Interview & Giveaway: Crimes and Survivors by Sarah Smith

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I have a great interview with Sarah Smith, author of Crimes and Survivors, a fabulous new historical set on the Titanic! We also have a giveaway so be sure to enter!



Hello Sarah and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Crimes and Survivors!

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

When I was a kid, my family used to spend vacations at my grandmother’s house, which had last been updated in 1910. My grandmother and I would start the morning by going “down cellar,” bringing up two hods of coal, and starting the fire in the coal stove. An hour later we’d have hot water. The beds had a feather mattress over a straw mattress. As a special treat, sometimes we’d light the gaslights. It was magic. Forever after, the Victorian and Edwardian periods have been magical to me.

What inspired you to write Crimes and Survivors?

Titanic. I’ve been fascinated by Titanic since I was a kid.

But while doing the research for the book, I came across a different angle on the story.

A bit of background: I’m part of a multicultural family. The people who get asked “What are you?”--I’m related to some of them. Doing research, I came across the story of Jack Johnson and Titanic. Jack Johnson, as you historically minded folks know, would have been the heavyweight champion of the world if he hadn’t been black. He tried to buy a ticket on Titanic. The White Star Line decided they’d let NO black people aboard.

So here was a part of Titanic I hadn’t thought about. Some of my dear relatives wouldn’t have been able to sail on my dear Titanic.

“What are you?” As if what is the same as who. What are you, so people can judge you? Too young, too old, too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, too ethnic, too impractical? Some of us get judged for writing or reading the books we choose.

My heroine’s a what-are-you. She’s very short-sighted; she can see only colors and shapes unless she’s close to them. An inconvenience for her but not usually a problem—except in the way some people treat her. “People decide I can’t see at all,” she says, “and if I can’t see, I obviously can’t hear. People ask Alexander questions about me when I’m right there to answer.”

Now she’s found out that the grandfather she barely knows may be passing for white. She could be black. At the height of Jim Crow America. By American law her marriage to her husband might even be illegal, if she’s black. It’s a nightmare. She’s furious and scared. “Being called black,” she says, “would be like being called blind. People think can’t. Think stupid. People have tried to make me that person for most of my life.” And she won’t have it.

She has to find out the truth—and it has to be the right truth, the one that will save her family.

But she wants to know the real truth, even if she can never tell it…

What research did you undertake when writing Crimes and Survivors?

Oooh, tons. I have a shelf full of books about Titanic. (I have an excuse for a shelf full of books about Titanic.) For the background of Perdita’s grandfather, I explored horse country Virginia with my friend Katherine Neville. In New York, friends lent my heroine and hero a very elegant apartment on Riverside Drive and I scouted other 1912 locations, from a Broadway deli to the steps of the New York Public Library. In Harlem, at the Schomburg, I researched black detectives, women detectives, and “downtown whites.” A favorite research location was Fort Lee, New Jersey, which in 1912 was like Hollywood. The last scenes of the book are set in Fort Lee during filming of the first Titanic movie—made just days after the sinking, with a real full-size wreck standing in for Titanic.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Crimes and Survivors?

Another thing people could be judged for in 1912? Being a survivor. Men like Bruce Ismay were blamed for surviving. Even the women were told that if they were suffragettes, they should have stayed on board and died. “Votes for Women was the cry,” one anti-suffrage poet wrote—but on Titanic “Boats for Women was the cry, When the brave were come to die.”

Some people—especially women—were so ashamed of surviving Titanic that they never told anyone they’d been on her.

My heroine and hero deal with what it means to be a survivor. “What are you?” they both have to ask themselves. What does it mean to take a place in the lifeboats? What does it mean afterward?
Towards the end of the book, one of them says something wonderful, one of my favorite lines in the book. What are they? “We are each other’s lifeboats.”

What was your favorite scene to write?

Touring Titanic. It’s night; the passengers are sleeping. The crew have crept out like mice. One man is stacking books in the ship’s library, cabins are still being painted. It’s the maiden voyage, nothing is quite ready. But the ship is so magnificent. And my hero and heroine see it together.

The scene is about the two of them—she’s going to America to make her grandfather talk, he doesn’t want her to go, he’s worried, their relationship is sailing into unknown waters. The trick was writing it so it was about Titanic too.

The next morning he gives her a pin marked Titanic. He makes fun of it for being sentimental, and of himself for being sentimental, but of course he’s making fun because he doesn’t dare face the depths of his love for her.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Near the end of the book they both feel they’ve failed themselves and their son. He says “How can I be a good father?” and realizes maybe he can’t. She says “Will I always regret what I did?” and they both know the answer is yes.

At the depths of their misery and shame, the two of them reach out for each other.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I was 8 or so and my mother said that my grandmother’s wonderful magical house would have to be sold someday. I decided I had to make money so we could keep it. Babysitting didn’t pay enough, so I decided I’d write a book.

My family still owns the house.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I try to write for a couple of hours early in the morning, before my inner critic wakes up. For the last month or so, though, my whole schedule has been chaotic. Yours too, I bet. It is what it is.

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

I can’t plot. I do a detailed outline as a kind of first draft, working out a lot of the plot problems then, discarding cliches, figuring out what I have to research.

This gives me the entirely fictitious idea that everything is under control.

Then I start the actual draft and the characters take over. They look over my plot, shake their heads, and mutter “You’re joking.” They go their own way and I bounce along behind, clutching my outline like a first-time water skier clutching a rope. Occasionally I go back and edit the rope.

