Thursday, 4 May 2023

The next step on Amy Maroney's Coffee Pot Book Club Book Tour: The Queen's Scribe

Book Title: The Queen’s Scribe

Series: Sea and Stone Chronicles

Author: Amy Maroney

Publication Date: April 25, 2023

Publisher: Artelan Press

Page Length: 388

Genre: Historical fiction

Tour Schedule Page: 

The Queen’s Scribe

Amy Maroney

A broken promise. A bitter conflict. And a woman’s elusive chance to love or die.

 1458. Young Frenchwoman Estelle de Montavon sails to Cyprus imagining a bright future as tutor to a princess. Instead, she is betrayed by those she loves most—and forced into a dangerous new world of scheming courtiers, vicious power struggles, and the terrifying threat of war.

 Determined to flee, Estelle enlists the help of an attractive and mysterious falconer. But on the eve of her escape, fortune’s wheel turns again. She gains entry to Queen Charlotta’s inner circle as a trusted scribe and interpreter, fighting her way to dizzying heights of influence. 

 Enemies old and new rise from the shadows as Estelle navigates a royal game of cat and mouse between the queen and her powerful half-brother, who wants the throne for himself.

 When war comes to the island, Estelle faces a brutal reckoning for her loyalty to the queen. Will the impossible choice looming ahead be her doom—or her salvation?

 With this richly-told story of courage, loyalty, and the sustaining power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life. The Queen’s Scribe is a stand-alone novel in the Sea and Stone Chronicles collection.

Praise for the Sea and Stone Chronicles:

“Island of Gold is a nimbly told story with impeccable pacing.” —Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice Review

“Sea of Shadows is stunning. A compelling tale of love, honor, and conviction.”—Reader’s Favorite Review

 Amy Maroney is the author of the award-winning Miramonde Series, the story of a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern day scholar on her trail.

This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

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A Forgotten Queen: Uncovering the Extraordinary Life of Charlotta of Cyprus

My new novel, The Queen’s Scribe, features Queen Charlotta of Cyprus, a fifteenth century monarch with an astonishing story of personal ambition, courage, and dedication to her kingdom. But what exactly was her kingdom? How did it come to be? And why did it vanish just a few centuries after it began?

The Lusignan Court of Cyprus got its start in the early middle ages, when the island was under the control of the Eastern Roman Empire. In the 7th century, Arab forces began invading Cyprus, triggering a period of instability and violence. In 965, the Byzantines “reconquered” Cyprus for Christendom. In 1195, Richard the Lionheart seized control of the island. He sold Cyprus to the Knights Templar, who then sold it to Guy de Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem. 

Guy de Lusignan established the Kingdom of Cyprus and brought the Latin world’s Catholicism to the island, endowing it with supremacy over the Greek Orthodox church. Lusignan Kings would reign over Cyprus until 1489, and the tension between Latin and Greek culture was a hallmark of the dynasty’s rule.


The Lusignans decreed that French was now the official language of Cyprus, taking precedence over Greek. A new noble class made up primarily of French people (known locally as Franks or Latins) took over. They forced commoners to become their serfs and persecuted Cypriots for their adherence to traditional beliefs and rituals.

With its prime location in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus was a very important point of trade; it was also a key stopover point for European pilgrims venturing to the Holy Land. Its main port city of Famagusta attracted merchants from all over Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The evolution of language in Cyprus during this time fascinated me during my research. Though French became the language of high administration, Greek remained the language of everyday life. In port towns, people communicated in French, Arabic, and Italian. Over the years, all of these languages converged.

The fourteenth-century historian and scribe Makhairas of Cyprus complained that under the Lusignans, “we (Cypriots) write both French and Greek in such a way that no one in the world can say what our language is.” In fact, the French spoken in Cyprus was so distorted that native French speakers visiting from Europe could not understand it. This fact underpins the plot of The Queen’s Scribe, which features a fictional French heroine whose skills as a scribe and interpreter become essential to Queen Charlotta.


As difficult as life was for Cypriots under Frankish rule, the elites enjoyed outrageous levels of privilege, wealth, and leisure. Cyprus was famous for its production of luxury fabrics such as camlet (a blend of silk and wool), cloth-of-gold, and embroidered silks. In my research, I saw records of purchase for such goods by Western European nobles and royalty. Local artisans made intricate artificial birds of metal, and goldsmiths produced fine jewelry for export all over Europe.

The Kings of Lusignan and their courtiers were obsessed with falconry and hunting. The German traveler Ludolf von Suchen visited Cyprus in the mid-fourteenth century and observed nobles playing in tournaments, jousting, and hunting daily. He wrote that wild rams were hunted and caught with “leopards” (these were likely cheetahs) during mountain hunting expeditions that could last up to a month. He described a nobleman who owned more than 500 hounds; 250 servants were in charge of the animals. King Jacques I of Cyprus reportedly owned 300 falcons and 24 “leopards” (again, probably cheetahs), some of which he took hunting on a daily basis.

 All of this was a drain on the royal coffers, as were the increasing attacks on Cyprus by Venetians, Genoese, Turks, and Egyptians. By 1458, when the fifteen-year-old, widowed Queen Charlotta ascended the throne, the Lusignan dynasty was weakened by war, debt, corruption, and betrayal. 


Though she faced these complications with tremendous ambition and courage, the queen’s greatest test came from her power-hungry half-brother, Jacco. In his quest for the crown, he launched a civil war against Charlotta, further hobbling the Cypriot court. When Queen Charlotta’s second husband Louis of Savoy proved a dismal leader, she left him in a seaside fortress and sailed around the Mediterranean begging allies to help save her kingdom. Her tenacity and courage earned respect and attention from some of Europe’s most powerful leaders, but in the end, she could not protect her crown. 

Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. 

Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an Amazon-bestselling historical mystery trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy’s award-winning historical adventure/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus. 

An enthusiastic advocate for independent publishing, Amy is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Historical Novel Society.

Website:    Twitter: Facebook:  LinkedIn: Instagram:  Pinterest: Book Bub:  Amazon Author Page:  Goodreads: 


  1. Thank you for hosting Amy Maroney today. Such a fascinating post.

    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Judith! I'm so grateful for your kind support of my book launch.