Review & Giveaway: The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil


The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: September 13, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 224 Pages
ASIN: B07FLDRY4V

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy


As a eunuch in the Ottoman Imperial Harem, Olin has already lost his home, his freedom, and his manhood. His only wish is for a painless death, until he meets Dark Star, a beautiful odalisque who promises to give him his deepest desire. He refuses to believe her claim to possess a jinni in a bottle. But when Dark Star is accused of witchcraft, Olin rubs the bottle in desperation and discovers she’s told the truth.

Olin becomes the jinni’s master to save Dark Star, but it's not enough. In the complex world of the Topkapi Palace, where silk pillows conceal knives, sherbets contain poison, and jewels buy loyalty, no one is safe. With each wish, Olin must choose between becoming like the masters he detests or risk his life, his body, and his sanity to break the bonds that tie them all.

"Vividly imagined and achingly beautiful, this is the closest you'll get to an Ottoman harem without a time machine." -- Jessica Cale, Editor of Dirty, Sexy History

"Sensual, magical, and meticulously researched, THE JINNI'S LAST WISH is a scrumptious read." --Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris."

"Hauntingly sensual, The Jinni's Last Wish is an erotic fever dream that lingers long after the last page." -- Mia Hopkins, author of Thirsty

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters


My Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Whenever I start a new book I always think back to this GIF...


via GIPHY

and it could not be more apt for The Jinni's Last Wish! Author Zenobia Neil has introduced me to the world of the Ottoman Empire, with eunuchs, women of the Harem, opium eaters, power, deceit, and passion and it rocked my world! I stayed up super late last night finishing it up yet I didn't want it to end.

The Jinni's Last Wish tells the tale of Olin, a eunuch who was captured and enslaved and serves punishment to the Harem women, albeit very reluctantly. You see, Olin has a kind heart and is lamenting the loss of his manhood. When a new slave in the Harem arrives and gives Olin a bottle and tells him there is a Jinni inside, he is unbelieving, until he is desperate and finally rubs the bottle. This is where the read really took off for me. What does Olin wish for? Well, you shall have to pick up the book and find out. Trust me when I say it's captivating!

I highly recommend The Jinni's Last Wish! Zenobia Neil will whisk you away back to the Ottoman Empire and you won't be able to put the book down! If you had a Jinni in a bottle, what would your three wishes be?

About the Author


Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Zenobia spends her free time imagining interesting people and putting them in terrible situations.

She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in an overpriced hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles. Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Wednesday, November 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 15
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Sunday, November 18
Interview at T's Stuff

Monday, November 19
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Wednesday, November 21
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 23
Review at Pass Me That Book

Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, November 29
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, November 30
Feature at Book Nerd

Monday, December 3
Review at Bookfever

Wednesday, December 5
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, December 10
Review & Guest Post The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, December 11
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of The Jinni's Last Wish! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Jinni's Last Wish


2019 Release: The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe


The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe

Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Henry Holt
Hardcover & eBook

Genre: Women's Fiction/Literary

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe returns to the world of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane with a bewitching story of a New England history professor who must race against time to free her family from a curse

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America―especially women’s home recipes and medicines―and by exposing society's threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows.

When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds’-years-long deadly curse.

Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades―and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: November Reviews


Welcome to the November link page for the 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This is the page where you will enter the links to your reviews during the month of November. I look forward to seeing what everyone is reading this month.

How is everyone shaping up with the challenge so far? I'm at 30 books so far. It's been a great year for historicals!

The sign up page for the 2019 HistFic Reading Challenge is up! I hope you will join us next year!

SIGN UP HERE

Links to Previous Months...

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October

Reading Challenge Instructions...

  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)
  • Don't forget to look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books!


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.




Interview with D.L. Rogers + Giveaway


Hello Diane and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to speak with us!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your books?

First, thank you for giving me this opportunity. A transplant from the east coast, Texas and then Connecticut, I now live south of Kansas City on fourteen acres of property with three horses, two indoor cats and a changing number of feral outdoor cats. I’ve raised two of my three horses from colts and trained them to ride. I used to spend a week a year at a place called Cross Country Trail Ride in Eminence, Missouri, where we rode for hours, crossing rivers and just enjoying being in the woods (and on the sides of mountains looking down at the river below!). I don’t ride as much now, though. Recently widowed, I’m not as comfortable hauling them anymore, so I sold the trailer and if I want to ride I do so with my friends on their horses. I’ve loved to read all my life, starting with Nancy Drew. I love to country dance, but in a pinch I’ll dance to dance music from the ’60’s to the ‘90’s. Spending time with my family is very important. As the mother of two and grandmother of five, I enjoy every minute I have with them.

My books are historical fiction, based HEAVILY in fact. I try to convey the feeling of the time period so the reader can immerse themselves in another time and understand what it was like to live back then. What it was to experience war or women’s suffrage or General Order Number 11. I want them to see it, feel it and live it in their minds while learning the history that shaped our nation and enjoying a great read.

Diane doing a presentation at the library in Drexel, MO.
What inspired you to write Crossfire in the Street and Elizabeth’s War?

I belong to the local Civil War Roundtable and I get to hear so much history I never knew about specific to the area I now live in. When I learned Elizabeth McFerrin’s story, and the fact she lived within a two or three mile radius of where I currently live, it was as though she was calling through time, telling me to write her story—a compelling story of destruction and survival during the Civil War. After I finished ELIZABETH’S WAR I decided I was going to write all local stories. My readers love them—and I write for my readers. If it weren’t for my readers I’d have no reason to write.

I’d wanted to do a book about the Battle at Lone Jack for some time, but something else always seemed to come up. When my ten book series was finally finished, it was time. Lone Jack is only fifty miles from my home and I was ready to tell the story of the bloody battle fought across the main street of a small town, under the hot August sun and, literally, between brothers and cousins.

What other research did you undertake when writing the books?

I’ve had to research the majority of all my books. I’m not a history major—I just love history. I grew up on the east coast and when I moved to the Midwest I learned a whole other side to what I’d been taught about the Civil War. I work with people who know the history of the story I’m working on and use their expertise to guide me. I make sure the history I portray is accurate. I search the internet, books, use local experts and anyone or anything I can to get the facts correct.

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

I have to chuckle at this question. Yes, I absolutely did. As I said in the question above I grew up on the east coast, New Jersey to be exact. My mom was from New Jersey, but my dad was from Tennessee, which is why my interest in the Civil War developed. My cousin’s parents were reversed and we coined the moniker of “Yebels” as kids, always wondering if we would have been enemies if we’d lived during the Civil War. All my life I believed I was half Yankee half Rebel because of where my parents were from. When researching THE OLD COOTS: Sam (the eighth book of my ten book WHITE OAKS SERIES), I found out that where my dad’s family came from in Tennessee would NOT have been Rebels during the Civil War. They would have been Yankees! My 81 year old aunt didn’t take that information well at all when I told her.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Crossfire in the Street and Elizabeth’s War?

History is history. It’s not politically correct and it’s not pretty. It happened as it happened and it should be written that way. I hate that our history is being changed and whitewashed or just plain not taught any longer. I 100% believe in the adage that history repeats itself. When history is forgotten, how can it not be repeated? I write my novels so people will enjoy learning the history of our country, both ugly and beautiful through great stories so they’ll want to know more. I want them to go out and dig up information on what happened at the Little Bighorn or Lone Jack or because of General Order No. 11 and find out more for themselves. And in so doing, just maybe, we won’t repeat some of the ugly history we’ve already made.

What is the most difficult scene to write?

The first scene/chapter of any new book is the hardest for me to write. In that scene you have to convey a lot of information, without “telling” it. You have to “show” the reader and draw them in with just enough that they want more. It’s the introduction of characters—characters your reader needs to identify with quickly, to understand what drives them—and keep them reading.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been a book reader my whole life. When I was a little girl I read every Nancy Drew and horse book I could get my hands on. In the fifth grade I sat on my front porch and tried to (hand) write a Nancy Drew-like story, but I made it about two chapters before I realized I didn’t really know how. In my thirties, I tried again, but with two small children, that didn’t go far, either. It was in my forties I got serious about writing and I’ve been doing it ever since. I learned the mechanics of writing, not just throwing words on a page and expecting it to sell. In a nutshell, I LOVE TO WRITE, to create characters and insert them into the history I love. In doing so, I hope to entertain, as well as educate, any and all who read my books. I get very excited when young people want my books in the hope they may learn something they’re not being taught anymore. Young and old alike, I want them to learn our history while enjoying a great story.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

“Getting out there” has been my greatest challenge. Although I’ve sold more than 10,000 books over a twelve or thirteen year period, it’s a pittance in the big picture. However, the readers in my little pond love my books and can’t wait for my new one each year. If my readers love them so much, WHY can’t I break through to the bigger audience? I’ve stood under a tent in the wind, rain, cold, heat and combination of the above to sell my books. I LOVE to speak and will do so for any group that asks me. I come face-to-face with my readers. I know many of them by name and, if not by name, I recognize them when they come to see me. I’ve become friends with many. In my quest to become a well-known author, I’ve gotten to know my readers, which is a wonderful gift, one I wouldn’t ever change. Have I overcome it? I try constantly to rise to the challenge of becoming more than I am right now as a writer, which is why I’m doing this virtual tour. In the HOPE others will see in my books what my current readers have seen and love. And with every new book I try to hone my writing skills more than they were before. A writer can never stop learning and developing his/her craft. If they do, they may as well stop writing, too.

Who are your writing inspirations?

John Jakes was one of the first historical authors I read who made a lasting impression on me. His books drew me in and kept me wanting more, while I learned history I’d never learned before. Terry C. Johnston was another historical/western writer who sucked me in and made me want to write what he wrote—and that’s what I’ve striven to do. Pull the reader in and take them for a great ride before I put THE END.

What was the first historical novel you read?

It would probably have to be John Jakes’ THE BASTARD.

What is the last historical novel you read?

THE RELUCTANT SUITOR by Kathleen Woodiwiss and prior to that, THE ALICE NETWORK by Kate Quinn (a great read).

What are three things people may not know about you?

✸ I work full-time for a law firm in Kansas City and drive just over 100 miles a day round trip, so I only write part-time;
✸ I love to dance; and
✸ I hate to cook. I let my brother do that. He’s my roomy since my husband passed.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

The idea that I can weave my characters through history to create a great fictional story is what appeals most to me. I like to describe my novels like a quilt (I’m not a quilter, so forgive me if I get the terms wrong). The history that has already occurred is the foundation (batting?) and I get to create my characters, put them into squares and weave them into the already-written history to create a great story, based in fact.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I’ll read most anything historical, but love the Civil War most. However, when I haven’t got anything else to read, I’ll read just about anything to keep reading.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

As I mentioned above, I love to dance and still try to at least once a week – when I’m not marketing my books. I used to love to horseback ride, but my writing seems to have gotten in the way of that, too, so I don’t go as much as I used to. I love to spend time with my family and, on weekends after I’ve spent five or six hours writing, I relax in front of the television watching DVR’d shows I didn’t have time to watch during the week, but what I love most are old westerns. John Wayne is my favorite old-time “hero.” A couple of my favorite John Wayne movies are THE SHOOTIST and THE COWBOYS, to name only two. He’s got so many, who can choose?

You spoke about marketing, what do you do to market your books?

