Donna Russo Morin's Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Competition


The Competition by Donna Russo Morin

Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Diversion Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 268 Pages

Series: Da Vinci's Disciples, Book Two
Genre: Historical/Mystery


Donna Russo Morin returns with a follow-up to Portrait of a Conspiracy, called “a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition,” by C.W. Gortner.

In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city.

A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win.

But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger.

All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iTunes | IndieBound | Kobo


Praise for The Competition

"THE COMPETITION is a page-turning, provocative romp through a fascinating time and place―15th-century Florence. Donna Russo Morin has given us a novel for our time, a book featuring strong female characters fighting the odds to break the “glass ceiling,” and reminding us that this battle is not new: women have been waging it for centuries. ―Sherry Jones, author of The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard

“...a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition...a masterful writer at the peak of her craft.”―C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de'Medici

“A 15th-century Florence of exquisite art, sensual passion and sudden, remorseless violence comes vividly to life in Donna Russo Morin's new novel.”―Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown

“In Portrait of a Conspiracy, Russo Morin's rich detailing transports the reader to the heart of Renaissance Italy from the first page.”―Heather Webb, author of Becoming Josephine

“Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play in this delicious, heart-pounding tale.”―Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome Saga

"In elegant prose, Morin paints a captivating tale of courageous women painters who battle against prejudices in Renaissance Florence. Featuring strong women characters, each with distinctive personalities, this is exactly the type of historical novel I enjoy. Exhilarating and compassionate, The Competition sings a beautiful tribute of women's talents and underscores Morin's masterful storytelling. Delightful!"―Weina Dai Randel, author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon

“An inspiring tale of determined women, empowered by undeniable talent, in the male-dominated art world of Renaissance Florence. In The Competition, Ms. Morin delivers a captivating story rich with historical detail and beautifully woven through with atmosphere.”―Diane Haeger, author of Courtesan

About the Author

Donna earned two degrees from the University of Rhode Island. In addition to writing, teaching writing, and reviewing for literary journals, Donna works as a model and actor; highlights of her work include two seasons on Showtime’s Brotherhood and an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Donna is the proud mother of two sons, one a future opera singer, the other a future chef.

Donna's titles include The Courtier's Secret, The Secret of the Glass, To Serve a King, The King's Agent, Portrait of a Conspiracy, and The Competition.

Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat. Visit her website at www.donnarussomorin.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 26
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, June 27
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, June 28
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 29
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight at A Holland Reads

Friday, June 30
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, July 3
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, July 5
Guest Post at Books of All Kinds

Thursday, July 6
Spotlight at The Writing Desk

Saturday, July 8
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, July 10
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Tuesday, July 11
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, July 14
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, July 17
Review at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, July 18
Guest Post at Bookfever

Thursday, July 20
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, July 24
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Wednesday, July 26
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, July 27
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Friday, July 28
Review at Just One More Chapter

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of The Competition & a Key Pendant necklace! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. 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.

The Competition


The Babe Ruth Deception Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today on the blog, we are thrilled to be kicking off David Stewart's Blog Tour for The Babe Ruth Deception, the third book in his Fraser & Cook Mystery series! You can read more about the book below & enter to win a copy!


The Babe Ruth Deception by David O. Stewart

Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Kensington Books
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages

Series: A Fraser and Cook Mystery (Book 3)
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mysteries/Baseball


As the Roaring Twenties get under way, corruption seems everywhere–from the bootleggers flouting Prohibition to the cherished heroes of the American Pastime now tarnished by scandal. Swept up in the maelstrom are Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook…

Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, is having a record-breaking season in his first year as a New York Yankee. In 1920, he will hit more home runs than any other team in the American League. Larger than life on the ball field and off, Ruth is about to discover what the Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are learning–baseball heroes are not invulnerable to scandal. With suspicion in the air, Ruth’s 1918 World Series win for the Boston Red Sox is now being questioned. Under scrutiny by the new baseball commissioner and enmeshed with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein, Ruth turns for help to Speed Cook–a former professional ballplayer himself before the game was segregated and now a promoter of Negro baseball–who’s familiar with the dirty underside of the sport.

Cook in turn enlists the help of Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza is coproducing a silent film starring the Yankee outfielder. Restraint does not come easily to the reckless Ruth, but the Frasers try to keep him in line while Cook digs around.

