giveaway winners!

It's time to make some readers happy squeal with joy!  Here are the latest giveaway winners...

The winner of In A Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener is...

Lady Bren!

The winner of Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter is...
 
Na!

Congratulations to both winners, emails have been sent your way!  Thanks to everyone who entered and helped spread the word!

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September HF & NF Releases

September is looking like a great month for releases! 

Here is what is coming out in the US and UK for historical fiction and history/non-fiction...

US Releases

September 1:  Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick
September 1:  The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
September 1:  The Apple: Crimson Petal Stories by Michel Faber
September 13: Sunrise of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde by Anna Elliot
September 13: The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen and the King's Mother (NF) by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin & Michael Jones 
September 16: Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata by Simonetta Carr
September 22: Mary I: England's Catholic Queen (The English Monarchs Series) by John Edwards
September 27: The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife by Carolly Erickson September 27: The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory by Rebecca Johns


UK Releases

September 1: The Elizabethans by A.N. Wilson
September 8: Cavalier Queen by Fiona Mountain
September 15: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
September 29: The House by the Fjord by Rosalind Laker
September 29: Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England by Thomas Penn
September 29: Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
September 29: The Queen and the Courtesan by Freda Lightfoot


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Win a copy of To Be Queen by Christy English

Passages to the Past has an extra copy of To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine by the loverly Christy English and I'd like to pass on the love to one of you fabulous readers!

SYNOPSIS

With captivating and lyrical prose, the author of The Queen's Pawn delves into the early life of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine...

Duchess at fifteen, Eleanor of Aquitaine marries the King of France. But will she find that she must pay too high a price to be queen?

Although Louis VII is enamored of his bride, the newly crowned king is easily manipulated by forces in the Church. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Eleanor fights for her freedom and for the love of her life. In the arms of Henry of Normandy, Eleanor may finally find the passion she longs for, and the means to fulfill her legacy as Queen.

Giveaway Information...

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- Giveaway is open to US only.
- For +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- For +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- For +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on September 9th.
 
Good luck to all!



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Review: Venetia by Georgette Heyer

by Georgette Heyer 

Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks
384p


SYNOPSIS

A young lady of beauty and intelligence facing an unbearable choice...

Venetia Lanyon is one of Georgette Heyer's most memorable heroines. Beautiful, capable, and independent minded, her life on the family's estate in the countryside is somewhat circumscribed. Then a chance encounter with her rakish neighbor opens up a whole new world for Venetia. Lord Damerel has built his life on his dangerous reputation, and when he meets Venetia, he has nothing to offer and everything to regret. As Venetia's well-meaning family steps in to protect her from potential ruin, Venetia must find the wherewithal to take charge of her own destiny, or lose her one chance at happiness...

REVIEW

When I’m in the mood for a lighthearted and witty read, I know I can always count on author Georgette Heyer, the queen of Regency romances, to deliver! 

Heyer is quite fantastic at writing charming heroines and Venetia Lanyon is no exception. She is the eldest of three and sole caretaker of the family home at Undershaw and of her youngest brother, Aubrey. She has never traveled, can count the number of people she’s met on two hands, and is doggedly pursued by two local boys who desperately want her hand in marriage. When she meets Lord Dameral one day while out for a walk (and quite a first meeting it was!), she can’t help but wonder who the real man is behind the scandalous reputation. As circumstances force them together their friendship grows, despite the warning’s that Venetia stay clear of the infamous rake. What ensues is lovely story of following one’s own heart and finding true love. And though I adored Venetia and Lord Dameral, who I really loved the most was Aubrey...he seriously had me laughing out loud at times! 

I’ve heard so many people raving about Venetia recently, and now I can see what they were talking about! Venetia is now ranked among my favorite Heyer reads and if you’re a fan too, this is one you won’t want to miss!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.
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Mailbox Monday

Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! Mailbox Monday is a feature where we gush about the yummy new books that now grace our bookshelves! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

Mailbox Monday was originally hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page and is now a traveling meme, for the month of August your new host is Staci @ Life in the Thumb.
 
Hey there, fellow bibliophiles!  I hope this post finds you all safe and well, especially my readers on the east coast!  I've been watching the news coverage and it was so crazy to see the images of an empty Times Square in NYC.  I was just there a few months ago and it was such a cluster that I can't fathom how eerie it must be now with everyone evacuated.  Mother nature has sure been busy lately! 

This past week two books showed up at my door for review...

by Susanna Kearsley

Publication Date:  October 1, 2011

SYNOPSIS

When Eva’s filmstar sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Trelowarth, Cornwall , where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina’s ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived – and died – long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.

by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones

Publication Date:  September 13, 2011

SYNOPSIS

#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory teams with two eminent historians to explore the historical characters in the real-life world behind her Wars of the Roses novels.
 
PHILIPPA GREGORY and her fellow historians describe the extraordinary lives of the heroines of her Cousins’ War books: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV; and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. 

In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king of England for love; and Michael Jones, fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor. 

In the introduction, Gregory writes revealingly about the differences between history and historical fiction. How much of a role does speculation play in writing each? How much fiction and how much fact should there be in a historical novel? How are female historians changing our view of women in history? 

The Women of the Cousins’ War is beautifully illustrated with rare portraits and source materials. As well as offering fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction, it will appeal to all with an interest in this period. 

Well, that's my mailbox...tell me, what goodies came your way?

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Highlight of To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd + Giveaway

The power of friendship is at the heart of Sandra Byrd's novel To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, the first novel in her Ladies in Waiting series.  Anne Boleyn's story is a well-known one, but in To Die For readers get a different view of Anne and the events that lead to her fateful end, as told through the eyes of her closest confidante, Meg Wyatt.

Through the month of August Sandra has been on tour with HF Virtual Book Tours and the response so far has been just fabulous!  You can follow the tour fun HERE.

As part of the virtual book tour, Passages to the Past has a chance for one lucky reader to get their hands on a copy of To Die For by Sandra Byrd!

About the book...

Pub Date: August 5, 2011|Howard Books|352p  

SYNOPSIS  

What would you sacrifice for your best friend?  Would you die for her?

Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend ever since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent.  So when twenty-five-year-old Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling...at first.  Meg is made mistress of Anne's wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good.  She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.

But favor is fickle and envy is often laced with venom.  As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy.  Suddenly life's unwelcome surprises rub against court's sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and the bona fide gold of those are true.  Both Anne and Meg may lose everything.  When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well.

A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live on in our hearts forever.  

About Sandra Byrd... 

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd persevered and has now published more than three dozen books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was widely acclaimed, and was followed by two more books in the series. Her most recent 4-book young adult fiction series is London Confidential. Publishing her Tudor Series, beginning with Book 1, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, is a lifelong dream come true. A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra is also an accomplished non-fiction writer and author. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications and periodicals. Sandra is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year. Sandra resides in Washington State with her husband Michael, a chaplain, their two children, and a circus dog named Brie. For more information please visit Sandra Byrd's WEBSITE.

 
 
Giveaway Information...

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- Giveaway is open to US, CAN, UK, AUS and NZ.
- For +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- For +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- For +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on September 2nd.
 
Good luck to all!

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2012 Release: The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin

by Donna Russo Morin
 
Release Date: February 28, 2012
 
SYNOPSIS
 
The King’s Agent is based loosely on the life of Battista della Palla-a patriotic plunderer, a religious rogue-of the 16th century, a lifelong friend to the great Michelangelo. As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of a relic intended for the King of France, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art, political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante's Divine Comedy. It is an adventurous quest with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe.
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Mailbox Monday

Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! Mailbox Monday is a feature where we gush about the yummy new books that now grace our bookshelves! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

Mailbox Monday was originally hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page and is now a traveling meme, for the month of August your new host is Staci @ Life in the Thumb.

Hey there, dear readers, I hope you are all well!  Two books made their way to my mailbox this past week. Having looooved Gillian Bagwell's first book, The Darling Strumpet, I can't wait to read her upcoming book, The September Queen.  I also received Theodora by Stella Duffy and it looks pretty interesting, I might give it a shot when I find a break in my reading schedule.
 
by Gillian Bagwell

Release Date: November 1, 2011

SYNOPSIS

Charles II is running for his life-and into the arms of a woman who will risk all for king and country. 

Jane Lane is of marrying age, but she longs for adventure. She has pushed every potential suitor away-even those who could provide everything for her. Then one day, adventure makes its way to her doorstep, and with it comes mortal danger...

Royalists fighting to restore the crown to King Charles II implore Jane to help. Jane must transport him to safety, disguised as a manservant. As she places herself in harm's way, she finds herself falling in love with the gallant young Charles. And despite his reputation as a breaker of hearts, Jane finds herself surrendering to a passion that will change her life forever.

by Stella Duffy

Release Date: September 27, 2011

SYNOPSIS

Roman historian Procopius publicly praised Theodora of Constantinople for her piety-while secretly detailing her salacious stage act and maligning her as ruthless and power hungry. So who was this woman who rose from humble beginnings as a dancer to become the empress of Rome and a saint in the Orthodox Church? Award-winning novelist Stella Duffy vividly recreates the life and times of a woman who left her mark on one of the ancient world's most powerful empires. Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore is a sexy, captivating novel that resurrects an extraordinary, little-known figure from the dusty pages of history. 

