Queen's Lady

"An all-action thriller bringing to life the passion and perils of the Tudor period" Lancashire Evening Post on The King's Daughter

Barbara is the author of the Tudor-era novels The Queen’s Gamble, The Queen’s Captive, The King’s Daughter and The Queen’s Lady, all published internationally. Barbara previously won acclaim for her contemporary novels under pen name ‘Stephen Kyle’ including Beyond Recall, a Literary Guild Selection. Over 400,000 copies of her books have sold. Her latest contemporary novel of suspense, Entrapped, written under her own name, is available as an e-book. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S. She lives in Ontario with her husband, where they enjoy sailing their Cal-46 ketch on beautiful Georgian Bay, Lake Huron.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
ELIZABETH: Anytime the people of my realm feature as heroes. Frenchmen and Spaniards - bah, they have none of the bold enterprise of Englishmen. I do confess that I am partial to any story about that lovable rogue, my friend Adam Thornleigh.  

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
MARY: Oh, poetry! I get lost in the romance of it! Pardonnez-moi, the name of the book escapes me, but it was French. I was raised in the French court, you know, with the French royal family. I never did warm to the barbaric language of the Scots. Nothing compares with the elegance of French poetry!

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
ELIZABETH: Any used by my clever subject William Shakespeare. I do rather like "thou goddess."

ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
MARY: Young William Douglas helped me escape my Scottish prison, a tower on an island in Loch Leven. He was in love with me - so many men are, you know - and he stole the keys from the laird and rowed me across the lake to my waiting loyal noblemen.

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
ELIZABETH: The words of any bold, privateering seadog saying, "Your Majesty, I bring you spoils in gold, silver, and gems."

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
MARY: Oh, who has time for reading? I much prefer to dance! Though I do love having some handsome fellow read French poetry to me.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
ELIZABETH: My father, Henry VIII. He beheaded my mother, Anne Boleyn, when I was three. Hard to grow up with that image of your parents' marriage. After executing her he also disinherited me. Still, I have a grudging admiration for the old bear. He always acted like a king.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
MARY: My cousin Elizabeth. When I fled my enemies in Scotland I sought sanctuary in her realm, and what did she do? Kept me under house arrest for nineteen years! We share Tudor blood, and I'll give her this: she lives up to her Tudor name.

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
ELIZABETH: Sweets. I adore marchpane, a kind of marzipan that my chefs do marvelous things with, and I also adore comfits, delectable candied fruits. I'm afraid my teeth are turning rather black from so many sweets. Still, if a queen cannot indulge, who can?

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
MARY: People say I am somewhat vain. But really, when one hears oneself described as "the most beautiful woman in Europe" (by the Venetian ambassador, no less) one does perhaps have cause.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: While researching or writing BLOOD BETWEEN QUEENS, did you find that you liked Elizabeth or Mary the best?  
BARBARA'S GOTTA ANSWER: I pity Mary. She was raised in France to be a pampered, passive royal wife and was out of her depth in the shark-infested world of Anglo-Scottish politics. Her passionate, impulsive nature led her make disastrous leadership decisions during her brief reign by which she lost her kingdom, twice. Elizabeth was made of sterner stuff. She took her job as monarch very seriously and ruled for forty-three years. She never married, a decision that caused her some personal anguish; she often said her people were her family. If four decades of peace, prosperity, world exploration and an unprecedented flowering of literature are marks of a successful reign, Elizabeth can still be called England's greatest ruler.

Contact  Website   Facebook   Twitter @BKyleAuthor
   Goodreads   Previous GLIAS interviews


The Thornleigh Saga Book 1


The Thornleigh Saga Book 2

The Thornleigh Saga Book 3


The Thornleigh Saga Book 4


JOIN BARBARA on her blog tour as she continues chatting about the BLOOD BETWEEN QUEENS.

DON'T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join us tomorrow when Alexa hosts Kate Meader. I’ll be back next week with the fabulous Tawny Weber. Remember to check back daily to GET LOST in your favorite stories! ~Angi

I've found that people have strong opinions about the famous rivalry between Elizabeth I of England and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, so I'd love to hear readers' answers to this question: Which queen do you root for?


  1. My vote always go for Elizabeth I. I kind of feel that Mary, Queen of Scots was rather foolish.

    1. Mary, I think you have a point about Mary, Queen of Scots. Whether foolish or just ruled by her passions, she often acted with little forethought. Unlike the careful, crafty Elizabeth!

  2. That's a tough one. I feel bad for both of them in a way... It was a violent time period...

    1. So true, May. It's hard to pass judgement on people who lived with the constant knowledge that death could be around the corner.

  3. Good Morning Barbara. Your books are always so interesting. Loved the interview!

    And I have to admit, even though I know the outcome, I always catch myself cheering for Mary Queen of Scots.

    1. Angi, thanks for this! So glad you enjoyed the "interview" with Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. And it's good to hear that someone is rooting for Mary!

  4. Depends on the book I'm reading.

  5. I was a committed supporter of Elizabeth until I began researching the relationship preparatory to a "true crime" I anticipated writing based on my experience with homicides. I thought I could prove Marie Stuart's complicity in her second husband's bizarre murder. After four years as a member of the MarieStuart society, a library of research, and four historical novels published and two more in progress,I am a Marian. She was not perfect, but she was neither silly, superficial nor irrelevant.

  6. any true serious pursuit of the events during Marie's lifetime and her demise must consider that she was neither silly nor foolish. She was a woman who had all the cards stacked against her, as the true plotters were Cecil and Elizabeth, who where key players in many of the events that befell Mary. There is much evidence of Elizabeth and her agents having a hand in Darnley's murder, the famous casket
    letters that were forged, and her final entrapment by the Babington plot. Elizabeth was a woman who knew what was necessary to ensure success, and had loyal servants to achieve those goals. I too am a member of the MarieStuart society, and have had a exposure to many more of the facts and details than most people strive to explore.
    Jan Abraham