Interview with Eilidh McGinnis

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to share my interview with Eilidh McGinnis, author of Josephine: Singer Dancer Soldier Spy!


Hello Eilidh and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy!

Thank you very much. I am thrilled to be here.

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

I live in the South West of France and have done so for the last twelve years. I am inspired by -seemingly ordinary people who achieve extra-ordinary things.

What inspired you to write Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy?

I am lucky to live near the Chateau des Milandes which she owned in France and after visiting it felt compelled to write about her period as a spy.

What research did you undertake when writing Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy?

I read some books-in French -about this period in her life and I visited her chateau which is now a museum in her honor.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy?

I would like people to appreciate her bravery and vision.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scenes where she considers herself an Arabian princess.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The scenes when she is a child.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

It has always been there.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I try to write at least a thousand words a day and I give myself targets.

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

To keep going.

Who are your writing inspirations?

J K Rowling, Ursula le Guin

What was the first historical novel you read?

It would have been a Catherine Cookson-not sure which one.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I am reading Alone in Berlin which I will read again very soon.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I was born on the cusp. I can’t drink coffee. I am allergic to kiwi fruit.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

History fascinates me.

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

Scottish history any period and the 1920’s onwards.

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

Reading.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am writing a trilogy set around the French resistance in Dordogne during WW2.

Thanks so much for stopping by Passages to the Past today! I can't wait for your next book!


Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinness

Publication Date: December 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction


Josephine Baker is born into poverty in racially segregated America. Desperate to escape she flees to France where she embraces the hedonistic lifestyle on offer for those who dare, in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties.

Hitler's rise to power in Germany forces her to face her true self. Determined to protect the Liberty Equality and Fraternity she has found in France, she becomes an 'honorable correspondent' for the French Secret Service. So, beginning a journey which will take her from the Red Cross Shelters in Paris to the cruel deserts of North Africa. She will find love and enduring friendship but she must also face dangers which will threaten not only her life but all she holds dear.....Can she find the courage to fight for what she believes in....no matter what the cost?

Available on Amazon

About the Author


Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defense. Eilidh then moved to South West France with her then husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 30
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, January 2
Review at Liberty's Literary Loves

Friday, January 3
Feature at Comet Readings

Monday, January 6
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, January 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, January 8
Review at Reader then Blogger

Thursday, January 9
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Saturday, January 11
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, January 13
Feature at I'm All About Books

Tuesday, January 14
Feature at BookNook 2020

Wednesday, January 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, January 16
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, January 17
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, January 18
Feature at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Sunday, January 19
Review at YA, It's Lit

Monday, January 20
Review at Nursebookie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be 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.

Josephine


Review: Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinnis


Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinness

Publication Date: December 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction


Josephine Baker is born into poverty in racially segregated America. Desperate to escape she flees to France where she embraces the hedonistic lifestyle on offer for those who dare, in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties.

Hitler's rise to power in Germany forces her to face her true self. Determined to protect the Liberty Equality and Fraternity she has found in France, she becomes an 'honorable correspondent' for the French Secret Service. So, beginning a journey which will take her from the Red Cross Shelters in Paris to the cruel deserts of North Africa. She will find love and enduring friendship but she must also face dangers which will threaten not only her life but all she holds dear.....Can she find the courage to fight for what she believes in....no matter what the cost?

Available on Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I've been fascinated with Josephine Baker ever since I saw the 1991 movie, The Josephine Baker Story starring Lynn Whitfield, so I was super excited to pick up Eilidh's book.

The book is split into two parts - Singer Dancer and then Soldier Spy, which I thought was a clever way to break up her story. Another unique aspect of the book is that it's told almost like vignette-style vs. a continuous story. The chapters jump periods in time. I admit it took me a bit to get used to but it didn't bother me too much.

From her childhood in a big and extremely poor family, we follow Josephine's life as she breaks out to become the dancer and entertainer she always knew she wanted to be. I love how determined she was to fight for France, the country that finally accepted her and allowed her to be free in a world dominated by racism and prejudice.

Determined, strong, talented, and fascinating to no end - this book is a great look at Josephine Baker and her life. Highly recommended!

About the Author


Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defense. Eilidh then moved to South West France with her then husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 30
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, January 2
Review at Liberty's Literary Loves

Friday, January 3
Feature at Comet Readings

Monday, January 6
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, January 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, January 8
Review at Reader then Blogger

Thursday, January 9
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Saturday, January 11
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, January 13
Feature at I'm All About Books

Tuesday, January 14
Feature at BookNook 2020

Wednesday, January 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, January 16
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, January 17
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, January 18
Feature at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Sunday, January 19
Review at YA, It's Lit

Monday, January 20
Review at Nursebookie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be 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.

Josephine


Blog Tour Kick-Off & Giveaway: Salt the Snow by Carrie Callaghan


Salt the Snow by Carrie Callaghan

Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Chicago Review Press
eBook & Hardcover; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart. Salt the Snow is a vivid and impeccably researched tale of a woman ahead of her time, searching for her true calling in life and love.

