Interview with Anna Belfrage + Giveaway for Smoke In Her Eyes

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I have an interview with the awesome Anna Belfrage! The latest book in her Wanderer series is out and it's fabulous! Stay tuned for my review which will be up later today.

Hello Anna and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Smoke in Her Eyes!

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

I’m Anna Belfrage and had I been able to choose the profession I really, really wanted it would have been to be a time traveller. Or a page to Richard Lionheart. Obviously, none of these were a realistic option and instead I ended up a Financial Professional with a passion for history and writing. I have authored the acclaimed series The Graham Saga which is the tory of reluctant time traveller Alex Lind and her 17th century hubby, Matthew Graham. There is an excessively exciting life, let me tell you… I have also written a series set in 14th Century England called The King’s Greatest Enemy which features Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and the political turmoil surrounding Edward II’s reign and deposition. I am very proud to say that I recently found out one of the books in that series was awarded a First by the Chaucer Awards! Now, I have just published smoke in Her Eyes, the second in a trilogy called The Wanderer, which is the story of Jason and Helle, fated lovers since the Earth began.

What inspired you to write Smoke in Her Eyes?

I’ve had the story of Jason and Helle lurking about in my brain for years, a story of ancient lovers cruelly separated in their first life but finally given a chance to reunite 3 000 years later. It’s not easy, let me tell you…

I absolutely love the title, how did you come up with it?

Probably because all the time I was writing this book, I kept on hearing “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” in my head. Love that song, even if it always leaves me a bit teary. I wanted a title that indicated sadness and a little heartbreak – and in this book Helle finds out the hard way that loving can hurt—a lot.

What research did you undertake when writing Smoke in Her Eyes?

Very little as this is set in our time and is essentially a fast-paced rather steamy romantic suspense. I did read up on possession – the arcane art of taking over someone’s mind and soul—and was somewhat amazed that so many seem to believe this is a “real” thing, i.e. people out there believe demons can possess you. I would like to make it very, very clear that I do NOT believe it is possible—but it is a great concept to play around with!

What would you like readers to take away from reading Smoke in Her Eyes?

I’ve tried to weave an ancient conflict between good and bad into the warp of a love story that transcends time. I would love people to come away believing love is worth it—even if at times you have to wait 3 000 years before you get to a Happily Ever After. Having said that, Jason and Helle are still not at their HEA moment. They just think they are…. He he he *rubs hands in evil glee*

What was your favorite scene to write?

Well, I do love my love scenes 😊 I also enjoyed writing from Sam’s perspective. Sam Woolf is the very, very bad guy in Jason’s and Helle’s complicated life. He too has been around since yonks and he is determined to destroy Jason and “claim” Helle as his. “When Hell freezes over,” Helle assures him, but sometimes Woolf comes very close to achieving what he wants. By giving him his own voice in this book, I can add layers to all that evil, add touches of frustrated loss, or anger.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Some readers seem to feel the more introspective scenes – the chapters in which Helle’s and Jason’s fated love seems to eb rapidly going down the drain—are abit slow. I find them intensely moving and very difficult to get right, so as to steer clear of melodrama while still conveying the anguish both Helle and Jason are feeling. Then, of course, there is a very, very nasty scene involving multiple TV screens and Helle chained to a chair that still has me breaking out in a sweat.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I had read all the Bobbsey Twin books in the school library and realized that if I wanted more, I’d need to write it myself.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Ahhh…the famous routine. I think my challenge is to find blocks of undisturbed writing time as there is so much else to do as a writer, very much of that focused on trying to increase visibility. Generally, I invest three hours every morning on the promotional aspect of things and hope to have two-three hours in the afternoon to create.

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

The greatest challenge is to make people discover you. A never-ending task, I believe.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Very, very many. When it comes to my exploration of Romantic Suspense, I just have to mention Jayne Ann Krentz. I do not write like her—I do not want to write like her, as I have my own voice—but I learn SO much from reading her books about how to construct a plot, how to write dialogue, how to make the characters that more human by giving them a quirk or two. When I’m doing my Historical stuff, obvious inspirations are Sharon K Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick as well as Pamela Belle and Edith Pargetter.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I’m not sure I remember. It was probably a book by Henry Treece or Rosemary Sutcliffe

What is the last historical novel you read?

I’ve just finished an excellent Historical Romance by Anna Campbell and I am halfway through a Historical in Spanish called Canción de Sangre y Oro. Great book set in 13th century Sicily and Aragon

What are three things people may not know about you?

Hmmm… Well, let’s see: I only drink tea—the only time I drink coffee is when I’m pregnant and should that happen again it would be a biological miracle. I have a thing about boots. Hubby says I have boots enough to see me through the rest of my (hopefully long) remaining life. I’m not so sure: can one have enough boots? I sing a lot: in the shower, while cooking, when I’m walking the dog…

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

Genres, not genre 😊 When it comes to my historicals, I guess the desire to time travel takes over. I love submerging myself in the past, blowing life into long-dead peeps, whether invented or real and creating a historical context that springs into vibrant life. When it comes to Romantic suspense, I guess I’m a sucker for him-and-her stories in which the challenge is to survive all the scary stuff the baddies hurl at my leading couple.

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

I read a lot of Regency, have a preference for books set in medieval times or in the 17th century.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing? Doesn’t happen that often, but when it does I like taking long, long walks or binge-watching TV

Lastly, what are you working on next?

A lot. I have a new series set in 13th century England and Spain, I have the last book in the Jason and Helle story due out this autumn, I have a couple of ideas for a new time-travel series (well, two different series), I am thinking of writing yet another installment in The Graham Saga and wouldn’t you know but that Adam de Guirande, my 14th century knight, is about to gallop off on new adventures. Then there’s the book about Sofia Carolina and Jon Crowne, him an exiled English royalist, she an unwilling confidante to Queen Kristina of Sweden and finally these last few weeks a certain Darius Bruce and Zadie Tamaris have been very much to the forefront, a sort of very indirect spin-off to my Jason and Helle series. I guess the conclusion is that my main challenge is not a lack of ideas but of time…

Wow, I am so excited for your your new stuff in the works! I can't wait to read the last Wanderer book, such a great series!

Smoke In Her Eyes by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: March 15, 2019
Timelight Press
eBook & Paperback; 352 Pages

Series: The Wanderer, Book Two
Genre: Romance/Erotica/Paranormal

Six months ago, Helle Madsen would have described herself as normal. Now she no longer knows if that terms applies, not after her entire life has been turned upside down by the reappearance of not one, but two, men from her very, very distant past.

Helle Madsen never believed in mumbo-jumbo stuff like reincarnation—until she came face to face with Jason Morris, a man who purportedly had spent fifty lives looking for her. Coping with being reunited with the lover from her ancient past was one thing. Having Sam Woolf, her vindictive nemesis from that same ancient past join the party was a bit too much. Suddenly, Helle finds herself the reluctant heroine of a far-flung, time-transcending epic story, one in which pain and loss seem to play a very big part.

This time round, Jason and Helle are determined to make it to the happily ever after. Unfortunately, Sam Woolf will stop at nothing to crush them. That ride into the golden sunset seems awfully far away at times…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.

Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…)

With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website,, You can also connect with Anna on FacebookTwitterAmazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 30
Feature at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, May 1
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, May 6
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, May 8
Interview at The Book Connection

Thursday, May 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, May 13
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Tuesday, May 14
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, May 17
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, May 18
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, May 20
Review at Bookish

Thursday, May 23
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Monday, May 27
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 28
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 31
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away two copies of Smoke In Her Eyes by Anna Belfrage! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 31st. 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 suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Smoke in Her Eyes

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