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âTo Serve a Kingâ (Kensington Publishing), the third novel by Rhode Island and North Kingstown native Donna Russo Morin, was released on Feb. 1. Historical novelist Russo Morin's first book, âThe Courtier's Secretâ (Kensington, Feb. 2009) was a finalist in this past year's prestigious National Readers' Choice Award and took first place in the Best First Book category of the RWI-RWA contest. Her second novel, âThe Secret of the Glassâ (Kensington, March 2010), was chosen as an Outstanding Pick for 2010 by Book Illuminations.
In âTo Serve a Kingâ, a young woman is caught in the rivalry between two powerful kings-FranĂ§ois I of France and Henry VIII of England-creating a story that teems with compelling drama and vibrant details.
From her earliest days, GeneviĂ¨ve Gravois has known one fact above all: FranĂ§ois I, King of France, is her enemy. Raised by her embittered aunt after her parents' death, GeneviĂ¨ve has been schooled in things no woman should know: how to decipher codes, how to use a dagger and a bow. and how to kill. For Henry VIII has a destiny in mind for the young girl-as his most power and dangerous spy.
When the time is ripe, GeneviĂ¨ve enters the magnificent French court. With grace to match her ambition, she becomes maid of honor to Anne de Pisseleau, King FranĂ§ois's mistress. Yet neither the court-which teems with artistry and enlightenment as well as intrigue-nor FranĂ§ois himself are at all what GeneviĂ¨ve expected. And with her mission, her life, and the fate of two kingdoms at stake, she will be forced to make deadly decisions about where her heart and her ultimate loyalties lie.
Publishers Weekly stated that, "Morin has created a wonderful heroine and painted a brilliant portrait of a neglected court."
A major launch event for âTo Serve a Kingâ is scheduled for Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, Bald Hill Rd. in Warwick, RI. Activities will include a signing, a question and answer author segment, and performances by a "Renaissance" singer (Russo Morin's son Devon, an opera student at URI and a member of the prestigious Tanglewood Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be performing short period pieces while dressed in period costume).
Donna Russo Morin is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and is a member of the Author's Guild of America, Historical Novel Society, and RWA. Currently at work on her fourth novel, The King's Agent (Kensington 2012), Donna lives with her sons in Saunderstown.