Blog Tour: Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland

Mistress Firebrand blog tour

It’s a blog tour day, and I have Donna Thorland’s Mistress Firebrand to share with you!


Blog Tour: Mistress Firebrand by Donna ThorlandMistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland
Series: Renegades of Revolution #3
Published by Penguin Books on March 3rd 2015
ISBN: 9780451471017
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

British Occupied Manhattan, 1777. With her witty comedies, American actress Jennifer Leighton has been packing the John Street Theater, but she longs to escape the provincial circuit for the glamour of the London stage. When the playwright General John Burgoyne visits the city, fresh from a recent success in the capitol, she seizes the opportunity to court his patronage. But her plan is foiled by British intelligence officer Severin Devere.

Severin’s mission is to keep the pleasure-loving general focused on the war effort…and away from pretty young actresses. But the tables are turned when Severin himself can’t resist Jennifer Leighton…

Months later, Jenny has abandoned her dreams of stage glory and begun writing seditious plays for the Rebels under the pen name “Cornelia,” ridiculing “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne and his army—and undermining the crown’s campaign to take Albany. By the time Severin meets up with Jenny once again, she is on a British hanging list, and Severin is ordered to find her—and deliver her to certain death. Soon, the two are launched on a desperate journey through the wilderness, toward a future shaped by the revolution—and their passion for each other…

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Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


drey’s thoughts:

The Plot: A young woman aims for a bigger stage than the John Street theater, and plots to meet with British playwright General John Burgoyne in hopes that he’d be able to get her to London, where she dreams of seeing her plays staged. What she gets instead is an experience that she’ll never forget, one that sets her on the path to other great things. Which, in this setting, also means a noose.

The Characters: Jennifer Leighton is idealistic, a bit naive, and a touch practicality, which makes her quite the interesting character. What she wants is a dream she’s not even sure she can attain, rather it’s very much a case of grass-is-greener, because we all have to have some hope for better. But she seems to conveniently ignore the fact that there’s a war around her, and what that means for her dreams. I thought her rather impulsive and flighty, to be honest, though she does manage to redeem herself once she throws in her lot with the Rebels. And Severin Devere has a lot to do with that decision.

Not because he’s handsome or because his arguments have merit (which he is, and they do), but because he manages to get himself in trouble while helping her stay out of it. I guess smart and wily doesn’t count for anything when flummoxed by a girl… 😉

The Story: I quite enjoyed this tale of a young woman whose skill with words translates to political theater, in an era of shifting loyalties and achievable freedom. The setting is a wonderful backdrop to Thorland’s storytelling, and the characters come to life under her skillful penmanship. There’s drama and action aplenty, with a healthy dose of romance to round it out. Mistress Firebrand is definitely a treat for the historical fiction fan.

I’ll have to add the first two books in this series to my TBR pile.

drey’s rating: Excellent!

Have you read Mistress Firebrand? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!



Thanks to the publisher and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I have one copy of Mistress Firebrand for you. This one’s open to US residents only – no PO Boxes, please. To enter, fill out the form below before May 15th. Good luck!

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About Donna Thorland

A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, Donna graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History. For many years she managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and wrote and directed the Witch City’s most popular Halloween theater festival, Eerie Events. She later earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Donna has been a sorority house mother, a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow, a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and a writer on the ABC primetime drama, Cupid. Her screenwriting credits include episodes of the animated series, Tron: Uprising. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Albedo One. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project, The Night Caller, aired on WNET Channel 13 and was featured on Ain’t It Cool News. Currently she is a writer on the WGN drama SALEM. She is married with one cat and divides her time between the real Salem and Los Angeles.


  1. I’m not sure I can name another series during the Revolutionary war, but I am interested in reading the Jennifer Chiaverini books during the Rev war.

  2. I recommend three stories of different natures: The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard; The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis; and Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.

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