Giveaway: A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock

Passages to the Past is pleased to be hosting the virtual tour for A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock with a giveaway today!

B.N. is currently on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, you can find the schedule of stops below.  

Publication Date: March 1, 2012 
Publisher: Fireship Press 
Paperback; 352p 

August 1789. The Rights of Man. Liberty. Equality. Idealism. Patriotism. A new age dawns. And yet, old hostilities persist: England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. Three youths - the son of an English carpenter, the son of a naval captain, and the son of a French court tailor - meet in London, a chance encounter that entwines their lives ever after. The English boys find themselves on the same frigate bound for the Caribbean. The Frenchman sails to Trinidad, where he meets an even more zealous Spanish revolutionary. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to explode in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other. Will the dawn of the boys' young manhood remain bright with hope? Or will it become tainted with their countrymen's spilled blood?   


B. N. Peacock has had a life-long passion for history. Her childhood hero was Lord Nelson. Her second passion was writing, which equally early on won her an honorable mention in a national Read Magazine contest for a short story about Bunker Hill as told from a British correspondent’s view. She majored in Classical languages as an undergraduate, and went on to get graduate degrees in International Relations and Agricultural Economics respectively. After college, she worked for USDA’s Economic Research Service and wrote for their Situation and Outlook Reports. She returned to her love for history and writing when, as sandwich generation mother caring for children and elderly parent, she came up with the idea of writing about history from different perspectives. This was the start of A Tainted Dawn and the Great War (French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars) series. She currently lives in Manassas, Virginia, close to the Bull Run battlefield, with her husband and family, and also Mr. Orlando Cat and Fiona, the Famous Flying Golden Retriever. 

Connect with B.N. Peacock: WEBSITE | BLOG

Monday, January 28 
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick 

Tuesday, January 29 
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee 

Wednesday, January 30 
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court 

Thursday, January 31 
Review at A Book Geek 

Friday, February 1 
Review at Book Dilettante 

Monday, February 4 
Review at The Novel Life 
Review at Knitting & Sundries 
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader 

Tuesday, February 5 
Guest Post at Confessions of an Avid Reader 

Wednesday, February 6 
Review at The Worm Hole 
Review at Kinx's Book Nook 

Thursday, February 7 
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary 
Interview at Knitting & Sundries 

Monday, February 11 
Review & Giveaway at Ageless Pages Reviews 
Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog 

Tuesday, February 12 
Giveaway at A Writer's Life: Working with the Muse 

Wednesday, February 13 
Review at BookRamblings 

Thursday, February 14 
Review at Jenny Loves to Read 
Review at CelticLady's Reviews 

Friday, February 15 
Review at The Written World & Historical Tapestry 

Monday, February 18 
Review at A Bookish Affair 

Tuesday, February 19 
Review at Impressions in Ink 
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair 

Wednesday, February 20 
Review at Words and Peace 

Thursday, February 21 
Giveaway at Words and Peace 

Friday, February 22 
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict


Passages to the Past has one copy of A Tainted Dawn up for grabs! 

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.  To enter the giveaway, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

Giveaway ends on February 9th.  Good luck!

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Giveaway: The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas

Today I am honored to be hosting the virtual tour for Sam Thomas's The Midwife's Tale with a giveaway!

Sam Thomas has been touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours since January 7 and The Midwife's Tale has garnered fabulous reviews!  You can see the full schedule of stops HERE.

Publication Date: January 8, 2013  
Publisher: Minotaur Books  
Hardcover; 320p 

In the tradition of Arianna Franklin and C. J. Sansom comes Samuel Thomas’s remarkable debut, The Midwife’s Tale. It is 1644, and Parliament’s armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels’ hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget’s friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to be burnt alive. Convinced that her friend is innocent, Bridget sets out to find the real killer. Bridget joins forces with Martha Hawkins, a servant who’s far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be. To save Esther from the stake, they must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha’s past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city’s most powerful families to the alleyways of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther’s murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a deeply sinister secret life, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand. 

Read an excerpt HERE.


"Thomas is a historian by profession and it shows in the wealth of detail with which he recreates the city of York amid the turmoil of the English civil war." —Rhys Bowen, author of the bestselling Royal Spyness series 

 "A heart-stopping page-turner coupled with a gritty and realistic portrayal of two strong and contrasting woman characters vividly depicted against the backdrop of the besieged city of York." —Cora Harrison, author of I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend 

 "A briskly plotted historical mystery starring a pair of brave, tenacious, intelligent women who take no prisoners and make no apologies." —Lyndsay Faye, author of Gods of Gotham

Sam Thomas is an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, and the British Academy. He has published articles on topics ranging from early modern Britain to colonial Africa. Thomas lives in Alabama with his wife and two children.  

Connect with Sam Thomas: WEBSITE | TWITTER | BLOG


Wednesday, January 30  
Review at The Bookworm 
Review & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! 

Thursday, January 31  
Review at Book of Secrets 
Review at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews  
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR 

Friday, February 1  
Review at Reading the Past  
Review at Impressions in Ink


Passages to the Past has one copy of The Midwife's Tale up for grabs! 

Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents.  To enter the giveaway, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

Giveaway ends on February 8th.  Good luck! 

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2013 UK Release: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Here is a release that I am very excited for, so much so that I already pre-ordered it from the UK. I love, love, love fairytale re-tellings and the cover is fab-u-lous!

Bitter Greens
by Kate Forsyth

UK Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Allison & Busby

Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from court by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. She is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of Bitter Greens... 

After Margherita’s father steals a handful of greens—parsley, wintercress and rapunzel—from the walled garden of the courtesan, Selena Leonelli, they give up their daughter to save him from having both hands cut off. 

Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1513 and still inspiring him at the time of his death, sixty-one years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. 

Locked away in a tower, growing to womanhood, Margherita sings in the hope someone will hear her. One day, a young man does... 

Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic, and the redemptive power of love. 

Giveaway: Captain Blackwell's Prize by V.E. Ulett

Author V.E. Ulett is touring the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for her novel, Captain Blackwell's Prize, and today I am hosting the tour with a giveaway! 

To follow the tour, please see the schedule of stops below.

Publication Date: June 18, 2012
Fireship Press

A romantic adventure from the days of wooden ships and iron men, Captain Blackwell's Prize is a story of honor, duty, social class and the bond of sensual love. A small, audacious British frigate does battle against a large but ungainly Spanish ship. British Captain James Blackwell intercepts the Spanish La Trinidad, outmaneuvers and outguns the treasure ship and boards her. Fighting alongside the Spanish captain, sword in hand, is a beautiful woman. The battle is quickly over. The Spanish captain is killed in the fray and his ship damaged beyond repair. Its survivors and treasure are taken aboard the British ship, Inconstant. Captain Blackwell's Prize features sword fights and sea battles alongside the manners, ideas, and prejudices of men and women from the time of Nelson and Napoleon.

Praise for Captain Blackwell's Prize

“… a satisfying page-turner. Ulett’s characters are as convincing as her naval action is credible.” - Julian Mackrell, Historic Naval Fiction “a fine story … Highly recommended for those who enjoy a romantic tale with a little action included as well.” - Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novels Review

About the Author

A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction. V.E. is a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. Eighteenth and nineteenth century journals and letters inspired the writing of CAPTAIN BLACKWELL'S PRIZE. The sequel takes Captain Blackwell and Mercedes to the far side of the world, on a new personal, and cultural adventure. 

Connect with V.E. Ulett: WEBSITE | GOODREADS

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, January 21 
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! 

Wednesday, January 23 
Author Interview at Historical Boys 
Giveaway at Passages to the Past 

 Friday, January 25 
Review at The Book Garden 

Monday, January 28 
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader 

 Wednesday, January 30 
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading 

Friday, February 1 
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie


Passages to the Past is giving away one copy of Captain Blackwell's Prize!  

Giveaway is open to US, UK, Canada & Australia residents.  To enter the giveaway, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

Giveaway ends on February 2nd.  Good luck! 

CaptainBlackwellsPrizeTourBanner425 photo CaptainBlackwellsPrizeTourBanner425_zpsc50b7e4c.jpg

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2013 Release: Royal Inheritance by Kate Emerson

Royal Inheritance
by Kate Emerson

Publication Date:  September 24, 2013
Gallery Books

This new novel in the “wonderfully absorbing” (Library Journal) Secrets of the Tudor Court series, features a tailor’s daughter who suspects she is an illegitimate offspring of King Henry VIII. 

Audrey Malte, born about 1528 and raised at court by the king’s tailor, John Malte, was led to believe she is Malte’s illegitimate daughter when, in fact, her father is King Henry VIII. When she reaches marriageable age, she begins to realize, from the way certain people behave toward her, that Malte is keeping secrets from her, and she sets out to discover the truth. Her quest involves the best and the worst of the courtiers, among them a man with whom she falls in love. 

Unfortunately, Malte has already entered into negotiations for her betrothal to someone else, and Audrey guesses the truth about her legacy when the king settles property on her, jointly with Malte. Marriage is definitely in Audrey’s future, but will it be to the man she wants to wed?

Giveaway: The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan

In celebration of D.L. Bogdan's virtual book tour for her latest novel, The Forgotten Queen, Passages to the Past is giving away a copy to one lucky reader! 

Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Kensington Publishing

From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland. Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…

About D.L. Bogdan
D.L. Bogdan is an ongoing student of history, musician, and avid reader who enjoys travel, the outdoors, and time with her family and friends. She is a proud wife and mother who makes her home in central Wisconsin. She is the author of Secrets of the Tudor Court, Rivals in the Tudor Court and The Sumerton Women. For more information on D.L. Bogdan and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
Virtual Tour Schedule

Monday, January 21 
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past  
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading 

Tuesday, January 22 Review at Peppermint, Ph.D.  
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, January 23  
Review at My Reading Room  
Review at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews

Thursday, January 24 
Review at Unabridged Chick  
Author Interview & Giveaway at My Reading Room

Friday, January 25  
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria

Monday, January 28  
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages  
Review & Giveaway at The Broke and the Bookish  

Tuesday, January 29 
Review & Giveaway at Always with a Book 
Review at Review From Here

Wednesday, January 30 
Review & Giveaway at Ageless Pages Reviews  
Author Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, January 31  
Review at The True Book Addict 

Friday, February 1  
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court  
Author Interview & Giveaway at The True Book Addict


Passages to the Past is giving away one paperback copy of The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan!  

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.  To enter the giveaway, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

Giveaway ends on January 31st.  Good luck!

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2013 Release: One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix by Jane Kirkpatrick

One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix
by Jane Kirkpatrick 

Release Date: April 2, 2013 
Waterbrook Press

One dedicated voice to the suffering of many

Born to an unavailable mother and an abusive father, Dorothea Dix longs simply to protect and care for her younger brothers, Charles and Joseph. But at just fourteen, she is separated from them and sent to live with relatives to be raised properly. Lonely and uncertain, Dorothea discovers that she does not possess the ability to accept the social expectations imposed on her gender and she desires to accomplish something more than finding a suitable mate.

Yearning to fulfill her God-given purpose, Dorothea finds she has a gift for teaching and writing. Her pupils become a kind of family, hearts to nurture, but long bouts of illness end her teaching and Dorothea is adrift again. It’s an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorothea’s heart—and sets her on a journey that will take her across the nation, into the halls of the Capitol, befriending presidents and lawmakers, always fighting to relieve the suffering of what Scripture deems, the least of these.

In bringing nineteenth-century, historical reformer Dorothea Dix to life, author Jane Kirkpatrick combines historical accuracy with the gripping narrative of a woman who recognized suffering when others turned away, and the call she heeded to change the world.


2013 Release: My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

My Notorious Life
by Kate Manning

Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Scribner Publishing

This sweeping, evocative, and absolutely unforgettable novel about the charismatic and passionate Axie Muldoon who changed the lives of countless women was inspired by a real midwife who became one of the most controversial figures in Victorian New York City. 

Set in gritty New York City in the last half of the nineteenth century, My Notorious Life is a vibrant portrait of Axie Muldoon, a plucky orphan who becomes one of the most successful—and controversial—midwives of her time. Told in a magnetic voice, pulsing and vivid, Axie recounts how she is separated from her mother and siblings, apprenticed to a doctor and midwife, and how she later parlays the sale of a few bottles of “lunar tonic for female complaints” into a thriving midwifery practice with her husband and fellow orphan friend, Charles G. Jones. But Axie is on a collision course with one of the most zealous, censorious characters of her era: Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, and it will take all of Axie’s power to outwit him and save both herself and her family from ruin. 

A love story, a family saga, and a brilliant rendering of a historical time, this is also a moving and nuanced commentary on an important topic: women’s control of their bodies. But ultimately, it is the story of one woman making her indomitable way in a difficult world; with her fierce and vibrant spirit, Axie Muldoon is an indelible heroine for the ages. 


Review: India Black and the Rajah's Ruby + eBook Giveaway

India Black and the Rajah's Ruby
by Carol Carr 

Publication Date: December 31, 2012 
Publisher: Berkley 
Format: eBook; 306KB 
Genre: Historical/Mystery 
Source: Author 

Reviewed by: Colleen Turner 
Rating: 4/5 

So just how did India Black, madam and sometimes British spy, come by the funds to purchase Lotus House, her elegant and high end brothel? Well, she’d be happy to tell you…. 

When Philip Barrett, one of India’s regular clients at Mother Moore’s brothel, invites her on an excursion, the sassy, witty tart can’t resist. Always drawn to adventure, the idea of a weekend in the country posing as Philip’s blushing bride while he attempts to close a deal with a brash, rich American sounds like a delightful diversion. The promised spoils if Philip closes the deal aren’t bad either. 

Eyes wide open, India soon gets the feeling everything, and everyone, isn’t as it first appears at the small gathering in Devon. When a valuable jewel, the Rajah’s Ruby, disappears, along with Philip, India is left behind to try and pick up the pieces. But India is smarter than any of them imagine, and the fun is just beginning… 

India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby is my first introduction to the enigmatic and quick-witted India Black and I am so glad I started with this fun and exciting short story! A prequel to the India Black series, this is a fast read that has India telling how she acquired the funds to open her own brothel, Lotus House, and highlights just how sharp and worldly this beautiful character can be. Never one to fall for a handsome face, India is able to solve the mystery of the missing ruby even before it truly is a mystery and is able to spin this to her advantage. Who wouldn’t love a character like that?

India’s expressions and snarky comments throughout the story are just delightful and her straightforward manner makes her a character to be reckoned with. The fact that she weaves in a sexy, saucy attitude in with her astute mind makes her all the more enjoyable. I am really excited to go back and read the book series from the beginning as India Black is already a character I love. I can’t wait to see how she becomes a spy and how her various innate abilities will work for her in this new line of work. Already knowing India, I am sure it will be a romping adventure!


Passages to the Past is giving away one eBook of India Black and the Rajah's Ruby!  

The winner will be gifted with the eBook for their Nook or Kindle.  To enter the giveaway, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

Giveaway ends on January 28th.  Good luck!

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Historical Fiction Giveaways on GoodReads

I was just over at GoodReads and they have some exciting historical fiction novels up for grabs, so I thought I would share them with you!

Clicking on the titles will take you to the giveaway page....

The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau 
2 copies.  Open to US, Canada, GB and Aust.  Ends January 13th.

Seduction by MJ Rose 
2 copies.  Open to US only.  Ends on January 14th.

Mistress of My Fate by Hallie Rubenhold
15 copies.  Open to US only.  Ends January 9th.

The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
3 copies.  Open internationally.  Ends January 12th.

Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio
30 copies.  Open to US only.  Ends January 18th.

A White Wind Blew by James Markert
15 copies.  Open to US/Canada.  Ends February 25th.

Good luck!


Review: The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields

The Age of Desire 
by Jennie Fields

Publication Date: August 2, 2012
Pamela Dorman Books
Hardcover; 368p
ISBN: 067002368X
Genre: Fiction / Historical
Source: Review copy from Publisher

Reviewed by:  Audra Friend
Rating: 3/5

The novel opens in 1907.  Forty-something Edith Wharton, coasting on the international success of her novel The House of Mirth, is the toast of Paris.  One fateful evening while attending a salon with her childhood governess-turned-secretary Anna Bahlmann, Edith makes two propitious introductions: French poet Countess Anna Anna de Noailles and American journalist Morton Fullerton.  From de Noailles she learns that women have deep, savage, sensual depths and from Fullerton, she learns to access those depths.

This real life affair was never made public in Wharton’s life but letters and journals by Wharton reveal a woman rocked by the discovery of sex and sensual pleasure.  Fields’ novel imagines the three years of her affair with Fullerton and the way those around her might have been impacted.  This book, however, isn’t a bouncy late-in-life romance featuring an older woman and younger man, for Wharton herself was a complicated creature, uneasy around sex and craving an intellectual partner.  Fullerton, dashingly handsome, fiscally unsound, and hiding a sullied past, offered Wharton the conversation and compliments she so yearns for -- but has his own hangups, impediments, and wishes.

While Edith is embroiled in her affair with a single-minded focus, she forgets about those around her -- but Fields doesn’t.  Imagining the kind of relationship Edith’s husband Teddy might have had with Anna, Fields juxtaposes Edith’s hot affair with one that burns more quietly, providing an interesting juxtaposition: physical desires, intellectual desires, the seeking of friends and the search for lovers.  In the end, everyone wants to be happy, and that comes at a cost.

Fields doesn’t sugar coat any of her characters; they’re deliciously maddening.  Easy to love, easy to dislike, the charm of this book is that, in the end, everyone gets their just desserts in a way. 

For me, the only impediment I had with the story was believing Edith and Anna’s deep friendship.  Historically, we know Anna and Edith remained together until World War I, separating only when Anna returned to the US to fundraise for Edith’s refugee program.  Fields' articulation of Wharton felt right to me -- imperious, selfish, emotional stunted, self absorbed to the point of being cruel -- and so, her treatment of Anna seemed very possible.  However close she and Anna were, Wharton strikes me as someone who always perceived help as the help, and so when she dismissed or sent Anna away, I believed that.  What I couldn't quite buy is why Anna kept returning to her.  Fields includes letters between them -- I'm unsure if they're real or penned by her for the book -- that evoke an emotional tenderness, but when they interacted in person, I felt the scenes swayed between coziness and coldness. 

Otherwise, the tempestuous and temperamental nature of the characters fit the story Fields is telling; the grains of truth that this novel are based on seem almost too incredible to be true -- and a result make this book all the more fun.  A beach-y sort of historical fiction, this book has sex and betrayal, scandal and drama -- a Gilded Age soap opera that is impossible to put down.

[Note: parts of this review came from my review of The Age of Desire at my blog, Unabridged Chick.]

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