New Karen Haper in October: The It Girls

YES! Karen Harper has a new book coming out in October and it sounds so good! I'm totally digging the cover too! What do you think?


The It Girls by Karen Harper

Publication Date: October 4, 2017
William Morrow Paperbacks

Genre: Historical Fiction

From New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper comes a novel based on the lives of two amazing sisters—one sailed the Titanic and started a fashion empire; the other overtook Hollywood and scandalized the world. Together, they were unstoppable

They rose from genteel poverty, two beautiful sisters, ambitious, witty, seductive. Elinor and Lucy Sutherland are at once each other’s fiercest supporters and most vicious critics.

Lucy transformed herself into Lucile, the daring fashion designer who revolutionized the industry with her flirtatious gowns and brazen self-promotion. And when she married Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon her life seemed to be a fairy tale. But success came at many costs—to her marriage and to her children…and then came the fateful night of April 14, 1912 and the scandal that followed.

Elinor’s novels titillate readers, and it’s even asked in polite drawing rooms if you would like to “sin with Elinor Glyn?” Her work pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable; her foray into the glittering new world of Hollywood turns her into a world-wide phenomenon. But although she writes of passion, the true love she longs for eludes her.

But despite quarrels and misunderstandings, distance and destiny, there is no bond stronger than that of the two sisters—confidants, friends, rivals and the two “It Girls” of their day.

Catherine Magia's The Fisherman's Bride Blog Tour Launch & Giveaway!


The Fisherman's Bride by Catherine Magia

Publication Date: November 2, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC, CreateSpace
Kindle & Paperback; 240 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical Fiction/Christian Literature



She has no name. She is not even a footnote. Her tale is hidden behind the well-told fable of her husband, the man who would become Simon Peter, the first Apostle.

Cast off by her family after shunning a wealthy suitor to marry a humble fisherman, her life is fraught with hardship. She endures her husband’s growing restlessness, fish shortages from the Sea of Galilee, and the oppression of an all-powerful Roman Empire over her people. Then her life is forever changed when her dying mother is saved by a miracle performed by a young carpenter—a man who speaks with understanding and acts with compassion. A man who can inspire the extraordinary.

Simon Peter lives on in history as the undaunted martyr of the carpenter. This is the untold story of his young bride. Her journey traverses villages and deserts, love and tradition, and a brewing revolution, to an awakening of faith that challenges everything she has ever known.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Praise

"Catherine Magia has penned a moving Christian story that transcends religious boundaries--a novel that occupies the rare space between the historical and the Biblical realms. At once speculative and interpretive, Magia's vigorous first-person narrative of St. Peter's wife makes a compelling case for the life, motivation and spirituality of a minor, nameless Biblical character. An ambitious and impressive debut." -Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars

"Right from the start, the evocative and compelling tone of The Fishman's Bride casts its line and draws in readers with a deftness that borders on enchantment. Perhaps this is because Catherine Magia uses an uncommon perspective and outsider's view of events. And, by 'outsider,' this means observations that come from beyond Jesus' inner circle, yet are closely connected by love and association. Also included in the saga are stories of fortunes made and lost, faith thwarted and regained, fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the impact of social and political change upon entire communities. Catherine Magia's attention to embracing the extent of daily living in Biblical times, from different methods of preserving fish to different attitudes encountered during their travels, brings the story to life.

Readers of Christian literature and Biblical retellings will find this story a powerfully written, compelling account of the impact of Jesus on all layers of society, narrated from the eyes of an outsider to his central group of believers who uses the ordinary life experiences of an unnamed wife to chronicle an extraordinary journey of love, faith, and miracles." -D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

About the Author

Catherine Magia was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.

She discovered the voice of Simon Peter's wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.

She is working on her second book - the conclusion to The Fisherman's Bride.

By day, she works as an associate director of marketing research in the development of new cancer medications. She is currently based in Boston.

For more information please visit Catherine Magia's website and blog.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 17
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 18
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, April 19
Excerpt at Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, April 21
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Saturday, April 22
Review at Rainy Day Reviews

Monday, April 24
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, April 25
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, April 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, April 28
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, May 1
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Tuesday, May 2
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, May 3
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Thursday, May 4
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, May 5
Review at Unabridged Chick

Giveaway

To win a copy of The Fisherman's Bride by Catherine Magia, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open 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.

