The Romanovs, Jennifer Laam, and a giveaway!

It’s possible I learned about it in school at some point, but my first memorable encounter with the Romanov family came from a 1997 animated film called “Anastasia.” The protagonist had red hair (always a plus), the songs were catchy (hello, “Journey to the Past”), and I had an embarrassingly large crush on the hero, despite the fact that he was a cartoon.

It was a fun, lighthearted movie that I later found out was as realistic as Santa Claus.

Fast forward a decade, when I stumbled upon a historical documentary about the Russian Revolution and the eventual extrajudicial killing of the entire Romanov family (from the tsar to the maid to 13-year-old Alexei).

Grand Duchesses Tatiana and Anastasia, with their dog Ortino, in captivity in the spring of 1917.

It was haunting, imagining the horrific scene in that cellar — how the jewels in the girls’ clothing kept them alive when they were far better off dead, how guns became knives and bayonets and clubs because the victims simply wouldn’t die. ::Shiver:: It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.

It was so chilling, in fact, that I realized something: It’s only natural for people to fabricate tales of escape amid such horror. Maybe little Anastasia somehow got out. Maybe the Romanov line didn’t actually end on July 17, 1918. Maybe, somehow, there was a fraction of secret mercy or hope amid the hate.

the secret daughter ot tsarJennifer Laam is the latest author to look at the Romanovs and wonder. Her debut novel, THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR, was published in October by St. Martin’s Griffin. It weaves together the stories of three women and imagines an alternate history in which a secret fifth Romanov daughter is smuggled out of Russia before the revolution.

I am thrilled to announce that Jennifer will be stopping by Skipping Midnight on Wednesday, December 18, to answer questions about her book and how she achieved the ultimate writer’s dream. She will also be giving one lucky reader a copy of her new release. All you have to do is read her interview (on the 18th!) and comment below it.

Please mark your calendars. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!



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25 responses to “The Romanovs, Jennifer Laam, and a giveaway!

  1. Betsy Hayes

    I would love to settle in with this book after the holidays.

  2. Robyn Harvey

    Thank you for the tip on GoodReads Laura! I cannot wait to read your interview!

  3. Thank You for the tip! This would be a perfect book start 2014 with.

  4. Renee Francoeur

    Laura thanks for sending me over to this awesome site of yours. I have had a fascination with Russian history (Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great as well as the Romanovs) since I was a child and my grandmother told me about the family being murdered. My sister travelled to Moscow in June and her photos had me falling in love. I try to watch on a yearly basis Fiddler on the Roof, Doctor Zhivago and War and Peace (Audrey Hepburn fan!). This book is a must read for me.

  5. Kimberly Hart

    I do love Russian history like a lot of people and can’t wait to read this book either from the give-away possibility or otherwise! Anxious to read the interview with the author too! Thanks Laura for leading me to your site- it’s great!!

  6. I have this marked on my Goodreads account as “To Read.”

  7. Ali

    When I read the review of this book on Good Reads the only thing that came to mind was how to get my hands on it as soon as possible! I still have yet to find it in the bookstore but alas, all efforts are still in full swing! I’m in love with learning as much as possible about the Romanov family, my bookshelves hold a schnazzy collection of Romanov history. I’m so happy my friend introduced me to Good Reads, now I have a way to discover new books. My reading list keeps getting longer and longer!!

    • There’s nothing wrong with a long reading list! Come back tomorrow for a chance to win, and best of luck!

    • Mary Pessaran

      Hi. Did you look in the fiction section at Barnes and Noble? I’ve found it in several different ones. Also Amazon of course. (And Goodreads is great). P.S. I was in Jennifer’s reading group and she is a wonderful writer.

  8. Laura,
    Thank you so much for leading me to your site. It is amazing. I’m really excited that Jennifer Laam will be stopping by. As soon as I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I have always been enthralled with stories of the Romanov family.

    Thanks again,

  9. Helen

    Thanks for the comment Laura. Being a history buff this tale is just so fascinating isn’t it (the great ‘what if’ like you wrote) Can’t wait to read more….I’ll be back!

  10. I would love to win a copy of this book! The Romanov family has interested me for a long time, since it was tragic.

  11. Cristina

    Thanks Laura! Whether I win a copy or not Im going to read your book 😀 When I was younger I loved watching the movie Anastasia. So I’m looking forward to read this book.

  12. Georgie Parker

    I cannot wait to read this book! Looks amazing

  13. I was introduced to the Romanov’s through the 1997 animated movie too. For years I hoped and prayed that one of them survived and was sad to finally learn that no one did. Anyway, can’t wait to read this book. Thanks again for telling me about this contest.

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