2013 NF Release: The Deadly Sisterhood by Leonie Frieda


The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women and Power in Renaissance Italy
by Leonie Frieda

Publication Date:  April 2, 2013 | Harper Collins | 448p

{SYNOPSIS}

The book is one of drama on a grand scale, a Renaissance epic, as Christendom emerged from the shadows of the calamitous 14th century. The sweeping tale involves inspired and corrupt monarchs, the finest thinkers, the most brilliant artists, and the greatest beauties in Christendom. 

Here are the stories of its most remarkable women, who are all joined by birth, marriage and friendship and who ruled for a time in place of their men-folk: Lucrezia Turnabuoni (Queen Mother of Florence, the power behind the Medici throne), Clarice Orsini (Roman princess, feudal wife), Beatrice d'Este (Golden Girl of the Renaissance), Caterina Sforza (Lioness of the Romagna), Isabella d'Este (the Acquisitive Marchesa), Giulia Farnese ('la bella', the family asset), Isabella d'Aragona (the Weeping Duchess) and Lucrezia Borgia (the Virtuous Fury). The men play a secondary role in this grand saga; whenever possible the action is seen through the eyes our heroines.

These eight women experienced great riches, power and the warm smile of fortune, but they also knew banishment, poverty, the death of a husband or the loss of one or more of their children. As each of the chosen heroines comes to the fore in her turn, she is handed the baton by her 'sister' and Leonie Frieda recounts the role each woman played in the hundred-year drama that is THE DEADLY SISTERHOOD.

giveaway winners!

Time to make some readers very happy! Please help me in congratulating the following winners of my recent giveaways... 

Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham....Phoenix Carvelli

The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd....Margaret

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel....Amanda

Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones....Carrie Norris

The Courtesan's Lover by Gabrielle Kimm....Connie

Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen....Cynthia McArthur


Emails have been sent to the winners.  Thanks to all who entered and helped spread the word and to the publishers for providing the giveaway copies!

Welcome to Live Chat Night with CW Gortner, author of The Queen's Vow!

Welcome one and all to the Live Chat Night with C.W. Gortner, author of THE QUEEN'S VOW: A NOVEL OF ISABELLA OF CASTILE!  We are so thrilled that you could join us!

CWLiveChat-Copy


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 C.W.

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

GIVEAWAY INFO

One lucky chat night participant will win a copy of The Queen's Vow!  The winner will be announced tomorrow.
 
About The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

Publication Date:   June 12, 2012
Ballantine Books
400p

{SYNOPSIS}

No one believed I was destined for greatness.

So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.

As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.


About C.W. Gortner

C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and The Tudor Secret.  He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. His novels have garnered international praise and been translated into thirteen languages to date. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues.


He's currently at work on his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about the early years of Lucrezia Borgia, as well as the third novel in his Tudor series,The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles (US) or Elizabeth's Spymaster (UK).


Half-Spanish by birth, C.W. lives in Northern California. 

Thanks again for joining us, I hope you have a fabulous time! 

Let the fun begin!

Reminder: Live Chat with CW Gortner on Wednesday, June 20th @ 7:00pm EST


Just a friendly reminder that the Live Chat with C.W. Gortner, author of THE QUEEN'S VOW: A NOVEL OF ISABELLA OF CASTILE, is tomorrow (Wednesday, June 20th) at 7:00pm EST on Passages to the Past!

Hope to see you there!

CWLiveChat-Copy-1

Save the Date: Live Chat Night with C.W. Gortner, June 20th 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

Mark your calendars!!  The next Live Chat Night will be with the wonderful C.W. Gortner, author of THE QUEEN'S VOW: A NOVEL OF ISABELLA OF CASTILE, on June 20th from 7:00 - 8:00pm EST!

Participants can ask C.W. Gortner any burning question they may have, chat with fellow readers and enter to win a copy of The Queen's Vow! 

CWLiveChat-Copy

About The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

Publication Date:   June 12, 2012
Ballantine Books
400p

{SYNOPSIS}

No one believed I was destined for greatness.
 
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.

As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.


I hope to see you all there!

Special Giveaway for THE QUEEN'S VOW Virtual Book Tour!

Today is the publication day for C.W. Gortner's new novel, THE QUEEN'S VOW: A NOVEL OF ISABELLA OF CASTILE, as well as the kick off day for his virtual book tour!  And in honor of this C.W. Gortner is sponsoring three fabulous giveaways here at Passages to the Past!