Anything I can. As I said, I spend many hours and many weekends under a tent in the sun, rain, wind and combination of all of the above to meet my readers and sell books. But I love the interaction and getting to know my readers. I speak at libraries and book stores, as well as for groups and book clubs. This week I’m having lunch with my #1 Fan (yes, she truly is and has named herself that) and her book club. I’m trying Facebook ads and need to try Google and Amazon ads, as well. My books are all in ebook and print form and available at Amazon and Kindle. ELIZABETH is also available in audio. To find all of them you can go to my website at www.dlrogersbooks.com and there are links to everything you want to find. I’m still working on getting “out there,” but I’m not a quitter and, sooner or later, I will.

What are you working on next?

My latest work-in-progress is called LOU’S STORY: She Adder or Patriot? It’s the story of Lou McCoy, a Missouri woman arrested for not telling Federal soldiers where her husband, a Confederate recruiter, was hiding. The sad thing is that she truly didn’t know where he was. After her arrest she was held in a fine home and treated well, but her husband, incensed by her arrest, wanted revenge. That quest for revenge led to a raid that cost the lives of three Federal soldiers and was Frank James’s first undertaking as one of Quantrill’s bushwhackers. I’m working with local historians on the novel to ensure its accuracy, and enjoying finding out more and more about Lou with each chapter—the “real” Lou, as well as “my” Lou.

Book display at one of my outdoor events (before Crossfire).
Thank you, Diane! This was fascinating! Thank you for spending time with us today. Have a great blog tour!


Elizabeth's War by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Paperback, AudioBook, & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the complete first chapter here.


In a time when raiders, bushwhackers, and Redlegs rode the Cass County, Missouri, countryside bringing fear and destruction with them, Elizabeth Miers and her family barely survived into the next day. When the enemy, in the form of Elizabeth’s neighbors, comes a-calling more than once with mischief on their minds, Elizabeth fights back to keep her children safe against men she once called friends.

On August 25, 1863, following the issuance of General Order No. 11 by Union General Thomas Ewing, thousands of women, children, and the elderly were forced to vacate their homes in the brutal summer heat within fifteen days. With determination and a plan, Elizabeth sets out on a sixty-mile trek toward St. Clair County. Carrying enough prepared food and water on a rickety built sled to reach her aunt and uncle’s farm, she prays her kin are there to welcome them, not knowing whether they lived through the burning of Osceola two years prior—or not.

Facing more than just the lack of food and shelter and the unbearable heat, they’re set upon by raiders and foraging soldiers who try to take more than just their meager provisions. Much more. Left with little after their supplies are stolen and their property destroyed, Elizabeth and her fellow travelers continue south, facing more indignities before their journey is done.

Through Elizabeth and the thousands of other refugees that traveled ahead of and behind her, feel what they felt in the wake of General Order No. 11, an order that took everything and left them destitute and afraid they wouldn’t live to see one more day.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


Crossfire in the Street by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 7, 2018
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the first two chapters here.


The Civil War yielded many bloody battles and the Battle at Lone Jack was among the worst. Fought across a sixty-foot strip of dusty road, brothers fought brothers, neighbors fought neighbors, cousins fought cousins, and the blood of horses and men ran together in the street under the blistering August sun.

The Green family tried to keep from being caught up in the war headed for their doorstep, but their efforts were lost—even before the Yankees came to town.

In their youthful exuberance and ignorance, sixteen and fifteen year old Hank and Jesse sneak into town to watch the battle—and find more trouble than they bargained for. Pete, the oldest brother, joins the Rebels and fights to save his life—and that of his brothers. Cora, the oldest daughter on the cusp of becoming a woman, loves a boy who runs off to fight with the Federals—and breaks her heart.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Although born in New Jersey of parents from New Jersey and Tennessee, it was just a matter of time before Diane's "southern" blood revealed itself. And reveal itself it did, in a passion for all things western and related to the Civil War. Having learned a great deal in her research since her historical journey began, especially in the midwest, Diane has attempted to portray both the west and the war from numerous points-of-view, which is not always the same history as what has been previously portrayed--or taught.

As a kid, Diane played Cowboys and Indians more than she did Barbie, and as she got older, she and her cousin (whose parents were reversed) gave themselves the moniker of "Yebels." The question of what it would have been like during the Civil War years, when friends and family fought on opposite sides of the war, festered inside Diane until she answered her own question in the form of the novels she writes of the west and Civil War, where everyday people, regardless of what "side" they were on, when faced with difficult situations, rose to the challenge, and survived.

Now living south of Kansas City, Missouri, on fourteen acres of property, when Diane's not writing or marketing, she enjoys sitting on her front porch, reading when she can or just watching her horses in the pasture and multitude of cats in the yard. When she does venture into town, it's to work at a lawfirm on the Plaza, or visit her two children and five grandchildren.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 6
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 7
Excerpt at T's Stuff
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads (Crossfire in the Street)

Thursday, November 8
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 9
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Elizabeth's War)

Monday, November 12
Review at The Reading Woman (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Book Nerd

Wednesday, November 14
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 15
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at The Book Junkie Reads (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Crossfire in the Street)

Monday, November 19
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Crossfire in the Street)

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Crossfire in the Street)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

D.L. Rogers


Excerpt & Giveaway: A Pivotal Right by K.A. Servian


A Pivotal Right by K.A. Servian

Publication Date: August 15, 2018
Paperback & eBook

Series: Shaking the Tree, Book #2
Genre: Historical/Romance/Victorian


Florence struggled for breath as she stared into the face of a ghost. "Jack?"

Twenty years after being forced apart Jack and Florence have been offered a second chance at love. But can they find their way back to each other through all the misunderstandings, guilt and pain?

And what of their daughter, Viola? Her plan to become a doctor is based on the belief she has inherited her gift her medicine from Emile, the man she believed was her father. How will she reconcile her future with the discovery that she is Jack's child?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Excerpt

     “I understand why you didna want to see me. I treated you very ill all those years ago.” He paused. “I just want to say that I’m very, very sorry...for everything.”

