Guest Post by Susanna Kearsley + Giveaway of Mariana!

Passages to the Past is pleased to welcome back author Susanna Kearsley, who is here in honor of her novel, Mariana, which was just reissued by Sourcebooks Publishing!  

I had the recent pleasure of reading the fabulous Mariana and it now has a firm place among my favorites shelf, I highly recommend it and thanks to Sourcebooks I have one copy to give away to a lucky reader!

And now, please enjoy this post from Susanna....

Thanks so much, Amy, for having me back. 

The last time I was here, in October, I talked a bit about the differences between historical fiction and non-fiction, and how fiction can sometimes do a better job of humanizing history for its readers. And that got me thinking, afterwards, of some of the other things that we, as novelists, can do more freely perhaps than our non-fiction colleagues. 

One of the first things I thought of was how we, in writing historical fiction, can turn our focus to the outer corners of the bigger picture, like photographers shifting their lenses away from the stars on the red carpet to look instead at the chauffeur who’s holding the limousine door. 

Charles II
For example, the main action of my novel Mariana, in the past, takes place in 1665, throughout the summer that the Great Plague leveled London. A historian writing about that year would have to get into details of how the Plague spread, and how Londoners dealt with it—how many died, and the way they were buried, and all of that. Which is only fair, since one of the primary roles of a historian is to chronicle the key events of history and contextualize them. Any historian who wrote about England in 1665 and didn’t spend adequate time on the Great Plague of London, or the Second Anglo-Dutch War, or what was going on at Charles II’s court, would not be doing a good job. 

Even when a historian picks one aspect of that year—like the village of Eyam closing itself off voluntarily so that it wouldn’t spread Plague to its neighbors—or when a social historian chronicles everyday life in the country, they still have to reference the major events and include a few chapters explaining in detail what’s going on elsewhere. 

Historical novelists set things in context as well, but we’re also much freer to swing our own cameras away from the main action, showing the people who lived on the fringes of all these events, and just letting our characters talk about what’s going on in the world in the same way that we do. (Hint: We rarely quote numbers and data and details. A lot of what is going on we never even notice unless we’re directly affected by it.) 

By having this freedom, not having to focus on rulers and parliaments, generals and treaties, we’re able to tell a much different account of the Plague Year; one just as historically accurate, but from a different perspective, as narrow or broad as we need it to be. And both ways of looking at history, in my view, are valuable. 

About Mariana

 Publication Date:  April 1, 2012 | Sourcebooks | 384p


Time slip historical fiction at its best by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley, whose novel The Winter Sea won the RT Reviewers Choice Award, and finaled for a RITA award.

When Julia Beckett moves into a beautiful old farmhouse, she finds herself transported into17th-century England, and into the world of Mariana. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past... until she realizes Mariana's life is eclipsing her own. She must lay the past to rest or risk losing the chance for happiness in her own time. 

About Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley studied politics and international development at university, and has worked as a museum curator.

Her first novel Mariana won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Literary Prize and launched her writing career. Susanna continued her mix of the historical and paranormal in novels The Splendour Falls, Named of the Dragon, Shadowy Horses and Season of Storms.

Susanna Kearsley also writes classic-style thrillers under the name of Emma Cole.
For more information on Susanna and her novels, please visit her 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 and Canada 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 14th.


  1. Ah! I would LOVE to win this one - Ms. Kearsley is one of my favorite favorite authors and I am usually not a fan of the time-slip genre. She writes it so well!

    I am also a follow of Passages to the Past :)

    Liz G.

    strawn (dot) elizabeth (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. How great! PttP has just passed Santa for the best giveaways anywhere! This one sounds delightful as well, please enter my name in the draw.
    - +5 additional entries for being a follower of Passages to the Past. email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx
    - +3 additional entries for joining the Passages to the Past FB Page. (Carl Scott)
    - +3 additional entries for following on Twitter.(@carlrscott)
    - +1 additional entry for my epic tweet about the event:!/carlrscott/status/187786076042166272
    That's all lucky 13 allowable entries. Thanks!

  3. I enjoyed reading this post. I never really thought of authors being able to do that.
    I would love to read this book.

    I am a gfc follower

  4. I really enjoyed The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden so I can't wait to read Mariana. I didn't know Kearsley also writes thrillers under another name!


    - I'm a follower (Mary)

    - I joined the FB page (Bookfan Mb)

    - I follow on twitter (Bookfanmb)

    - I shared on FB

  5. Hi, Amy! Would love to win!
    Avid PttP blog and FB follower!


  6. I'm really anxious to read this. Please enter me. Thanks!

    I am a follower.


  7. I love historical fiction and would love to read this book.

    I follow on FB and passages to the past ; ) Lynda

  8. I love all things Susanna Kearsley and am a dedicated reader of this blog :) Thanks so much for posting awesome historical fiction for me to read!


  9. I've read The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden. Love her creations. I'm a follower. Thanks for the chance to win.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

  10. Super excited about this book - thanks for the post! Susanna is one of my favorite authors (after discovering her last year).

    Thanks for the giveaway!


    longtime follower and FB fan

  11. Hi, I have read The Rose Garden and loved it. The Winter Sea is next on my list and would love to read this book also.

    I will taking a workshop with Susanna Kearsley in May and looking forward to it.

    I am a new follower, following on FB (but with a different email address - mrs.cook at

    Have also posted on my blog about this giveaway.

  12. AH! Time travel! If we only could. I am enthralled by 17th century England ever since "Forever Amber" and "Restoration". The Great Fire and the Plague, two outstanding disasters which haunt history and the Restoration. I would love to win this novel. Please. Thank you for the chance.


  13. Thanks for the chance to win this.

    +5, GFC follower
    +3, Facebook follower
    +3, Twitter follower

    niteofblu at gmail dot com

  14. I love timeslip novels- thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I feel so repetitive...
    I follow on:

    I shared on:

    thank you!
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  16. This sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win a copy. I am a follower.
    rexmoy at gmail dot com

  17. Wonderful post, and oh so true. I loved Shadowy Horses, and The Winter Sea. Would love to win Mariana. thanks for the giveaway.

    +5 - GFC follower


  18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Susanna Kearsley's novels. Time slip novels have always been a particular favorite of mine and Ms. Kearsley's ability to evoke both the past and present so vividly keeps me enthralled every time (and contributes to a good amount of tears as I read)!

    I am a GFC Follower

  19. I would love to win this one, so please put me in the drawing!

  20. I would love to read this book!
    +5 gfc - mamabunny13
    +3 Fb-mamabunny shelor
    +3 twitter @mamabunny13
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  21. Thanks!+5 follower

    +3 member of fb group

    +3 twitter follower

    +1 shared on fb, google+ and twitter


  22. I do think historical fiction can really humanize true events, especially tragic ones. That's whyI like for historical fiction to use facts but not depend on it. Often a great historical fiction will have me looking up non-fiction books just to learn more about events.

    I've heard about Great Plague but haven't read a story based on it. I would love to. I a couple of Suanna's books on my wishlist and I think it's time I read her book :)

    GFC follower (Na)

    Twitter follower (Fierna)



  23. This book sounded so super that I went and purchase THE WINTR SEA & THE ROSE GARDEN on kindle. Can't wait to start reading those. I hope I win this book.
    I follow on email, facebook, twitter
    I shared on facebook and I tweeted-joekathbia

  24. I've heard great things about Susanna Kearsley, but I've yet to read one of her books. Hopefully this will be my first. And I'm a follower


  25. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  26. Thank you for the chance to win. This looks like a good book. I am reading The Rose Garden right now by Susanna, I just started it but am enjoying it.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  27. I forgot to say how many points I have.

    +5 for being a follower (griperang)
    +3 FB follower (Angela (Angela Newcomb)Holland)
    +3 Twitter follower (@griperang)
    +1 - posted contest on FB
    +1 - posted contest on twitter
    +1 - posted contest on google +
    +1 - posted contest on blog (

    Total 15

    Thanks - griperang at embarqmail dot com

  28. sounds like something i would enjoy!!!
    thank you for the chance to win a copy!!!

    +5 a follower of Passages to the Past = Cyn209
    +3 joined the Passages to the Past FB Page = Cyn209
    +1 shared giveaway on Facebook:

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  29. Love historical novels. Thanks for hte giveaway

  30. Ms. Kearsley's comments were really interesting. She named some of the very reasons I love historical fiction so much. I would love to win this book!

    I think I'm already a follower of the blog, and I know I'm a follower of the Facebook page. Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. I read the The Winter Sea and really enjoyed it. Would love to win another one of her books.

  32. Love her books! Would love to win! And I happily became a fan on Facebook of Passages. athenastar@hotmail

  33. I have yet to read something by this author but from what I here I need to remedy that quickly! I have heard her books are just so entertaining and so would love the chance to win a copy of this one. Thanks Amy!
    +5. GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
    +3. Facebook Page follower (Colleen Turner).
    +1. Shared on Google+.
    +1. Shared on Facebook.

  34. I LOVE historical time slip fiction!

    Blog (+5) and FaceBook (+3) follower!

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  35. What a wonderful post. It was really nice to meet Susanna Kearsley.


  36. Thank you for the giveaway! mkbrow (at) sbcglobal (dot) com


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