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Posts Tagged ‘andrei baltakmens’

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Blog Hop graphicAs a gift to my readers and the followers of this blog, I’ve joined Passages to the Past and 30+ other blogs in the 1st Annual Historical Holiday Blog Hop. Each blog in the hop has a great giveaway package: historical fiction, history books, gift cards and more. So give yourself a present this year and check out the list here. “Hop” from blog to blog to see who’s giving away what and sign up for some great goodies. There are also Grand Prizes (I’ve donated a paperback and an ebook copy of my own novel Selene of Alexandria.) For my blog giveaway we have three prizes, once-read review copies of:

The Twelve Rooms of the Nile Cover

And the winner is: sara!

The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer made NPR’s list of the year’s best historical fiction of 2012 (read a guest post by Enid here.) A literary novel about the imagined meeting of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert when they both traveled the fabled river–before they became famous.

  • Title: The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
  • Author: Enid Shomer
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-4516-4298-4
  • Format: Hardcover, 449 pages
  • Price: $26.00

Seven Wonders cover

And the winner is: Meg!

The Seven Wonders by Stephen Saylor (read my review here.) Gordianus the Finder is back in this prequel to Steven Saylor’s popular series of mysteries set in the Roman Republic. Follow his adventures as Gordianus embarks on the First Century BCE equivalent of a “Grand Tour” of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

  • Title: The Seven Wonders: A Novel of the Ancient World
  • Author: Steven Saylor
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books, 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-312-35984-3
  • Format: Hardcover, 321 pages
  • Price: $25.99

The Raven's Seal Cover

And the winner is: milliebotdesigns!

The Raven’s Seal by Andrei Baltakmens (read a guest post by Andrei here.) A historical mystery with a brooding gaol (jail for us in the US), intriguing characters and a twisty plot. If you like Dickens, you’ll like this one!

Giveaway Details (US addresses only)

Entry is easy: leave a comment on this post saying which book(s) you would like, by midnight Monday, December 17 (email not necessary in the comment, but please give it when asked, so I can get back to you if you win.) If you want a second entry, sign up to follow the blog or indicate you’re already a follower. For additional chances, repost this giveaway on your Facebook, blog, Twitter, website, etc. and post the link in your comment (maximum five chances.) Don’t worry if your post doesn’t appear immediately, because I moderate comments and don’t spend my life at my computer. I’ll randomly select the winners and announce it on Tuesday, December 18.  Also, there will be a mystery prize! Good luck, everyone, and happy holidays!

And the winner of the mystery prize is: Helen! She’ll receive a signed copy of my novel Selene of Alexandria

Thanks to everyone who entered the Blog Hop and congratulations to our winners.

Safe and happy holidays to all!

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I’m back from New Zealand and–totally by coincidence–I’m hosting a New Zealand author. As readers of this blog know, I’m a Dickens fan. I can’t get enough of his quirky characters, dark settings, twisty plots and–yes!–even his social preaching. One of my favorites, Little Dorritt (reviewed here) features a debtor’s prison which is just as much a character as its human inhabitants. That’s why I was so pleased to score a copy of The Raven’s Seal a historical mystery written in the style of Dickens. The author Andrei Baltakmens is a Dickens scholar and plants an eighteenth-century prison in the heart of his novel. The gaol (jail for us in the US) broods over the prose and lurks in the background infusing the story with its dark presence. From the first paragraph:

The Old Bellstrom Gaol crouched above the fine city of Airenchester like a black spider on a heap of spoils. It presided over The Steps, a ramshackle pile of cramped yards and tenements teeming about rambling stairs, and glared across the River Pentlow towards Battens Hill, where the sombre courts and city halls stood. From Cracksheart Hill, the Bellstrom loomed on every prospect and was glimpsed at the end of every lane.

Many thanks to Andrei for providing a guest post on eighteenth-century crime and punishment and to his publisher Top Five Books for providing a giveaway copy (details at the end of the post.)

Early-Modern Crime (and Punishment) in The Raven’s Seal

by Andrei Baltakmens

My novel, The Raven’s Seal, is a historical mystery set in and around a fictional eighteenth-century prison, the Bellstrom Gaol. The gaol is a commanding presence in the novel, presiding over the equally fictional city of Airenchester. But of course there would be no gaol, and no mystery, without crime and punishment, and though the Bellstrom dominated my imagination for a long time, the history of crime in the early-modern period (roughly 1500 to 1800), particularly under the Black Act, makes for a fascinating background which occasionally peeks through into the mystery. (more…)

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