Thursday Give Away

For this week’s Thursday Give Away, I have an advance copy of William Dietrich’s The Barbed Crown, the latest in his Napoleonic-set Ethan Gage series.

Here’s the official blurb:

In this latest adventure by New York Times bestselling author William Dietrich, Ethan Gage is out to foil Napoleon’s coronation as emperor, play double agent between France and England, and turn the tide of war—while attempting to save his own life and his marriage.

Gage fought beside Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt and was his agent in Italy, America, and Greece. But this relationship, which at the best of times was uneasy, has gone sour, and now Ethan wants to make Napoleon pay for kidnapping his son, Harry, and nearly killing his wife, Astiza.

Smuggled into France with a beautiful royalist agent, Gage is determined to thwart Bonaparte’s ambitions to take Europe. Surprises abound as a conspiracy collapses, Astiza reappears at Gage’s side, and agents on all fronts try to recruit Ethan to their cause. Desperate, he devises a mad plan to sabotage Napoleon’s coronation by replacing the power-hungry emperor’s crown of golden laurel with a religious relic—the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Christ at his crucifixion. It is a scheme that requires a daring theft, perfect timing, and trust among the plotters; when it goes awry, Gage is soon on the run to England.

There Ethan joins a circle of brilliant renegades, including Robert Fulton, designer of the first submarine; rocket artillery pioneer Sir William Congreve; and smuggler Tom Johnstone. As two empires face off at sea, Gage is plunged into the decisive and lethal Battle of Trafalgar, trapped on board a French ship as Nelson’s Victory bears down on him.

Moving from the glittering boulevards and squalid back alleys of Napoleonic France to the high seas of Regency England, filled with romance, danger, intrigue, and glory, The Barbed Crown is a thrilling romp that sees Ethan Gage once again embroiled in European history . . . and the fate of the modern world.

If you were intrigued by the historical events behind The Orchid Affair and The Garden Intrigue, you should definitely dip into The Barbed Crown, in which you’ll recognize key characters and events from each, as well as several cameo appearances by Napoleon himself.

For a chance to win an advance copy of The Barbed Crown, here’s your question:

— Which historical personage would you most like to see in a novel? (It can be anyone from any time period.)

The winner will be announced on Sunday.


  1. Anne Burner on April 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Richard the Lionheart. I grew up hearing about him from all the Robin Hood legends, but more recent research fills out his character. I’m particularly intersted in the fact that this most “manly” of kings may have been bisexual.

  2. Adeia Strong on April 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Maude Gonne. Her life was so interesting but not too many people even know who she was anymore.

  3. Dara on April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’ve always been fascinated with the Salem witch trials. Any of those participants would be fascinating to read about.

  4. Eirene Ritznore on April 18, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I would love to see the Marquis de Lafayette staring in his own novel. I just think he is so dashing and heroic.

  5. Lisa Wingearsd on April 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Grant or Sherman have always been my favorite.

  6. Jorie on April 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Gertrude Stein and the rest of the members of the writer salons in Paris. They are briefly interjected into stories, both written and in motion picture, but they do not hold the main threads by which I would be most intriqued to learn more! 🙂 I love the idea behind the salons, where writers and artists congregated to dig deeper into research and awareness of their world?! It was a hearty mirth of creative exchange, that fascinates me, as I wish we had that kind of setting by which we could partake in of nowadays!?

    OR even a time to time shift piece, that explores three different salon eras, and brings to light how they orientated and how they became lost to time…

  7. Olivia on April 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Freya Stark. She was a total badass. She is hand’s down my historical idol.

  8. Diya on April 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hmmm I’d have to say the Night Witches. They were the female precision bombers for the Russians in WWII and were ridiculously hardcore!

  9. Nicola Burke on April 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Eleanor of Aquitane …such a great female role model…took what she wanted

  10. Molly J on April 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve always been fascinated by Lillian Russell! Her life and the turn of the century performing arts scene seem so fascinating.

  11. Pat on April 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    How about T.E. Lawrence? That could be interesting. Or maybe Dominique You. . .

  12. Sarah Walraven on April 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I would love to see Thomas Jefferson, my favorite founding father!

  13. Sheila on April 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Benjamin Franklin, what a life he had!

  14. Karen H on April 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I actually really love reading fiction with Bonaparte! Such a colorful character!!!

  15. Jessica C on April 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I’d love to read a novel about Albert Einstein, with him cast as a Doctor Who-type time traveler. I think that could be really interesting.

  16. Ashley on April 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I’d love to read a novel about Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) of Austria.

  17. Anna on April 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Amage, a 4th centuary BC Sarmatian queen. A Scythanian prince started attacking parts of her kingdom so she rode to Scythia with 120 warriors and killed his guards, she then personally challenged him to a sword duel and killed him too. I think a novel about her would be very interesting to read.

  18. Rachel Brown on April 18, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I would love to see George and Edith Vanderbilt in a novel. I live near Biltmore Estate and I love love love going there, so I’ve always been intrigued by them.

  19. Amanda B. on April 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Arbella Stuart! I bought Sarah Gristwood’s book in England at Chatsworth in 2005. I would love to read your interpretation of her story through your words!!

  20. Courtney on April 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I think either the young Queen Victoria or her cousin, Princess Charlotte. Besides the Jean Plaidy books, there aren’t a lot of good books on Victoria, and even less so about her as a princess/young queen, like “The Young Victoria” period. And Princess Charlotte had such a sad life, but she would have been the heir if she had lived.

  21. Marissa on April 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have the Little House books, but I would love to read an in depth biography.

  22. Lucy D-G on April 19, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Dominique Vivant Denon, chief of Napoleon’s savants in Egypt:

    He led a very colorful life: law school dropout, playwright, diplomat, artist, archaeologist, museum director, author, and man of um, affairs. I’m thinking of putting him in a story with time-traveling Eleanor of Aquitaine, in Egypt. 🙂

  23. jeffrey on April 19, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Having read The First American, a biography, I find him one of the most fascinating figures in the founding of our country. His exploits with John Adams in Paris during the war of independence is prime for a fictional account.

  24. jeffrey on April 19, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Well, DUH, it might be a good idea to mention the name of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN concerning the above post!

  25. Didi on April 19, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I’m fascinated with Joan of Arc, sort of like female heroism of way way back age.

  26. bn100 on April 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Thomas Edison

  27. Becca on April 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I would love a book on Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz, especially her time surveying archaeological excavations. I love women-in-action books

  28. SusanN on April 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve always loved books set in pre-Revolution Russia. I think a mystery/intrigue series set in the time of Catherine the Great with her as a recurring character would be cool.

    (I love everyone else’s suggestions, too, tho!)

  29. Kim on April 20, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I always go back to Napoleon and Josephine.

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