Historical Holiday Blog Hop & Giveaway (Worldwide)

Happy Monday everyone!  I am excited to participate in the 1st annual Historical Holiday Blog Hop which is running December 10-17 and is being hosted by the wonderful Amy from Passages to the Past.  As anyone who reads my blogs knows I do love historical fiction and Amy’s blog has been a favorite of mine since shortly after I started blogging years ago so it’s exciting to be able to spread our love of historical fiction to others.

This blog hop is going to be fantastic and there are going to be many giveaways including my own.  Over at Amy’s blog Passages to the Past there has been a whole lot of fantastic authors who have offered up their historical novels for some great prize giveaways so be sure to pop over there and check out the list of prize packages as well as check out all the other great blogs that are participating in the blog hop so that you don’t miss out on entering any of the awesome book giveaways that will be going on!  Click here to head on over there!


MY GIVEAWAY DETAILS (open Worldwide)

As for me I wanted to share a few books that have been favorites of mine this past year and also a new one from one of my most favorite authors.  This giveaway will be open worldwide (if the Book Depository ships to you feel free to enter).  I will also send the book via Kindle if you prefer.  Here are the books:


The first is by one of my favorite authors.  I’ve read many of John’s books and I can’t say enough about his amazing story telling ability. I simply can’t wait to delve into his newest novel!   This book will be sent to you by the author mid January – release date of this novel is Feb 5/13 so keep that in mind if you do win this one!

1.  Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors

In his international bestseller Beneath a Marble Sky, John Shors wrote about the ancient passion, beauty, and brilliance that inspired the building of the Taj Mahal. Now with Temple of a Thousand Faces, he brings to life the legendary temple of Angkor Wat, an unrivaled marvel of ornately carved towers and stone statues. There, in a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn.

When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife Ajadevi set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion.

Moving from a poor fisherman’s family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn–Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost. (Description via Amazon)


This second book is by another favorite author of mine and that is Michelle Moran.  I haven’t had a chance to read her newest release yet but I’ve read or listened to all her others and thought it would be nice to share her newest.

2.  The Second Empress by Michelle Moran

National bestselling author Michelle Moran returns to Paris, this time under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as he casts aside his beautiful wife to marry a Hapsburg princess he hopes will bear him a royal heir

After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.

Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Joséphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen—a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.

As Pauline’s insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline’s jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire’s peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history—and change the course of her life.

Based on primary resources from the time, The Second Empress takes readers back to Napoleon’s empire, where royals and servants alike live at the whim of one man, and two women vie to change their destinies. (Description via Amazon)


These last two books are books I read recently and loved so in the spirit of the holidays I wanted to share them with you…

3.  The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot (my review)

Like most sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor were rivals. They were also queens.

Raised at the court of their father, Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence, Marguerite and Eleanor are separated by royal marriages–but never truly parted.

Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister’s boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?

Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and value what she has, or will she let it slip away?

The Sister Queens is historical fiction at its most compelling, and is an unforgettable first novel. (Description via Amazon)


4.  Illuminations by Mary Sharratt (my review)

A triumphant portrait of a resilient and courageous woman and the life she might have lived . . .

Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt’s redemptive novel, Illuminations, brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.

Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was entombed in a small room where she was expected to live out her days in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned but disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. Instead, Hildegard rejected Jutta’s masochistic piety and found comfort and grace in studying books, growing herbs, and rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died some thirty years later, Hildegard broke out of her prison with the heavenly calling to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters and herself from the soul-destroying anchorage. Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed. (Description via Amazon)



Once again here are the books:

  1. Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors
  2. Second Empress by Michelle Moran
  3. The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
  4.  Illuminations by Mary Sharratt

Feel free to put your name in for all of the books or specify which you’d like to enter for if you have a preference.  I will draw for the winners on December 18/12.  You don’t have to post this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook for extra entries but it would sure be nice if you would anyway!  Good luck!


  1. mamabunny13 says

    Please enter me for Second Empress by Michelle Moran and The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot. Thanks!
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  2. Linda B says

    I have been so anxious to read Illuminations. Please enter my name in the drawing for that novel. I already have the others. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. says

    I’d love to win any of them as they all look wonderful. Weirdly enough, considering my almost collapsing bookshelf, I don’t have any of them.

