Announcing the Virtual Book Tour for The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy

Please join author Brandy Purdy as she tours for the release of her novel, The Queen's Pleasure, from May 28th through June 26th with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

About The Queen's Pleasure

Publication Date:  June 26, 2012
Kensington 
384p

{SYNOPSIS}

When young Robert Dudley, an earl's son, meets squire's daughter Amy Robsart, it is love at first sight. They marry despite parental misgivings, but their passion quickly fades, and the ambitious Dudley returns to court. Swept up in the turmoil of Tudor politics, Dudley is imprisoned in the Tower. Also a prisoner is Dudley's childhood playmate, the princess Elizabeth. In the shadow of the axe, their passion ignites. When Elizabeth becomes queen, rumours rage that Dudley means to free himself of Amy in order to wed her. And when Amy is found dead in unlikely circumstances, suspicion falls on Dudley - and the Queen...Still hotly debated amongst scholars - was Amy's death an accident, suicide, or murder? - the fascinating subject matter makes for an enthralling read for fans of historical fiction.


The Queen's Pleasure is also being released in the UK under A Court Affair by Emily Purdy. 

About Brandy Purdy

Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), and THE QUEEN'S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her WEBSITE or you can also follow her and her cat Tabby via her BLOG at or on Facebook as Brandy Purdy - Emily Purdy. 

 The Queen's Pleasure Virtual Book Tour Schedule
 
Monday, May 28th
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, May 29th

Wednesday, May 30th
Review & Giveaway at Kelsey's Book Corner

Thursday, May 31st

Friday, June 1st
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Author Interview & Giveaway at Always with a Book

Monday, June 4th

Tuesday, June 5th
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, June 6th
Review & Giveaway at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books

Thursday, June 7th
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Owl Bookmark Blog

Friday, June 8th
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Musings of ALMYBNENR 

Monday, June 11th
Review & Giveaway at Bippity Boppity Book

Tuesday, June 12th

Wednesday, June 13th

Thursday, June 14th
Review & Giveaway at Royal Reviews

Friday, June 15th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Psychotic State Book Reviews

Monday, June 18th
Review at Paperback Princess
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Musings of a Book Junkie

Tuesday, June 19th

Wednesday, June 20th
Review at BookingIt

Thursday, June 21st
Review & Giveaway at CelticLady's Reviews
Author Interview & Giveaway at Paperback Princess

Friday, June 22nd
Author Interview at To Read, Perchance to Dream
Review at Reviews by Molly

Monday, June 25th
Author Interview & Giveaway at BookingIt
Review at A Novel Affair

Tuesday, June 26th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

TheQueensPleasureTourButton1

ARC Giveaway: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Yesterday I received an unexpected ARC of Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel on my doorstep, however, being the impatient person that I am I had already purchased the hardcover on release day, so I am passing on the awesomeness to one of my loverly followers!!

I am about halfway through and loving it even more than I did Wolf Hall, which I didn't think possible!  


Publication Date:  May 8, 2012 | Henry Holt and Co. |432p

{SYNOPSIS}

The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn...

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice.

At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?

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 May 28th.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

Winners of the Juliet Grey Live Chat Giveaways!

Thanks to all of you who participated in the Live Chat Night with author Juliet Grey last night and for making it the most popular chat I've hosted!  I had a great time and I hope you did too!

For those who couldn't make it you can check out the chat by reading through the comments HERE.

Here are the winners of the chat giveaways:

Ballard Jute Tote Bag:  Amanda

Autographed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette:  Kathleen

Autographed copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow:  Allison

Audio Book Set of Becoming Marie Antoinette:  Martina


CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!  Emails have been sent your way!

The next PTTP Live Chat will be with the wonderful C.W. Gortner in honor of his novel, THE QUEEN'S VOW, on June 20th @ 7:00pm EST!

Hope to see you all there!


Welcome to the PTTP Live Chat with Juliet Grey, author of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow!


Welcome, one and all to the Live Chat with author Juliet Grey!!

