Release Day Blast: The Virgin and the Viscount by Robyn DeHart

It's release day for The Virgin and the Viscount by Robyn DeHart! Just check out that stunning cover! I can't wait to pick this one up!

The Virgin and the Viscount by Robyn DeHart

Publication Date: April 12, 2012
Entangled Publishing/Scandalous

Series: Lords of Vice, Book Four
Genre: Historical Romance


As a Lady of Virtue, Matilda Brooks swears to reform the most despicable man of her acquaintance, her brother-in-law, Sullivan Chase, Viscount Glenbrook. Well he may not be the most despicable, but he is certainly arrogant, flirtatious, and entirely too charming. To make matters worse, he has the irritating tendency to poke fun of her and rile her emotions as no other man does. However, when she confronts him, he laughs off her concern about his slothful ways.

But when a carriage accident forces Sullivan to play knight to Tilly's damsel, his unexpected act of chivalry ends up costing them both their freedom. Her compromised reputation and his honorable declaration forces them into a marriage neither of them wants. Which is most inconvenient, given that she has sworn to despise him forever.

Amazon | B&N | Google Play | Kobo


About the Author


A life-long lover of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ's and computer. Award-winning author, Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn't be happier for doing so. Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a favorite among readers and reviewers. Publishers' Weekly claims her writing to be "comical and sexy" while the Chicago Tribune dubs her "wonderfully entertaining." Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers' Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader's Crown nominee.

Look for Robyn's new series about the seven deadly sins coming in 2017. When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters. They live in the hill country of Texas where it's hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.

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Release Day Blast Hosts

The Lit Bitch
Coffee and Ink
Pursuing Stacie
Jessica Belmont
100 Pages a Day
Books & Benches
Donna's Book Blog
Passages to the Past
Gwendalyn's Books
Two Bookish Babes
Books, Cooks, Looks
Reading is My Remedy
Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Historical Fiction with Spirit
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals


Interview & Giveaway: The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy

Happy Saturday, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to be hosting an interview with Renee Yancy who is currently touring the blogosphere for The Test of Gold!

I hope you enjoy getting to know Renee! We also have a giveaway going on so be sure to enter.



Hello Renee, and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Test of Gold!

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

Like many authors, I started out as a voracious reader. My parents had to force me to go outside during summer vacation because I’d rather sit inside and read. Once I discovered historical fiction, I was hooked for life.

What inspired you to write The Test of Gold?

I read about the true story of Consuelo Vanderbilt, an original “dollar princess,” whose mother forced her to marry the Duke of Marlborough at the age of eighteen.

What research did you undertake when writing The Test of Gold?

I read many books about the Gilded Age, researched Charles Worth of Paris ballgown designs, and studied Gilded Age menus for a start.

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Test of Gold?

That, as you’re growing up, it’s important to follow your heart and not be dissuaded by other people to become something you’re not.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I think the wedding scene may have been my favorite scene.
 
What was the most difficult scene to write?

I actually didn’t have any in this story. But there was definitely a difficult scene in the next book, More Precious Than Gold.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Sometime around 2004, I read St. Patrick’s Confession, in which he mentions that he had the privilege of baptizing a beautiful Irish princess. That was my inspiration for my first book, set in ancient Ireland, A Secret Hope.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Since I’m still working as an RN and have three grandchildren, I have to write in fits and bursts!

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

Always wondering if my writing is any good!

Who are your writing inspirations?

Diana Gabaldon, Thomas Clavell, Anya Seton, Francine Rivers, Larry McMurtry

What was the first historical novel you read?

The first historical novel that impacted my life was Katherine, by Anya Seaton. I still reread it every so often.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I’m currently reading All Things Left Wild, by James Wade. I love me a good Western!

What is something people may not know about you?

I wanted to be a nun all through grade school until I discovered boys in high school.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love living vicariously through my characters and going down the rabbit hole of research.

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

I love ancient history, medieval history and the Tudor/Plantagenet eras.

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

Read! And collect pottery and glass.
 
Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m working on the 3rd book in this trilogy, Threads of Gold.


The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy

Publication Date: March 15, 2021
Vinspire Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 350 pages

Series: Hearts of Gold, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance


Heiress Evangeline "Lindy" Lindenmayer has been groomed since childhood to marry into the British aristocracy as her mother's ultimate ambition is a royal title for the family name. But literature fascinates Lindy far more than ballgowns, and she spends all her free time in the library, the only room in the Fifth Avenue mansion where she can safely indulge her passion for reading and find refuge from the prying eyes of her mother.

