Guest Post & GIVEAWAY: The Secret Eleanor by Cecelia Holland

Please help me welcome author Cecelia Holland, author of the new novel The Secret Eleanor, to Passages to the Past!!! Cecelia is here to say a few words about her take on Eleanor and the book's true heroine, Eleanor's sister Petronilla.

You will have a chance to win your very own copy of The Secret Eleanor at the end of this post.

Take it away Cecelia!

Thanks for the chance to talk about Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most fascinating woman in the Middle Ages. There are several new books coming out about this astonishing Queen, and yet she is an inexhaustible subject, and every book is utterly different.

My book THE SECRET ELEANOR deals with her decision to get out of her marriage with the French King Louis VII and marry Henry, Duke of Normandy, more than ten years the younger, but just as ambitious. My goal was to keep faith with the history while coming up with a fresh and exciting angle; not easy in material so well worked. But Eleanor of Aquitaine is up to any task. A constant amazement, the most fascinating person of her day, woman or man, she won me totally and took the book over.

I am pleased to say I'm on the side of the lusty Eleanor, who wanted a life of her own and stopped at nothing to get it. She was a wild woman, who could not endure limits, and in living out past the proprieties changed the world and women's possibilities forever. To balance the scary elements of this, I invoked her sister Petronilla, who was her best friend and companion. Petronilla lived in Eleanor's shadow all her life, but for me she is the book's true heroine.

Thank you Cecelia for this extra glimpse into your novel!  If you can't get enough of Eleanor, which most of us cannot, then I encourage you to check out this different take of one of the most, if not THE most, fascinating of queens!
Visit Cecelia Holland's WEBSITE



Thanks to the fine folks over at Penguin Publishing, Passages to the Past has 1 copy of The Secret Eleanor up for grabs!

To enter, please complete form below.  Giveaway is open to US entries ONLY.  Giveaway ends on August 20th.

For +1 additional entry, please help spread the word about this giveaway.  Blog, sidebar, tweet or facebook and include links in form below.




  1. Okay, this sentence -- I'm on the side of the lusty Eleanor -- made me squeal with joy!

  2. omg that cover is absolutely gorgeous! thank you for the contest!

  3. your description of eleanor makes this one so intriguing.

  4. A must read by the sound of it. I am curious about Petronilla. Hadn't heard of her, which is not unusual for "supporting" characters in real life. I look forward to reading this one and learning more about Eleanor from a different perspective.

  5. Thank you for the contest...great prize!

  6. I agree that Eleanor is fascinating! I do not know as much about her as I would like. Can't wait to learn more! Thanks Cecelia...and Amy!


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