Today I am so pleased to welcome Sandra Schwab to Joyfully Jay. Sandra has come to talk to us about her release, Yuletide Truce. She has also brought along a tourwide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

The Amazing World of Victorian Periodicals

Thank you so much for having me today, Joyfully Jay, as I celebrate the release of my holiday romance Yuletide Truce, which is set in the world of Victorian publishing: one of my heroes (the sweet guy) works in a small bookshop, the other (grumpy dude) for the fashionable (and fictional) magazine About Town. To a great extent, the story reflects my love for Victorian magazines and newspapers.

It all started seven years ago, when I attended the annual conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals for the very first time. The conference blew my mind, and I was utterly fascinated by the breadth of topics within the field. Upon my return home, I logged into Abebooks, got extremely lucky, and a couple of weeks later, I opened the door to a lovely UPS man, who brought me 150-odd pounds of the satirical magazine Punch (all the volumes from 1841 to 1891). Mr. Punch moved into my sitting room, and in the following years, my academic research focused on the magazine (hey, if I own 150-odd pounds of Punch, I need to do something with them, don’t I?) — and this would eventually also influence my creative work (yes, you will find some fan-girling about Punch in Yuletide Truce).

But what makes Victorian magazines and newspapers so intriguing? For one thing, there’s the sheer wealth of topics they cover: everything from literature and theatre to sports, horticulture, music, fashion, politics, and satire as well as, in the latter part of the century, the concerns of the working classes and the suffragettes. And for sensation seekers, The Illustrated Police News covered shocking cases of crime and murder and dreadful accidents. People getting eaten by sharks (or cats), getting bitten by skeletons (don’t ask), or being driven mad by orangutans? The Illustrated Police News had it all (with multpile shocking illustrations). 19th-century magazines and newspapers thus grant us intriguing glimpses of the interests and concerns of the people in the past. In the social cartoons of Punch, for example, we get to see early showers (and unwilling children dragged into them) and accompany characters on their outings to the zoo or to the derby.


Want to see the different stages of the building of the Crystal Palace, the place where the Great Exhibition of 1851 was held? Look no further than The Illustrated London News! Schwab-Jay-2

How about some insights into the lives of Victorian celebrities? Many newspapers had a section with news about the royal family and another section with news about notable persons. Especially in the second part of the century, “At Home with…” articles became all the rage. For example, in January 1895, the first issue of The Windsor Magazine contained an “Illustrated Interview” with the author Edna Lyall, which featured pictures of her study at her home in Eastbourne. Jpeg

This way, Victorian periodicals become little time machines that transport us back to a bygone age — and I, for one, simply can’t resist them!  


YuletideTruce-FINALLondon, 1845

It’s December, Alan “Aigee” Garmond’s favorite time of the year, when the window display of the small bookshop where he works fills up with crimson Christmas books and sprays of holly. Everything could be perfect — if it weren’t for handsome Christopher Foreman, the brilliant writer for the fashionable magazine About Town, who has taken an inexplicable and public dislike to Aigee’s book reviews.

But why would a man such as Foreman choose to target reviews published in a small bookshop’s magazine?

Aigee is determined to find out. And not, he tells himself, just because he finds Foreman so intriguing. Aigee’s quest leads him from smoke-filled ale-houses into the dark, dingy alleys of one of London’s most notorious rookeries. And then, finally, to Foreman. Will Aigee be able to wrangle a Yuletide truce from his nemesis?


Schwab2Award-winning author Sandra Schwab started writing her first novel when she was seven years old. Thirty-odd years later, telling stories is still her greatest passion, even though by now, she has exchanged her pink fountain pen of old for a black computer keyboard. Since the release of her debut novel in 2005, she has enchanted readers worldwide with her unusual historical romances (some of which she now uses to shamelessly fangirl over Punch, her favorite Victorian magazine).

She holds a PhD in English literature, and in autumn 2015, she appeared on the BBC documentary Great Continental Railway Journeys to talk about another favorite topic of hers, the Grimms’ fairy tales (while walking through a rather muddy stretch of the Black Forest) (there were a lot of slugs, too).

She lives in Frankfurt am Main / Germany with a sketchbook, a sewing machine, and an ever-expanding library.


Sandra has brought three backlist books to give away readers on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. The contest ends on at 11:59 pm EST. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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