     “Please don’t—” To Florence’s surprise a tear slipped past her control. She quickly wiped it away. “I admit that I was angry when I realised you had been alive all these years, but Bertram explained everything—how you had come after me to Sydney, what happened when you were there and how he had convinced you not to contact me after you returned and found me gone.”

     “I didna mean that, although I am sorry for leaving you alone and unprotected, and for allowing you to think me dead for all these years. None of it would have happened if I hadne taken you as my wife in the first place. I told myself then that I was doing it to help you, but my motives were selfish. From the moment I saw you by the stream in your nightdress I had to have you, even though I knew that it wasna me you wanted to marry.”

     She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and shook her head. “Please, you must not say that.”

     “I promised myself before I came here today that if you agreed to see me I would say nothing but the absolute truth to you. I lusted after you, an innocent girl in a precarious situation. I took you as my wife even knowing that you loved another man. I forced you to—” He paused. “I’m so sorry, Florence, so very sorry.”

     She opened her eyes. He stood, hat and scarf clenched in his hands, his shoulders slumped, head down. She curled her fingers until her nails cut into her palms. How could he say that he was sorry for saving her, for loving her, for giving her the most wonderful few months of her life? She was the one who had acted like a selfish child until she ruined what they had had together.

About the Author

As a life-long creative, Kathy gained qualifications in fashion design, applied design to fabric and jewelry making and enjoyed a twenty-year-plus career in the fashion and applied arts industries as a pattern maker, designer and owner of her own clothing and jewelry labels.

She then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills accumulated over the years'design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing and machine embroidery to name a few.

Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Writing quickly became an obsession and Kathy's first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from the original manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.

Kathy now squeezes full-time study for an advanced diploma in creative writing in around working on her novels, knocking out the occasional short story, teaching part-time and being a wife and mother.

For more information please visit K.A. Servian’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for K.A. Servian’s newsletter to receive news and updates.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 22
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 23
Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, October 25
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 29
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, November 2
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Excerpt at Introvert Booklover

Sunday, November 4
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Monday, November 5
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 6
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Thursday, November 8
Review at A Darn Good Read

Friday, November 9
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather

Monday, November 12
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, November 16
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, November 19
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, November 20
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 10 eBooks of The Moral Compass, the first book in the Shaking the Tree series! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Pivotal Right


Interview with Author A.B. Michaels & Giveaway

It's a busy day here at Passages to the Past! I am so excited to be hosting an interview with Author A.B. Michaels. I recently read and LOVED her novel The Price of Compassion (read my review here), and cannot wait to devour the rest of the series.

I hope you enjoy the interview! We also have a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card so don't forget to enter!


Hello, A.B., and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thank you for being here with us today!

To begin with, can you tell us a little about yourself and The Price of Compassion?

After working in the marketing industry for most of my career, I started writing novels about five years ago. With a couple of degrees in history, it was a sure bet I’d love writing historical fiction. The Price of Compassion is Book Four in my series called “The Golden City.”

Your series is set in San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century; why did you pick that time and setting?

It was a case of counting backwards! I first wrote a contemporary novel of romantic suspense, called Sinner’s Grove, about characters who were re-opening an artists’ retreat just north of San Francisco. I wanted to explore the origins of that retreat, so I wrote a novel, The Art of Love, that tells how the retreat was founded. The second novel, The Depth of Beauty, focuses on one of the characters introduced in The Art of Love, and so on. Why San Francisco? I grew up near there; it’s a familiar locale.

How were you inspired to write the story of Tom Justice and how did you decide to set it around the 1906 quake?

It would be impossible to write about that time and place without addressing the quake – it was such an earth-shattering event (literally!). But I came across something in my research that was so shocking, I knew I had to build a story around it, and I just knew that Tom (who was introduced in The Depth of Beauty) would be the character to live through it.

What other research did you undertake when writing The Price of Compassion or any of the books in the Golden City series?

Researching any historical time period is an adventure all on its own. Often I will come across something that fascinates me and I’ll work it into the story, whether it’s the bubonic plague which hit Chinatown in 1900 (addressed in both The Depth of Beauty and The Price of Compassion), early medical practices, or unusual occupations, like railway surgeons. My problem is finding too many rabbit holes to fall into!

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

Way too many things fascinate me – it’s a wonder I get any writing done! But I did find the medical “fad” of neurasthenia to be particularly interesting. It sounds weird, but by the turn of the twentieth century, enough Americans had prospered to the point where they could afford to be neurotic! And the difference in treatment between men (more activity!) and women (don’t do anything!) was almost funny, if it hadn’t been so ludicrous and taken so seriously by all concerned. We’ve come a long way since then, but there are still scads of men and women suffering from “a misappropriation of nervous energy.”

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Price of Compassion?

The novel is all about the choices we make and taking responsibility for them, whether the decisions turn out to be good ones or not. I’d like the reader to think about the various decisions Tom faced and ask themselves what they would have done in his place. The answers aren’t always easy.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Some writers will tell you it’s the last scene, because that means the book is over — ha! ha! I’m not sure I have a favorite scene, but I did get a chuckle out of writing the one about Tom and the traveling salesman.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

From an emotional standpoint there were two: the first scene with the boys and Sergeant the dog, and the death of Nana Ruth. Those were difficult because they included elements from my own life and I relived them as I wrote them. There were a few tears plopping on my keyboard, I must admit.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

All my life, but for years and years I vacillated between writing “literary” fiction and genre fiction, so I was paralyzed to move forward. I was also writing promotional material for a living, so that took the creative “edge” off. Finally, after my boys were out of the nest, I decided that I wasn’t getting any younger, and if I really wanted to do this, I should JUST DO IT. So I did.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

For me the greatest challenge is focus, and I have yet to master that. I am interested in many things (travel, quilting, reading, etc.) and I like to socialize. At its core, writing is a solitary pursuit, but I’m not able to cut myself off from the outside world for very long. I could probably write twice as many books if I kept my butt in the chair, but that’s not going to happen.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Too many to list, I’m afraid, but off the top, I can appreciate the spare, powerful prose of Hemingway and the emotionalism of Dickens. I love the wit of Jane Austen and the structural virtuosity of John Irving. And I adore Eric Larson’s ability to capture the drama of historical events. His nonfiction reads like a page-turning novel.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I read many of the classics as a kid and prided myself on reading the unabridged versions – what a teacher’s pet I must have been! The one that sticks in my mind is War and Peace, because I recall it being like a great soap opera. I was sorry when it ended.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I believe it was Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I guess that counts because half of it is in the past. Aside from my book group choices (we just finished Fly Girls), these days I mainly read non-fiction as research for my own work. Oh, and I read historical mysteries as a treat, just before I nod off at night.

What are three things people may not know about you?

Let’s see: I have a number of, shall we say, “quirks,” in that I don’t like heights and I tend to be claustrophobic. Yet I once took a caving class that required us to spend eight hours deep inside a cave, traveling from point A to point B, not only without the ability to turn back, but without the ability to step outside of the line we had formed. I also rode an open-air construction elevator to the top of the torch of the Statue of Liberty many years ago when it was being refurbished. I remember those events and still shudder, even today, wondering, “What in the heck was I thinking?!”

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I inherited a love of history from my father, so I get pleasure knowing he’d be proud of me for writing historical fiction. Beyond that, I find it strangely comforting to learn about our country’s history and all the incredibly dangerous periods we’ve been through. Whenever I start to worry too much about what’s going on in today’s world, I tell myself, “It’s okay, we’ve been through much worse and made it through.” It concerns me, however, that history isn’t being taught as much in school as it was in previous generations. We need the perspective of history to keep us from making the same stupid mistakes. My goal is to keep history alive through page-turning fiction so that those who didn’t get enough of it in school can still learn it through other means.

What historical time period do you gravitate toward the most with your personal reading?

I love the late 19th century through the 1930’s and into World War II because America went through incredible changes, and there’s so much inherent drama to that half century. And I do love mysteries that take place before there was DNA and cell phones!

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I hate to admit it, but I could fill my days just hanging out with friends and doing inconsequential stuff. I play cards every week, host a bible study, and am in a book group. I often quilt in the evenings while watching television. In the summer I’m in a bocce league and try to fit that around travel, which I do a lot of, both in the U.S. and abroad. I just bought an inflatable kayak which I love to take out on calm water. My husband and I enjoy going to the movies, we have two small dogs (to take the place of our grown sons, I guess), and when we can, we play golf (he is much, much better than I am, but he is kind and tolerates me). You can see why I don’t produce that many books?!

Lastly, what are you working on next?

The next book in The Golden City series will come out sometime early next year. It’s called Josephine’s Daughter and tells the story of Katherine (Tom’s love interest in The Price of Compassion) and her mother. I have just finished a holiday story, in fact, that follows Josephine as a young woman returning home from her first semester at college, back in 1872. It’s a poignant tale called “Finding the Star” and I’ll be releasing it along with another Christmas story in mid-November. In addition to that, I’m working on a new mystery series that will feature Jonathan Perris, the attorney who defended Tom Justice in The Price of Compassion. Jonathan has just moved to San Francisco from London and is starting a law practice along with his two assistants. I am filled with ideas on how to get them all in trouble. Stay tuned!

I am so excited for the next book in the series! Yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today, A.B.!


The Price of Compassion by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: August 27, 2018
Red Trumpet Press
eBook; 296 Pages

Series: Golden City, Book #4
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery



April 18, 1906. San Francisco has just been shattered by a massive earthquake and is in the throes of an even more deadly fire.

During the chaos, gifted surgeon Tom Justice makes a life-changing decision that wreaks havoc on his body, mind, and spirit.

Leaving the woman he loves, he embarks on a quest to regain his sanity and self-worth. Yet just when he finds some answers, he’s arrested for murder—a crime he may very well be guilty of. The facts of the case are troubling; they’ll have you asking the question: “Is he guilty?” Or even worse…”What would I have done?”

"[The Price of Compassion] is chock-full of details about California in the earliest part of the 20th century, and it showcases the rampant prejudice against Chinese immigrants that pervaded the West Coast during the period. In accessible and absorbing prose, the author also describes the arcane medical practices of the era [with] a sufficient number of high stakes moments to keep the tale suspenseful and engaging throughout. [It's] a well-thought-out legal drama, full of intrigue and duplicity." -Kirkus Reviews

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


About the Author

A native of northern California, A.B. Michaels earned masters' degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in public relations and marketing. Now that she's an empty nester, she has time to write the kinds of stories she loves to read. Her historical series, "The Golden City," follows characters who make their way in turn of the twentieth century San Francisco. "I love creating flawed characters I can relate to, who have to make difficult choices, and who long for happiness like the rest of us. So much was happening in the early 1900's that help shape my novels. Once I tear myself away from the underlying research, they are fascinating stories to write."

Currently Ms. Michaels lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two furry creatures who are unclear on the concept that they are just dogs. In addition to writing, she loves to read and travel. A dabbler in fabric art, she also plays bocce in a summer league. Her latest stand-alone novel, "The Price of Compassion," is Book Four of the "Golden City" series. It's scheduled for release this summer and will be followed by Book Five, "Josephine's Daughter."

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 23
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 24
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 29
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, October 30
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Friday, November 2
Guest Post & Excerpt at Jathan & Heather

Monday, November 5
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 8
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 9
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, November 12
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Price of Compassion




Interview with Author T.J. London & Giveaway


Hello T.J. and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk with us!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and The Rebels and Redcoats Saga?