Praise

“The vivid prose of Salt the Snow sets the reader in the middle of socioeconomic upheavals and political unrest with the best possible tour guide, wisecracking American journalist Milly Bennett. Callaghan excels at bringing little-known real-life women out of the darkness of historical obscurity and into the light of recognition. From the first scene, the reader is plunged into a world of suspense and intrigue, led by an unforgettable protagonist. Milly is not so much a character as a fully realized, complex human being: her brilliance and self-sufficiency are admirable, and her loneliness and feelings of unworthiness are heartbreaking. A fascinating novel!” —Clarissa Harwood, author of Impossible Saints and Bear No Malice

“A vivid, well-researched story of a complex and ahead-of-her-time woman, an American journalist, who finds herself—head and heart—while living and working in an equally complex Russia.” —Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie

“Salt the Snow is a vivid journey through the kaleidoscope of 1930s Europe with an irrepressible and all too human guide in Milly Bennett. Don’t miss this book and its unforgettable heroine!” —Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Half-Drowned King and The Golden Wolf

“Honest, vivid, and bold in the face of historical truths, Salt the Snow is a captivating story of a woman whose vulnerability and hopeful idealism resonate even today.” —Jennifer Klepper, bestselling author of Unbroken Threads

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 13
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon

Tuesday, January 14
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, January 15
Review at Broken Teepee

Thursday, January 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, January 17
Review at Books and Zebras

Saturday, January 18
Review at @gatticus_finch
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, January 20
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, January 21
Interview at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, January 22
Review at My Reading Chronicles

Thursday, January 23
Review at @rebecca.is.reading

Friday, January 24
Review at Wild Sage Book Blog

Monday, January 27
Review at @ya.its.lit
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, January 29
Review at Jackie & Angela's Book Reviews

Thursday, January 30
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, January 31
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, February 3
Review at Amy's Booket List

Tuesday, February 4
Review at Lost_in_a_book_reviewer

Wednesday, February 5
Review at Impressions In Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two signed copies of Salt the Snow by Carrie Callaghan! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be 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.

Salt the Snow


Book Blast & Giveaway: The King’s Greatest Enemy Series by Anna Belfrage

A weak king, a rebellious baron. A kingdom on the brink of civil war, an adulterous wife and an ambitious royal favourite. A blackmailed bride and an honourable knight, torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his wife and his future king. Welcome to the world of Adam de Guirande!

Book I: In the Shadow of the Storm

Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Lord Roger for his life and all his worldly goods, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Lord Roger thinks she is. So when Lord Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down...

Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and Lord Roger, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.

Kit has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name.

Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Lord Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.

In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.

Book II: Days of Sun and Glory

Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimer’s rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit.

England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the king’s greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere – among Mortimer’s former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France.

Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics. Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as Edward II and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war – and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead.

Days of Sun and Glory is the second in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.

Book III: Under the Approaching Dark

Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.

England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

Under the Approaching Dark is the third in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.

Book IV: The Cold Light of Dawn

After Henry of Lancaster’s rebellion has been crushed early in 1329, a restless peace settles over England. However, the young Edward III is no longer content with being his regents’ puppet, no matter that neither Queen Isabella nor Roger Mortimer show any inclination to give up their power. Caught in between is Adam de Guirande, torn between his loyalty to the young king and that to his former lord, Roger Mortimer.

Edward III is growing up fast. No longer a boy to be manipulated, he resents the power of his mother, Queen Isabella, and Mortimer. His regents show little inclination of handing over their power to him, the rightful king, and Edward suspects they never will unless he forces their hand.

Adam de Guirande is first and foremost Edward’s man, and he too is of the opinion that the young king is capable of ruling on his own. But for Adam siding with his king causes heartache, as he still loves Roger Mortimer, the man who shaped him into who he is.

Inevitably, Edward and his regents march towards a final confrontation. And there is nothing Adam can do but pray and hope that somehow things will work out. Unfortunately, prayers don’t always help.

Available on Amazon

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, www.annabelfrage.com, You can also connect with Anna on FacebookTwitterAmazon, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Friday, January 10
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, January 11
Passages to the Past

Sunday, January 12
Robin Loves Reading

Monday, January 13
Jessica Belmont
A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, January 14
Broken Teepee

Wednesday, January 15
Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, January 16
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, January 17
Let Them Read Books

Saturday, January 18
Gwendalyn's Books

Sunday, January 19
The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, January 20
Historical Graffiti
CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, January 21
Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, January 22
Nursebookie

Thursday, January 23
100 Pages a Day

Friday, January 24
The Lit Bitch

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a set of The King's Greatest Enemy Series in eBook! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback 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 will be 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.

King's Greatest Enemy Blast


2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: January Reviews



HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone 🎉! I am thrilled that you are joining us for the 2020 Challenge! I can't wait to see what everyone reads this year!

Welcome to the January link page for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This is the page where you will enter the links to your reviews during the month of January 2020.

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!

There's still time to sign up for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge! Sign Up Here.


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