June 19, 2013

Tarnish Tour Stop & Giveaway! Katherine Longshore's Bookish Travels

About the book

Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart's desire and the chance to make history.

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About the author

Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.

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Travel, theater and books have been a huge part of my life for a long time. These three things are probably the biggest factors in why I write what I do. Acting is a wonderful way to get into character. Every writer should be a voracious reader. And travel? Being able to go back in time is thrilling enough, but being able to visit the places I write about and imagine my characters there? Is priceless. But before I dove into fiction, I spent a lot of years traveling and writing about it. And some of my favorite places in the world are places brought to life by other writers.

Verona, Italy
The summer after I graduated from college, my best friend and I traveled Europe by rail. I forced her to stop in Verona because it is the fictional setting of Romeo and Juliet. It ended up being one of our favorite cities because it is laid back, full of romance, and was where I ate one of my top ten favorite plates of pasta.

Bateman’s, Sussex, UK
Rudyard Kipling’s house. There’s something inspiring about being in the presence of greatness, isn’t there? This is where he wrote some of his best poetry and fiction, a beautiful brick house set in the rolling countryside of England.

Ardroy’s, Zimbabwe
When I visited this little house, I had no idea it was the same one Doris Lessing wrote about in her book African Laughter. It’s a wonderful cottage overlooking a coffee plantation on the border of Mozambique. I could have stayed there forever.

Ko Phan Ngan, Thailand
The island that Alex Garland wrote about in The Beach is fictional, but the atmosphere of the islands off the east coast of Thailand isn’t. It’s a combination of party heaven and people looking for peace and meaning. Perfect, white sand beaches lined by palm-thatch huts where giant cockroaches walk over you in the middle of the night. Like the fictional beach, it’s a balance of beauty and darkness.

Casablanca, Morocco
All right, I’ve only seen the movie. But how can you not fall in love with a place that inspired such a piece of art? It’s exotic and dirty and noisy and thrilling. And of course I went to Rick’s CafĂ© Americain.

Bayeux, France
The account of the Battle of Hastings wasn’t written down in so many words, but worked into an intricate tapestry, detailing the deaths of soldiers, the arrival of William the Conqueror and poor Harold with the arrow through his eye. I had to go and see it for myself.

Florence, Italy
One of my favorite books of all time is A Room with a View, by E. M. Forster. It opens in Florence, where young Lucy Honeychurch meets George Emerson, visits the Santa Croce and has a picnic up on the Fiesole. The real thing is just as romantic as the novel. Someone once berated me that “Florence is a place you go through on your way to Rome.” I replied, “I traveled through Rome to get to Florence.” (side note: I’ve also been to Holmbury St. Mary, where Forster is rumored to have set the Honeychurch home in England. Very pretty, but not nearly as romantic.)

Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Before I was a writer, I was an actress. And I was in love with Shakespeare. Stratford is his birthplace, and where his ghost lives on in countless stage productions, tours and gift shops. There’s an atmosphere there, a mix of coziness and tension, like you belong, but exciting things are afoot.

The Tower of London
The Tower is like my travel Nirvana. It’s a place where history, story, myth and theater collide. This is where the princes in the Tower from Richard III were murdered. It’s where Thomas More from A Man for All Seasons spent his last days. I’ve read several novels where someone travels to the Tower only to be changed by it (most recently, Transcendence by C.J. Omololu). And, of course, it’s the place where several of my own characters meet their ends, including Anne Boleyn.

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1 winner will receive A pair of Anne Boleyn inspired earrings and a signed Hardcover of Tarnish
2 winners will receive signed copies of Tarnish

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HufsaT said...

Oh I'm a sucker for historical fiction. I'm making a note to check that book out at my bookstore if need be!

Unknown said...

Ooh I have actually been to one of those places! I have been to Stratford-upon-Avon and it is so beautiful there! And the house Shakespeare was born in was tiny! Thanks so much for the giveaway and I hope to have the chance to read Tarnish soon!

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