Ropes are good to have and give great comfort.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Lots of people. James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (unfortunate title, classic book) was a particular inspiration for Crimes and Survivors. Hilary Mantel: oh, goodness, can that woman write. Mary Renault and Patrick O’Brian; the history’s brilliant but it’s all about the characters.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Probably A Tale of Two Cities. First not-so-classic that absolutely grabbed my heart? Elizabeth Marie Pope’s The Sherwood Ring. A threefer: a Big House Book, a historical, and a ghost story. The ending, when the heroine sees the ghosts across the water, still makes me cry.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I’m currently reading Hilary Mantel, rereading the first two volumes of the Wolf Hall trilogy before sinking deliciously into The Mirror and the Light.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I can fix ANYTHING, if it’s Victorian. In my grandmother’s house, the lovely Victorian wallpaper was falling to pieces and flaking away. Little Sally fetched a ladder, glued the paper back on the wall, and then painted in the missing bits. I can do Victorian upholstery. (Sewing with a hammer and nails is about my speed.) But I cannot iron a shirt without making it look as though wolves ate it.
I actually own a tiny fragment of Titanic.

I also write SF. Historical fiction is SF where somebody else makes up the details for you.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

Murder mysteries are about people who act. If you believe in something strongly enough to murder for it, I’m interested in you.

And if you believe that the truth matters—if you believe it enough to face the truth, whatever it is?
Then you’re my heroine.

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

Three guesses! But I also read a lot of SF and fantasy. I’m a complete sucker for steampunk and Victorian Gothic.

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

Hang out with people! Go to conventions, with people! Go to grocery stores, even, with people!

Right now, during the lockdown, I’m running a Zoom chat and reading series for authors. Tuesdays and Thursdays, an author comes to visit Teatime Readings and reads something. We record the reading and turn it into a YouTube video, which the author can use.

It’s a way to hear about books if their release has hit an iceberg.

Sign up at https://tinyurl.com/SignUpForTeatime
Drop by and hang out at https://zoom.us/j/997178441 5-6 PM Eastern, any weekday.
Watch videos of Teatime readings: https://tinyurl.com/TeatimeReadings

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Something completely different. It’s Victorian, but it’s set in a fantasticated version of 19C Brazil, in a remote area I know and love because my son-in-law comes from there. It’s got love and sex and revolutions. It’s got giant eagles who speak Latin. I’m having a great time and I hope you will too.

Well, you certainly grabbed by attention with that description! I look forward to reading that one! Thank you for stopping by today!


Crimes and Survivors by Sarah Smith

Publication Date: April 15, 2020
Make Light Work LLC
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook; 394 Pages

Series: A Reisden and Perdita Mystery, #4
Genre: Historical Mystery


It's 1912. America. The land of Jim Crow, of lynchings and segregation. And a young society woman has just discovered that the grandfather she barely knows may be black.

She has a family. She has a child. If she's black, her friends will deny they know her. Her marriage will be illegal. Her little boy will never be a full citizen of America.

She can't be black. She's experienced prejudice before. Never again. It will not happen to her or to anyone she loves.

She follows her grandfather onto the newest, safest, biggest ship in the world, to learn the truth. The right truth, the one that will save her family.

But after the iceberg, she finds the truth is far more complicated than black and white. More inspiring, more loving. Far more dangerous... And what she'll need to find is not a convenient truth but a new America.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise

"The Titanic still cruises our imaginations...And she has secrets. Sarah Smith knows them and knows how to tell them in this riveting, page-turning novel, a tale unraveling from out of the ignorant past, through that terrible moment of truth on the Titanic, and on toward a hopeful future. Read it and be enthralled." -- WILLIAM MARTIN, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and Bound for Gold:

"You may think you know everything there is to know about Titanic, but Sarah Smith’s 'Crimes and Survivors' carves out a space of its own—while, in the same breath, demarcating a huge swath of America’s history and painting a resonant vision of its future. The result is suspenseful, insightful, moving and highly recommended." -- LOUIS BAYARD, bestselling author of Courting Mr. Lincoln

"For those of us who have been hoping for a new tale of intrigue featuring Sarah Smith’s star-crossed couple Alexander Reisden and Perdita Halley, the wait is over! Smith’s new installment, Crimes and Survivors, takes readers aboard the Titanic and to Jim Crow-era America for a thrilling and romantic literary mystery that unflinchingly examines issues of race and identity, love and family, and the danger and beauty of uncovering long-hidden truths." -- SARAH STEWART TAYLOR, author of the Sweeney St. George mysteries and The Mountains Wild

"Come for the rich prose, meticulous research, and vibrant characters. Stay for the heart-stopping mystery. Sarah Smith's fresh take on the doomed Titanic sailing is filled with twists and turns and will enthrall both new readers and longtime fans of the Vanished Child series!" -- EDWIN HILL, Edgar and Agatha-nominated author of Little Comfort and The Missing Ones

About the Author

Sarah Smith started telling stories as a child in Japan. Her sitter would tell her ghost stories at night, and the next morning she’d act them out on the school bus for an audience of terrified five-year-olds. Back in America, she lived in an unrestored Victorian house, where every morning she would help her grandmother haul coal and break sticks into kindling to light the household stove. She’s loved storytelling and history ever since.

