The Castles That Inspired Tudor Times/Lunewood Castle
In writing Holding Court, I knew I wanted my heroine, Jules, to have a job with an unusual setting and I eventually hit upon the idea of a castle-turned-dinner theater called Tudor Times. In designing Lunewood Castle/Tudor Times, I took inspiration from a number of places.
As an undergraduate student I had the opportunity to do an internship in textile conservation at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. It’s a 165-room “country estate” designed by architect Julia Morgan to showcase the various treasures—architectural fragments, medieval tapestries, Renaissance furniture, nineteenth-century sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, textiles and more—in William Randolph Hearst’s museum-worthy private collection. It’s a gorgeous place and, without being too spoilery, there’s a specific feature in Lunewood Castle that owes a great deal to Hearst Castle’s Roman Pool.
Castello di Amorosa
I knew I wanted to set my castle in a fictional town in Northern California and was amazed to discover that someone had recently completed construction on a 13th century-inspired Tuscan castle in the perfect location. Castello di Amorosa is a winery built by vintner Dario Sattui near Calistoga, California. The setting is perfect, and the Castello even hosts a Tudor Times-like event, the Midsummer Medieval Festival. The castle boasts 107 rooms on eight levels including an enormous Great Hall, and a dungeon complete with an iron maiden.
The history of Lunewood Castle (as well as the name) was inspired by Thornewood Castle, an English Tudor/Gothic castle built in Lakewood, Washington. Chester Thorne had an Elizabethan manor house shipped over from England brick by brick to use in the construction of his private castle, a gift to his bride. The castle has served as the setting for several films, and starred as the haunted mansion in Stephen King’s ABC mini-series Rose Red. Thornewood also offers bed and breakfast suites, so someday I hope to check the place out in person!
And last but not least, Tudor Times owes a debt to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, which features medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting in a replica 11th-century castle where guests enjoy a four-course meal while watching the festivities. Although Hank Bacon, Tudor superfan and the current owner of Lunewood Castle, would probably hate the comparison, as Tudor Times strives to be historically accurate, as well as entertaining.
About Holding Court
Title: Holding Court
Author: K.C. Held
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen
Publication date: March 1st 2016
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Length: 352 Pages
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what's in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times.
Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty--and completely unavailable--Grayson Chandler. Except that it's not quite what she imagined.
For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there's the dead body she finds that just kind of...well, disappears.
Oh, and there's the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome"--spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.
The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson's attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson's interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it's starting to look suspicious...
One (1) winner will receive Holding Court swag pack containing a magnetic prophecy kit, signed bookplate, coloring postcard with stacked coloring pencil, and a bookmark. Contest ends March 18, 2016
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