Jack Winthrop is studying for the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and has been invited to use the Lindemayer's library for his studies. His sole experience of upper-class young women has occurred at his uncle's church, where he has found these young debutantes universally featherbrained. When he meets Lindy, he is pleasantly surprised to discover she has wide-ranging interests and is highly intelligent. Although cautioned by his uncle to stay away from her, he finds Lindy a kindred spirit and over animated discussions of books and life, they fall in love.

But to reach happily ever after, Lindy will need to challenge her mother's long-laid plans, and weathering the approaching storm will take more backbone than she even knew she had.

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound



About the Author


Renee Yancy is a long time history and archaeology nut who has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Now she writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail on every aspect of living in a different time period, interwoven with strong characters and a tale full of pathos and conflict. She wants to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.

When she’s not writing, Renee Facetimes with her twin grandbabies, and lives in Kentucky with her husband and two mutts. She enjoys reading, antiquing, and collecting pottery.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 5
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, April 6
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, April 7
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, April 8
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower

Friday, April 9
Review at Novels Alive
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, April 10
Interview at Passages to the Past

Sunday, April 11
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, April 12
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, April 13
Review & Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 14
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win an eBook of The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy! Two eBooks are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Test of Gold

Book Blast & Giveaway: Fiery Girls by Heather Wardell

Hello dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to host the Book Blast for Fiery Girls, the new book from Heather Wardell! I've long been fascinated by the awful Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire tragedy which killed 146 facotry workers, mostly women, in 1911.

You can read all about the new release and enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!


Fiery Girls by Heather Wardell

Publication Date: March 25, 2021
Heather Wardell

Genre: Historical Fiction


Two young immigrant women. One historic strike. And the fire that changed America.

In 1909, shy sixteen-year-old Rosie Lehrer is sent to New York City to earn money for her family's emigration from Russia. She will, but she also longs to make her mark on the world before her parents arrive and marry her to a suitable Jewish man. Could she somehow become one of the passionate and articulate "fiery girls" of her garment workers' union?

Maria Cirrito, spoiled and confident, lands at Ellis Island a few weeks later. She's supposed to spend four years earning American wages then return home to Italy with her new-found wealth to make her family's lives better. But the boy she loves has promised, with only a little coaxing, to follow her to America and marry her. So she plans to stay forever. With him.

Rosie and Maria meet and become friends during the "Uprising of the 20,000" garment workers' strike, and they're working together at the Triangle Waist Company on March 25, 1911 when a discarded cigarette sets the factory ablaze. 146 people die that day, and even those who survive will be changed forever.

Carefully researched and full of historic detail, "Fiery Girls" is a novel of hope: for a better life, for turning tragedy into progress, and for becoming who you're meant to be.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author


Heather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of twenty-one self-published novels. She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and can't imagine ever leaving it. In her spare time, she reads, swims, walks, lifts weights, crochets, changes her hair colour, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 15
Novels Alive

Tuesday, March 16
Bookish Rantings

Wednesday, March 17
Crystal's Library

Thursday, March 18
With A Book In Our Hands

Friday, March 19
Just One More Chapter
The Whispering Bookworm

Monday, March 22
I'm Into Books

Tuesday, March 23
CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, March 24
Coffee and Ink

Thursday, March 25
What Is That Book About

Friday, March 26
Bookworlder
View from the Birdhouse

Monday, March 29
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, March 30
A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, March 31
Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, April 1
Bibliostatic

Friday, April 2
Pursuing Stacie

Monday, April 5
Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, April 6
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 7
The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, April 9
Rachelle Loves Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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

Fiery Girls

Review & Giveaway: Paris in Ruins by M.K. Tod


Paris in Ruins by M.K. Tod

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Heath Street Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction


Paris 1870. Raised for a life of parties and servants, Camille and Mariele have much in common, but it takes the horrors of war to bring them together to fight for the city and people they love.

A few weeks after the abdication of Napoleon III, the Prussian army lays siege to Paris. Camille Noisette, the daughter of a wealthy family, volunteers to nurse wounded soldiers and agrees to spy on a group of radicals plotting to overthrow the French government. Her future sister-in-law, Mariele de Crécy, is appalled by the gaps between rich and poor. She volunteers to look after destitute children whose families can barely afford to eat.

Somehow, Camille and Mariele must find the courage and strength to endure months of devastating siege, bloody civil war, and great personal risk. Through it all, an unexpected friendship grows between the two women, as they face the destruction of Paris and discover that in war women have as much to fight for as men.

War has a way of teaching lessons—if only Camille and Mariele can survive long enough to learn them.

Amazon | B&N | Google Play | Kobo


Praise for Paris in Ruins

"The story of two women whose families were caught up in the defense of Paris is deeply moving and suspenseful." -Margaret George, author of Splendor Before the Dark: A Novel of the Emperor Nero

"Tod is not only a good historian, but also an accomplished writer … a gripping, well-limned picture of a time and a place that provide universal lessons." -Kirkus Reviews.

