For today’s Monday Give Away, we have a special treat: a copy of Susanna Kearsley’s The Splendour Falls!

Here’s the official blurb:
splendour falls
An Ancient Castle, a Tragic Love, and a Web of Secrets Begins to Unravel…

Emily Braden has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings. When her fascinating but unreliable cousin Harry invites her on a holiday to explore the legendary own of Chinon, and promptly disappears—well, that’s Harry for you.

As Emily makes the acquaintance of Chinon and its people, she begins to uncover dark secrets beneath the charm. Legend has it that during a thirteenth-century siege of the castle that looms over the city, Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, hid a “treasure of great price.” And in the last days of the German occupation during World War II, another Isabelle living in Chinon, a girl whose love for an enemy soldier went tragically awry.

As the dangers of the past become disastrously real, Emily is drawn ever more deeply into a labyrinth of mystery as twisted as the streets and tunnels of the ancient town itself.

There is no author writing today who comes closer to Mary Stewart than Susanna Kearsley. (And you all know how I feel about Mary Stewart.) One of the talents both possess is bringing a foreign locale brilliantly to life– and making you wish you were there. Their heroines go on holiday (or take jobs) in remote places, only to stumble on all manner of skullduggery, ancient and modern.

So, for a copy of The Splendour Falls, here’s your question:

If you were a Mary Stewart or Susanna Kearsley heroine, where would you like to go on holiday? (Knowing, of course, that there will be mystery and intrigue and most likely a hero.)

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.


  1. Mary Lou on July 28, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Scottish Highlands! A place with so much room just waiting for so many adventures…

  2. Sarah R on July 28, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I love Susanna Kearsley’s books! A castle in France would be awesome!

  3. Ren on July 28, 2014 at 8:26 am

    It would have to be Crete. May favorite Mary Stuart, maybe because it was my first is The Moon Spinners. Crete just sounds and looks so beautiful. Gorgeous beaches with all that classical history. Then throw in some Mary Stuart intrigue. Absolutely perfect.

    • Ren on July 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Oops. Just realized I spelt Stewart wrong. Must’ve been thinking about the Scottish royal family instead.

  4. jeffrey on July 28, 2014 at 8:46 am

    To the Glastonbury Tor in Southwestern England. It has been an ancient holy site for centuries and it is the epicenter for the legend of King Arthur. Just the mention of Camelot conjures enough romance, mystery and adventure for a lifetime. Our visit there was an awesome thrill.

    • Betty S. on July 29, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      You might enjoy Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon.

  5. Sue Gorman on July 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Scotland…maybe an island off the coast.

  6. Rachel Adrianna on July 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Morocco! Preferably with a gin joint 🙂

  7. Ella on July 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I just started reading this book from the Library!

    Scotland or Ireland… I do love here Scottish heroes.

  8. Sheila on July 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Norway, get some Nordic-ness going

  9. Liz on July 28, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I also would vote for a Scottish holiday, preferably on the Isle of Skye… ruggedly beautiful and isolated setting just perfect for some suspense (and hopefully a brooding Scottish hero!)

  10. Joan on July 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    A chateau in France. My favorite Mary Stewart novel is Nine Coaches Waiting. A beautiful chateau,
    a tall, dark and handsome hero and a little suspense. Can’t be beat!

  11. Rosemary on July 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    What a tough question! I love Susanna Kearsley’s novels – the way she weaves in history, local lore, legends, and of course romance, is absolutely genius. If I were one of her heroines, I would without a doubt go to Ireland. All the Celtic legends and fascinating history (and since my family is supposedly descended from the last High Kings of Ireland, there’s already a great set up for a plot) — now I want her to actually write this book!

  12. Bekah on July 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    An old chateau in the south of France! Complete with ties to long lost French Revolution secrets!

  13. Yvette R on July 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Somehow I have missed Mary Stewart! But I have read one of Susanna Kearsley’s book and enjoyed it very much. I was talking to my sister the other day, and she wants to go to Norway in midsummer, I’m not sure about Norway, but the midnight sun sounds really interesting. Maybe I would go to one of the really old northern European cities for a midsummer adventure. Hidden treasure, narrow alleys, and the timelessness of the midnight sun!

  14. Catie on July 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Greece! Something about all those ruins…

  15. bn100 on July 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm


  16. Miss Eliza on July 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    A castle, preferably kind of dank and spooky. Could be located anywhere… but Scotland would be nice.

  17. Nikki B on July 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Edinburgh or somewhere in Scotland. I want my mysteries wearing kilts!

  18. Emily on July 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Ooo, Scotland or Rome. Both could be great for gothic terror and romance!

  19. Paige on July 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I want a holiday in Ireland. Bring on the mystery, intrigue, and hero.

  20. Betty S. on July 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Definitely Scotland as I have been reading many books set there lately – my son has been heavily involved in genealoy research and informed me in April that ae have a connection to Mary Queen of Scots and even back to Robert the Bruce, so of course, Scotland.

    I also love Susanna’s books and agree with your comments about her wrting, Lauren. Can’t wait to read this one – Here Be Dragons deals with King John and tells the story of Isabelle d’Angleoume(sp.), so this should be very interesting.

  21. Candice on July 29, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I would definitely want to go to Scotland.

  22. Jane Burke on July 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I also loved Mary Stewarts books set in Greece – Moon Spinners and This Rough Magic, but also loved Susanna Kearley’s The Winter Sea. I would be happy going to either place and immersing myself in its history.

  23. Tiffany on July 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Venice. Most definitely!

  24. Abby on July 29, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Istanbul- preferably near the old city walls!

  25. Ally on July 29, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    The Cornish coast – dashing smugglers included, of course!

  26. Kristy on July 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Austria or Greece – I’m a huge Mary Stewart fan, and finding Susanna Kearsley has been like bumping into old friends you thought you’d never meet again. “Airs Above the Ground”, “The Moonspinners”, and “My Brother Michael” draw me back to Austria and Crete in her descriptions over and over again.

  27. Tara Jae on July 29, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    One of the Lady Emily books takes place in Constantinople and I loved the details on the setting. Would love to hear more stories about the interesting city where east meets west.

  28. Michelle Staab on July 30, 2014 at 12:27 pm


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