Well… where to start. It really was not my intention to write a historical book, much less a saga. It was all a bit happenstance. Does anyone ever actually admit that? I guess I just did. To be quite honest, I dawdled as a writer but never did anything serious. How I ended up writing the Rebels and Redcoats series, I think, is rather interesting, and perhaps a bit inspiring. In the real world I am a pharmacist PhD with a specialty in neurology, and I used to work in a neurosurgical intensive care doing research and treating patients. That was my true passion. Not so very long ago, tragedy struck my life and I was forced to leave my job and my research behind. In one moment my whole career went from being amazing to shambles just because I was asked to speak on behalf of a patient and a co-worker that had been harassed. It’s a long story, and much too long to tell here. Suffice to say, I walked away from everything I’d worked my whole life for and my reputation was trashed in the process. I started going to counseling, unable to deal with the irreparable damage I did to my career and my future by just speaking the truth. I just couldn’t understand how this happened when I did the right thing. My amazing and rather un-orthodox councilor suggested I take up journaling; she thought it would help me cope. But I just couldn’t, so instead she recommended I do creative writing to help me find an outlet for my anger and frustration, hence the birth of The Rebels and Redcoats Saga. Week by week, I would come with pages and together we would pick apart scenes and get at the heart of my internal pain. So in truth, hidden underneath John and Dellis’s story is mine, though not quite as exciting or steeped in drama. Through this process I learned to make peace with what happened to me and inevitably move on, but in a healthy way.


What other research did you undertake when writing The Rebels and Redcoats Saga?

It took me five years to write and release The Tory and The Traitor, and during that whole process I was researching and adding facts with each round of edits. At one point both my copy editor and concept editor had to make me stop. I am a researcher by profession, so it’s in my blood to overdo it, and I am a perfectionist too so that doesn’t help. Art is never truly finished it’s merely abandoned, so they say, well I have a hard time abandoning. I traveled to all the sights listed in these books from Fort Stanwix to Fort Niagara and Colonial Williamsburg, just to name a few locations. I read a plethora of books about the time period and I met with historians from Fort Stanwix, Niagara and at Colonial Williamsburg. I also spoke with the historian at the Oneida Nations Museum which was absolutely fascinating.


Did you come across anything in your research that surprised you or sent you down a research rabbit hole? 

YES!!! I didn’t know about the Iroquois Nation and the political wrangling between the British and the Americans that ultimately led to the dissolution of the three hundred year old confederacy. I had no idea about the Battle of Oriskany and how many natives gave their lives to help our new nation be born. The Oneidas were our first allies before the French, yet why aren’t they celebrated for their sacrifice? This was hidden history and I felt I had stumbled on an incredible jewel our teachers neglected to tell us about. So I decided to take it on, but in the backdrop of my love/revenge story. Fiction always makes a sad truth more palatable yet it also provokes us to question. We need to ask the hard truths of our nation’s history so that we learn from them or we are doomed to repeat.

What is it about the American Revolution that fascinates you?

All of it. It was the Age of Enlightenment when everyone was questioning the so called God-given-rights of Kings and Queens. That all men are created equal is a beautiful idea, now if we could only exercise that as our amazing fore fathers intended. It was a time of complex thinkers and incredibly brave men willing to fight for the idea of being free. But to boil them down to one simple view does an injustice to the dichotomy of their character. I love to research the Revolutionary War because we see the complexities of these men, not the flatness that the media and books often portray. This was not a war of simply bad Redcoats against good Rebels. Many of the Redcoats were hired, and fought to pay for their lives and their families. Too often we portray war as us against them, but in truth it is really us against us.

Now off my soap box with a bit of girly author confession, I love the hairstyles and the look of the Georgian Era. What’s not sexy about a man with long hair and waistcoats? LOL.


What would you like readers to take away from reading The Rebels and Redcoats Saga?

There were good people on both sides of war. Any war! That the same values and truths we hold dear are universal to all people and time periods. If we look into history, the true history, not the mocked up happy version we want to see, and all things can be explained. And love really does conquer all if we open our heart to it.

How much of the books are fact and how much is fiction? Do you try to stay as close to the historical record as possible? 

John Carlisle and Dellis McKesson’s story is fiction, but what was going on with the Oneidas and the Six Nations is all true. The meetings with John Butler, the political wrangling between the American’s and the British, and the indecisiveness of the Oneida is fact. In The Turncoat, I actually used documentation and real life accounts to stage some of the battle scenes as well as the final outcome of the story. But you must stay tuned to see what that is.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Ohh… How to say this and not spoil anything? Let’s just say it took place in a whorehouse in Book #2 The Traitor. Yeah, that was fun. It results in a very heated yet playful argument, and John Carlisle is his deliciously, naughty scoundrel self to the extreme. Poor Dellis, my heroine, so many secrets revealed at one time it’s mind blowing. But she’s a tough cookie and in the end she triumphs in that scene. Watching how these two lovers duke it out was tons of fun for me as an author. They told me how they wanted that scene to go, and I just followed along.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Gonna have to pass here don’t want to spoil the scene. But it was scary and sad, and all too real.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a little girl I was plagued with nightmares. My mother told me to replay a movie or a favorite book in my head and then create my own ending to it, the one I would like to see. That's when I started really being creative. Hence I wrote like five versions of Mary Poppins in my sleepless childhood nights. LOL. Still love P.L. Travers today. I wrote my first book when I was fifteen, but again, I never pictured myself publishing and being an author.


What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it? 

I had many industry individuals shake their heads at me and tell me this saga just wouldn’t work the way I wrote it. It needed to be softer, more romantic, less graphic. More tropes. Yadda Yadda. The woman should be the primary protagonist. The story is too dark. John must switch sides from being a Redcoat to a Rebel. It goes on and on. And I am not kidding.