She studied English at Harvard, where she spent Saturdays in the library reading mysteries, and film in London and Paris, where she sat next to Peter Cushing at a film show and got to pet Francis Bacon’s cat. While teaching English, she got interested in personal computers (she and two friends bought 3 of the first 5 PCs sold in Boston). She realized that software could help her plot bigger stories, and she’s never looked back.

Her bestselling series of Edwardian mysteries, starring Alexander von Reisden and Perdita Halley, has been published in 14 languages. Two of the books have been named New York Times Notable Books. The Vanished Child, the first book in the series, is being made into a musical in Canada. The fourth book in the Reisden-Perdita series, about the Titanic, will be published April 15, 2020. Crimes and Survivors. You can preorder it now from your favorite bookstore.

Sarah’s young adult ghost thriller, The Other Side of Dark, won both the Agatha (for best YA mystery of the year) and the Massachusetts Book Award for best YA book of the year. Her Chasing Shakespeares, a novel about the Shakespeare authorship, has been called “the best novel about the Bard since Nothing like the Sun” (Samuel R. Delany) and has been turned into a play.

Sarah lives in Boston with her family and not enough cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 16
Review at Books and Zebras

Friday, April 17
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Saturday, April 18
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, April 19
Review at Jessica Belmont

Monday, April 20
Review at Captivated Pages

Tuesday, April 21
Feature at I'm Into Books

Wednesday, April 22
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, April 25
Excerpt at Historical Graffiti

Monday, April 27
Instagram Feature at Just a Girl and Her Books

Wednesday, April 29
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 1
Review at YA, It's Lit

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Crimes and Survivors! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 1st. 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.

Crimes and Survivors



Review & Giveaway: The Abolitionist's Daughter by Diane C. McPhail


The Abolitionist's Daughter by Diane C. McPhail

Publication Date: April 30, 2019
A John Scognamiglio Book/Kensington

Genre: Historical Fiction


In her sweeping debut, Diane C. McPhail offers a powerful, profoundly emotional novel that explores a little-known aspect of Civil War history—Southern Abolitionists—and the timeless struggle to do right even amidst bitter conflict.

On a Mississippi morning in 1859, Emily Matthews begs her father to save a slave, Nathan, about to be auctioned away from his family. Judge Matthews is an abolitionist who runs an illegal school for his slaves, hoping to eventually set them free. One, a woman named Ginny, has become Emily’s companion and often her conscience—and understands all too well the hazards an educated slave must face. Yet even Ginny could not predict the tangled, tragic string of events set in motion as Nathan’s family arrives at the Matthews farm.

A young doctor, Charles Slate, tends to injured Nathan and begins to court Emily, finally persuading her to become his wife. But their union is disrupted by a fatal clash and a lie that will tear two families apart. As Civil War erupts, Emily, Ginny, and Emily’s stoic mother-in-law, Adeline, each face devastating losses. Emily—sheltered all her life—is especially unprepared for the hardships to come. Struggling to survive in this raw, shifting new world, Emily will discover untapped inner strength, an unlikely love, and the courage to confront deep, painful truths.

In the tradition of Cold Mountain, The Abolitionist’s Daughter eschews stereotypes of the Civil War South, instead weaving an intricate and unforgettable story of survival, loyalty, hope, and redemption.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What I love most about Historical Fiction is that I'm learning about our history, seeing how people felt and lived in the past, and being entertained at the same time. That's what makes The Abolitionist's Daughter so wonderful - it does all three masterfully!

Set in Mississippi during the Civil War, The Abolitionist's Daughter tells the story of Emily Matthews, who is a young girl living with her father and brother. It's during the time of slavery and while the family does own slaves, her father Judge Matthews cares for them greatly and has promised to free them. Emily is of the same mindset of her father and we see that in action when the book opens with Emily trying to save a slave from being sold. I will never get used to reading about humans being bought and sold like that. Breaks my heart.

A lot of things happen in this book but McPhail writes it in a way that keeps you turning the pages. Heartbreak, tragedy, love, hope, resilience...it's all in this book and makes for one un-put-down-able read! I look forward to the next book from Diane McPhail!

Praise for The Abolitionist's Daughter

"Diane McPhail excavates a nearly forgotten corner of American history and brings it to full, beating life. This is a fascinating and heartfelt look at the kinds of stories that don't always make it into the history books." -Louis Bayard, author of Courting Mr. Lincoln

"A contender, a deeply felt, thoroughly researched story . . . as good as it deserves to be." -Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author

"Complex, vivid, and emotionally engaging. This is a story of harsh realities written with a tenderness that shines through and honors the account of one woman's struggle to overcome her society's rules and her circumstances in the face of inconceivable devastation. I couldn't put it down." -Carol E. Anderson, author of You Can't Buy Love Like That

"What an impressive book this is! Diane McPhail works a spell on the reader, transporting us to Mississippi in the 19th century, introducing us to a family torn apart by the time and place in which they live. She tells a dark tale, yet it's laced with lyricism and compassion. This is a powerful, imaginative, captivating book-I'd say, even urgent, considering the time we find ourselves in now." -Judy Goldman, author of Together

"A tender, sparkling debut that bears gentle witness to the abominations of slavery and oppression while heralding the grace, power and necessity of righting wrongs and choosing love. McPhail is full of talent and heart." -Ethel Rohan, author of The Weight of Him"

About the Author


Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. In addition to holding an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., she has studied at the University of Iowa distance learning and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Diane is a member of North Carolina Writers' Network and the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, and her dog, Pepper.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 27
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 28
Review at Books and Backroads
Feature at I'm All About Books

Wednesday, April 29
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, April 30
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, May 1
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Excerpt at To Read, or Not to Read

Monday, May 4
Review at Brightside Books

Tuesday, May 5
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Thursday, May 7
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 8
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, May 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, May 13
Feature at Words and Peace

Thursday, May 14
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon

Saturday, May 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, May 18
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Friday, May 22
Review at A Darn Good Read

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Abolitionist's Daughter! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 22nd. 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.

Abolitionist's Daughter


Review & Giveaway: Gathering Storm by Sherilyn Decter


Gathering Storm by Sherilyn Decter

Publication Date: February 29, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 433 Pages

Series: Rum Runners' Chronicles, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction


She left criminal life behind. Will her new business venture send her to sleep with the fishes?

Florida Coast, 1932. Edith Duffy might be grieving her gangster husband’s death, but she’s no damsel in distress. Leaving the sordid world of Philadelphia bootlegging, she settles in a small town outside Miami and buys a speakeasy. But when she launches a lucrative rum-running operation, indignant locals conspire to destroy her.

Edith lands squarely back in gangland culture, with a Bible-thumping preacher campaigning to shut her down and smugglers resentful of her skill. And now she must forge alliances and make unlikely allies just to survive. Luckily, her mentor is none other than the wife of the notorious Al Capone…

Will Edith’s fondness for underworld profits lead her to a dead end?

Gathering Storm is the first book in the Rum Runners’ Chronicles, a fast-paced historical women’s fiction trilogy. If you like atmospheric settings, mob stories, and independent heroines, then you’ll love Sherilyn Decter’s Prohibition-era adventure.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

There is nothing that I love more than reading about a strong-willed woman that never stands down from a challenge, one that defies the status quo and claws her way to get what she wants, so Gathering Storm was the perfect read for me! Add in mobsters and bootleggers and you can see why I literally inhaled this book!

Edith Duffy is newly widowed for four months from her late husband, who was known as Philidelphia's King of Bootleggers. She travels down to Miami to figure out what to do next and meet up with her friend and mentor, Mae Capone. Yep, wife to Al Capone! When she finds an old club she decides to open up her own speakeasy. When her husband was still alive she was the brains of their operation so she knows what do to, but it's not easy. The local rum runners and a hardnosed preacher all try to run her out of town, but nevertheless, she persisted. I don't want to give too much away, so you're just going to have to read it and find out what happens!

The other thing I loved about the book was that it featured the wives of known mobsters. When I was a teen I was obsessed with the movie Mobsters with Christian Slater as Lucky Luciano and Patrick Dempsey as Meyer Lansky, so this book brought my fascination back for sure!

There are three books in this series and the next one is due out on May 11th. I already have it pre-ordered and cannot wait to see what is next for Edith!

Cover love! Can we just take a moment to oohhhh and aahhhh over the covers for this series? I'm not ashamed to admit that I'd pick them up just for the covers to be on my shelves, but now that I know how amazing the books are I definitely have to have them! Kudos to the cover artist! They managed to capture the books perfectly!



I absolutely loved Gathering Storm and will be counting the days for the next installment. Kudos to Sherilyn Decter for bringing this thrilling time in history to life for us! It was brilliant!


About the Author

Sherilyn Decter is a writer, researcher, and lover of historical fiction. Her work is set in the Roaring Twenties and if you like feisty and determined heroines, complex cover-ups, Prohibition stories about criminal underworlds, police and political corruption, then you’re going to love Sherilyn’s grand gangster tales.

For more information, please visit Sherilyn Decter's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 15
Review at YA, It's Lit

Thursday, April 16
Excerpt at I'm Into Books
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon
Excerpt at Books in their Natural Habitat

Friday, April 17
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Interview at Historical Graffiti

Monday, April 20
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, April 22
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, April 25
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, April 27
Review at Bookish Bellee

Tuesday, April 28
Review at Donna McCabe

Friday, May 1
Review at Nursebookie

Tuesday, May 5
Review at The Magical Pages
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Momfluenster
Review at Jessica Belmont

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Gathering Storm! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 6th. 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.

Gathering Storm


Review & Giveaway: The Night is Done by Sheila Myers


The Night is Done by Sheila Myers

Publication Date: August 11, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 260 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Durant Family Saga, Book Three


William and Ella Durant, heirs to a bygone fortune, are recounting the events that led to the Durant family downfall during the Gilded Age. In 1931 William returns to visit the estate he once possessed in the Adirondacks to speak with the current owner, copper magnate Harold Hochschild, who is writing a history of the region and wants to include a biography of William. Simultaneously, Ella is visiting with an old family friend and former lover, Poultney Bigelow, journalist with Harpers Magazine, who talks her into telling her own story. William recounts the height of his glory, after his father’s death in 1885 when he takes control of the Adirondack railroad assets, travels the world in his yacht and dines with future kings. However, his fortune takes a turn during the Financial Panic of 1893 and amid accusations of adultery and cruelty. Ella’s tale begins when she returned from living abroad to launch a lawsuit against her brother for her fair share of the Durant inheritance. The court provides a stage for the siblings to tear each other’s reputation apart: William for his devious business practices and failure to steward the Durant land holdings, and Ella for her unconventional lifestyle. Based on actual events, and historic figures, The Night is Done is a tale about the life-altering power of revenge, greed and passion.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Draft2Digital


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Set in the Adirondacks, The Night is Done, is the third book in Sheila Myers's Durant Family Saga.

