Sunday, March 30, 2014

QUEEN ELIZABETH'S DAUGHTER- My Review





Mistress Mary Shelton was Queen Elizabeth’s cousin (Anne Boleyn line) and the new queen’s ward since the age of three, when Mary became an orphan - and  Elizabeth had just turned twenty-five at the time.  The queen loved Mary and truly treated her as her own daughter.

Brought up in the most royal entourage- with lessons in dance, music, languages, embroidering- Mary was Elizabeth’s pride and joy. Along with these privileges though came the attachment of a nonnegotiable marriage arrangement.  As dear and obliging and forever the apple of Elizabeth’s eye, Mary would ultimately disappoint by plotting against the queen by making her own marital choice…

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER is a refreshing new take on the Tudor’s.  Barnhill takes us through Elizabeth’s life to yet another side that I was pleasantly unaware of.  I particularly loved that Elizabeth actually had a caring ‘motherly’ side to her (something I honestly thought impossible).  

Historical purist will revel in the incredible detail in this book.  I’m talking fashion, beauty care regimens, setting and all the little details that help pull together with delicious accuracy the essence and real- to- life feel of the Elizabethan times.  I can especially say that of all the details I enjoyed most were those of Elizabeth’s summer travels.

I commend Barnhill for writing this descriptive and captivating novel which shows a different side of Elizabeth- the nurturing one (oh but don’t be fooled- the book is also filled with all the historical intricacies, plots and politics that prevailed).   

Another bonus:  The fact that the author herself is a direct descendant of Mary Shelton certainly adds to stir interest in her writing and research process.  Can you imagine the trail of tid-bits, info and tales she must have learned about her ancestors?

If you’re interested in finding out more- stay tuned tomorrow for Anne Clinard Barnhill’s Interview here at HF Book Muse News!
________________________________________________________________________________
MORE INFO ABOUT QUEEN ELIZABETH'S DAUGHTER AND HFVBT TOUR:

Publication Date: March 18, 2014
St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback; 320p
ISBN-10: 0312662122

Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.
Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds.

Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble Book Depository Books-a-million

About the Author

Anne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.
For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, March 10
Review at Words and Peace
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, March 12
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, March 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, March 14
Review at The Lit Bitch

Monday, March 17
Review at The True Book Addict
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 18
Spotlight & Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, March 19
Review at One Book at a Time

Thursday, March 20
Review at Book-alicious Mama

Friday, March 21
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, March 24
Review at Scandalous Women
Review at She is Too Fond of Books

Tuesday, March 25
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, March 26
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, March 27
Review at Book of Secrets

Friday, March 28
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Monday, March 31
Review at HF Book Muse – News
Review & Giveaway at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, April 1
Interview at HF Book Muse – News

Thursday, April 3
Review at Books in the Burbs

Friday, April 4
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Monday, April 7
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 8
Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, April 9
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, April 10
Review at The Most Happy Reader

Friday, April 11
Review at Silver’s Reviews





Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Thousand Porches- Book Blast + GIVEAWAY!!

HF Virtual Book Tours is thrilled to introduce you to author Julie Dewey’s historical novel One Thousand Porches!
A heart warming story about family, love, and perseverance, One Thousand Porches chronicles the lives of tuberculosis sufferers and their family members at a sanatarium in Sarnac Lake, NY. A beautiful story that is meant to inspire and uplift readers through the cast of characters that are genuinely kind human beings, readers have called One Thousand Porches “illuminating” and “historically significant”. Down the Kindle Ebook for FREE on March 20th!
In celebration of the release of One Thousand Porches we are giving away 2 paperback copies and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
One Thousand PorchesOne Thousand Porches
by Julie Dewey
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
CreateSpace
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Set in the majestic yet untamed Adirondack Mountains of New York more than a century ago, an extraordinary story unfolds about a little known town called Saranac Lake.
The town is home to a man with a disease known as consumption, white plague, or as some called it, the red death. It is here that Doctor Edward Livingston Trudeau finds a hopeful cure for tuberculosis in the form of open air. Trudeau’s patients vary in age, gender, class, and race, but they have one thing in common. They must all choose to embrace life, even in the face of death, if they wish to heal at the Sanitarium.
Christine, a woman at the helm of her family, has already lost two children to the dreaded plague. But when her daughter, Collette, contracts the disease, she is determined to keep her alive. Venturing into unknown territory, Christine risks her own health and that of her unborn child, as well as her marriage, to help her daughter seek a cure that to many is absurd. Christine embarks upon a life-changing journey as she moves from caregiver to patient. In the face of adversity she must find the courage to sustain herself. When Lena, a factory worker and mother of three, begins coughing up blood she is faced with a decision no mother wants to make. She either stays with her family and risks her own death, or leaves her loved ones behind while she goes off in hope of a cure at the Sans. Big Joe, once a strong man for a traveling circus, seeks a quiet place to live out his final days in hiding. When he is sent to the Sanitarium, he is terrified to learn he will be housed with fellow circus performers for he is a hunted man. Gaunt and thin, he can only hope no one from his past recognizes him in his current state. Little Amy, a six year old child, must care for her entire family of seven, all whom are afflicted with different forms of plague. When she is diagnosed with a very rare form herself, she is sent to the Sanitarium and put under the care of Dr. Trudeau. Alone and afraid, Amy faces her fears and allows herself to dream of a future.
With a cast of characters so vivid, One Thousand Porches is a heart warming and engaging story that will instill hope and faith in even the most pessimistic reader.

Read an excerpt

Chapter 1 Pittsford, NY 1885
The sputum most likely crossed the hearth of our large country estate in Pittsford, New York on the scalloped hem of my favorite green velvet dress.  The flattering ensemble with the well fitted bodice and bustle below my waist in the back.  I was told this by my husband, James Lyndon, who made me watch while he set the garment to burn in our grate, the embers coursed thru the fabric destroying the residue left from a lungers hacking.
Consumption was a poor man’s disease, it was inconceivable that it gained entry into our pristine home miles outside the village by any other means. James had no one else to hold responsible for his son’s suffering so the burden of blame was mine in his eyes.  I had ventured into town for groceries and fabric, as well as lunch with the ladies several times over the course of the month.  I dare not remind my husband, but he ventured far more places than I did.
My husband could not bear witness as his sons flesh was consumed, his lungs gurgling and dissolving as he gasped and choked for air.   All Henry’s strength and will were sapped from his body as he withered away in isolation.  His soul leaving us for heaven mere weeks before his 18th birthday celebration this October.  I was given no choice but to accept the guilt that Henry would never attend college, or marry and have children.  James placed the blame squarely upon my shoulders and defiantly closed me out from our bedroom and from his affections, punishing me for the death of our first born son.
Typically solid and stoic to a fault, James became maniacal for a short time immediately following Henry’s death.  Frenzied, he set off on a tirade where he emptied gown after gown from my closet along with dress coats, shoes, scarves and gloves, immersing them all in the raging blaze to be destroyed. James wasted no time, and stormed through the house ripping sheets and pillowcases off beds, kitchen aprons from hooks and even the old fraying rags under our sink that we stored for cleaning, were all set to burn.
“James, I beg of you, you cannot burn our entire wardrobes, we will have nothing left!”  I screamed in a panic, trying to get through to him, but knew I could not be heard for his empty eyes did not meet mine but instead flickered across the house, leaping from object to object  in search of anything else he missed, telling me in short, he was momentarily insane.
Amidst my pain and suffering I took great measures to prevent the bacteria from infecting the rest of us, beginning with scouring the house daily to an immaculate state until my fingers cracked and bled.  In the evenings my gentle daughters slathered my hands, one finger at a time, with petroleum jelly and wrapped them in strips of cotton in order to heal.   All of my remaining  dressing gowns, the ones set aside to be tailored that James missed as he ransacked the place, as well as Collette’s and Emma Darlings were hemmed to mid-calf so as not to risk contact with the ground. Lucas and Daniel, our two remaining boys wore trousers that did not drag but I feared the disease  and their fathers instability so intensely now that I made them take off their shoes on the porch and wipe the soles with rags dipped in boiling water the moment they got home from school. Then the rags were burned in our outdoor fire pit.
We were told the disease could lay dormant for months or years even, causing even more panic, and so the fires raged and our old shifts were ripped to make rags to use for boiling and cleaning purposes.
The disease known as consumption, white plague, the red death, or tuberculosis was especially harmful to anyone with an already compromised immune system, such as our Collette with her weakling lungs.  It was spreading like wildfire across the nation and was being touted as the most fatal disease known to man, far surpassing typhoid and scarlet fever in its death toll.  Taking nearly one in every seven Americans or four hundred souls daily.  It took no prejudice in who it afflicted either.  The elderly as well as children, men and women, black and white, poor and wealthy were disposed of but most often it was young adult males in the prime of their life, like our Henry, falling prey.
Doctors were perplexed by the spread of the disease, some believed it was developed based on the patient’s constitution, either physiologically or psychologically and therefore didn’t believe it could be spread.  Along the same lines other scientists and researchers believed it to be hereditary and therefore took no precautions against it.  Still others thought it was airborne spread from spitting, coughing, laughing, sneezing, and even talking.  It was thought it could also be transferred from bodily fluids such as pus and bowel discharge.  Doctors encouraged everything from wearing beards for the men to prevent the germ from entering their orifices, to eating nothing but diets rich in meat and dairy.
“I tell you Christine, this disease is contagious.  We must be vigilant over our hand washing, and we shall each bathe nightly in separate water.” James spoke to me through his fog of grief.

Praise for One Thousand Porches

“I greatly enjoyed the time I spent reading this book. Historically significant as well as heartwarming, One Thousand Porches is an engaging tale of family, friendship, hope and perseverance in the shadow of uncertainty.” – Erin, Flashlight Commentary Blog
“This novel was fascinating. Of course I know of TB but to hear the history behind what Dr. Trudeau did for so many is remarkable. I think anyone interested in history and especially the history of TB and the development of the first sanitariums should enjoy this novel. I’ve read one other of Julie’s books and I find her writing to be very frank and real. I look forward to seeing what subject Julie tackles next!” – Dar, Peeking Between the Pages Blog
“One Thousand Porches is such a treasure. I learned so much about tuberculosis through the intertwined lives of Christine, Joe, Collete, Will, Amy, Daniel, and, of course, Edward Trudeau. Such inspiring lives these characters show us. As we advance in the 21st century, we can learn so much from those who lived, learned and loved over a hundred years ago. Thank you, Julie, for another illuminating look back in history.” – Cindy Gorham-Crevelling
“Julie Dewey loves history…that is clear!!! And, as in her first book about the orphan trains of old, she has again chosen to write about a time in our past that few remember. She writes about tuberculosis, and shows us that TB did not discriminate! She introduces us to a cast of characters from all walks of life, from the very wealthy, the poor and indigent, to everything in between. This is a warm story about people making the best of their circumstances after they are torn away from their homes and families!! Because I live in New York state, I was particularly intrigued. I feel a visit to Saranac Lake and surrounding areas need to be on my “bucket list”! I also love that Julie Dewey wove her own personal history into the story, with the introduction of LENA!!! As per her dedication, Lena was her great Grandmother!!!” – Dr Michael A. Radz

Buy the Book

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon UK (ebook)
Amazon UK (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the AuthorJulie Dewey

Julie Dewey is a novelist who resides with her family in Central New York. Her daughter is a singer/songwriter, and her son is a boxer. Her husband is an all-around hard working, fantastic guy with gorgeous blue eyes that had her falling for him the moment they met.
In addition to researching and writing she is an avid reader. She is also passionate about jewelry design and gemstones. She loves anything creative, whether it be knitting, stamping, scrapping, decoupaging, working with metal, or decorating.
Visit her at www.juliedewey.com to get your reading guide for this book and to read an excerpt from Forgetting Tabitha, the Story of an Orphan Train Rider.

Author Links

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Join Julie Dewey’s Fan Club.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 17
Historical Tapestry
Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, March 18
Layered Pages
Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, March 19
West Metro Mommy
Turning the Pages
Thursday, March 20
Reading the Ages
Passages to the Past
Friday, March 21
Pages of Comfort
To Read or Not to Read
Saturday, March 22
Book Nerd
Reviews by Molly
Sunday, March 23
Carpe Librum
Books in the Burbs
Monday, March 24
A Bookish Affair
Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Tuesday, March 25
Peeking Between the Pages
Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, March 26
CelticLady’s Reviews
So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, March 27
Closed the Cover
HF Book Muse-News
Friday, March 28
Broken Teepee
A Bookish Libraria

Giveaway

To enter to win one of the following prizes, please complete the  

2 – Paperback copies of One Thousand Porches
1 – $25 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway will run from March 17-28. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on March 29 and notifiied via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway- A KING ENSNARED!




Publication Date: November 22, 2013
CreateSpace
Paperback; 244p
ISBN-10: 1493786598 
 
On the dangerous stage of medieval Scotland, one man–in an English dungeon–stands between the Scots and anarchy.
Robert III, King of the Scots, is dead, and Scotland in 1406 is balanced on a knife’s edge. As he eyes the throne, King Robert’s ruthless half-brother, the Duke of Albany, has already murdered one prince and readies to kill young James Stewart, prince and heir to the crown.
James flees Scotland and his murderous uncle. Captured and imprisoned by the English, he grows to be a man of contradictions, a poet yet a knight, a dreamer yet fiercely driven. Hardened by his years in the Tower of London and haunted by his brother’s brutal murder, James is determined to find some way to recover his crown and end his uncle’s misrule. But the only way may be to betray Scotland and everything he believes in.

Purchase the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Paperback) Barnes & Noble Book Depository

About the Author

J. R. Tomlin is the author of five historical novels: A King Ensnared, Freedom’s Sword, A Kingdom’s Cost, Countenance of War, and Not for Glory. She has also co-authored several fantasies with C. R. Daems: Blood Duty, Talon of the Unnamed Goddess, The Shadow Ryana, The Shadow Gypsy, and Women of Power.
She has close ties with Scotland since her father was a native Scot, and she spent substantial time in Edinburgh whilst growing up. Her historical novels are set in Scotland. You can trace her love of that nation to the stories of the Bruce and the Good Sir James her grandmother read her when she was small and to her hillwalking through the Cairngorms where the granite hills have a gorgeous red glow under the setting sun. Later, her writing was influenced by the work of authors such as Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo and of G.R.R. Tolkien.
For more information visit J.R. Tomlin’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, March 24
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight & Giveaway at HF Book Muse-News

Tuesday, March 25
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, March 26
Review at Historical Tapestry
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, March 27
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, March 28
Interview at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection


GIVEAWAY TIME!

To ENTER please leave your comment and email address.  For extra chances: Post on all your favourite social sites and come back here to post the link.

Open to US and Canada

GOOD LUCK!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HFVBT Spotlight and GIVEAWAY : FAGIN'S BOY!!


 


 


 


 


Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Blue Rain Press
Paperback; 624p
ISBN-10: 0989727300


  Five years after Fagin was hanged in Newgate, Oliver Twist, at the age of seventeen, is a young man of good breeding and fine manners, living a quiet life in a corner of London. When Oliver loses his protector and guardian, he is able, with the help of Mr. Brownlow’s friends, to find employment in a well-respected haberdashery in Soho.
However, in the midst of these changes, Jack Dawkins, also known as the Artful Dodger arrives in London, freshly returned from being deported. Oliver’s own inability to let go of his past, as well as his renewed and intimate acquaintance with Jack, take him back to the life he thought he’d left behind.

Buy the Book

Amazon US Amazon UK

About the Author

 

Being a writer is not just what I do, it’s who I am. Even if everything else in the day turns sour, if I have written, then it’s still a pretty good day.
I decided I wanted to be a writer when my fourth grade teacher (Mrs. Harr) gave me a good grade on a creative writing story I’d written. And not only that, she added “I like your ending,” along with a smiley face. At that point, I was off and running. I’ve been writing and making up stories ever since.
I live in Colorado. I’ve tried to live elsewhere, but it’s always too far from my family, so I returned for good some time ago. Colorado is a brilliant location to live in as it’s not very far from either coast, and the local international airport is only an hour away.
Right beside my writing desk, I have a green arm chair and ottoman that I call The Vortex. There are two reasons I call it that. The first is that it’s always trying to suck me in and sit down and do nothing but think and read and stare at the sunlight and shadows as they dapple the walls and ceiling. The second is that once I sit down in the thing, it’s almost impossible to get up, as The Vortex keeps sucking me in.
Visit Christina Pilz’s website for more information. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, March 10
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, March 11
Review at Lit Nerd

Wednesday, March 12
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, March 13
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Interview at To Read or Not to Read

Friday, March 14
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, March 17
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Interview at Layered Pages

Tuesday, March 18
Spotlight & Giveaway at HF Book Muse-News

Wednesday, March 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Thursday, March 20
Review at Le Vanity Victorienne

Friday, March 21
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Interview at Mina’s Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Guest Post at Le Vanity Victorienne



To ENTER GIVEAWAY:

Please leave your comment and email!
For additional Chances please post to as many social sites you'd like and come back with the link!

