Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Interview with Rebecca Hazell, Author of The Tiger and the Dove Trilogy + Giveaway!

Today I have a wonderful interview with Rebecca Hazell, author of the Tiger and the Dove trilogy that takes place in 13th century Europe and the Middle East. I hope you enjoy it and be sure to continue after for more information on the series, the author and a chance to win a copy of the first book in the trilogy, The Grip of God!

Historical Fiction is such a fascinating genre for many readers, transporting them back in time to an infinite number of locations, times and situations. Can you tell us a little more about your trilogy, The Tiger and The Dove, and what drew you to that part of history?
I too feel the fascination of entering another time and place, and that was just what drew me to writing my trilogy. Actually, I never felt I had a choice about writing it. The story came to me—or perhaps seized me—when I was in my early twenties, after I had graduated from university as a Russian History major. It haunted me for decades, and my husband tells me I outlined the plot on our second date!
Finally I realized that I was getting older and hadn’t truly begun it. So I set aside a flourishing career as a nonfiction writer for children and concentrated on writing what turned from one book into a trilogy. It took almost twenty years to complete and is set in the 13th century. In it the heroine tells her story of being caught in major historical events that thwart her quest for romantic love, but which also teach her about life and what genuine love might actually be. She is displaced again and again as wars and threats of war push her from Kyiv (Kiev in Russian) during the Mongol invasions, to Iran, the Crusader states, and eventually all the way to southern France. Her journeys through distant lands are challenging to say the least, but she meets her life with courage and heart, and she does find true love.
In real life, I was able to visit many of those places—France, Ukraine, Turkey, and Iran, for instance—and to gather material that I used in my descriptions. The travel was sometimes quite magical, like the time in a Paris museum when I saw a blue perfume vial that exactly matched an imaginary one I had described in one scene! Or going to Disney World and discovering an entire traveling museum of Mongol artifacts!
What does a typical day in your life look like?  When do you fit in time to write?
I’m retirement age and have complete freedom to do whatever I want with my day, which has its drawbacks—I can avoid writing too easily! But generally that doesn’t happen because I’m passionate about the stories I want to tell. I devote two or three hours a day doing something connected with whatever I’m writing: research, mulling over how to frame the story, or revising. Since I’m also an artist, I have times when I’m committed to finishing a piece of art. It’s a nice balance doing both as each gives me a break from the other and allows time for intuition to dawn in my writing and artwork.

A lot of authors have become huge on social media, not only promoting their work but interacting with their readers and offering up giveaways, book recommendations, etc. Are you a big proponent of using social media in this way? How do you prefer to interact with your fans?

I think social media are great, though I’m pretty nonlinear and therefore not as disciplined about using them as I could be. And my blogs all got lost recently and my site got messed up when it was hacked, so that’s the downside. I love getting emails from fans, though, and I always reply. I made friends with a fellow historical writer that way, too. She lives in England.
I’ve noticed that a lot of authors are also big readers. When you have time for leisure reading what sorts of books do you gravitate towards? Have you read anything good lately?
I love reading. I even read in the car when my husband is driving us along a familiar route—he wants to pay attention to the road, so it’s perfect. I also read before bed, after vacuuming the house (self-reward), and whenever I have time.
My husband and I went through a period of reading British crime fiction by Reginald Hill. We also enjoyed talking with each other about those books. Then I stopped entirely and went back to one of my favorite authors, another British novelist, Georgette Heyer. She was the mother of the Regency romance genre, and often very funny. It had been years, and I had forgotten all the plots. I zip right through them. By the way, her novels, though light, have been used in sociology courses because they’re so historically accurate.
But I also read lots of current fiction and nonfiction. If an author’s life interests me, I’ll read her or his biography. I also enjoy any histories, and of course I do extensive research for all my novels.
Are you working on any future books at this time? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
Right now I’m working on a novel set in 6th century Europe, a fascinating period usually dismissed as the Dark Ages. But there was a lot going on that I never learned in my high school European history course! The plot centers around some very interesting real-life women. Their lives and rivalries affected not only international politics but also became enshrined in fairy tales and medieval legends.
I’m also finishing a semi-memoir about my misadventures in constructing my family tree. That project actually led me to the story I’m working on now. What a rich field history is! There are so many great stories waiting to be told that I could spend the rest of my life writing (and painting)!
Thank you so much for stopping by Rebecca!! The novels sound fascinating, as well as both of your current works of progress (my paternal family had our family tree done and let me just tell you some of the connections were surprising!).

About The Tiger and the Dove Trilogy

The Grip of God (Book One)
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 23, 2013)

380 pages

The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. Set in the thirteenth century, its heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. She begins her story by recounting her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol armies that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is threatened by the bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family, and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Batu Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia could be a character from The Game of Thrones, but she refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which haunt her destiny. Like an intelligent Forrest Gump, she reflects her times. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on them as well, and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers.

You can purchase The Grip of God at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and The Book Depository.

Solomon's Bride (Book Two)
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 7, 2014)

384 pages

Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

You can purchase Solomon's Bride at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and at The Book Depository.

Consolamentum (Book Three)
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 8, 2014)
366 pages
In the finale of Sofia’s memoir, Consolamentum, both dramatic and poignant, her dreams of home are shattered when her own family betrays her. Raising her child on her own, mourning the loss of her beloved knight, and building a trading empire, she seeks safe haven for her child and herself. Her quest takes her from Antioch to Constantinople to Venice. A surprise reunion in Venice leads her to France where she runs afoul of the newly established Holy Inquisition, possibly the greatest challenge she has yet faced. Can a woman so marked by oppression, betrayal, and danger ever find her safe haven, much less genuine happiness?
You can purchase Consolamentum at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and at The Book Depository.

About the Author


Rebecca Hazell is an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children's books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases. She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese History.
Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.
You can connect with Rebecca on her website, Facebook and Goodreads.


Giveaway Time!!



For a chance to win a Kindle edition of the first book in the series, The Grip of God, fill out the giveaway form HERE. Be sure to enter your name and your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.
You can get extra entries for following me on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads (links found on the right), just be sure to actually do so (I've had people state they are following me but when I check they are not and are therefore disqualified from the extra entries!) and be sure to enter the name you follow under.
I'll pick a winner on May 13th, 2015 and the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before I have to pick another winner.
Good luck!!!




  1. Thank you for hosting Rebecca and her books, Colleen! What a great interview. I just love reading her answers. Good luck to all who enter the giveaway!

    1. Thanks Michelle! I loved her answers too....getting into the mind of authors and learning how they tick is one of my favorite aspects of interacting with authors....they are always so interesting!

  2. And our winner is....Barry Collins!! Congratulations Barry! I'll be sending your name and email to the tour organizer so they can get your eBook copy of The Grip of God out to you!