I have learned that just because someone tells you something isn’t good, doesn’t mean that it isn't. Everyone has an opinion and they will give you it whether you want it or not in this business. But it’s your art—your art. And for better or worse, it’s the story this author, me, had to tell. So, I looked high and low and found people I trust to guide me through this process. That’s what helped me overcome, and continue to overcome. I can be my own worst critic and my hardest reviewer. My team keeps me grounded and focused by giving me the hard truths and the appropriate praise when I need it.

So here I am. T.J. London, an author. Who would have thought?

Who are your writing inspirations?

John Jakes-The Kent Family Saga was my favorite as a girl. Hence my love of the Revolutionary War.

Kathleen Woodwiss-Her prose just moves me to tears and I love her long, drawn out love stories.

Kerrigan Byrne-Her books are so good she makes me cry. I just love her stuff. Her characters are so real, and her writing is so visceral. Perfection in a historical romance.

Donna Thorland-I love her Revolutionary War books. They just make my revolutionary author heart smile every time I read one, and she packs so many facts into her books its awe inspiring.

What was the first historical novel you read?

John Jakes’s The Bastard. I still have that copy and I still love it to this day. I chose the American Revolution for my time period because of this series. I even love the TV show from the 70’s. LOL. Roger DeLancie’s name was chosen in homage to John DeLancie who appeared as a character in the Kent Family Saga. And in the current book I’m writing, I named a character Phillip Kent in honor of this series. It made a huge impression on me as you can see.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The Royal Navy during the Seven Years War. I know, heavy duty, but it’s for my next book.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. I am afraid of shaking hands. I have an a phobia. So if I meet you and don’t shake your hand it’s not personal.

2. I am a method writer. (not actor) I actually will try to mentally become a character before I write them. Often I can only write one full scene a night, especially if it’s mentally draining. I draw from my personal pain to try to reach the emotional in my readers.

3. I call my writing brain John. I chose the name because he was the first main character I ever wrote that really spoke to me. LOL. When I sit down to write I always ask him, “What shall we write today, John? Tell me your story. Give me your beautiful words.”

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Definitely Colonial American, French Revolution, Civil War, War of the Roses and Tudor.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love to travel and my current job has me everywhere. I’ve been all over the world which is just amazing. I love to work out: barre, cycling, lifting. I do it all. Also, I love to spend time with my friends. They were the lifeline that got me through the hard times, and they’ve kept me going on this writing/author journey.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

So exciting! Man of War, my prequel to the mystery of The Tory, The Traitor and The Turncoat. But I can’t say much here or I’ll spoil it. After that I will be writing Alexei McKesson’s story The Rebel.

Sounds fascinating! Thank you for being here, TJ! I wish you the best on your blog tour!


The Tory by T.J. London

Publication Date: April 11, 2018
Peperback & eBook; 517 Pages

Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book #1
Genre: Historical Fiction


It is the winter of 1776, and Captain John Carlisle, one of His Majesty’s not-so-finest, has gone back to the scene of the crime to right a wrong so dark it left a permanent stain on what was once an illustrious career and left a man broken, defeated, in search of justice…

In an effort to win back his commission, he must discover the true nature of the relationship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Colonial Army. Undercover as a war profiteer, John travels to the treacherous Mohawk River Valley and infiltrates local society, making friends with those he’s come to betray.

But a chance meeting with a beautiful half Oneida innkeeper, whose tragic history is integrally linked to his own, will provide him with the intelligence he needs to complete his mission—and devastate her people.

Now, as the flames of war threaten to consume the Mohawk Valley, John has the chance to not only serve King and country, but to clear his name. When the truth he uncovers ties his own secrets to those in the highest positions of the British military and threatens the very life of the woman he’s come to love, he will be forced to make a choice…

"The pages fly as you immerse yourself in this fantastic adventure." - RT Book Reviews

Available on Amazon

The Traitor by T.J. London

Publication Date: October 26, 2018
eBook; 574 pages

Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book #2
Genre: Historical Fiction


Spy. Liar. Scoundrel. Redcoat.

Provocateur and spy for His Majesty, Captain John Carlisle returns to Fort Niagara with the secrets he stole in the arms of the beautiful Oneida innkeeper, Dellis McKesson. Determined to complete his mission and clear his name, he’ll see justice done—and damn the consequences. Now, he finds himself drawn into political intrigue as the British prepare to launch a three-pronged attack that will bring the Rebels and the Mohawk River Valley to its knees.

A dangerous revelation finds Dellis as whispers of intrigue insinuate her beloved is not all that he seems. Unwilling to wait for her lover’s return, she sets out in search of the truth as the Onieda begin negotiations with the Rebels, breaking the neutrality agreement with the crown. A bold move that will stoke a fire between the brother tribes and lead to a bloody inter-confederacy war—one Dellis predicted, and one John incited.

While war between the colonies and the King smolders, the punishing winter of 1777 allows the perfect opportunity for old enemies to settle scores, lying in wait, ready to exploit John’s one weakness—his heart. John is not an innocent man. The truth he’s long tried to hide from can no longer be ignored, the ghosts of the past seeking justice, and karma wanting payment for sins so dark they cannot be forgiven.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 5
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 6
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste (The Tory)

Wednesday, November 7
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, November 8
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, November 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie (The Tory)
Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog (The Tory)

Tuesday, November 13
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (The Tory)
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste (The Traitor)

Wednesday, November 14
Excerpt at Spellbound By History

Thursday, November 15
Feature at Donna's Book Blog (The Traitor)

Friday, November 16
Review at LadyJ's Bookish Nook (Both)
Review at Pursuing Stacie (The Traitor)
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (The Traitor)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 3 sets of both books in Paperback, 3 sets of both books in eBook, and a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to readers in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

TJ London


Interview with Anna Belfrage & Giveaway of A Torch in His Heart

Hello, dear readers! I have a treat for you today...an interview with the fascinating Anna Belfrage, and a giveaway for her latest novel, A Torch in His Heart! Enjoy!


