October 05, 2015

Patrick Gabridge's Steering to Freedom - Guest Post

As a writer and reader, I’m fascinated by the way that stories seem to find us. I’ve written a bunch of historical plays (on subjects ranging from the creation of the English Bible to the Boston Massacre), and now an historical novel in Steering to Freedom, and the topics for these works always sneak their way into my life when I least expect it.

I came across the story of Robert Smalls back in 2001. My daughter was attending a Catholic school in inner city Boston. Their library wasn’t even in the school building, but in a convent next door, in a room that looked no one had been in it for 20 years. My wife (who is a librarian) and I decided to take on the challenge of rehabbing the library as a family project. So while my one-year-old son munched on Cheerios and toddled around, I sorted dusty old books. And stumbled across a slight volume about black heroes. In it was a profile of Robert Smalls.

The story was incredible—a young black sailor, the pilot of a riverboat, comes up with a daring plan to bring him and the entire crew, and all their families, to freedom. And the plan isn’t the stereotypical vision of slaves running through swamps, but instead they’re going to take The Planter, a 150-foot long paddlewheeler, out through Charleston Harbor, past six heavily armed forts, and deliver her (and themselves) to the Union blockade.

How had I never heard of this guy before? Why had I never read a book or seen a movie about him?

The escape from Charleston was just the beginning of Smalls’ adventures. During the Civil War he actively engaged in trying to win freedom not just for him and his family, but for all black folk. He became a celebrity in the North, which was engaged with the question of whether blacks were fully human. And could and should they be allowed to fight in the war? Robert provided them with their answer.

After the war, this man born a slave went on to become a United States Congressman. I read everything I could find about Robert.

As a white parent of young black children, this story felt incredibly important. I’d struggled for years to find books about powerful black heroes that I could share with my kids, or that I’d want them to read when they got older. There was a huge lack of positive black characters not just in books, but also in film and on television. (And on stage, where I spent most of my writing life.)

This project became one that I’d pursue, on and off, for the next fourteen years. There were only a few biographies about Smalls, most of them pretty old, and I had to decide between writing the story as fiction or non-fiction. As a dramatist, I knew that one of my strengths was in writing dialogue and structuring stories to engage an audience, so it made the most sense to write the story as a novel, where I’d have the freedom to give voices to this man and his friends who were engaged in an epic American struggle for freedom. I chose to focus on the war years, because they come with a built-in sense of adventure and excitement.

And now Steering to Freedom is finally published and finding an audience. I’m thrilled that so many more people will now have a chance to get to know this hero of the American Civil War, and I hope that they will enjoy the intense passage through those years, with the triumphs and desperate sorrows that come with it.


Steering to Freedom
by Patrick Gabridge

Publication Date: May 11, 2015
Publisher: Penmore Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 352
Genre: Historical Fiction

A troubled country, a courageous heart, and the struggle for freedom. In May 1862, Robert Smalls, a slave and ship’s pilot in Charleston, South Carolina, crafts a daring plan to steal the steamship Planter and deliver it, along with, the crew and their families to the Union blockade. After risking his life to escape slavery, Robert faces an even more difficult challenge: convincing Abraham Lincoln to enlist black troops. Based on a true story, Steering to Freedom tells the powerful and inspirational story of a young man who becomes the first black captain of a US military ship, while struggling to navigate a path to freedom for himself, his family, and his people.

“Steering to Freedom sweeps back the curtain on an extraordinary story of heroism and sacrifice. Escape is only the beginning. Robert Smalls doesn’t just save himself: he brings out his family, his friends and his mates — and then he goes back, fighting not just the navies of the South but the deep-rooted prejudices and ignorance of the North. With a sure touch for historical detail and a mastery of the human condition, Patrick Gabridge brilliantly evokes the spirit of a time, a country in struggle, and the heart of a man at its center”.— Mike Cooper, author of Clawback and Full Ratchet.