GOOD LUCK!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Blast: THE CHALICE, by Nancy Bilyeau






The Chalice






The Chalice
by Nancy Bilyeau
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Touchstone Publishing
Paperback; 496p
ISBN-10: 1476708665
Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Two
Genre: Historical Mystery








Between the crown and the cross stands one woman…
IN 1538, ENGLAND is in the midst of bloody power struggles that threaten to tear the country apart. Aristocrat-turned-novice Joanna Stafford knows what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment when she is caught up in an international plot targeting the king. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers.
Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII, as well as the future of Christendom, are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lies at the center of these deadly prophecies…

Praise for The Chalice

“A brilliant and gripping page-turner…A fascinating blend of politics, religion, mysticism and personal turmoil. Well-researched and filled with sumptuous detail, it follows Joanna’s early life from Bilyeau’s début novel, The Crown, but this book easily stands on its own. Bilyeau fills in the blanks from her earlier work while leaving the reader both wanting to read the first book and eagerly awaiting the next. This is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction.” – Free Lance-Star
“English history buffs and mystery fans alike will revel in Nancy Bilyeau’s richly detailed sequel to The Crown.” – Parade
“The novel is riveting, and provides fascinating insight into the lives of displaced nuns and priests during the tumultuous Tudor period. Bilyeau creates fully realized characters, with complex actions and emotions, driving the machinations of these historic personages.” – RT Book Reviews, (Top Pick)
“The human and political battles of Henry VIII’s reformation are brought to exhilarating life in The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau.” – Good Housekeeping UK, April 2014
“Bilyeau sends her plucky former novice back into the intrigue-laden court of Henry VIII.” – Entertainment Weekly
“Bilyeau continues from her first novel the subtle, complex development of Joanna’s character and combines that with a fast-paced, unexpected plot to hold the reader’s interest on every page . . . history and supernatural mysticism combine in this compelling thriller.” – Historical Novel Society
“Joanna Stafford is a young novice caught up in power struggles familiar to readers of Hilary Mantel and C.J. Sansom, but with elements of magic that echo the historical thrillers of Kate Mosse.” – S.J. Parris, author of ‘Heresy,’ ‘Prophecy’ and ‘Sacrilege’
“[A] layered book of historical suspense.” – Kirkus Reviews
“The Chalice is an engrossing mix of the complicated politics of the Reformation with the magical elements of the Dominican order, and Joanna–fiery, passionate, determined to honor what she thinks God wants her to do–is a fascinating character. Fans of historical mysteries, Tudor politics and supernatural fiction will all be pleased by the broad scope, quick-moving plot and historical integrity of Bilyeau’s second novel.” – Shelf Awareness

Watch the Book Trailer

 Buy the Book

                About the Author             

Nancy Bilyeau

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013.
Some earlier milestones: In 1661, Nancy’s ancestor, Pierre Billiou, emigrated from France to what was then New Amsterdam when he and his family sailed on the St. Jean de Baptiste to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Pierre built the first stone house on Staten Island and is considered the borough’s founder. His little white house is on the national register of historic homes and is still standing to this day.
Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Author Links

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads
Sign up for Nancy Bilyeau’s Newsletter.

Nancy Bilyeau Gives an Inside Peek Behind THE CHALICE

Book Blast Schedule

Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, March 14, 2014

Guestpost by Rebecca Hazell: THE GRIP OF GOD- GIVEAWAY!

 




Please Welcome Rebecca Hazell, Author of THE GRIP OF GOD with this amazing Guestpost.

While The Grip of God is entertaining and exciting, at least according to my reviews, I ended up a bit surprised by what happened when I finished writing it and saw what a reflection of a lost era it had become. While researching it and its sequelsI saw in graphic detail how the past sets the stage for the present, often in ways we don’t even recognize today. So much of our past is hidden from our view: in wars, for instance, the sides that won wrote the histories to glorify and even justify their victories, while the losers were dumped on the scrap heap of memory. And sometimes history is hard to trace: the anonymous person behind the scenes was never identified, records were lost or mistranslated, and events that influenced history were not recorded. Plus the so-called great people of history are often put on such high pedestals that we forget they might have had a headache or upset stomach on a key day and made decisions differently than usual!

I found lots of ways the Mongol invasions, and even their timing, influence us even today. Because of a rebellion by a tribe called the Kipchaks/Cumans/Polovtsy, the invasion of Europe was delayed, the Great Khan died toward the end of that belated invasion, and the Mongols had to go home to elect a new Kakhan. What would have happened if the invasion had come a year earlier? No European state was ready for the Mongol onslaught, and today we might be writing in a different alphabet and even speaking a different language! Okay, that may sound a bit far fetched, but we can certainly trace the Cold War and the aggressive/defensive stance of modern Russia to its being cut off by the “Mongol Yoke”, as my Russian émigré teacher used to cry.

But what about those anonymous people who either rarely or never get mentioned in the histories? I think they had an influence, too, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in large. So I cast my heroine, Sofia, as such a person. We’ve all had the experience of someone saying or doing something that changed our outlook and sometimes even our lives. She does just that, but in ways that history would never record. This begins early in her life, and in the sequels to The Grip of God, she does influence history in surprising ways. But first she must tell the beginning of her story: her capture, enslavement, and eventual escape. Her story is not a love story, though there’s love in it; it’s not just a coming-of-age story, though that happens; it’s not just a smart, savvy female Forrest Gump story of a little-known age, though you can learn a lot; most of all, I see it as a tribute to the power of the human heart.

 

 

About the book



Duncan, BC Canada: Award Winning Writer Rebecca Hazell Releases First Book in Trilogy of Historical Fiction Novels

Rebecca Hazell's The Grip of God, the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, is available on amazon.com and its affiliates and by special order through your local bookstore. The saga’s heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. Clear eyed and intelligent, she recounts her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol hordes that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is haunted by a prophecy that catalyzes bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family. She must learn to survive in a world of total war, always seeking the love she once took for granted.

Sofia's story is based on actual historical events that determine her destiny. Readers will delight in this very personal and engaging tale from a time that set the stage for many of the conflicts of today's world.

Praise for the trilogy
“How deftly and compellingly Hazell takes the reader with her into that mysterious and exotic world, and makes it all seem so very close to hand!” – Peter Conradi, Fellow of Britain's Royal Society of Literature and author of Iris Murdoch: A Life, and of A Very English Hero.

"I enjoyed watching her morph from a spoiled sheltered princess with slaves of her own, into a tough, savvy survivor, with a new awareness of social injustice. The book is action packed. I couldn't put it down." -- from a review on Amazon.com.

"I got completely caught up in the characters and story and always looked forward to getting back to them. What a fully fleshed and fascinating world you developed and it was wondrous to learn so much about that time and the Mongol culture. Your gifts come out in your lush descriptions of place and objects. All very vivid and colorful." --author Dede Crane Gaston

The novel is available both in paperback and Kindle versions and through your local bookstore by special order. The subsequent two novels in the trilogy are scheduled for publication later this year.

About the author
Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases.
She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

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Visit Rebecca:

Tour Schedule:
Monday, February 17

Tuesday, February 18
Guest post/giveaway at Must Read Faster

Friday, February 21

Monday, February 24
Review/giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, February 26

Thursday, February 27
Review/Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Friday, February 28
Guest Post at Book Drunkard

Monday, March 3

Thursday, March 6
Spotlight/Giveaway at Celticlady's Reviews

Friday, March 7

Monday, March 10
Guest post/review/Giveaway at Lost in Books

Tuesday, March 11
Guest Post at The True Book Addict

Thursday, March 13
Review/giveaway at Create with Joy
Review/Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Friday, March 14
Guest post/giveaway at HF Book Muse- News
Guest post/giveaway/review at Le Vanity Victorienne