Review & Giveaway: The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot


The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot

Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Flores Publishing
eBook; 452 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance


Legend, history, and passion collide in this gritty, evocative, and sensual story about history's most notorious price and the woman who paid love's ultimate price.

The year is 1464, and young King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula.

Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the Hunyadi family. It is love at first sight…but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.

This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to a man tortured by his past comes with a price.

Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.

With Bardot’s decadent period detail and a cast of gritty evocative characters, The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century.

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I've been fascinated with Vlad Dracula since I was a little girl. Don't judge, I was a little macabre as a kid :) I haven't read much about him as an adult so I jumped super quick to pick up The Impaler's Wife and I am so glad that I did. It's phenomenal! Author Autumn Bardot expertly crafted a fascinating look into Vlad's life and his relationship with his wife, Ilona. I did not want to put it down!

It was dark, twisted, passionate, sexy, and absolutely riveting!

The Impaler's Wife starts off at the coronation of King Matthias of Hungary when his cousin, Ilona, meets his political prisoner, Vlad who is a Prince of Wallachia. Despite the machinations of her Aunt who wanted her sister to marry Vlad, Ilona steals his heart and they begin their life together. Jumping back and forth in time we also get glimpses into Vlad's youth, where he spent much of his childhood as a prisoner with his brother in order to make his father the King behave. Vlad honed his violent tendencies and acquires his infamous torture method of impaling from his enemies.

Ilona's character was great and a perfect match for Vlad. Despite his violent past and rumored temper, she is drawn to him. They were a great match in bed too :) Be prepared for some sexy scenes!

"A storm rages inside Vlad Dracula, one you must learn to control and subdue."

There's nothing better than reading a book that makes you think about it all day until you can finally sit down to read it and that was The Impaler's Wife for me. I cannot wait to read more from Autumn Bardot!

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and erotica about sassy women and daring passions!

Her erotic fiction includes Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World, published by Cleis Press. Confessions of a Sheba Queen (erotica) will be available Jan 2020.

The Impaler's Wife is her debut historical fiction, releasing in April 2019.

Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching literary analysis for fourteen years

When Autumn’s not writing or working, you'll find her hanging out with her ever-growing family, spoiled husband, and pampered rescue pooch. Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, June 4
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, June 5
Review at Amy's Booket List

Friday, June 7
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, June 10
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, June 11
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, June 17
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, June 18
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, June 21
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 25
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, July 2
Review at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, July 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, July 4
Review & Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, July 5
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one paperback copy of the Impaler's Wife! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– 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 a new winner is chosen.

The Impaler's Wife


Book Blast & Giveaway: Lacewood by Jessica James

Happy Monday, dear readers! Today on the blog I am hosting the Lacewood Book Blast! You can read all about the new release from Jessica James below and enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!


Lacewood by Jessica James

Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Patriot Press
eBook; 348 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime…

Part love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about trusting in fate, letting go of the past, and believing in things that can’t be seen.

MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.

Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.

The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled.

Rich in emotion and poignant in its telling, Lacewood is an unforgettable story about love and loss, roots and belonging…and spirits of the past that refuse to be quieted.

A haunting story from award-winning author Jessica James that connects the past with the present—and the present with eternity.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Jessica James is an award-winning author of suspense, historical fiction, and military fiction ranging from the Revolutionary War to modern day. Her highly acclaimed Civil War novel Shades of Gray won numerous national literary awards, and is often compared to Gone with the Wind.

By weaving the principles of courage, devotion, duty, and dedication into each book, James attempts to honor the unsung heroes of the American military--past and present--and to convey the magnitude of their sacrifice and service. Her novels appeal to both men and women and are featured in library collections all over the United States including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.

James resides in Gettysburg, Pa., and is a member of the Military Writers Society of America, NINC, Sisters in Crime, and the Romance Writers of America. She is a two-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and was featured in the book 50 Authors You Should Be Reading, published in 2010.

Sign up for her free newsletter at www.jessicajamesbooks.com and ask for a free copy of From the Heart: Civil War Love Letters and Stories. You can also find Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, June 18
To Read, Or Not to Read
Book Reviews from Canada
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, June 19
A Book Geek
Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, June 20
CelticLady's Reviews
What Is That Book About

Friday, June 21
A Darn Good Read
Just One More Chapter

Saturday, June 22
The Book Junkie Reads

Sunday, June 23
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, June 24
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 25
Locks, Hooks and Books
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, June 26
Maiden of the Pages
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, June 27
Coffee and Ink
100 Pages a Day

Friday, June 28
The Lit Bitch
Let Them Read Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– 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 a new winner is chosen.

Lacewood


Interview & Giveaway: The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot

Happy Friday, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to be sharing my interview with Autumn Bardot! Autumn is currently on blog tour for The Impaler's Wife, a historical about Vlad Dracula and his wife. I started it last night and I AM HOOKED! It's SO good! It's taking every bit of will power I have today to work and not sneak away to read it :)


Hello Autumn and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Impaler’s Wife!

Thank you for having me and shining your post on a new author. I’m grateful for the opportunity to chat about books!

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

I write historical fiction and historical erotica about courageous women and daring passions.

The Impaler’s Wife is my debut historical fiction! To date, I’ve written 8 books—3 historical fiction and 2 historical erotica. Cleis Press publishes my historical erotica. Legends of Lust debuted in January, and Confessions of a Sheba Queen is scheduled for release January 2020.

I’ve also written 3 paranormal romances with another pen name.

I’m a wife, mom, and high school teacher who loves to write about fearless women in history because, ladies, we need to embrace our power!

What inspired you to write The Impaler’s Wife?

Several years ago, I bought a fun book about little-known women in history. Each page had a sketch and a sassy bio. One of those women was Ilona, Dracula’s Hungarian wife. The blurb portrayed Dracula as the stereotypical evil prince. That bugged me because he’s a hero in Romania. I wanted to know more about the real man, so I purchased an out-of-print book from the foremost Dracula experts. I was blown away! His early life was heart-wrenching, but sadly, all too common for heir apparents in the medieval ages.

I knew after reading that little blurb that I had to write a novel about Ilona—from her perspective as a smitten and ambitious noblewoman. It was a risk. Readers expect anything with Dracula to be about bloodsucking and neck biting. I wanted to portray the man through two lenses, that of history and that of the woman who loves him.

What research did you undertake when writing The Impaler’s Wife?

I researched intensely for a month or two before even outlining. Good thing I love researching, right?

Not only did I read, mark up, and highlight (I see you cringing) that out-of-print book, I also purchased books about the middle ages, including a 10-lb tome dedicated to the clothing of the era. Next up, internet research. Anything from indigenous foliage to legends, to topography, to castles, to weaponry, to, well, you get the picture. (Confession: Details are important to me.) Research was ongoing through the first several drafts. I prefer going to the primary source if possible. I’ll also consult several sources on the same subject.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Hands down, the scene where Vlad and Ilona are in the labyrinth under Buda Castle. It was a key scene, one where I introduce the legends and superstitions of both Hungary and Romania, reveal more of their character, and foreshadow their relationship, as well as other events in the book. It was sexy, sensual, frightening, and creepy all at once. It also leaves the reader on edge.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

For me, there are technical difficulties (all that literary stuff) and emotional difficulties (when a scene takes a lot out of you). There’s one scene in the middle that was quite challenging. I incorporate many of the well-known stories about The Impaler. How true are they? Who knows? But it’s part of Romanian lore. One was particularly horrifying but also understandable given the time period. After writing that scene I actually got up and walked around the house for a bit. (Hint: Vlad discovers his mistress is lying to him about her pregnancy.) A quick look at the world news, however, reminded me that medieval atrocities are still present in other countries today.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

My mom says I wrote as soon as I held a crayon. Evidently, I scribbled across a paper and told her it was a story. I didn’t get serious until five decades later. Writing is my obsession and Happy Place. I’d rather write than shop, which explains why my daughters are always trying to drag me to the mall for wardrobe updates.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Oh, it’s super glamourous!
• After work from 4 pm to 10 pm
• Weekends from 8 am to 10 pm, minus visits with children and grandbabies
• Summer break from morning to night, minus swimming laps and visits with family

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

I have a pretty challenging job and a grueling commute on a congested California freeway, so getting the most out of the precious time left in the day is an ongoing struggle. There’s only so much one can do after work or on the weekends. It’s annoying to have so much to write about but so little time to do it. Unfortunately, there’s no overcoming this obstacle. Quitting the day job isn’t possible. I try (unsuccessfully) not to worry about it and get done what I can.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Lisa See, Diana Gabaldon, Ken Follett, James Rollins, Jean Auel, Christian Jacq, Ken Follett, Susan Howatch, Wilbur Smith, Preston and Child, and the Grand Dame herself, Agatha Christie. I left out hundreds more.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Probably Gone With The Wind.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The Ramses series by Christian Jacq. I have The Book of the Saladin By Tariq Ali in the queue because I’m thinking about teaching it.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. My spirit animal is an octopus because I multi-task, spit ink, and love the water.
2. I’ve been married 3 times. Number 3 is a keeper.
3. No one at work knows my pen names.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love learning about the time period and all the cool historical details that go along with it. History is fascinating to me.

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

The ancient and medieval time periods are my favorites.

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

Hang out with my family, swim, and read. Sometimes I’ll bake.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

There’s plenty of multi-tasking happening in the next few months. I get the most done during summer because I’m home all day. This summer is super-crazy busy. I’m
~ revising a paranormal romance
~ working on final edits for Confessions of a Sheba Queen
~ writing the 4th and final book for the paranormal romance series
~ working on final edits for Dragon Lady
~ drinking a lot of coffee!

What’s coming next?

Dragon Lady (historical fiction) will be released this summer.
The Emperor’s Assassin (historical fiction) will be released this fall.
Confessions of a Sheba Queen (historical erotica/ Cleis Press) will be released January 2020.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to chat!

Historical fiction lovers don’t be shy. It always makes my day when you message me. Usually, I get back to messages on Facebook pretty fast (octopus here, remember).
Also, I’m always looking for ARC readers. Subscribing to my newsletter is the easiest way to get in on the swag and ARCs.

You can find me at:

• Autumn Bardot.com http://www.autumnbardot.com
• Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AutumnBardotAuthor
• Facebook Group: Club Autumn: https://www.facebook.com/groups/618642738598179
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/autumnbardot/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/autumnbardot
• Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/autumn-bardot
• Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Bardot/e/B07DMC7ZB6
• Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AutumnBardot
• Wattpad: https://wattpad.com/user/AutumnBardot
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/autumnbardot

Thank you so much for stopping by to talk with us today! I cannot wait to read your future works!


The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot

Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Flores Publishing
eBook; 452 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance


Legend, history, and passion collide in this gritty, evocative, and sensual story about history's most notorious price and the woman who paid love's ultimate price.

The year is 1464, and young King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula.

Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the Hunyadi family. It is love at first sight…but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.

This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to a man tortured by his past comes with a price.

Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.

With Bardot’s decadent period detail and a cast of gritty evocative characters, The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century.

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and erotica about sassy women and daring passions!

Her erotic fiction includes Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World, published by Cleis Press. Confessions of a Sheba Queen (erotica) will be available Jan 2020.

The Impaler's Wife is her debut historical fiction, releasing in April 2019.

Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching literary analysis for fourteen years

When Autumn’s not writing or working, you'll find her hanging out with her ever-growing family, spoiled husband, and pampered rescue pooch. Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, June 4
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, June 5
Review at Amy's Booket List

Friday, June 7
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, June 10
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, June 11
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, June 17
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, June 18
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, June 21
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 25
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, July 2
Review at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, July 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, July 4
Review & Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, July 5
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one paperback copy of the Impaler's Wife! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– 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 a new winner is chosen.

The Impaler's Wife


Interview with Marilyn Pemberton, author of The Jewel Garden



Hello Marilyn and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Jewel Garden!

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

I have always worked in I.T. and am still a full-time project manager, although I am planning to retire at the end of 2019 (and am counting the months). I didn’t go to university after school but at the age of 40, I decided I wanted to exercise the right side of my brain and so commenced a part-time BA in English literature at Warwick University. This progressed to an MA and then to a Ph.D. on the utopian & dystopian aspects of Victorian fairy tales. After giving a paper at a conference I was approached by a publisher who suggested I gather together some lesser known fairy tales and as a result Enchanted Ideologies: A Collection of Rediscovered Nineteenth-Century English Moral Fairy Tales was published by The True Bill Press in 2010.

During my research, I “discovered” Mary De Morgan, a Victorian writer of fairy tales, amongst many other things. I became somewhat obsessed with De Morgan and as I wanted to share my research I wrote Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan, which was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2012. I felt bereft once the book was published and wanted to continue writing, so I joined a writing group and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

What inspired you to write The Jewel Garden?

Although I had written the biography of Mary De Morgan, there was still a lot I didn’t know. For instance, why had she never married, what triggered her going to live in Egypt, how on earth did she become a directress of a girls’ reformatory in Helouan? As I wanted to continue to write it was a fairly easy decision to write a fictional account of Mary De Morgan’s life and fill in these gaps myself. I decided to write from a fictional protagonist’s point of view and imagine if she had been Mary’s close friend, even thinking herself to be in love with her. So Hannah Russell was born.

What research did you undertake when writing The Jewel Garden?

I had done most of my research on Mary herself when I wrote her biography. But I now had to research more about what Hannah and Mary would have actually experienced. What happened, for instance, during their “do good” visits to one of the East End families, how might they have travelled to Lynton for their holiday together, what would it have been like to attend a Fabian Society talk or a Jewish wedding, how would they have travelled to Egypt, what would life in the girls’ reformatory have been like, how would Hannah have coped with Mary’s death (spoiler alert!), how might Mary’s mother’s spiritualism have affected Mary and Hannah?

What was your favorite scene to write?

Surprisingly enough, the scenes where Hannah is grieving at the loss of her friend.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Probably the scene when Hannah realizes how she has misunderstood her relationship with Mary.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I realized that I didn’t want to stop writing once the biography had been published but that I wanted to continue and tell stories. This was at the age of 60.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Up until recently I only ever wrote at weekends. I still have a stressful full-time job and I never seemed to have the energy or inclination to write in the evenings. I started by doing all the other “writerly” things that have to be done as well as the novel: writing my infrequent blog, submitting to competitions, writing articles for journals or talks I sometimes give at libraries. This all takes time but eventually, I sit and continue to write the next scenes I have plotted and been thinking about during the week.

However, I got rid of my TV a few weeks ago, and although I can’t say I have a routine, I find that without the temptation of the TV I now am quite happy to turn on the laptop and do some writing, even if it is just for an hour or so. I will probably get all the non-novel-writing tasks out of the way during the week in order to leave the weekends clear for the main project.

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

I suppose lack of time. I have decided to retire at the end of 2019 (earlier than originally planned by 9 months) and one of the reasons is so that I can spend more time on doing the things I love, such as walking, gardening, decorating and WRITING.

Who are your writing inspirations?

All the authors of books I read; either to write better than them or as good as them. They are all published, so I can be too.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I have been reading for the last 60 odd years and I can’t recall the very first historical novel I ever read. As a child I loved the Biggles books by W. E Johns - they were set in the 2nd World War, are they classed as historical? I don’t think this was the first “proper” historical novel I read as an adult, but I have always remembered reading and loving The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse.

What are three things people may not know about you?

My mother was born in Egypt, although she was of Maltese (and therefore British) nationality.

I have been married more times than I like to admit to anyone.

My second child, Philippa, died at 3 months old.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love imagining how things might have been rather than what they are now. I love the research side of writing historical novels and I love thinking about how people might have lived and loved.

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

I tend to gravitate to an author rather than a period.

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

Reading, doing crosswords, walking, planning what to do when I retire.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

My second novel, Song of the Nightingale, is waiting to be snapped up by literary agents (ha!). It tells of two young Italian boys who are bought from their poor parents, castrated, and sent to a conservatoire to be taught to sing. The novel spans ten years and is told in the first person from the point of view of the boys’ guardian, Philippe. The fate of the boys as castrati is an integral part of the tale, of course, but it is also a story of adulterous passion, deceit, murderous revenge, guilt, and enduring love.

I am now working on my third novel, Grandmothers’ Footsteps. It will tell of four generations of women and their attempts to tell “herstories” through their writing to a world deaf to the female voice. I am interested in the re-telling of stories, especially the fairy tale, through the centuries, and I will weave my own throughout the book as a link between the women.

That sounds amazing, I can't wait to read both of those books! Thank you for spending time with us today, Marilyn!


The Jewel Garden by Marilyn Pemberton

Publication Date: February 28, 2018
Williams & Whiting
eBook & Paperback; 388 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1912582037

Genre: Historical Fiction


It was a time when women were starting to rebel against Victorian conventions and to strive for their independence. This is a story of Hannah Russell’s physical, emotional and artistic journey from the back streets of the East End of London to the noisy souks and sandy wastes of Egypt; from the labyrinthine canals of Venice to the lonely corridors of Russell Hall in Kent. Hannah thinks she has found love with Mary De Morgan, a writer of fairy tales and one of William Morris’s circle of friends. But where there is devotion there can also be deceit and where there is hope there also dwells despair.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Marilyn Pemberton has always worked in IT and is still a full-time project manager, but is hoping to retire very soon. At the age of 40, she decided she wanted to exercise the right side of her brain and so commenced a part-time BA in English literature. This progressed to an MA and then to a PhD on the utopian & dystopian aspects of Victorian fairy tales. During her research, Marilyn “discovered” Mary De Morgan, a Victorian writer of fairy tales, amongst many other things. She became somewhat obsessed with De Morgan and as she wanted to share her research she wrote Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan, which was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2012. Despite her intensive research, there were still many gaps in her knowledge and because she just could not let De Morgan, or the act of writing, go she decided to write a fictional novel based on De Morgan’s life – the result being "The Jewel Garden."

Marilyn is currently looking for representation for her second novel, "Song of the Nightingale," which is set in 18th century Italy and tells of two young boys who are bought from their families, castrated and then trained to be singers. The fate of the boys as castrati is an integral part of the tale, of course, but it is also a story of adulterous passion, deceit, murderous revenge, guilt, and enduring love. Marilyn is now working on a third novel called "Grandmothers' Footsteps" that will tell of four generations of women and their attempts to tell their “herstories” to a world deaf to the female voice.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 17
Excerpt at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, June 18
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Interview at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, June 19
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, June 20
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, June 21
Review at Book Reviews from Canada
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, June 22
Guest Post at Book Reviews from Canada

Sunday, June 23
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, June 24
Review at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, June 25
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Review: God's Children by Mabli Roberts


God's Children by Mabli Roberts

Publication Date: April 11, 2019
Honno Press
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

'Kate Marsden: nurse, intrepid adventurer, saviour of the lepers or devious manipulator, immoral and dishonest?'

As she lies on her deathbed visited by the ghosts of her past, who should we believe, Kate or those who accuse her of duplicity? Memory is a fickle thing: recollections may be frozen in time or distorted by the mirror of wishful thinking. Kate’s own story is one of incredible achievements, illicit love affairs and desperate longing; those of her accusers paint a very different portrait – of a woman determined on fame and fortune.

The reader navigates a narrative as fractured as the Siberian ice Kate crosses in search of a cure for leprosy, and as beautiful as Rose, her lost love, as the full picture emerges of a life lived when women were not expected to break the mould.

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

God's Children is an eye-opening and compelling novel based on the life of Kate Marsden, a nurse who is determined to find a cure for Leprosy. She travels to Siberia in search of a mysterious flower that was rumored to be the cure and to ultimately build a hospital to care for the Lepers.

It was heartwrenching to read how Lepers were treated back then. They were run off and left to fend for themselves in remote areas. Too awful for words.

Roberts chronicles the hardships Kate endured, from her dangerous travels through Siberia (you won't believe what she went through!), the shunning from the public because of her dealings with the lepers, and journalists who questioned her true intentions. She came through it all with the grace of a woman who knows her true heart and fierce determination to take care of God's most afflicted creatures.

The book jumps back and forth from before, during, and after Siberia. Some may not like the time jumps, but I thought it worked well, and the story paced nicely.

I found Kate to be a truly fascinating woman! Her drive and conviction are inspiring, and I am so glad that I got to learn about her.

Thanks to Emma and Damp Pebbles for my tour invite!

About the Author

Mabli Roberts lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and has worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport. Most of her inspiration comes from her love of history and from long walks in the timeless landscape around her.

Mabli also writes as Paula Brackston, PJ Brackston and PJ Davy. Nutters was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award and The Witch’s Daughter was a New York Times bestseller.

Her work has been translated into five languages and is sold around the world. You can find out more about her books on her website, her Author’s Facebook page and YouTube channel as well as the God's Children Facebook page.


Review & Giveaway: The Chef's Secret by Crystal King


The Chef's Secret by Crystal King

Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Atria Books
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction


A captivating novel of Renaissance Italy detailing the mysterious life of Bartolomeo Scappi, the legendary chef to several popes and author of one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time, and the nephew who sets out to discover his late uncle’s secrets—including the identity of the noblewoman Bartolomeo loved until he died.

When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair.

As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes.

With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.

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

Praise for The Chef's Secret

"King’s characters are drawn as lovingly, as sensually as the food and the Vatican world she describes, and the plot itself — part secret-code mystery, part love story — moves like a well-paced meal." (Boston Globe)

“King supplies all of the elements historical fiction fans expect in a juicy Renaissance tale, including luscious meals, erotic interludes, and deaths by poison and blade. This rich tale should satisfy the appetites of fans of historicals.” (Publishers Weekly)

"In The Chef’s Secret, Crystal King serves up a delectable read stuffed with passion, danger, and a plot worthy of Dan Brown. This fast-paced, engrossing novel brings Renaissance Rome and the Vatican to life through the eyes of a famous papal chef. You won’t be able to put it down." (Stephanie Storey, author of Oil and Marble)

"A veritable feast for the senses, The Chef's Secret is part mystery, part love story, and all sumptuous sixteenth-century Italy. This tale of one of the world's first celebrity chefs—Bartolomeo Scappi, a DaVinci of Renaissance cuisine—sent me on a quest to know more, and to my kitchen to experiment—a sign of a great historical novel. Readers will delight in a plot as juicy as Scappi's braised beef!" (Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris)

“The Chef’s Secret is a sumptuous buffet, serving up a love story (two of them!); mystery and suspense so thick you could cut it with, well, a chef’s knife; and such a vibrant panorama of Ancient Rome you’ll feel you’ve walked its streets and inhabited its kitchens. Anyone who loves history, food, a great story—read this novel! Warning: it will make you hungry.” (Jenna Blum, New York Times and international bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family)

"Crystal King’s The Chef’s Secret is a fabulous immersion in the world of Renaissance Italy, full of passion, intrigue, secrets, danger, and of course food. Come hungry!" (Melodie Winawer, author of The Scribe of Siena)

“With adventure, engaging characters, and an absorbing mystery, King expertly blends fact with fiction, intrigue, and a powerful love story. Well written and perfectly paced, The Chef's Secret is a fascinating immersion into sixteenth-century Italian life, an introduction to the world's first celebrity chef, and a reminder of the power of food to influence a civilization.” (Booklist)

“King twists in romance, mystery, cultural richness, and some zesty research. Scappi’s secrets are unveiled at a pace that simmers with intrigue…Mixed together with decadent banquets and sweeping historical detail, King has a recipe that entices the senses… vibrant in both visual and flavorful detail.” (Historical Novel Review)

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Warning: Don't read this book on an empty stomach!

Scrumptious food, mystery, and forbidden romance merge in a masterful way in this un-put-down-able historical from Crystal King!

When Bartolomeo Scappi, a famous Italian chef who works for the Pope, dies he gives his estate to his beloved nephew and protege Giovanni, along with a box of letters and journals that Bartolomeo expressly asked for him to burn. Unable to do so before finding out what is in them, Giovanni's curiosity gets the better of him and what he reads sets off a series of secret-revealing and adventure! Add in secret passageways (heck yes!) and secretly coded letters and you've got one exciting read! I was flippin' those pages like you wouldn't believe! I think I devoured (pun intended) this book in hours.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Rome and Florence in my senior year of high school and this book brought me back to that amazing place! I can't wait to go back and look at it through the eyes of a historical fiction reader and adult. Maybe Crystal will need an assistant on her next research trip :) heehee!

You seriously should pick up The Chef's Secret! It was exquisitely written and researched, and Crystal really knows how to bring Italy and it's amazing culinary talents to life! Loved, loved, loved! I cannot wait to go back and read her first book, The Feast of Sorrow, and will be anxiously awaiting her next one!

About the Author

Crystal King is the author of THE CHEF'S SECRET and FEAST OF SORROW. A culinary enthusiast and social media professional, her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. A Pushcart-nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 18
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, June 20
Review at My Reading Chronicles
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Friday, June 21
Review at Amy's Booket List
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, June 24
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, June 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, June 26
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Review at Orange County Readers

Thursday, June 27
Review at Book Frolic
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, June 28
Review at Mama's Reading Corner
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, July 1
Review at Comet Readings
Review at Stephanie's Novel Fiction

Tuesday, July 2
Review at Melissa Reads
Review at Clarissa Reads it All

Wednesday, July 3
Review at Henry and Benny's Book Nook
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 4
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, July 5
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Girls Just Reading
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a set of Feast of Sorrow and The Chef's Secret! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– 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 a new winner is chosen.

The Chef's Secret


Interview & Giveaway: The Chef's Secret by Crystal King

Good morning, dear readers! Welcome to my stop on Crystal King's blog tour for The Chef's Secret! Today I will be hosting an interview with Crystal and later on I will be posting my review. Sneak peek...I LOVED it!

Hope you enjoy the interview!


Hello Crystal and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Chef’s Secret!

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

I’m Crystal King, the author of The Chef’s Secret and Feast of Sorrow, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. I’m an author, culinary enthusiast, and social media professor. My writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. I have taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University, as well as at GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. Many years ago, I started out writing poetry and was honored to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I also founded and co-edited the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review. I received my MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where I developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers stuck in the middle of their work. Hopefully, someday that will be a book too!

What inspired you to write The Chef’s Secret?

When I was doing research for Feast of Sorrow and wanted to understand more about the ancient Roman gourmand Apicius, I kept coming across the name Bartolomeo Scappi as one of the most important chefs in the history of Italian cuisine. I picked up the cookbook more out of curiosity than anything else. But I found that the cookbook is very readable and there is a lot of really fascinating information about the various regions where the food is from and about Bartolomeo's employers in the papal kitchen, and the various Cardinals he worked for. But there's not much about him and his life. There's a few small details like his nephew and apprentice, Giovanni, worked for him, and we know about the banquets that he created for his wealthy employers. But we don't have any idea where he lived or how much money he made or if he was in love or if he had any children. And so I thought, this has to be my next book, I want to explore his life.

What research did you undertake when writing The Chef’s Secret?

I begin my research usually when I'm reading other books, other histories. I spend a great deal of time trying to understand everything I can about my real characters and the time in which they lived. Which means, in this case, it was a bunch of books about Renaissance Italy, and books about food in that time. Once I had the structure of the book, I headed to Italy, setting up meetings with historians, with food experts, and taking tours of the places where my novel is set. One of the locations in the book, the inn where the climax of the story takes place, is set in the little boutique hotel we stay in every time we go to Rome, Casa Dei Coronari. The proprietors shared a lot of information about the Renaissance building and its owners, and were kind enough to show me one of the remaining arches of the street behind the hotel, la Via Dei Tre Archi, which is hidden, essentially, in the garage behind the building! It’s that kind of thing that is amazing to me--being able to look into the past and find creative ways to bring those findings to present readers.

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Chef’s Secret?

I hope that the book whets their appetite a bit--it’s full of incredible feasts and food. I also hope they learn something new. It’s set in a rich time frame of the Renaissance, and Bartolomeo Scappi was the world’s first celebrity chef. I hope that others find him as fascinating as I did.

What was your favorite scene to write?

This is a hard question because there are so many enjoyable scenes that I wrote. Maybe the scene with Michelangelo, because it was a fun scene, and was more of a nod to the great master than anything else. Scappi and Michelangelo worked at the Vatican at the same time, and I like to think that the two might have known each other.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The scenes with code! Writing in cipher isn’t easy at all. I lucked out and found a site online that helped me generate much of the code, but there was still wrangling and testing it out to make sure that it worked. I also had to write the passage in Italian (which my friend and tutor, Graziella Machetta proofread) and then translated it. I wanted to make sure it was right, for anyone that was diehard enough to try and check it. So far, no one has bothered, ha!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t remember exactly when, but I was quite young when I began writing. I was always writing stories and poems as a kid. I never played with dolls and was only interested in books. I remember going to a Young Authors conference of some sort when I was about ten and I met Madeleine L'Engle. I loved her books so much as a child and to meet the person who created them was hugely inspiring to me.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

It’s not daily, for one! I write mostly on weekends, usually on Sundays. I have a day job as a social media professor and coming home and writing at night is just too draining.

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

That I also have a fulltime job! But yes, my two books out in the world shows that anyone can do it.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I have so many that it’s very hard to really pick one. I love Italo Calvino, M.F.K. Fisher, Neil Gaiman, Anais Nin, and Gunter Grass to name a few. I wrote a blog post once about my top 100 books if you want a bit more insight into my bookish loves.

What was the first historical fiction book you read?

I was reading by the time I was 3 years old, and have always read voraciously. I even won a medal in 1st grade for reading 100 books in a year. So I have NO idea. There have been so many through the years. Maybe Johnny Tremain or Old Yeller.

What is the last historical fiction book you read?

She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore. It’s a beautiful tale of historical, magical realism about the formation of Liberia.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. I’m a gamer. Most people are surprised to hear that, but I love good, story-rich fantasy and sci-fi games like Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls games, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed (if you love history, the AC games are SO amazing), and so many more.

2. I’m terrified of going to the dentist. My father recently told me that when I was a kid I could always feel the drill through the laughing gas, so I imagine that’s why.

3. If you’ve been to my house, you’d know this, but my husband and I collect Shepard Fairey (of Obey Giant and the Obama “Hope” poster fame) prints.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love the research. Digging into the past is so much fun. Uncovering all the layers and figuring out how to fill the gaps in between what we know and what we don’t is extraordinarily satisfying. I feel like a god (all that world-building!) and a detective all at once.

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

I actually tend to read a lot of fantasy, which may also surprise some people. I have several shelved fantasy novels that I might dig out of the drawer some day. I do read a lot of ancient historical fiction and Medieval/Renaissance era fiction, however. I tend to like things set before the 1600s best. It feels more foreign and I like employing my imagination toward that. I also read a lot of historical novels set in Italy, from any era. I’m a bit obsessed with il bel paese.

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

That whole gaming thing. ;-) I love video games because to me they feel more active than watching TV. I’m adventuring, making decisions and participating in a story.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m working on a novel that is set at the same time as The Chef’s Secret, about Vincenzo Cervio, the meat carver to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. And perhaps Bartolomeo Scappi will make an appearance!

Oh yay! I loved Bartolomeo! I will be waiting ever so impatiently for your next release!



The Chef's Secret by Crystal King

Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Atria Books
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction


A captivating novel of Renaissance Italy detailing the mysterious life of Bartolomeo Scappi, the legendary chef to several popes and author of one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time, and the nephew who sets out to discover his late uncle’s secrets—including the identity of the noblewoman Bartolomeo loved until he died.

When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair.

As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes.

With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.

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

Praise for The Chef's Secret

"King’s characters are drawn as lovingly, as sensually as the food and the Vatican world she describes, and the plot itself — part secret-code mystery, part love story — moves like a well-paced meal." (Boston Globe)

“King supplies all of the elements historical fiction fans expect in a juicy Renaissance tale, including luscious meals, erotic interludes, and deaths by poison and blade. This rich tale should satisfy the appetites of fans of historicals.” (Publishers Weekly)

"In The Chef’s Secret, Crystal King serves up a delectable read stuffed with passion, danger, and a plot worthy of Dan Brown. This fast-paced, engrossing novel brings Renaissance Rome and the Vatican to life through the eyes of a famous papal chef. You won’t be able to put it down." (Stephanie Storey, author of Oil and Marble)

"A veritable feast for the senses, The Chef's Secret is part mystery, part love story, and all sumptuous sixteenth century Italy. This tale of one of the world's first celebrity chefs—Bartolomeo Scappi, a DaVinci of Renaissance cuisine—sent me on a quest to know more, and to my kitchen to experiment—a sign of a great historical novel. Readers will delight in a plot as juicy as Scappi's braised beef!" (Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris)

“The Chef’s Secret is a sumptuous buffet, serving up a love story (two of them!); mystery and suspense so thick you could cut it with, well, a chef’s knife; and such a vibrant panorama of Ancient Rome you’ll feel you’ve walked its streets and inhabited its kitchens. Anyone who loves history, food, a great story—read this novel! Warning: it will make you hungry.” (Jenna Blum, New York Times and international bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family)

"Crystal King’s The Chef’s Secret is a fabulous immersion in the world of renaissance Italy, full of passion, intrigue, secrets, danger, and of course food. Come hungry!" (Melodie Winawer, author of The Scribe of Siena)

“With adventure, engaging characters, and an absorbing mystery, King expertly blends fact with fiction, intrigue, and a powerful love story. Well written and perfectly paced, The Chef's Secret is a fascinating immersion into sixteenth-century Italian life, an introduction to the world's first celebrity chef, and a reminder of the power of food to influence a civilization.” (Booklist)

“King twists in romance, mystery, cultural richness, and some zesty research. Scappi’s secrets are unveiled at a pace that simmers with intrigue…Mixed together with decadent banquets and sweeping historical detail, King has a recipe that entices the senses… vibrant in both visual and flavorful detail.” (Historical Novel Review)

About the Author

Crystal King is the author of THE CHEF'S SECRET and FEAST OF SORROW. A culinary enthusiast and social media professional, her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. A Pushcart-nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 18
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, June 20
Review at My Reading Chronicles
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Friday, June 21
Review at Amy's Booket List
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, June 24
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, June 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, June 26
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Review at Orange County Readers

Thursday, June 27
Review at Book Frolic
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, June 28
Review at Mama's Reading Corner
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, July 1
Review at Comet Readings
Review at Stephanie's Novel Fiction

Tuesday, July 2
Review at Melissa Reads
Review at Clarissa Reads it All

Wednesday, July 3
Review at Henry and Benny's Book Nook
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 4
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, July 5
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Girls Just Reading
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a set of Feast of Sorrow and The Chef's Secret! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– 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 a new winner is chosen.

The Chef's Secret


Review: The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke


The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Tyndale House Publishers
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook; 432 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian


Read an Excerpt
Download the Discussion Guide
Download the Recipes for The Medallion

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah's Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler's mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen--Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city's library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter's life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war--if any of them survive--is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland's darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | CBD.com | Wal-Mart


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

There is no way I can adequately express how beautiful and tragic this book was! For the past few days, I've been completely absorbed in Cathy Gohlke's The Medallion. Alternating between anger, sadness, and ultimately hope, I was emotionally invested in this book like none other before.

Set in Poland during WWII we follow two couples as they struggle to survive the German invasion. It's a powerful and memorable story of one woman's ultimate sacrifice to save her child and another woman who risked everything to take care of her during one of our history's darkest times. I've never read a WWII set in Poland so that provided a fresh perspective for me.

Cathy's writing is exquisite. While it's heartbreaking and maddening to read, I am so glad that I did. I will never forget Sophia, Janek, Itzhak, and Rosa. Thank you to Cathy Gohlke for sharing this exceptionally written historical. I cannot wait to read more books by her!

About the Author

Cathy Gohlke is the three-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels The Medallion, Until We Find Home, Secrets She Kept (winner of the 2016 Carol and INSPY Awards), Saving Amelie (winner of the 2015 INSPY Award), Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award.

Cathy writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith.
When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren.

Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.


Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 4
Excerpt at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, June 5
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Thursday, June 6
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Friday, June 7
Review at Orange County Readers
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, June 8
Excerpt at Spellbound by History

Sunday, June 9
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, June 10
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, June 12
Review at Mama's Reading Corner
Feature at What Is That Book About

Thursday, June 13
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, June 14
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, June 17
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 18
Review at Lakeside Living

Wednesday, June 19
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away 5 paperback copies of The Medallion! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– 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 a new winner is chosen.

The Medallion


Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique