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Posts Tagged ‘free stuff’

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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The Twelve Rooms of the Nile CoverI just finished The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, a novel about the imagined meeting of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert when they both traveled the fabled river–before they became famous. It’s a lovely literary effort with wonderful insights into two intriguing characters. I’m pleased to host a guest post by the  author Enid Shomer where she tells us how she came to know both these remarkable people and write about them. Ms. Shomer’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The Paris Review among other publications. This is her first novel. Thanks to her publisher Simon and Schuster for providing two copies of this book for a giveaway (details at the end of the post.) If you want to learn more about Ms. Shomer and her writing, please visit her website. Enjoy!

TWO GENIUSES ON THE NILE

by Enid Shomer

I live in Florida, and was, therefore, surprised to see that Florence Nightingale was running against Thomas Jefferson on my last sample presidential election ballot. While nurses on every continent know that Nightingale invented nursing as a  profession, that before her, nurses were regarded as loose women no better than drunkards, slatterns, or opium addicts, most Americans know little about her. Throughout the old British empire, by contrast,  she is recognized as an iconic heroine, the “Lady with the Lamp.” That epithet derives from the fact that she made rounds at night to tend the wounded soldiers in the hospital at Scutari during the Crimean War, a revolutionary practice at the time. (more…)

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Seven Wonders cover

Gordianus the Finder is back in this prequel to Steven Saylor’s popular series of mysteries set in the Roman Republic of Cicero and Caesar. Gordianus is eighteen and embarks on the First Century BCE equivalent of a “Grand Tour” with his old tutor and famous poet Antipater of Sidon. As the Italian peninsula simmers with rebellion, the pair head east to visit the Seven Wonders of the World encountering murder, mysteries and political intrigues. Over the course of their year+ journey, Gordianus evolves into “the Finder” series readers have come to know and love.

For the record, I am not a Gordianus fan. I very much enjoyed Saylor’s multi-generational epics Roma and Empire, which I reviewed, but didn’t take to the couple of Finder novels I sampled. Not because they were bad books, but because I’m not that into historical mysteries. Every reader has her quirks. This book has a distinctly different structure from the others. Saylor uses the journey to visit the Seven Wonders as a framework for several short stories (many of which were previously published in mystery and fantasy magazines.) Each Wonder gets a story with a few interludes, such as attending the Olympic Games and visiting the ruins of Corinth, resulting in ten chapters dealing with murder, witchcraft, ghosts and gods. As their journey continues, a larger mystery entangles Gordianus and Antipater with spies and other enemies of Rome. (more…)

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Hypatia: Hher Life and Times coverHypatia of Alexandria.
Who was she? A brilliant young mathematician and scientist, murdered by a religious mob? An aging academic taken out by a rival political party? A sorceress who kept the Prefect and people of Alexandria in thrall through satanic wiles? Did she discover that the earth circled the sun 1000 years before Copernicus or was she merely a gifted geometry teacher?

Hypatia has been the subject of much mythmaking through the centuries. She’s featured in poetry, plays, novels and movies. Many people “quote” her, including one of my favorites: “Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies.” I’ve studied Hypatia and her times since 1980. No writing by her has survived. This oft-quoted statement and many others are fabrications—fables—created by modern authors. Ironically, many who champion truth perpetuate a mythical version of Hypatia’s life and words. This collection of essays pulls back the curtain and lets the reader see the real Hypatia, a remarkable woman in her own right. I’m sure, like me, you’ll find Hypatia needs no embellishment to be a heroine. (more…)

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Cover for The Discovery of Jeanne BaretI’ve been in rewrite mode lately and ignoring my blog. But just in time for Women’s History Month, Glynis Ridley has kindly stepped in with a guest post talking about her non-fiction adventure story The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnaviagate the Globe.  I first ran across Jeanne Baret’s remarkable story in another book She Captains: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea by Joan Druett; and, yes, women have commanded navies, captained ships and served as crew long before modern times. I was delighted to have the opportunity to read Ms. Ridley’s riveting account of one these remarkable and neglected woman. Thanks to her publisher Broadway Paperbacks for providing two copies for a giveaway. (See the end of the article for details.)

Guest Post

Hello Faith. Thank you so much for inviting me to be your guest today. You asked me if I could talk about the writer’s process and my book, The Discovery of Jeanne Baret. While the book was first published in US hardback in 2010, and in paperback in 2011, I actually started thinking about it back in 2001. My husband and I had both been lucky enough to be invited to speak at a conference at the National Library of Australia in Canberra, on the subject of ideas of the exotic in the 18th century. My husband was giving a paper on two different French explorers of the Pacific: Bougainville and Laperouse, and as we were on the second leg of our journey, flying from Singapore to Sydney, he asked me if I knew that there had been a woman on Bougainville’s first French circumnavigation of the globe in 1766-69. (more…)

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June is giveaway month. I’m clearing my shelves of ARC’s and review copies. Last week I gave away the first book in a series. This week we have the sequel, Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome by Steven Saylor. From my review:

Empire continues the story of the Pinarius family chronicled in Steven Saylor’s earlier novel Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome. In the earlier book, we followed the aristocratic family from the founding of Rome through the Republican years. Empire picks up at the end of Augustus’ reign and concludes at the end of Hadrian’s, covering about 130 years and four generations of Pinarii.  Saylor sets himself a Herculean task to cover the major events and people of the times in an entertaining and accessible way using a formula perfected by James A. Michner in his historical epics. He mostly succeeds. (Read the entire review here.)

The details: Empire cover

  • Title: Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome
  • Author: Steven Saylor
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 2010
  • Format: Hardback with dust jacket, 587 pages
  • Price: $25.99

The giveaway (sorry, US only, due to shipping costs):

This is a once-read, like-new copy, which I received from the Library Thing Early Reader Program.  Entry is easy: leave a comment on this post (make sure to give your email when asked, but not necessary in the post). If you want a second entry, sign up to follow the blog or indicate you’re already a follower. For a third chance, repost this giveaway on your Facebook, blog, Twitter, website, etc. and post the link in your comment. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, because I moderate comments and don’t spend my life at my computer. I’ll randomly select a winner and announce it on Thursday, June 3o. At the end of the month I’ll enter everyone who didn’t win in all my June giveaways into a bonus drawing for a mystery book. Good luck!

And the Raffle King declared the winner…

Cindi!

Congratulations and I’ll be in touch by email.

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