As all this plays out, Cook’s son Joshua and Fraser’s daughter Violet are brought together by a shocking tragedy. But an interracial relationship in 1920 feels as dangerous as a public scandal–even more so because Joshua is heavily involved in bootlegging. Trying to protect Ruth and their own children, Fraser and Cook find themselves playing a dangerous game.

Once again masterfully blending fact and fiction, David O. Stewart delivers a nail-biting historical mystery that captures an era unlike any America has seen before or since in all its moral complexity and dizzying excitement.

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

Praise for The Babe Ruth Deception

"Having mastered the craft of writing novels that feature Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, David O. Stewart has now chosen someone who is perfect for the genre. Babe Ruth was as mythic as a person gets, and the author has surrounded The Babe with a Prohibition cast of bootleggers, gangsters and thugs, giving us a fine yarn that mixes and matches the grand glories of The National Pastime with the nefarious foibles of human nature." --Frank Deford, Sportswriter and Bestselling Novelist

“This is so much more than a baseball book. There’s a lot of the Babe, but it’s a history book, a mystery book, a complex book that beautifully details an era in America. I loved it!” --Tim Kurkjian, ESPN Baseball Contributor and Author

“[The Babe Ruth Deception] cleverly mixes real-life people and historical events. The problems of the unlikely sleuths will particularly appeal to baseball fans.” --Kirkus Reviews

“A rollicking real-life figure leads to a rollicking fictional romp. The allure of the Babe may bring you into this book; David O. Stewart’s lively tale will keep you there.” --Kostya Kennedy

“Well-written novels that blend fact and fiction always get my attention, and if it’s Babe Ruth and characters from his era, I’m in. David O. Stewart reminds us of why the ‘20s roared, and how much fun the Babe was. A delight!” --Marty Appel, author of Pinstripe Empire

“David O. Stewart, the master of fictional historic deceptions, has hit one out of the park with The Babe Ruth Deception. Not only is it most cleverly plotted but gives us a feel for the corrupt and colorful Era of Prohibition when Babe Ruth was at his most beloved despite – or because of – his off-the-field flaws and excesses.” --Paul Dickson author of Leo Durocher – Baseball’s Prodigal Son

About the Author

David O. Stewart, formerly a lawyer, writes fiction and history. His first historical work told the story of the writing of the Constitution ("The Summer of 1787"). It was a Washington Post Bestseller and won the Washington Writing Prize for Best Book of 2007. His second book ("Impeached"), grew from a judicial impeachment trial he defended before the United States Senate in 1989. "American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America" explored Burr's astounding Western expedition of 1805-07 and his treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall. "Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America" debuted in February 2015. He has received the 2013 History Award of the Society of the Cincinnati and the 2016 William Prescott Award for History Writing from the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

Stewart's fiction career began with the release of "The Lincoln Deception," an historical novel exploring the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy. "The Wilson Deception," the sequel, is set at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. "The Babe Ruth Deception" occurs during the Babe's first two years with the Yankees while he remade baseball and America began the modern era with Prohibition, bootlegging, and terrrorism.

Stewart lives with his wife in Maryland. Visit his website at www.davidostewart.com.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 27
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 28
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, June 29
Interview at I Heart Reading

Friday, June 30
Spotlight at A Holland Reads

Sunday, July 2
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, July 3
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, July 4
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 6
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

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

Monday, July 10
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, July 11
Review at Laura's Interests

Wednesday, July 12
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, July 19
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, July 21
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Wednesday, July 26
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, July 27
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Babe Ruth Deception! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 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 Babe Ruth Deception


July Release: The Queen's Mary by Sarah Gristwood


The Queen's Mary by Sarah Gristwood

Publication Date: July 1, 2017
Endeavour Press

Genre: Historical Fiction

Who would have thought it? That captivity could be liberty? That service could be freedom?

In 1548 four little girls, all called Mary, set sail from Scotland for France. Five years old, they are already primed for the work of their lifetime - to serve another little girl called Mary.

Mary, Queen of Scots.

Thirteen years later, the five return to an unwelcoming Scotland, and as Queen Mary struggles to take control of her turbulent country, her famous ‘Four Marys’ are at her side.

The queen finds herself set on the path of violence and disaster which will lead eventually to her tragic end. But what of the other four Marys, bound inexorably to their mistress’ fate?

Of the four, it is Mary Seton who serves the queen longest, and whose loyalty is most severely tested. Through a maze of shadows - of treachery and even witchcraft - how can she find her own way ahead?

Praise for The Queen’s Mary

“Sarah Gristwood breathes new life into the deeply tragic story of Mary Queen of Scots by telling it through the perspective of the invisible woman who sacrificed her life to serve her.” Elizabeth Freemantle, bestselling author of The Girl in the Glass Tower

About the Author

After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood began work as a journalist, appearing in most of the UK’s leading newspapers. Turning to history, she wrote bestselling biographies and works of fiction and nonfiction, predominantly focused on the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A regular media commentator on royal and historical affairs, Sarah was one of the team providing Radio 4’s live coverage of the royal wedding; and has since spoken on royal and historical stories from the royal babies to the reburial of Richard III for national television and radio. Shortlisted for both the Marsh Biography Award and the Ben Pimlott Prize for Political Writing, she is a Fellow of the RSA, and an Honorary Patron of Historic Royal Palaces.

New Release from Cynthia Ripley Miller: The Quest for the Crown of Thorns


The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller

Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing

Series: Long-Hair Saga (Book 2)
Genre: Historical Mystery

AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic's farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria's insistence, but against Garic's better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object--Christ's Crown of Thorns--rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest--a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria's thoughts.

Arria and Garic's marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history's most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.

Available in Paperback from Amazon

The Life and Deaths of Blanche Nero Blog Tour & Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Today on the blog I am super excited to be kicking off Ken Brigahm's Blog Tour with Book Junkie Promotions for The Life and Deaths of Blanche Nero. If you're looking for a unique and exciting read, you definitely need to check it out, and luckily we have one paperback copy to give away to one lucky winner!


The Life and Deaths of Blanche Nero
by Ken Brigham

Publication Date: August 1, 2016
Secant Publishing
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback & eBook

Genre: Thriller & Suspense/Historical Fiction/Mystery


At fifteen, Blanche Nero watches the electrocution of her Italian immigrant father, punishment for the inexplicable brutal murder of his recently acquired friend Old Man Flaherty. She resolves to do something with her life that values humanity over justice, mercy over sacrifice. But she is forever haunted by the mystery of her father. She is also drawn irresistibly to the bigger human mysteries of violence and death.

After a grueling but successful academic career at some of the nation’s finest university hospitals, Blanche is almost sixty. Her long career as a trauma surgeon at Charity Hospital in New Orleans has been abruptly ended by Hurricane Katrina. She takes a year sabbatical from the medical school and leases a small flat in Venice, seeking an understanding of her father in the place where he lived his formative years—and of herself by reliving and recording her own remarkable life.

On a cold morning in Piazza San Marco, Blanche meets Count Lorenzo Ludovici (Ludo) an aging, elegant, and charming Venetian who is dying of AIDS. Blanche is drawn to him and is uncharacteristically self-revealing as he introduces her to his beautiful city. As their relationship develops and his health deteriorates, Blanche becomes ever more fond of the count.

As she relives her past by writing down what she remembers, she sees the girl she was and the woman she became with new eyes: the mystery of her father’s death; her distant mother; her sometimes misguided adolescent efforts to grow up. And then discovering the thrill of medicine, especially the sensual thrill of trauma surgery and losing herself in that career, immersed in violence. She recalls her attempts at relationships, especially with Jesse Pinto, the one man whom she has ever loved, and how she ended that. She remembers her love affair with the Big Easy and Charity Hospital (the Big Free) that came suddenly to a violent end.

Through a series of painful and revealing conversations, Blanche and Ludo discover that each of them has private knowledge of interlocking pieces of their history.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Ken Brigham is emeritus professor of medicine at Emory University. He is widely published in the scientific literature and has authored or coauthored two previous novels and two nonfiction books. He lives with his wife, Arlene Stecenko, in midtown Atlanta.

For more information see www.kenbrigham.com. You can also follow Ken on Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 12
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, June 14
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, June 15
Review at Turning the Pages
Spotlight at Laura's Interests

Friday, June 16
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, June 19
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, June 20
Interview at Creating Herstory

Wednesday, June 21
Spotlight at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, June 23
Review at Back Porchervations

Monday, June 26
Review at Trisha Jenn Reads

Tuesday, June 27
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, June 30
Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past


Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of The Life and Deaths of Blanche Nero, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 30th. 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.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY


AnneMarie Brear's Where Rainbows End Book Blast


Where Rainbows End by AnneMarie Brear

Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Choc Lit
eBook; ASIN: B071P7KBH6

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance/Western


Can she hold on to her dreams...?

It’s 1850 and the Noble family have travelled to the other side of the world to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England.

Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plan for an outback farm reality, although her ambition is frowned upon by a society that has very set ideas about a woman’s place...

Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.

Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa's dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family's land, even if it means losing everything else...

"A compelling story of a headstrong woman who defies the traditional female role and forages a successful life through hard work and a strong vision. Excellent descriptions of the outback and the hardships of life in Australia in the 1850's." - Amazon Review

You can purchase Where Rainbows End in eBook via:


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo


About the Author

AnneMarie has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

AnneMarie grew up in Australia but now lives in the UK.

For more information please visit AnneMarie Brear's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, May 29
100 Pages a Day
A Bookaholic Swede

Tuesday, May 30
Creating Herstory
Beth's Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, May 31
Book Nerd
A Holland Reads
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, June 1
Brooke Blogs
So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, June 2
A Chick Who Reads
Susan Heim on Writing

Saturday, June 3
T's Stuff

Sunday, June 4
Passages to the Past

Monday, June 5
CelticLady's Reviews
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, June 6
I Heart Reading
WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, June 7
Books, Dreams, Life
Faery Tales Are Real

Thursday, June 8
Let Them Read Books
History From a Woman's Perspective

Friday, June 9
A Literary Vacation
Library of Clean Reads

The Irish Milliner Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway

Happy Sunday everyone! Today on the blog I am excited to be hosting Cynthia Neale's Blog Tour for The Irish Milliner, the fourth book in her Norah McCabe series. You can check out a short excerpt below and don't forget to enter our giveaway! We have one paperback copy to give away to one lucky winner!


The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale

Publication Date: June 2, 2017
Fireship Press
eBook; 276 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance


It is New York City and the Civil War is brewing. Norah McCabe, an Irish immigrant who escaped the Famine as a child, is now a young widow with a daughter. She is a milliner, struggling to survive in tumultuous times. Norah meets Abraham Lincoln, befriends the extraordinary African-American woman Elizabeth Jennings, and assists the Underground Railroad. She falls headlong in love with Edward M. Knox, son of the famous hat-maker Charles Knox, but he is lace curtain Irish and she is shanty Irish. Edward joins the 69th regiment and leaves for battle. Can their love endure through class differences and war?

This is a story of survival, intrigue, romance, as well as, exploring the conflict of Irish immigrants thrust into a war that threatened to destroy a nation. It is about an Irish-American woman who could be any immigrant today, any woman today, seeking to create beauty and make sense of her life.

Excerpt

This is an excerpt taken from the scene when Norah goes with her black friend, Elizabeth Jennings, to visit some of the runaway slaves in the basement of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, NY. She has been making hats for the Underground Railroad women fleeing to Canada from the south:

Norah is silent and fearful of taking such a powerful charm from this woman. She has never intended to become this entwined with the Negro just because she is friends with Elizabeth Jennings. She wants to leave. She can't get enough air in her lungs and her heart is pacing in her chest like a frightened animal. She doesn't know how to tell Sarah she can't accept this lucky box. Sarah needs it more than she does and Norah doesn't believe in any luck that can double. The woman's own beaten husband made it for her. Why would she give it to her, she wonders. She wants to get back to Katie and Sean and go home for a strong cup of tea.

"Where are the hats that Norah made?" Elizabeth asks, interrupting the interchange between Sarah and Norah.

Sarah rushes to the corner of the room and pulls the bonnets out of a burlap bag. When the women put them on their heads, Norah sees them transformed into free, dignified women in the candlelight. They smile at her and then she carefully places the four-leaf clover charm inside her bodice and near her heart.

Suddenly the Civil War seems very relevant and Cynthia Neale does a great job of focusing on the role of the Irish in the conflict. And it's great fun to be in touch with her wonderful character, Norah McCabe, again!” ~Mary Pat Kelly, author of Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood

This timely novel spans centuries to bring to our attention to a topic as old as yesterday, as expedient as tomorrow⎯emigration. Neale's work, written with love and insight, reminds us that our neighbor is all mankind.” ~Tim Pat Coogan, Irish broadcaster, journalist, writer and author of 1916 The Easter Rising, Michael Collins and The Famine Plot

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

About the Author

Cynthia G. Neale is a native of the Finger Lakes region of New York and now resides in New Hampshire. She has long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Great Hunger.

This is Ms. Neale’s fourth novel. She also writes plays, short stories, and essays, and holds a B.A. in Writing and Literature from Vermont College.

For more information, please visit Cynthia G. Neale's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, June 2
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Saturday, June 3
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Sunday, June 4
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Monday, June 5
Interview at Books & Benches

Tuesday, June 6
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, June 7
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, June 8
Review at Rainy Day Reviews
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, June 9
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Interview at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Giveaway

To win an eBook of The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale, please enter the Gleam form below. Two eBooks are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 9th. 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 Irish Milliner


2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: June Reviews


Welcome to the June 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 June 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
April 2017
May 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.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
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If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.







Review & Giveaway: Written in the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt


Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

Publisher: Harper Collins (Nov. 29, 2016)
Category: Historical Fiction
Tour Dates: May-June, 2017
ISBN: 978-0062673688
ASIN: B01CY3A8X4
Available in: Print & ebook,  554Pages

Written In the Ashes

"Written in the Ashes is one of those rare novels that sets 'history' afire, to bathe readers in the glow of a greater, hotter truth. Fans of The Mists of Avalon will find this romantic/alchemical/feminist/spiritual epic equally captivating."—Tom Robbins, bestselling author of Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. and Villa Incognito

In the bloody clash between Christians and pagans in fifth-century Alexandria, a servant girl becomes the last hope for preserving peace in this evocative and thrilling tale—a blend of history, adventure, religion, romance, and mysticism reminiscent of The Mists of Avalon.

After she is abducted from her home in the mountains of Sinai, Hannah is enslaved and taken to Alexandria, where she becomes the property of Alizar, an alchemist and pagan secretly working to preserve his culture. Revered for her beautiful singing voice, the young slave is invited to perform at the city's Great Library, where she becomes friends with the revered mathematician and philosopher, Hypatia, as well as other pagans who curate its magnificent collections. Determined to help them uphold pagan culture and traditions, Hannah embarks on a dangerous quest to unite the fractured pieces of the Emerald Tablet—the last hope to save the pagans and create peace.

On this odyssey that leads her to the lost oracles of Delfi and Amun-Ra and to rediscovered ancient cities and rituals, Hannah will experience forbidden loves, painful betrayals, and poignant reunions. But her efforts may be in vain. Returning to Alexandria, Hannah finds a city engulfed in violence, even as her own romantic entanglements come to a head. Now, it's not only her future, but the fate of all Alexandria that is at stake.

MY REVIEW

Rating: 4 stars

After seeing the rave reviews of Written in the Ashes from my blogger peeps I knew I had to read it, and when Teddy emailed me with the chance to review it for Kaia's Blog Tour I immediately signed up! And boy am I glad that I did! It's just as intriguing and un-put-down-able as I hoped it would be!

Written in the Ashes brings us back to 5th century BC, to Alexandria and the events leading up to the burning of the Library at Alexandria. The story is told through the eyes of Hannah, a young girl who is taken from her homeland and sold as a slave to a prominent man in Alexandria. Her intelligence and lovely singing voice set her apart and her new owner, Alizar, sends her on a quest for the Emerald Tablet, which Alizar believed would be the key to uniting the empire.

I read Written in the Ashes in just a few sittings, despite the massive size (500 pages) and suffering from motion sickness on a road trip. No way was I going to let a little naseua keep me from finishing this amazing novel! The perfect mix of action, adventure, mysticism, history, and a strong female protagonist, Van Zandt knocks it out of the park and has written the quintessential historical fiction novel. Highly recommended!

Important Note: I feel that I would be remiss in mentioning that there is a pretty vivid rape scene in the beginning of the novel. I don't feel that it took away from the book itself, but I would hate for someone that has been a victim of sexual assault to be triggered by such a scene.

Thanks to Teddy from Virtual Author Book Tours & K. Hollan Van Zandt for the chance to read this amazing book!

Praise for Written In the Ashes

“In her captivating debut novel, Written in the Ashes, K. Hollan Van Zandt brings to life a fascinating and forgotten woman of history: Hypatia of Alexandria, who may have been one of the greatest female minds of all time. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk the streets of long ago Egypt, then look no further. You will be enthralled!”– Michelle Moran, international bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter

“Van Zandt’s vivid description of the Great Library instantly transported me to a lush fifth century Alexandria. Her lyrical writing style and breakneck storytelling kept me riveted to the very last page.”– Robin Maxwell bestselling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and Signora da Vinci.

"Going back so far in time leaves an author with little written record to rely on for fact. The burning of the Great Library at Alexandria was a monumental loss to humanity. The facts of the matter aside, this novel was truly arresting and I had a hard time putting it down to get anything done.
Ancient history fascinates me. Religion fascinates me. This book manages to tie both together in a story that resonates through time.
The book was fascinating. The characters were well developed and I really didn't want to leave this world of ancient Alexandria. The imaginary, magical priests and the beautiful goddesses created by Ms. Van Zandt lent themselves to a mystical world that was quite believable within its context. As the story unfolded I was rooting for Hannah to fulfill her destiny and find peace with her past. I am looking forward to the next chapters in these characters lives."-Patty Woodland, Broken Teepee

About K. Hollan Van Zandt

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt
Kaia Van Zandt is a celebrated author and teacher whose novel, Written in the Ashes, chronicles the events that led up to the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt. Kaia’s spiritual journey began at age 14 when she founded the youth division of the Humane Society of the United States. Then as a junior in high school, she traveled to the Earth Summit in Brazil, where she taught meditation, and was given the opportunity to work with world leaders on the challenges facing humanity and the planet today, an experience that profoundly influenced her work.

She’s a graduate of Antioch University, where she focused on the intersection between the ancient Goddess traditions and modern culture. Her fascination with healing-both personally and collectively – led her to yoga. During her career she’s worked with thought leaders like Marci Shimoff and Deepak Chopra, actors like Ashley Judd, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Garry Shandling, as well as Sony ImageWorks, UCLA Medical, and the San Francisco 49ers. Her beloved writing mentor is bestselling novelist/humorist, Tom Robbins.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Buy Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt 

(ebook only $0.99 May 29-July 3)


Follow Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 19 Interview & Giveaway

Celticlady's Reviews May 22 Excerpt

Jo Amazon Reviewer May 24 Review

Katy Amazon Reviewer May 25 Review

Room without Books is Empty May 30 Review                               

Passages to the Past May 31 Review & Giveaway

Books, Dreams,Life June 1 Review & Excerpt

Second Book to the Right June 2 Review

Rainy Day Reviews June 7 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

History from Woman's Perspective June 8 Review & Guest Post

Between the Beats June 16 Review

Secret Pearl Reviews June 23 Review

Lisa's Writopia June 26 Guest Post

Giveaway

Passages to the Past has one eBook to give away to one lucky reader! To enter, just leave a comment below and please include your email address or alternate way to contact you should you win.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 15th. 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.

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

Cryssa Bazos' Traitor's Knot Book Blast

Happy Wednesday, everyone! It's a busy day on the blog today as I'll be highlighting two fabulous historical books. First up is Traitor's Knot by debut author Cryssa Bazos!


Traitor's Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Endeavor Press
eBook; 394 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical


England 1650: Civil War has given way to an uneasy peace in the year since Parliament executed King Charles I.

Royalist officer James Hart refuses to accept the tyranny of the new government, and to raise funds for the restoration of the king’s son, he takes to the road as a highwayman.

Elizabeth Seton has long been shunned for being a traitor’s daughter. In the midst of the new order, she risks her life by sheltering fugitives from Parliament in a garrison town. But her attempts to rebuild her life are threatened, first by her own sense of injustice, then by falling in love with the dashing Hart.

The lovers’ loyalty is tested through war, defeat and separation. James must fight his way back to the woman he loves, while Elizabeth will do anything to save him, even if it means sacrificing herself.

Traitor’s Knot is a sweeping tale of love and conflicted loyalties set against the turmoil of the English Civil War.

“A hugely satisfying read that will appeal to historical fiction fans who demand authenticity, and who enjoy a combination of suspense, action, and a very believable love story.” - Elizabeth St. John, author of The Lady of the Tower

“A thrilling historical adventure expertly told.” - Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife

Traitor's Knot is available in eBook from Amazon

About the Author

Cryssa Bazos is a historical fiction writer and 17th Century enthusiast, with a particular interest in the English Civil War (ECW). She blogs about English history and storytelling at her blog, the 17th Century Enthusiast, and is an editor of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog site.

Cryssa's debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, a romantic tale of adventure set during the English Civil War. Traitor’s Knot is the first in a series of adventures spanning from the ECW to the Restoration and is now available from Endeavour Press.

For more information visit Cryssa's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, May 31
Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 1
A Bookaholic Swede

Friday, June 2
The Writing Desk

Monday, June 5
Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, June 6
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, June 8
So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, June 9
I Heart Reading

Monday, June 12
What Is That Book About

Tuesday, June 13
Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, June 14
The True Book Addict

Thursday, June 15
A Holland Reads

Sunday, June 18
Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, June 19
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots (with excerpt)

Tuesday, June 20
A Literary Vacation
To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, June 21
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Thursday, June 22
CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, June 23
Book Nerd

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage

Happy Monday, dear Readers! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing mamas out there! I hope you were spoiled rotten with love, and maybe a book or two :)

Today I am hosting Anna Belfrage's Blog Tour for the release of the latest installation in her King's Greatest Enemy series, Under the Approaching Dark! If you haven't read an Anna Belfrage novel, you are seriously missing out! Witty and clever dialogue, characters you will never forget, and fascinating history - she really does write the quintessential historical novel. Do yourself a favor and enter the giveaway below, you won't regret it!

Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: April 28, 2017
Matador
eBook & Paperback; 424 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.

After years of strife, England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

In the north, the Scots take advantage of the weakened state of the realm and raid with impunity. Closer to court, it is Mortimer’s increasing powers that cause concerns – both among his enemies, but also for men like Adam, who loves Mortimer dearly, but loves the young king just as much.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

"The writing is impeccable. The story has everything. Under the Approaching Dark is just perfect in every sense" - Sharon Bennett Connolly, History The Interesting Bits

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo



About the Author

Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she's multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer - or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she's still there.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 1
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, May 2
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 3
Review at A Book Drunkard

Thursday, May 4
Review at A Holland Reads

Friday, May 5
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, May 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 9
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 10
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, May 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, May 12
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 15
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, May 16
Review at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Wednesday, May 17
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, May 18
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, May 19
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Monday, May 22
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, May 23
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 24
Excerpt at Jo's Book Blog
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Thursday, May 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 26
Spotlight at Laura's Interests

Sunday, May 28
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Books and Benches

Monday, May 29
Guest Post at Yelena Casale's Blog

Tuesday, May 30
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Giveaway

To win a copy of Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 30th. 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.

Under the Appraoching Dark


2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: May Reviews


Welcome to the May 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 May 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
April 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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Release Day for Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh


Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Forge Books
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29743029-becoming-bonnie

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh comes the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo.

​The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn't know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Few details are known about Bonnie's life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Praise for Becoming Bonnie

"A compelling account of a nation and a life in disarray--readers will feel for Bonnelyn as she finds herself scrabbling for survival in a world turned upside down." - Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author

"Jenni L. Walsh delivers an intriguing insight into the life of one half of the infamous duo, Bonnie and Clyde." - Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author

"Debut author Jenni L. Walsh deftly pulls the reader into Bonnie’s world, and then deeper into her mind, so we see exactly how and when she made her choices—and her bed. Booze-soaked, southern-fried, and fully immersive, BECOMING BONNIE is a rocking good read." - Heather Webb, author of Rodin's Lover

"A dazzling and compulsively-readable adventure of self-discovery, with a voice both singular and irresistible. I dare you not to fall in love with Bonnie, and her intoxicating, wholly immersive world." - Lee Kelly, author of A Criminal Magic ​

"A biographical sketch of the early life of a legendary woman... Walsh’s debut historical novel brings the Prohibition era, the Great Depression, and American gangsters to life through the personality and circumstances of a notorious moll who starts out as a good girl... Look forward to the sequel for later exploits of these notorious bandits." (Booklist)

About the Author

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet.

For the mamas, Becoming Bonnie (Tor) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s.

For the kiddos, the Brave Like Me series (Scholastic) is her middle grade debut that features true stories from heroic women who, at a young age, accomplished daring feats of perseverance and bravery.

For more information, visit Jenni Walsh's website: http://www.jennilwalsh.com
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