Past Encounters by Davina Blake – Spotlight & Giveaway (Int’l)

November 24th, 2014

Past Encounters by Davina Blake is on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and I’ve got a spotlight and giveaway to share with you all today.  My apologies to the author for not having a review up but unfortunately I’m not feeling too well but stay tuned in the near future for one!  In the meantime check out the book and be sure to pop by the end of the post for your chance to win a copy for yourself.



Publication Date: November 22, 2014
Paperback; 442p

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction


England 1955.

The day Rhoda Middleton opens a letter from another woman, she becomes convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks the mysterious woman down, she discovers she is not Peter’s lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem – Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out why Peter has kept this friendship a secret for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime experiences she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For Rhoda too cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, PAST ENCOUNTERS explores themes of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.

Includes bonus material for reading groups.


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Praise for Past Encounters

“Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly Recommended!” – The Historical Novels Review


Praise for Deborah Swift

“stellar historical fiction” -Orange Prize Nominee Ann Weisgarber

“compelling’” -Westmorland Gazette

“The past comes alive through impeccable research…and the sheer power of descriptive prose” -Lancashire Evening Post


About the Author

Deborah-SwiftDavina Blake used to be a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, during which time she developed a love of research which fueled her passion for the past. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and also writes successful seventeenth century historicals under the pen name Deborah Swift. ‘Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly recommended.’ The Historical Novels Review From Davina: ‘I was inspired to write ‘Past Encounters’ because I live close to the railway station where the iconic ‘Brief Encounter’ was filmed in 1945. I have often used the refreshment room that featured in the film when waiting for a train. I love a good cup of tea, preferably accompanied by a chocolate brownie!’

For more information visit Davina Blake’s website and blog. You can also find her on Twitter.



1 copy of Past Encounters up for giveaway

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date December 7/14

Good luck!



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Source: Giveaway copy provided by the tour company.  No compensation was received.

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Guest Post with Elaine Cougler, author of The Loyalist’s Luck & Giveaway (eBook-Int’l)

November 13th, 2014


I’m pleased to welcome Elaine Cougler, author of The Loyalist’s Luck to Peeking Between the Pages today as she tours with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.  The Loyalist’s Luck is the second book in The Loyalist Trilogy and having read the first book The Loyalist’s Wife I’m really looking forward to this one.  Elaine joins us today with a guest post and please be sure to pop by at the end of the post for a chance to win an eBook copy of The Loyalist’s Luck.  For now enjoy Elaine’s guest post entitled A FRENCH CASTLE, A LITTLE HISTORY, AND FINDING NUGGETS…


Crossing the gray river seemed such a short journey, only a few hundred feet. But Lucinda Garner was fleeing from all she knew. Crowded into the flat-bottomed bateau, clutching Harper John, and jammed against her husband amidst the others loyal to the King, she struggled to keep her footing as the boat pitched and tossed in the unruly waters. She glanced back one more time at the old French Castle high on the hill behind, almost lost in the morning mist.
“We’ll never set foot on that side of the river again, mark my words.” Her friend Nellie’s voice was in her ear.

From The Loyalist’s Luck by Elaine Cougler


You never know what funny facts you’ll unearth when researching for a novel. Take my visit to Fort Niagara, which is situated just across the Niagara River from Niagara-on-the-Lake in present-day New York State. I thought I was visiting a fort that had been passed back and forth between the British and the Americans in the early days of our North American history and so I was.

I learned, however, that the thick stone-walled centerpiece of the fort actually dates back to 1726 and trading between the French and the native tribes plentiful in the area at the time. This magnificent structure has been called the French Castle for generations.

The French, who were nervous about being surrounded by thousands of natives with whom they traded, built the fort as a cautionary move. This action actually shocked and angered the natives who did not believe in ownership of the land. Erecting such a permanent structure was against their principles. The French, however, mollified the natives by saying their purpose was to provide a place of hospitality for their native friends.

Politics. Nevertheless, the ‘French Castle’ still stands at wonderful Fort Niagara, a testament to superior building practices in the eighteenth century.

Walking the second floor hall and the steps to the other levels and viewing the rooms where soldiers would have been billeted gave me a wonderful sense of setting for both The Loyalist’s Wife and its sequel, The Loyalist’s Luck. I walked my characters’ walk, making Lucy’s vision as she and John left their former home easy for me to visualize and write.


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*CLICK HERE* and fill our the form to enter

Draw Date November 29/14

Good luck!


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Source: Giveaway copy provided by the tour company.  No compensation was received.