The Fisherman's Bride


On My Wishlist: The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer


The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Touchstone
eBook & Hardcover; 464 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Time Travel

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city.

After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague.

Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs.

The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman’s passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap—testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love.

Pre-Order on Amazon

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Half Wives by Stacia Pelletier

Happy Friday, dear Readers! Today I am so excited to be sharing with you a spotlight on Stacia Pelletier's new historical novel, The Half Wives! I just started reading the book and am loving it so far! I have two copies to give away to two lucky readers of Passages to the Past, thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!

Read about the book below and enter to win a copy for you or a friend!

The Half Wives by Stacia Pelletier

Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0547491166

Genre: Historical Fiction


Over the course of one momentous day, two women who have built their lives around the same man find themselves moving toward an inevitable reckoning.

Former Lutheran minister Henry Plageman is a master secret keeper and a man wracked by grief. He and his wife, Marilyn, tragically lost their young son, Jack, many years ago. But he now has another child—a daughter, eight-year-old Blue—with Lucy, the woman he fell in love with after his marriage collapsed.

The Half Wives follows these interconnected characters on May 22, 1897, the anniversary of Jack’s birth. Marilyn distracts herself with charity work at an orphanage. Henry needs to wrangle his way out of the police station, where he has spent the night for disorderly conduct. Lucy must rescue and rein in the intrepid Blue, who has fallen in a saltwater well. But before long, these four will all be drawn on this day to the same destination: to the city cemetery on the outskirts of San Francisco, to the grave that means so much to all of them. The collision of lives and secrets that follows will leave no one unaltered.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Kobo

Praise

"Pelletier's second novel unfolds a complex story in the span of 24 hours... [The author] expertly fills in the back story—introspection and memories mingle smoothly with the present... Well-crafted characters struggling alone with shared grief furnishes a coursing river on which this intriguing story effortlessly flows. Tough to put down." —Kirkus Reviews

The Half Wives is a profoundly hypnotic and mesmerizing work. The characters do not capture you as much as claim you, as the writing—languid, heartbreaking, and hopeful—pulls you deep into their world. The backdrop of Old San Francisco comes gloriously alive, as though the mist of the city itself rose from every page.”—Kathy Hepinstall, author of Blue Asylum and others

“Stacia Pelletier’s The Half Wives is set in the past, but it is a story for any time: a poignant, sometimes heart-rending, beautifully crafted, always gripping tale of loss and love, and the human need to try to set things right. A great read.”—Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

About the Author

Stacia Pelletier is the author of Accidents of Providence, which was short-listed for the Townsend Prize in Fiction, and the forthcoming The Half Wives. She earned graduate degrees in religion and historical theology from Emory University in Atlanta. A two-time fellow of the Hambidge Center, located in the mountains of North Georgia, she currently lives in Decatur, Georgia, and works at Emory University's School of Medicine.

For more information, please visit Stacia Pelletier's website.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, April 6
Review & Giveaway at Rainy Day Reviews

Friday, April 7
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, April 11
Review at West Metro Mommy

Friday, April 14
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Tuesday, April 18
Review at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, April 19
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 20
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, April 24
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Friday, April 28
Review at Reviews by Room With Books

Tuesday, May 2
Review, Guest Post & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, May 3
Giveaway at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, May 4
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Clarissa Reads It All
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, May 5
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Giveaway

Passages to the Past has two copies of The Half Wives up for grabs! To enter, leave a comment below. Please include your email address or alternate way to contact you should you win.

Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on April 21st. Good luck to all!

Upcoming Release: A Paris All Your Own

A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light by Eleanor Brown (Editor)

Publication Date: July 4, 2017
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Paperback & eBook; 304 Pages

Genre: Non-Fiction

A collection of all-new Paris-themed essays written by some of the biggest names in women's fiction, including Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler, Maggie Shipstead, and Lauren Willig, edited by Eleanor Brown, the New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters and The Light of Paris.

-My time in Paris, - says New York Times-bestselling author Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), -was like no one else's ever.- For each of the eighteen bestselling authors in this warm, inspiring, and charming collection of personal essays on the City of Light, nothing could be more true.

While all of the women writers featured here have written books connected to Paris, their personal stories of the city are wildly different. Meg Waite Clayton (The Race for Paris) and M. J. Rose (The Book of Lost Fragrances) share the romantic secrets that have made Paris the destination for lovers for hundreds of years. Susan Vreeland (The Girl in Hyacinth Blue) and J. Courtney Sullivan (The Engagements) peek behind the stereotype of snobbish Parisians to show us the genuine kindness of real people.

From book club favorites Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler (Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald), and anthology editor Eleanor Brown (The Light of Paris) to mystery writer Cara Black (Murder in the Marais), historical author Lauren Willig (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation), and memoirist Julie Powell (Julie and Julia), these Parisian memoirs range from laugh-out-loud funny to wistfully romantic to thoughtfully somber and reflective.

Perfect for armchair travelers and veterans of Parisian pilgrimages alike, readers will delight in these brand-new tales from their most beloved authors.

2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: April Reviews


Welcome to the April link page for the 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This is the page where you will enter the links to your reviews during the month of April 2017.

If you haven't already signed up for the challenge, it's not too late! The sign up post is here.

Links to previous months...

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017

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!

If you have any questions or need assistance please email Amy at passagestothepast@gmail.com.


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Blog Tour Kick-Off: The Varangian by Bruce Macbain w/Giveaway


The Varangian by Bruce MacBain

Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Blank Slate Press
eBook & Print; 341 Pages

Series: Odd Tangle-Hair Saga, Book Three
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The third volume of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga finds our hero in Golden Miklagard (Constantinople), posing as an ambassador from the Grand Prince of Rus. But his real mission is to assassinate his former master, Harald the Ruthless, who has now risen high in the Emperor’s Varangian Guard. Odd is dazzled by the brilliance of the Byzantine capital and its beating heart--the Great Palace, with the astonishing Throne of Solomon that levitates above the heads of kneeling courtiers.

Here, Odd will meet Constantine Psellus, an ambitious young bureaucrat who mentors him in the ways of the court. He will be drawn into an intrigue that involves the Empress Zoe, who spends her days brewing vats of perfume, and John the Guardian of Orphans, the powerful and sinister eunuch who schemes to advance his family. And Odd will fall in love with Selene, an alchemist’s daughter, who supports herself by gambling in the waterfront taverns.

Finally, after a hard-fought campaign against the Saracens in Sicily and the overthrow of an Emperor, Odd reaches the pinnacle of power and believes he has vanquished his enemy Harald once and for all.

Then disaster overwhelms him.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Praise for The Varangian

"Thoroughly effective at explaining the intriguing and highly complex circumstances of the time period, Macbain’s (The Ice Queen, 2015, etc.) book shines in a way that only historical fiction can. Who needs King Jon Snow in Game of Thrones when one can get a glimpse of the historically real and undeniably sinister John the Guardian of Orphans? Even the most terrifying dragon pales in comparison to the sheer horror of a society so comfortable with castration. As the story ventures outside of Constantinople, the reader is treated to a plot that can only be described as epic … a highly entertaining Viking adventure." - Kirkus Reviews

"This is the third and final of Macbain’s Odd Tangle-Hair novels. All three have been spellbinding in their storytelling, though this one may be the best. Odd’s journey takes us around the Mediterranean and eastern European world, and all the way north back to Iceland. The characters are wonderful, the story intriguing, the combat real but never superfluous, and Odd makes for the perfect protagonist. Highly recommended." - Historical Novel Society

"Written by a historian with deep understanding of the cultures, peoples, and languages of this world, The Varangian speaks with an authoritative and compelling voice that can equally present naval battles decided by Greek Fire and court intrigue culminating in advancement to lucrative rank or in mutilation and blinding. This is a masterfully written and suspenseful tale that weaves fictional characters into the dramatic story of eleventh-century Byzantium and ambitious women and men, some home grown and some drawn from afar, who aimed to profit from an empire of legendary wealth and splendor." - Emily Albu, Professor of Medieval and Byzantine Studies, UC, Davis

"The Varangian is the third and final volume of Bruce Macbain’s Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga, and like the first two entries, it is as compelling and wild a ride as historical fiction offers. Macbain brilliantly weaves in his vast knowledge of 11th century Viking and Byzantine life with a great storyteller’s ability to drive the plot forward, a plot filled with intrigue, violence, betrayal, and lust." - Barton Kunstler, author of The Hothouse Effect

“Detailed and vivid writing.” -Albert Noyer, author of the Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries

About the Author

03_Bruce MacBainBruce Macbain holds degrees in Classics and Ancient History and was formerly an Assistant Professor of Classics at Boston University. He decided to stop writing scholarly articles (which almost no one read) and turn his expertise to fiction—a much more congenial medium. His previous novels include two mysteries set in ancient Rome (Roman Games, The Bull Slayer) and the first two novels in the Odd Tangle-Hair series (Odin’s Child, The Ice Queen).

