Guest Post – What if you and your soulmate were born in different centuries? | Dark Blue Waves by Kimberly Sullivan Book Tour & Giveaway

Hi there! Let’s meet Kimberly Sullivan and discover the idea behind her new book Dark Blue Waves in this tour stop hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours! Read the guest post from Ms Sullivan and find a link for a giveaway at the end of this post.

Guest Post – What if you and your soulmate were born in different centuries?

I didn’t know soulmates separated by two centuries would become one of the central themes of my story when I began writing Dark Blue Waves, my women’s fiction-historical fiction-time travel-romance novel that released on May 27.

In author jargon, I’m what’s called a classic pantser when it comes to writing. This is the term for a writer who writes “by the seat of her pants”, as opposed to a more organized plotter, who enters into writing projects with a carefully constructed plot blueprint and precise character diaries as the basis for her stories.

When I begin a novel, I have only the bare kernel of a story idea. For me, that’s often based on imagery or a strong sense of place – and a basic question I want to explore. My characters, with all their personality traits, quirks, flaws, and desires, are revealed to me only while I’m in the thick of writing.

The story idea for Dark Blue Waves came to me when I was visiting London, UK on a solo trip with my two sons, aged 6 and 4 at the time. We did lots of fun, kid-friendly activities (more dinosaurs, kids?), but when I took them on a day trip to lovely Bath, there was no way I was going to miss out on a Jane Austen walking tour. I am a huge Jane Austen fan, and Austen lived for periods in Bath and set two of her novels in that picturesque city.

So I shamelessly lied to my kids to get them on that tour, telling them Jane Austen wrote adventure tales of brave knights and fire-breathing dragons.

Clearly, the jig was up pretty quickly on that whopper. But it did get me on that 90-minute tour, and at the tour’s conclusion, as I sat on the lovely green in front of The Crescent, one of Bath’s architectural gems that plays a key role in my story, and while my children chased one another around with their boundless energy, my time slip story set in Bath began to take shape.

I wanted my protagonist, Janet Roberts, to be very well-versed in Jane Austen and nineteenth-century English literature. Nevertheless, while knowledgeable about the period literature and customs, when she travels back in time, she still finds herself messing up – sometimes on a pretty grand scale. I wanted her to be able to reflect on the differences between her world and nineteenth-century society, and to reevaluate traditions, literature, societal interactions, the role of women, family and friendship through entirely new eyes.

The entry of the handsome and proud Sir Edward came a bit later in the writing process. But what better way to reflect on all the differences between twenty-first and nineteenth-century customs and traditions than a burgeoning love story between star-crossed (and time period-challenged) lovers?

When she travels back in time to 1813, Janet is fortunate to quickly secure the protection of young Emma Huntington. A deep friendship rapidly develops between these two women, which helps Janet to navigate in her new (old) world. But while Emma idolizes her older brother, Sir Edward, Janet fears his impending arrival to Bath.

After all, she has gazed daily on that handsome face in the portrait painting that hangs in the student housing of her Jane Austen seminar. She has noted his distinct carriage and the pride of place someone of his stature would possess back at the time. She knows a gentleman like Sir Edward would be suspicious of a young woman without contacts in the rigid social circles of the time, and would fear negative influences over his young and impressionable sister.

Sir Edward’s good opinion of the interloper from America is also challenged when Janet frequently makes her views known on topics genteel, young women of the time would expertly deflect. Her views on the role of women, religious tolerance, arranged marriages, health and disease, and the need to educate the tenant children all fly in the face of conventions at the time (as do her penchant for riding astride a horse and swimming in the manor pond), and create a deeper rift between Janet and Sir Edward.

And yet, as they cautiously circle one another, it becomes clearer as the story progresses that there is a mutual admiration and attraction between them. Janet, who has been so unlucky in love in her contemporary life, wrestles with these burgeoning romantic feelings for the stalwart Sir Edward. And she begins to realize some of the concerns she harbored earlier may have been due to her imperfect understanding of nineteenth-century cultural markers.

But can she afford to lose her heart to a man who lives two centuries in the past? Is she right to give up all she’s achieved and her friends and family in her modern life? Would she inadvertently change history if she followed her heart? Still confused about how time travel works, does she even have a say in the matter?

These are some of the questions I posed when writing about Janet’s dilemma – and her desire to find a home – for herself and her heart.

Even if that means finding a soulmate from the past…

– Kimberly Sullivan



About the book

Dark Blue Waves by Kimberly Sullivan

Publication Date: May 27, 2022

Genre: Time Travel Romance/Regency

When you wake up in Bath, England two hundred years in the past, how far can a love of Jane Austen get you?

Janet Roberts dreams of an academic career in literature, so she can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s accepted into a Jane Austen graduate seminar in Bath, England. Settled in Georgian splendor among her seminar colleagues, Janet and her classmates live, eat and breathe Jane Austen.

An accident interrupts this idyll when Janet regains consciousness in her own room—back in Regency England. For a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, this should be a dream come true.

But Janet quickly learns there’s a world of difference between scholarly knowledge of the written page and maneuvering real life as a reluctant time traveler.

Her burgeoning friendship with Emma Huntington eases her entrée into nineteenth-century society. However, Emma’s brother, the handsome, proud and frustratingly magnetic Sir Edward, is far less welcoming.

While desperately attempting to make sense of her dilemma, Janet treads a thin line between trying to blend into her new world and not being unmasked as the imposter she is. Can she find the way to return to her twenty-first century life before her secret is discovered? After working so hard to create a rewarding nineteenth-century life for herself, does she even want to?

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“Sullivan has crafted a detailed and immersive time-traveling romance populated with colorful characters and plot twists that would make Jane Austen proud.” -IndieReader Review

“A transporting drama of love, desire, and hope. Sullivan’s deft, assured narrative is interwoven with wry humor and shrewd observations as she delves into love, passion, courage, integrity, honor, duty, and sacrifice. The assured prose, visceral images, and sharp dialogue create a suitably period feel, and the swift plot advances unpredictably. Janet is an endearing heroine, and her inner turmoil at the core of the story is beautifully conveyed. Steeped in period feeling and written with intelligence and authenticity, this time-travel tale makes for a winner.” -The Prairies Book Review

“A captivating story about finding love and discovering where you belong. Sullivan’s novel is absolutely enchanting, and it’s a joy to see Janet reassess her contemporary prejudices, offering a compelling take on both the time period and on period literature. Dark Blue Waves is an effortlessly charming novel about following your heart, which is recommended for all fans of Austen and historical romance.” -Self-Publishing Review


About the Author

Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.

Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.

She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and two novels: Three Coins and Dark Blue Waves.

After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 27

Feature at Bookworlder

Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, June 28

Guest Post at The Romance Book Fairy

Wednesday, June 29

Review at Booking with Janelle

Thursday, June 30

Excerpt at Books Blog

Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes

Friday, July 1

Review at Books, Writings, and More

Monday, July 4

Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, July 5

Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Wednesday, July 6

Excerpt at Coffee and Ink


Enter to win a copy of Dark Blue Waves by Kimberly Sullivan!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

a Dark Blue Waves Gleam Giveaway

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