Interview & Giveaway: The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I have a great interview with Sophie Schiller, the author of The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton, and a chance for you to win a copy! 

Hello Sophie and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton!

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

Thanks for having me! I’m a writer who has always been captivated by the past; or rather, by learning about the past through reading historical fiction. I find the drama and challenges the characters have to face and overcome to be cathartic. This is the whole reason why people read fiction, for the cathartic element. I discovered historical fiction as a teen one summer when I was bored, and it opened up a whole new world to me. Now I want nothing more than to tell the stories that I feel need to be told.

What inspired you to write The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton?

In April of 2016, I was approached by a gentleman from St. Croix who asked me to write a novel about Alexander Hamilton’s childhood in the West Indies. The reason for his request, he told me, was to show the world the importance of St. Croix in forming Hamilton’s character and financial vision for America. He wanted to demonstrate how this West Indian island provided the backdrop for Hamilton’s singular genius in developing America’s financial system.

We spoke over the phone several times and the wheels in my brain started turning, but I was deeply involved with another project that I wanted to finish. And truthfully, I had doubts that I would be able to tackle this subject matter. While we did hold several conversations about the idea, I remained skeptical about the feasibility of it. But I was firmly committed to writing it. His belief in me and my unwillingness to back down was the fuel that drove me to finish this novel.

What research did you undertake when writing The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton?

When I was ready to start in February of 2018, I almost didn’t know where to begin. I had to learn about the 18th century, the history of the West Indies, the importance of smuggling and privateering, the history of St. Croix and the Danish West Indies, the social, political, and commercial life of St. Croix during colonial times, plantation slavery, the triangular trade, how to manage a counting house, the duties of a counting house clerk, slave auctions, bribing customs officials, social values and customs of people in the West Indies, the history of Alexander Hamilton’s family, his parents’ struggles, his personal struggles, plus I had to develop a timeline of everything that happened until Hamilton left for America in 1772. The timeline ended up being around 50 pages full of details. Sounds like a lot? ;)

Luckily, at this time, I made the acquaintance of an American historian named Michael Newton, who was working on his own biography of Alexander Hamilton’s childhood in the West Indies, using newly discovered records from the Royal Danish Archives. Michael’s research was indispensable to me, and I will forever remain indebted to his perseverance and commitment to uncovering the truth about Hamilton’s boyhood. Michael kept me grounded and he always steered me in the right direction every time I asked a question. In addition to all this, I read numerous scholarly papers and novels set in 18th century Colonial America. Writing a novel of this magnitude is a little like training for the Olympics. You push aside everything that is not important and focus on your goal. The effects may be detrimental to your personal life and well-being, but nothing matters so much as finishing your project.

During your research did you learn anything about Alexander Hamilton that surprised you?

What surprised me was how similar our childhoods were. I also grew up in the West Indies, endured the breakup of my parents’ marriage, worked in numerous trading firms in the islands, studied international trade, spoke foreign languages, and experienced the same loneliness, hopelessness, and ambition to succeed.

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton?

That success comes from within. That any person, no matter what his station in life can succeed if he has the will and is willing to work hard and sacrifice everything to obtain his goals.

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scenes were the ones with Captain Peter Tongelo, the captain of the Free Black Militia. I based his character on Louis Gossett Jr.’s performance in An Officer and a Gentleman. I loved that character! And I loved writing the repartee between him and Alex, and especially the bond of friendship and respect that grew between them.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The hardest scenes to write were the scenes involving slave auctions and the suffering of slaves on the plantations. This was a huge hurdle for me! But then, of course, another hard scene to write was that of the father leaving the mother. I wrote that scene one day when I had no plans to write at all. I was reading in my room during a quiet moment when all of the sudden the characters came to life inside of me and they started speaking. I wrote down everything they said, and that entire painful scene mostly appears in the book as I originally wrote it.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Probably from the time I was in middle school. But I lacked the self-confidence and self-knowledge to pursue that path. I lived under the delusion that I had to live a long, full life before I could begin to write. I didn’t know that writing is a very personal experience where the writer communicates his thoughts and feelings in a natural, spontaneous manner that touches the reader on an emotional level. One does not need to have lived a long life to do that! This is one of the hardest lessons of all. It is a lesson I am still learning.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

It depends on which stage of writing I’m in. Generally I write in three stages. There’s the story development stage, the first draft stage, and the “production” stage. During the story development stage, I do all the research and take notes. I read everything I can about the subject and develop a plot and a basic outline. During the first draft stage I write scenes that drive the story forward and flesh out the characters even more. Usually I write chronologically, but sometimes I have future scenes written ahead of time. During the final stage—the production stage—I am producing a readable novel that answers all story questions and concludes all plot lines. During this stage, I employ an editor and spend hours working on each scene so that the narrative flows naturally and quickly. I sometimes go away for weeks at a time to work in solitude, and I try to spend minimal amount of time on social media. But this is not always the case!

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

Believing in myself is a huge challenge. Balancing the needs of my family with my need to produce great novels is another huge challenge. I’ve been able to overcome the first challenge by realizing that every time I sit down to write, something good happens. Stories are born. The second challenge is still a work in progress. And the third challenge is guessing what kind of novels the market wants to read. Since this question has no answer, the only possible answer for each writer is to write the stories that appear organically in their head. The stories they feel they were born to write.

Who are your writing inspirations? 

I admire the work of Graham Greene, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, Helen MacInnes, Ann Rinaldi, Tracy Chevalier, Lionel Davidson, and some of the great philosopher writers like Albert Camus and Ayn Rand.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I believe it was QBVII by Leon Uris. It was the summer of 1980 and I was spending the summer with my father, complaining that I had nothing to read. This was back in the days when there was very little TV in the islands and no satellite TV at all. He thought for a moment, walked over to his bookshelf and plucked this book out and told me to read it. I was instantly entranced and haven’t been the same since.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi, as research for The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton. Ann Rinaldi is one of America’s top writers of 18th century American historical fiction for young readers. Her sense of time and place and detail with respect to the American colonial experience is second to none. She’s right up there with Esther Forbes (Johnny Tremain) and John Jakes (The Bastard). 

What are three things people may not know about you? 
I’m multilingual. I started out life wanting to be a diplomat like Raoul Wallenberg, traveling the world and stamping visas for would-be immigrants. My knowledge of foreign languages has helped me read obscure foreign books as research for my novels.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love learning about history. I love asking the ‘what if’ questions and creating thrillers that take readers on a journey they could not have foreseen. I love delighting my audience with exotic cultures and locations. I love filling in the missing gap in literature: writing thrillers set in the most unexpected locations and with colorful, entertaining characters.

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

I read more by author than by era. For instance, I would read anything by Follett regardless of time period. Ditto for Lionel Davidson, Graham Greene, or Leon Uris. But generally from 1880 to WWI, venturing occasionally into WWII.

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

Traveling, gourmet cooking, writing poetry, working on self-improvement and mindfulness, spending time with my kids, and traveling.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am working on a modern-day fable similar to The Little Prince and a WWI espionage thriller.

The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller

Publication Date: July 3, 2020
Tradewinds Publishing

Genre: YA/US Colonial & Revolutionary Period/Historical Fiction

The story of Alexander Hamilton’s lost childhood in the Caribbean—a land of sugar plantations and slavery—where an impoverished orphan must learn to survive despite impossible odds. It is a story of struggle, heartbreak, resilience, and ultimately, triumph.

1765. Alexander Hamilton arrives in St. Croix with his family to begin a new life. He longs for the chance to go to school and fit in, but secrets from his mother’s past threaten to tear his family apart. When he sees a young African slave being tortured, Alexander vows to act. He urges his uncle to buy Ajax and promises to set him free. But tragedy strikes when his father abandons the family and his mother dies of yellow fever. Orphaned and alone, Alex is forced to survive by his wits and resourcefulness. By day he works in a counting house learning the secrets of foreign trade. By night he studies Plutarch and dreams of fame and glory. When Ajax is sold to a brutal planter, Alex vows to save him, even at the risk of his own life. With the aid of a reluctant slave-catcher, he concocts a plan to rescue Ajax, but when the price for helping a slave run away is torture or death, no one is safe.

In this gripping tale, Sophie Schiller re-creates the boyhood of the young man who would grow up to become a Founding Father and one of America's foremost men.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


"The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton is a wonderful read... The musical "Hamilton" has brought the impact of this man in the founding of America sharply into our consciousness. But what author Sophie Schiller has skillfully done here is to take what little is known about Alexander's early life and fashion a fictional story around his upbringing that fleshes out the boy that would become the man. I can highly recommend this read." - Grant Leishman for Reader's Favorite (5 star review)

"The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton is the kind of story that helps to restore faith in mankind. It helps to illustrate that, while there are those who are evil, who care not for their fellow man, there are also those willing to put their lives on the line for others. Author Sophie Schiller's story of Alexander Hamilton shows him to be such a man. In these days when it seems that so little history is taught, and when the veracity of much of what is taught is questionable, this is the kind of story that those both young and old would do well to read." Patricia Reding for Reader's Favorite (5 star review)

About the Author

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She is a novelist and a poet. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her "an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer." Her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE was published by Kindle Scout in 2018 and was called, "A memorable romantic thriller" by Publishers Weekly. Her latest novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, is out now. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 7
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, September 8
Review at Momfluenster

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, September 10
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 11
Review at YA, It's Lit

Saturday, September 12
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, September 14
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Tuesday, September 15
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, September 16
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Saturday, September 19
Review at Reading is My Remedy


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton + a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton

Review & Giveaway: Shame the Devil by Donna Scott

Shame the Devil by Donna Scott

Publication Date: May 11, 2020
William Morrow
Paperback & eBook; 420 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

England, 1643. The Civil War has created a great divide between those who support King Charles and those who would rather see his head on the block. Young Scot Colin Blackburne finds himself caught in the middle when he witnesses Parliamentarians murder his mother because of his father’s allegiance to the king. As further punishment, the family is sent to Yorkshire as indentured servants.

Mistreated by his master and tormented by a Parliamentarian soldier, Colin vows to take up arms for the king and seek vengeance against the men who killed his mother. The only bright spot in his life is his unexpected, and forbidden, friendship with his master’s daughter, Emma Hardcastle.

With her father constantly away on campaign and her mother plagued by madness, Emma is drawn to Colin and his brother, Roddy. She introduces them to her troubled neighbor Alston Egerton, who has a clandestine relationship with Stephen Kitts, the soldier out for Colin’s blood.

As they all become entangled in a twisted web of love, jealousy, desire, and betrayal, the war rages on around them. Resentful at being forced into servitude and forbidden from being with the woman he loves, Colin puts his plan for vengeance into motion, though it will have disastrous consequences for all of them.

Secrets are revealed and relationships are torn apart. With the country teetering on the brink of ruin, Emma fights to survive, Alston is forced to confront his demons, and Colin must decide whether his burning desire to fight for justice is worth sacrificing a future with the woman he loves.

Available on Amazon

Praise for Shame the Devil

"Scott's writing is magnificent...The intricately woven secrets and lies against the backdrop of an unprecedented dethroning of the monarchy make Shame the Devil a page-turning experience. Historical fiction and romance fans should not miss out on this book. Highly recommended." -Chanticleer International Book Reviews

"The references to the situation happening in England during the time of the Civil War are interesting to read about...The struggle between the Parliamentarians and Royalists is fascinating to follow and thought-provoking...and you will follow some lovely characters throughout the book." -Reedsy Reviews

“Scott’s...gentle manipulation of the material [is] appealing and easy to follow, even for those unfamiliar with the details of the English Civil War...I appreciate how Scott used the history to frame the dramatic events of her story...I enjoyed Colin, Roddy, and Emma well-enough, but I was genuinely attached to Alston...I was captivated by his arc and thought his story the most dynamically compelling. Stephen, repugnant though he is, also deserves a shout out as a fabulously layered antagonist.” –Historical Fiction Reader



You know when you finish a book so amazing that you cannot find the adequate words to express just how much you loved it?! Yep, that's what happened to me with Shame the Devil by Donna Scott! I mean, it just took my expectations and absolutely exceeded them. I know Shame the Devil will be in the top 5, if not the Top 3, books I read this year, and one of THE best historical fiction novels I have read to date.

The action kicks off right away when English soldiers rush upon Colin's family home, kill his mother, and take him, his brother, and his father off to England to serve as stablehands at an English manor called Appleton Hall. It's a time of civil unrest in the country - one side is for King Charles I and the other is against. Colin's father fought to keep the King on the throne and is being punished for it.

Emma Hardcastle is the Viscount's daughter at Appleton Hall. Unlike her cold, calculating father and unstable mother, Emma is sweet and charming and smart. Colin and his family are scheduled to serve at Appleton Hall for seven years and during that time, Colin and Emma become close friends and eventually fall in love. But his heart has also been set on leaving England and fighting against the men that killed his mother.

In addition to Emma and Colin's storyline, I was also entranced by Alston and Stephen Kitts' story, as well as Roddy's. I sure hope to see Roddy in the next book :)

Donna is currently working on the sequel and despite all attempts, she is staying mum on what we can expect. She's such a tease :) All I know is that it's going to be brilliant and I absolutely am counting down the days until it's released!

Shame the Devil is exceptional reading! It brings all the feelings and will have you enthralled throughout! I seriously inhaled the last 80% in one sitting and growled at anyone that dare interrupt me :)

If I could give it a million stars I would! Kudos to Donna Scott - I am now your official fan-girl!

About the Author

Donna Scott is an award-winning author of 17th and 18th century historical fiction. Before embarking on a writing career, she spent her time in the world of academia. She earned her BA in English from the University of Miami and her MS and EdD (ABD) from Florida International University. She has two sons and lives in sunny South Florida with her husband. Her first novel, Shame the Devil, received the first place Chaucer Award for historical fiction and a Best Book designation from Chanticleer International Book Reviews. Her newest novel, The London Monster, will be released in January 2021.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 14
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 15
Interview at Novels Alive
Review at Rajiv's Reviews
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Wednesday, September 16
Guest Post at Book Bustle

Thursday, September 17
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, September 18
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink

Monday, September 21
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, September 22
Interview at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 3 paperback copies of Shame the Devil by Donna Scott! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Shame the Devil

Book Blast & Giveaway: A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen

Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 340 pages

Series: Bloodstone, Book 3
Genre: Historical/Suspense/Victorian

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author

Chris was born and raised in Chicago. Her father was a history professor and her mother was, and is, a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto her. She wanted to see the places she read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. She is also a retired police detective who spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her desire to write came in her early teens. After she retired, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes two different series. Her paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters. She currently live in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, September 8
Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 10
Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, September 11
Pursuing Stacie

Saturday, September 12
Novels Alive

Monday, September 14

Tuesday, September 15
A Darn Good Read
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 18
Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, September 21
Tangents and Tissues

Tuesday, September 22
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, September 23
A Book and a Latte

Thursday, September 24
I'm Into Books

Monday, September 28
Coffee and Ink
Donna's Book Blog


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two eBooks of A Venomous Love + a $20 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Venomous Love

Review & Giveaway: The Golden Van Dorens by Nicole Strycharz

The Golden Van Dorens by Nicole Strycharz

Publication Date: September 1, 2020
eBook a& Paperback; 355 Pages

Genre: Historical Thriller

Malcom Van Doren made his fortune in the California Gold Rush of 1849.

By 1853, he spent it all, drowning in debt, and returned to his mine out of desperation.

Steadily, over the years, he went mad.

Known for his lunacy, when Malcom claimed to have discovered gold a second time, no one believed him… not even his family. Too paranoid about his creditors to prove his finding, Malcom Van Doren told everyone he hid his fortune away.

Now, in the year 1880, twenty-seven years after his second discovery, his daughters are each as desperate as he once was for wealth. All of them, for different reasons; revenge, love, or greed.

Three sisters battle to discover their dead father’s gold, but only one will win this race as their own little gold rush ensues.

God help the man that stands between a Golden Van Doren and all that glitters.

Available on Amazon



A father gone mad. Hidden gold. Three sisters at each other's throats and on the hunt for buried treasure.

Sibling rivalry takes center stage in The Golden Van Dorens! I gotta say, in the past I've felt cheated out of being an only child, but after reading this I'm sure glad I am!

Tabitha is the oldest, married rich, and the bitchier of the three. She had to endure the insanity of her father far longer than her sisters so as you are reading the book you can see why she is the way she is.

Morgan is the middle child and is married to a man she loves and is carrying his child. She works at a newspaper with her husband and is a reporter in a time when it was not the norm for a woman. Their happiness at becoming parents soon is tainted when her husband is arrested for the rape and murder of a woman.

Verity is the youngest and a gold digger. She is working as a governess to young children and trying to seduce her wealthy, widowed employer and dreaming of a day where she is taken care of. Though she's not the nicest I did feel for her. I can't imagine losing a mother and two sisters and then being sent away to work as a maid at 9 years old.

When the sisters get word that their estranged father has passed they are summoned home for the reading of the will. Rumors of the buried gold that their father mentioned is brought up and each of them want to try to find it for themselves.

These sisters are stubborn, proud, and tough as nails, and I loved getting to know them. All three sisters are nuanced and complex and each unique, but my favorite definitely has to be Morgan.

I absolutely loved The Golden Van Dorens! It was so much fun to read and kept me rapt throughout! I cannot wait to read more by Nicole Strycharz!

About the Author

Nicole is a multi-genre author of over a dozen books.

"The Divorce" was nominated in the 2016 Indie Book Awards and won second place in the 2016 Best Cover Design in 'Urban Literature Magazine.'

She was featured on the cover of Words + Magazine for her book "The Affair."

She’s known for delving into sensitive and real topics such as in her title “The Love That Hurts” which explored domestic violence with the hopes of giving victims a voice while exposing the red flags of an abusive relationship. Most of her lead female characters are depicted as survivors or evolving overcomers of trauma. Sending a message to readers that every moment and every day they fight for is a victory.

Being of mixed ethnicity, she keeps her cast of characters diverse and tries to highlight the different cultures around the world.

Nicole lives in Virginia with her partner, three children, three stepsons, their amazing Grandparents, and one pretty Pocket-Pittie. She is always reading or working on the next book between mommyhood adventures.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 1
Review at YA, It's Lit

Wednesday, September 2
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 3
Review at Book Bustle
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, September 4
Feature at Gwendalyn's Books

Saturday, September 5
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, September 7
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, September 8
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a 12" by 8" canvas painting of The Van Doren Sisters! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Golden Van Dorens

2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: September Reviews

Welcome to the September link page for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. I hope everyone is staying home safe and reading some yummy books!

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!

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Review & Giveaway: Gilded Dreams by Donna Russo Morin

Gilded Dreams by Donna Russo Morin

Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Magnum Opus
Paperback & eBook; 495 pages

Series: Newport's Gilded Age, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction

From the bestselling author of GILDED SUMMERS comes a powerful novel of the last eight years of the American Women’s fight for suffrage.

The battle for the vote is on fire in America. The powerful and rich women of Newport, Rhode Island, are not only some of the most involved suffragettes, their wealth - especially that of the indomitable Alva Vanderbilt Belmont - nearly single-handedly funded the major suffrage parties. Yet they have been left out of history, tossed aside as mere socialites. In GILDED DREAMS, they reclaim their rightful place in history.

Pearl and Ginevra (GILDED SUMMERS) are two of its most ardent warriors. College graduates, professional women, wives, and mothers, these progressive women have fought their way through some of life’s harshest challenges, yet they survived, yet they thrive. Now they set their sights on the vote, the epitome of all they have struggled for, the embodiment of their dreams.

From the sinking of the Titanic, through World War 1, Pearl and Ginevra are once more put to the test as they fight against politics, outdated beliefs, and the most cutting opponent of all... other women. Yet they will not rest until their voices are heard, until they - and all the women of America - are allowed to cast their vote. But to gain it, they must overcome yet more obstacles, some that put their very lives in danger.

An emotional and empowering journey, GILDED DREAMS is a historical, action-packed love letter to the women who fought so hard for all women who stand on the shoulders of their triumph.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound



Set in Newport in 1912, Gilded Dreams features best friends Ginerva and Pearl who first were introduced in the first book in the series, Gilded Summers. I haven't read the first book yet but the author recaps things well and it really made me want to go back and read it.

Gilded Dreams begins with the horrific news that Pearl's parents and her brother and sister-in-law are all lost in the sinking of the Titanic and that Pearl must go and ID them. Make sure you have tissues at the ready for these scenes - it was heartbreaking! Due to the lack of women's rights at that time, Pearl is told that she is unable to inherit her family's estate and that everything would go to her husband. Infuriated at this she and Ginerva take up Alva Vanderbilt's (yep...that Vanderbilt) invitation to attend a suffrage meeting and they soon take to the movement and begin recruiting other women. And then WWI kicks off and the life of both women are thrown into their new roles.

As we just celebrated the 90th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment, Gilded Dreams could not be more timely. It's a fascinating look at the women who fought before us and for us. I know that I think of them every time I step into the voting booth and when I vote this year I will definitely be thinking of Ginerva and Pearl and all of the brave women that sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

Morin's writing is as stellar as ever! She really knows how to pull at your heartstrings and there is never a dull moment in her books. I can't wait to pick up Gilded Summers soon and get back into Ginerva and Pearl's world. Thanks to Donna for the great read!

About the Author

Donna Russo Morin is an award-winning historical fiction author. Donna has dabbled as a model and actor, working on Showtime's Brotherhood and Martin Scorsese's The Departed. Branching out with her storytelling skills, Donna is now a screenwriter. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Donna lives on the south shore of Rhode Island close to the ocean she loves so very much. She is the proud mother of two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 10
Review at Books, Cooks, and Looks

Wednesday, August 12
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, August 14
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Saturday, August 15
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, August 17
Review at Amy's Booket List

Wednesday, August 19
Review at Book Bustle

Friday, August 21
Guest Post at The Intrepid Reader

Monday, August 24
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, August 25
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, August 26
Review at The Love of Books

Friday, August 28
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, August 31
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 2
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Friday, September 4
Review at A Darn Good Read


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of the book + a painting of a scene from the book painted by the author! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway is open to US residents only and on September 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Gilded Dreams

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