For more information, please visit Bruce MacBain's website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 20
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 21
Review at Rainy Day Reviews

Friday, March 24
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Sunday, March 26
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Wednesday, March 29
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Friday, March 31
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, April 4
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, April 7
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Tuesday, April 11
Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, April 13
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, April 18
Excerpt at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, April 19
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books and Coffee Pots

Thursday, April 27
Review at Broken Teepee

Giveaway

To win a copy of The Varangian by Bruce Macbain, please enter via the Gleam form below. Three copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents 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.

The Varangian


The Enemies of Versailles Blog Tour & Giveaway

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The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Atria Books
eBook & Paperback; 416 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Mistresses of Versailles, Book Three

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In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades of suffering the King's endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo

Praise for The Sisters of Versailles

“Such an extraordinary tale makes for compelling reading and, as the lead book in a planned trilogy, will draw in readers who are interested in royal lives before the French Revolution….historical fiction fans, unfamiliar with the history of the Nesle sisters, will be intrigued.” (Library Journal)

"Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy." (Allison Pataki, author of THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS )

“A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice.” (Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy )

“Tantalizing descriptions and cliff-hangers will leave the reader rapidly turning the pages in anticipation… A wickedly delightful read.” (New York Daily News)

About the Author

03_sally-christie_authorSally Christie is the author of The Sisters of Versailles and The Rivals of Versailles. She was born in England and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three different languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and currently lives in Toronto.

Visit SallyChristieAuthor.com to find out more about Sally and the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy.

You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, March 15
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview at T's Stuff

Thursday, March 16
Review at Leeanna.me
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, March 17
Review at To Read, Or Not to Read
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Saturday, March 18
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, March 19
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, March 21
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, March 22
Review at First Impressions Reviews
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, March 23
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, March 24
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Sunday, March 26
Review at The Gadoury Dreamer
Review & Interview at Clarissa Reads It All

Monday, March 27
Review at The Reading Queen

Tuesday, March 28
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Luxury Reading
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, March 29
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, March 30
Review at Curling up by the Fire

Friday, March 31
Review at Bookramblings
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

Five copies of The Enemies of Versailles are up for grabs during the blog tour! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US 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.

Enemies of Versailles


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Philippa Jane Keyworth's Fool Me Twice Blog Tour & Giveaway

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Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth

Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Madison Street Publishing
eBook & Paperback
ASIN: B01M6TZ9UY
ISBN13: 9780996264846

Genre: Historical Romance

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In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

Purchase on Amazon

03_philippa-jane-keyworthAbout the Author

Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.

Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.

Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow's Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. Her third novel a Georgian romance will come out at the end of 2016.

For more information, please visit Philippa Jane Keyworth's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 13
Review at The Sassy Book Lover
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, March 14
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, March 16
Review at Rainy Day Reviews
Interview at Book Boyfriends & Booze

Saturday, March 18
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

Monday, March 20
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, March 21
Interview at Aurora B's Book Blog

Thursday, March 23
Interview at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Saturday, March 25
Review at Laura's Interests

Monday, March 27
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, March 28
Review at Mel's Shelves

Wednesday, March 29
Review at Blushing Babes Are Up All Night

Sunday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, April 5
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

To win a copy of Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US 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.

Fool Me Twice


Review & Giveaway: The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George


The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George

Publication Date: March 7, 2016
Berkley Hardcover
ISBN: 9780451473387

Genre: Historical Fiction

The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy and Elizabeth I now turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history.

Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar's imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman or child.

As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.

While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina's machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become, an Emperor who became legendary.

With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.