A Little Wicked by Janet Macreery & Giveaway (Int’l)

November 10th, 2014

wickedA Little Wicked by Janet Macreery is a middle grade adventure that is sure to please young ones and adults.  I really enjoyed this book especially the last half and think it’s a great book for young teens since it not only treats us to a really good story but a a bit of a history lesson as well.

Twelve year old Dory loves her life with her Scottish clan and as the granddaughter of the chief she is treated quite well.  However when her clan is attacked Dory’s life crumbles around her.  Soon enough she learns that she must leave her clan as she must be kept safe to travel to the New World (America) where she will meet her aunt and uncle and hopefully be taken in by them.  Dory is devastated and frightened.  She has already lost so much in this attack on her village and now has to leave the only  home she’s ever known and loved.

Dory’s journey to the New World is not an easy one.  She has to travel by ship and barely makes it out of the woods alive to get passage on one.  She must disguise herself to keep safe on a ship of men and she takes an lot of bullying from fellow mates.  Dory just tries to keep her head down and do her chores and hope she can make it to her aunt and uncles.

Finally she arrives in Salem and thankfully her aunt doesn’t turn her away but Dory has arrived at the worst time possible.  The frenzy over witches has started and women are being accused and held in jails with horrid conditions.  The witch trials have started and so have the hangings.  Dory is horrified and even more so when she learns how careful she must be so that she doesn’t end up being one of the accused herself.  How long can she keep safe though when she begins getting strange looks and taunts from the group of girls who are accusing people of being witches?

A Little Wicked is a fantastic little book!  It’s an interesting story that is quite fast paced which is perfect for the younger crowd.  I loved Dory because she was a little spit fire who takes her responsibilities in life very seriously which is another great life lesson for young people. Recommended for those adults who enjoy juvenile historical fiction and an even better choice to share with your kids!


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1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 26/14

Good luck!


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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received and all opinions are that of the blog owner.  Giveaway copy provided by the blog owner.

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton & Giveaway (US only)

November 6th, 2014

tigerStephanie Thornton is one of my favorite authors for historical fiction because when I sit down with one of her novels I am immersed in another time and place that is so brilliantly brought alive in my mind. I adore her writing and her newest The Tiger Queens is nothing short of amazing. Rich in historical detail and with the intricate weaving of the stories of the women of Genghis Khan this novel is fascinating. I simply couldn’t put it down and I’d be remiss in not mentioning the cover.  It is absolutely gorgeous!

I knew nothing about Mongol history before reading this novel. To learn about it through the women who stood behind Genghis Khan is genius. The novel shifts between four women – Borte, his first wife, Alaqai, his daughter, Fatima, a captured woman, and Sorkhokhtami, his mother. Each woman has a story to tell, each woman is strong, and all have a great instinct for survival despite the harshness of their environment. These women were honored by their husbands but god forbid they fall into the wrong hands as the men of this era didn’t hesitate to rape, murder or make slaves out of the women of rival clans. Thornton doesn’t hesitate to write their situations as bluntly and harshly as they would have happened. Many times as I was reading I couldn’t imagine ever living through what these women did and not only in the face of men who could be cruel but the environment itself. The hard work they faced each and every day, the many children they bore, the wars they faced – it just all seems so unreal to us now in modern times. Yet their spirits seemed to soar above it all and they were able to find happiness.

Of all the women I think Borte was my favorite. The story begins with her and she captured my heart right away. She becomes Genghis Khan’s first wife and they shared a special bond throughout. Borte is such a strong woman and more courageous than I could ever imagine being. Her daughter Alaqai was a favorite as well though. She was her father’s wild girl and had women been allowed to be leaders she would have made a far better one than any of her brothers. She too had the strength and resilience of spirit that her mother had. Fatima before being captured had been a noblewoman and she had a strong desire for vengeance against those who had destroyed her clan. And then there is Sorkhokhtani who seemed to be in the background of things and yet she never really was as she had the strength to hold all together in the harshest of times. I have the utmost respect for the women of this time. I loved reading about them but I would never want to have lived their lives.

For fans of historical fiction The Tiger Queens is not to be missed. It’s always great to read stories that are new and fresh in historical fiction and it’s a treat to learn of women and a time in history that isn’t widely known. I loved this book, so much so that it’ll be on my list of favorites for this year! Highly recommended!


Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Add to your Goodreads List
Author Links: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Buy: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N



1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 22/14

Good luck!



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Source: Digital review copy was received from the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

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