Paris In Ruins – available for preorder

Dear friends … my latest novel, Paris In Ruins is ready for pre-order! As you can imagine, I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about it and as nervous as … well, let’s just say too nervous for me to find an appropriate comparison. Bringing a fourth novel to market is just as challenging as the first one.

Paris In Ruins has been a true labour of love — love for a city of incomparable beauty and tumultuous history, and love for the process of storytelling.

Paris in Ruins by M.K. Tod ~~ Paris 1870. Raised for a life of parties and servants, Camille and Mariele have much in common, but it takes the horrors of war to bring them together to fight for the city and people they love.

The story of two women whose families were caught up in the defense of Paris is deeply moving and suspenseful ~~ Margaret George, author of Splendor Before the Dark: A Novel of the Emperor Nero

Tod is not only a good historian, but also an accomplished writer … a gripping, well-limned picture of a time and a place that provide universal lessons ~~ Kirkus Reviews.

A few weeks after the abdication of Napoleon III, the Prussian army lays siege to Paris. Camille Noisette, the daughter of a wealthy family, volunteers to nurse wounded soldiers and agrees to spy on a group of radicals plotting to overthrow the French government. Her future sister-in-law, Mariele de Crécy, is appalled by the gaps between rich and poor. She volunteers to look after destitute children whose families can barely afford to eat.

Somehow, Camille and Mariele must find the courage and strength to endure months of devastating siege, bloody civil war, and great personal risk. Through it all, an unexpected friendship grows between the two women, as they face the destruction of Paris and discover that in war women have as much to fight for as men.

War has a way of teaching lessons—if only Camille and Mariele can survive long enough to learn them.

I hope you like the gorgeous cover, which was designed by Jenny Quinlan of Historical Editorial.

You can pre-order Paris In Ruins now in ebook format from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Kobo, and Barnes & Nobel. It will soon be available from Apple iBooks and Google Books.

I’m grateful to have had the support of family, friends, and fellow authors throughout the journey.

DON’T MISS OTHER POSTS ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Books Build Bridges

Last January, I put out a call on Instagram for book bloggers with an invitation to be a guest on my blog. Two women from Iran – identical twins! – responded. They have an English book club and were thinking of creating a blog. I didn’t hesitate for a moment (click this link to read about it).

A few weeks ago Shima and Shiva sent me a note attaching letters from members of their book club who had read Time and Regret. An out-of-the-blue email that made my day. Not only had they read my story, but they had taken the time to write to me. Here are some of their words.

Kimia said: “Your novel taught me to be curious about historical secrets that is behind something as well as historical events.”

Arshia said: “Reading your book was a very sweet and exciting experience! Remember that when I started reading the first part of your book, it drew my attention to read it as quickly as possible.”

Melika said: “I read your story ‘time and regret’. It’s fantastic and enjoyable. When I was reading that, I thought what happens next. I was trying to know and I guessed.”

Fatemeh said: “I like to read stories of different countries … but in Iran people don’t pay attention to it. I think if it [Time and Regret] wrote in Iran, people would welcome it.”

Did Time and Regret transport them to a different world? Does reading in English invite different thoughts? Reminds me of Azar Nafisi’s memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran.

New friends from a part of the world I’ve only read about. Books building bridges.

DON’T MISS OTHER POSTS ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Shaping a hook

Two weeks ago, I posted a draft of a hook I’d developed for Paris in Ruins on Facebook. I knew it needed something more and my Facebook friends were the ideal test group.

Version 1

Charlie asked: Where is the peril or the tension? R Ann said: I would like a titch more, while Ruth said: It feels a tad generic. Heidi suggested a couple of words about the women involved. Janet felt that “lives changed forever” is too generic. Liz suggested I add something to clue the reader in on the relationship between the two women. Many others offered suggestions for which I am very grateful. Back to the drawing board.

Version 2

Version two felt stronger to me. And a few people agreed. However, my friend and fellow Toronto author, Patricia Parsons gave me this feedback: “It feels heavy – laden with background research. Four out of the six lines are about the history. Only two lines are about the story.” She suggested that I focus on the story of the women in order to appeal to a broader audience. “I believe that in the best historical fiction, the story comes first and the historical detail provides context and colour.”

Several people agreed with Patricia. Liz added that there was too much detail and not enough emotion. She wanted to know: “What’s at stake, what’s at risk and why should we care about them? Are they allies or enemies? The theme sounds fascinating, now pull me in.”

Hmm. So I asked Patricia if she would noodle on the problem with me. Two heads being better than one!

Here’s the new version we came up with on Tuesday:

Version 3 … or maybe it’s version 10 by now

Would love your feedback!

DON’T MISS OTHER POSTS ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.