Kathy Fischer-Brown Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today on the blog I am hosting Kathy Fischer-Browns Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter (Book One, Serpents Tooth Trilogy)

01_Lord Esterleigh's Daughter 

Publication Date: June 13, 2012 | Books We Love Ltd. | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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As a child, Anne Fairfield dreams of the father she never knew, the hero who died fighting the French and their Indian allies in a land across the sea. Her mother’s stories, and fantasies of her own devising, sustain and nurture her through a poor and lonely existence. Until one winter night, a strange man comes to call, and the life she has known comes crashing down like shattered glass.

Forced to confront sordid truths, secrets and lies, the headstrong young woman begins to learn that, like generations of women ruled by their hearts, she is destined to follow in their footsteps.

Set against the backdrop of 18th century England, Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter is the first book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from the rural countryside, to London society and into the center of the American Revolution.

Praise for The Serpent's Tooth

4 Stars “Jane Austen showed us the gentle side of 19th century England; Kathy Fischer-Brown sets her work a century earlier and shows us how envy, revenge, and greed can work to effect long-term changes on one young woman…. The author does a wonderful job of showing all these complications clearly, with apt description, and I could easily see this series as a movie-maybe one day I will. So, if you are a fan of dark gothic themes, enjoy seeing the underbelly of British society and what goes on behind the scenes, as it were, I highly recommend you buy this trilogy.” — Long and Short Reviews

4 ½ Stars “...This is a dark novel that deals with the resentment and anger of a girl who has been misled and cannot seem to get past her grief …. While not a typical romance, this is a fascinating, complex story that I completely enjoyed. It is well written and entertained me with mystery, suspense, scandal, sinister characters and first love.” — Romantic Historical Lovers

Must Read “… the first book in 'The Serpent's Tooth Trilogy' [is] a very well written plot filled with romance, suspense and danger. The author's characters were developed well and believable…. Recommended for all suspenseful historical romance fans.” — My Cozy Corner Reviews

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Courting the Devil (Book Two, Serpent’s Tooth Trilogy)

Courting the Devil 

Publication Date: August 31, 2012 | Books We Love Ltd. | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Four years after a near fatal blunder uproots her from her home and inheritance, Anne Darvey, daughter of the Marquess of Esterleigh, finds herself an indentured servant on a farm near Fort Edward in New York, as the British army advances toward Albany. Driven by guilt over the pain she has caused her father and grief over her lover’s death, she sets out to deliver a message. The consequences lead to the discovery that all is not as it seems, and sets in motion events that lead to love and danger.

Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, Courting the Devil is the second book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from her childhood in the rural English countryside, to London society, and into the center of the American Revolution.

Praise for Courting the Devil

5 Stars “I liked this book even better than the first, perhaps because there were more kind, decent--even funny--characters than were in the aristocratic snake pit depicted in the first novel. The author's knowledge of this theater of the American Revolution is accurate; she knows the period well. Her characters are three-dimensional, proper 18th Century people in a well-researched setting….” — Juliet Waldron, author of Mozart’s Wife

... a high caliber historical drama. I commend Ms. Fischer-Brown on her research and attention to detail. It moves well with interesting characters and story lines....Two thumbs up for Courting the Devil.” — Writer Wonderland

4 ½ Stars “…kept me in suspense and filled with anticipation of what was to come. This book was written with gentle reminders and hints of the past without rehashing the original story and the scenes were descriptive and engaging....I like the Anne of this book a lot more than the previous book. It is clear she has grown up a bit and sees things differently.” — Romantic Historical Lovers

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The Partisan’s Wife (Book Three, Serpent’s Tooth Trilogy)

01_The Partisan's Wife 

Publication Date: February 6, 2013 | Books We Love Ltd. | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Faced with an impossible choice, Anne Marlowe is torn between her husband’s love and the hope of her receiving father’s forgiveness. As American forces follow up on their tide-turning victories over the British at Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights, Peter is drawn deeper into the shady network of espionage that could cost them both their lives.

Is his commitment to “the Cause” stronger than his hard-won love for Anne? Will her sacrifice tear them apart again...this time forever? Or will they find the peace and happiness they both seek in a new beginning?

The Partisan’s Wife follows Anne and Peter through the war torn landscape of Revolutionary War America, from the Battle of Saratoga to British-occupied New York and Philadelphia, and beyond.

Praise for The Partisan's Wife

5 Stars “In The Partisan's Wife, the last book in the trilogy, the author picks up where the second book left off. I have to admit that I am totally impressed with the author's research into the time period her books are written in, everything was just perfect. With more twists and turns, the author finishes off the trilogy with an unexpected ending. I would Highly recommend the trilogy for all suspenseful historical romance fans, but be sure to read them in order so your not missing out on anything.” — My Cozy Corner Reviews

5 Stars “This is the last book of the trilogy. The historical research is outstanding. Kathy does a great job with the characters and story, everything is very believable. The whole trilogy is a read I would recommend to any one that loves historical fiction.” — Goodreads Review

4 Stars “The story itself was wonderful. It was beautifully told with lots of detail and exciting pace. I found myself staying up late at night just to see what was going to happen next, and in the moments that I couldn’t read I was always thinking about it. The Serpent’s Tooth Trilogy is an excellent read that you shouldn’t let pass you by!” — Unabridged Chick

4 Stars “…the author wrote such descriptive details of the surroundings that I was able to paint a vivid picture of what each of our characters endured. Overall this was a very different type of romance story. The author had a unique idea and created a compelling story around it…. I really enjoyed these books and am glad Anne finally understood what it is she wanted and was able to move on.” — Romantic Historical Lovers

4 Stars “I absolutely loved this book! The attention to detail was incredible…. From the actions and speech patterns of her characters to the way the settings were depicted, I could feel like I was living during the Revolutionary War, watching the story as it unfolded….” — Once Upon a Book

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Winter Fire

02_Winter Fire 

Publication Date: November 6, 2010 | Books We Love Ltd. | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.

Praise for Winter Fire

5 Stars “This historical story will take you back in time and capture your heart in an era of hard times, of family ties and of a love that is meant to be. I can't say enough how great this story is. It is well plotted and flows so easily that before you know it… You can't put it down. You have to see what will happen next. I "HIGHLY" recommend this book!! You can't go wrong on this one.” — Amazon reader review

5 Stars “I liked this book so much, I read it twice. Moves along well and keeps your interest. Would recommend it.”— Amazon reader review

4 Stars "Kathy Fischer-Brown recreates the terror of the Indian wars and vividly evokes the wonder of newfound love." — Faith V. Smith, Romantic Times

"Winter Fire is a beautifully written, well-researched novel of passion and honor...If you're looking for an adventure, a history lesson, and a touching romance, you'll find it wrapped up in Winter Fire. I highly recommend this wonderful tale." — Jani Brooks, Romance Reviews Today

4 Stars “Kathy Fischer-Brown … does an excellent job of weaving in the cultures clashing against each other, the unfounded prejudices of societies that don't understand each other, while still keeping the focus on the romance. This is a touching story, the characters are vivid, the history is accurate, and the details really give the story a sense of place.” — The Romance Studio

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About the Author

03_Kathy Fischer-BrownAs a child Kathy wanted to be a writer when she grew up. She also wanted to act on the stage. After receiving an MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts and playing the part of starving young artist in New York, she taught theater classes at a small college in the Mid-West before returning home to the East Coast, where over the years, she and her husband raised two kids and an assortment of dogs. During stints in advertising, children’s media publishing, and education reform in the former Soviet Unions, she wrote whenever she could.

Her love of early American history has its roots in family vacations up and down the East Coast visiting old forts and battlefields and places such as Williamsburg, Mystic Sea Port, and Sturbridge Village. During this time, she daydreamed in high school history classes, imagining the everyday people behind all the dates and conflicts and how they lived.

Claiming her best ideas are born of dreams, Kathy has written a number of stories over the years. Her first published novel, Winter Fire, a 1998 Golden Heart finalist in historical romance, was reissued in 2010 by Books We Love, Ltd., which also released Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Courting the Devil, and The Partisan’s Wife.

When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, photography, playing “ball” with the dogs, and rooting on her favorite sports teams.

For more information visit Kathy Fischer-Brown's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Kathy Fischer-Brown Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 6
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 13
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Thursday, October 23
Review at Book Babe (Winter Fire)

Friday, October 24
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Monday, November 3
Guest Post at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Thursday, November 13
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Friday, November 21
Guest Post at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, November 26
Spotlight at The True Book Addict

Sunday, November 30
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Giveaways

To enter to win any of the following prizes please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.
Choice of Paperback: Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Courting the Devil, The Partisan’s Wife, or Winter Fire
Choice of eBook: Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Courting the Devil, The Partisan’s Wife, or Winter Fire
Kindle eBook Set: The Serpent's Tooth Trilogy
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 1st and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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R.V. Doon's The War Nurse Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Today on the blog I am proud to be hosting R.V. Doon's Blog Tour for The War Nurse with an interview & giveaway!

What inspired you to write The War Nurse?

I wanted to write a strong, flawed nurse heroine in a setting where normal society breaks down and explore her survival choices. Bataan’s place in history has always been murky to me. For one, take away the timeline differences, and Manila and all the military outposts in the Philippines were bombed within the same twenty-four hours as Pearl Harbor.

For years the sacrifices at Pearl Harbor were revisited during annual memorial events, but Bataan wasn’t mentioned. Those men were unbelievably brave. When surrendered they were put on a forced walk without food or water in the tropical heat known as the Bataan death march. If they survived combat, the death march, and POW camps, they were loaded on Hell ships like cattle to work as slave labor in Japan. There’s a reason the men called themselves ‘the Battlin’ Bastards of Bataan.’ They felt forgotten during the war and after.