Readers will have a chance to win a copy of THE QUEEN'S VOW, or a beautiful painted Spanish fan or gorgeous embroidered purse!  To enter the giveaways, please follow the information at the bottom of this post.




You can also follow via Twitter at #QueensVowVirtualTour


About The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

Publication Date:  June 12, 2012
Ballantine Books/Random House
400p

{SYNOPSIS}

No one believed she was destined for greatness—until she became one of history’s most powerful and controversial queens.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she is thrust into danger. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, until, at age seventeen, she finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man whom she has vowed to love yet is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Arag√≥n.

As together they unite their two realms under "one crown, one country, one faith," Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor, Torquemada, even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, it will test Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny . . . .

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile. 



Praise for The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

"Isabella is most often remembered as the queen who financed Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Americas, but in this vivid novel, Gortner reveals that she is much more than this. She is an inspiring young woman who bravely faced the turmoil that surrounded her and managed to hold on to her crown...Gortner has again produced a richly detailed book that is hard to put down." - Historical Novels Review 

"Gortner turns his attention to one of Europe’s most formidable queens, Isabella of Castile . . . Unique among most royal women of her age (her daughters included), Isabella makes her own choice of a husband, and also grapples with the issues that lead to the launching of the Spanish Inquisition . . . Gortner avoids romanticizing and sentimentalizing and presents a believable account of a woman determined to control her own fate and shape Spain into a great country." - Booklist

"Isabella of Castile, the intelligent and fiery Spanish queen best remembered today for funding the voyages of Christopher Columbus, begins this historical novel as a mere pawn in the decadent court of her weak older brother. . . Isabella's tenacity and ruthlessness allow her to seize the throne. After she is crowned, however, Isabella faces continued threats to the security of the realm . . . Gortner pays particular attention to the religious issues Isabella confronted, portraying her as a complex figure . . . Gortner's latest historical novel should have strong appeal for historical fiction fans." - Library Journal

Click HERE to download an excerpt.

About C.W. Gortner

C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and The Tudor Secret.  He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. His novels have garnered international praise and been translated into thirteen languages to date. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues.

He's currently at work on his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about the early years of Lucrezia Borgia, as well as the third novel in his Tudor series,The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles (US) or Elizabeth's Spymaster (UK).

Half-Spanish by birth, C.W. lives in Northern California. 
 
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 June 22nd.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

 
TheQueensVowTourButton2.1

Review: Shakespeare's Lady by Alexa Schnee

by Alexa Schnee

Publication Date:  April 3, 2012
Guideposts Books
360p

Reviewed by:  Colleen Turner
Rating: 3 / 5 crowns

“Emilia?” 
“Yes?” 
“Why William Shakespeare?” 
When my answer came, it did not come from my head. It came from my heart. “I see things in him. I understand him when no one else does. He often doesn’t seem to be completely in this world, but that’s because he’s not. He is in his own world, creating beautiful characters, settings and stories. I can’t see what he sees, and I cannot hope to take his attention from them. But every once and awhile, I see just me in those eyes. Not fairies, kings, ships or witches. Just me. I am all he sees. In that moment, I am the most beautiful woman in the world.” – From Shakespeare’s Lady 

When Emilia Bassano arrived at the English court as lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I she was young, devout and looking for freedom and love. What she found instead was a court ruled by an aging, domineering and often cruel queen that dictated exactly what she expected from her courtiers and did not allow any variance from her plans. As the daughter of a musician, Emilia had no money or security to cushion her fall if she angered the queen and was banished from court so she saw little choice but to comply. As the queen’s choices landed Emilia into the roles of mistress to the queen’s cousin, Henry Carey, and then the wife to her own brutal cousin, Alfonso Lanier, one man continued to haunt Emilia’s mind: William Shakespeare. She was fascinated by this handsome and enigmatic writer and saw her longed for freedom in his arms. But going against the queen could have devastating consequences, not only for the lovers but for those they hold dear. Could Emilia sacrifice everything she had for the chance at the life she’d always wanted? 

I very much enjoyed Alexa Schnee’s depiction of Shakespeare. She gives us a man that is compassionate and kind yet so dedicated to his dreams and art that he puts what he wants above everything else. I could easily picture him, smiling yet distracted with stories playing out in his head and reflected through his eyes. I also enjoyed the older, needy Elizabeth and her utter lack of compassion for what her subjects wanted for their own lives. This viewpoint helped solidify the feelings of imprisonment and lack of options that Emilia expressed throughout the novel. The author also sprinkles in well-known Shakespearean lines into the story, giving us a glimpse into where they might have originated from. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the story fell flat for me. 

