tour + guest post + giveaway - a maiden's honor by josanna thompson

A Maiden's Honor
by Josanna Thompson


GENRE:   Historical Fiction / Romance



Sarah Campbell is a rarity among women in her time. Raised by her Scottish father and the natives of
a remote island in the South Pacific, Sarah and her father embark on a perilous journey to Scotland.
Their crew betrays them and murders her father for the purpose of selling Sarah into slavery. She is
rescued by an unlikely hero, Hassan Aziz, the most feared pirate on the Barbary Coast. She quickly
discovers that she is unprepared for the complex world that is suddenly thrust upon her. Sarah must
find a way to survive in a world that intrigues and terrifies her.

“Explain it in a way that she can understand,” Hassan shouted. “I want her to understand your
treachery. Tell her now, or I will cut off your ears, your nose, and every part of your body until you
confess your sin.” While several of his crewmen held Emile steady, Hassan pressed his saber against
the doctor’s ear. “This is your last opportunity to confess,” he warned as he pushed his saber deep
enough to draw blood.

Beads of sweat rolled down Emile’s forehead. “I deceived you, Sarah.” His voice quivered as he
spoke in English. “We intended to murder your father when we decided to give you passage to

“What murder?” Sarah asked.

- - - - -

Getting Ready for a 1814 Polynesian Party
Josanna Thompson

Like all good historical fiction authors, I spent hours researching for my historical adventure,
A Maiden's Honor. My protagonist, Sarah Campbell lived most of her life on a primitive
Polynesian island. As I poured over journals written by James Cook and the first missionary to
Tahiti, I couldn’t help envisioning Sarah’s life on her beloved island, Tikutoa.
The Polynesians were very social people. They gathered by the fire every evening for dancing
and story-telling. Sarah is a teenager. Like most young women her age, she spends her day
preparing for the dance. What did her day look like?

It's all about the dress
The Polynesians didn’t discover cotton and other textiles until European explorers visited this
region. They made their clothes from a paper-like cloth called tapa. Polynesian women spent
many hours stripping, soaking, mashing, and gluing thin strips of mulberry bark together. Once
they completed making their tapa cloth, the women painted intricate geometric shapes on the
fabric. Women turned the tapa into parus, or a wrap-around skirt. Sarah is the finest artist in her
village, and she paints brown hibiscus flowers on hers. 

Bath Time
Cleanliness was important to the Polynesians. James Cook observed that these natives frequently
washed their hands. Men and women also bathed together in a freshwater pool three times a day.
Once they were clean, the Polynesians spread Monoi oil over their bodies to keep their skin soft.

Shaving, Polynesian Style
The Polynesians were fastidious about removing body hair. The natives believed that body
hair was unclean. Their instrument of choice? A sharp flat shell. Women also used fish scales
to trim their eyelashes and sculpt their eyebrows. (I think I'll pass on that.)

Polynesian Hairstyles
Like most societies, hairstyles were very important. Most Polynesian women wore their
hair shoulder-length. How did these women cut their hair when they didn’t have access to
metal scissors? Simple. The Polynesian people used shark’s teeth. They also used bamboo
combs to brush out the tangles. Sarah's burgundy hair is waist-length because her Scottish
father won't let her cut it. (Keeping his daughter's hair long is his subtle way of making Sarah
cover her bare chest.)

Women often wore a crown of flowers and palm leaves for the evening festivities. However,
if a woman wanted to catch a particular villager’s eye, she tucked a flower behind her ear.
Not just any ear will do. Tucking a flower behind the left or right ear sent a different message.
A flower behind the left ear meant that the woman was taken; one behind the right indicated
that she was available. Tucking several flowers behind her right ear meant that she desperately
wanted to find a mate.  Sarah wears a crown because she hadn’t met her special someone yet.
(Hint. This happens in Chapter 1.)

Time to Dress
After dinner, Sarah wraps her new paru around her waist and places a lei (a necklace made
from Tahitian Gardenias) around her neck. Her father signals his approval with a smile. She's
ready to party the night away.

A Maiden's Honor is packed with insights into the Polynesian culture. I also added excerpts
and short articles about my research in the Extras section of my website –
(www.josannathompson). Click here to read more. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs providing
deeper insights into the cultures portrayed in A Maiden’s Honor.

Josanna Thompson is the author of A Maiden's Honor and The Woman from Eden series.
She has lived in many different places in the United States, including the Southeast, the Midwest,
California, and the Northeast. When she is not writing; she enjoys traveling, exploring, and scuba

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  1. Replies
    1. Good morning Goddess Fish Productions - Thanks for setting this stop up. You're doing a great job organizing this ebook tour. I'm having a blast.

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Good morning, Lisa, It's so nice to hear from you this morning! Thanks for your thoughts, and I appreciate each comment you make at the different blog stops. - I'm pulling for you to win to. :)

  3. Good morning! Thanks for hosting, XoXo Book Blog. Your post looks wonderful!!!

  4. Good morning everyone, I hope you'll enjoy reading about A Maiden's Honor and my blog on Polynesian culture. I'll be around all day, so please feel free to say hi, add your 2 cents, or ask a question. I would love to hear from you.

  5. Really great post, I enjoyed reading it!

    1. Thanks, Victoria. I'm so glad you enjoy my glimpse into the Polynesian culture.

  6. Thanks for blogging about A Maiden's Honor, XoXO Book Blog. You guys were awesome. I had a great time.

  7. Congrats on the tour and I appreciate the book description and the great giveaway as well. Love the tours, I get to find books and share with my sisters the ones I know they would enjoy reading and they both love to read. Thank you!

  8. I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!


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