Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Kate Quinn is the first rose of spring....plus a book giveaway

Photo credit: Laura Jucha Photography
Kate Quinn is a literary celebrity these days. Her first wartime novel, The Alice Network, is practically a household name these days. Having said that, we are thrilled to have her at CLC today to talk about her latest novel, The Rose Code. Melissa enjoyed it and is excited for everyone to read it. Check out her review. Thanks to William Morrow, we have TWO copies for some lucky readers!

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, and The Rose Code. All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs. (Courtesy of Kate's website.)

Visit Kate online:

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer... (Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing? 
I love Bernard Cornwell's books, so when a reviewer called me "Bernard Cornwell for women", I was thrilled. My husband put it on a T-shirt for me!
Which of the three main characters in The Rose Code do /you relate to the most?
Probably Osla, my effervescent debutante who burns to prove she's just as smart and capable as anyone else in her field. I've never debuted at court and I've never dated a prince (Osla was Prince Philip's real-life war-time girlfriend, before Princess Elizabeth) but I think most women can identify with the struggle of being written off, underestimated, or patted indulgently on the head when all they want is to be taken seriously and allowed to pull their weight.
If The Rose Code were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Holliday Grainger would be terrific as Osla; she has that lovable quality that makes men want to date her and women want to be her best friend. Cara Delevingne would be wonderful as my spiky London girl Mab; she has the fierce eyebrows, the resting b*tch face, and the ability (as displayed in shows like Carnival Row) to play a woman with a soft heart under a hard outer shell. And for Beth, my shy wallflower turned star codebreaker, Anya Taylor-Joy--in The Queen's Gambit, she played another quirky genius named Beth who had a great affinity for patterns!
What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
Can I do two? Sadeqa Johnson's YELLOW WIFE, heartbreaking and uplifting--and Melanie Benjamin's THE CHILDREN'S BLIZZARD, thrilling and moving.
What do you love most about springtime?
The weather. It's beautiful in San Diego this time of year--I leave my windows open so spring breezes blow through my house all day long, and I finish every work day out on the shaded deck with my laptop, watching the houses on the hill below glow in the magic hour.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I'm a writer and I'm in lockdown, so my life is really very quiet and uneventful. I'm pretty sure the funniest thing I've attempted to do recently is belt out "Satisfied" from Hamilton without tripping over those fast flows, but fortunately no one was around to see me!

Thanks to Kate for chatting with us and to William Morrow for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends March 21st at midnight EST.


Carla S. said...

Earned my Ph.D.

Michelle L said...

I just shoveled 20" of snow from my long driveway, all by myself....and I'm old! :)

Padmini Rao said...

Earning my Master’s degree

Melissa said...

Graduated from college and persevered through challenging times while doing so.

Anonymous said...

I love Historical Fiction and this book sounds awesome. I would love to read it. Thank you for the chance.

Suburban prep said...

Due to a health issue I was told that I probably would not be able to do a lot of things--one of them walk. Well, I walk and do yoga and ride a bike and do ballet. I pushed and got to where I am with determination.

traveler said...

Going to night school for ten years in order to obtain my BA. and working full time which required great determination.

Donna said...

I managed to come out whole during a very difficult time when I had a baby (9 mo.) and was recovering from a complicated surgery on my femur when my husband told me over the telephone that he wanted a divorce after 10 years of marriage. I was completely blindsighted but my life definitely improved.

Tatum Rangel said...

I went to my first writers conference, over two years ago, to speak to agents. I often get tongue-tied when I speak, but I realized putting myself out there wasn't as bad as I assumed. :)

Grandma Cootie said...


Di said...

tried to do my small bit for others during this pandemic - contributed to food pantries and have done some grocery shopping for a neighbor who has been quarenteining

Mary Preston said...

I knitted a jumper for my daughter.

Mary C said...

Grocery shopping for elderly neighbor.

diannekc said...

Got the Covid 19 vaccine.

Nancy P said...

Raised 2 wonderful young men by myself.

bn100 said...


Jeanne said...

I was a teacher for 28 years.

Bonnie K. said...

I struggled through college and wanted to give up so many times, but I also didn't want to be a quitter. I put a lot of work into my studies and was an A student. I did graduate. I think I was tired of trying to be perfect and just wanted a life. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm proud to be a mom and grandma and was happy to work from home.

Nancy said...

I trained for a marathon for many months. I ran and slowly completed a marathon - all 26.2 miles!

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Amber said...

Something I did that made me proud was going back to school to become a teacher!

Peggy Russo said...

I raised three wonderful young men who prove to me every day that my hard work and dedication were worth it.