When the book begins, copper magnate (and new owner of Durant's old estate) Harold Hochschild is interviewing William West Durant, who went from one of the wealthiest land owners in the region to a hotel clerk. Harold wants to include the story of William and his father, and the downfall of their fortune, in his upcoming book.

Their family fortune was made by their father who invested in building the transcontinental line in the West but lost it all during the Panic of 1873. They soon set their sights on the Adirondacks, and William returns from abroad to help his father form the Adirondack Company. When his father died, William took over to complete his father's vision, while adding some new goals of his own.

Told in alternate chapters, William's sister Ella also recounts her life and loves, and her sibling rivalry with her brother.

As with any tale of wealth, along with that comes excess and corruption, and their story is no different.

"If I learned anything from him it was when you have a lot of money at your disposal you don't think twice about spending it. And so I did"

Filled with drama, history, and major family squabbles, The Night is Done was a fascinating look at the riches-to-rags story of the Durant family. I can't wait to go back and read the first two books in the series!

Praise

"Myers writes with skill and has chosen well in deeply researching the Durant saga, which remarkably parallels Greek tragedy. It's a truly engrossing story, and Myers does it justice." - Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Myers satisfyingly concludes her historical trilogy set in the Gilded Age by presenting the detailed downfall of ruthless real estate mogul William West Durant; his exasperated wife, Janet; and his estranged sister, Ella. In 1931, the penniless Durant recounts his tragic life. After inheriting his father's vast wealth and interest in the Adirondack Railroad, William immediately begins to make bad investments. He squanders money on yachts, panders to princes, and builds mansions he can't afford to run, all while hiding assets from Ella. She sues him for her rightful inheritance and tries to overcome discrimination to become a novelist. Meanwhile, Janet, verbally abused and infantilized by William, begins an affair with her doctor. Myers expertly depicts a precarious era soaked in vicious gossip, stained reputations, and ostentatiousness. Readers will enjoy the historical details that bring this Gilded Age soap opera to life." - Publishers Weekly

"While the covers of Myers's trilogy are done in subdued pastels, the pages inside flash with forbidden romance and a family torn apart by greed." - Betsy Keepes, The Adirondack Explorer

"The trilogy of the Durant family is capped by the fascinating final volume, The Night is Done. In a vein of nostalgia, the story ends in William West Durant's last years and closes out a saga of tragic proportions as the vast Durant wealth and privilege is reduced to impoverished circumstances." - Harvey H. Kaiser, author, Great Camps of the Adirondacks

"The builders of the first "Great Camps," the Durant family defined the Adirondack experience during the Gilded Age. Sheila Myer's trilogy of novels chronicling their saga combines great historical research with compelling writing. The Night is Done is the capstone novel of the saga and takes the story to the end of the Durant fortune where bankruptcy and retribution dominate the family's relations. The book is a great read for those interested in American history or the Durants." - Garet D. Livermore, Exec Director, Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks

About the Author


Sheila Myers is a Professor in Upstate New York and an award-winning author of four novels. When she's not teaching, she spends her spare time writing and enjoying the outdoors. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Adirondack Life Magazine, History News Network, Crossing Genres, and Women Writers Women's Books blog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 23
Feature at I'm Into Books

Monday, April 27
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, April 29
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, May 1
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Monday, May 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Books and Zebras

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 6 signed copies of The Night is Done! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US & UK 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.

The Night is Done


Review & Giveaway: Face of Fortune by Colleen Kelly-Eiding


Face of Fortune by Colleen Kelly-Eiding

Publication Date: February 1, 2020
Phase Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 405 Pages

Series: The Shadows of Rosthwaite, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance


Charlotte Pruitt, an auburn-haired beauty whose soul is as wild as the northern mountains she loves, lives day to day, hoping against hope that James Clarke still lives. The love of her life and father of their son had attacked a nobleman whom he caught attempting to rape Charlotte. Pursued by soldiers and attempting to escape, James plunged into a raging river and was last seen being pulled under by the torrent.

James who had fought to protect her and little Jack, is gone. Courage, strength, intellect, and a keen wit would have to be her guardians now.

A weaker person would crumble under the pressure of running a business, raising a child alone, fending off unscrupulous men, while always aware that the horrific villain, Edward Hawkes is still alive and bent on her destruction. Instead, Charlotte focuses on those less fortunate than herself. She becomes dedicated to helping Jane Rourke, a weaver, who is falsely accused of crimes and sentenced to death. Charlotte is offered a way to save Jane Rourke, but at a terrible price to herself. And what of Hawkes? How will she save herself and little Jack?

From the dark and gritty streets of Spitalfields, hiding secrets both good and evil, to the haunted moors of Devon, and to the perilous heights of the northern English mountains where Charlotte’s greatest test will come, this epic saga of human kindness, passionate love, and horrifying evil never ceases to enchant…and terrify.

Available on Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a thrilling read this was!

There is nothing I love better than an action-filled historical and Face of Fortune definitely fit that bill! Face of Fortune begins after the ending of the first book in the series, Favoured by Fortune, and picks up the story of Charlotte and James.

Charlotte is a wealthy widow who had an affair with James during her loveless marriage. It's been 3 months since she has heard from James and she fears he drowned and won't be returning to her. The man who tormented them, and hurt Charlotte in the worst way in the first book escapes capture and is back in town. She is terrified of him, especially when the threatening notes start arriving to her house. The business she inherited from her late husband is in the Silk business and there is turmoil in that when the new Cotton fad starts, so there is danger coming at Charlotte that way as well.

