Review: Breaking the Foals by Maximilian Hawker

Breaking The Foals by Maximilian Hawker

Publication Date: April 26, 2018
Unbound Digital
Paperback; 272 pages

The Troy of myth was a real city and it was called Wilusa. This is its story... Hektor's life of privilege is forever changed when a man, allegedly possessed by the sun god, inspires revolution among the oppressed people of Wilusa. For Hektor, son of the city's despotic ruler, social equality contradicts every principle he has been taught. And his obsession with duty is alienating him from his own young son, Hapi, with whom he has a fractured relationship. But when Hapi's life is threatened, Hektor is compelled to question his every belief as he rebuilds his relationship with his child through the breaking of a foal. As Wilusa collapses into political violence and the commoners rise up, Hektor must finally decide whether to defend the people and lose his identity, or remain loyal to his irrational, dangerous father.

My Review

5 Stars

This year I challenged myself to try books outside my usual comfort zone, and I am sure glad that I did!

Breaking the Foals is set in the real city of Wilusa, more commonly known as Troy, and tells the story of Hektor, son of the King, and his struggle between his role as a father and his responsibility as heir.

The first line of the book was a doozy, and it certainly caught my attention! It took me a little while to get used to the writing but I quickly acclimated and it made the experience that much more immersive. You can tell that the author did his research and his passion for it shone through.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading Breaking the Foals. The character development, the politics, familial duty, and Hektor's inner conflicts proved to be a truly remarkable read.

I will definitely be looking for future books from Mr. Hawker and I am grateful for Anne Carter of Random Thing Through My Mailbox for the chance to read this fabulous book!

About the Author

Maximilian Hawker is a 30-year-old writer who lives in Croydon, South London, with his wife and two daughters. He is author of the novel Breaking the Foals, due to be published with Unbound in March 2018. An alumnus of Kingston University, he has a postgraduate degree in English Literature and has worked in education, editorial and design. Currently, he works in frontline children's social care for Croydon Council, providing a service for care leavers and also runs a YouTube channel for looked after children and care leavers called formeR Relevant, which he aims to eventually promote at a national level. He has had poetry and short stories - occasionally nominated for awards - appear in publications run by Dog Horn Publishing, Kingston University Press, Arachne Press and Rebel Poetry, among others. He also aims to see the word 'asparagi' added to the English Dictionary, as its absence troubles him

Twitter @MaxHawker
Facebook Author Page

Available on Amazon UK

Blog Tour & Review: Should You Ask Me by Marianne Kavanagh

Should You Ask Me by Marianne Kavanagh

Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Hodder & Stoughton

Genre: Historical Fiction

A story of love, history, war, murder, revenge and unlikely friendships - sweeping and compulsive, perfect for fans of Sarah Waters and Tracy Chevalier.

'I've come about the bodies. I know who they are.'

Just before D-Day in 1944, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, an elderly, formidable woman walks into the police station. She has information, she says, about human remains recently discovered nearby. William, a young policeman invalided out of the army, is told to take her statement. The bodies could have stayed buried for ever - like the pain and passion that put them there. But Mary Holmes is finally ready to tell the truth. Her story initially seems rambling and inconsequential, talking about a shipwreck, the killing of a pig, and the discovery of a Stone Age skeleton of a young woman with a missing jaw. But gradually William discovers that Mary is giving him elements of a dark story from her Victorian childhood and early adulthood. William is still suffering from the injuries that ended his army career. As he tries to make sense of her tale, he finds himself increasingly distracted. Mary's confession forces his own violent memories to the surface - betrayals and regrets as badly healed as his war wounds. Over the course of a few days of statement taking in the claustrophobic confines of the police interview room, and a battle of wits between two generations, the stories of both Mary and William’s pasts and presents unravel.

Now William has to decide whether to pass on Mary’s story to the coroner, or to allow her secrets to stay buried. As pressure builds for the final push in Europe, two lives reveal their secrets. Should You Ask Me is a captivating story about people at their worst and best: raw, rich, and utterly compelling.

My Review

4 Stars.

I must say, Should You Ask Me, is one of the most unique books I've had the pleasure of reading. When Mary Holmes stops by the police station to tell what she knows about the bodies that were just discovered, she recalls her past and tells the tale of who the bodies are and how they got there. She frustrates the constable by her insistence on telling her story from the very beginning, and while you feel for him, you as the reader are fascinated to hear what she has to say.

The story takes course over one week and as Mary tells her story, readers also learn more about the constable William and his life, and how people were affected during the war on their island and in London. I don't want to give too much away and the description above tells you all you should know. You'll just have to read it for yourself and find out who the bodies are :) I can tell you that I certainly didn't guess where the story was going and was very surprised when it was revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Kavanaugh has a way with dialogue and Mary Holmes is not a character that you can easily forget, nor is her story. I would definitely read more from this author.

I'd like to thank Hodder & Stoughton for my review copy. I highly recommend Should You Ask Me.

Praise for Should You Ask Me

‘A genuinely mysterious thriller, with an intense sense of time and place – a historical novel of a very different sort.’ ANDREW MARR ‘Vivid and brilliantly gripping. I was captivated from the first page.’ ESTHER FREUD

‘Charming, gleeful, a delight…brings Britain at war to vivid life.’ GUINEVERE GLASFURD, author of The Words in my Hand ‘An intriguing and atmospheric novel, cleverly interweaving different times and crimes through an elderly and most unreliable narrator…absorbing.’ AMANDA CRAIG, author of The Lie of the Land

‘Succeeds on so many levels. It’s a thriller, a love story, a vivid portrait of wartime England, a cautionary tale, but above all, it’s a fascinating study of suppressed guilt and the human need for absolution through confession. I absolutely loved it.’ DAVID HAIG, actor and playwright

‘A moving Hardy-esque story of love, lies and loss thrown into sharp relief by its vivid WW2 setting. Indomitable Mary Holmes is a memorable character.’ ELISABETH WILHIDE, author of If I Could Tell You

‘SHOULD YOU ASK ME is a beautifully written and gripping novel – boldly traversing genres and historical eras, yet always compassionate, wise and humane.’ JOANNA KAVENNA, author of A Field Guide to Reality

About the Author

Marianne Kavanagh has worked for Woman, the Tatler, the Sunday Telegraph magazine and British Marie Claire, and has contributed features to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and websites, including the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, Woman & Home, Good Housekeeping, Easy Living, Red and My Daily. She lives in London.

Trouble in Glamour Town by S.R. Mallery

Happy Friday eve, dear readers! Today I am hosting an interview with S.R. Mallery, author of Trouble in Glamour Town! I also have a giveaway so be sure to check that out!

Hello Sarah and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Trouble in Glamour Town!

Thanks for interviewing me, Amy! Enjoyed thinking about your questions!

What inspired you to write Trouble In Glamour Town?

I am the daughter of a television writer. My father scripted works from the 1950s Golden Age Of Television through the 1970s. During the early years when we were living in New York City, my parents would have their writer friends and spouses over to watch each one of my dad’s episodes whenever it aired. It was a big deal. My brother would crash in his bedroom, but I couldn’t sleep. I was too excited by the hubbub happening in our living room. Unbeknownst to the grownups, I would sit high up in the shadows of our stairs in my PJ’s and listen. I loved the clink of cocktail glasses mixing in with the articulate yet boisterous chatter. One minute the guests would be nonstop talking, the next, there was a hushed silence as they all listened with rapt attention to the show playing on the small-screened television set. Then, as soon as a commercial came on, they would again be gabbing away, this time with high praise for my dad, and heavy analyses of the production.

That ritual continued through my teen years, after my parents had moved us out to Los Angeles. Luckily many of their writer friends had also become transplanted East Coasters. A teenager by then, I was invited to these get-togethers (no alcohol allowed for me, of course!). It was at those parties that I would hear all sorts of stories about Hollywood, both past and present, and I loved it. I also enjoyed going on the television sets of my father’s work, watching not only the actors but also the directors, the crew members (those “grips” were hunky!), and various people wandering in and out. Loved the atmosphere; had no desire to act.

So, when I started to think about writing a murder mystery, the idea of Hollywood came crashing back to me. And because I relish the research process, I decided to go back further than the fifties. Back beyond the thirties and forties. I started exploring the silent flicks of the 1920s, and as soon as I discovered all the corruption that was happening in Los Angeles during that time, I thought, Bingo! This is it.

Who are your writing inspirations?

a) Harper Lee, for her touching characters and story in “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which grabbed my heart. Her marvelous show-don’t-tell prose inspired my writer’s prose journey.

b) Authors De Maupassant, O. Henry, and the TV series, “Twilight Zone” and “Hitchcock Hour,” all for their wonderful twist endings. It never occurred to me what an influence they all had on me until several reviewers mentioned that my stories in TALES TO COUNT ON reminded them of these sources.

c) Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Daphne du Maurier for their page-turning plots that also satisfied my romantic yearnings.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I can’t actually remember exactly which one came first, but I know I loved, “Jane Eyre,” “The Three Musketeers,” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.”

What was the last historical novel you read?

That’s easy. Ellie Midwood’s “A Motherland’s Daughter, A Fatherland’s Son: A WWII Novel”. Excellent!

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?


I realize that writing historical fiction takes up a lot more time than writing other genres. I’ve also been told repeatedly that my research shows and have even been appreciated for that. The truth is, all that exploration does come at a cost. However, although I haven’t produced as many books as I would like, whenever I delve back into past eras, it triggers ideas about characters, plots, and scenes, and you can’t beat that! It also gives me an insight into earlier times, when, much like today, the good came along with the bad.

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

I love to take walks as I listen to Pandora or talk on the phone with family and friends. I also enjoy watching movies and TV series with my hubby close by and our cat, Junebug, pressed against me, chirpy-purring her little heart out.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m currently working on two books. The first one is a novella called, TENDER ENEMIES, which will be part of a boxed set entitled, LOVE UNDER FIRE, due out in November. Here is that book’s blurb:

It’s 1941 in New York City, a time before Pearl Harbor, when Nazi spies are everywhere in the U.S. and no one knows who’s working for whom. In comes beautiful Lily, paid to gather intelligence by setting up a “honey trap” for Joe Stiles, a supposed German infiltrator. Problem is, she soon faces a danger she isn’t prepared for––falling in love.

The second book is a sequel to my historical western romance, The Dolan Girls. Not sure when that will be coming out. After that, maybe a cozy/time travel series...we’ll seeeee.

Trouble In Glamour Town by S.R. Mallery

Publication Date: November 12, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 202 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1979566070

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery

Murder. Corruption. Romance. Movie stars. A modern day TV shoot ‘em up?

No. It’s 1926 Old Hollywood, and a film producer is gunned down in cold blood. In comes Rosie, a pretty bit-player, who, in spite of her stage-mother’s expectations, just longs to be happy. Silent screen idols Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Lon Chaney, and Rudolph Valentino float in and out, as Los Angeles’ corruption is exposed, the era described, and a chase to find the killer revs up before there’s another hit.

"Trouble in Glamour Town is very historically accurate, portraying the real workings of the Hollywood sleaze, dishonesty and corruption happening at that time. S.R. Mallery is a gifted author who drew me into the story from the first word and kept me reading until the very last page...Trouble in Glamour Town is an old fashioned type of murder mystery story and is a very good read." - Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author

S.R. Mallery, two-time READERS’ FAVORITE Gold Medal Winner, has been labeled nothing short of 'eclectic'. She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher. As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day, or listen to music, her imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

S.R. Mallery's books include The Dolan Girls, Genteel Secrets, Unexpected Gifts, Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads, Tales to Count On, and Trouble in Glamour Town.

For more information, please visit S. R. Mallery's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 7
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Tuesday, May 8
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, May 9
Review at SilverWoodSketches

Thursday, May 10
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Monday, May 14
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Tuesday, May 15
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, May 16
Interview at SilverWoodSketches

Friday, May 18
Review at E. Lizard Breath Reads

Monday, May 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, May 22
Feature at Broken Teepee

Thursday, May 24
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at LadyJ's Bookish Nook


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away four eBooks of Trouble in Glamour Town! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– 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 has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Trouble in Glamour Town

Review of Becoming Bonnie & Interview with Jenni L. Walsh

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! Today on the blog is an exciting day! I have a review of Becoming Bonnie and an interview with Author Jenni L. Walsh! Becoming Bonnie is out today in paperback, so be sure to grab a copy. It's exceptional!

Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

Paperback Release Date: May 22, 2018
Forge Books
Paperback & eBook; 320 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh, Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She's a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her, and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school, and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, he embraces it--perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling--she tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. But her life--like her country--is headed for a crash.

Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.

My Review

5 Stars.

I was a little late to the Becoming Bonnie love fest. After seeing my social media feeds filled with rave reviews I knew I had to pick it up. And I am so happy that I did!

I've long been fascinated with Bonnie and Clyde. Two young people in love and united against the world and societal norms. I always wondered what made them turn to a life of crime and thankfully, Becoming Bonnie came along and author Jenni L. Walsh gifts us with their back story.

I can't say enough good things about Becoming Bonnie! It was such a fun and fascinating read. I loved how Walsh incorporated the slang from the 1920s. You can tell that she did her research and that she had a lot of fun writing the book. And I sure had a lot of fun reading it!

If you're looking for a fascinating, suck-you-in-and-won't-let-you-go story, Becoming Bonnie is it! I will be reading the companion novel, SIDE BY SIDE (releases on June 5th from Forge Books), soon and I cannot wait to be back with Bonnie and Clyde!

Becoming Bonnie is the cat's pajamas đŸ˜»

Hello Jenni and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Becoming Bonnie!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and Becoming Bonnie.

While I admittedly spent my youth disinterested in history, it’s a topic I now actively seek out. As my husband is a history buff, he’s had a hand in that. We enjoy talking, watching, reading about past events and people together. Once, Bonnie and Clyde came up in our discussions. My barometer for who they were was based on the 1967 film, which I hadn’t seen in years and years – and which turned out to be unbeknownst to me rather inaccurate. After realizing that the duo had been depicted in film and nonfiction, but never in a novel, I saw the opportunity to tell their story. From there, I chose to tell it through Bonnie’s eyes as women’s fiction. Becoming Bonnie brings to life her adolescent years prior to and during her meeting of Clyde Barrow, showing how she transformed from a doll to gangster’s moll.

What type of research did you do for Becoming Bonnie?

I would’ve loved to travel the heart of America like Bonnie and Clyde had or visited Dallas where they lived and are now buried, however, it wasn’t in the cards. That’s to say, I still had a plethora of information and first-hand accounts to pull from, be it from diaries, memoirs, nonfiction books, newspaper articles, testimonials, court documents, FBI documents, photographs, poems, artifacts, documentaries, experts, and historians. Still, with all of this information, there were limited details about Bonnie’s life prior to Clyde. I took what information I could find and then filled in the rest to align with my time period of the 1920s, which included things like speakeasies, dance marathons, and the stock market crash. For Side by Side, which is releasing June 5th as the follow up to Becoming Bonnie and dives head first into Bonnie and Clyde’s infamous crime spree, I was able to heavily implement my research to accurately depict their movements and shenanigans.

Did you find anything in your research that surprised you or that you found particularly fascinating?

Who Bonnie and Clyde were as human beings surprised me. Part of my original interest and motivation was understanding who they were and what made them tick. Portrayals of the duo often describe them as ruthless and driven by fame. And while there is no condoning their actions or crimes, I wasn’t expecting to learn that the duo was fiercely devoted to their families and that they possessed a bit of a moral compass. Many believe that when Clyde fired a gun it wasn’t premeditated, but reactionary (granted, it was in reaction to him stealing or committing a crime and someone trying to stop him). Also, it’s commonly believed that Bonnie never killed a soul. Bonnie and Clyde wanted more for themselves than a life of crime, and that’s an element I honed in on in Becoming Bonnie and Side by Side.

What was your favorite scene to write?

In Becoming Bonnie, I decided to play with history and begin the story with Bonnie as “Bonnelyn,” a wholesome, churching-going, choir-singing young woman. Even before I wrote a single word, the scene was running through my head where Clyde’s the one to begin referring to her as Bonnie. I really enjoyed writing that scene.

What was the hardest scene to write?

Ah, the ending. Of each book. Becoming Bonnie and Side by Side can be read independently of each other or one after the other. But, of course, I hope you read both! We all know how the story of Bonnie and Clyde ends. Despite all their wrong doings, I wanted to give them a happy ending at both conclusions. Let’s just say, those happy endings are a bit complicated.

Your second book, Side by Side, also featuring Bonnie and Clyde will be out on June 5th. What is in store next for the duo?

Side by Side is their twenty-seven month crime spree story! If you think you know their story from the 1967 film, then I think you’re in for a few surprises. The film was expertly done, but couldn’t go into the depth of a novel. There was a lot left out from the film that I was able to bring to life in my books.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer in one form or another. As a child I wrote poems and short stories. Then after college, I became a copywriter at an advertising agency. I felt the pull to be a novelist about eight years ago and threw myself into the craft, resulting in a few manuscripts that’ll never see the light of day, haha. Becoming Bonnie is my first published novel and I’m so proud of Bonn’s stories.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Honestly, it’s finding new readers, which is why I’m so thankful for you, Amy! There are so many wonderful books to choose from and I’m so humbled when someone decides to pick up mine.

Who are your writing inspirations?

There are a few historical ladies who are an insta-buy for me. I’m looking at you, Greer Macallister, Ariel Lawhon, and Fiona Davis.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Oh man, I got to go into the vault for this one. I would think it was maybe the Little House on the Prairie books? While I wasn’t a big “history buff” as a child, I’ve always been a huge reader and always enjoyed being transported to different worlds and settings.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I’ve always been intrigued by the Romanov conspiracy, so I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy of The Romanov Empress, releasing in July. The book was everything I had hoped it to be, telling the Romanov’s epic saga through the eyes of Empress Marie, who was the last tsar’s mother.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

This is such a cliché answer but I simply like to revisit the past and be transported to that time and place.

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

I tend to pick up books based on real-life people or events, no matter the era.

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

I have a two-year-old and four-year-old. Need I say more?

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m not at liberty to say too much, but I’ll hopefully be taking readers to the California gold rush!

HA! As a mother of a four-year-old and five-year-old, I can totally relate to that answer! I cannot wait to hear more about your future project and I am so excited to read SIDE BY SIDE!

Historical Fiction & History eBook Deals: May 16th

Here are today's eBook Deals for History & HistFic books....

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Cover Reveal: The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

Happy Wednesday, dear readers! Today I have an exciting Cover Reveal for you! Here is the cover for Author Nancy Bilyeau's upcoming historical, THE BLUE! Isn't it fabulously gorgeous?! I just love it! The Blue will be released from Enedeavour Quill in the Fall, so stay tuned for more details and pre-order information!

The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

Publication: Fall 2018
Endeavour Quill

Genre: Historical Fiction

What would you do to possess the most coveted color in the world? The year is 1758, and a headstrong woman artist, 24-year-old Genevieve Planche, is caught up in a high-stakes race to discover the ultimate color, one that threatens to become as deadly as it is lucrative. When Genevieve's mission is complicated by her falling in love with the chemist behind the formula, she discovers the world of blue is filled with ruthless men and women and how high the stakes really are. The story sweeps readers from the worlds of the silk-weaving refugees of London’s Spitalfields and the luxury-obsessed drawing rooms of Grosvenor Square to the porcelain factory of Derby and, finally, magnificent Sevres Porcelain in the shadow of Versailles. And running through it all: the dangerous allure of the color blue.

"Bilyeau’s sumptuous tale of mystery and intrigue transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade—where the price of beauty was death"’ E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series.

Praise for Nancy Bilyeau's Fiction

"Bilyeau deftly weaves extensive historical detail throughout, but the real draw of this suspenseful novel is its juicy blend of lust, murder, conspiracy, and betrayal." —Review of The Crown published in Oprah, which made the book a pick of the month.

"English history buffs and mystery fans alike will revel in Nancy Bilyeau's richly detailed sequel to The Crown." —Parade magazine review of The Chalice

"The story in The Tapestry is fiction, but it is a sheer joy to have Henry’s court recreated with an eye to the reality of its venality, rather than the trendy Wolf Hall airbrushing of its violence and rapacity. The tone is always modern and light, but with none of the clumsy thigh-slapping faux period language. Bilyeau’s writing is effortless, vivid, gripping and poignant, bringing Tudor England to life with sparkling zest. If you want to see the Reformation from the side of the English people rather than the self-serving court, it is tough to do better than this trilogy." —Review of The Tapestry by Dominic Selwood, published in The Catholic Herald

"As always, Bilyeau has done her historical homework, bringing the drama, and details of Henry VIII’s court to life. You’re basically watching the rise and fall of Catherine Howard, Thomas Cromwell, Walter Hungerford and Thomas Culpepper through Joanna’s eyes. Her private moments with the king were among my favorites in this book. This a true historical thriller. It’s a Tudor novel full of suspense, intrigue, brutality, and death. It’s a well researched page turner. If you’re looking for an exciting historical read, this will be on your list." —Review of The Tapestry by Sandra Alvarez for

“Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy. Warmly recommended!” —Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I and many bestsellers

"Nancy Bilyeau's polished, inventive debut has all the ingredients of the best historical fiction: a broad cast of characters, well-imagined settings, and vivid story-telling... In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values, while Stafford's desperate search for a lost religious relic will satisfy even the most ardent mystery fans." —Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches

About the Author

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently a regular contributor to Town & Country and the editor of the digital magazine The Big Thrill. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. The third in the trilogy, THE TAPESTRY, was published by Touchstone in 2015. The books have also been published by Orion in the UK and seven other countries.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

For more information, please visit Nancy Bilyeau's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Cover Reveal Schedule

Wednesday, May 16
Passages to the Past
Clarissa Reads it All
Just One More Chapter
To Read, or Not to Read
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, May 17
Bri's Book Nook
CelticLady's Reviews
Kris Waldherr Books
What Is That Book About

Friday, May 18
A Book Geek
The Lit Bitch
Broken Teepee

Saturday, May 19
Books and Glamour
Writing the Renaissance
So Many Books, So Little Time

Sunday, May 20
Cup of Sensibility
Kate Rock Lit Chick
Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Monday, May 21
The Maiden's Court
View from the Birdhouse

Tuesday, May 22
100 Pages a Day
Bibliophile Reviews
History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, May 23
Pursuing Stacie
Creating Herstory
Donna's Book Blog

2018 Release: The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

Publication Date: October 23, 2018
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover & eBook;

Genre: Historical Fiction

The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah's Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, in the tradition of THE NEST.

"Hypnotic, passionate, ominous and tender—unforgettable.” —Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us

The Rain Watcher is a powerful family drama set in Paris as the Malegarde family gathers to celebrate the father's 70th birthday. Their hidden fears and secrets are slowly unraveled as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster. Seen through the eyes of charismatic photographer Linden Malegarde, the youngest son, all members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances.

In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer's skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

Historical Fiction & History eBook Deals: May 8th

Happy Hump Day, all! Here are the eBook deals for today....

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Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich ~ Blog Tour & Giveaway

Happy Monday, dear readers! Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich is getting some serious love from bloggers! Check out the reviews below and enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift card!

Pursuing Stacie says: "Welcome to Port of No Return. This book is unbelievably good. Y’all, I was hooked on this story. I’m not one for feeling feelings, but I couldn’t help it. I was invested in Contessa and Ettore’s journeys, and could. not. for. the. life. of. me. put this thing down. I was emotionally wrapped up in this family, enabled all the more by the fantastic writing skills of Michelle Saftich. She fleshed out the characters wonderfully and brought the settings to life, dragging me (willingly, I might add) from sorrow, to happiness, to tension, to worry, to bliss. Such a beautiful and authentic look at war, humanity and the strength of family."

From The Caffeinated Bibliophile: "Michelle did an amazing job bringing a war-stricken Italy to life. This book is a perfect reminder that faith and hope is everything. Have faith that things will turn out better in the end. "

Books and Glamour: "Michelle Saftich weaves a story about family and love in Port of No Return. I was incredibly interested in the history of this book and thoroughly appreciated Saftich’s research! She did an incredible job bringing these different families to life and exposing what people went through in order to flee Italy. If you enjoy WW2 novels about family, love, and sacrifice then look no further! I finished this book quickly, finding myself whipping away a few tears along the way."

Read Michelle Saftich's guest post on what inspired her to become a writer at Dressed to Read.

Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich

Publication Date: July 31, 2015
Odyssey Books
eBook & Paperback; 244 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Contessa and Ettore Saforo awake to a normal day in war-stricken, occupied Italy. By the end of the day, their house is in ruins and they must seek shelter and protection wherever they can. But the turbulent politics of 1944 refuses to let them be.

As Tito and his Yugoslav Army threaten their German-held town of Fiume, Ettore finds himself running for his life, knowing that neither side is forgiving of those who have assisted the enemy. His wife and children must also flee the meagre life their town can offer, searching for a better life as displaced persons.

Ettore and Contessa’s battle to find each other, and the struggle of their family and friends to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating war, provide a rich and varied account of Italian migration to Australia after World War II.

What can you do when you have nowhere left to call home? Port of No Return considers this question and more in a novel that is full of action, pain and laughter — a journey you will want to see through to the very end.

Port of No Return is the first novel in a series of two.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Michelle Saftich is a first time author who resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two children. She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). For the past twenty years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations. In 1999, she was named National Winner for Best News Story in the ASNA (Australian Suburban Newspaper Awards). Born and raised in Brisbane, she spent ten years living in Sydney; and two years in Osaka, Japan, where she taught English.

For more information please visit Michelle Saftich's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, April 10
Feature at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 11
Feature at The Writing Desk

Friday, April 13
Interview at Maiden of the Pages

Tuesday, April 17
Feature at Being Anne

Thursday, April 19
Feature at Time 2 Read

Friday, April 20
Guest Post at Dressed to Read

Monday, April 23
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Tuesday, April 24
Review at Books and Glamour

Monday, April 30
Review at Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Friday, May 4
Review at Books of a Shy Girl

Monday, May 7
Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 11
Review at Dressed to Read
Review at The Bletchley Circle Watchers


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– 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 has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Port of No Return

October Release: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

October can't come fast enough because Hazel Gaynor is coming out with a new book!

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Publication Date: October 9, 2018
William Morrow
Paperback & eBook; 416 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

Historical Fiction eBook Deals: May 3rd

Happy Hump Day, all! Here are the eBook deals for today....

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