PASSION BLUE Release and Giveaway!

Posted by Victoria Strauss

We don’t often do self-promotion here at Writer Beware–but yesterday was publication day for my young adult historical fantasy Passion Blue–a novel of art, astrology, and romance set in Renaissance Italy.

I’m incredibly excited to have it out there in the world at last, and for the wonderful reviews it has been receiving (Kirkus gave it a star). It’s published for the older teen market, but it has plenty of crossover appeal for adults (as indeed do a lot of YA books these days).

I’ve got a blog tour scheduled for November, with interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and more–the full schedule is posted at my website. I’ll be posting links daily on my personal blog.

I’m also conducting a giveaway to celebrate Passion Blue’s release. You can enter to win one of 3 great prize packs: a signed hardcover, Passion Blue swag, and a $25 Amazon gift card. Please feel free to post the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, etc., or to feature it on your blog. Thanks so much!

Amazon Children’s Publishing
ISBN: 978-0761462309

Hardcover: $17.99
Ebook: $3.99

Order from Amazon
Order from Barnes & Noble
Order from IndieBound

Download an excerpt

Be sure you know your true heart’s desire, or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive.

This is the warning the Astrologer-Sorcerer gives Giulia when she pays him to create a magical talisman for her. The scorned illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, Giulia is determined to defy the dire fate predicted by her horoscope, and use the talisman to claim what she believes is her heart’s desire: true love and a place where she belongs–not likely prospects for a girl about to be packed off to the cloistered world of a convent.

But the convent of Santa Marta is full of surprises. There are strict rules, long hours of work, and spiteful rivalries…but there’s also friendship, and the biggest surprise of all: a workshop of female artists who produce paintings of astonishing beauty, using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion blue. Yet even as Giulia begins to learn the mysteries of the painter’s craft, the magic of the talisman is at work, and a forbidden romance beckons her down a path of uncertainty and danger. She is haunted by the sorcerer’s warning, and by a question: does she really know the true compass of her heart?

Set in Renaissance Italy, this richly imagined novel about a girl’s daring journey towards self-discovery transports readers into a fascinating, exotic world where love, faith, and art inspire passion–of many different hues.


A rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion.
– Kirkus (starred review, editor’s pick for Fall 2012) 

Vividly set during the 15th-century Italian Renaissance, Strauss’s novel has a strong and thoroughly likable heroine who is only one of many well-developed female characters.
– School Library Journal 

Giulia’s unusual story is sure to capture readers’ attention.
– Publishers Weekly 

I don’t just like Passion Blue, I love itI simply galloped through it.
– Jane Yolen, author of The Devil’s Arithmetic

Strauss combines the spiritual with a hint of the supernatural to tell a
story about a girl’s journey to both freedom and passion. A lovely read.
– Megan Whalen Turner, author of The Queen’s Thief series 

An elegant retelling of that old, crucial story of finding one’s place in the world, set against a vivid evocation of the Italian Renaissance.
– Robin McKinley, author of The Hero and the Crown

A glimpse of 15th century Italian life as sure-handed and brilliantly illuminated as the work of a Renaissance master…Passion Blue is both a soul-felt journey and a triumphant work of art.
– Meredith Ann Pierce, author of the Darkangel Trilogy 

A lush, vibrant read that is utterly transporting.
– Lesley Livingston, author of the Wondrous Strange series


  1. Terrific reviews Victoria!!! According to a certain Anon, your agent must have been very busy getting the likes of kirkus and PW reviewers drunk too, ha,ha!:)

  2. Your editor was probably plied with many, many drinks by your agent when she bought this hack piece of writing with absolutely no historical reliability. Keep on fantasizing that you are a great author

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