“In Patrick Gabridge’s meticulously crafted new novel Steering to Freedom, we’re treated to the gripping true tale of Captain Robert Smalls, a South Carolina slave who, after seizing his freedom, risked his life in a series of nautical adventures to win freedom for all of his enchained brothers and sisters. This powerful and inspirational story is skillfully and dramatically rendered by a writer who not only knows how to steer a good story, but who does so without losing sight of the heart-breaking humanity of his players.” — Mark Dunn, author of Ella Minnow Pea and Under the Harrow.

“Engaging characters and captivating storytelling make this inspiring historical adventure a must-read. For readers who enjoy seeing history through the lens of imagination. ” — Sophie Littlefield, author A Bad Day for Sorry and A Garden for Stones.

“Steering to Freedom brings to life the extraordinary true story of Captain Robert Smalls, an important figure in American Civil War history who should not be overlooked. This is an inspiring story of a hero: a slave who steals a steamship and navigates treacherous waters to lead his crew and their families to freedom. Yet in the hands of novelist Patrick Gabridge, Robert Smalls is entirely human, real, and relatable. Gabridge shows us a man whose highest ambitions are fueled by the important personal relationships in his life, especially his wife and children. With its cinematic scope, action-packed adventure, historical detail and emotional heft, Steering to Freedom will appeal to many audiences. ” — Diana Renn author of Blue Voyage, and Latitude Zero.

“Patrick Gabridge’s Steering to Freedom is a swashbuckling, page-turning epic set against the immaculately detailed backdrop of Charleston Harbor during the Civil War. Robert Smalls, a brilliant, resourceful slave, makes a daring and audacious bid for freedom. The story, based on actual events, reads with the freshness of fiction and the authenticity of truth. The characters from every walk of life earn your respect and then your admiration and finally your love. Patrick Gabridge has given us a whole new lens on the Civil War by bringing a previously unknown chapter to vivid, deeply moving, unforgettable life. — Laura Harrington, award winning author of Alice Bliss and selected for Barnes & Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” program, and as an Entertainment Weekly “Best Reads of the Summer,” and a Publishers Weekly First Fiction title.

In Steering to Freedom, Patrick Gabridge has intertwined history with a meticulous and moving narrative of Robert Smalls—Confederate steamboat pilot, family man, and slave—whose daring vision to claim freedom against all odds will grab the reader from the first page. —Jessica Maria Tuccelli, author of Glow.

Patrick Gabridge is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. His full-length plays include Flight, Distant Neighbors, Lab Rats, Constant State of Panic, and Blinders, and have been staged by theaters across the country. His passion for history extends to the stage, and his historical plays include work about the creation of the English Bible (Fire on Earth), the astronomers Kepler and Tycho (Reading the Mind of God), a volcanic eruption on Martinique (The Prisoner of St. Pierre), 19th century Boston publisher Daniel Sharp Ford (None But the Best), and the 1770 Boston Massacre (Blood on the Snow).

Patrick has been a Playwriting Fellow with the Huntington Theatre Company and with New Repertory. Recent commissions include plays and musicals for In Good Company, The Bostonian Society, Central Square Theatre, and Tumblehome Learning. His short plays are published by Playscripts, Brooklyn Publishers, Heuer, Smith & Kraus, and YouthPlays, and have received more than a thousand productions from theatres and schools around the world.

His other novels include Tornado Siren and Moving [a life in boxes]. His work for radio has been broadcast by NPR, Shoestring Radio Theatre, Playing on Air, and Icebox Radio Theatre.

Patrick has a habit of starting things: he helped start Boston’s Rhombus writers’ group, the Chameleon Stage theatre company in Denver, the Bare Bones Theatre company in New York, the publication Market InSight… for Playwrights, and the on-line Playwrights’ Submission Binge. He’s also a member of the Dramatists Guild, StageSource, and a board member of the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund. He is currently the co-founder and coordinator of the New England New Play Alliance and is actively involved with the Boston theater scene.

Patrick has received numerous awards for work, including fellowships from the Colorado Council on the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Commission. For more information visit Patrick Gabridge’s website, or on his blog, The Writing Life x3.

You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/steeringtofreedomblogtour/
Hashtags: #SteeringtoFreedomBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @patrickgabridge

September 28, 2015

Judith Barrow's Living in the Shadows - Guest Post

Marital violence is as old as marriage itself. Wife beating was both widely tolerated and sanctioned by law in 18th-century England; husbands were legally entitled to strike their wives in order to ‘correct’ their conduct. So-called moderation was the watchword with one judge, Francis Buller, specifying that a husband could beat his wife with a stick so long as it was no thicker than his thumb.

Later, English law allowed women to separate from their husbands because of abuse, but did not let them get
divorced. Husbands were still allowed to abuse their spouses as long as it could not be seen. This meant abuse on the back, where clothing would cover wounds caused by abuse.

It was not until the late 1800s that men were not permitted to chastise or abuse their spouses under any circumstances, according to law.

According to law– yet it still continued

In the early to mid-twentieth century domestic violence was still viewed by some men as their right and by some women with resigned acceptance.

The following short passage is from the first book of my trilogy, Pattern of Shadows. This conversation between the protagonist, Mary Howarth, and her mother, Winifred, portrays, I think, the attitude that prevailed in the 1940s.

Just another domestic.’

 “’What is it, Mam, aren’t you feeling well?’
Her mother didn’t answer. She pushed the small pile of dust and bits of vegetable peelings onto a piece of newspaper on the floor and crushed it up, tossing it into a bucket under the sink. Straightening she moaned softly under her breath, holding her side.
Mary put an arm around her. Seeing the ugly swelling on her mother's cheek and the red-rimmed eyes she scowled. ‘Aw, Mam, not again, what was it this time?’
Winifred pushed her daughter away and turned on the tap to rinse her hands. ‘There was only me here and he had one of his moods on him. It’s Patrick really, as if we haven’t enough to worry about. He’ll have the police at the door, with all this trouble: picketing, striking, fighting the government. Your father says there’s a right way and a wrong way to tackle the bosses and your brother’s going about it all wrong.’ She wiped her hands on a piece of towelling. ‘He’s furious because it’s unofficial. You know what he’s like.’
Like a bully and a bastard. Mary gritted her teeth, holding back the words. ‘Why were you holding your side?’
‘I banged into the table when …’
‘When he hit you.’
Winifred glowered defensively at Mary. ‘It’s not his fault.’
‘Of course it’s his bloody fault. You can’t keep putting up with it, Mam.’
‘What can I do? Tell the police? ’ Winifred gave a short ironic laugh. 'Sergeant Sykes is as bad. His wife often sports a black eye.'” END QUOTE

“It’s a private, family matter.”

From the middle of the 1900s there came more reforms for women. But it was still the era of the captive wife, when most women were housebound housewives kept by a man, completely under the thumb of their husbands, whatever their class.  And no one ever talked about domestic violence; it was as if it never happened.

After World War II, studies linked growing up in an abusive home with the likelihood of criminal behaviour later in life. Most domestic batterers showed a consistent pattern of violence and manipulation for the purpose of power and control. Domestic violence was acknowledged, but treated as a private family matter.

In the sequel to Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns, Mary Howarth tries to persuade her friend and sister-in-law, Jean, to leave her husband– Mary’s own brother, Patrick.

“’Has Patrick actually hit you?’
Jean slid off the windowsill and stood motionless. ‘Mary ...’
‘Has he?’ She knew the answer, saw the humiliation in her friend’s eyes. She moved swiftly from the sofa and grabbed Jean’s arms. ‘You have to tell me.’
Jean lowered her head
‘Oh Jean.’ The distress merged with the rush of rage. ‘I am so sorry.’ She gathered her in her arms, frightened by the ferocity of her friend’s sobs. ‘It’ll be all right. We’ll sort something out. You can stay here as long as you want.’ Mary ignored the sudden vision of her own husband’s reaction; he’d understand when she explained. ‘As long as you want,’ she said again.
‘I can’t. I can’t leave Mother.’
‘Then move back in with her.’ The solution came with a sense of relief that shamed Mary. ‘You have to; you can’t stay with him.’
Jean shrugged her away and turned back to the window. ‘It’s not that easy. Jacqueline...’
‘Your daughter is frightened.’
‘I’ll make it right with her. Tell her she was mistaken in what she saw.’
Mary gave a cry of derision. ‘Mistaken?’
‘It was only the once. He was upset about Tom.’
‘He thumped you because of our brother? I don’t believe that. He hated Tom.’
‘He didn’t. You should have seen him, Mary, he was heartbroken.’
‘He was.’ Jean spun around to face her. ‘I should have left him alone.’ Her face crumpled. ‘I should have left him alone but I didn’t. I wanted to comfort him. I tried to hold him.’
‘So he hit you.’ Mary dragged out the words.
‘It was the first time.’
‘I don’t believe you.’
Jean flushed. ‘Then don’t, but it’s true.’ She looked out of the corner of her eye at Mary. ‘Please don’t tell your sister.’
‘Ellen already knows, I’ve told her.’ Mary folded her arms, angry her friend wanted to cover up what Patrick had done.
‘How could you? You know what she’s like about me.’
‘She has a right to know, he’s her brother too.’
‘She’ll tell all and sundry,’ Jean muttered, leaning on the windowsill.
‘She won’t ... and if she did, it’s not you who should be ashamed. It’s him.’
‘I pushed him into it. I should have left him alone,’ Jean said again.
‘Leave him, Jean. You have to.’
‘Then you’re a bloody fool.’” END QUOTE

Shelters for battered women were opened in the 1960s and men were actually prosecuted for their actions. The attitude to domestic violence over the last hundred years has, thankfully, changed drastically from resigned acceptance to complete condemnation of any bullying. In the following short passage from the last book of the trilogy, Living in the Shadows, Linda Booth, who has taken over from Mary as the protagonist, is talking to Karen Worth.

“They spoke at the same time.
‘Does Richard know what he’s like…’ she couldn’t say his name. ‘Your father?’
‘I’m sorry about my stepfather.’ Karen flushed. ‘You know, the way he—’
  ‘Your stepfather? He’s not your dad then?’ Linda was shocked by the gladness she felt; she knew how much her cousin liked this girl. Her not being George Worth’s real daughter made it easier somehow.
‘No, I’m glad to say.’ This time she looked straight at Linda. ‘He’s horrible. A bully.’
‘Well I won’t disagree there.’ Linda was surprised how calm she felt. ‘How long have your mum and him been married?’
‘Dad died when I was ten.’ Karen said. ‘George worked for him. Then, before I knew it, he was always around the house. They married…’ she stopped to think, ‘about five years ago. I can’t believe how much Mum dotes on him.’
‘Or is afraid of him?’
‘Are you frightened of him?’ It was like prodding a tooth that ached.’ Linda couldn’t help it. She watched Karen closely.

Spousal abuse is a perpetual issue that remains at the forefront of women's rights today.

Publicly, it is not acceptable.
Privately, it still goes on. 

Living in the Shadows
by Judith Barrow

Publication Date: July 16, 2015
Honno Press
eBook & Paperback; 320 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Family Saga

It’s 1969 and Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse – following in Mary’s footsteps – and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire.

At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda’s darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so?

There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences.

Sequel to the acclaimed Changing Patterns and Pattern of Shadows.

Judith Barrow has lived in Pembrokeshire for thirty years. She is the author of three novels, and has published poetry and short fiction, winning several poetry competitions, as well as writing three children’s books and a play performed at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Judith grew up in the Pennines, has degrees in literature and creative writing and makes regular appearances at literary festivals.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/livingintheshadowsblogtour/
Hashtags: @LivingintheShadowsBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @barrow_judith @honno

September 25, 2015

Spotlight on Donald Michael Platt's Bodo, The Apostate

Bodo, the Apostate
by Donald Michael Platt

Publication Date: September 29, 2014
Raven’s Wing Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction

“… in the meantime, a credible report caused all ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church to lament and weep.” Prudentius of Troyes, Annales Bertiniani, anno 839

On Ascension Day May 22, 838, Bishop Bodo, chaplain, confessor, and favorite of both his kin, Emperor Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne, and Empress Judith, caused the greatest scandal of the Carolingian Empire and the 9th century Roman Church.

Bodo, the novel, dramatizes the causes, motivations, and aftermath of Bodo’s astonishing cause célèbre that took place during an age of superstitions, a confused Roman Church, heterodoxies, lingering paganism, broken oaths, rebellions, and dissolution of the Carolingian Empire.

“In a masterfully controlled narrative, Platt builds up to this amazing moment, taking readers first through Bodo’s childhood, upbringing, and rise to power at the heart of the 9th century Carolingian Empire, whose kings, princes, prelates and ordinary people Platt captures with a pitch-perfect blend of research and dramatization. By the time the story winds its way to Bodo’s momentous decision, I, too, felt like everything in the world was on the line. A fantastic, thought-provoking novel; very enthusiastically recommended.” – Historical Novel Society (Editor’s Choice Pick)

Author of four other novels, ROCAMORA, HOUSE OF ROCAMORA, A GATHERING OF VULTURES, and CLOSE TO THE SUN, Donald Michael Platt was born and raised in San Francisco. Donald graduated from Lowell High School and received his B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Army, Donald attended graduate school at San Jose State where he won a batch of literary awards in the annual SENATOR PHELAN LITERARY CONTEST.

Donald moved to southern California to begin his professional writing career. He sold to the TV series, MR. NOVAK, ghosted for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers, among them as Harry Joe Brown, Sig Schlager, Albert J. Cohen, Al Ruddy plus Paul Stader Sr, Hollywood stuntman and stunt/2nd unit director. While in Hollywood, Donald taught Creative Writing and Advanced Placement European History at Fairfax High School where he was Social Studies Department Chairman.

After living in Florianópolis, Brazil, setting of his horror novel A GATHERING OF VULTURES, pub. 2007 & 2011, he moved to Florida where he wrote as a with: VITAMIN ENRICHED, pub.1999, for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and THE COUPLE’S DISEASE, Finding a Cure for Your Lost “Love” Life, pub. 2002, for Lawrence S. Hakim, MD, FACS, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

Currently, Donald resides in Winter Haven, Florida where he is polishing a dark novel and preparing to write a sequel to CLOSE TO THE SUN.

For more information please visit Donald Michael Platt’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/bodotheapostateblogtour2/
Hashtags: #BodotheApostateBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @donroc

September 19, 2015

Spotlight on Marissa Campbell's Avelynn

by Marissa Campbell

Publication Date: September 8, 2015
St. Martin’s Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Pages: 320
ISBN13: 978-1250063939
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut.

Marissa Campbell’s debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon.

It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn’t yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed.

Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it’s more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart.

As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?


“Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut.” – Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author

“Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description.” – Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior

“Marissa Campbell’s Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate.” – Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion

“A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn.” – Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen’s Exiles

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day.

Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7.

When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun!

For more information visit http://marissacampbell.com. You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/avelynnblogtour/
Hashtags: #AvelynnBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @marissa_author #StMartinsPress

September 18, 2015

Spotlight on Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles

The Sisters of Versailles (Mistresses of Versailles, Book One)
by Sally Christie

Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 1501102966
Genre: Historical Fiction


A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot – and women – forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters:sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.

“A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice.” —Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy

“Sally Christie’s The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV’s France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy.” – Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress

I’m a life-long history buff – and I mean life-long. One of the first adult books I read was Antonia Fraser’s masterful Mary, Queen of Scots. Wow! That book just blew my little ten year old mind: something about the way it brought the past right back to life, made it live again on the page. I date my obsession with history to that time, but I’d been writing (“writing”) ever since I was able to hold a pencil.

If you’d told my 12-year old self that I’d not be a writer when I grew up, I would have laughed you out of the tree house. With a few detours along the way, to work overseas in consulting and development, as well as to go to business school, I’ve finally come full circle to where I think I should be.

I currently live in Toronto and when I’m not writing, I’m playing lots of tennis; doing random historical research (old census records are my favorite); playing Scrabble, and squirrel-watching (the room where I write has French doors leading out to a deck; I avidly follow, and feed, a scruffy gang).

For more information please visit Sally Christie’s website. You can also find her onGoodreads and Pinterest.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thesistersofversaillesblogtour/
Hashtags: #SistersofVersaillesBlogTour #MistressesofVersaillesTrilogy #HistoricalFiction #France
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @simonschusterPR