I put the Stahl family residing in New York into internment camps on American soil after reading about one of the men on the Doolittle Raid whose parents and siblings were in a camp. His German family was quietly released. I followed the story chain from there.

Katarina Stahl, an American Red Cross nurse, is the main character in The War Nurse. Can you tell us a bit about her? How did your own personal experiences as a nurse shape the character of Katarina?

She’s born in a southern city, New Orleans, and has a twin sister. After Jack Gallagher breaks up with her at her sister’s wedding, she heads to California. From there, Kat escorts a doctor’s mother who had a stroke from San Francisco to Manila. This short history should clue the reader in to the fact that she busts stereotypes with her streak of independence and sense of adventure.

What Kat and I have in common is we both like change and we’re resilient. I moved between beside nursing, administrator, teacher, and nurse researcher in my career. To motivate myself I’d learn all about my current job, get certified, and then move on. I think the constant learning made me a better nurse.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The war overshadows everything like a dark cloud. People had moments of laughter but they never lasted. When you live under a dark cloud, everything you do is influenced by it. Many of the scenes were difficult, but the final ones building up with her nemesis were gut-wrenching.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I liked every scene with Kat and Jack. They had to squeeze in a lot of loving in 4 months while under horrendous stress.

What do you want readers to take away from The War Nurse?

Women in that time period were strong and brave. We often talk about them as homemakers and such, but a few were incredibly daring and took many risks in the war zone. Kat is modeled off real women. Many civilian nurses worked beside the Army nurses and followed them into the internment camp. Another civilian, Claire Phillips, played a dangerous, risky spy game for years before the Japanese arrested her. She amazed me. The POWs didn’t know her real name, they knew her moniker, High Pockets, but they mentioned her during interviews after the war ended. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom (the highest honor for a civilian) for her war contributions, and yes, she was tortured in the same manner as Katarina.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Mid Modern to Contemporary (Modern) periods. That said, I’m a sucker for the Elizabethan period too.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I like sailing but I’m the first to admit, I’ve got loads to learn. It’s a beautiful moment when the sails catch the wind and the boat glides across the water in silence.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Gone with the Wind. This started a life-long addiction to long books, and I’m sorry I cut The War Nurse trying to make the suggested word counts.

What is the last historical novel you read?

Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner

If there was a soundtrack for your novel, what songs might we find on it?

There’s a local restaurant that plays 1940 songs and I got their hit list: "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller, "I'll Be Seeing You" Frank Sinatra, "I'll Walk Alone" Dianh Shore, "I'll Never Smile Again", Frank Sinatra, “Who Wouldn't Love You,” Kay Kyser, “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby, “A String of Pearls”, Glenn Miller, “You’ll Never Know”, Dick Haymes, “Till the End of Time,” Perry Como.

I liked listening to big band music and also played a lot of Harry Connick Jr. too. Especially “We Are In Love.” I love his voice.

You've written across several genres - mystery, thriller, romance, and now historical - what is next for you? Will you be writing another historical in the future?

Absolutely. My research is a mess, but I have a timeline. I’m putting the papers together. I’ll start writing soon after I launch my next medical thriller in January. There is one detail I’m still trying to track down, but I’m not sure I’ll get lucky. Historical people are so secretive, aren’t they? We dig and dig, but sometimes the answers stay hidden.

About the Book

01_War Nurse eBook Cover Large 

Publication Date: January 14, 2014 | BRY Publishing | Formats: eBook, Paperback | Pages: 382

Genre: Historical Fiction

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CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT.

This historical thriller begins on the eve of WWII in the Philippines. Katarina Stahl an American Red Cross nurse, is the happiest she’s ever been in her life. She’s making love and playing music with Jack Gallagher in an idyllic paradise. Their medical mission is over, the boat tickets to home are purchased, and all that remains is to fly a sick child to the hospital at Clark Air Field.

She never expected to witness bombs falling out of planes. In those terrifying first minutes, she frees a German doctor accused of spying and saves his life. She turns to nursing the injured, unaware she’s unleashed an obsession more dangerous to her and those she loves, than the war she’s trapped in.

Doctor von Wettin, the man she freed, finds Katarina pregnant and starving in a POW camp after the surrender. He begs her to nurse his bed-ridden wife. She knows other Americans will despise her, but wants her baby to live after surviving Bataan. Their uneasy alliance is destroyed when she discovers he exploited Red Cross diplomatic channels and contacts at the German embassy to wire money to her parents. His benevolent mask slips when he informs her that her brothers and parents are interned on Ellis Island.

When the Stahl family is swept up in the FBI’s dragnet, Josep Stahl believes it’s all a misunderstanding. He’s interrogated like a criminal at the city jail, a military camp, Ellis Island, and then the civilian internment camps in Texas. His anger and pride blind him. One by one in this painful family drama, his wife and sons join him behind barbed wire in. There they face ostracism, segregation, and, most frightening, repatriation.

Katarina begins an even more terrifying journey into depraved darkness as Manila descends into occupation and chaos. The doctor threatens everyone she loves: infant son, POW husband, and Filipino friends. She’ll do anything to protect them; she lies, steals, and smuggles. As the war turns against the Japanese, they withhold the doctor’s wife’s life-saving medications until he finds a hidden radio inside the civilian internment camp. If Katarina refuses to help him, her son pays the price.

Survival has corrupted Katarina; but she’s not about to become his camp rat. After years of hell, she’s earned her nickname, war nurse. Doctor von Wettin is about to find out what that means.

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02_RV Doon AuthorAbout the Author

R.V. Doon is a bookie! Seriously, she’s an avid reader who also loves to write. She writes across genres, but confesses she’s partial to historical fiction and medical thrillers. She’s addicted to black coffee, milk chocolate, and raspberries. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s learning to sail. Doon reports after a career of implementing doctor’s orders, she’s having trouble being a deck hand and following the captain’s orders. Doon lives in Mobile, Alabama, a haunted and historical city, with her husband and two dogs.

For more information please visit R.V. Doon's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Subscribe to R.V. Doon's Newsletter for news & updates.

The War Nurse Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 24
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Unshelfish
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Thursday, November 27
Spotlight at Book Babe

Friday, November 28
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Saturday, November 29
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 30
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, December 1
Review at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, December 2
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Wednesday, December 3
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, December 4
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Review at Svetlana Reads and Views

Friday, December 5
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Giveaway

To enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card or one of three copies of The War Nurse, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below.

Rules

- Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
- Giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
- Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Guest Post: The Founder of the House by Naomi Jacob

Author Naomi Jacob's popular historical saga, the Gollantz series, is being reissued in eBook by Corazon Books and today I have the honor of hosting Ian Skillicorn from Corazon Books to talk about the series!

The Founder of the House by Naomi Jacob: Guest Blog Post

The Founder of the House is the first of seven titles chronicling several generations of the Gollantz family. While their story begins in Paris during the Napoleonic Wars, most of this opening volume is set throughout nineteenth century Vienna.

The Gollantz family run a successful antiques business which brings them into daily contact with Viennese high society, including royalty. They are well-liked and respected, but remain outside upper-class circles because they are Jewish. Despite this, handsome young Emmanuel Gollantz gains the admiration of two women from the royal court, which has far-reaching repercussions both for his and his family's futures.

Emmanuel’s father, Hermann, is very conscious of how the actions of one Jew can be used to support prejudiced views of his race as a whole. He goes to great lengths to lead a life of honesty and integrity, and is willing to do anything to protect his family's good name. Unfortunately, his unscrupulous brother-in-law takes advantage of Hermann's anxieties, threatening the Gollantz's reputation and business.

While many of the family's challenges relate to the times in which they live, The Founder of the House is a family saga encompassing timeless and universal themes. At its heart, this is a story about the joyous and destructive powers of love, the importance of family ties and friendship, the consequences of loyalty and ambition.

As the Gollantz Saga progresses, the action moves to Edwardian London and then Mussolini's Italy. It is a journey which is similar to that of the saga's author, Naomi Jacob.

Born in Yorkshire in 1884, Jacob's first job was as a teacher, which she left behind to join the world of the music halls in Leeds. She started off as secretary to a famous music hall star of the era, and went on to become an actor herself, even starring opposite John Geilgud on the West End stage.

In 1930, ill health led Jacob to move to the milder climate of Sirmione, on Lake Garda in Italy. It was here that she wrote the bestselling Gollantz Saga. She remained in Sirmione for the rest of her life, apart from a period during the Nazi occupation.

Although she was raised an Anglican and later converted to Catholicism, Jacob's grandfather was a Jewish tailor who had fled to England from Western Prussia to escape a pogrom. She was very proud of these Jewish roots and was a frequent critic of anti-Semitism and Fascism.

2014 marks fifty years since the author's death. The Founder of the House and the other titles in the Gollantz Saga are now being reissued in digital format to give today's readers a chance to discover this hugely entertaining series and follow the fascinating lives of the Gollantz family.

You can read more about Naomi Jacob at www.naomijacob.com

The Founder of the House by Naomi Jacob is published by Corazon Books.

Ian Skillicorn

About the Book

02_The Founder of the House Cover

Publication Date: August 23, 2014 | Corazon Books | eBook; 320p | ASIN: B00MZZDHMQ

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Set in nineteenth century Paris, Vienna and London, this is a novel about family ties and rivalries, love and ambition.

The Founder of the House introduces us to Emmanuel Gollantz, the son of a Jewish antique dealer, Hermann Gollantz.

Hermann lives his life according to the principles of loyalty, honesty and honour instilled in him as a child. But these ideals are ruthlessly exploited by his wife's family, threatening everything that is important to him. Protecting his beloved wife, Rachel, from the truth carries a great cost.

As a young man, Emmanuel, becomes involved with the inner circle of the Viennese Court, where his passion for the married baroness, Caroline Lukoes, has far-reaching consequences both for himself and the House of Gollantz.