Hello Anna and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about A Torch in His Heart!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your novel, A Torch in His Heart?

A Torch in His Heart is the story of Jason and Helle who first met in a very distant past. Things happen, as they say, and there was no Happily Ever After for them—rather the reverse. But now they’re back—in the here and now—and maybe Jason will at last have the opportunity to make amends and ride off into the sunset with the girl who has haunted him in life after life. Unfortunately, there’s a big, big monkey wrench in the worls: Sam Woolf was also around 3 000 years ago. He ruined their lives then, and he has every intention to do so this time as well…

As to me, I am Swedish, grew up abroad, am crazy about history, books and romantic stories. I grew up in South America, attended English & American schools, and ended up trilingual. I have published fourteen books, nine in The Graham Saga which is a time travel series set in the 17th century (in Scotland and Maryland), four in amedieval series set in the 14th century, and then this my latest, A Torch in His Heart.

Where did you get the inspiration / the idea to write the Wanderer series?

I was sitting on an airplane travelling back from Australia. Yet another business trip, yet another looong sequence of hours on a plane, and the book I was reading was dead boring. So I was sitting there, dozing, when out of nowhere appeared this image of a very young woman, bleeding to death in the arms of the man she loved. And so it began…

What type of research did you do for writing A Torch in His Heart?

Not that much, really. The financial environment Jason and Helle inhabit is familiar to me as that’s where I spend my days. The ancient backstory required some research – perhaps more for the coming books than this first one. And then I had a lot of fun revisiting the old Greek myths I was so fond of when I was younger.

This new Wanderer series, a contemporary romantic suspense, is a break from your Historical Fiction series of books. Why did you fancy a change? Are you planning on trying other genres?

The story of Jason and Helle has been in my head and on my laptop for well over a decade, so in many ways this story precedes some of my historicals. I read a lot of romantic suspense, and I am also a bit of a sucker for books with a paranormal angle, so writing The Wanderer series was very much a self-indulgence. I intend to continue writing the odd contemporary romantic suspense, but at present I’m happy to stick with the genres I am presently writing 😊

Time-slips are a feature in your Graham Saga, and now the Wanderer Series. What about time-slips fascinate you so?

Well, seeing as I’ve been a history nerd since I was old enough to read, I guess my fascination with time-slip is based on my ardent desire to be able to travel back and really experience the past. Mind you, not forever, just for some days or so.

If you ever found yourself slipping back in time, what time period would you like to travel to?

Anytime between 1250 and 1342. I’d prefer to avoid the Black Death… And if that first option isn’t possible, I’d rather like landing in the 1660s

What was your favorite scene to write?

I liked writing the scene where Jason and Helle meet. And then there’s a scene involving Jason, Helle and the kitchen counter that I had a lot of fun with.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

It would be a bit of a spoiler to reveal that… In general, I struggled with the scenes where Sam intimidates Helle. They had me feeling very flustered.

Can you explain to us a bit about your writing process or your daily writing habits?

I steal my writing time. I have a full-time demanding job as the CFO of a 3 billion USD business, so for me it’s a luxury to step into my writing bubble. Usually, I spend a substantial chunk of my weekend writing. My inspirational muse tends to go into active mode at the most inopportune moments, but I’ve learnt to handle that, even if there are difficulties in maintaining concentration on a financial presentation when my head is alive with the images of people loving each other. But hey, what would life be without some challenges, right?

What are three things people may not know about you?

Hmm…
1. I am addicted to peanut butter. I only allow myself one teaspoon per day (okay, a very loaded teaspoon)
2. I walk on average 10 miles a day
3. I have a thing about boots. IMO, one cannot have too many boots. Hubby and my wardrobe space disagree…

What genre do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I read all sorts – but I have a soft spot for well-written romance.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Spend time with hubby, watch sappy movies and cook. And walk. See item 2 about unknwon facts

Lastly, what are you working on now?

I have four WIPs. One is a time-slip, two are “straight” historicals, and one is a romantic suspense with a dash of paranormal.

Wow! You are one busy writer! Which is good news for us Anna fans :) Thanks so much for spending time with us today!



A Torch in His Heart by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: August 31, 2018
Timelight Press
eBook & Paperback 514 Pages

Series: The Wanderer, Book One
Genre: Romance/Erotica/Paranormal

In the long lost ancient past, two men fought over the girl with eyes like the Bosporus under a summer sky. It ended badly. She died. They died.

Since then, they have all tumbled through time, reborn over and over again. Now they are all here, in the same place, the same time and what began so long ago must finally come to an end.

Ask Helle Madsen what she thinks about reincarnation and she’ll laugh in your face. Besides, Helle has other stuff to handle, what with her new, exciting job in London and her drop-dead but seriously sinister boss, Sam Woolf. And then one day Jason Morris walks into her life and despite never having clapped eyes on him before, she recognises him immediately. Very weird. Even more weird is the fact that Sam and Jason clearly hate each other’s guts. Helle’s life is about to become extremely complicated and far too exciting.

Available on Amazon


About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.

Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…)

With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, www.annabelfrage.com, You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, October 10
Review at Oh, October

Thursday, October 11
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, October 12
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, October 15
Review at A Holland Reads

Friday, October 19
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Sunday, October 21
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Tuesday, October 23
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, October 25
Review at Donna Louise

Friday, October 26
Review at Broken Teepee

Monday, October 29
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 31
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 2
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, November 7
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Monday, November 12
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 16
Review at The Book Mind

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of A Torch in His Heart! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Torch in His Heart


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