"M.K. Tod's elegant style and uncanny eye for time and place again shine through in her riveting new tale, Paris in Ruins." -Jeffrey K. Walker author of No Hero’s Welcome

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Guess who's back? Back again? MK's back...tell a friend :)

MK Tod is back with another gripping, emotional historical that will grip you from the start!

Paris in Ruins tells the story of the siege on Paris during the Franco-Prussian War through the eyes of two upper class women, Camille and Mariele. Although they are soon to be sisters-in-law the two don't become close until they are thrust into helping the city during the tumult.

Camille refuses to leave the city when her mother and siblings escape before the siege and stays to see what she can do to help. When the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt opens a hospital to help treat the wounded Camille signs up to help.

Mariele sees the disparity in the streets. Food is either scarce or too expensive. The poor are dying from starvation and battle for the city is imminent. She soon becomes involved in a group that helps young children, while she waits for word from her fiancé who is fighting.

I was blown away by the courage and conviction of these two women, and the love they had for their city. I think this quote sums them both up pretty well:

"I'm doing it for Paris, for my family and friends, and for France. It's important, and I want to do something important. I'm privileged, Monsieur. Privileged to be part of an educated, wealthy class. With privilege comes responsibility."

Paris in Ruins is truly a remarkable read! There is never a dull moment. In fact, the scenes where Miriele and her mother try to escape seriously had me at the edge of my seat! There was romance, and a little mystery as well so truly something for everyone.

This is my first read about the siege of Paris and MK Tod did a fabulous job at bringing it to life! I highly recommend it!

About the Author



Paris In Ruins is M.K. Tod’s fourth novel. Mary began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her other novels are Time and Regret, Lies Told in Silence, and Unravelled. Beyond writing novels, Mary’s award-winning blog, www.awriterofhistory.com features the reading and writing of historical fiction. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, you can find her hiking, golfing, traveling, or hanging out with friends and family. Mary is married and has two adult children and two delightful grandchildren.

For more information visit M.K. Tod's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 30
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, March 31
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 1
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, April 2
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, April 4
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, April 5
Review at Madwoman in the Attic

Tuesday, April 6
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, April 7
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, April 8
Feature at Mia Reads

Friday, April 9
Review at Bibliostatic

Saturday, April 10
Review at Girl Who Reads

Monday, April 12
Review at Reader_ceygo

Tuesday, April 13
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, April 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Excerpt at Wishful Endings

Thursday, April 15
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Friday, April 16
Interview at Unabridged Chick

Monday, April 19
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, April 20
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Review at With a Book in Our Hands

Giveaway

We have one paperback copy of Paris in Ruins up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Paris in Ruins


Excerpt & Giveaway: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper


The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery


A young prodigy in need of family. A painting that shatters a woman’s peace. And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Deeply researched. Emotional. Atmospheric and alive. . . Tea Cooper transports the reader to a sweeping landscape of turn of the twentieth century Australia—from the raw realities of the Australian goldfields to the sophisticated institutions of Sydney—and does so with an expert pen. Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” —Kristy Cambron, award-winning author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound



Excerpt

Birkenhead, England, 1862

“Ó’Cuinn. Michael.” The clerk studied the sheath of papers in his hand, then spat toward the rail. The globule missed, landing with a plop on the deck. “Where’s your sister?”

A small hand crept into Michael’s palm and his sister turned her face up, leaned against his legs.

The mismatched group of people—men, women, children—standing behind him pushed closer, impatient to present their papers and secure a berth.

“Get a move on. Answer the question.”

He stared up at the mast, his mind in turmoil. The crowd behind him rumbled. “She’s here.”

The clerk scribbled a series of unintelligible marks on their papers and glared down. “Got you down for the single men’s accommodation.” He flicked his thumb over his shoulder, down into the bowels of the ship. “No berth for her down there. Says here she’s in the family accommodation with Nuala Ó’Cuinn.”

“That’s me aunty. She died six months ago. I told them in the office.” A bloke behind him gave a shove, releasing the festering coil of anger deep in Michael’s gut. “We’ve been on the manifest for almost a year, down for family accommodation.” He stabbed at the papers. “Says so right there. You sort it out. You’re the one pushing your weight around, keeping everyone waiting.”

“Remarks like that ain’t going to get you anything special. No single men in family accommodation. How old are you?”

“Fifteen.”

“Over fourteen. Too old for family accommodation.”

Michael drew in a slow breath. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! What was a man supposed to do? It couldn’t be the first time a brother and sister had immigrated to Australia.

A stout woman who barely reached his shoulder pushed forward. “I’ll take the little angel with me.”

Michael reached down and hitched the mop-headed little bundle of bones up against his shoulder.

“Who are you?” The clerk rolled his eyes and leaned on his elbow.

“Mrs. Cameron. Mrs. William Cameron. Full fare-paying passenger.” She thrust her ticket at the clerk and smiled down at Michael’s sister. “You’re a pretty little thing, ain’t you, with them big blue eyes and lovely curls. Lucky you didn’t get your brother’s black looks.”

What was a man to do? The woman looked kindly enough.

“I’ll get her settled with me. Be good to have some company. What’s your name, poppet?”

“Elizabeth. Her name’s Elizabeth.”

About the Author

Tea is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist's Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress, and The Girl in the Painting.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 9
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, March 10
Review at Crystal's Library

Thursday, March 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at Proverbial Reads

Friday, March 12
Review at Jessica Belmont

Monday, March 15
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, March 16
Review at Bibliostatic
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, March 17
Review at the.b00kreader

Thursday, March 18
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Book Drunkard

Friday, March 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, March 20
Review at Nursebookie
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, March 22
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, March 23
Review at Heidi Reads

Wednesday, March 24
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Thursday, March 25
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Friday, March 26
Review at Hallie Reads

Saturday, March 27
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 29
Review at Bookworlder
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, March 30
Review at Rachelle Loves Books

Wednesday, March 31
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Girl in the Painting

Interview & Giveaway: Knight of Runes by Ruth A. Casie



Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to share my interview with Author Ruth A. Casie with you! Ruth is currently on Blog Tour for Knight of Runes and she's here to talk about the book, researching, and more! Hope you enjoy getting to know Ruth and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Hello Ruth and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Knight of Runes!

Hi Amy, Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Amy. I’m excited to be here.

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

I’m happiest when I’m telling stories either chatting in a group or writing them down. I love to put my hero and heroine in tough situations and dare them to work it out—together, always together. They haven’t disappointed. Oh, they complain but in the end their love and relationships are stronger than ever.

I have three series. The Druid Knight stories are a historical time travel series. The Stelton Legacy is historical fantasy about the seven sons of a seventh son. Havenport Romances are stories set in a small coast Rhode Island town. I also write stories in the connected world the Pirates of Britannia.

What inspired you to write Knight of Runes?

Before I retired I was an international product manager for a large US bank. One of my responsibilities was giving product seminars for clients. I know I will be dating myself here, but this was in the days before webinars. I traveled overseas conducted the seminar and afterwards met with clients to close deals. To optimize on my airfare, my trips were a minimum of two weeks. I usually traveled alone and met with my bank’s in-country officer at their location.

I read on the long plane rides and found it much more tolerable to read a book when I dined alone. I would stuff my suitcase with 6-8 romance novels. They were quick reads, and I would give them away when I finished them. That’s how I got hooked on romance stories.

Fast forward to 2009. A good friend told me she was going to write a romance novel and I volunteered to brainstorm, beta read, do anything to help her. Once we started I realized I had my own story to write. We decided we would each write our books and try to sell them together. She had several other priorities. She was busy with training for the NY marathon and looking at colleges with her daughter. So, while she put her writing on hold I continued to write and in four months I had 104 thousand words and my first book completed.

What research did you undertake when writing Knight of Runes?

There was so much that it’s hard to know where to start. I knew the essence of the story. A modern accomplished female researcher goes back in time to the seventeenth century, faces society norms of what a woman can and cannot do, must overcome them to find her way back to her century, but oh… she falls in love a Druid Knight. She scoffs at his magic until she realizes he’s her only hope to return… if she still wants to. I researched what a historical researcher needs to know and do. I took an online class at Stanford to understand the technical and historic issues about manuscripts. There was a lot of online information about druids. I read myths and belief systems to better prepare. My hero was not only a knight but a druid grand master. I even delved in magic and belief systems around them. The overarching research was the perception and treatment of women in seventeenth century England. It made for great conflict between the hero and heroine.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Knight of Runes?

The power of love (not to be confused with Huey Lewis, or do I date myself?) This is a love story of two people that work hard against obstacles in order to overcome challenges to their basic beliefs and the accepted norms of the time. For Arik and Rebeka, nothing could keep them apart, not even four hundred years. That’s the kind of love I want.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The opening scene is Runes is fight scene. You asked about research before. The best compliment I received for that scene was from my husband. He sat by my desk and asked how I had written the scene. Somewhat surprised, I asked him why. “Because you don’t fight. You don’t do any martial arts, yet you had me right there in the middle of it all.”

Researching, watching YouTube videos, and choreographing the scene was challenging and thrilling at the same time. It wasn’t just the fight itself, but the characters reaction. Arik sees Rebeka fight for the first time and realizes there is more to this woman than meets the eye.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

I cried when I wrote the black moment. In this scene, Rebeka must take some responsibility for Arik’s actions. She has kept her time travel from him. Arik is forced to decide between what he believes (society norms) and how he feels about her. As a result, he suspects Rebeka is the villain in our story and because he is unable to see any other explanation makes a nearly fatal mistake.

I loved these characters from the moment they came to life on the page. I can see them racing across the field, fighting side by side, and loving each other. Pitting them against each other wounded me as much as it did them. I still read that scene and cry.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Some people know they want to be writers at an early age. They’re encouraged in school and at home. While my family and teachers encouraged me to grow and learn, I didn’t show any great literary tendencies. As a matter of fact, my high school English teacher is probably spinning in his grave at the thought of me being an award-winning author. That said, when I told my older sister that I had written and had this book published she told me she wasn’t at all surprised. I always had a story in my head. I would make her dress up and act them out with me. (She’s fifteen years older than me. I wish I could find the picture of her in a cowboy shirt and me on a tricycle as a cowgirl.) While writing wasn’t my start, storytelling certainly was.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

It is just my husband and me. Our three children are all grown and on their own. I wrote my first book while I was working full time and president of the board of a moderate size not-for-profit. I found time at night and on weekends.

I made writing my job after I retired. Now, I sit down at my desk after my morning routine, breakfast. I take a break around lunchtime and run errands or visit with friends (before Covid). I was in the habit of writing after dinner but now that I can write all day I make an effort to close down and spend more time with my live-in knight in shining armor. Writing on weekends depend on our plans and on my deadlines. My knight is very understanding.

I usually write about 1,500-3,000 words a day. It really depends on how diligent I’ve been with my character study. For me that’s the secret. The better I know my characters the better (and faster) I can write. I can put them into situations and know how they will react.

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

I have unruly characters. I know. You would think that I would have total control of my characters. After all, I create them. That’s true but there are times when my character is at my shoulder and tells me, “I wouldn’t say that.” In one story one character had the nerve to tell me he had a twin sister.

Actually, I enjoy when my characters speak up. I’ve learned to worry when they don’t. You see, when my characters take on a life of their own they become real, relatable. Although there is a draw back like the time I got stopped for going a bit too fast on the parkway. When the patrolman asked why I was in a hurry I told him… Well, for the full story sign up for my newsletter and you’ll find the full story along with a free book. I can tell you my hero saved me from a traffic ticket.

Who are your writing inspirations?

The authors in my genre who have inspired me are Eliza Knight, who was an early mentor of mine, and Katheryn LeVeque. Both women write powerful historical fiction and romance and are well respected in the genre. Their guidance and friendship have been meaningful and encouraging.

What was the first historical novel you read?

One of the books I took with me on my first international flight was Jude Deveraux’s Knight in Shining Armor. That perked my interest in time travel romance and knights. Up until then I read adventure stories by Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I am a Julia Quinn fan. After watching the Bridgerton series on Netflix. I ransacked my bookshelf, found my copies. and re-read the first three books in the series. It was as much fun to read now as it was the first time. What are three things people may not know about you?

Here are few things only a few people know about me:

1. I filled my passport up in one year. (I did a lot of traveling through Europe and Asia for the bank)
2. I did a rap for my son’s first grade class (he was my percussion section) to “How Many Trucks Can a Tow Truck Tow If a Tow Truck Could Tow Trucks.” (He’s 37 now, but I still remember the event very clearly.)
3. When I cook I dance. (I have music on when I cook. My husband would rather I dance than try to sing,)
Bonus: My Sudoku book is in the bathroom. I’m not saying anything else about that.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I attended a conference (in days we could actually attend in person) where Maya Rodale spoke about why romance matters. I enjoy romance because the stories are about women who triumph. I love historical romance because the stories are about women who triumph in a world that didn’t want or think that women could triumph.

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

I love historicals—medieval and renaissance. Some women are turned on by a uniform. I love knights in kilts and armor. I enjoy the conflict between strong men and empowered women who fight against society norms and how they must work together to reach their goal and their happily ever after.

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

Aside from reading just about anything and I enjoy my children and grandchildren, I enjoy cooking. Here is one of my favorite recipes.

Recipe Title: Rebeka’s Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

Ingredients:

¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat the broiler
2. Spray the rack of a broiler pan with nonstick spray
3. Mix the brown sugar, mustard and dill together in a small bowl.
4. Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon and place on the broiler pan and spoon the brown sugar glaze on top. (You will not use all of it – it keeps forever in the fridge)
5. Position the broiler pan about 7 inches from the heat and broil just until its opaque, about 6 minutes

NOTE: Don’t turn the fillet. The glaze works well on chicken and pork.