Juliet is here tonight to celebrate the release of her second novel in the Marie Antoinette trilogy, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow on this the 242nd wedding anniversary of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and we are so thrilled that you could join us!
Wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
HOW CHAT NIGHT WORKS

All corresponding (questions and answers) 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 anyone has any questions you can email me at passages to the past (at) gmail (dot) com.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Chat participants are eligible to enter any or all of the four fabulous giveaways that the wonderfully generous Juliet is sponsoring (open to US/Canada only). 

*To enter the giveaways, please send an email to passages to the past (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line: JULIET GREY LIVE CHAT GIVEAWAYS and let me know which giveaway items you are interested in.  You can choose one or all...it's up to you! There will be four winners in total.

*I will accept giveaway entries until midnight tonight and the winners will be chosen and posted tomorrow*
  1. Oh-so chic Ballard jute tote with genuine leather trim, which will hold dozens of books, your groceries (far more than a baguette and a bottle of bubbly)
  2. Autographed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette
  3. Autographed copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow
  4. Boxed set of 16 CDs of the audio book of BMA, narrated by Juliet Grey, which is a rare and expensive gift (the CDs have only been made available to libraries and not directly to consumers!)

 

About Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow

Publication Date:   May 15, 2012
Ballantine Books
448p

{SYNOPSIS}

A captivating novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow spans fifteen years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France’s most legendary and notorious queen.

Paris, 1774. At the tender age of eighteen, Marie Antoinette ascends to the French throne alongside her husband, Louis XVI. But behind the extravagance of the young queen’s elaborate silk gowns and dizzyingly high coiffures, she harbors deeper fears for her future and that of the Bourbon dynasty.

From the early growing pains of marriage to the joy of conceiving a child, from her passion for Swedish military attaché Axel von Fersen to the devastating Affair of the Diamond Necklace, Marie Antoinette tries to rise above the gossip and rivalries that encircle her. But as revolution blossoms in America, a much larger threat looms beyond the gilded gates of Versailles—one that could sweep away the French monarchy forever.


Thanks to Juliet Grey for spending some time with us and to all of you who are participating!  I hope you all have a great time!

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 created by Marcia at The Printed Page and for the month of March it is being hosted by Martha @ Martha’s Bookshelf.

Well, it seems like my Mailbox Monday posts should be labeled Monthly Mailbox lately!  As my due date is getting close (little over 8 weeks) we're trying to finish up the baby's room and pick up any last minute items still needed, plus I'm preparing for my replacement at work and working on the last few tours for HFVBT so I haven't had a lot of time to work on the blog.  I've overdue on a few reviews and hope to have those up soon.  In the meantime, here are the books that I've received over the past month or so.

BOOKS PURCHASED

Fodder for my new Hilary Mantel obsession...

Bring Up the Bodies (Book Two, Wolf Hall Trilogy)

BringUptheBodies-2   a-place-of-greater-safety

The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons

The Bronze Horseman (Book One)

TBH   TAA   the-summer-garden 
 
The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games (Book One)
Catching Fire (Book Two)
Mockingjay (Book Three)
 
HungerGames   CatchingvFire   Mockingjay

The Courtesan's Lover by Gabrielle Kimm
The House of Women by Anne Brear
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin


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FOR REVIEW

White Heart by Sherry Jones
Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones
The Queen's Lover by Francine du Plessix Gray
The Borgia Mistress by Sara Poole
The Next Full Moon by Carolyn Turgeon
I, Iago by Nicole Galland

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Photobucket   Photobucket

That's my mailbox, what books did you add to your shelves?
 

2013 Release: Mistress of My Fate: Book One of the Confessions on Henrietta Lightfoot by Hallie Rubenhold

by Hallie Rubenhold

Publication Date:  January 8, 2013
Grand Central Publishing
464p

{SYNOPSIS}

The first novel in a thrilling new historical series, featuring the adventures of Henrietta Lightfoot, courtesan, spy, actress, artist, forger, card sharp and suspected murderess on her journey through a Europe torn by revolution and war.

Mistress of My Fate begins in England in 1789, where the sheltered seventeen year old, Henrietta Ingerton escapes from the country estate on which she was raised only to find herself plunged into a world for which she is wholly unprepared.

Told in her own words, Mrs Lightfoot reminisces about her youth and seeks to set the record straight about the events that shaped her into the woman she became.

Guest Post by Gabrielle Kimm + Giveaway of The Courtesan's Lover

Passages to the Past is pleased to welcome Gabrielle Kimm, author of The Courtesan's Lover to the blog today!  Gabrielle is here with a fabulous guest post and also a giveaway of her novel!

SERENDIPITY – AND UNCO-OPERATIVE CHARACTERS 

First of all – thank you so much for having me on your blog! 

I was talking to a student the other day – a twelve-year old – and was telling her that one way to improve her vocabulary was to make a deliberate decision to look up and learn three new words a week, and to make sure she found an opportunity to use them at least once during that week. ‘Like what?’ she said. ‘What sort of words?’ I racked my brains for an unusual word. ‘How about ‘serendipity’?’ I said. ‘Do you know what that one means? ‘No,’ she replied. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘it means discovering something nice when you’re not looking for it.’ I have to admit that she seemed sadly unimpressed! Will she learn it and use it? Who knows? I hope so. 

The Collins On-Line English dictionary translates ‘serendipity’ thus: “the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident”. It’s a lovely idea, I think, and one which played an important part in the writing of ‘The Courtesan’s Lover’, as it happens. 

It was like this: 

I had a vague idea of the sort of circumstances in which my eponymous courtesan would be living, when I first started writing my new novel. She had run away from her life in Ferrara, and was in the process, I knew, of establishing herself as a courtesan in the far away city of Naples, well away from the Duke of Ferrara. 

Now, I knew embarrassingly little about courtesans when I started writing the book, and originally envisaged Francesca living in a house in Naples with her children, with probably a room elsewhere in the city where she would ply her trade. Early research, however, showed that the Renaissance courtesans were considerably more wealthy and opulent than I had imagined, and I realized that Francesca was going to need at least one servant, if not several. So, I duly expanded her property portfolio – I gave her two much larger houses – and I installed a couple of house servants where she lived with her daughters. 

It seemed to me that she would need some sort of manservant, to support her and protect her where she worked. I knew from research that the courtesans never worked for pimps: they chose their own patrons, whom they then retained or dismissed, and kept for themselves whatever money they earned (this was often a small fortune!), but it seemed to me that it would serve both character and plot for Francesca to have a manservant in her working establishment. 

And so Modesto came into the story. I wasn’t that bothered about him – he was, if you like, an ‘extra’. A bit-part player. There on the sidelines to provide a bit of realism, but not of any particular interest to me. He was going to have to be completely off-limits, too - I did not want him ending up in Francesca’s bed. 

In fact, I didn’t want there to be even the possibility in the reader’s mind of Francesca having any sort of physical relationship with Modesto – she was, if my plot unraveled itself as I hoped it would – going to be in enough of a mess emotionally, without her servant chipping in and causing her problems as well. 

It seemed to me that if I was going to keep him out from under my promiscuous courtesan’s skirts, I had two choices: either to make him homosexual or impotent. I had already decided that another significant character was going to be homosexual, so, not wanting to unbalance things, I decided sadly for this unfortunate servant, that I was going to have to resort to the imposition of impotence. It seemed a rather sadistic decision and I began to feel sorry for poor Modesto. 

Just to have him, by chance as it were, unable to function sexually, would not be either credible or interesting, I reckoned, so I spent a long time trying to find an authentically concrete reason why someone at that time in history might possibly have been unavoidably impotent. I was looking for illnesses – illnesses whose aftermath might have robbed someone of sexual function. 

And here’s where the serendipity comes in. There I was, looking for catastrophic illnesses, when I stumbled across something quite different. Something totally unexpected. The castrati

It was perfect. Horribly perfect. 

Open-mouthed with disbelief, I discovered that literally tens of thousands of small boys, across a couple of centuries, were castrated in the name of liturgical music, in order to retain their soprano voices. St Paul, in a letter to someone-or-other, a couple of millennia ago, made the pronouncement that ‘women should be silent in church’and so, needing long-lasting high voices to perform the great liturgical works, the church authorities came up with an … alternative solution. After reeling with shock, my mind began almost literally to bulge with the extraordinary possibilities of character development this discovery suggested. Modesto had been brought into being as a ‘side-kick’- someone dumped into the story simply because Francesca needed a bloke around the house. But, as I found out more and more about the castrati, the more Modesto simply refused to be bound by my original parameters; he broke out of where I had first determined to place him and demanded to become a more significant character in his own right. 

All at once, I understood him. I knew him. He had been a singer, I discovered: a castrato soprano who had lost his career after illness and had subsequently accepted the position of manservant/come pimp/come nursemaid/come bouncer to this beautiful courtesan. By nature a compassionate, intelligent and witty man, I realized that Modesto is also racked with a bitter hatred for the people who robbed him of his sexual potential, he is disgusted with what he describes as his ‘perception of his own ‘otherness’’ and, although he won’t ever admit it even to himself, he has long been utterly devoted to Francesca. He quickly became one of my very favourites of the characters I’ve created over the course of two-and-a-bit novels 

So much came from one unexpected discovery: a serendipitous discovery. Much of writing seems to be like this, I find – creating a novel seems to be a process far more of discovery than of invention. And the delight I take in unearthing the unexpected is probably one of the main reasons I keep on writing. 

I have to say … I really do love my job!

About The Courtesan's Lover

Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Sourcebooks
528p

{SYNOPSIS}

Francesca Felizzi knows she wields an immense power over men. Her patrons see only a carefree courtesan, and they pay handsomely for the privilege of her time. Francesca never saw him coming, the man who cracked her heart open and ruined her for the job. But he's shown her what a gaudy facade she's built, and she doesn't know how to tear it down without taking her beloved daughters with her. The wrong move could plunge all of them into the sort of danger she has dreaded ever since she began her perilous work all those years ago.

An exquisite tale that explores the intricate nature of a mother's heart. The Courtesan's Lover draws you close and whispers in your ear. In the tradition of Sarah Dunant and Marina Fiorato, a compelling and vibrant tale from an up-and-coming fresh voice that readers will want to savor.

For more information on Gabrielle Kimm 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 May 18th.

Giveaway winners!

Please help me in congratulating the following giveaway winners:

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley....Ashley

The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin....Carl Scott

The Dragon's Harp by Rachael Pruitt (ecopy)....Sophia Rose

The Stolen Bride by Tony Hays....Simona & Patty

The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen....tea bird

Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn....Debbie & Meg

The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas....Queen of the Knots

The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan....Margaret

I, Iago by Nicole Galland....Soft Fuzzy Sweater


CONGRATULATIONS to all of the winners!  Emails have been sent your way!

Thanks to all who entered and helped spread the word and the authors and publicists who sponsored the giveaways!

Guest Post by Lynn Cullen + Giveaway of Reign of Madness

Passages to the Past is pleased to welcome Lynn Cullen, author of Reign of Madness, to the blog today with a guest post and giveaway!

HISTORY AS A JIGSAW PUZZLE: Why I’m Hooked on History
Guest Post by Lynn Cullen 

Have you ever been hooked by a jigsaw puzzle? You start with fitting one piece to another. Then you put together a few more. Now you’re finding it hard to walk away. Each additional piece sucks you in deeper. Faster and faster you go, building one piece upon another, until soon you have to sit down and finish the whole thing, just for the satisfaction of completing the entire puzzle. 

Writing novels based on historical figures can be like this. 

When I thought I might write about the reportedly insane Spanish queen, Juana of Castile, I started with a biography, JUANA THE MAD: SOVEREIGNTY & DYNASTY IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE by Bethany Aram. Learning about a potential character for a novel from a reputable, penetrating biography is like finding all the edge pieces of a puzzle. When you put them together, they form the framework. 

Juana of Castile—Was she really mad?
Only after the framework is in place, can you start to fill in the rest. I began by reading biographies about many of the other persons in Juana’s life. In this case, I read extensively about her parents, Isabel and Fernando, the Spanish monarchs who sent Christopher Columbus on his voyages of discovery. That, in turn, led me to Columbus. Reading about him, I found out that he had a son near Juana’s age, Diego. Diego served as a page to Juana’s brother and then to her mother. Juana would have known who he was. Another puzzle piece! In fact, Diego became an important part of the book. 

Diego Columbus (Colón in Spanish) was a young man who had a lot to prove. He worshipped his father, even though his father left him for years at a time at a monastery when he was growing up. His father was driven by an insatiable desire for fame, gold, and power, not necessarily in that order. And prospects were looking up for Columbus when he received a warm welcome from Isabel after returning from his first voyage. By his second voyage, Columbus’s stock had fallen sharply. He became a laughingstock in Spain. The only “riches” he found in what he called the Indies were slaves, which infuriated Isabel, who from the start considered the New World inhabitants as subjects worthy of her love and protection. Christopher Columbus was soon called “The Lord of the Mosquitoes.” Diego spent the rest of his life trying to prove his father’s honor and to win back his father’s claims in the New World. 

How did this puzzle piece fit with Juana? She, too, was always trying to prove herself. She was the daughter of the most powerful woman in the world. Trying to find her own identity under such a strong and charismatic mother was a constant challenge. I imagined that Juana could identify with Diego. She knew what it was like to have to make sense of one’s life while living in a parent’s shadow. 

It follows that a lot of pieces would center around Isabel. I found that even though she was arguably the most powerful person in the world, her life was not as rosy as it seemed. Her marriage to Fernando was the talk of Europe—they were the Brangelina of their time. They plastered their symbols over every church, palace, and public building in Spain, as well as their motto that proclaimed, “We are Equal!” Which was hogwash. Their marriage was terribly unbalanced, with Isabel holding the bulk of the power. I wondered how such a proud man as Fernando would handle being Mr. Isabel. Not well, it turns out. He acted out by fathering at least 4 children out of wedlock, an act, I think, designed to get Isabel’s attention. It did. She was furious but there was nothing she could do about it. Fernando attacked her in one arena she could not control. 

Wedding portrait of Isabel and Fernando—“We are equal”
The final hole to be filled in the puzzle of my story of Juana had to do with her husband, Philip the Handsome, the Archduke of Austria. If you think a man with “handsome” as part of his name might be trouble, you’d be right. A more spoiled boy-man could not be imaginable. He treated Juana with disdain from the start, going so far as to be late—by six days—to their wedding. The original party animal, he spent more time with his hawks and mistresses than with his wife. Cavalier to all, especially to the Spanish, no wonder people immediately believed that someone had poisoned him when he died. 

Philip the Handsome—poisoned?
My job as a novelist was to fit all these pieces together. As in a jigsaw, the connections have to dovetail perfectly—a novelist can’t force them or the story will not be believable. Fortunately, in the case of REIGN OF MADNESS, I had a wealth of fascinating people from history to work with. And several trips to Spain and Belgium filled in the missing links. Once I put the pieces together, the puzzle of whether or not Juana was actually insane was neatly solved. And then the writing began. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

About Reign of Madness 

Paperback Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Berkley Trade
464p

{SYNOPSIS}

From the author of The Creation of Eve comes a tale of love and madness, royal intrigue and marital betrayal, set during the Golden Age of Spain.

Juana of Castile, third child of the Spanish monarchs Isabel and Fernando, grows up with no hope of inheriting her parents' crowns, but as a princess knows her duty: to further her family's ambitions through marriage. Yet stories of courtly love, and of her parents' own legendary romance, surround her. When she weds the Duke of Burgundy, a young man so beautiful that he is known as Philippe the Handsome, she dares to hope that she might have both love and crowns. He is caring, charming, and attracted to her-seemingly a perfect husband.

But what begins like a fairy tale ends quite differently.

When Queen Isabel dies, the crowns of Spain unexpectedly pass down to Juana, leaving her husband and her father hungering for the throne. Rumors fly that the young Queen has gone mad, driven insane by possessiveness. Who is to be believed? The King, beloved by his subjects? Or the Queen, unseen and unknown by her people?

One of the greatest cautionary tales in Spanish history comes to life as Lynn Cullen explores the controversial reign of Juana of Castile-also known as Juana the Mad. Sweeping, page-turning, and wholly entertaining, Reign of Madness is historical fiction at its richly satisfying best.

About Lynn Cullen

Lynn Cullen is the author of Reign of Madness which was added to the Best in the South selection by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and nominated for the Townsend Prize for fiction. Her previous novel The Creation of Eve, was named  among the best fiction books of 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and an April 2010 Indie Next Pick. She is also the author of numerous award-winning books for children, including the young adult novel I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter, which was a 2007 Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and an ALA Best Book of 2008. An avid traveler and historian, Cullen lives in Atlanta.

For more information on Lynn Cullen 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 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 May 15th.

Save the Date: Live Chat Night with author Juliet Grey on May 16th!

Mark your calendars!!  To celebrate the release of her second novel in the Marie Antoinette trilogy, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow and the 242nd wedding anniversary of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI author Juliet Grey will be here at Passages to the Past for a Live Chat on May 16th from 7:00 - 8:00pm EST!

DOSDOSLiveChatButton-2.1

Chat participants are eligible to enter any or all of the four fabulous giveaways that Juliet is sponsoring (open to US/Canada only):
  • Oh-so chic Ballard jute tote with genuine leather trim, which will hold dozens of books, your groceries (far more than a baguette and a bottle of bubbly)
  • Autographed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette
  • Autographed copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow
  • Boxed set of 16 CDs of the audio book of BMA, narrated by Juliet Grey, which is a rare and expensive gift (the CDs have only been made available to libraries and not directly to consumers!)

 
CHAT NIGHT DETAILS

When: Wednesday, May 16th
What Time:  7:00 - 8:00 pm EST
Where:  http://www.passagestothepast.com

All corresponding (questions and answers) will take place in the comments section of the Chat Night post (not this one).  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.

Here are links to previous chat nights so that you can get an idea of how they work:

Live Author Chat Night with Gillian Bagwell
Live Author Chat Night with Lauren Willig  

About Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow

Publication Date:   May 15, 2012
Ballantine Books
448p

{SYNOPSIS}

A captivating novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow spans fifteen years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France’s most legendary and notorious queen.

Paris, 1774. At the tender age of eighteen, Marie Antoinette ascends to the French throne alongside her husband, Louis XVI. But behind the extravagance of the young queen’s elaborate silk gowns and dizzyingly high coiffures, she harbors deeper fears for her future and that of the Bourbon dynasty.

From the early growing pains of marriage to the joy of conceiving a child, from her passion for Swedish military attaché Axel von Fersen to the devastating Affair of the Diamond Necklace, Marie Antoinette tries to rise above the gossip and rivalries that encircle her. But as revolution blossoms in America, a much larger threat looms beyond the gilded gates of Versailles—one that could sweep away the French monarchy forever.


I hope to see you all there!

Giveaway: Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones

Dear readers, I am very excited to announce that Passages to the Past has one copy of Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones up for grabs! 
 
Publication Date:  May 8, 2012 
Gallery Books 
464p
 
{SYNOPSIS}
 
Rich in intrigue and scheming, love and lust, Sherry Jones’s vibrant historical novel 
follows four women destined to sway the fate of nations and the hearts of kings. . . .

Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother—and to abide by the countess’s motto: “Family comes first.”

With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.

Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself.

From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history.

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