Praise for The Confessions of Young Nero

“Margaret George has performed about the most audacious act imaginable for a historical novelist—an epic work of fiction not merely sympathetic to Nero, but told largely in his own voice. I applaud. And so, I imagine, does that connoisseur of the arts Nero, watching from Elysium.”—Steven Saylor, author of Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome

“[George] brilliantly recreates past eras and bygone civilizations.”—Sharon Kay Penman, author of A King’s Ransom

“A wonderful novel, from the riveting first scene to the breathtaking finale.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Fates and Traitors and Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

“Wow! Margaret George—the reigning queen of historical fiction—is back with this epic saga that vividly re-imagines the life of young Nero in all its operatic, dramatic glory.”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of Lily of the Nile

"Margaret George has an incredible talent in that she can stand in the shoes of her protagonist and speak in his or her voice.”—Barbara Taylor Bradford, author of The Cavendon Luck and A Woman Of Substance

About the Author

Margaret George writes biographical novels about outsized historical characters: Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, Helen of Troy, and Elizabeth I. Her latest, The Confessions of Young Nero, will be published in March. All six of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers, and the Cleopatra novel was made into an Emmy-nominated ABC-TV miniseries.

She especially enjoys the research she has done for the novels, such as racing in an ancient Greek stadium, attending a gladiator training school in Rome, and studying the pharmacology of snake poison.

My Review

Readers of this blog are well-aware of my love for author Margaret George, so it should come as no surprise that I'm ending my reviewing hiatus just to share my love for her latest novel, The Confessions of Young Nero.

Ms. George is the author who drew me into the Historical Fiction genre when I picked up Mary, Queen of Scots and the Isles years ago and she continues to slay me with her amazing writing and fascinating historical characters. I love the way she chooses figures from history that are maligned or controversial. George now tackles Ancient Rome and the early life of the legendary Emperor Nero. From being nearly drowned by his uncle, Caligula, to his volatile relationship with his mother Agrippina, his marriage to Poppaea, Rome's battle with Queen Boudicca, his meeting with the Apostle Paul, and the burning of Rome, readers are swept back into history and given a front row seat.

Beyond Nero's political dealings, George delves into Nero's personal side as well. His love of the arts and music, and his inner turmoil of being an Emperor and the nefarious things he had to do along the way. George paints Nero as a flawed man, but one that knows he is flawed.

I look forward to George continuing Nero's story in her next novel, which she is currently working on now. I remember hearing somewhere that she is also thinking of writing a book on Queen Boudicca and I sincerely hope that she does. I wanted to hear more about Boudicca's battle with Rome.

I highly recommend you checking out The Confessions of Young Nero, it's a fascinating look at a real, yet flawed, Emperor Nero! May I note as well, the hardcover copy is absolutely gorgeous and has a deckle edge, which I love!

Rating: 4 Stars

Giveaway

Passages to the Past has one copy of The Confessions of Young Nero up for grabs! To enter, please leave a comment below and be sure to include your email address or alternate way to contact you should you win.

Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on March 21st.

Amalia Carosella's Daughter of a Thousand Years Blog Tour & Giveaway

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Daughter of a Thousand Years by Amalia Carosella

Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 442 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Medieval Romance

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Greenland, AD 1000

More than her fiery hair marks Freydís as the daughter of Erik the Red; her hot temper and fierce pride are as formidable as her Viking father’s. And so, too, is her devotion to the great god Thor, which puts her at odds with those in power—including her own brother, the zealous Leif Eriksson. Determined to forge her own path, she defies her family’s fury and clings to her dream of sailing away to live on her own terms, with or without the support of her husband.

New Hampshire, 2016

Like her Icelandic ancestors, history professor Emma Moretti is a passionate defender of Norse mythology. But in a small town steeped in traditional values, her cultural beliefs could jeopardize both her academic career and her congressman father’s reelection. Torn between public expectation and personal identity, family and faith, she must choose which to honor and which to abandon.

In a dramatic, sweeping dual narrative that spans a millennium, two women struggle against communities determined to silence them, but neither Freydís nor Emma intends to give up without a fight.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


About the Author

03_amalia-carosella-authorAmalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). For more information, visit her blog at www.amaliacarosella.com.

She also writes myth-steeped fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Amalia Dillin. Learn more about her other works at www.amaliadillin.com.

You can connect with Amalia Carosella on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google+. Sign up for her newsletter, The Amaliad, for news and updates.

