Guest Post by Elizabeth Loupas + Giveaway!

Passages to the Past is pleased to bring you a guest post by author Elizabeth Loupas in honor of the virtual book tour for her novel, The Flower Reader!

Thanks to Elizabeth I also have one copy of The Flower Reader and a beautiful, handmade flower bookmark to give away to a lucky winner!

Please welcome Elizabeth Loupas....

Childhood Books

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry-

-Emily Dickinson

Childhood books live with us forever. I remember the Little Golden Books my mother read to us—there was one with a velvety flocked yellow duckling, and another with a spotted puppy, which I think was called The Poky Little Puppy. I still treasure a frayed and faded copy of The Road in Storyland by Watty Piper, full of fairy tales and wonderful old illustrations:

This one is from the story The Star Dipper, about how the constellation called the Big Dipper came to be in the sky. I always adored this image. Stars, a friendly doggie, and a kind-hearted little girl in an old-fashioned dress, plus the rich blue and green colors with splotches of red and pink—for me, the stuff of dreams. The illustrators of The Road in Storyland are credited as Lucille W. and H.C. Holling.

How I loved those stories as a tiny girl. My mother used to laugh about how she read them to us over and over until we had them memorized, and how we would correct her if she tried to hurry our bedtime by leaving anything out. And you know, my life has turned out to follow a road in, over, under, and through storyland—a road to telling stories.

In The Flower Reader, Rinette has a treasured childhood book as well, a hand-lettered and hand-painted book of French fairy tales that belonged to her mother, and from which her mother read to her when she was small. So art follows life. Rinette has more “mother issues” than I ever had, thank goodness, but she keeps the book, and later (I’m skipping over huge swathes of the story here, but I don’t want to include spoilers) Nico de Clerac, who was trained as an illuminator at the great monastery of Mont Saint-Michel in France (more swathes of the story skipped over) sets out to make a copy. He goes to great pains to make it as exact as possible, but still—it is a copy. In the story it is a symbol of Rinette’s new life, in many ways the same and yet in other ways different from her early life.

Symbolism in stories is all very well, but I usually prefer the originals of books I’ve loved, even when the originals are tattered and worn (The Road in Storyland is heavily water damaged from a long-ago flood in my mother’s basement but I would never give it up for anything). How do you feel about classic childhood books (or for that matter, adult books) being re-issued in new editions? Would you rather have a fresh new version, or do you cling to your ruined treasures?

About The Flower Reader

Publication Date:  April 3, 2012
NAL Trade


In the sweeping new novel from the author of The Second Duchess, dangerous secrets lead a passionate young woman into a maze of murder and conspiracy as Mary, Queen of Scots, comes home to reign in a treacherously divided Scotland….

With her dying breath, Mary of Guise entrusts a silver casket to Rinette Leslie of Granmuir, who possesses the ancient gift of floromancy. Inside the casket, and meant only for the young Mary, Queen of Scots, are papers the old queen has painstakingly collected—the darkest secrets of every Scottish lord and explosive private prophecies prepared by Nostradamus. Rinette risks her life to keep the casket safe, but she makes a fatal mistake: she shows it to her beloved young husband. On the very day the young queen comes home, Rinette’s husband is brutally assassinated.

Devastated, Rinette demands justice from the queen before she will surrender the casket. Amid glittering masques and opulent weddings, courtly intrigues and Highland rebellions, the queen’s agents and Rinette herself search for the shadowy assassin. They are surrounded by ruthless men from all over Europe who will do anything to force Rinette to give up the casket—threatening her life, stripping her of her beloved castle by the sea, forcing her to marry a man she hates, and driving her from the man she has reluctantly grown to love. In the end, the flowers are all she can trust—and only the flowers will lead her safely home to Granmuir.

About Elizabeth Loupas


Elizabeth Loupas lives near the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. She is presently a novelist, freelance writer and amateur historian. In other times and other places she has been a radio network vice president, a reference librarian, a business-to-business magazine editor, and a tutor in English literature.

One of her passions is the art and poetry of the Pre-Raphaelites. This led her to the Rossettis and the Brownings, and the project nearest and dearest to her heart--her novel THE SECOND DUCHESS, based on Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess."

She hates housework, cold weather, and wearing shoes. She loves animals, gardens, and popcorn. Not surprisingly she lives in a state of happy barefoot chaos with her delightful and faintly bemused husband (the Broadcasting Legend), her herb garden, her popcorn popper, and two beagles.

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.
- +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- +3 additional entries follow me on Twitter.
- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook or Google+.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on April 30th.




  1. wow, that cover is really eye catching. thank you for the contest!!

    +5 gfc follower
    +3 twitter follower (in_the_hammock)

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  2. I loved "The Second Duchess" and can't wait to read this one -- would love to win a copy!

    I'm a follower of the blog and on Twitter.

  3. I loved The Second Duchess and have anxious to read this novel. And like the author, I have great memories of my mother reading to me as a child. thanks for the giveaway.

    +5 Google follower

  4. Novels set in England at the time of Eliza bet, Mary Queen of Scots and Henry VIII are always a favorit

  5. I agree that reading and loving books as a child helps foster wonderful imaginations and really just helps you grow up to be a better person (this coming from someone who has loved books all her life : )). One of my favorite stories as a child was the Pokey Little Puppy! I actually saved most of my childhood books, along with this one, and have given them to my son. He doesn't quite like reading or listening to stories as much as I did, but I still make him listen!

    I am so excited to read this book! I loved The Second Duchess and have been waiting for this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

    +5. GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
    +3. Follower of Facebook page (Colleen Turner).
    +1. Shared on Facebook.
    +1. Shared on Google+.


  6. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest.

  7. I've come to prefer new print editions. I still read old used copies on occasion but since it took me two months to rid a classic of its musty aroma, I'm a little wary now.

    Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower.

  8. I'm a follower- thanks for the giveaway!

  9. That quote about "There is no frigate like a book.." has always been one of my favorites. When I was young, I loved Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses". I soon learned that I could go anywhere with a book.

    I would really love to read this book, it sounds so exciting with mysteries and dangers.

    +5 I follow your blog

    +3 I liked your Facebook Page as Carol Naomi Wong.

    +3 I follow you on Twitter as Carolee888.

    + 1 I tweeted:

    +1 I posted on Facebook:

    +1 I pinned it on PinterestL


  10. Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. so would love to be entered to win The Flower Reader!!!! thank you!!!!

    +5 = follower of Passages to the Past as Cyn209
    +3 'liked' Passages to the Past FB Page as Cyn209
    +1 shared on FB:

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  12. I would love to win this one. And I'm a follower


  13. Just finished The Second Duchess! So excited to read this one :)

    Google (+5) and FaceBook (+3) follower

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  14. Please enter me for this one! I'm already a follower!


  15. Beautiful cover and the books sounds great ! I would love to read it. Peace, Lynda

  16. Thank you for inviting me to visit, Amy! And to all commenters, thanks as well. You are all bright spots in my week! :)

  17. Very exciting giveaway-thanks!

    Carolyn rexmoy at gmail dot com

  18. Thanks for letting us know about this book.

    Like on FB
    follow on twitter @maynekitty
    gfc follower

    maynekitty [at] live [dot] com

  19. I am a follower here as well as on Facebook (Heidi Craig).

    hlcraig84 at yahoo dot com

    The Pokey Little Puppy - one of my all time favorite Little Golden Books. Thanks for the reminder - and the giveaway. Can't wait to read this new book!

  20. Another great book to add to my list of books I wish to read.

    +5 follower (griperang)
    +3 FB follower (Angela (Angela Newcomb) Holland)
    +3 twitter follower (@griperang)
    +1 shared on google + (Angela Holland)
    +1 shared on twitter
    +1 shared on facebook
    +1 shared on blog (

    Thank you for the chance to win. My childhood favorites will always be the Little House books.

  21. sounds great, I would love to be entered :)
    * follower *

  22. I can't wait to read this book, I love the title!

    +5 gfc - mamabunny13
    +3 twitter @mamabunny13
    +3 FB-mamabunny shelor

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  23. I thought of that poem last week. What a coincidence! I'm talking about The Last Duchess by Robert Browning. This is a serendipitous moment. So, now I've got to read the poem this week.:)

    +5Follower Tea/Topazshell

    +3Follower on Facebook


    +1I will tweet it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique