Interview & Giveaway: Mistress of Legend & Guinevere's Tale Trilogy by Nicole Evelina

Happy Monday, dear readers! Today on the blog author Nicole Evelina stops by to talk about her Guinevere's Tale Trilogy and the latest release and last book in the sereies, Mistress of Legend. We also have a giveaway for a set of the trilogy so be sure to enter!


Hello Nicole and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Mistress of Legend & the Guinevere's Tale Trilogy!

Thank you for having me!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Sure. I write across genres. Historical fiction/historical fantasy is where my heart truly lies, but I also write non-fiction (history and biography) and contemporary romance.

Regardless of the genre, the thing that unites my writing is that it is always about strong women. They may be able to wield a sword, use magic or simply stand firm to what they believe in. History has had enough passive, docile women. It’s time for new role models to have their say. I am especially attracted to those whose stories are in danger of being forgotten. I feel like there are so female stories we have yet to tell!

What inspired you to write the Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy? How & when did your fascination with Guinevere and King Arthur begin?

I’ve loved Guinevere since I was a little girl. Thanks to my dad, I grew up on the musical Camelot, so she was the role model for me that most girls find in Disney Princesses. When I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Mists of Avalon for Christmas. I LOVED it, but I hated Marion Zimmer Bradley’s portrayal of Guinevere as meek and well, stupid. That made me seek out other books about Guinevere and I read Parke Godwin’s Beloved Exile, which tells the story of what happened to Guinevere after the fall of Camelot. That made me wonder what happened to her before and after Arthur, which is something you don’t hear much about. Then Guinevere came into my head, telling me she wanted me to write her story, which I thought at the time would be all one book. I’ve known the ending all along.

What research did you undertake when writing the Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy?

A lot. I read so many books – on Arthurian Legend, Guinevere, myths, history, you name it, watched TV specials and did expert interviews. I actually went to England twice, once especially of an Arthurian Legend’s tour, which was run my Jamie George, one of the people who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

I actually have a research page on my website for each book in the trilogy if anyone is interested in specifics:
Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen (information is the same on both pages)
Mistress of Legend

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

Even though Guinevere is a pagan, I found the early Christian church a lot more interesting. To me it’s fascinating to see what has and hasn’t changed. For example, Advent didn’t exist in the early Church, so Christmas actually had three Masses which people were required to attend. On the other hand, many of our Lenten practices date back more than 1,500 years.

There are quite a few historical novels written about Guinevere. How does your vision of Guinevere differ?

I think it stands out because I’ve done things with Guinevere that few, if any, other authors have done. My goal in writing the trilogy was to explore Guinevere’s whole life, not just the parts that include King Arthur. So, just like I covered her youth in Daughter of Destiny, I wanted to shed light upon her life after the fall of Camelot in Mistress of Legend. Guinevere was her own woman, independent of the men history associates her with, and it was important for me to show that in order to dispel the long-held belief that she couldn’t function once Arthur died. She still had very much living to do, thank you very much. I also made her pagan and equal with Morgan in many ways, plus her love interest in Daughter of Destiny is definitely not canon.

If you could debunk one myth about Guinevere, what would it be?

Oh this is a great question! I think the biggest one is that she was just a tool of the men around her. I mean, when we think of her the first thing that comes to mind is “wife of Arthur who had an affair with Lancelot.” This really devalues her as a character and a fictional person. As I said above, she was so much more. She had hopes and dreams and a full life before Arthur came along to mess things up; even when she was with him, she did her own thing, and she certainly lived a full life after he died. All the men she loved were important influences on her, but they were not her be-all-and-end-all.

What was your favorite scene to write in Mistress of Legend?

I don’t want to give too much away, but I think my favorite is one that takes place about ¾ of the way through the book. It really sets the whole last section in motion. At this point, Guinevere is in what is now called Scotland and is present at the Votadini Summer Solstice ritual. Evina, the tribal leader meets out some harsh justice there. The whole scene was fun to write and really unexpected because I just let the character loose and she did what she wanted. To see such primal energies on display and know I was somehow channeling them into my writing was a humbling experience.

What was the most difficult scene to write in Mistress of Legend?

The Battle of Camlann, hands down. There were a lot of logistical questions in my mind: Is it one battle or three (scholars are divided)? How do I handle the fact that Guinevere isn’t physically present? Plus, it SUCH an emotional scene. I was basically killing off two characters we have come to know and love, and doing it through the eyes of Guinevere and Morgan, the two people who loved them the most. So on top of logistics and battle/swordplay details, I had to be sure I evoked the appropriate level of emotion so the reader could experience the loss, not just read about it. I have to admit that by the final draft, I made myself cry!

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am actually working on two non-fiction book proposals that have to do with the suffrage movement in America. With the centennial anniversary of women getting the right to vote coming up in August 2020, now the time to get that story out there. It’s much more complex – and interesting – than what we were taught in school. The suffragists were not all rainbows and sisterhood. Many were racist and classist and they fought bitterly amongst themselves. Plus, the general story only includes the efforts of white women. I want to be able to show how women of color, men, and people of all sexualities contributed to the fight for women’s rights.

Wow, that sounds fascinating! I can't wait to hear more! Thanks for spending time with us today, Nicole. Hope you have a great blog tour!


Mistress of Legend by Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: September 15, 2018
Lawson Gartner Publishing
Paperback, eBook, AudioBook; 412 Pages

Series: Guinevere's Tale, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction/Arthurian/Fantasy


Legend says Guinevere spent her final days in penance in a convent, but that is far from the truth.