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, February 16
Review at Let Them Read Books

Friday, February 17
Review at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, February 19
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, February 20
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, February 21
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 22
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, February 23
Interview at Yelena Casale's Blog

Monday, February 27
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, February 28
Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, March 1
Review at The Maiden's Court

Thursday, March 2
Spotlight at Laura's Interests

Friday, March 3
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 6
Review at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, March 7
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, March 9
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Friday, March 10
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Review & Interview at WTF Are You Reading?

Giveaway

To win a $25 Amazon Gift Card & a Thor's Hammer/Mjölnir Pewter Pendant, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US 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.

Daughter of a Thousand Years

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2017 Release: The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer


The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

Publication Date: June 15, 2017
Simon & Schuster UK

The year is 1348 and brothers John and William have been infected by the plague. Their fate is sealed. Until a voice from the skies offers them a choice: ‘You may stay here and spend your last six days with your wife and children. Or you may put yourself in my hands now. I will wipe the scars from your face and the swellings from your body. I will extinguish your fever. I will let you live your last six days in the distance of the future.’

John and William agree: they will live for six more days and in return they will do good deeds in order to try to save their souls. But there’s a twist: each of those six days will begin ninety-nine years after the last, delivering them each time to an increasingly alien existence. As they travel, the reader travels with them, seeing the world change with conflict, disease, progress and enlightenment. But all the while time is counting down to a moment of judgement…

2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: March Reviews


Welcome to the March link page for the 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This is the page where you will enter the links to your reviews during the month of March 2017.

If you haven't already signed up for the challenge, it's not too late! The sign up post is here.

Links to previous months...

January 2017
February 2017

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!

If you have any questions or need assistance please email Amy at passagestothepast@gmail.com.


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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Shadow of Whimsy: A Cape Cod Love Story by Ann Hymes

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Shadow of Whimsy: A Cape Cod Love Story by Ann Hymes

Publication Date: June 15, 2016
Secant Publishing
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Genre: Contemporary/Women's Fiction/Literary

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Several generations of one family have lived, loved, and lied at Whimsy Towers, a unique oceanfront house in Chatham, Massachusetts. Strong women who refuse to be suffocated by marriage have found excitement and refuge in this house filled with artists and parties. Love surfaces in unexpected ways.

The newest owner, Theresa Alston Crandall, has just inherited the property and leaves her too-predictable husband in Virginia to spend time on the Cape and unravel family secrets and history. She swims, reflects, explores, and watches dramatic cloud formations float high over the ocean as she sorts through the choices in her path forward.

Romance arrives in the form of a young widower and landscape gardener with an awesome pickup truck, who likes Theresa’s dog and provides temptation to stay at Whimsy Towers. Tips of tree branches dance with the weight of birds that seem to scream warnings of danger, and the churning ocean disrupts family continuity.

Theresa learns how her Southern grandmother came to buy a storm-weathered New England house and how loveless marriage is not a mandatory life style. The final decision feels just right.

"In her debut novel, Hymes presents a conflicted young woman who is beginning to question her humdrum existence. From grief and loss to forgiveness and redemption, Hymes does not hold back. The author steers clear of predictable outcomes in this unexpected story, providing ample romantic suspense and witty prose to keep the reader turning pages. Chock-full of rich descriptions of the New England coast, as well as surprising scandals and an adorable dog named Gypsy, the book should satisfy even seasoned beach readers. A captivating and uplifting tale best suited for fans of meaningful beach-town romances." -Kirkus Reviews

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

About the Author

03_Ann Hymes

Ann Hymes is a retired real estate broker and mother of two grown daughters. She has a B.A. in English from Mills College and an M.A. in English from Washington College. Her published work includes creative nonfiction. An active international volunteer, including service in the Peace Corps in the 1960s, Ann lives in St. Michaels, Maryland.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 27
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 28
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, March 1
Review at Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, March 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, March 3
Spotlight at Cafinated Reads

Monday, March 6
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Tuesday, March 7
Review at Book Drunkard
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, March 10
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, March 14
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, March 15
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, March 16
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, March 21
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, March 24
Review at Blushing Babes Are Up All Night

Giveaway

Five copies of Shadow of Whimsy: A Cape Cod Love Story are up for grabs during the blog tour! To enter, please click the link below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US 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.



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On My Wishlist: In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen

In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen

Publication Date: March 1, 2017
Lake Union Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

“Instantly absorbing, suspenseful, romantic, and stylish—like binge-watching a great British drama on Masterpiece Theater.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.
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