Guest Post by Iris Anthony, author of The Ruins of Lace + Giveaway

Passages to the Past is pleased to host author Iris Anthony today with a guest post in honor of the release of her novel  THE RUINS OF LACE, which hits stores today!  

Sourcebooks has also generously offered up a copy to give away to one of my lovely readers!

Welcome, Iris and Happy Release Day!

Thank you so much for hosting me today! I love your site and I’m thrilled that the first stop on my blog tour is with you.

I’ve always been fascinated with history and I think much of the credit (or blame!) falls to my mother. She had a huge cedar chest in her bedroom. From time to time we would beg her to open it and tell the stories of the things inside. An archeologist’s dream, it was composed of definite layers. At the top was the shirt I refused to take off for who knows how long when I was two years old; the layette my sister wore when she came home from the hospital. I was never much interested in that layer of things or the one beneath it: a pair of lavender silk pajamas from Vietnam, a psychedelic-patterned dress, a long cowrie shell necklace that clicked when we pulled it from the chest, but caught and pulled at our hair whenever we attempted to put it on.

The third layer was better with its Campfire Girls uniform complete with moccasins so old the leather had aged to a shine. A musty-smelling teddy bear with green glass beads for eyes, an arm that dangled by a literal thread, and vast patches where its velvet fur had been rubbed off. There was a doll from Holland with a tiny lace cap and wooden shoes, and another from Switzerland. She was a goatherd with blond colored pigtails and a pair of felt shoes that kept slipping off their wire frames.

Next came the tie my grandfather wore and the pendant that hung from my grandmother’s neck when they married. A pair of opera glasses inlaid with mother-of-pearl. A scrapbook of my grandmother’s which showed her hamming it up in the 1920s with her high school friends. There was a bundle of her painting brushes along with the penknife she used to whittle a point on her charcoal pencils. And nestled away between them all, a lavender wand woven with faded purple ribbon that bestowed a fine, scented, powdery dust when it was shaken. 

Beneath that was a whole slew of oddities from a nineteenth century New England ancestor’s sea-faring days: mate tea from the wilds of Argentina and a gourd to drink it in; a shiny rhinoceros horn; a nearly petrified Brazil nut fruit with the seeds still rattling around inside; a beaded cane that was rumored to have belonged to an African price; a pair of raised wooden sandals used for walking the sands of the Sahara.

But my favorite layer was tucked away at the bottom of the chest and wrapped up in pillowcases and tissue paper. That layer contained the lace. A pair of fingerless gloves. A doily with satin-stitched pansies ringing its border, the flowers so delicately shaded I could hardly tell when one color left off and another began. A baby’s cap decorated with frills of embroidered cutwork. Lace-edged petticoats and lace-collared babies’ gowns. And shawls--such shawls!

Of value in and of themselves, the most important legacy those favorite objects have given me are questions: who and why and how. Who used all those things? Why were they in the chest and how were they connected to me? Decades later, when I ran across a mention of lace smuggling, it provided an opportunity to bring meaning to the mysteries of my childhood. To put a who and a why and how to all that lovely lace. The answers I discovered through research, like the contents of the chest, were unexpected. They were both very much more and so much less than I ever could have imagined. My passage to the past began by lifting the lid of an old cedar chest. My hope as a writer has always been that I can lift that lid high enough and keep it open long enough so you, too, can experience all the wonder and fascination with eras gone by that I have.

About the Book

Publication Date:  October 2, 2012


Lace is a thing like hope.
It is beauty; it is grace.
It was never meant to destroy so many lives.

The mad passion for forbidden lace has infiltrated France, pulling soldier and courtier into its web. For those who want the best, Flemish lace is the only choice, an exquisite perfection of thread and air. For those who want something they don't have, Flemish lace can buy almost anything-or anyone. 

For Lisette, lace begins her downfall, and the only way to atone for her sins is to outwit the noble who know demands an impossible length of it. To fail means certain destruction. But for Katharina, lace is her salvation. It is who she is; it is what she does. If she cannot make this stunning tempest of threads, a dreaded fate awaits. 

A taut, mesmerizing story, The Ruins of Lace explores the intricate tangle of fleeting beauty, mad obsession, and ephemeral hope. 

About the Author

 Iris Anthony is a pseudonym. The writer behind the name is an award winning author of 11 novels. Disguised as her alter-ego, Iris has lived on three continents and traveled to five. She has given up on keeping a diary, buying a château, and liking tea. She stills hopes one day to be able to knit a sweater, play golf on the Old Course, and visit Antarctica. Iris lives in the Washington, DC Metro area in a house decorated with French antiques and Flemish lace. Learn more about Iris at

Giveaway (US & Canada)

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- +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 PTTP 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 October 13th. 
A big thank you to Iris Anthony for a great guest post and to Sourcebooks for sponsoring the giveaway.  Good luck to all!


  1. I am email. Follower twitter follower. At rhondareads I will tweet fb lace and historical fiction.Lomazowr

  2. What amazing treasures in that cedar chest! Wow....that's what kept going through my mind as I continued reading. Priceless treasures, indeed. :)

    The Ruins Of Lace sure has my attention and interest. Congratulations on the release!

    leahweller at bellsouth dot net

    +5 follower
    +3 follower on FB
    +1 posted link to this post on my FB page.

  3. The Ruins of Lace sounds fascinating!
    +5 gfc - mamabunny13
    +3 fb-mamabunny shelor
    +3 twitter @mamabunny13
    +1 tweet
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  4. Thank you for the chance to win this book. griperang at embarqmail dot com

    +5 follower - griperang
    +3 facebook follower - Angela Holland
    +3 twitter follower - @griperang
    +1 blogging -
    +1 tweeting -
    +1 Facebook -!/angela.holland.359/posts/393084744098717
    +1 Google+ -

  5. I love everything about this book and I haven't yet read it! The cover is gorgeous, the title is grabby, and the plot sounds right up my alley. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I win this book! :)

  6. This sounds like a great book, and I love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.


    +5 GFC follower

  7. Oooo - this sounds delicious! Please put me in for the giveaway!
    Thank you!


  8. Hi, Iris - although I know you by another name - *wink*

    What a great novel you have written here. Lace is so beautiful and many years ago, the work that went into making it, is truly mind-boddling. When I lived in Paris, I loved to visit Brussels and meander around the lace shops. Of course, I had to buy some and I just treasure it. I did not realize that it caused so many problems in years past. My interest is truly peaked here and I'm certainly looking forward to reading "The Ruins of Lace." It's an intriguing subject. Thanks so much for sharing your family treasures and the synopsis of your new novel. Congratulations on its release!

  9. This book looks very intriguing!

    +5 GFC follower
    +3 Facebook follower (Denise Kunze Farmer)
    +3 Twitter follower (@so_many_books)

  10. I follow on:

    I shared on:

    Thanks! Looks fascinating!
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  11. Thank you for hosting this giveaway, my daughter will love this book.

    +5 Became GFC follower, wfnren
    +5 Became Networked follower, Wendy Newcomb
    +5 Became Google+ follower, Wendy Newcomb
    +3 became Twitter follower WendyNewcomb

    +1 Blogged:

    +1 Tweeted:

    +1 FB post:

    +1 Google+ post:


  12. This compelling novel would be memorable. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. I would love The Ruins of Lace. What a great feature which sounds captivating and special. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  14. Really looking forward to reading this one! I have been intrigued by it since I first heard about it. I have always wanted to try making lace.

    +5 I follow by email
    +3 I follow on facebook
    +3 I follow on twitter

    tmrtini at gmail dot com

  15. I tried to post and it didn't take so I lost everything! Starting again!!!

    It is terrible to forbid lace. I remember my grandmother making it and still get some of it out to enjoy.

    +5 I follow with GFC as Carol N Wong

    +3 I follow with FB as Carol Naomi Wong

    +3 I follow with Tweeter as Carolee888

    +1 I tweeted:

    +1 I posted on Facebook:

    I am giving it one more try!!!


  16. I saw this title advertised while searching on Goodreads. It's on my to read list. It's sounds so intriguing. Thank you.

  17. I've heard great things about this novel. I had never heard of lace smuggling before but then again I love that history is chalk full of odd stuff like this. Thanks for the chance to win!

    libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

    +5 I follow your blog
    +3 I follow FB page
    +3 I follow Twitter
    +1 I posted on FB and Tweeted @vegasbookgirl

  18. Thanks, Amy for hosting me and thanks to everyone for your interest in my novel! Crossing my fingers for all of you.

  19. What a great look at the historical significance of this fabric. Not an unknown area but certainly one that I could know more about. Thanks for the giveaway.

    I follow PTTP at the above email address.

    I am a member of the FB group: Carl Scott

    I also follow on Twitter: @carlrscott

    I tweeted about the giveaway:

  20. This sounds great! Please enter me in the giveaway. I am a follower. Thank you!
    Rexmoy at gmail (dot) com

  21. This sounds like a great read! Please enter me in the giveaway. I am a follower. Thank you!
    Rexmoy (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. I am just giddy with excitement! At first, I thought a beloved author was being feature on PTTP, but now realize that it is another name. I still think it is the beloved author, but my lips are sealed. I would love to win a copy, but am thrilled just to learn about this novel.

    I am a follower via GFC.
    I'm already a member of the FB page.
    I already follow on Twitter.
    I shared on my FB timeline (Beth Bulow).
    I shared on my twitter (bbulow12).

    Thank you again for the chance to win!


  23. Google follower
    Facebook follower
    Shared on Google+

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

    Interesting premise for a story; never read a novel about lace before!

  24. I am looking forward to reading this book. Please put my name in for the giveaway. Thanks so much for sharing this and other wonderful new books!

  25. This looks like a wonderful book and I would very much like to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you so much for sharing all of the new books with us. BethyLou1941(at)GMail(dot)com

  26. That is a beautiful way to look at cloth. I'm also fascinated with its many layers and I feel the same about history. There is so much to learn beneath the layers. I would love to read your book.

    +5 GFC follower
    +3 Twitter follower: @fieryna


  27. Would love to read this story. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower.

    nanse55 at hotmail dot com

  28. Sounds like a great book. jtretin at aol dot com. I follow on Twitter (@readsalways) and FB.

  29. A must read!

    -blog follower
    -twitter follower


  30. This looks like a great book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    - +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. (justpeachy36)
    - +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page. (DL Lester)
    - +3 additional entries follow PTTP on Twitter. ((@dl_lester)

    I did or am subscribed to all of the above.

  31. I love to knit lacy shawls but I doubt anyone would go crazy for them! I'm really interested in this book and would love to win a copy: thanks so much for the giveaway:)

    +5 blog follower
    +3 FB fan
    +3 Twitter: @jwitt33

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  32. I would love to win a copy. And I'm a follower


  33. I just saw the book on Shelf Awareness and would LOVE to read it.

    +5 GFC follwer: Lilian Cheng
    +3 Joined FB Page as Lilian Cheng
    +3 Followed on Twitter as @ctoybox1
    +1 Tweeted:
    +1 Posted on Blogger:
    +1: Shared on FB:
    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  34. I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I am a GFC Follower

  35. I'm a follower on FB and a member of your great blog. I'd love a copy of this book.


  36. +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past.
    I am already a follower :D

    - +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
    Already a member of the FB page :D

    - +3 additional entries follow PTTP on Twitter.
    Already follow on Twitter, too!

    Sounds like a great book!

    Laura Kay

  37. Nice post. The book sounds fascinating.



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