New Book by M.K. Tod

It’s publication day for my friend Mary Tod! Her third historical novel Time and Regret is available today.

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long buried secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determine to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her.

 From her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a many very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harbouring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.

About M.K. Tod: Time and Regret is M.K. Tod’s third novel. She began writing while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded Indie Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. In addition to writing historical novels, she blogs about reading and writing historical fiction at www.awriterofhistory.com.

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Praise for Time and Regret:

“With fluid prose and a keen eye for detail, M.K. Tod takes readers on a decades-spanning journey of wartime loss, family secrets, and, ultimately, redemption.”

— Holly Smith, Managing Editor, Washington Independent Review of Books

 

Spiced with mystery and a spark of romance, TIME AND REGRET is an immersive journey into one man’s brave but terrifying slog through the killing fields of France and Flanders during WWI. Tod’s prose brims with exquisite atmospheric detail, drawing the reader into an unforgettable story.

— Juliet Grey: author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy

 

Time and Regret, equally captivating and suspenseful, presents well-drawn characters who strive to resolve past mysteries and overcome present obstacles. M.K. Tod is an impressively gifted storyteller who creates relatable conflicts and believable dangers. Highly recommended!

— Bestselling author Margaret Porter

 

“Hugely satisfying – impossible to put down.”

— Elizabeth St. John author of The Lady of the Tower

 

“Time and Regret is something as rare as a treasure hunt with heart. Between the gritty trenches of World War I, the romantic allure of present-day France, and the cut-throat New York arts scene, M.K. Tod has spun a gripping family drama that delves deeply into the effects of war on the human soul and takes us on an intriguing journey of self-discovery. It is a book rich in hard-won wisdom and crucial historical insights, and Tod’s perceptive voice leads us unfalteringly through some of the darkest chapters in human history to a very satisfying conclusion.” Anne Fortier author of The Lost Sisterhood

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Upcoming Novel: The Captive’s Tale

I am proud and pleased to finally announce the project that I have been working on since before the publication of The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte. I hope this new book will be published in early 2017:

THE CAPTIVE’S TALE

Southern Minnesota. August 1862. Smoke fills the horizon and blood soaks the prairie as Little Crow fights to drive white settlers from his ancestral homeland. Sarah Wakefield and her two young children are fleeing for their lives when two warriors capture them. One is Hapa, an enraged murderer who wants her life. The other is Chaska, an old acquaintance who promises protection. Chaska takes her to live in his mother’s tepee, but emotions run so high among both Indians and whites that Sarah and Chaska may not survive the war that rages around them.

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A Tiny Candle in the Dark

All morning, I felt agitated by the news of the attacks in Paris and Beirut yesterday and found it hard to settle to any productive tasks. Then about noon, I reminded myself why I’m writing my current novel.

Like The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, it’s another novel based on real events—the story of an oppressed people, starving and without hope, and how a minority faction rises up and turns to violence and terrorism. My main character is a woman from the dominant culture, taken captive and held hostage with her two young children for several weeks. While she is captive, she forms a bond with someone who acts as her protector. These two try to reach across the cultural divide and misunderstandings, but events race out of their control, and their efforts do not work out quite as they planned.

This story is so pertinent to the times in which we live. So this afternoon when I felt distracted by what’s happening, I reminded myself that one of the best ways I can help the world right now is to continue telling this tale of two courageous people who tried to bridge the chasm of hate.

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Review of Madame Picasso

410LZWzaT7L._AA160_ When I attended the Historical Novel Society convention in June, I heard a panel that included Diane Haeger, who also writes under the name Anne Girard. Her discussion of her novel Madame Picasso intrigued me, partially because it’s set in a fascinating time period and partially because it—like my novel The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte—tells the story of a bold, clever woman who isn’t widely known today.

The novel recounts five years in the life of Eva Gouel, one of Pablo Picasso’s early lovers. The daughter of Polish immigrants, Eva wanted more from life than an early marriage and a domestic existence. In this way, she reminded me a little bit of my own Betsy Bonaparte. Eva moved to Paris without her parents’ knowledge or permission and eventually got a position as a seamstress at the famous Moulin Rouge. It was in this milieu that she came to know Picasso.

The book effectively portrays Eva’s complex personality. When it came to her job, she was determined and at times daring. When it came to her love life, she was generous and supportive of the man she adored. The psychological portraits of Picasso is also quite interesting; Girard portrays a more vulnerable and giving man than the Picasso of legend—although one that is every bit as arrogant!

The settings add further interest to the book. Seeing backstage at the Moulin Rouge made me feel like an insider for a day, and I loved the chapters that covered Picasso’s painting excursions to various locales in France and Spain.

I don’t want to give too much away about the development of the two main characters’ relationship except to say that it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel and give it five stars.

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Cover Reveal for America’s First Daughter

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I was fortunate to meet the author Stephanie Dray at the Historical Novel Society convention in June, and today I am pleased to participate in the cover reveal for America’s First Daughter, which she wrote with Laura Kamoie.

BLURB

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. And it is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that she learns of her father’s liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age.

Patsy too has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé, William Short, a staunch abolitionist intent on a career in Europe. Heartbroken at having to decide between being William’s wife or a devoted daughter, she returns to Virginia with her father and marries a man of his choosing, raising eleven children of her own.

Yet as family secrets come to light during her father’s presidency, Patsy must again decide how much she will sacrifice to protect his reputation, in the process defining not just Jefferson’s political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

About Stephanie
STEPHANIE DRAY is a bestselling and award-nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. As STEPHANIE DRAVEN, she is a national bestselling author of paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Stephanie’s Links:
Website; Facebook; Twitter; Goodreads

About Laura
LAURA KAMOIE has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the  New York Times  bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel,  America’s First Daughter , co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Laura’s Links:
Website; Facebook; Twitter; Goodreads

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Review: Mystery at Sag Bridge

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The first word that comes to mind to describe this novel is “fun.” I enjoyed it immensely. I don’t usually read ghost stories, so I was surprised how much I liked this one. The premise in intriguing: it combines the modern story of a retired woman, grieving the lost of her mother, with a century-old murder story. The two stories intersect because Cora, the modern protagonist, encounters strange happenings wrought by a vengeful ghost.

The book is structured like a sandwich, a beginning modern section, a central historical section, and an ending modern section. Cora makes a discovery near the end of the first section that leads naturally into the historical part of the story. One of the things I liked best about the novel was Cora herself. I immediately warmed to her. I thought her relationships were believable. Her marriage to Cisco and her friendship with Frannie felt real and lived-in. The writing also has an easy flow to it. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this story to anyone who likes mysteries, paranormal stories, or historical fiction.

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Review of The Women’s Center

 

 

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Four women, with little in common except their ties to a Catholic women’s college in Chicago, are called together by Sister Mark, the nun they all adore. Diane is a successful journalist tentatively recovering from an event that shattered her life. June is a skilled carpenter, uncertain how to be feminine enough to find the love she craves. Pat is the earth mother, an optimistic artist and craftswoman who raised seven children on her own after her husband left her. Ruth is a powerhouse CEO, who tells herself that she needs no one, not even the man she once loved and thinks of still.

Why has Sister Mark brought these former classmates together? Their alma mater, Shorelake College (a fictional version of Mundelein College) has closed and been taken over by nearby Rockbridge University (a fictional version of Loyola). Sister Mark has asked the women to make plans and raise funds to convert the mansion that was the emotional heart of the campus into a woman’s center.

As they struggle to carry out this vaguely defined mission, the four women embark on a journey of discovery—unearthing their own inner truths and finding joy in unlooked-for friendships. Fitzpatrick portrays the complicated nature of women’s relationships with each other with nuance and insight. And in contrast to many women’s novels, this one gives the male characters their due, portraying them as real and complex people rather than stereotypes to promote the author’s agenda. The vividness of the setting will delight anyone who knows the Windy City, and many readers will relish the clever turns of phrase that sprinkle the narrative. All these details add up to an enjoyable debut novel.

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