Giveaway: Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara

Passages to the Past is thrilled to be hosting a giveaway of Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara as part of the author's virtual tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours! 

Maryanne's tour runs through June 7th, so be sure to check out the schedule of stops here

CascadePublication Date: April 30, 2013 
Penguin Books 
Paperback; 384p 

A Slate Magazine “Best Books 2012″ 
A People Magazine “People Pick” 
A Library Journal 2012 “Best Bet” 
Boston Globe "Best of the New, 2012" 
A Massachusetts "Must Read, 2013" 

During the 1930s in a small town fighting for its survival, a conflicted new wife seeks to reconcile her artistic ambitions with the binding promises she has made. Fans of Richard Russo, Amor Towles, Sebastian Barry, and Paula McLain will devour this transporting novel about the eternal tug between our duties and our desires, set during in New York City and New England during the Depression and New Deal eras. It’s 1935, and Desdemona Hart Spaulding has sacrificed her plans to work as an artist in New York to care for her bankrupt, ailing father in Cascade, Massachusetts. When he dies, Dez finds herself caught in a marriage of convenience, bound to the promise she made to save her father’s Shakespeare Theater, even as her town may be flooded to create a reservoir for Boston. When she falls for artist Jacob Solomon, she sees a chance to escape and realize her New York ambitions, but is it morally possible to set herself free? 

About the Author
Maryanne O'Hara 
Maryanne O’Hara was the longtime associate fiction editor at the award-winning literary journal Ploughshares. She received her MFA from Emerson College fifteen years ago, and wrote short fiction that was widely published before committing to the long form. She lives on a river near Boston. 

For more information on Maryanne O'Hara, please visit her website

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and GoodReads


Passages to the Past has one paperback copy of Cascade up for grabs.  To enter, please complete the form below.

Giveaway is open to US only and ends on May 10th.

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Giveaway: Blood Between Queens by Barbara Kyle

As part of the Barbara Kyle's virtual tour for the release of Book #5 in the Thornleigh series, Blood Between Queens, Passages to the Past is pleased to be hosting a giveaway! 

Barbara is on tour though May 17th, so be sure to check out the schedule of stops here.

Blood Between QueensPublication Date: April 30, 2013 
Kensington Publishing 
Paperback; 448p 
ISBN: 0758273223 

Following her perilous fall from a throne she’d scarcely owned to begin with, Mary, Queen of Scots, has fled to England, hoping her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, will grant her asylum. But now Mary has her sights on the English crown, and Elizabeth enlists her most trusted subjects to protect it. Justine Thornleigh is delighting in the thrill of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to her family’s estate when the festivities are cut short by Mary’s arrival. To Justine’s surprise, the Thornleighs appoint her to serve as a spy in Mary’s court. But bearing the guise of a lady-in-waiting is not Justine’s only secret. The weight of her task is doubled by fears of revealing to her fiancé that she is in truth the daughter of his family’s greatest rival. Duty-bound, Justine must sacrifice love as she navigates a deadly labyrinth of betrayal that could lead to the end of Elizabeth’s fledgling reign… Compelling and inventive, Blood Between Queens artfully blends history’s most intriguing figures with unforgettable characters, bringing to dazzling life the fascinating Tudor era.

Barbara KyleAbout the Author

Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Tudor-era “Thornleigh” novels Blood Between Queens, The Queen’s Gamble, The Queen’s Captive, The King’s Daughter and The Queen’s Lady which follow a rising middle-class family through three tumultuous Tudor reigns. She also writes contemporary thrillers. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold in seven countries. In July 2013 Barbara will be a speaker at Ontario's world-renowned Stratford Festival with her talk "Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens: A Study of Leadership Lost and Won" about the cousin-queens Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots featured in Blood Between Queens. 

Barbara has taught writers at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations and conferences. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the US. 

For more information, please visit Barbara Kyle's WEBSITE. You can also find her Facebook and Twitter


Passages to the Past has one copy of Blood Between Queens up for grabs!  To enter, please complete the form below.

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only.  Ends on May 9th.

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Giveaway Winners!

Time again to announce the winners of Passages to the Past's recent giveaways! 

Please help me in congratulating the following winners... 

Through a Dusty Window by Delancey Stewart  :  Connie Kline Fischer
Oleanna by Julie K. Rose  :  Meghan Stith
Flesh by Khanh Ha  :  Jeffrey Tretin
Like Chaff in the Wind by Anna Belfrage  :  Mary Hay
Holly Bush eBook  :  Terri Martini
Ripples in the Sand by Helen Hollick  :  Fiery Na
Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent  :  Colleen Turner
His Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb  :  Amanda Barrett
Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison  :  Michelle Chapman
The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau  :  Lauren Gilbert
The Secret of the Nightingale Palace by Dana Sachs  :  Mamabunny Shelor
The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow  :  Victoria Zumbrum
Daughter of the Sky by Michelle Diener  :   Lisa Holmes Garrett 
Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd  :  Cyn209

All winners have been notified via email.  Thanks to all who entered!

Special Giveaway: Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd + Elizabeth I Necklace

Today at Passages to the Past we have one fabulous giveaway for you! Author Sandra Byrd is currently on tour for the release of the third book in her Ladies in Waiting Series, Roses Have Thorns, and she has graciously offered up one copy of the book PLUS a beautiful Elizabeth I necklace!! 

Sandra is on tour through May 17, be sure to check out the tour schedule HERE.

Roses Have ThornsPublication Date: April 9, 2013 
Simon & Schuster 
Paperback; 336p 

From the acclaimed author of To Die For comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court.Like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Sandra Byrd has attracted countless fans for evoking the complexity, grandeur, and brutality of the Tudor period. In her latest tour de force, she poses the question: What happens when serving a queen may cost you your marriage--or your life? 

In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth's circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen's downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she's not sure she can trust--a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences. 

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart. 

Praise for Roses Have Thorns

"In Roses Have Thorns Sandra Byrd has given the reader another amazing heroine to tell the intimate story of England's greatest queen, Elizabeth I. What a unique point of view and deeply moving story Helena von Snakenborg provides. Byrd is especially adept at blending political and private lives. This is a timeless women's friendship novel as well as a poignant love story to cherish--both the roses and the thorns." - Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of Mourning 

"There is something golden about this tale of Elin, an eager young woman in a strange land, diligent in her duty but alive to love. A tale gracefully told, even as it renders the terrors of treachery that form the crucible of Elin's hard-won wisdom. A heartfelt story of loyalty, longing, life-long friendship, and the many seasons of the heart." - Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Gamble and Blood Between Queens 

"Beautiful prose and masterful research combine to bring this fascinating tale to life, treating the reader to fully realized characters and providing an original window through which we can view Elizabeth's court. Ms. Byrd's work will stand as an unforgettable contribution to Tudor fiction." - D.L. Bogdan, author of The Forgotten Queen
Sandra ByrdAbout the Author

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. 

Connect with Sandra Byrd: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


Passages to the Past has one copy of Roses Have Thorns + an Elizabeth I Necklace up for grabs.  To enter, please complete the giveaway form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on April 22nd.  Good Luck!

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Giveaway of Daughter of the Sky by Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener, author of Keeper of the King's Secrets and The Emperor's Conspiracy, has a new book out set in Zululand called Daughter of the Sky and I am thrilled to be hosting a giveaway as part of her virtual tour with HF Virtual Book Tours! 

Michelle Diener is on tour through April 19, so be sure to check out the schedule of remaining stops below.

Daughter of the SkyPublication Date: March 8, 2013 
Paperback; 340p 
ISBN-10: 0987417622 

The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don't accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he's gambling with isn't his own...

The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand's most important spy. 

While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth's disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes the tale she spins of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned - no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs. 

 But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire. 

Michelle DienerAbout the Author

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only. 

A new historical novel, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012. 

Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

Michelle grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children. 

For more information on Michelle Diener's novels, please visit the official website. You can also follow her on Twitter

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Friday, April 12 
Review at CelticLady's Reviews 
Guest Post at A Bookish Libraria

Monday, April 15 
Review at Bitches with Books 

Tuesday, April 16 
Review at Turning the Pages 
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee 

Thursday, April 18 
Review at A Bookish Affair 

Friday, April 19 
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick 
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair


Passages to the Past has one paperback copy up for grabs!  To enter, please complete the giveaway form below.  

Giveaway is open internationally and ends on April 21st.  Good Luck!

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Guest Post by Liz Trenow + Giveaway of The Last Telegram

Today, Passages to the Past is pleased to bring you a guest post by Liz Trenow, who is on tour for the release of her novel, The Last Telegram! Thanks to Sourcebooks I also have one copy of The Last Telegram up for grabs. 

And now, please enjoy this post...

They say you should write what you know, but it took a friend to point out what familiarity had blinded me to – what a unique background I come from. 

I grew up next door to a silk mill, in Sudbury, Suffolk, which is the oldest family-owned silk company in Britain and one of very few operating today. It was started in around 1720 in Spitalfields, London, and is still going strong, weaving luxury fabrics prized by top name designers from all over the world, and even for the royal family such as the Queen’s Coronation Robe and Princess Diana’s wedding dress. 

Although I later became a journalist, I worked at the mill in school holidays, and found the place fascinating, the way that an unpromising-looking raw filament unraveled from a caterpillar’s cocoon is turned, like some kind of alchemy, in to the most sumptuous, lustrous and beautiful and luxurious of fabrics. I loved the roar of the looms, the unique sweet, nutty aroma of raw silk, the dexterity and skill of the weavers – all fluent lip-readers – and the remarkable workplace camaraderie. But, perhaps because of this familiarity, I didn’t at first recognise its potential as the setting for a novel. 

It was when I started talking to my father, then in his nineties, that I found my story. In 1938, when war looked inevitable, they knew the market for luxury fabrics would disappear and needed to find ways of keeping the mill going. Soon enough, they had contracts for surgical dressings (silk has remarkable antiseptic properties) and electrical insulation (plastics weren’t yet good enough) and ‘escape and evasion maps’ which were secretly sewn inside airmen’s jackets, in case they were shot down over enemy territory. The largest contract was for parachute silk. 

But parachute silk was tricky – the weave and the finishing had to be perfect. If it’s too loose the air flows through too quickly, with obvious consequence. Too tight, and the canopy fails to open properly. The finished fabric was rigorously tested: they knew that getting the silk right, and delivering on time, was critical for the war effort. 

My father also told me how his family had become increasingly concerned about the plight of their Jewish friends and business colleagues in Europe, which prompted them to sponsor five German ‘Kindertransport’ boys to travel to England and work at the mill. One of them fell in love with a local girl and, after internment in Australia and fighting for the Allies in the jungles of Burma, returned to work at the mill, married and had a family, and lived a long and happy life. This wonderfully romantic story inspired one of my main characters. 

Finally, at a Weavers’ Company dinner when I met a man who told me about the extraordinary mission undertaken by his father to source vital silk supplies from the Middle East at the height of the war. I couldn’t ignore such a remarkable tale, so that got included too, as readers will discover. 

So, as you see, although my characters and the events in the plot – especially the problems with the parachute silk – are of course entirely fictional, my inspiration was certainly rooted in real people and real events, and for that reason the book means a good deal to me, personally. 

I hope you enjoy it – and tell all your friends! You can find out more about me and my next book, The Forgotten Seamstress, at

Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Sourcebooks Publishing
Paperback; 416p 
ISBN-10: 1402279450

We all make mistakes. Some we can fix.

But what happens when we can't?

Decades ago, as Nazi planes dominated the sky, Lily Verner made a terrible choice. She's tried to forget, but now an unexpected event pulls her back to the 1940s British countryside. She finds herself remembering the brilliant colors of the silk she helped to weave at her family's mill, the relentless pressure of the worsening war, and the kind of heartbreaking loss that stops time. 

In this evocative novel of love and consequences, Lily finally confronts the disastrous decision that has haunted her all these years. The Last Telegram uncovers the surprising truth about how the stories we weave about our lives are threaded with truth, guilt, and forgiveness. 


PTTP has one copy of The Last Telegram to give away!  

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only and ends on April 20th.  Good luck!

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Giveaway: Through a Dusty Window by Delancey Stewart

Passages to the Past is pleased to be hosting a giveaway of Through a Dusty Window by Delancey Stewart as part of her virtual tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. 

Through a Dusty Window is a unique historical fiction book that consists of ten short-stories centered around a New York City brownstone and the lives of the people who lived there.

Delancey is on tour through April 8th, you can see the full schedule of stops HERE.

Brownstone townhousePublication Date: November 15, 2012 
Paperback; 108p 
ISBN-10: 0615731023 

It's impossible to live in a city like New York without feeling the presence of those who have preceded you - on those streets, in those subway cars, in that apartment. The city thrums with vibrations of lives and eras passed, and traces of that history are left imprinted in tangible ways everywhere we look. Through a Dusty Window is a collection of ten short stories spanning a century of lives inhabiting one New York City brownstone on the Upper West Side. They are the culmination of the author's experience in that city, during which she wondered constantly who had occupied her apartment before her, and what stories they might have lived. Ten vignettes offer historical perspective on real events from Prohibition to World War II; the Vietnam-era Summer of Sam killings to John Lennon's murder. Through a Dusty Window allows us to be voyeurs, seeing the fascinating lives of others as they experience the history that New Yorkers today hear whispers of around every corner. 

Delancey StewartAbout the Author

Delancey Stewart is a fiction writer living in Southern Maryland. She's a military spouse and the mother of two small boys. When not writing, she can be found ballet dancing, eating ice cream, playing video games or building with Legos. 

For more information, please visit Delancey Stewart's website. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter


Passages to the Past has one paperback copy of Through a Dusty Window up for grabs!  To enter, please complete the giveaway form below.

Giveaway is open to US only and open until April 14th.  Good luck!

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Special Giveaway Promotion for MJ Rose

Hello readers of Passages to the Past! I'd like to share with you a special promotion that MJ Rose, author of the upcoming release SEDUCTION, is running on her website! 

Sign up for MJ's Newsletter and be entered to win a Victorian Choker, like the one pictured below. Isn't it beautiful?


How to enter the giveaway:

- Sign up for the Newsletter HERE by April 18, 2013.  

- Send the email address used to sign up to me at

- Giveaway is open to US residents ONLY.


Publication Date: May 7, 2013 
Atria Books 
Hardcover; 384p 
ISBN-10: 1451621507 

 From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries. 

In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed. 

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists. 

About the Author

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of and 

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka. 

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.

Giveaway: Oleanna by Julie K. Rose

Passages to the Past is excited to be the first stop on Julie K. Rose's virtual tour for Oleanna!   Julie will be on tour through April 10th, so make sure to take a peek at the tour schedule below to see where she will featured!

OleannaPublication Date: September 5, 2012 
Paperback; 274p 
ISBN-10: 1105361411 

Set during the separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905, this richly detailed novel of love and loss was inspired by the life of the author's great-great-aunts. Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family working their farm deep in the western fjordland. A new century has begun, and the world outside is changing, but in the Sunnfjord their world is as small and secluded as the verdant banks of a high mountain lake. The arrival of Anders, a cotter living just across the farm's border, unsettles Oleanna's peaceful but isolated existence. Sharing a common bond of loneliness and grief, Anders stirs within her the wildness and wanderlust she has worked so hard to tame. When she is confronted with another crippling loss, Oleanna must decide once and for all how to face her past, claim her future, and find her place in a wide new world. 

About the Author

Julie K RoseI'm an author of historic and contemporary fiction, and I'm particularly interested in the intersection of the spiritual and secular, the supernatural and the everyday, the past and the present, and the deep, instinctual draw of the land. I am a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, current co-chair of the HNS Northern California chapter, and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review. I earned a B.A. in Humanities (SJSU) and an M.A. in English (University of Virginia), and live in the Bay Area with my husband and our cat Pandora. I love reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California. Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is my second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010. 

For more information, please visit Julie Rose's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads and Pinterest

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 1 
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past 

Tuesday, April 2 
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time 

Wednesday, April 3 
Review, Interview & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch 

Thursday, April 4 
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages 

Friday, April 5 
Guest Post at So Many Books, So Little Time 

Monday, April 8 
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court 

Tuesday, April 9 
Review, Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, April 10 
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books 


Passages to the Past has one copy of Oleanna up for grabs! To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.  

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends on April 11th.  Good luck!
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