Well, that's my mailbox....what books did you receive?
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Guest Post by Vicky Alvear Shecter + Giveaway of Cleopatra's Moon

I am so pleased to welcome Vicky Alvear Shecter, author of Cleopatra's Moon, to Passages to the Past!  I had the recent pleasure of reading Cleopatra's Moon {you can read my review HERE} and enjoyed it immensely!

Thanks to Vicky I also have 1 copy of Cleopatra's Moon up for grabs, so be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.

Take it away, Vicky...

Isis and the Jackass Roman

We know a little about Isis worship in the ancient world thanks to a man who became an ass. No, seriously. The Roman writer Apuleius wrote about his initiation into the Mysteries of Isis in his novel, The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, commonly known as The Golden Ass. 

Apuleius’s main character had many adventures, one of which was being turned into a jackass. He had tried to use magic to turn himself into a bird but it backfired. The Goddess Isis, the Great Lady of Magic, eventually became his salvation. He was so grateful for her help, he entered her mysteries to become a priest of the goddess. 

The Goddess Isis
Although Apuleius described his encounter with Isis after cleansing himself in the sea, he never revealed the details of the actual initiation rites. The ancients must have taken this vow of silence very seriously because no one has uncovered anything that describes the actual rites. 

Most scholars believe, though, that the rites contained some kind of dramatization or re-enactment of death and re-birth. After all, it was Isis (with the help of Anubis) who brought her murdered husband, Osiris, back to life in the Egyptian religion. 

I used Apuleius’s account of Isis as a starting point for describing the goddess as she shows up in Cleopatra Selene’s dreams in my novel about her life, Cleopatra’s Moon. I also created a death/re-birth rite for her to undergo, imagining the details as they might have occurred. 

The concept of dying to our old selves and being reborn in the light of a god’s love had its roots in Isis worship (as well as in Mithras worship, but that’s another post!). Also, many believe that the classic Christian iconography of Mary nursing the infant Jesus was appropriated from the very common depiction of Isis suckling her son Horus. Apuleius also explained that roses were closely associated with Isis. Thousands of years later, roses are still the sacred flower associated with the Virgin Mary. 

Christianity eventually toppled Isis worship, replacing all of the old pagan gods throughout the Roman Empire. But this fascination with the powerful, loving, redeeming goddess, apparently, was never completely conquered. 

For more information please visit Vicky Alvear Shecter's Website and  Facebook Page.

ABOUT CLEOPATRA'S MOON...

"The Luxe" meets the ancient world in the extraordinary story of Cleopatra's daughter.

Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony—the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies—until she reaches out to claim her own.

This stunning novel brings to life the personalities & passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, & offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION...

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- Giveaway is open to US and CAN only!
- For +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- For +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- For +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on August 28th.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!


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Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

by Juliet Grey 

Publication Date: August 9, 2011 
Publisher: Ballantine Books 
480p 


SYNOPSIS 

This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette. 

Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon. 

Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike. 

REVIEW 

Two words come to mind when I think of Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey… c’est magnifique!

The first book in Juliet Grey’s trilogy was a fascinating look at the formative years of Marie Antonia, from a young princess of Austria through her transformation into the future Queen of France.  Most of the books I’ve read cover the time when she is already queen, so it was really interesting to go back to the beginning and see how it all came to be.  I was quite surprised to read all that went on behind the scenes to make this marriage happen and the many obstacles that Marie had to overcome to be good enough for Louis, including a grueling dauphine “boot camp”!  Yet, despite all the training, she is ill-equipped to navigate the treacherous halls of the French court and as such, is easy pickings for those eager to exploit her naivetĂ© for their own means.

I found Becoming Marie Antoinette to be a very entertaining read, one that I was hard pressed to put down and am waiting (ever so impatiently) for book two in the trilogy, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow. Very highly recommended!

FTC DISCLOSURE:  I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.
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winner of the Becoming Marie Antoinette Live Chat giveaway

Thanks to all who participated in the Live Author Chat Night with Juliet Grey, I had a fabulous time chatting about Becoming Marie Antoinette and I hope you did too!


I am so excited to announce that the winner of the chat night giveaway for a signed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette and a lovely fleur-de-lis tote bag is...

Amy Bridges!

Congratulations!  Thanks to Juliet Grey for sponsoring such an awesome giveaway and for a wonderful chat night!

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Review: Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

by Vicky Alvear Shecter 

Publication Date:  August 1, 2011
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books 
368p
 
 

SYNOPSIS

"The Luxe" meets the ancient world in the extraordinary story of Cleopatra's daughter.
Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra and Mark Antony--the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, and when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies--until she reaches out to claim her own.

This stunning novel brings to life the personalities and passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, and offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.

REVIEW

While I don’t normally read YA, I love anything set in Egypt and anything Cleopatra, so it was with no hesitation that I signed up to review Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter and I am so glad I did! 

Selene has lead an idyllic life in her short years…she is in complete awe of her mother, Queen Cleopatra, the apple of her father, Marcus Antonius’ eye and their family is at the height of power in Egypt.  Yet, all of this is shattered when war comes to Egypt, lead by their enemy, Octavianus.  Selene loses both parents traumatically, and along with her two brothers is shuffled off to Rome, where they are tormented for their heritage and paraded as spoils of war. But Selene is her mother’s daughter and will not sit idly by until she finds a way to return to Egypt and claim her birthright.

Selene is a fabulous heroine… strong, intelligent, resourceful and audacious. I loved the descriptions of both Egypt and Rome and the scenes with the Goddess Isis were truly intriguing.  For a YA book it didn’t read too young for me, but nor did was it too adult for a YA audience, in fact my 15-year-old daughter is reading it at the moment and also enjoying it.  Highly recommended!

Please check back on Thursday for a guest post by author Vicky Alvear Shecter!

FTC DISCLOSURE: A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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2012 Release: By the King's Design by Christine Trent

Author Christine Trent novel is releasing her next novel, By the King's Design, on January 31, 2012!  I enjoyed both The Queen's Dollmaker and A Royal Likeness, so I will definitely be checking it out.

SYNOPSIS

Annabelle “Belle” Stirling inherited the family draper shop from her late father, only to have it sabotaged by her ne’er-do-well brother, Wesley. Belle travels to London to seek redress, and while there, the Prince Regent, future King George IV, commissions her to provide fabrics for his Royal Pavilion. As Belle’s renown spreads, she meets handsome cabinetmaker Putnam Boyce, but worries that marriage will mean sacrificing her now flourishing shop.

When Wesley plots to kidnap the newly crowned King, Belle finds herself entangled in a duplicitous world of shifting allegiances, where every choice could have unexpected consequences for her future, her safety, and her kingdom…
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Mailbox Monday

Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! Mailbox Monday is a feature where we gush about the yummy new books that now grace our bookshelves! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

Mailbox Monday was originally hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page and is now a traveling meme, for the month of August your new host is Staci @ Life in the Thumb.
 
Hey all, I hope this post finds you well and staying cool!  I don't know about you but I will be so glad when Fall gets here, this heat is just crazy!  At least it gives me an excuse to stay inside and read :)
 
This past week I received one book for review: Fortune's Son by Emery Lee, which is the sequel to Lee's 2010 novel The Highest Stakes. I really enjoyed the first book so I am looking forward to the continuation.

Release Date: November 1, 2011 
Sourcebooks Casablanca | 416p
 
SYNOPSIS

Love is the ultimate gamble...

Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he's ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom-- until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors' prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways...

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip's skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards...

Immerse yourself in the risky side of Georgian England with a pair of lovers who aren't afraid to risk it all on a toss of the dice...

Well, that's my mailbox...what great books did you receive?
 
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Welcome to Author Chat Night with Juliet Grey, author of Becoming Marie Antoinette!


Good evening and welcome everyone to the Live Author Chat Night with the fabulous Juliet Grey, author of Becoming Marie Antoinette!

I am thrilled to have you all here to discuss the fabulous first book in what is sure to be THE trilogy on Marie Antoinette!

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HOW CHAT NIGHT WORKS
 
The chat will take place in the comments section of THIS post. I will start off the Chat Night with a welcome message and a question or two to get the ball rolling and then the floor is open to whomever has a question for Juliet.

If you have any questions during the chat you can email me at passagestothepast(at)gmail(dot)com.

GIVEAWAY INFO

Thanks to the generosity of Juliet Grey, one lucky participant of the chat night will receive a signed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette AND the cutest fleur-de-lis tote bag!

ABOUT THE BOOK

SYNOPSIS

This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.

Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.

Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.

 BOOK TRAILER


Again, thanks to all of you who are participating and to Juliet Grey for spending time with us, it's going to be a fabulous chat!  I can't wait to see where this chat takes us!


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Reminder: Tonight at 7:00pm EST, Live Author Chat Night with Juliet Grey, author of Becoming Marie Antoinette

Don't forget, tonight at Passages to the Past the magnificent Juliet Grey will be here for a Live Author Chat Night in honor of the release of her novel, Becoming Marie Antoinette, the first book in what is destined to be a rockin' trilogy! 

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CHAT NIGHT DETAILS

When: TODAY - Wednesday, August 10th
What Time:  7:00 - 8:00 pm EST
Where:  http://www.passagestothepast.com

For more information on the chat night please read the Save the Date post HERE!
 
Have a great day and hope to see you all here tonight!
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Virtual Book Tour for To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd starts today!

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours is thrilled to announce the start of the virtual book tour for Sandra Byrd's novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn!  The tour will run from August 9th - September 9th and we have some fantastic bloggers aboard so be sure to follow the fun, the schedule is posted below!  Hope to see you around the blogosphere!


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 9th

Review & Giveaway at Bippity Boppity Book

Wednesday, August 10th

Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books
Author Interview & Giveaway at ¡Miraculous!

Thursday, August 11th


Friday, August 12th


Monday, August 15th

Author Interview & Giveaway at P.S. I Love Books

Tuesday, August 16th

Review & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Wednesday, August 17th


Thursday, August 18th

Review & Giveaway at Reviews by Molly

Friday, August 19th

Author Interview at Historical Fiction Notebook

Monday, August 22nd

Book Highlight & Giveaway at Historically Obsessed

Tuesday, August 23rd


Wednesday, August 24th

Review at My Reading Room
Author Interview & Giveaway at All Things Historical Fiction

Thursday, August 25th

Friday, August 26th

Author Guest Post at The Lady Gwyn's Kingdom

Monday, August 29th

Tuesday, August 30th


Thursday, September 1st


Friday, September 2nd

Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Author Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Monday, September 5th

Author Interview at Booksessed

Tuesday, September 6th

Author Interview at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 7th

Review at Booksessed

Thursday, September 8th


Friday, September 9th

Review at The Bookworm
Author Interview & Giveaway at Tina's Book Reviews

About To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

Publisher: Howard Books | 352p

SYNOPSIS

To Die For, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne’s favor rises and falls, so does Meg’s. And though she’s pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love—and her own life—because of it.

Meg's childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Though much of Meg’s story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg’s brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book—Meg.

Praise for To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

“In To Die For, Sandra Byrd gifts the reader with a fresh look at Anne Boleyn through the eyes of her lifelong friend Meg Wyatt. But Meg commands her own interest and respect in the Tudor world of triumph and tragedy. Readers will be drawn to the events, beautifully depicted, but also to the emotions, skillfully conveyed. A new Tudor historical to treasure.”

—Karen Harper, author of The Queen's Governess

"In this moving story of a friendship that survives a queen's rise and fall, Sandra Byrd reaches beyond the familiar stereotypes to give us the story of two remarkable women: Anne Boleyn and Meg Wyatt. A refreshingly three-dimensional Anne and a Meg of courage and integrity make this novel a must for your Tudor library."

—Susan Higginbotham, author of The Queen of Last Hopes

“Ms. Byrd shows a wonderful sense of time and place in her novel, To Die For. Her characters and her story are drawn with precision. The new life she breathes into well-worn notables like Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, as seen through her character, Meg, is simply captivating.”

—Diane Haeger, author of The Queen's Rival

“Most readers of Tudor historicals think they know Queen Anne Boleyn. They'll meet a very different Anne in Sandra Byrd's wonderfully told To Die For. Anne's life-long friend Meg Wyatt tells the tale of Anne's rise from lady-in-waiting to the arms of King Henry VIII and the throne of England until her tragic fall. Meg, who rises and falls with Anne, seeks her own lost love and faith. Anne's influence during the English Reformation is an integral and refreshing part of this story, one that Byrd tells with authority, adding a new and honest dimension to Anne's life and death . . . A novel to savor and return to.”

—Jeane Westin, author of His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester

About Sandra Byrd
After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd persevered and has now published more than three dozen books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was widely acclaimed, and was followed by two more books in the series. Her most recent 4-book young adult fiction series is London Confidential. Publishing her Tudor Series, beginning with Book 1, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, is a lifelong dream come true.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra is also an accomplished non-fiction writer and author. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications and periodicals. Sandra is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Sandra resides in Washington State with her husband Michael, a chaplain, their two children, and a circus dog named Brie.

For more information, please visit Sandra Byrd's WEBSITE | FACEBOOK PAGE.

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