When the mother of her servant is falsely accused of theft and arrested Charlotte steps in to help, and brings her children into her home to keep safe.

There is a lot to keep your interest in the book and it flows at a fast-pace to keep you turning the pages. I was completely invested in Charlotte and James's relationship. It's not an easy one but their love will keep them coming back to each other.

Book three in the series is in the works and it promises to be an exciting next chapter in Charlotte and James's life and I am so there for it! If you're looking for an exciting historical that will keep you on your toes, I highly suggest picking up Face of Fortune! I cannot wait to go back and read the first book and I will be pre-ordering book #3 as soon as it's available!

About the Author

Colleen Kelly-Eiding is a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild-American Federation of TV and Radio Artists, and Actors’ Equity. Her husband is an actor, as are their two adult daughters. Theatre, acting and above all, storytelling, are part of her family’s DNA.

Colleen, was in the first class of women at Kenyon College in Ohio when the school went co-ed. She also studied drama and political science at the University of Manchester in England. She later received an MFA in acting from the University of Minnesota. She has been an actor, director, casting assistant, 3rd grade teacher, and audiometrist.

Favoured by Fortune and Face of Fortune have been occupying Colleen’s imagination for a quite a long time. After both daughters graduated college, she and husband Paul became empty nesters. The time seemed right for Colleen to bring young Ms. Pruitt, our heroine, to life and let Charlotte tell her story.

During her time in Manchester, Colleen fell in love with the country. When she returned to England to do research for her series, she was beyond elated. She interviewed a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, spent time researching indictment records from the 1760‘s at the Guild Hall in London, and walked the route that the carts of the condemned travelled from Newgate Prison to the Tyburn Tree. Visiting the tiny village of Rosthwaite, located in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley in the Lake District, where much of the action takes place, helped give context and inspiration to Colleen.

Colleen continues to act for stage and film. She studies sculpting and ceramics. And enjoys traveling to Comic Cons around the world, where her husband is a frequent guest.

Her series of historical novels is titled The Shadows of Rosthwaite. The second book in the series, Face of Fortune, was released on February 1, 2020. Published by Phase Publishing, LLC.

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 20
Review at Passages to the Past
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, April 21
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Wednesday, April 22
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, April 24
Review at Books and Zebras

Monday, April 27
Feature at I'm Into Books
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Wednesday, April 29
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, April 30
Review at Jessica Belmont
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Saturday, May 2
Review at Historical Graffiti

Monday, May 4
Review at YA, It's Lit

Tuesday, May 5
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, May 7
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks (Book #1)

Friday, May 8
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks (Book #2)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Face of Fortune! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 8th. 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.

Face of Fortune


2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: April Reviews


Welcome to the April 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 April 2020. My sincerest apologies that the page wasn't up in early April. With the virus and new homeschooling duties I have it completely got overlooked! I hope you are all well and healthy!

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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Review: Crimes and Survivors by Sarah Smith


Crimes and Survivors by Sarah Smith

Publication Date: April 15, 2020
Make Light Work LLC
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook; 394 Pages

Series: A Reisden and Perdita Mystery, #4
Genre: Historical Mystery


It's 1912. America. The land of Jim Crow, of lynchings and segregation. And a young society woman has just discovered that the grandfather she barely knows may be black.

She has a family. She has a child. If she's black, her friends will deny they know her. Her marriage will be illegal. Her little boy will never be a full citizen of America.

She can't be black. She's experienced prejudice before. Never again. It will not happen to her or to anyone she loves.

She follows her grandfather onto the newest, safest, biggest ship in the world, to learn the truth. The right truth, the one that will save her family.

But after the iceberg, she finds the truth is far more complicated than black and white. More inspiring, more loving. Far more dangerous... And what she'll need to find is not a convenient truth but a new America.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mention the Titanic to me and you will have my undivided attention, so I was super excited to pick up Sarah Smith's book, Crimes and Survivors.

This is the fourth book in Smith's Vanished Child series featuring Reisden and Perdita, but can be read as a stand-alone. I will most definitely be picking up the other books in the series.

Perdita is a Baroness and American pianist living in Paris with her husband, Alexander, and her son. Alexander's uncle Gilbert is staying with them against the wishes of Alexander's cousin. He needs Gilbert to come back home to run the family business and he threatens to slander Perdita and Alexander's name unless they make Gilbert come back. You see, Perdita's family has a big secret involving an undesirable marriage and the child that came from that union. When it comes to light that Perdita's grandfather might be a black man she follows him aboard the Titanic to find the truth.

This book is one to read slowly and savor. Sarah's writing is great and once you get familiar with all of the characters it's easy to get lost in the mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Sarah Smith book and I look forward to starting the series at the beginning. You should definitely check this one out!

Praise

"The Titanic still cruises our imaginations...And she has secrets. Sarah Smith knows them and knows how to tell them in this riveting, page-turning novel, a tale unraveling from out of the ignorant past, through that terrible moment of truth on the Titanic, and on toward a hopeful future. Read it and be enthralled." -- WILLIAM MARTIN, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and Bound for Gold:

"You may think you know everything there is to know about Titanic, but Sarah Smith’s 'Crimes and Survivors' carves out a space of its own—while, in the same breath, demarcating a huge swath of America’s history and painting a resonant vision of its future. The result is suspenseful, insightful, moving and highly recommended." -- LOUIS BAYARD, bestselling author of Courting Mr. Lincoln

"For those of us who have been hoping for a new tale of intrigue featuring Sarah Smith’s star-crossed couple Alexander Reisden and Perdita Halley, the wait is over! Smith’s new installment, Crimes and Survivors, takes readers aboard the Titanic and to Jim Crow-era America for a thrilling and romantic literary mystery that unflinchingly examines issues of race and identity, love and family, and the danger and beauty of uncovering long-hidden truths." -- SARAH STEWART TAYLOR, author of the Sweeney St. George mysteries and The Mountains Wild

"Come for the rich prose, meticulous research, and vibrant characters. Stay for the heart-stopping mystery. Sarah Smith's fresh take on the doomed Titanic sailing is filled with twists and turns and will enthrall both new readers and longtime fans of the Vanished Child series!" -- EDWIN HILL, Edgar and Agatha-nominated author of Little Comfort and The Missing Ones

About the Author

Sarah Smith started telling stories as a child in Japan. Her sitter would tell her ghost stories at night, and the next morning she’d act them out on the school bus for an audience of terrified five-year-olds. Back in America, she lived in an unrestored Victorian house, where every morning she would help her grandmother haul coal and break sticks into kindling to light the household stove. She’s loved storytelling and history ever since.

She studied English at Harvard, where she spent Saturdays in the library reading mysteries, and film in London and Paris, where she sat next to Peter Cushing at a film show and got to pet Francis Bacon’s cat. While teaching English, she got interested in personal computers (she and two friends bought 3 of the first 5 PCs sold in Boston). She realized that software could help her plot bigger stories, and she’s never looked back.

Her bestselling series of Edwardian mysteries, starring Alexander von Reisden and Perdita Halley, has been published in 14 languages. Two of the books have been named New York Times Notable Books. The Vanished Child, the first book in the series, is being made into a musical in Canada. The fourth book in the Reisden-Perdita series, about the Titanic, will be published April 15, 2020. Crimes and Survivors. You can preorder it now from your favorite bookstore.

Sarah’s young adult ghost thriller, The Other Side of Dark, won both the Agatha (for best YA mystery of the year) and the Massachusetts Book Award for best YA book of the year. Her Chasing Shakespeares, a novel about the Shakespeare authorship, has been called “the best novel about the Bard since Nothing like the Sun” (Samuel R. Delany) and has been turned into a play.

Sarah lives in Boston with her family and not enough cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 16
Review at Books and Zebras

Friday, April 17
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Saturday, April 18
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, April 19
Review at Jessica Belmont

Monday, April 20
Review at Captivated Pages

Tuesday, April 21
Feature at I'm Into Books

Wednesday, April 22
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, April 25
Excerpt at Historical Graffiti

Monday, April 27
Instagram Feature at Just a Girl and Her Books

Wednesday, April 29
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 1
Review at YA, It's Lit

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Crimes and Survivors! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 1st. 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.

Crimes and Survivors


Interview & Giveaway: Forged by Iron by Eric Schumacher

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I have Eric Schumacher stopping by to chat with us! Eric's blog tour for his new book Forged in Iron kicks off today!


Hello Eric and Happy Pub Day! Thanks so much for stopping by Passages to the Past today to talk about your new novel, Forged by Iron!

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

Thanks for having me!

A little about me…hmmm…I suppose you could say I live in the space between the medieval past and the not-so-distant future. By day, I am a PR professional that focuses on futuristic technology products like virtual reality. By night, I wander into the past, using known history and fiction to create stories about people living in turbulent times, especially during the Viking Age.

People often ask me why the Vikings, and the truth is, I have no idea. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, hardly the epicenter of medieval history and Viking lore. Yet even from the earliest age, I can remember devouring books about Norsemen and Anglo-Saxons and Tolkien's Middle Earth. What drew me to those things in the first place? I have no idea.

What inspired you to write Forged by Iron?

I just completed a trilogy called Hakon’s Saga about King Hakon Haraldsson (known to history as Hakon the Good). I wanted to stick to the rough timeframe and focus on a character –– another Viking king –– who is known to the history books, but who does not appear in much fiction. That’s what led me to Olaf Tryggvason. Depending on what you read or who you ask, you will find differing opinions of him as a man. But love him or hate him, his entire life is one long adventure. I thought it would be fascinating to tell his tale.

Olaf’s life begins with a journey into the belly of the beast. To me, it is reminiscent of stories like Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Only Olaf and the narrator of the book, his friend Torgil, are not in pursuit of something –– they are fleeing from something. With each step, they move toward something darker and more sinister. My ultimate goal was not to tell a dark tale, but to tell a tale of triumph over darkness and how darkness can change a person, i.e. forge them into something. That idea was both exciting and challenging to bring to life.

What research did you undertake when writing Forged by Iron?

As Olaf lived at roughly the same time as the protagonist in Hakon’s Saga, much of the general societal research had already been done. Still, I spent about a year digging into Olaf, his life and the people who surrounded him. Much of what is written about him was written generations after he lived, and primarily by monks who painted him in a positive light because he converted Norway to Christianity. If you believe the monks, he is a god incarnate. But I believe his character is more complex and it was that complexity that I wanted to explore.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Forged by Iron?