Narrated exclusively by Emilia, I found the writing style to be rather blunt and boring. While there are moments of florid description the majority of the time the sentences are short and concise. For me it made the difference between being told the story and feeling like I was a part of it. I found Emilia to be indecisive, one moment declaring that she would do anything to be with Shakespeare and then later stating she might need to give him up if the queen disapproves. The romance between the two lovers felt lukewarm and I just didn’t feel like their actions reflected their declarations of love. 

I wanted to love this story so badly. It has many of the components that usually have me enthralled: a Tudor setting, forbidden love, little known characters giving me a new perspective into much-loved settings and characters. In the end Shakespeare’s Lady had enough high points for me to finish it but I cannot say I loved it or would reread it. I would, however, read something else by Alexa Schnee as I think she shows potential. 

Introducing Colleen Turner, the new guest reviewer for Passages to the Past!

Hello, dear readers!  I'd love it if you would please help me welcome Colleen Turner, my first guest reviewer, to Passages to the Past!  

With my son due to arrive in less than 5 weeks I haven't had a lot of time to read or review for PTTP while I prepare and once he is here it will be a little while until I get back in the swing of things.  So, I asked Colleen if she would be interested in contributing reviews and I was so very thrilled when she agreed!  I have loved reading her reviews for Luxury Reading and she is a joy to work with on my tours for HF Virtual Book Tours!  Not only is she a wonderful person, but her reviews are awesome and I am very honored to have her here.

Here is a little introduction from Colleen....

Hi. My name's Colleen Turner and I have a reading addiction. Okay, now that I have confessed let me tell you a little bit about myself! I am a wife, mother and a Student Service Representative living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. While my life doesn't leave a lot of free time I try to squeeze my love of reading into every nook and cranny I can find. You would be surprised the number of things you can do with your nose stuck in a book! My favorite genres are historical fiction and nonfiction, chic lit, general fiction...really anything other than westerns and science fiction. I am very excited to become a review contributor for Passages To The Past as I have been a follower of the blog for a while and just love it! I also contribute reviews to www.luxuryreading.com and can be found on Goodreads and Facebook. 

Check back later today for Colleen's first review for Passages to the Past!

Win a pair of Catherine Parr Siam Earrings!

I honor of Sandra Byrd's virtual book tour for THE SECRET KEEPER: A NOVEL OF KATERYN PARR, she has graciously offered a very special giveaway for the followers of Passages to the Past....a pair of fabulous replica earrings from The Anne Boleyn Files store...


Description from website:

These elegant Swarovski crystal earrings are replicas of those worn by Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr in Season 4 of “The Tudors”. They feature:-

* Light catching Swarovski siam prong-set crystals in gold-plated settings 
* Round white Czech glass pearls 
* Pretty gold-plated flower bead caps surrounding the pearls 
* Gold-plated head pins with beads at the bottom for extra detailing 
* Gold-plated earring hooks, 14k gold hooks or clip ons

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 June 21st.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL! 

Guest Post by Susan Higginbotham + Giveaway of Her Highness, the Traitor

Please welcome author Susan Higginbotham to Passages to the Past today!  Susan is here with a guest post in honor of the release of her latest novel Her Highness, the Traitor.  And thanks to Sourcebooks I also have one copy up for grabs!

Chelsea: The Manor of Queens 

Several important scenes in Her Highness, the Traitor take place at the royal manor of Chelsea in Middlesex. Now a vital part of London, the area of Chelsea in Tudor England was still a country retreat. 

Jane Seymour
The neighborhood had two residences strongly associated with the Tudors: the royal manor and Thomas More’s house. It was the latter house, not the royal manor, where Jane Seymour was brought on May 14, 1536, to await her marriage to Henry VIII while Anne Boleyn in the Tower awaited her trial and execution. The manor of Chelsea did not come to the crown until July 14, 1536, when William, Lord Sandys, granted it and other land to the king in exchange for other property. 



Henry VIII is recorded as visiting his new acquisition only in May 1538. In May 1541, however, both Katherine Howard and her stepdaughter, the future Elizabeth I, went there by barge on several occasions. Henry did expend funds on the gardens at Chelsea, where cherry trees, red peach trees, damask roses, lavender, and rosemary were planted and tended. 

Katherine Parr
Katherine Parr is the queen most closely associated with Chelsea. She was granted the manor as part of her jointure in 1544 and moved there after Henry VIII’s death in 1547. 

It was at Chelsea that Katherine carried on a love affair with the new king’s uncle, Thomas Seymour, detailed in a series of letters. In a letter written early in their courtship, Katherine apologized for writing Thomas sooner than expected, but explained, “Howbeit, the time is well abbreviated, by what means I know not, except the weeks be shorter in Chelsea than in other places.” In another letter, Katherine, now signing herself as “your humble, true, and loving wife,” instructed Seymour, “When it shall be your pleasure to repair hither, ye must take some pain to come early in the morning, that ye may be gone again by seven o’clock. And so, I suppose, ye may come without suspect. I pray you let me have knowledge overnight at what hour ye will come, that your portress may wait at the gate to the fields for you.” 

The teenage Princess Elizabeth, known as the Lady Elizabeth, was living in the household of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. It was while the household was at Chelsea that Thomas Seymour began indulging in sexually charged horseplay with Elizabeth: stealing into the princess’s chamber before she was up in the morning, striking her upon her back or buttocks, and pulling open her bed curtains and making as if he would come at her. To put a stop to this, Katherine Parr, now pregnant with Seymour’s child, finally sent the young Elizabeth to live elsewhere. 

Tragically, Katherine Parr, having moved to Sudeley Castle to await her coming child, died of complications following childbirth. The royal manor of Chelsea returned to the crown. 

The next occupant of Chelsea was John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In November 1552, the ambassador Jehan Scheyfve wrote, ”The Duke of Northumberland keeps his room at Chelsea, in a little house belonging to the King about two miles from Westminster, on the Thames.” Northumberland spent the last Christmas season of his life, 1552-53, there. Often ailing and depressed in the last years of his life, Northumberland may have believed that Chelsea was conducive to his health. In a particularly gloomy letter written from Chelsea to William Cecil, he asked, “And now, by extreme sickness and otherwise constrained to seek some health and quietness, I am not without a new evil imagination of men. What should I wish any longer this life, that seeth such frailty in it? Surely, but for a few children which God hath sent me, which also helpeth to pluck me on my knees, I have no great cause to desire to tarry much longer here.” 

Jane Grey
In May 1553, Northumberland’s son Guildford married Lady Jane Grey. According to Jane, after hearing the unwelcome news from the Duchess of Northumberland that Edward VI had named her his heir, Jane got permission to go to Chelsea, where she fell ill. (Jane, who had been Thomas Seymour’s ward during and after his marriage to Katherine Parr, had likely stayed at Chelsea during Katherine Parr’s tenancy there, though she seems to have been insulated from the goings-on involving Seymour, the queen, and the Lady Elizabeth.) It was at Chelsea that Jane was summoned by Northumberland’s daughter Mary Sidney to go to Sion, where she heard of the death of Edward VI and accepted the crown. 

Northumberland was executed on August 22, 1553, after Jane’s brief reign collapsed. The new queen, Mary I, allowed Northumberland’s widow, Jane Dudley, to live at Chelsea. The Duchess of Northumberland died at Chelsea in January 1555 and was buried in nearby Chelsea Old Church. The church was damaged during the Blitz, but it, and Jane’s tomb, survived the bombardment. 

Anne of Cleves
With the Duchess of Northumberland gone, Chelsea was free to receive another queenly tenant: Anne of Cleves, whose marriage to Henry VIII had been dissolved years before. Anne did not have long to enjoy Chelsea, for she died there on July 16, 1557, at about three in the morning. Her body was taken to Westminster for burial. 

Anne of Cleves was the last queen to reside at Chelsea, although Elizabeth I visited the manor after it passed into the hands of Charles Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. The Tudor palace known to Henry VIII, his wives, and his children was demolished between 1759 and 1765 and its site covered by the houses and gardens of 19-26 Cheyne Walk. 


Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Sourcebooks
323p

{SYNOPSIS}

As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI.

For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another step upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane, it means that she—and the Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England.

Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure.

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 June 19th.

Thanks to Susan Higginbotham for the fabulous guest post and to Sourcebooks for sponsoring the giveaway!  Good luck to all!


Kick-off day for Sandra Byrd's Virtual Book Tour for THE SECRET KEEPER: A NOVEL OF KATERYN PARR + Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce that Sandra Byrd's virtual tour for the second novel in her Ladies in Waiting series, THE SECRET KEEPER: A NOVEL OF KATERYN PARR starts today!  And in honor the kick-off day Passages to the Past has a copy of her exciting new book up for grabs!

The tour will be hosted by some really fabulous blogs who will be bringing you reviews, guest posts, interviews and giveaways so be sure to check the tour schedule below to see where the tour will be stopping!

Sandra Byrd's Ladies in Waiting series is "a rich alchemy of fact and fiction, the Ladies in Waiting series chronicles the glittering court lives of three Tudor Queens and the women chosen to be their closest friends and companions. Each book envelopes the reader in sweeping romance, heartwarming and heartbreaking circumstances, and heroines who choose lives worth risking all for."

Book One:  To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
Book Two:  The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr
Book Three:  Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (to be released in 2013)

Publication Date:  June 5, 2012
Howard Books
352p

{SYNOPSIS}

The author of To Die For returns to the court of Henry VIII as a young woman is caught between love and honor.  Juliana St. John is the daughter of a prosperous knight. Though her family wants her to marry the son of her father's business partner, circumstances set her on a course toward the court of Henry VIII and his last wife, Kateryn Parr.

Sir Thomas Seymour, uncle of the current heir, Prince Edward, returns to Wiltshire to tie up his concerns with Juliana's father's estate and sees instantly that Juliana would fit into the household of the woman he loves, Kateryn Parr. Her mother agrees to have her placed in Parr's household for "finishing" and Juliana goes, though perhaps reluctantly.

For she knows a secret. She has been given the gift of prophecy, and in one of her visions she has seen Sir Thomas shredding the dress of the king's daughter, the lady Elizabeth, to perilous consequence.

As Juliana learns the secrets of King Henry VIII's court, she faces threats and opposition, learning truths about her own life that will undo everything she holds dear.


About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd has published more than three dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including the first book in her Tudor series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn.  Her second book, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, illuminates the mysteries in the life of Henry's last wife.

For more than a decade Sandra has shared her secrets with the many new writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington, area with her husband and two children. For more Tudor tidbits, please visit www.sandrabyrd.com

Praise for The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr

"Juliana’s character as the main protagonist is both surprisingly fresh and perfectly presented. There is much more to her than a lady’s maid, and finding out her secrets as the story unfolds is a great pleasure. Unlike many novels of this kind — which portray a fictional character in the lead — this one works very well. A female’s place in society is expanded upon, but not so much as to become monotonous and spoil the historical theme."
Historical Novel Society

"Rich in historical detail, full of intrigue, and starring a memorable heroine—Juliana St. John—who grows in both character and faith, Sandra Byrd's The Secret Keeper kept me completely engrossed in the tumultuous court of Henry VIII. I felt a part of the times, thanks to the author's skillful storytelling, vivid descriptions, and inspiring characters. Readers are in for a special treat with this remarkable novel."
Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author 

"Sandra Byrd's remarkable book, The Secret Keeper, provides exquisite attention to detail of time, language, and place. A deft creation of character voice that invites the reader in and never lets her go. A delicate suspense that keeps pages turning. And throughout, the evidence of a remarkable storyteller who moves emotions in ways that both inspire and satisfy. I fell in love with Juliana St. John and with her heart, and hope she and her secrets find the widest possible audience."
Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Where Lilacs Still Bloom
 

The Secret Keeper Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, June 4th

Tuesday, June 5th

Wednesday, June 6th

Thursday, June 7th
Review & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
Review at Always with a Book

Friday, June 8th
Review at Book Drunkard
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Owl Bookmark Blog

Monday, June 11th
Author Guest Post at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, June 12th
Review & Giveaway at Knitting and Sundries
Author Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, June 13th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Thursday, June 14th
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Reviews by Molly

Friday, June 15th
Review & Giveaway at The Bookworm

Monday, June 18th

Tuesday, June 19th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, June 20th
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, June 21st
Review & Giveaway at Royal Reviews

Friday, June 22nd
Review at A Novel Affair
Author Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Monday, June 25th
Review at My Reading Room
Review at A Girl's Legacy
Review, Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Drey's Library

Tuesday, June 26th

Wednesday, June 27th

Thursday, June 28th
Author Interview & Giveaway at My Reading Room

Friday, June 29th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Monday, July 2nd
Review & Giveaway at Bloggin' 'Bout Books

Wednesday, July 4th
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Thursday, July 5th

Friday, July 6th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books


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 June 18th.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
  
TheSecretKeeperTourButton1
Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique