A.B. Michaels' Golden City Series Book Blast


The Art of Love (Golden City, Book 1)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: May 4, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance



A Notable Indie Book of 2014
Silver Ippy Award
New Apple Medalist
Editor’s Choice – Idaho Book Awards

At the end of the Gilded Age, the “Golden City” of San Francisco offers everything a man could want—except the answers August Wolff desperately needs to find.

After digging a fortune in gold from the frozen fields of the Klondike, Gus heads south, hoping to start over and put the baffling disappearance of his wife and daughter behind him. The turn of the century brings him even more success, but the distractions of a city some call the new Sodom and Gomorrah can’t fill the gaping hole in his life.

Amelia Starling is a wildly talented artist caught in the straightjacket of Old New York society. Making a heart-breaking decision, she moves to San Francisco to further her career, all the while living with the pain of a sacrifice no woman should ever have to make.

Brought together by the city’s flourishing art scene, Gus and Lia forge a rare connection. But the past, shrouded in mystery, prevents the two of them from moving forward as one. Unwilling to face society’s scorn, Lia leaves the city and vows to begin again in Europe.

Gus can’t bear to let her go, but unless he can set his ghosts to rest, he and Lia have no chance at all.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


The Depth of Beauty (Golden City, Book 2)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: January 6, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance



A Notable Indie Book of 2016
2017 RITA Finalist – “Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance”
Bookstores without Borders Lyra Award for Historical Fiction
Chanticleer Book Reviews Goethe Award – First in Category: North American Turn of the Century

In 1903 San Francisco’s Chinatown, slavery, polygamy, and rampant prostitution are thriving— just blocks away from the city’s elite, progressive society.

Wealthy and well-connected, Will Firestone enters the mysterious enclave with an eye toward expanding his shipping business. What he finds there will astonish him. With the help of an exotic young widow and a gifted teenage orphan, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, where lust, love and tragedy will change his life forever.

A stand-alone novel, The Depth of Beauty is the latest addition to the dual genre series, “Sinner’s Grove,” which chronicles the family and friends of a world-famous artists’ retreat on the northern California coast. The stories follow both historical and contemporary tracks and can be read separately or together for greater depth. Other titles in the series include the award-winning The Art of Love, Sinner’s Grove and The Lair.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


The Promise (Golden City, Book 3)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: June 24, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance



April 18, 1906. A massive earthquake has decimated much of the Golden City, leaving thousands without food, water or shelter. Patrolling the streets to help those in need, Army corporal Ben Tilson meets a young woman named Charlotte who touches his heart, making him think of a future with her in it. In the heat of the moment he makes a promise to her little sister that even he realizes will be almost impossible to keep.

Because on the heels of the earthquake, a much worse disaster looms: a fire that threatens to consume everything and everyone in its path. It will take everything Ben’s got to make it back to Charlotte and her family—and even that may not be enough.

The Promise, a stand-alone novella, is the third offering in A.B. Michaels’ award-winning historical saga, “The Golden City,” which takes place in and around San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century. Other books in the series include The Art of Love and The Depth of Beauty.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


The Price of Compassion (Golden City, Book 4)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: August 27, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery



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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Book Blast Schedule

Monday, August 13
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 14
Naomi Finley's Blog

Wednesday, August 15
What Is That Book About

Thursday, August 16
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, August 17
CelticLady's Reviews
Just One More Chapter

Saturday, August 18
Broken Teepee

Sunday, August 19
Maiden of the Pages

Monday, August 20
Pursuing Stacie
Clarissa Reads It All

Tuesday, August 21
A Book Geek

Wednesday, August 22
Creating Herstory
The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, August 23
Katie's Book Cave

Friday, August 24
The Book Review
Donna's Book Blog

The Golden City Series is on Sale!

Interview with Sophie Schiller & Island on Fire Giveaway

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to be have Sophie Schiller here to talk about her latest book, Island on Fire! Check out our interview & enter to win a copy!


Hello Sophie and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Island on Fire!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and Island on Fire?

Thank you for having me! I am a writer of thrillers and historical adventure tales set in exotic locations. Island on Fire is my third novel, and is set in Martinique during the deadliest volcanic disaster of the 20th century. It’s a story that I believed deserved to reach a wider audience, so that’s why I set out to tell this tale.

What inspired you to write Island on Fire?

I love telling the untold stories that no one has ever told before, and I love telling them in a suspenseful way with lots of interesting, colorful characters and exotic settings. I thought Island on Fire would open up a whole new world to readers of historical fiction: in setting, in characters, in culture, and in history. I thought the story was so similar to Pompeii that it would appeal to readers of “Pompeii” and other books and movies set during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
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What type of research did you do for writing Island on Fire?

I read every book I could find on the subject. I explored the volcanic ruins in St. Pierre, Martinique, studied the culture first hand, talked to the descendants of survivors, explored the cobblestoned streets of St. Pierre, and immersed myself in the culture. I also taught myself geology and volcanology from a Victorian Era perspective. Finally, I translated old books in French about the voodoo practices in the French West Indies. This part of the research was the most fascinating.

Did you find anything in your research that was particularly fascinating or that helped shaped the novel?

While scouring news sites from Martinique I would always come across articles about voodoo ritual objects that are discovered in public places, scaring the population. I decided that a book set in Martinique had to include voodoo as one of the themes. That’s when I created the character of the “Grand Zamy”, who was modeled after a real voodoo witch doctor who lived in the early part of the 20th century and killed himself out of remorse for the large number of people he allegedly killed.

What was your favorite scene to write?

It was hard writing the mudslide scene that kills some of the important characters, but I was happy with the results. I used all my thriller writing techniques to get the scene just right. That scene also set the stage for the next part of the novel, which puts the heroine in even more peril.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Love scenes (for me) are very hard to write. But I’m happy with the results in this book!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer, but I also wanted to live a full life with lots of interesting experiences, traveling to faraway places and meeting fascinating people. It wasn’t until all my kids were in school that I pursued my dream. So it took several decades for the vision to become reality.

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

Finding one’s voice is the greatest challenge for practically every writer. The best way to overcome it is to write a great deal, hundreds of thousands of words. Eventually the voice forms on the page.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I love great 20th century writers like Graham Greene, Leon Uris, Lionel Davidson, Ken Follett and Robert Harris. They have enormous shoes to fill!

What was the first historical novel you read?

My first real adult historical novel was “Exodus” by Leon Uris. My father gave it to me when I complained about being bored during a summer break in high school. That book literally changed my life.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I am reading “Johnny Tremain” by Esther Forbes as preparation for my current project. It should be required reading for every aspiring historical novelist.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I can speak 3 languages. I love studying foreign cultures and foreign languages so much so that when I went to college my original goal was to become a diplomat.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love immersing my readers in the past; I love making the past come alive. I love making discoveries about our past that no one has ever heard of before. I love learning new things. There is so much yet to discover!

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

I usually work in the period 1880-1918, but now I’m working in the 18th century. While I never read that much in this period, I’m immersing myself in it now for my current project. It’s good to stretch oneself in life. We have no idea our brain’s full potential but I believe it is incumbent upon us to grow in life.

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

I love listening to music, reading, cooking, traveling, and writing poems. I love interacting with my friends on Facebook. I love exploring new places and making new discoveries.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m working on a fictional diary of a founding father during his turbulent youth. I hope to return to Passages to the Past in the near future to talk about it!

It's a date, Sophie! I'm excited to hear more about it! Thank you so much for spending time with us today. Congratulations on the release of your new book!



Island on Fire by Sophie Schiller

Publication Date: March 15, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 270 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1986210782

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Thriller


In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past. At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed Pompeii of the Caribbean before it’s too late?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


About the Author

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews called her "an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer”. Her latest novel is Island on Fire, a thriller about the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. She was educated at American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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



Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, August 7
Review at Oh, October

Wednesday, August 8
Review at Bri's Book Nook
Feature at Just One More Chapter

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

Friday, August 10
Feature at Books and Wine are Lovely

Saturday, August 11
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, August 13
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Tuesday, August 14
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of Island on Fire to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Island on Fire


Helen R. Davis Blog Tour & Giveaway: Evita, My Argentina & The Most Happy


Evita...My Argentina by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: February 10, 2017
Custom Book Publications
eBook & Paperback; 228 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical


EVITA … My Argentina

Evita Perón tells her own spectacular story.

Tracing her life back to her humble beginnings, when she is abandoned by her father, Evita takes the reader on her journey to become an actress and later, to the pivotal moment when she meets Colonel Juan Perón. Never content to stay in her husband’s shadow, Evita reveals how she shares his belief that Peronism will help the working class. Eventually she begins doing work on her own as the president of the Society of Benevolence, helping the poor and winning the peoples’ trust.

As the times change and women get the vote, Evita becomes even more powerful, running the Ministries of Labor and Health, starting a foundation, and organizing the first female party, The Female Peronist Party.

A larger-than-life story, told in her own fictional words, the powerful novel is as educational as it is entertaining.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



The Most Happy by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Callipe Editorial

Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction


Anne Boleyn is known throughout the world as the beheaded wife of King Henry VIII, a woman for whom Henry discarded a Spanish princess and who was later discarded for the woman who gave Henry his longed-for son. Love her or hate her, it cannot be denied her romance with Henry VIII changed the course of English and European, and perhaps World History, forever.

This is a novel that imagines Anne Boleyn giving Henry a son and taking the reins of power as Regent of England when Henry VIII perishes in a jousting accident.

Told in the voice of the infamous Anne Boleyn, we are treated to the 16th century world that has recently become famous through programs such as The Tudors. We meet Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and many of the personalities of the mid-16th century albeit in an altered setting.

How would this era and time, a pivotal one in Western Civilization, have changed if one of the movers and shakers of the period, Anne Boleyn, had not been struck down in her prime by the man who once adored her?

Amazon


About the Author

Helen R. Davis is an American author. Her first novel, Evita: My Argentina was previously published as Evita: My Life and republished with Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong. Her second novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is the first in a series, imagines a world in which Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Augustus Caesar, are the victors of the Battle of Actium. the sequel, CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, will be released soon, followed by the titles CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA and CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT. Her third novel, or at least, her third historical novel/alternate history, THE MOST HAPPY, will be published with Callipe Editorial, based out of Madrid Spain, on July 25th, 2017.

For more information, please visit Helen Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 7
Feature at Pass Me That Book (The Most Happy)

Thursday, August 9
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, August 10
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (Evita)

Monday, August 13
Review at Donna's Book Blog (The Most Happy)

Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Naomi Finley's Blog

Friday, August 17
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, August 20
Review at Pass Me That Book (Evita)

Wednesday, August 22
Review at Donna's Book Blog (Evita)

Friday, August 24
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one paperback & one eBook of The Most Happy & one eBook of Evita! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 24th. 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.

Helen Davis - Most Happy & Evita


Kristen Wolf's Escapement Blog Tour & Giveaway


Escapement - An Exquisite Tale of Love and Passion
by Kristen Wolf


Publication Date: August 1, 2018
Pixeltry
Paperback & eBook; 481 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Women's


***WINNER of the 2018 IndieReader DISCOVERY AWARD***

From the bestselling Author of THE WAY, hailed by O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE as “A Title To Pick Up Now!”

Henri keeps many secrets. Some even from herself...

Prepare to be transported into a sensual world of possibility by this lush, heart-wrenching and gorgeously-written tale. Brimming with passion, intrigue, extraordinary characters and breathtaking surprises, ESCAPEMENT will arouse the senses and seduce readers of every persuasion.

“Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel… It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.”
—IndieReader

Cristofer's star is poised to rise. Everyone expects the dashing and gifted composer to soar to the heights of musical genius—an expectation that terrifies the young artist as much as it drives him.

Walking into the fire with Cristofer is his housekeeper, Henri, a passionate and handsome young woman who takes pleasure in dressing as a man. Tending to her employer’s domestic needs, Henri has crafted a carefree life of routine behind which she hides the truth of a tragic past. Possessed herself of an extraordinary talent, she covertly guides her employer through the trials of his artistic and romantic pursuits while carefully guarding his most closely-held secret.

But Henri’s deceptively simple life is ripped apart when a wealthy and ruthless patron grants Cristofer a spectacular commission, then unwittingly hires Henri—whom he believes to be male—to give piano lessons to his alluring wife.

The resulting entanglements rise to a dangerous pitch as Cristofer struggles to create music of epic proportions while Henri is ignited by a love more powerful than any she has ever known. But when the monstrously ambitious patron catches wind of a duplicity, he and his henchmen mobilize quickly to target the threat and soon the only hope for either friend’s survival depends on one publicly exposing the other’s hidden truth—an act that would defy the bonds of love and loyalty and bring all their lives crashing down.

Can Henri stop the oncoming tragedy and still hold onto her greatest love? Or must she lose everything?

"ESCAPEMENT is a symphony of words marked by lyrical phrases and exquisite rhythm... a testament to the artistic spirit... breathtaking."
—IndieReader

“A passionate story.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Available in Paperback & eBook on Amazon


About the Author

KRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The OPRAH Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, is a *WINNER - 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award* and received this praise: “Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel... It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.” —IndieReader

To learn more about Kristen's books and other creative projects, subscribe to her Newsletter at www.kristenwolf.com/subscribe. You can also find Kristen on Twitter, Book Bub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 7
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, August 10
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Monday, August 13
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Tuesday, August 14
Guest Post at To Read, or Not to Read

Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Author Naomi Finley'a Blog

Friday, August 17
Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 20
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, August 24
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, September 5
Review at The Slytherin Book Lady

Sunday, September 9
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Monday, September 10
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, September 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, September 13
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two signed copies of Escapement and two $5 iTunes Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US, UK, and Canada residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Escapement


M.J. Rose's Tiffany Blues Blog Tour & Giveaway

Happy Monday, dear readers! Today on Passages to the Past I am hosting an excerpt from Tiffany Blues, the new MJ Rose book that is being released tomorrow! You can read all about the book and enter to win a gorgeous Tiffany glass paperweight from the Metropolitan Museum of Art!


Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-1501173592

Genre: Historical Fiction


New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

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


Praise for Tiffany Blues

“A lush, romantic historical mystery with a unique setting. Tiffany Blues explores an interesting lost bit of American history and gives us a heroine to root for." Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

“A fascinating novel about a young, struggling artist mentored by the celebrated jeweler and stained-glass creator Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany Blues brings together an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York and an inspired fictional story about Jenny Bell and the terrible secret she's hiding.” Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

"The New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel—a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion about a young painter whose traumatic past threatens to derail her career at a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame. “[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” —The Associated Press

"M.J. Rose must have plunged her pen into a vale of tears, radiance, and crime to write this novel. Tiffany Blues melds a tragic mother-daughter relationship, the shimmer of Tiffany’s creations, the jolting life of artists and their shocking jealousy, in a captivating story that illuminates how far we'll go for love. MJ Rose broke this reader’s heart and then, as though using the ancient art of Kintsugi, healed me by sealing the future with golden veins of hope." —Randy Susan Meyers, International Bestselling Author

"Intriguing... [Rose's] best creation yet." —Publishers Weekly

"Intricate plotting, sensuous descriptions... captivating. A lush, mesmerizing story." —Kirkus

"Rose keeps readers spellbound... with a touch of Gatsby-esque flavor and opulence and a research-rich mix of facts and fiction." —Library Journal - Starred review

"Rose's talent for delivering believable characters and plot shines in her latest novel...Readers are in for a treat and the jaw-dropping climax well have them enthralled." —RT Book Reviews

"A stunning look at the Jazz Age, told in M.J. Rose's inimitable style." —PopSugar 25 Best Summer Books


Excerpt


Everything looked more beautiful through the stained glass — except her past.

Prologue

March 13, 1957

Laurelton Hall, Laurel Hollow

Oyster Bay, New York


I lost my heart long before this fire darkened its edges. I was twenty-four years old that once-upon-a-time summer when I fell in love. A love that opened a door into a new world. A profusion of greens, shades of purples, spectrums of yellows, oranges, reds, and blues — oh, so many variations of blues.

I never dreamed I'd come back to Laurelton Hall, but I always trusted it would be there if I ever could visit. Now that will be impossible. For all that is left of that arcadia is this smoldering, stinking mess.

Somewhere in this rubble of charred trees, smashed tiles, and broken glass is my bracelet with its heart-shaped diamond and benitoite charm. Did my heart burn along with the magical house, the primeval forest, the lush bushes, and the glorious flowers? I'm not sure. Platinum is a hard metal. Diamonds are harder still. Or did just the engraving melt? And what of the man whose hand had grabbed at the bracelet? His muscle and flesh would have rotted by now. But what of the bones? Do bones burn? Back when it all happened, no report about a missing artist was ever made.

I take a few tentative steps closer to the rubble of the house. Bits of glass glint in the sun. A shard of ruby flashes, another of deep amethyst. I bend

and pick up a fragment the size of my hand and wipe the soot off its surface.

With a start, I recognize this pattern.

Patterns, Mr. Tiffany once said, be they found in events, in nature, even in the stars in the firmament, are proof of history repeating itself. If we see randomness, it is only because we don't yet recognize the pattern.

So it shouldn't surprise me that of all the possible patterns, this is the one I've found. This remnant of the stained-glass clematis windows from Oliver's room. I remember how the light filtered through those windows, radiating color like the gems Mr. Tiffany used in his jewelry. How we stood in that living light and kissed, and the world opened up for me like an oyster, offering one perfect, luminous pearl. How that kiss became one more, then a hundred more. How we discovered each other's tastes and scents. How we shared that alchemical reaction when our passions ignited, combusted, and exploded, changing both of us forever.

Clutching the precious memory, I continue walking through the hulking mass of wreckage, treading carefully on the broken treasures. I listen for the familiar sounds — birds chirping, water splashing in the many fountains, and the endless rushing of the man-made waterfall that I always went out of my way to avoid.

But everything here is silent. Not even the birds have returned yet.
· · ·

I learned about the fire seven days ago. I was at home in Paris, having breakfast, eating a croissant, drinking a café crème, and reading the International

Herald Tribune. The headline popped out at me like the obituary of an old friend with whom I had long been out of touch.

Old Tiffany Mansion Burns

An eight-level structure with twenty-five baths, the house

was owned originally by the late Louis Comfort Tiffany

of the jewelry firm that bears his name. At one time the

estate covered 1,500 acres of woodland and waterfront.

I didn't realize my hand was shaking until I saw a splotch of coffee soak into my white tablecloth.

The structure later housed the Tiffany Art Foundation,

which operated a summer school for artists.

The reporter wrote that a neighbor out walking his dog noticed flames coming from the clock tower of Laurelton's main house. Within hours, the mansion was ablaze. Fire companies came from as far as Hicksville and Glen Cove. Firemen drained all the neighboring swimming pools using the water to try to contain the conflagration. They carried hoses a half mile down to the Long Island Sound to siphon off that water, too. At one point, 435 firemen worked on the blaze, but the fire raged on and on for five days, defeating them. Those who lived nearby said the skies blackened as metal and wood, foliage, ephemera, and fabric burned.

The sky here is no longer black. But the smell of the fire persists. And no wonder, considering it burned for so long.

Once the present turns to past, all we have left are memories. Yes, sometimes we can stand where we stood, see our ghost selves, and relive moments of our life. See the shadow of the man we loved. Of the friend we cherished. Of the mentor who made all the difference. Our memories turn specific. The terrier that played by the shoreline, joyously running in the sand. We can remember the smell of the roses. Look at the azure water and see the glimmer of the sun on the opposite shore and hear a fleeting few bars of jazz still lingering in the air.

If you were the only girl in the world... Staring into the remains of what is left, I see ghosts of the gardens and woods, the gazebo, terraces, rooms ablaze with stained glass — everywhere we walked and talked and kissed and cried. With my eyes closed, I see it all in my mind, but when I open them, all of it is gone, up in flames.

Mr. Tiffany once told me that there is beauty even in broken things. Looking back, there is no question I would not be the artist I am if not for that lesson. But would he be able to salvage any beauty out of this destruction?

No, I never dreamed I'd come back to Laurelton Hall. The Xanadu where I came of age as both a woman and a painter. Where I found my heart's desire and my palette's power. Where depravity bloomed alongside beds and fields of flowers, where creativity and evil flowed with the water in the many fountains. Where the sun shone on the tranquil sea and the pool's treacherous rock crystals reflected rainbows onto the stone patio. Where the glorious light streaming from Mr. Tiffany's majestic stained glass illuminated the very deep darkness that had permeated my soul and lifted me out of despair. And where I found the love that sustained me and remained in my heart even after Oliver and I parted.
Standing here, smelling the acrid stench, looking at the felled trees with their charcoal bark, the carbon-coated stones and bent metal frames that once held the master's windows, at the smoky, melting mess that was one of the greatest mansions on Long Island's Gold Coast, I know I never will see it again, not how it was that magical and awful summer of 1924.

The fire is still hot in spots, and a tree branch snaps. My reverie is broken. Leaves rustle. Rubble falls. Glass crushes. Twigs crack. Then comes a whisper.

Jenny.

But it can't be. The wind howling through a hollow tree trunk is playing a trick. Fooling me into thinking I am hearing his sapphire voice, its deep velvet tone.

As I listen to the repeated whisper — Jenny — I raise my hand to wipe at my tears and tell myself that it is the smoldering ash making my eyes water. The charms on my bracelet jingle as I lower my arm. And again the whisper... and again my name — Jenny.

About the Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com

Her most recent novel THE LIBRARY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick.

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield.

For more information, please visit her website and her blog, Museum of Mysteries. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Feature at Naomi Finley

Tuesday, August 7
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, August 8
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, August 9
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, August 10
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Sunday, August 12
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Monday, August 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, August 14
Feature at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Thursday, August 16
Review at The Lit Bitch

Monday, August 20
Review at The Book Mind
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, August 21
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, August 22
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, August 24
Feature at I'm Shelf-ish

Monday, August 27
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, August 28
Feature at A Holland Reads

Wednesday, August 29
Review at Bookish
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Thursday, August 30
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Friday, August 31
Interview at History From a Woman's Perspective

Saturday, September 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, September 3
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, September 5
Review at Laura's Interests

Thursday, September 6
Review & Interview at Clarissa Reads it All

Friday, September 7
Review at Bookramblings

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Louis Comfort Tiffany glass paperweight from the Metropolitan Museum of Artder! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Tiffany Blues


2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: August Reviews


Happy August, dear readers! I hope you are having a great summer!

Welcome to the August link page for the 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This is the page where you will enter the links to your reviews during the month of August.

Links to Previous Months...

January
February
March
April
May
June
July

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!

There's still time to sign up for the 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge! Sign Up Here.

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Interview with Author D.K. Marley & Blood and Ink Giveaway

Hello, dear readers & Happy Monday! Today on the blog I have a great interview with author D.K. Marley and a giveaway for her book, Blood and Ink! Enjoy!


Hello D.K. and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Blood and Ink!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and Blood and Ink?

I am a historical fiction author and blogger with a passion for all things Shakespearean! My grandmother gave me my first ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ when I was eleven, thus beginning my journey into the Elizabethan world. Needless to say, I was hooked. I have traveled several times to the UK on research and pleasure, immersing myself into the world of Shakespeare by visiting the Globe Theater, Stratford-upon-Avon, and some lectures hosted at the Globe by Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance. Despite the topic of Blood and Ink, which delves into the authorship question of the plays attributed to Shakespeare, I am an avid Stratfordian, as well as a Marlowe fan. “Blood and Ink” might be considered more of an alternate historical fiction piece, traveling the path of what happened if Marlowe faked his death in Deptford in 1593 and Shakespeare became his proxy for the plays.

What inspired you to write Blood and Ink?

On one of my visits to the Globe, many many years ago, one of the museum displays showed a collage of men who might have written or co-written the plays; one of them was, of course, Christopher Marlowe. Something drew me to the story of Marlowe, so when I returned home with a portfolio full of notes, I started my research.

What type of research did you do for writing Blood and Ink?

The debate lectures at the Globe helped tremendously, although many of those in attendance favored the Earl of Oxford as the true writer, but their mind-set helped pave a way into how to research the sonnets and the plays for clues. Also, I read the book “Her Majesty’s Spymaster” by Stephen Budiansky and ‘The Marlowe Studies’ by Peter Farey. I emailed several times with Mr. Farey on questions I had and two of my articles were published with the Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection. I owe a great deal of background research to Mr. Farey.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene between Marlowe and the Countess of Pembroke. I took the idea of the ‘dark lady’ and the line ‘in nothing art thou dark save for thy deeds’ in Sonnet 131 and ‘to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell’ in Sonnet 129, as well as the entire Venus and Adonis poem, to sketch out the possible encounter between a young Marlowe and the precocious Countess.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The scene of the massacre in Paris and trying to focus more on the loss of childhood instead of the grisly and bloody things happening on the streets of Paris. I wanted the scene to affect Marlowe so that later, when he wrote his play, all those images he saw would spill out onto the page.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew when I was very little, around 7-8 years old that I loved books and storytelling. I used to create elaborate stories in my head, sort of Wonderland escapism for an only child.

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

My greatest challenge is my fight with bipolar depression and depression from grief. Sometimes the they both overwhelm me to the point where my writing suffers, and other times, I break into a creative drive that puts me on overload. Writing is therapeutic for me, though, and I find I am still that little girl running after white rabbits into new stories and characters. Balance is the key for me. I write when I can and cry when I must, sometimes flip-flopping the two.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Shakespeare, of course, first and foremost. I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Rosalind Miles, Alison Weir, and Ken Follett.

What was the first historical novel you read?

So hard to remember since I have read so many, but I do recall reading “The Far Pavilions” by M. M. Kaye when I was in high school. I adored this book and still have that same copy in my book collection today.

What is the last historical novel you read?

“All the Light You Cannot See” by Doerr… loved it!

What are three things people may not know about you?

I am a grandmother; I love Scottish Terriers; and I am a MADD advocate since losing my daughter and son-in-law to a drunk driver in 2015.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love everything about history, and the leaning toward literary writing with a touch of romance.

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

Tudor era, Medieval era, and now, with my upcoming novel due in December, Colonial Georgia.

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

I love to work in my flower garden, play with my granddaughter, spend time with my husband of 31 years, and do photography.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Two novels - “Child of Love & Water” set in Colonial Georgia, mid 1700s, where four lives entwine - an Ulster Irish orphan girl, a British soldier, a Creek Indian warrior, and a runaway Gullah slave girl. What they learn from this wild Irish girl and from each other will change their lives forever. Next, “A Winter’s Fire” is the second book in the Fractured Shakespeare Series and retells the story of Macbeth from Lady Macbeth’s POV, beginning when she is 16 years old.

Wow, those both sound like excellent reads! Thanks so much for speaking with us today, D.K.! Have a great blog tour!


Blood and Ink by D.K. Marley

Publication Date: March 28, 2018
The White Rabbit Publishing
ebook, Paperback, and Audible; 438 Pages


Genre: Historical Fiction

In the tradition of "The Marlowe Papers" by Ros Barber, the debut historical fiction novel "Blood and Ink" tells the story of Christopher "Kit" Marlowe, the dark and brooding playwright of Queen Elizabeth's court. Marlowe sells his soul to gain the one thing he desires: to see his name immortalized.

Inspired at an early age on the banks of the Stour River, his passion for a goose quill and ink thrusts him into the labyrinth of England's underworld - a secret spy ring created by the Queen's spymaster, Sir Frances Walsingham.

Kit suffers the whips and scorns of time as he witnesses the massacre of Paris, the hypocrisy of the church, the rejection from his 'dark lady,' the theft of his identity as a playwright, and wrenching loss breathing life into many of his unforgettable characters.

As he sinks further into the clutches of Walsingham, a masque is written by his own hand to save his life from shadowing betrayers, from the Queen's own Star Chamber, and from the Jesuit assassins of Rome, thus sending him into exile and allowing an unknown actor from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare, to step into his shoes.

And so begins the lie; and yet, what will a man not do to regain his name?

"DK Marley’s exhaustively researched and spryly written novel Blood and Ink follows in the tradition of such minor-key classics as Anthony Burgess’ A Dead Man in Deptford, and the central premise of Marley’s book—that Marlowe only faked his death in 1593 in order to escape the attentions of the Privy Council—will be familiar to followers of the Shakespearean authorship question (Shakespeare, needless to say, features prominently here). Marley has sifted through a phenomenal amount of research, but along the way she hasn’t forgotten to tell a first-rate and gripping story, adorned in many places by some very pretty turns of phrase. We may never have a final resolution to the tangled questions Marley raises, but as long as we get such strong and enjoyable novels as this one out of the tangle, we shouldn’t complain." -Historical Novel Society

Amazon (eBook) | Amazon (Paperback)


About the Author

D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare's plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel "Blood and Ink," an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio.She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops, and is a graduate of the intense training workshop "The Writer's Retreat Workshop" founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes.She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.

For more information, please visit D.K. Marley's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 16
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 17
Review at Oh, October

Wednesday, July 18
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, July 19
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Friday, July 20
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Monday, July 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, July 24
Interview at What Cathy Read Next

Wednesday, July 25
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 copies of Blood and Ink by D.K. Marley! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 25th. 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.

Blood and Ink




Interview with Ken Czech & Giveaway of Last Dance in Kabul {HFVBT Blog Tours}

Hello, dear readers! I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday! I turn a young 41 today and am very happy to be hosting an interview with author Ken Czech, who is currently on blog tour for Last Dance in Kabul. It's always a good birthday when you get to talk books :) I do hope you will enjoy our interview, and don't forget to enter to win a copy of Last Dance in Kabul!


Hello Ken and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Last Dance in Kabul!

Hi Amy. Thanks so much for inviting me to Passages to the Past.

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and Last Dance in Kabul?

Well, I retired from the classroom about six years ago. I'll admit I do miss my students, but I don't missing grading papers. Throughout my teaching career, both in secondary education and at university, I've been writing everything from short stories to magazine articles to books that examined the historical literature of exploration and sport. But academia is behind me, and my passion has turned to writing fiction. LAST DANCE IN KABUL is my second historical novel.

What inspired you to write Last Dance in Kabul?

Stories of desperate last stands against overwhelming odds have always piqued my imagination. As a kid, it was Custer's Last Stand and the Alamo. When I first saw the famous painting by W. A. Wollen titled "The Last Stand of the 44th Foot at Gandamack", I wanted to know more about why a ragged group of British regulars in 1842 were about to engage bands of Afghan fighters in a most inhospitable looking mountain range.

What type of research did you do for writing Last Dance in Kabul?

My research included reading primary source accounts penned by two survivors of the Kabul catastrophe as well as several secondary sources written by well-grounded historical writers. Maps of the region showed mountain ranges, passes, and desert-like areas. Especially important in my research was a map of Kabul as it existed in 1841-2. I also read recent books written by veterans of the war against the Taliban to become more familiar with tribal conflicts, and to get a better sense of weather and terrain.

What was your favorite scene to write?

My hero (Reeve Waterton) and heroine (Sarah Kane) are truly disdainful of each other. After reaching Kabul, Reeve is practicing his fencing techniques. Sarah barges in to watch, then challenges Reeve to a match. Unknown to him is that Sarah is an expert with the epee. When she defeats him, it becomes more of a sexual challenge than a sporting event.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

I think I labored over one of the final scenes the most. Sarah and Reeve managed to escape the slaughter of the British army in the mountain passes outside of Kabul. When Reeve is injured, it's up to Sarah to call upon both her inner and physical strengths to save him. I wanted the scene to reflect grittiness, pain, and fatigue, but also wanted my two characters to experience tenderness, care, and a burgeoning love. It was especially important to me that Sarah demonstrated her spirit and assertiveness without coming across as Wonder Woman.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Wow, that goes back a long way, Amy. I think I was in seventh grade (ca. 1962) when I wrote a little story in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs. As I recall, the characters were stereotypes, the language stilted, and creating a battle scene was most important. I actually wrote a full-length fantasy novel in high school (about 50,000 words), thought it was great at the time, and now find in laughable.

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

There is little doubt in my mind that my biggest challenge has been in finding an agent to represent my work. In this computer age it's easy to delete form rejection letters with the stroke of a key. If I had printed each rejection, I could easily have wallpapered our living room with them. I've had more success in publishing with small presses, and thank them immensely for their support.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I can answer that in two phases. I've always enjoyed reading fantasy and science fiction, and have been inspired by the story telling genius of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Andre Norton. As I have turned to writing historical fiction, I've thoroughly enjoyed the Napoleonic and Saxon novels written by Bernard Cornwell, and William Dietrich's novels about his roguish character Ethan Gage.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Because I border on antiquity, Amy, I have to delve back a bit. Around 1961, the movie "El Cid" debuted starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. Robert Krepps wrote a novel of the same name based on the screenplay of this ode to this medieval Spanish warrior. I've read it many times, and there are scenes that still burn brightly.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I recently finished Colin Falconer's "Colossus," the story of a war elephant and its attendants during the time of Alexander the Great. It was a read wonderfully evocative of time and place, and mixed with a bit of alternative history.

What are three things people may not know about you?

Books have been a part of my life since I can remember. Most folks would not know that I collect antiquarian books related to exploration and sport, particularly of the 19th century. Tied to that is my small business of selling books related to those themes, and I'm happy to say that I've sold books to readers in twenty-one different countries. I think the third thing would be that my wife and I are very fortunate to have built our house on an abandoned granite quarry with several water-filled granite pools and tons of wildlife.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I've taught history for over thirty years. There are so many wonderful and interesting stories that crop up throughout history that might garner a paragraph or two in non-fiction histories. Invariably, I wanted to know more. For instance, in my first historical novel "Beyond The River Of Shame," real historical characters Samuel and Florence Baker set off to explore the sources of the Nile River in the 1860s. Sam purchased Florie at a slave auction, and though he wrote several books of their adventures, he never mentions her by name nor does he reveal their personal relationship. The strictures of stodgy Victorian era society undoubtedly prevented that, so I tried to create that relationship in my story.

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

Perhaps the 19th century holds the most attraction for me. Yes, I studied it and taught it, but it was also a period where mankind quested to discover the unknown. Because modern luxuries and conveniences were not commonplace, it has been a challenge to imagine walking for miles through an African swamp, or scaling the peaks of the Hindu Kush relying on physical strength and perseverance. No cell phones or microwaves back then.

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

KC: Amy, I love reading, so my nose if too often in a book. My wife and I enjoy the tranquility of our home place. Our great granddaughter lives with us part time, and I think I am her favorite pull toy.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I've just completed my third historical novel, "The Tsar's Locket." As Cliff Claven of "Cheers" would say, it's a little know fact that Tsar Ivan the Terrible once attempted to marry a niece of Queen Elizabeth. My story revolves around a disgraced sea captain challenged by the queen to deliver a betrothal locket to the tsar, his journey plagued by assassination and war. Now to find a home for it!

Oh wow, that sounds like an amazing read! I sure hope you find a publisher because I'd love to read that. Thanks so much for spending time with us, Ken! Good luck on your blog tour.


Last Dance in Kabul by Ken Czech

Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Fireship Press
Paperback & eBook; 306 Pages

Genre: Action & Adventure/Historical/Romance/War & Military


The Ultimate Dance Between Love and War

When his superiors ignore his warnings of an impending Afghan insurrection in 1841, British army captain Reeve Waterton vows never to return to Kabul. But then he rescues strong-willed Sarah Kane from an ambush and his plans for civilian life and self-preservation unravel around him.

At first Reeve dislikes Sarah as much as she loathes him. She's as impudent and disdainful of authority as he, plus she's betrothed to his bitterest rival.
It's only after Reeve's closest friend is brutally murdered and the Afghan tribes explode in revolt that he and Sarah discover their desperate need for each other. When the retreating British army is caught between the jaws of Afghanistan's blizzard-wracked mountain passes and hordes of vengeful tribesmen, Sarah and Reeve must rely on their skills, courage, and blossoming love just to survive.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Praise for Last Dance in Kabul

“Reeve Waterton, a dashing rogue, is a true hero who stands among the most valiant officers of British fiction. Sarah Kane is an assertive woman assured of her own mind yet vulnerable in her heart. Together they spark the blaze that energizes Last Dance in Kabul.” —Rex Griffin, historical writer
“You won't find two more compelling characters than Reeve Waterton and Sarah Kane. I love them. I rooted for them to survive and work things out from the third chapter until the exciting conclusion. Their story was so expertly woven between survival and romance that I found it difficult to pull myself away from it.” —Ray Simmons, for Reader's Favorite

“Last Dance in Kabul is a war story; a story of life and death; a story of love and hate, and it is a very good read. I was pulled back to 1841 and dropped in the middle of the Afghan insurrection.” –Trudi LoPreto for Reader's Favorite

“[The] character development is impeccable and the conflict gives the story its powerful depth and emotional intensity. Last Dance in Kabul is a captivating, well-plotted and beautifully paced novel.” —Christian Sia, for Reader's Favorite

About the Author

Dr. Ken Czech is a retired history professor and an internationally recognized authority on the historical literature of exploration and sport. His passion, however, has turned to writing fiction. He and his wife Mary live in Central Minnesota on an abandoned granite quarry.

For more information, please visit Ken’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, July 15
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 16
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Tuesday, July 17
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Wednesday, July 18
Review at Books and Glamour

Thursday, July 19
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, July 20
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, July 23
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Tuesday, July 24
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, July 25
Review at A Darn Good Read

Thursday, July 26
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, July 27
Review at Hopewell's Public Library of Life

Monday, July 30
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, July 31
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Last Dance in Kabul! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Last Dance in Kabul


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