Having escaped death at the stake, Guinevere longs to live a peaceful life in Brittany with Lancelot, but the threat of Arthur’s wrath quickly separates the lovers. Guinevere finds herself back in Camelot, but it is not the peaceful capital she once knew; the loyalty of the people is divided over Arthur’s role in her death sentence. When war draws Arthur away from Britain, Mordred is named acting king. With Morgan at his side and a Saxon in his bed, Mordred’s thirst for power becomes his undoing and the cause of Guinevere’s greatest heartache.

In the wake of the deadly battle that leaves the country in civil war, Guinevere’s power as the former queen is sought by everyone who seeks to ascend the throne. Heartbroken and refusing to take sides in the conflict, she flees north to her mother’s Votadini homeland, where she is at long last reunited with Lancelot. The quiet life she desires is just beginning when warring tribal factions once again thrust her into an unexpected position of power. Now charged with ending an invasion that could bring an end to the Votadini tribe and put the whole island in the hands of the Saxons, Guinevere must draw upon decades of experience to try to save the people she loves and is sworn to protect.

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A box set containing Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, and Mistress of Legend


Guinevere is remembered for her role as King Arthur’s wife and for her adulterous affair with Lancelot. But there is so much more to her story…

Priestess. Queen. Warrior. Experience the world of King Arthur through Guinevere’s eyes as she matures from a young priestess who never dreamed of becoming queen to the stalwart defender of a nation and a mistress whose sin would go down in history. Throughout it all, Guinevere she faces threats from both foreign powers and within her own court that lead her to place her very life on the line to protect the dream of Camelot and save her people.

This compendium of Nicole Evelina’s two-time Book of the Year award-winning trilogy – Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, and Mistress of Legend – gives fresh life to an age-old tale by adding historical context and emotional depth. Spanning more than three decades, it presents Guinevere as an equal to the famous men she is remembered for loving, while providing context for her controversial decisions and visiting little-known aspects of her life before and after her marriage to King Arthur.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

About the Author

03_Nicole Evelina
Nicole Evelina is a historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction author whose five books –Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, Been Searching for You, Madame Presidentess and The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend (nonfiction) – have won more than 30 awards, including three Book of the Year designations.

Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent Journal, Curve Magazine and numerous historical publications. She is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness.

Nicole is currently working on Mistress of Legend (September 15), the final novel in her Guinevere's Tale historical fantasy trilogy and researching two future non-fiction books. She also teaches online writing and business classes for authors at Professional Author Academy.

Her website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 10
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Daughter of Destiny)

Wednesday, December 12
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, December 13
Review at A Book Geek (Daughter of Destiny)

Friday, December 14
Interview at Donna's Book Blog

Saturday, December 15
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (Daughter of Destiny)

Sunday, December 16
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (Mistress of Legend)

Tuesday, December 18
Review at Book Nerd (Camelot's Queen)

Thursday, December 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Camelot's Queen)

Friday, December 21
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 27
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (Camelot's Queen)

Friday, December 28
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit (Mistress of Legend)

Saturday, December 29
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Mistress of Legend)

Sunday, December 30
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (Mistress of Legend)

Monday, December 31
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Curling up by the Fire (Mistress of Legend)

Wednesday, January 2
Review at Book Nerd (Mistress of Legend)

Thursday, January 3
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (Mistress of Legend)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a boxed set of The Guinevere's Tale Trilogy in paperback (US only) and one set in eBook (international)! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– PB Giveaway is open to US residents only & eBook 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.

Mistress of Legend


Guest Post by Sandra Gulland, author of The Game of Hope

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am hosting the lovely Sandra Gulland, author of The Game of Hope! She is here to talk about midquels!


The Delights and Challenges of Writing a Midquel Sandra Gulland


First off: what is a midquel? I’ve published two, and I’ve only now discovered the word for it. Unlike a sequel or prequel, a midquel is a novel that’s written during the same time period and in the same world as a previously published novel.

     My novel The Shadow Queen, the second of my Sun Court novels, is set in the same time period and includes many of the same characters as my first Sun Court novel, Mistress of the Sun. It explores that world from another perspective entirely.

    Likewise, The Game of Hope, my Young Adult novel about Josephine Bonaparte’s daughter and Napoleon’s stepdaughter Hortense de Beauharnais, is largely set during the timeframe of Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, the middle novel of the Josephine B. Trilogy. It also reveals that world from an entirely different perspective.

Some advantages and disadvantages of writing a midquel

The practical advantages of writing a prequel, sequel or midquel is that much of the research that has already been done. A world has already been created, characters already crafted. That's a big leg up.

However, there can also be some challenges in writing a midquel — at least, I found it to be so in writing The Game of Hope.

My process

My writing process is to begin with a detailed timeline. I already had one for the Trilogy, and it was 463 pages long, single-spaced. This was a great asset!

     I took this massive timeline as the foundation for making a timeline about Hortense and her world, cutting all that was not relevant to her life. Then I added in details. For example:

     the dates and contents of all the letters Madame Campan, the headmistress of her boarding school, sent to her;
     the dates of events relevant to her boarding school;
     details about Christophe Duroc (a romantic interest);
     details about her closest friends;
     details about the comings and goings of her stepsister (technically her step aunt), Napoleon’s youngest sister Caroline.

So far, so good, right?

Not exactly.