The Founder of the House is the first book in the bestselling Gollantz Saga - an historical family saga tracing the lives and loves of the Gollantz family over several generations. This seven-novel series explores how one family's destiny is shaped by the politics and attitudes of the time, as well as by the choices and actions of its own members.

The Gollantz Saga Titles

Book One: Founder of the House
Book Two: That Wild Lie
Book Three: Young Emmanuel
Book Four: Four Generations
Book Five: Private Gollantz
Book Six: Gollantz: London, Paris, Milan
Book Seven: Gollantz & Partners

Praise for The Gollantz Saga

"Recommended. Ms Jacob writes skilfully and with that fine professional assurance we have come to expect of her." The Times

"Impressive." London Evening Standard

"A good family chronicle." Kirkus Reviews

"Besides the interest of the plot, Miss Jacob's book has much to recommend it. The style of the novel is unimpeachable, marked by sincerity, dignity and a sense of the dramatic. I can safely recommend "The Founder of the House." Western Mail (Perth)

Buy the eBook

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03_Naomi Jacob AuthorAbout the Author

Naomi Jacob (1884-1964) was a prolific author, biographer and broadcaster. She is perhaps best known for her bestselling seven-novel series, The Gollantz Saga, which traces several generations of the Gollantz family in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Jacob had a mixed heritage, which influenced her life and work. Her paternal grandfather was a Jewish tailor who had escaped the pogroms of Western Prussia and settled in England, while her mother's family had strong Yorkshire roots. Her maternal grandfather was the two-time mayor of Ripon in Yorkshire. He also owned a hotel in the town. Her father was headmaster of the local school.

Jacob loved the theatre and became a character actress on stage and in film, notably opposite John Geilgud in The Ringer (1936). She also associated with the Du Mauriers, Henry Irving, Marie Lloyd and Sarah Bernhardt.

She published her first novel, "Jacob Usher" in 1925. It became a bestseller.

In 1928 she appeared for the defence of Radclyffe Hall’s "The Well of Loneliness", and developed a friendship with Hall and her companion Una Troubridge.

After suffering with tuberculosis, in 1930 she left England for Italy, where she lived for most of the rest of her life. She lived in a villa in Sirmione on Lake Garda, which she called "Casa Mickie" (she was known to friends and family as "Mickie").

In 1935 she was awarded the Eichelberger International Humane Award, for outstanding achievement in the field of humane endeavour, for her novel "Honour Come Back". She rejected the award when she discovered that another recipient of the award had been Adolf Hitler, for "Mein Kampf".

Jacob was involved in politics – she stood as a Labour PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) and was a suffragette.

In 1940, she was evacuated back to England when Italy entered the Second World War. She joined the Entertainments National Service Association, becoming famous for her flamboyant appearance— crew cut hair, and wearing a monocle and First World War Women’s Legion uniform.

She returned to Sirmione before the end of the war, helping Jewish refugees in the town. Over the years, she frequently returned to the UK, and in the 1950s and early 1960s was regularly to be heard on the BBC radio programme "Woman's Hour".

She wrote the seven-novel Gollantz saga about several generations of a Jewish family, tracing their path from Vienna in the early nineteenth century to establishing a life and antique business in England in the twentieth century. It is a saga about family loyalty, honour and love, while also reflecting on the politics and ideals of the era.

The Founder of the House Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 10
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 11
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, November 12
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book
Spotlight at Literary Chanteuse

Friday, November 14
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, November 15
Guest Post at Madame Gilflurt

Sunday, November 16
Review at Unshelfish

Monday, November 17
Excerpt at Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Mel's Shelves

Wednesday, November 19
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 20
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Sunday, November 23
Review & Interview at A Bibliophile's Reverie

Monday, November 24
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, November 26
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Thursday, November 27
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, November 28
Review & Excerpt at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

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MK McClintock's A Home for Christmas Blog Tour + Giveaway

Author MK McClintock is on Blog Tour with Book Junkie Promotions for A Home for Christmas, a collection of Christmas Short Stories, and I am so excited to be hosting a giveaway today! Up for grabs is one eBook of A Home for Christmas and a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

01_A Home for Christmas Cover 
Publication Date: November 5, 2014
Trappers Peak Publishing
eBook; 74 pages
ASIN: B00NE43C0O

Settings: 19th Century Montana, Wyoming, & Colorado
Genre: Christmas Short Stories/Western/Sweet Romance

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Includes three historical fiction short stories to delight and entertain this holiday season.

CHRISTMAS MOUNTAIN

In search of family she barely knows and adventure she's always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.

TETON CHRISTMAS

Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.

LILY'S CHRISTMAS WISH

Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else's wish can come true?

Watch the Book Trailer


Praise for A Home for Christmas

"5 stars! I have just finished reading three short stories written by M.K. McClintock, part of her collection A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. I really enjoyed these charming historical fictions CHRISTMAS MOUNTAIN, TETON CHRISTMAS and LILY'S CHRISTMAS WISH!" – Nicole Laverdure
"Heart-warming and inspiring." - Kat Cambron
"A delightful collection of stories sure to warm any reader's heart." - Elizabeth Loftus

Buy the eBook


About the Author

02_MK McClintock AuthorMK McClintock is the author bestselling historical western romance and award-nominated historical romantic mystery. She spins tales of romance and adventure inspired by the heather-covered hills of Scotland and the majestic mountains of home. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana.
Learn more about MK by visiting her website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

A Home for Christmas Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 24
Review at The Maiden's Court
Interview at SOS Aloha

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Laurie Here
Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Brooke Blogs

Thursday, November 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, November 28
Review at The Christmas Spirit


Giveaway

To enter to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card & A Home for Christmas eBook, please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Rules
- Giveaway ends on December 5th.
- Giveaway is open to persons 18 years of age or older
- Giveaway is open to residents of the US only
- Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and notified by email
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
- Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize, after being notified via the email. After 48 hours, if there is no response, another winner will be chosen.
- If you have any questions or issues with the giveaway form, please email Amy at passagestothepast@gmail.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Guest Post by Mary S. Black + Giveaway of Peyote Fire

Please welcome Mary S. Black to the blog today! Mary is here to talk a bit about spirit herbs, which feature in her novel, Peyote Fire! I also have a chance for one of you to win a copy!

Spirit Herbs for the Solstice

Historically many plants have been used around the world to bring prosperity, ward off evil and commune with the gods. As the Winter Solstice draws near, perhaps you think of mistletoe. The Druids in Britain used mistletoe as a symbol of immortality because it bears fruit—the white berries—at the darkest time of year. The plant was considered a cure for barrenness and an antidote to poison, even though the berries are actually quite toxic to humans.

Mistletoe
Vervain, or verbena, was another favorite of the Druids, who gathered it in the dark of the moon when Sirius, or the Dog Star, was on the rise. The Druids used vervain in divination, consecration, and ritual cleansing of sacred spaces. They made a magical drink from the plant, which was said to bring creative energy. The plant was connected to the Underworld, and as such was used to aid in contact with the dead. 

Mountain Laurel Beans
In ancient southwest Texas along the Rio Grande, prehistoric people used three plants in particular to reach the gods. Texas Mountain Laurel has beautiful purple flower clusters in the spring and is often used in landscapes today. Pictographs in canyons along the Rio Grande however show the red beans from this plant being used as a purgative, or agent to cleanse the inside of the body. Indeed the beans are quite toxic and can land you in the emergency room if you ingest them.

Datura
Datura, which is also called Jimson weed or loco weed, is also depicted in the rock art paintings, especially the spiny seed pods. But all parts of the plant are toxic and can cause human beings to hear voices and be quite delusional. Even rubbing the leaves on your skin can produce a psychotropic effect. The people of 4,000 years ago used this plant to communicate with their gods. People must have thought they were actually talking to the gods when using datura.

Possible Datura Pods in Rock Art
The third plant in common use by the ancients along today’s border between the U.S. and Mexico is the peyote cactus. This innocuous little cactus creates vivid visual hallucinations when chewed or drunk in tea. In the 1800s, peyote use spread through numerous Native American groups, and members of the Native American Church still use it ritually today. Some people think the ancient pictographs were painted under the influence of peyote, but others claim differently. Whatever is true in this particular case, we can say without a doubt that human beings have recognized the potency of certain herbs for many thousands of years all over the world. 

Peyote Cactus

About the Book


01_Peyote Fire Cover 

Publication Date: October 25, 2014 | Writers Press | Formats: Ebook, Trade Paperback
Pages: 350

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Deer Cloud is painting the stories of the gods when tragedy changes his life. He is called to walk the shaman path and bring the buffalo through his visionary power. The evil Stone Face will do anything to thwart Deer Cloud’s growing strength. Jumping Rabbit, a lusty female shaman, decides to mentor him and ends up taking him to bed. She introduces him to a powerful spirit plant to counter the effects of the dangerous wolf flower. When buffalo are spotted, Stone Face challenges Deer Cloud to call the beasts with his new power. With Jumping Rabbit’s help, Deer Cloud changes Rain Bringer society forever.

This book brings to life people who lived over 4,000 years ago in the southwest Texas canyonlands known as the Lower Pecos, near the confluence of the Devils and Pecos rivers with the Rio Grande. These ancient people painted over 300 currently known rock art murals, some of which can be viewed today. Archaeologists have also found evidence of a huge bison jump in a small canyon in that region that points to a catastrophic event in the lives of these people so long ago. This book is based on extensive research and is the first novel to examine these events.

02_Mary S. Black AuthorAbout the Author

Mary S. Black fell in love with the Lower Pecos more than twenty years ago. Since then she has studied the archaeology and related ethnography of the area with numerous scholars. She has an Ed.D. from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and lives in Austin with her husband, an archaeologist, and two cats.

For more information please visit Mary's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Peyote Fire Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, November 13
Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Monday, November 17
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, November 18
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Monday, November 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, December 8
Review at Broken Teepee
Spotlight at Book Nerd

Tuesday, December 9
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, December 10
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Monday, December 15
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, December 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, December 18
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Past Encounters please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Rules
- Giveaway ends on December 4th.
- Giveaway is open to persons 18 years of age or older
- Giveaway is open to residents of the US, UK, Canada or Australia.
- Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and notified by email
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
- Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize, after being notified via the email. After 48 hours, if there is no response, another winner will be chosen.
- If you have any questions or issues with the giveaway form, please email Amy at passagestothepast@gmail.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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2015 Release: At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

Check out this tasty upcoming release from Author Sara Gruen! The cover is a beauty for sure. I haven't read Water for Elephants, but I think I'll be checking this one out. Have you read Water for Elephants? If so, would you recommend it and are you looking forward to this release?


Publication Date: June 9, 2015 | Spiegel & Grau | eBook, Hardcover, Audio

Genre: Historical Fiction

In this new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water’s Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s personal awakening as she experiences the devastations of World War II in a Scottish Highlands village.

Madeline Hyde, a young socialite from Philadelphia, reluctantly follows her husband and their best friend to the tiny village of Drumnadrochit in search of a mythical monster—at the same time that a very real monster, Hitler, wages war against the Allied Forces. What Maddie discovers—about the larger world and about herself—through the unlikely friendships she develops with the villagers, opens her eyes not only to the dark forces that exist around her but to the beauty and surprising possibilities.

Jane Austen's First Love Holiday Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today on the blog I am so excited to be hosting Syrie James' Holiday Blog Tour & Giveaway for Jane Austen's First Love!


Genre: Austenesque/Historical Fiction/Romance/Young Adult
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin Group USA)
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-0425271353
eBook ISBN: 978-0698139268

In the summer of 1791, fifteen-year-old Miss Jane Austen is determined to accomplish three things: to do something useful, write something worthy, and fall madly in love. While visiting at Goodnestone Park in Kent for a month of festivities in honor of her brother's engagement to Miss Elizabeth Bridges, Jane meets the boy-next-door—the wealthy, worldly, and devilishly handsome Edward Taylor, heir to Bifrons Park, and hopefully her heart! Like many of Jane’s future heroes and heroines, she soon realizes that there are obstacles—social, financial, and otherwise—blocking her path to love and marriage, one of them personified by her beautiful and sweet tempered rival, Charlotte Payler.

Unsure of her own budding romance, but confident in her powers of observation, Jane distracts herself by attempting to maneuver the affections of three other young couples. But when her well-intentioned matchmaking efforts turn into blundering misalliance, Jane must choose between following her own happily-ever-after, or repairing those relationships which, based on erroneous first impressions, she has misaligned.

About the Author

Syrie James, hailed as “the queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings” by Los Angeles Magazine, is the bestselling author of nine critically acclaimed novels that have been translated into 18 languages. Her books have been awarded the Audio Book Association Audie, designated as Editor’s Picks by Library Journal, named a Discover Great New Writer’s Selection by Barnes and Noble, a Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association, and Best Book of the Year by The Romance Reviews and Suspense Magazine. Syrie is a member of the WGA and lives in Los Angeles. Please visit her at syriejames.com, Facebook or say hello on Twitter @SyrieJames.

Grand Giveaway Contest


Win One of Five Fabulous Jane Austen-inspired Prize Packages!


To celebrate the holidays and the release of Jane Austen's First Love, Syrie is giving away five prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any of the blog stops on the Jane Austen's First Love Holiday Blog Tour.

Increase your chances of winning by visiting multiple stops along the tour! Syrie's unique guest posts will be featured on a variety of subjects, along with fun interviews, spotlights, excerpts, and reviews of the novel. Contest closes at 11:59pm PT, December 21, 2014. Five lucky winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments on the tour, and announced on Syrie’s website on December 22, 2014. The giveaway contest is open to everyone, including international residents. Good luck to all!

HF Virtual Book Tours Presents S.K. Rizzolo's Die I Will Not Blog Tour

Today at Passages to the Past I have a spotlight of Die I Will Not, the third release in S.K. Rizzolo's John Chase Mystery Series, which was released a few weeks ago and is now available in stores!

Die I Will Not 

Publication Date: November 4, 2014 | Poisoned Pen Press | Formats: Hardcover, Paperback

Series: John Chase Mystery Series
Genre: Historical Mystery/Regency

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Unhappy wife and young mother Penelope Wolfe fears scandal for her family and worse. A Tory newspaper editor has been stabbed while writing a reply to the latest round of letters penned by a firebrand calling himself Collatinus. Twenty years before, her father, the radical Eustace Sandford, wrote as Collatinus before he fled London just ahead of accusations of treason and murder. A mysterious beauty closely connected to Sandford and known only as N.D. had been brutally slain, her killer never punished. The seditious new Collatinus letters that attack the Prince Regent in the press also seek to avenge N.D.’s death and unmask her murderer. What did the journalist know that provoked his death?

Her artist husband Jeremy is no reliable ally, so Penelope turns anew to lawyer Edward Buckler and Bow Street Runner John Chase. As she battles public notoriety, Buckler and Chase put their careers at risk to stand behind her while pursuing various lines of inquiry aimed at N.D.’s murderer, a missing memoir, Royal scandal, and the dead editor’s missing wife. As they navigate the dark underbelly of Regency London among a cast driven by dirty politics and dark passions, as well as by decency and a desire for justice, past secrets and present criminals are exposed, upending Penelope’s life and the lives of others.

John Chase Mystery Series

Book One: The Rose in the Wheel
Book Two: Blood for Blood
Book Three: Die I Will Not

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

SK RizzoloS.K. Rizzolo is a longtime Anglophile and history enthusiast. Set in Regency England, The Rose in the Wheel and Blood for Blood are the first two novels in her series about a Bow Street Runner, an unconventional lady, and a melancholic barrister. An English teacher, Rizzolo has earned an M.A. in literature and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

For more information please visit S.K. Rizzolo's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Die I Will Not Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 17
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 19
Interview at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, November 20
Interview with Curling Up With a Good Book

Friday, November 21
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, November 24
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, November 25
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Buried Under Books
Review at Book Babe (The Rose in the Wheel)
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Friday, November 28
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Monday, December 1
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, December 2
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, December 3
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Thursday, December 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, December 5
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 8
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, December 9
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Spotlight at Book Babe

Wednesday, December 10
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Thursday, December 11
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, December 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

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Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway: Past Encounters by Davina Blake

02_Past Encounters 

Publication Date: November 22, 2014 |  CreateSpace | Paperback; 442p

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction

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England 1955.

The day Rhoda Middleton opens a letter from another woman, she becomes convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks the mysterious woman down, she discovers she is not Peter’s lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem - Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out why Peter has kept this friendship a secret for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime experiences she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For Rhoda too cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, PAST ENCOUNTERS explores themes of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.

Includes bonus material for reading groups.

Praise for Past Encounters

"Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly Recommended!" - The Historical Novels Review

Praise for Deborah Swift

"stellar historical fiction" -Orange Prize Nominee Ann Weisgarber

"compelling'" -Westmorland Gazette

"The past comes alive through impeccable research...and the sheer power of descriptive prose" -Lancashire Evening Post

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Deborah SwiftAbout the Author

Davina Blake used to be a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, during which time she developed a love of research which fueled her passion for the past. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and also writes successful seventeenth century historicals under the pen name Deborah Swift. 'Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly recommended.' The Historical Novels Review From Davina: 'I was inspired to write 'Past Encounters' because I live close to the railway station where the iconic 'Brief Encounter' was filmed in 1945. I have often used the refreshment room that featured in the film when waiting for a train. I love a good cup of tea, preferably accompanied by a chocolate brownie!'

For more information visit Davina Blake's website and blog. You can also find her on Twitter.

Past Encounters Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, November 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 16
Review at Library Educated

Monday, November 17
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, November 18
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 20
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, November 21
Review & Interview at Bookish

Saturday, November 22
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Monday, November 24
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, November 25
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, November 27
Interview at The Maiden's Court

Saturday, November 29
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, December 1
Review at Layered Pages
Review & Interview at Casual Readers

Tuesday, December 2
Review at My Reader's Block
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Wednesday, December 3
Review at The Worm Hole
Review at Diary of an Eccentric

Thursday, December 4
Review at Beth's Book Reviews
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, December 5
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Saturday, December 6
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Historical Tapestry

Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Past Encounters please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Rules
- Giveaway ends on November 27th.
- Giveaway is open to persons 18 years of age or older
- Giveaway is open internationally.
- Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and notified by email
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
- Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize, after being notified via the email. After 48 hours, if there is no response, another winner will be chosen.
- If you have any questions or issues with the giveaway form, please email Amy at passagestothepast@gmail.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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On My Wishlist: The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig


Publication Date: June 2, 2015 | St. Martin's Press | eBook & Paperback

Raised by her widowed mother in genteel poverty in an isolated English village, for the past six years Rachel Woodley has been working in France as a nursery governess. When her mother unexpectedly dies, she returns to England to clear out the cottage, and finds a scrapbook full of cuttings from London society pages—all pictures of her supposedly deceased father, very much alive. He's an earl, socially prominent, with another daughter who is living a charmed life: a debutante, much photographed, and engaged to a rising Tory MP. Rachel's cousin confirms the horrible truth: her father is alive, with a legitimate, acknowledged family. Which makes Rachel...not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past—even her very name—is a lie.

Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel enters into an uneasy alliance with a mysterious man-about-town, who promises her access to her father. With his help, Rachel sets herself up in London under a new identity and insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father's perfidy and bring his—and her half-sister's—charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn't as simple it appears; and that Rachel herself might just be falling for her sister's fiancĂ©.

From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times Best Selling novel The Ashford Affair, comes a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.
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