Most of all, enjoyment. I love great stories and great characters wrapped in fascinating time periods. My hope is that I can bring that same level of enjoyment to my readers.

What was your favorite scene to write?

If I have to pick just one scene as my favorite, I would say it was the opening scene. In it, I wanted to set the tone for the book and introduce the main characters, but do so through some action. It was fun to think of that scene and to unveil my characters through it.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The most difficult scene or scenes happen later in the book. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that I put my characters through a lot of strife and anguish. Those were important scenes to write to show the depth of my characters’ grit, but they were not easy scenes to write.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Not until I was in business school and studying for an exam. I was in a park, reading under a tree, and trying to concentrate on the textbook in my hand. Right then, I thought, “I should have been a writer.” That was twenty-four years ago, and as you can see from my first response, I am still trying to figure out how to do it full time. Funny enough, I used to come home from school and write stories, but I never thought of it as a career path. I should have paid more attention to my passions then! Lesson learned.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Oh, I wish I had a daily routine, but with a day job and two kids, a writing routine is wishful thinking for me. I do write on Sunday afternoons and several nights a week, but I try not to stick too stringently to a routine. I’ve learned that it’s better for me to keep it loose than to stick to a schedule and get frustrated when it doesn’t pan out as planned.

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

My greatest challenges are on the business side of writing and figuring out how and when to make this a full-time endeavor. I wrestle with those questions much more than I wrestle with the actual writing process.

What was the first historical novel you read?

The very first historical novel I remember reading was called Helmet for My Pillow, by Robert Leckie, which is a personal narrative of a Marine in World War II. Highly recommended.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The last historical novel I read was Antonius: Son of Rome, by Brook Allen. I do not normally pick up books about Rome, but I loved it and look forward to her next novel.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

Oh, man. I could go on and on about this topic. I suppose, at the highest level, what appeals most is imagining myself in a place and time that existed and resurrecting that for readers. In history class, I always wanted to know more than just the dates and the names and locations of people and events. I wanted to know what it was like to be there ¬¬–– how it smelled, how it sounded, what the commander looked like or acted like. Those are the things I want to share with my readers. I want to transport them, mainly because I love being transported myself.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am deep into the writing of book number two in Olaf’s tale. It takes place in what is today Ukraine and what was then the Kievan Rus’ kingdom. It’s a fascinating time in that area and I am enjoying the research and the writing immensely!


Forged by Iron by Eric Schumacher

Publication Date: April 15, 2020
Legionary - A Next Chapter Imprint

Series: Olaf's Saga, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction


From the bestselling author of Hakon’s Saga comes Forged by Iron, the first in a series of thrilling tales about Olaf Tryggvason, one of the most legendary and enigmatic kings of the Viking Age.

Norway, AD 960. The fabric that has held the Northern realm together is tearing. The sons of Erik Bloodaxe have returned and are systematically killing all opposition to the High Seat. Through treachery, Harald Eriksson slays Jarl Trygvi, an heir to the throne, and then he comes for Trygvi’s wife, Astrid, and son, Olaf.

Astrid and Olaf flee their home with the help of Astrid’s foster father, Torolv Loose-beard, and his son, Torgil, who are oath-sworn to protect them. The group escapes east, through the dark, forested land of the Swedes and across the treacherous East Sea, all the while evading the clutches of Harald’s brutal henchmen.

But the gods are fickle and the group is torn apart, leaving them to fend for themselves in Forged by Iron, a must-read for all who enjoy action-packed historical fiction.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Eric Schumacher (1968 - ) is an American historical novelist who currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife and two children. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of San Diego.

At a very early age, Schumacher discovered his love for writing and medieval European history, as well as authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Those discoveries continue to fuel his imagination and influence the stories he tells. His first novel, God's Hammer, was published in 2005.

To date, Schumacher has published three novels, collectively known as Hakon’s Saga, and one novella. More information about him and his books can be found on his website. You can also connect with Schumacher on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and AuthorsDB.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 15
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, April 20
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Wednesday, April 22
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, April 23
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, April 26
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, April 28
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, April 29
Feature at I'm All About Books
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, April 30
Guest Post at Historical Graffiti

Friday, May 1
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, May 4
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, May 8
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Sunday, May 10
Review at Journey in Bookland

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Forged by Iron! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

Forged by Iron


Review: Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl


Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl

Publication Date: April 30, 2020
Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction
Series: Oslo Dectectives, #9

Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide… Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death. Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run… A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation.

Review

⭐⭐⭐

This year I pledged to read more genres outside of historical fiction so when I received an email from Anne Cater about a new Nordic Noir book I immediately jumped at the chance! And I'm so glad I did!

Frank Frølich is wrapping up his latest case as a Private Investigator when he meets Mathilde and begins seeing her. When she learns he is a PI she tells him about a friend of hers that needs his help. She works at a Refugee center and there is a girl there looking for her sister who left Iraq and traveled to Norway. She is worried for her sister and needs to find her before she is deported. With little to go on Frank doesn't expect to have much luck finding her and when a reporter contacts Frank to look into an old case involving a mysterious fire that claimed a lot of lives years before, the case takes on a whole new life. People begin dying and Frank is drawn into many investigations at once. It was like a Russian nesting doll...with each layer a new mystery is revealed. I loved that!

I really enjoyed Dahl's unique writing style and once the mysteries unfolded I was hooked. I am definitely going to pick up the other books in the series to see what I missed. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for the chance to read Sister!

About the Author


One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

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