     I needed to add to that timeline the scenes Hortense had been part of in the Trilogy — the fictional scenes I had written. I reread the relevant scenes and typed them into the timeline, formatting them in italic to indicate that these were fiction, not fact.

     This is where things got a little tricky. I had to treat the fictional pre-existing scenes as fact. After all, I was recreating a previously created world. It was all of a piece. I confess it felt a little strange to closely rewrite a scene from the Trilogy. Although it was narrated from Hortense’s perspective, Josephine was saying the same things she had said in the Trilogy. I felt I was plagiarizing my own work!

The problem of evolving scholarship

Another problem was that the last of the Trilogy was published in 2000, over fifteen years before. There was considerably more historical information now available, both on the Net and in new publications. Had I had that information in the decades before 2000, I would have written some of the scenes in the Trilogy a little differently. In writing The Game of Hope, I sometimes had to fudge just a bit in order to be historically accurate and yet true to the existing world of the Trilogy.

The rewards of writing a midquel

Challenging problems aside, it was a pleasure to reconnect with the characters of the Trilogy once again, and extremely interesting (and surprising!) to view that world through the eyes of a teenager. Most of all, it was delightful to fully explore characters who had previously been on the sidelines. The amazing Madame Campan! The impetuous and reckless Caroline Bonaparte!

     What a world!


The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland

Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Viking Books for Young Readers
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages

Genre: YA/Historical Fiction


For Napoleon's stepdaughter, nothing is simple -- especially love.

Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother's dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother Josephine has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.

Where will Hortense's future lie?

Inspired by Hortense's real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn't choose.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | IndieBound

Praise for The Game of Hope

"Gulland, who’s clearly done her research, includes plenty of documented moments and people from Hortense’s life, which cultivates a rich sense of atmosphere . . . Teen fans of historical fiction fascinated by the period will find plenty to appreciate here." — Booklist

"Gulland has built a career writing historical fiction for adults ... . Her pitch-perfect balance of lush period details and character-driven narrative shines again in The Game of Hope. — Quill & Quire

“[The Game of Hope] captures the essence of the period. It is not just a story about a girl; it is about the time; it is about the people whose lives she touched and about the changes spurned from the revolution. That is what makes it so grand and captivating.” — Cyn’s Workshop Review

“Sandra Gulland’s writing is enchanting and beautiful.” — Krimsuun Pages

About the Author

Sandra Gulland is an American-born Canadian novelist specializing in historical fiction. She is the author of the internationally bestselling trilogy of adult books based on the life of Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte, as well as two novels set at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, translated into thirteen languages, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Sandra Gulland's novels include The Josephine B. Trilogy, The Shadow Queen, Mistress of the Sun, and The Game of Hope.

Website | BlogFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Review: The War Between Us by Sarah Creviston Lee


The War Between Us by Sarah Creviston Lee

Publication Date: December 14, 2015
Paperback & eBook; 330 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Editor's Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society.

Alex Moon is not the enemy.

Six months after Pearl Harbor's tragedy, Korean American Alex Moon is sent away from his home in California for refusing his father's request to join the fight against the Japanese. On his journey, Alex is attacked and stranded in the small town of River Bluff, Indiana just for looking like America's most hated enemy.

Unexpectedly, Alex is befriended by a local girl, Lonnie Hamilton, who comes to his defense, saving him from doubt and despair while placing herself in the cross hairs of prejudice. Alex falls in love with his ally---a love that is clearly forbidden. Torn between his dual identities, Korean and American, and grappling with how everyone sees him, Alex must wage the war within himself---of defending who he is, resolving his tortured feelings about the war, and fighting for the woman he loves.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

My Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Author Sarah Creviston Lee states that she wrote The War Between Us to depict "the wartime experience of one fictional Korean American in the hopes of bringing more awareness to Korean Americans' experiences during WWII in general." I must say that she succeeded brilliantly in that goal. The War Between Us was a fascinating read that I quickly devoured!

Alex, Lonnie, and the supporting cast are great characters that you grow attached to. It was hard to read about the prejudice against Lonnie and the Asian community, but I feel it's an important time in history that we all need to know and learn from. This was right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor so racial tensions were very high. Lee also painted the picture of a small town and the impact that war has on the people living there.

It's a clean romance, so for those readers that prefer that then you will definitely adore this book.

I highly recommend The War Between Us! It's an easy read, and once you start you won't be able to put it down!



Praise for The War Between Us

"Sarah Creviston Lee crafts a smart, fast-paced, uncensored, and quite moving story of embattled love and obstacles overcome. Even her unsavory characters are warmly, believably drawn, and the character of Lonnie Hamilton herself is wonderfully authentic. I read hungrily as the story picked up pace. Highly recommended." -Laura Fahey, The Historical Novel Society

"Lonnie and Alex are perfect renderings of their time, cultures, and upbringings. Anyone familiar with multicultural literature will find a new author to love, and readers new to a beautifully developed look at a culture unlike ours will find a new genre to love. Lonnie isn't immune to her town's prejudice against Alex, but she is able to think things through before reacting. Alex is a moving and heartbreaking picture of a young man caught between two cultures and hated for events not of his making. Together, they are remarkable." -Julie York, InD'Tale Magazine

"Debuting author Sarah Creviston Lee bursts into the historical fiction market with The War Between Us, a distinctive glimpse at post-Pearl Harbor America and the Asian American citizens caught in the resulting backlash of heightened nationalism and fear. Her honest and empathetic handling of the issues, as well as her complex characters, make this a read that remains with you after the cover is closed." -Laurie L. C. Lewis, award-winning author of the Free Men and Dreamers series

About the Author

Sarah Creviston Lee was born and raised as a proud Hoosier. She can usually be found tinkering in the kitchen with WWII ration recipes, haunting local antique shops, homeschooling her kids, clacking away on her laptop writing one story or another, or watching old school movies with her family.

She currently lives in Maryland with her husband, three children, and flock of feisty chickens.

In 2016, her book, The War Between Us, received the Editor's Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, December 7
Feature at Tar Heel Reader
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, December 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, December 10
Review at Bri's Book Nook
Feature at Old Timey Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, December 11
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, December 12
Feature at A Book Geek
Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Thursday, December 13
Review at Creating Herstory
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, December 14
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
Review, Excerpt, and Q&A at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Saturday, December 15
Feature at The Chocolate Lady's Book Review Blog

Monday, December 17
Excerpt at Jathan & Heather
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 paperback copies of The War Between Us! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents 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 has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The War Between Us


Interview & Giveaway: The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil

Happy FriYAY, dear readers! Today on the blog I have an interview with Zenobia Neil, author of The Jinni's Last Wish! I loved this book and you can read my review here. Zenobia was kind enough to answer a few questions for me so I hope you enjoy it & don't forget to enter our giveaway!


Hello Zenobia and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Jinni’s Last Wish!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

I’m a teacher, a writer and mother from Los Angeles. After my second child was born, I really needed to escape, so I started writing about the ancient world. Having always loved Greco-Roman mythology, I wrote a retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche. Psyche Unbound became my first book.

What inspired you to write The Jinni’s Last Wish?

I was partially inspired by the book Harem: Life Beyond the Veil by Alev Lytle Croutier. She wrote about life in a harem from a perspective of those who had been there instead of the exoticized view we normally get in the west. She recounted knowing a eunuch when she was a child and quoted a passage where a eunuch asks a doctor to make him whole again. That scene inspired me to imagine what would happen if a eunuch was given a jinni in a bottle. Orientalist art was also a huge visual inspiration while writing the book.


What other research did you undertake when writing The Jinni’s Last Wish?

In addition to reading a lot of non-fiction books on the Ottoman Empire, I also researched the jinn, castration, opium, rug weaving, hashish, and coffee. One surprising part of my research was watching a Turkish soap opera called Magnificent Century about Suleiman the Magnificent and Hurrem Sultan, the Ruthenian woman who became his wife. It was as close as I could get to the Ottoman Imperial Harem and the Topkapi Palace. The costumes and the setting were fantastic, but I was dismayed that the eunuchs in the show were not black as they would have been in real life. A major motivation I had in writing this book was to tell the stories of people time forgot.

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

Everything I came across in my research surprised, fascinated, and often horrified me. But what intrigued me the most about the Ottoman Empire was the random switch of fate that could happen to almost anyone. A European girl of noble birth could be captured and become a slave; as could a peasant from the countryside. Either woman could then become a favorite of the sultan. If she bore him a son, she could be assassinated by a rival, or she could become the queen mother, the most powerful woman in the land.

An African boy could be abducted from his village, sold and castrated, then he might live in comfort, or he might rise through the ranks to become the, Kizlar Agasi, Chief Black Eunuch Keeper of the Girls, the third most powerful man in the empire.

In a similar vein, a son born to the sultan was not guaranteed to become sultan himself. The Ottomans did not have a clear law of succession. Fratricide was institutionalized for a period of time. The boy or man who became the next sultan won the throne by killing his brothers. But then someone decided that was too cruel—and too risky. What if the remaining sultan died? So the next in line for the throne was kept in a gilded cage, locked away with sterile concubines and fed opium—this was the sultan I chose to write about.

This strange world of extremes, was so compelling that I couldn’t stop researching it. But what I really wanted to know was how the people felt. How did they deal with these reversals of fortune?


What would you like readers to take away from reading The Jinni’s Last Wish?

The Jinni’s Last Wish is about eunuchs, a jinni, and concubines, but the main question of my story is if you live in a society fueled by cruelty, is it possible to maintain kindness? Sadly, this question seems as relevant now as it was then. I would like readers to come away from this book feeling that despite how bleak a situation is, there’s still hope, that even in the darkest hour, we can create positive change and that love can persevere.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I always have several different novels set in different time periods going on. (Something I do not recommend.) Right now I’m working on a novel about Dionysus and a series that takes place in Ancient Sparta and Persia. I’m also researching ancient Phoenicia.

Thanks for having me!

Thank you for taking time to spend with us today! I look forward to your next book!


The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: September 13, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 224 Pages
ASIN: B07FLDRY4V

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy


As a eunuch in the Ottoman Imperial Harem, Olin has already lost his home, his freedom, and his manhood. His only wish is for a painless death, until he meets Dark Star, a beautiful odalisque who promises to give him his deepest desire. He refuses to believe her claim to possess a jinni in a bottle. But when Dark Star is accused of witchcraft, Olin rubs the bottle in desperation and discovers she’s told the truth.

Olin becomes the jinni’s master to save Dark Star, but it's not enough. In the complex world of the Topkapi Palace, where silk pillows conceal knives, sherbets contain poison, and jewels buy loyalty, no one is safe. With each wish, Olin must choose between becoming like the masters he detests or risk his life, his body, and his sanity to break the bonds that tie them all.

"Vividly imagined and achingly beautiful, this is the closest you'll get to an Ottoman harem without a time machine." -- Jessica Cale, Editor of Dirty, Sexy History

"Sensual, magical, and meticulously researched, THE JINNI'S LAST WISH is a scrumptious read." --Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris."

"Hauntingly sensual, The Jinni's Last Wish is an erotic fever dream that lingers long after the last page." -- Mia Hopkins, author of Thirsty

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters


About the Author


Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Zenobia spends her free time imagining interesting people and putting them in terrible situations.

She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in an overpriced hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles. Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Wednesday, November 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 15
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Sunday, November 18
Interview at T's Stuff

Monday, November 19
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Wednesday, November 21
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 23
Review at Pass Me That Book

Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, November 29
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, November 30
Feature at Book Nerd

Monday, December 3
Review at Bookfever

Wednesday, December 5
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, December 10
Review & Guest Post The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, December 11
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of The Jinni's Last Wish! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

The Jinni's Last Wish


Excerpt & Giveaway: From Across the Room by Gina L. Mulligan


From Across the Room by Gina L. Mulligan

Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Five Star Publications
Hardcover & eBook; 271 Pages

Genre: Historical/Epistolary


Self-indulgent young writer Thomas Gadwell has traveled from Boston to the new Hotel Del Coronado in California to at last finish his novel when he meets the clever and headstrong Miss Mary Harting. At once Thomas tosses aside his literary pursuits for a charmed summer of romance that ends with the happy couple making future plans. However, Mary Harting is the only unmarried daughter of notorious railroad tycoon Charles Harting, and he has no intention of letting a useless wordsmith derail his own critical plans for Mary. The couple must continue a clandestine courtship, but Thomas' ingenuity has unexpected repercussions and he unwittingly uncovers a sinister plot of deception, greed, and blackmail. Guided by mentor Henry James, to win Mary, Thomas must step from the pages of the world he creates to explore his own insecurities, battle against worldly corruption, and expose family demons.

Told through a series of clever, heartfelt, and engaging letters, From Across the Room is a voyeuristic escapade that delights at every twist. Reflecting back to a time when letters were saved in the imagination of the reader, the lost art of letter writing brings to life the opulent Gilded Age and unfolds the universal passions of love, ambition, and the resilient bonds of family.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Chapters | IndieBound

Praise for From Across the Room

"A passionate love story set in a brilliantly recreated Gilded Age, this intimate epistolary novel takes the reader from a wide-open California to the salons of literary and industrial New York. Colorful and indelible characters stride across the pages of this exceptionally vivid historical novel that brings the past stirringly to life." -Diana Birchall, Bestselling Author of Mr. Darcy's Dilemma

"Gina Mulligan's impeccable prose, engaging characters, and original style reminds us all why we love to read." -Reza Kahlili, 2010 National Best Books winner for A Time to Betray

"The characters have richly defined voices and fascinating lives that sparkle against a transcontinental history of America at the beginning of the twentieth century." -Jessica Klein, Award-winning Writer/Producer of Northern Exposure, Beverly Hills 90210, Gabriel's Fire and other popular TV series.

Excerpt

June 18, 1888.

DEAR BEAUREGARD —

My old friend, how long has it been since we opened a bottle of malt whisky and spent an entire evening searching for the melody in a Russian opera? In many ways not long enough.
Are you again trolling Saratoga for girls eager to annoy overbearing mothers? Or have you contented yourself with the companionship of the Baccarat table? My pleasure involves more than parading through town in a white cycling costume; yet, of anyone I know, you most appreciate a vacation filled with warm sunshine, gay chatter, and a radiant woman.

Other than a small obstacle the size of a boulder, your apprentice is faring quite well in California. For the sole purpose of bragging, allow me to share the good parts before humbly asking for your help. And for the record, she agreed to our private outing without any begging.

My new friend, Miss Mary Harting, greeted me in the lobby at sunrise. She had an infectious grin that showed nothing of the early wake-up call. After we shook hands, I motioned for her to sit on a settee and then sat beside her.

She tilted her head. “Why are we sitting down, Thomas? I thought you said the surprise was outside. Aren’t you ready to go?”

“Actually, you’re not ready yet,” I said.

She flattened the pleats around her narrow waist, lifted the hem of her paisley skirt to examine her black boots, and gave a quick tug to each glove. “This is about as ready as I get.”

My heart began to pound. I reached across Mary to the end table beside her. She pulled away, but not too far. I felt her warm breath on my neck as I grasped the black scarf I had tucked underneath a crystal ashtray. When I sat back up, Mary plucked the scarf from my hand and held it in her open palm. “Yes, this was definitely too heavy for your pocket. You certainly are smooth.”

I should have known better than to try one of your stupid maneuvers.

She wanted to know what I had in mind for the scarf so I explained seeing where we were going would ruin the surprise. I waited for her refusal but instead of a protest, Mary placed the cloth to her eyes and turned. As I slid closer to tie the ends, my hands brushed against her soft hair and I smelled lilac perfume.

Mary took my hand, and I led her out past the gardens and beyond the far side of the hotel. When we stepped into the soft sand, she gripped my forearm.

“Don’t worry, I won’t let you fall,” I said.

“Who said I’m worried I might fall? Have you forgotten about the Crown Room where you bumped into me, or the rock you didn’t see? Oh, and then there was that branch on the —”

“Okay, you have a point.”

She giggled. “I just don’t want to go down with the sinking ship.”

“Traitor.”

I led her across the beach to a narrow path lined with sea grass. As we moved farther from the water’s edge, the breeze quieted and I listened to her shallow breath. Neither of us spoke. We were silenced by anticipation.

Though her hand was firm on my arm and I brushed against her shoulders to move branches from her path, when I grasped her waist to keep her from tripping she jumped.

“There was a log,” I said.

“My mother warned me about those kinds of logs.” She grinned and told me to keep my hands on her elbows.

We continued but I was so nervous that I took her down the wrong path and we had to circle back. Then I realized I missed the trail and had to turn her around again. I was beginning to feel my plan was folly and Mary would demand we return to the hotel when I at last saw the clearing. “We’re here,” I blurted. I let go of her arm then grabbed it again and made her promise she would wait for my return before removing the handkerchief.

At least a minute passed before I returned to find Mary twirling her thumbs; a sideways smile curled the edge of the blindfold. I wanted to kiss her pastel cheeks.

“Miss Harting, breakfast is served,” I said.

In the center of the small clearing was a table draped in white gauze. Yellow rose petals were scattered on and around the table and crystal glasses sparkled in the morning light. Two servers stood beside a cart filled with silver trays and as soon as I nodded, an oboist stepped from the brush and began to play.

About the Author

Gina L. Mulligan is a veteran freelance journalist for numerous national magazines and the author of the award-winning novel, REMEMBER THE LADIES and FROM ACROSS THE ROOM. After her own diagnosis, Gina founded Girls Love Mail, a charity that collects handwritten letters of encouragement for women with breast cancer. She was honored for her charitable work on the nationally syndicated television talk show The Steve Harvey Show, People.com, and TODAY.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 26
Review at Creating Herstory
Excerpt at Spellbound by History

Tuesday, November 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, November 28
Review at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, November 29
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, November 30
Review at A Holland Reads

Saturday, December 1
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, December 3
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, December 4
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 5
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 6
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.

Friday, December 7
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, December 10
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, December 11
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 12
Review at Laura's Interests

Friday, December 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, December 17
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, December 18
Feature at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, December 19
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, December 20
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Friday, December 21
Review at The Book Mind
Guest Post and Excerpt at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 3 copies of From Across the Room & Stationary! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents 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 has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

From Across the Room


2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: December Reviews


Welcome to the Decmber link page for the 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. What? How in the world is it the end of the year already?  That's just crazy!

I look forward to seeing what everyone is reading this month!

The sign up page for the 2019 HistFic Reading Challenge is up! I hope you will join us next year!

SIGN UP HERE

Links to Previous Months...

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

Reading Challenge Instructions...

  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)
  • Don't forget to look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books!


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
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If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.



Interview & Giveaway: Imperial Passions by Eileen Stephenson

Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting an interview with Eileen Stephenson. She is currently on Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for her latest novel, Imperial Passions. I also have a giveaway for a beautiful Byzantine-style Sterling Silver bracelet, so be sure to enter!



Hello Eileen and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Imperial Passions!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

I grew up loving history and stories about far off places, and I had a dream about being a writer, but could not decide what to write about. Eventually, I got into a day job in finance, married and had three daughters before I found my subjects – Anna Dalassena and the Byzantines.

What inspired you to write Imperial Passions?

I was amazed when I first started reading Byzantine history that there were so few novels about this fascinating civilization. I began to think about writing one (or more) myself, but it was when I found a lengthy posting by a New Zealand historian about the life of Anna Dalassena that I found my subject. For a woman who lived a thousand years ago that few outside of academia had heard of, there was a great deal of historical information about her – more than enough to craft a novel (or two) around.

What other research did you undertake when Imperial Passions?

I travelled to places with a Byzantine connection. Some of them were fairly close by – the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, DC, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Eventually, though, I had to go overseas – in Italy to Venice, Ravenna and Palermo; to Istanbul; and to Athens and a few of the Greek islands. I’ve brought along my husband and other family members to these places, and I’m glad to say that they all seem to have enjoyed the sights!

Did you come across anything in your research that surprised or fascinated you?

The research on eunuchs came up with a few interesting bits of information. These men tended to grow taller than the average, and were sometimes left incontinent by the surgery when it was done badly. Also, depending on their age when the surgery was done, they might still be capable of sex, if not of fathering a child.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Imperial Passions?

I’d like readers to begin to see the Byzantines as more than just a footnote or reference in a dusty history textbook. These people were educated and sophisticated far beyond the levels found in Western Europe at that time. The Byzantines ate using forks, they had women doctors, and literacy was common even in the middle classes. The rest of Europe took many more centuries to reach what Byzantium had in the 11th century.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

I think it was the scene where Anna Dalassena confronts her cousin’s widower while she is staying with his wife’s body the night before burial. It took a while before I acknowledged that this would have to be the pivotal moment in Anna’s life that would start her on the path to the throne. I spent a lot of time trying to structure it, before coming up with what seemed to work.

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

The biggest challenge is learning how to write fiction. It isn’t the same as the analytical writing I do at the day job. I have taken a number of writing classes and joined a writers’ group and eventually it came together. But it wasn’t easy and it really takes persistence.

What is the last historical novel you read?

That was the marvelous “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. I had wanted to read it for a while but had not gotten to it until a friend lent me her copy. It was unique, thoughtful, fun, and a book I didn’t want to put down. I can’t recommend it enough.

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

I tend to prefer distant time periods rather than more recent ones, or failing that, more exotic settings such as Russia or China in the 20th century. The American Civil War era is too modern for me, and even the Revolutionary War period is barely acceptable. The Byzantines from a thousand years ago nicely combine both the exotic and long past criteria.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am working on a couple of projects. One is a brief introduction to 11th century Byzantine history that I’d like to publish. The other is, of course, the next book in the story of Anna Dalassena’s life. As exciting as the first book was, we haven’t even gotten to the good part yet!

Thank you so much for the interview!

Thank you, Eileen! I'm excited to finish Anna's story and see what is in store for her!


Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea by Eileen Stephenson

Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Blachernae Books
Paperback & eBook; 387 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


At the center of Byzantine society, fifteen-year old orphaned Anna Dalassena lives with her grandparents among the most powerful men and women in Constantinople. But the cutthroat politics of the Great Palace sends the family into exile in a distant corner of the mepire. Her bleak situation finally turns promising after meeing a handsome young soldier, John Comnenus, and his brother Isaac, before the are finally permitted to return home.

The vicious power struggles, uprisings, and betrayals at the highest levels of the empire push Anna and John unwillingly into its center as they struggle to deal with their own tragedies. When rebellion puts her life and those of everyone she loves at risk, is the reward a throne for her family - too big a gamble?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


About the Author

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but after a peripatetic childhood ended up in the Washington, DC area, where I attended college, married, worked a day job in finance, and raised three children.

My first book, Tales of Byzantium, contains short stories taking place in the middle years of the Byzantine Empire. My second book and first novel, Imperial Passions - The Porta Aurea, introduces Anna Dalassena, the extraordinary mother of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Comnenus, and an unstoppable force in her time.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 19
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 21
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 22
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, November 23
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, November 26
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 28
Excerpt at Tea Book Blanket

Monday, December 3
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, December 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 6
Excerpt at Introvert Booklover

Friday, December 7
Feature at Jathan & Heather
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, December 10
Review at Bookramblings

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a beautiful Byzantine-style Sterling Silver Bracelet! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 10th. 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.

Imperial Passions


Giveaway: Love That Moves the Sun by Linda Cardillo

Hey everyone! Today on the blog I am hosting a giveaway for Love That Moves the Sun by Linda Cardillo! This released on December 1st, so I'd like to wish the author a very happy (yet belated) pub day! This book sounds like an amazing read!


Love That Moves the Sun by Linda Cardillo

Publication Date: December 1, 2018
Bellastoria Press LLP
eBook & Paperback; 427 Pages

The brilliant poet, Vittoria Colonna, whose longing is buried beneath her grief, ignites the spirit of the artist Michelangelo and challenges him with both the profound terror and fierce beauty of love.

He was a revered sculptor, painter, architect and poet; fiercely devoted friend; beleaguered artist to the popes; and pilgrim in search of redemption.

She was a celebrated poet; dutiful daughter; adoring yet betrayed wife; powerful political voice; spiritual seeker; suspected heretic--and the only woman Michelangelo ever loved.

Praise for Love That Moves the Sun

"Cardillo gives us an intimate, rich, engrossing glimpse into the life of one of the most celebrated poets of the Renaissance and her extraordinary relationship with Michelangelo. Anyone who loves being immersed in historical detail that's woven organically into a seamless narrative will love this beautifully researched and written novel." - Susanne Dunlap, author of Émilie's Voice and Liszt's Kiss

"Cardillo's (Island Legacy, 2017, etc.) latest book is a sweeping historical epic and a sensitively observed exploration of the passionate friendship between Colonna and Michelangelo . . . . Ambitious in scope, the narrative covers 1500 to 1547, shifting between their relationship and Colonna's childhood and adolescence on the island of Ischia, her marriage to Ferrante and his betrayal of her trust, and her development as a poet. While Colonna and Michelangelo's friendship forms the emotional center of the novel, the poet's story and her journey as a woman and a writer are dynamic and multilayered. . . . A stirring and emotionally resonant portrait of a pivotal relationship in the life of Michelangelo." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"An extraordinary novel about an extraordinary woman. Vittoria Colonna, a noblewoman and renowned poet in sixteenth-century Italy, counted among her friends popes, cardinals and nuns, military leaders and scholars, and most significantly, Michelangelo. In this exquisite novel, Linda Cardillo brings the world of Renaissance Italy and this brilliant, heroic woman magnificently to life. Brimming with action and passion, Love That Moves the Sun grabbed hold of me and never let go." - Judith Arnold, USA Today bestselling author

About the Author

LINDA CARDILLO is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS (2007, 2016), ACROSS THE TABLE (2010), THE BOAT HOUSE CAFÉ (2014) and THE UNEVEN ROAD (2016), as well as novellas and children’s fiction. The third book in her First Light trilogy, ISLAND LEGACY, was released in May 2017.

She is also at work on a group of novels set in 16th-century Italy focused on a dynamic group of literary women. The first book in the series, LOVE THAT MOVES THE SUN, is based on the relationship between the artist Michelangelo and the poet Vittoria Colonna, the only woman he ever loved.

In an earlier life Linda worked as an editor of college textbooks before earning an MBA at Harvard Business School at a time when women made up only 15% of the class. Armed with her Harvard degree, she managed the circulation of Inc. magazine during its successful start-up, founded a catering business and then built a career as the author of several works of nonfiction, from articles in The New York Times to books on marketing and corporate policy. She later went on to teach creative writing before the first edition of her debut novel, DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, launched Harlequin’s Everlasting Love series.

With Ann DeFee, Linda is the co-founder of Bellastoria Press (www.bellastoriapress.com), an independent publisher of books about women with grit and gifts, who not only survive but flourish; and wildly imaginative and colorful children's picture books. Bellastoria Press books have been called everything from lyrical and sparkling to quirky and laugh-out-loud. Readers will find stories told from the heart, with an eye for vivid detail, an ear for snappy dialog and a funny bone that gets exercised regularly.

Linda loves to cook and is happiest when the twelve chairs around her dining room table are filled with people enjoying her food. She speaks four languages, some better than others. She plays the piano every night—sometimes by herself and sometimes in an improvisational duet with her younger son. She does The New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in ink, a practice she learned from her mother. From her mother she also absorbed a love of opera, especially those of Puccini and Verdi, whose music filled her home when she was a child. She once climbed Mt. Kenya and has very curly hair.

Visit Linda’s website at www.lindacardillo.com; follow her on Facebook at Linda Cardillo, Author; or write to her at linda@lindacardillo.com.

Giveaway

I have one paperback copy of Love That Moves the Sun up for grabs! Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends on December 11th.

To enter, just leave a comment below. Winner will be notified on December 12th.

Review & Giveaway: A Fisher of Women by Catherine Magia


A Fisher of Women by Catherine Magia

Publication Date: October 3, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 184 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Biblical


When the wife of Simon Peter returns to Galilee, she brings nothing but her faith in an enigmatic carpenter named Jesus, who has an extraordinary gift of healing the sick. But as she spends time in the presence of this divine leader, she discovers the gift of healing comes at a devastating cost. A terrible burden Jesus bears for the sake of his love for humanity.

In her quest to alleviate Jesus’s eternal suffering, the wife of Simon Peter befriends a pagan magician named Helen. Helen possesses a wisdom and healing power exceeded only by Jesus himself, but bears an unsavory reputation. Can Helen be trusted to ease Jesus's suffering? Or is she a rival seeking his ultimate destruction?

Simon Peter is immortalized as a devoted pillar of the early Church. This is the untold story of his wife, forgotten as a healer and invisible to the pages of history. Her journey leads her to understand the inevitable price of healing, and what it truly means to love.

Available on Amazon

Praise for A Fisher of Women

"Catherine Magia has penned an affecting narrative, weaving a woman's journey of discovery with pagan sorcery, ancient medicine, and the Christian faith. Biblical details are given a fresh and unconventional interpretation, particularly the very human suffering of Jesus and the alienation of the sick in this enthralling chronicle of miracles. A thrilling sequel." - Lan Cao, author of The Lotus and the Storm and Monkey Bridge

"Catherine's name springs from the root for magic, which perhaps explains her uncanny skill at conjuring fictional worlds. We quickly fall under the spell of her heroine in A Fisher of Women, the wife of Simon Peter, a healer who learns not only the virtues of plants but the restorative power of forgiveness. Be transported back to Galilee: its fragrant spices, its pagan magicians, its wealth and danger, the golden light in Jesus's eyes. More than a great read -- it's a revelation." - Duncan W. Alderson, author of the Harper's Bazaar Must-Read Magnolia City

"The story is smoothly written, with clear characters, a mix of scripture and historical events presented in an easy to follow manner... Letting go of fear, learning to forgive, and healing with more than just faith, will require a journey Simon Peter's wife did not expect." - Sarah Bradley, Ind'tale Magazine

"Author Catherine Magia presents an intense story of Peter's wife who struggles against many odds, including the her husband's refusal to accept his wife as his equal as a disciple. The story takes place in and around the Sea of Galilee, the home base of the first disciples of Christ, which comes alive in the readers imagination. Familiar biblical characters are portrayed as deeply human, both in their flaws and in their redemptive moments."-E. Ann McIntyre, author of Lazarus of Bethany and Feast of Pontius Pilate, member of Catholic Writers' Guild

My Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

It's been very rewarding to branch out with my reading this year. I've found gems that I wouldn't have otherwise, and that includes A Fisher of Women by Catherine Magia!

A Fisher of Women continues the story of Peter's wife from the first book in the series, The Fisherman's Bride. Having not read the first book I was a little worried that I'd be lost, but I wasn't and now I want to go back to start at the beginning!

Magia is a fabulous story-teller and I was captivated with her beautiful prose. While I'm not a religious person I found this story to be educational and entertaining, both things I look for most when reading historical fiction.

I highly recommend A Fisher of Women for historical fiction fans, especially those that enjoy biblical fiction.

About the Author

Catherine Magia's debut novel The Fisherman's Bride won the 2017 New England Book Festival. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey at the age of ten. At eighteen, she won a creative writing scholarship to Drew University, where she studied political theory and chemistry. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.

She discovered the voice of Simon Peter's wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.

The Fisherman's Bride was described as "unique and authentic" by the Booklife Prize, indie division of Publisher's Weekly. The Historical Novel Society has praised the book as "complex and engaging," while Reader's Favorite Magazine has lauded it as "literature," awarding it the Silver Medal for Historical Christian Fiction.

A Fisher of Women, the sequel to The Fisherman's Bride, was released on October 3rd. She is currently writing and researching the third book of The Fisherwoman Series.

By day, she works as a director of market insights in the development of new cancer medications. She is focused on connecting cancer patients and their stories to the executives and employees of the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently based in Boston.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 3
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 4
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, December 6
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Sunday, December 9
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Monday, December 10
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, December 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, December 13
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, December 14
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Saturday, December 15
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Monday, December 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 19
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of A Fisher of Women! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents 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 has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Fisher of Women


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