This is a favorite recipe of our sorceress scholarly heroine, Rebeka Tyler. She was ecstatic when she found the ingredients for this recipe in Doward’s wagon (the traveling tradesman). Imagine her surprise when Lord Arik brought home a fine salmon along with a healthy appetite. She couldn’t wait to tempt him with her offering(s). Luckily for both of them, this recipe takes less than ten minutes. This is the 21st century version.

PS…Rebeka served the salmon to Lord Arik in the Great Hall. Tantalized, he licked the sticky glaze from his fingers never taking his eyes off her. But that’s a totally different story that’s available in KNIGHT OF RAPTURE.

PPS…My son made this recipe whenever he wanted to impress his roommates, their parents, or his heart throb. With a side of whipped potatoes and a vinaigrette salad, all you need is a decadent chocolate cake to finish off the meal.

UPDATE…My son and said heart throb recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. I claim no credit. Well, maybe just some.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Knight of Remorse. The third book in this series. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will tell you that being a villain isn’t always what it appears.

Love it! Thank you for being with us today, Ruth!

 

Knight of Runes by Ruth A. Casie

Publication Date: May 21, 2020
Timeless Scribes Publishing LLC
Paperback & eBook: 368 pages

Genre: Time Travel Romance


England, 1605. When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he's intrigued.

Rebeka is no ordinary 17th-century woman - she's travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what's killing Arik's land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik's household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author


Hi – I’m Ruth A. Casie and I write historical and contemporary romance. You might be wondering what I’m about. Sit back and let me tell you.

I’m happiest when I’m telling stories either chatting in a group or writing them down. I love to put my hero and heroine in tough situations and dare them to work it out—together, always together. They haven’t disappointed. Oh, they complain but in the end their love and relationships are stronger than ever.

My stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. They will keep you turning the pages until the end. I hope my books become your favorite adventures.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 15
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, March 16
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, March 17
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, March 18
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 19
Review & Excerpt at Books, Cooks, Looks

Sunday, March 21
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, March 23
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, March 24
Review at Amy's Booket List

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Knight of Runes

Interview & Giveaway: Queenie's Place by Toni Morgan



Hello all and please welcome Author Toni Morgan to the blog today! Toni is currently touring for Queenie's Place, her fabulous new historical that I greatly enjoyed. You can check out my review here.

Hello Toni and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Queenie’s Place!

Thank you!

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

It is my pleasure to be here. I am a westerner—born in Alaska, raised in Oregon, married in Hawaii, spent 30 years traveling the world as a military spouse, returned to Oregon and am now living in Boise, Idaho. I have three sons and nine grandchildren, including 18-year-old triplets. I discovered the pleasure of reading when I was nine or ten, and writing when I was a teen. At sixteen I wrote a short story—you know that advice that you should write what you know? Well, at sixteen, I’d never had a boyfriend and never flown in a plane, so naturally chose to write a romance between a pilot and a stewardess, as we used to call flight attendants. I sent it to the old Saturday Evening Post then waited on pins and needles to be ‘discovered.’ Although a very kind editor wrote me a personal note to keep on writing as I had talent, it was still a rejection (the first of hundreds) and I was crushed. I turned my attention to non-fiction articles for years. It wasn’t until I retired from banking that I returned to my first love of writing fiction. Besides Queenie’s Place, my published books are Patrimony, about the Quebec separatist movement in the 1960’s and 70’s, Two-Hearted Crossing, a companion to Patrimony set in northern Idaho, Echoes From a Falling Bridge, about WWII from the viewpoint of rural Japanese, Harvest the Wind, second of my WWII trilogy, this one set in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho, Lotus Blossom Unfurling, the third in the trilogy, set in Japan and Idaho following the war, plus Between Love and Hate, a collection of short stories set around the world.

What inspired you to write Queenie’s Place?

One day when my husband was stationed in North Carolina, my neighbor called. She told me that her car had broken down out in the country and would I come and pick her up. I said of course and wrote down directions. Before hanging up she whispered, “And hurry. This place is weird.” It actually didn’t look weird. Flowers bordered the walk to the front door of a plain-looking house. It was a brothel. We giggled all the way home about telling our husbands where we’d been. But I thought about those women for years, wondering what their lives were like, how they got there, and what they thought of two middle-class, middle-aged white women dropping into their lives.

What research did you undertake when writing Queenie’s Place?

I needed to do some brushing up on the Vietnam War, dates for instance, but for the most part I didn’t need to do much. I’d lived it—the protest marches and all the anger, and life as a military spouse. I’d also lived for a time in the Jim Crow south before Civil Rights legislation and desegregation. The military is very leveling, by the way. It had desegregated long before the rest of the country. It took a bit longer for women in the military to be treated equally, however.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Queenie’s Place?

A few have dismissed Queenie’s Place as just another story about a White woman going to the rescue of a Black woman. I sincerely hope most see it as a true friendship of two strong women—Queenie gives just as much to Doreen as Doreen gives to Queenie. I think it’s also a window into the life of a military family. Some of my friends think that Doreen is me, that Queenie’s Place is memoir. No. Doreen is the woman I would like to have been, but sadly didn’t have the courage. Mostly, I hope Queenie’s Place will give readers a perspective they hadn’t had before.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Queenie’s memories.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The Klan scene and Charlotte’s reaction to Doreen afterward.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a kid.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I’ve recently taken a break from writing and been concentrating on my art, but I’m getting back to it, working on a novel about three women in the early 1900’s who come together to work for women’s suffrage. Two of the women are based on my maternal and paternal grandmothers. I’m an early riser and do most of my writing before noon.

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

My greatest challenge, and I suspect most writers, is realizing that writing is what I do, my product, so to speak, it’s not who I am as a person. So, I have no problem with critiques and criticism—I have the choice whether to incorporate or ignore it. I include rejections (and I received hundreds over the years) in the same category.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Hemingway, Kate Atkinson, Anthony Doerr, Abraham Verghese, and Sharon Kay Penman among many more.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I not sure of the names, but I read a lot about nurses in the Pacific during WWII when I was still in grade school. When I was a teenager, Gone With the Wind and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Do you see a through-line here?

What is the last historical novel you read?

Jennifer Winspear’s, The Care and Management of Lies

What are three things people may not know about you?

1) I was born in Alaska when it was still a territory and I lived (and married) in Hawaii when it was still a territory;
2) I was an exchange student to Denmark when I was sixteen—it there that I became interested in history;
3) I always loved words, even when I didn’t know the meaning—at ten or eleven, I famously asked my dad if he was a communist or a pedestrian. He told me he was a communist and kept his flag in the closet. That sailed right over my head. Now I wonder if I told my teacher my dad was a communist.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I like writing historical fiction because the skeleton of the story is there. Fleshing it out is the challenge.

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

The war years, I and II. In the past, I’ve enjoyed reading about England during the thirteenth-fifteenth centuries.

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

I paint.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Walla Walla Women. This is a story inspired by my maternal grandmother, who left England to marry a man twenty years her senior, sight unseen—he was a goldminer and the family black sheep. His brothers were her mother’s borders and they talked her into it because they thought it was time for him to settle down; my paternal grandmother, who received her doctoral degree from Cornell University in 1910; and my late husband’s maternal grandmother who traveled with her mother and four younger siblings from Rising Star, Texas, to Calgary, Canada, to Walla Walla, Washington, in a covered wagon, following her cowboy father. Kind of fun.

That sounds like a lot of fun! Can't wait to read it! Thank you for being here today with us, Toni!


Queenie's Place by Toni Morgan

Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Adelaide Books Publishers
Paperback & eBook; 302 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Queenie's Place, set in rural North Carolina in the early seventies, is the story of an unusual sisterhood between a thirty-something white woman from California and a fifty-something black woman from the south. From the moment Doreen Donavan sees the “Welcome to Klan Country” sign outside Goldsboro, North Carolina is one culture shock after another. She thinks the women she meets on the military base, where she and her family now live, are the dullest, stuffiest, most stuck-up women she’s ever run across, and frankly, they don’t think much of her either. She’s hot, miserable, and bored. Then one day, BAM, her car tire goes flat, right in front of a roadhouse outside the town of Richland, near where MCB Camp Puller is located. Inside, Queenie is holding forth at the piano. The place is jumping. Besides the music, there’s dancing and the best barbecue in North Carolina. Doreen’s husband, Tom arrives and must practically peel her out of the place. Queenie doesn’t expect to see Doreen again, but Doreen comes back and their unlikely friendship begins. Without warning, Queenie’s place is closed, the women accused of prostitution and bootlegging. A born crusader (she cut her teeth demonstrating against the Vietnam War—yes, even with her husband over there), Doreen quickly dons her armor and saddles up. Things don’t go quite as planned.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author


A longtime military spouse, TONI MORGAN has lived in many parts of the US and also for nearly four years in rural Japan. There she had the good fortune to work part-time in a Japanese pottery factory. That rich experience led to the first in her WWII trilogy ECHOES FROM A FALLING BRIDGE, which gives a unique view of life in rural Japan during the war. Second in the trilogy is HARVEST THE WIND, partially set in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho's Magic Valley. The third in the series is LOTUS BLOSSOM UNFURLING, which continues the saga after the war ends. She also wrote PATRIMONY, and TWO-HEARTED CROSSING, companion books set in Montreal Quebec Canada during the Quebec Separatist Movement and 20 years later, in northern Idaho. Her novel QUEENIE'S PLACE is a 2019 National Book Award in Literature nominee. Her short stories have appeared in various literary magazines and journals, and her short story "Tin Soldier" was included in MOORING AGAINST THE TIDE, a creative fiction and poetry textbook published by Prentice Hall. Her most recent release is BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE, a collection of short stories, including Pushcart Prize nominee "The House on East Orange Street" and the aforementioned "Tin Soldier."

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, March 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 19
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, March 20
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Monday, March 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Wednesday, March 24
Review at YA, It's Lit

Friday, March 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, March 27
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, March 28
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Monday, March 29
Review at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, March 31
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, April 1
Review at American Historical Novels Book Club

Friday, April 2
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

Enter to win a set of signed paperback copies of Toni Morgan's WWII Trilogy!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Queenie's Place

Review & Giveaway: Queenie's Place by Toni Morgan


Queenie's Place by Toni Morgan

Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Adelaide Books Publishers
Paperback & eBook; 302 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Queenie's Place, set in rural North Carolina in the early seventies, is the story of an unusual sisterhood between a thirty-something white woman from California and a fifty-something black woman from the south. From the moment Doreen Donavan sees the “Welcome to Klan Country” sign outside Goldsboro, North Carolina is one culture shock after another. She thinks the women she meets on the military base, where she and her family now live, are the dullest, stuffiest, most stuck-up women she’s ever run across, and frankly, they don’t think much of her either. She’s hot, miserable, and bored. Then one day, BAM, her car tire goes flat, right in front of a roadhouse outside the town of Richland, near where MCB Camp Puller is located. Inside, Queenie is holding forth at the piano. The place is jumping. Besides the music, there’s dancing and the best barbecue in North Carolina. Doreen’s husband, Tom arrives and must practically peel her out of the place. Queenie doesn’t expect to see Doreen again, but Doreen comes back and their unlikely friendship begins. Without warning, Queenie’s place is closed, the women accused of prostitution and bootlegging. A born crusader (she cut her teeth demonstrating against the Vietnam War—yes, even with her husband over there), Doreen quickly dons her armor and saddles up. Things don’t go quite as planned.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Marine Corps Wife for Peace"

Doreen Donavan isn't afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right and protesting the Vietnam War even when her own husband is over there fighting is something she is passionate about despite the criticism she receives for doing so.

When her husband returns from war they are relocated to the military base in Camp Puller, North Carolina. Moving from California Doreen is in for a shock when she sees a Klan sign in her new neighborhood. She's horrified at seeing such hate. She happens upon Queenie's Place one day when her car tire goes flat and that is the start of Doreen and Queenie's friendship. Although they are from completely different backgrounds and racial tensions are high around them, the two women quickly bond and establish a relationship of love and trust. When Queenie's Place is being threatened to shut down and her and her family are in physical danger, Doreen knows she has to do all that she can to try and help Queenie, despite the danger involved and possibly hurting her marriage as Doreen takes on the local officials.

I really loved Doreen and Queenie - both women were smart, strong, and resilient. There are also some fabulous secondary characters, especially Doreen's son.

Toni Morgan's writing is excellent and the plot moved deftly. Queenie's Place is an important and entertaining read that I highly recommend!

About the Author


A longtime military spouse, TONI MORGAN has lived in many parts of the US and also for nearly four years in rural Japan. There she had the good fortune to work part-time in a Japanese pottery factory. That rich experience led to the first in her WWII trilogy ECHOES FROM A FALLING BRIDGE, which gives a unique view of life in rural Japan during the war. Second in the trilogy is HARVEST THE WIND, partially set in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho's Magic Valley. The third in the series is LOTUS BLOSSOM UNFURLING, which continues the saga after the war ends. She also wrote PATRIMONY, and TWO-HEARTED CROSSING, companion books set in Montreal Quebec Canada during the Quebec Separatist Movement and 20 years later, in northern Idaho. Her novel QUEENIE'S PLACE is a 2019 National Book Award in Literature nominee. Her short stories have appeared in various literary magazines and journals, and her short story "Tin Soldier" was included in MOORING AGAINST THE TIDE, a creative fiction and poetry textbook published by Prentice Hall. Her most recent release is BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE, a collection of short stories, including Pushcart Prize nominee "The House on East Orange Street" and the aforementioned "Tin Soldier."

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, March 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 19
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, March 20
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Monday, March 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Wednesday, March 24
Review at YA, It's Lit

Friday, March 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, March 27
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, March 28
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Monday, March 29
Review at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, March 31
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, April 1
Review at American Historical Novels Book Club

Friday, April 2
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

Enter to win a set of signed paperback copies of Toni Morgan's WWII Trilogy!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Queenie's Place

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