  4. Rebecca Boardman says

    Please put my name in for all #1 Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors, #3 The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot and #4 Illuminations by Mary Sharratt.
    The Second Empress I have already read. It is a great book. Michelle Moran is one of my favorite authors.
    I love to read Historical Fiction.
    Thanks for this great contest.

  5. says

    Wow! You are very generous. Thank you so much for the international giveaway! Please enter me me for all the 4 books.

    It is good to read your blog again.

  6. says

    I would love to be entered to win Second Empress and as a second choice would be Illumination.

    Thank you for the chance to win

    griperang embarqmail dot com

  7. Colleen Turner says

    They all sound like wonderful books! I would love to be entered to win any of them except the Sister Queens (only because I already have that book :)). .Thanks for the giveaway, and I shared on Facebook and Twitter as well :).

  8. says

    I would like to enter for:
    Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors
    Second Empress by Michelle Moran

    as I have the other two. Great choices! Thank you

  9. says

    These are all so enticing, and books that I want to read, so please do enter me, Dar, and thanks for being such a sweetheart and hosting this giveaway! Many hugs to you!


  10. Lara Frame Newell says

    Oh my gosh these all sound AMAZING!! Of course, I’ve read Michelle Moran’s so I already know that one is awesome! I would love to win any and all! Though, since I’ve already read The Second Empress I would not have to win that :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  11. Connie Fischer says

    While I am excited about all of the novels being offered, I am extra thrilled about Second Empress and The Sister Queens.

    Thanks so much for offering this fabulous giveaway! I, for one, am thrilled.


  12. Margaret(Literary Chanteuse) says

    Please count me in for all the books except The Sister Queens because I already have that one. thank you so much for the giveaway! Merry early Christmas Darlene!

    Margaret(Literary Chanteuse)

  13. says

    Wow! What a fantastic giveaway! I’ve been wanting to read all but the first of these four, and the first I only just heard about through you and now I want to read it, too! Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  14. CassandraG says

    They all sound great. And “Temple of a Thousand Faces” by John Shors sounds real intriguing.
    GFC and email follower.

  15. says

    Please enter me for Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors, Second Empress by Michelle Moran, The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
    Thank you for the great giveaway! Happy Holidays!

  16. Carl says

    A great selection of books, thanks. I’d love to win a copy of Illuminations, Temple of a Thousand Faces or Second Empress. I already have The Sister Queens. Now I must head out to tweet and enter some other giveaways on the tour.

  17. says

    Wow! There are giveaways, and then there are GIVEAWAYS! Please enter me in the giveaway for these–any book listed here would be fabulous to win. They all look beautiful.

  18. Terry Martini says

    I would love to win any of the books except The Sister Queens as I already own, have read and loved it! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  19. Evie says

    I’d love to win The Second Empress or The Sister Queens.
    Thanks a lot for the giveaway!
    by.evie at yahoo dot com dot br

  20. Carol Wong says

    I would love any of them except The Sister Queens, I already have that one.

    Thank you for this giveaway

    I tweeted.


  21. says

    Thanks so much for such a great giveaway and for making it international as well.

    I would be happy with any of them (although I own Second Empress so not that one!)

  22. says

    You’ve got me here! I haven’t read any of these except “The Sister…” I’d love to win them! John Shors is one of my favorites, too. I wasn’t aware he had this new book out, so I would die to read it. You’re very generous to offer all of these. Happy holidays! Deb

  23. Mary Preston says

    I love Historical fiction as well.

    Please count me in for any of the 4 wonderful books.


  24. Karen Wapinski says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to have The Sister Queens; my own sister and I try to collect sister stories because it gets hard to find good ones were both girls get an important storyline or don’t hate each other

  25. Donna McCabe says

    Thanks for participating in this blog hop!! I’m having lots of fun exploring and adding new books & authors to my reading list!!

    Please enter me for all the books. 😉

  26. Courtney Palmer says

    Thanks for the giveaway!! I would like to be entered for Temple of a Thousand Faces and The Second Empress!

    sidhekist at gmail dot com

  27. Nikki O says

    Second Empress by Michelle Moran sounds wonderful! But any of them would be great too.

    Thanks for the generosity. Happy hols!

  28. Kaye says

    I’ve never read John Shors but I’ve had my eye on Temple of a Thousand Faces. Please enter me for that one, Dar. Thanks!

  29. says

    Temple of a Thousand Faces and Second Empress would be my preferences. I read Michelle Moran’s Nefertiti – excellent stuff.

    thanks for the chance to win – nrlymrtl at gmail dot com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *