Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Girl from Oto by Amy Maroney

The Girl from Oto by Amy Maroney

Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Artelan Press
eBook & Paperback; 532 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: The Miramonde Series, Book 1

A Renaissance-era woman artist and an American scholar. Linked by a 500-year-old mystery…

The secrets of the past are irresistible—and dangerous.

1500: Born during a time wracked by war and plague, Renaissance-era artist Mira grows up in a Pyrenees convent believing she is an orphan. When tragedy strikes, Mira learns the devastating truth about her own origins. But does she have the strength to face those who would destroy her?

2015: Centuries later, art scholar Zari unearths traces of a mysterious young woman named Mira in two 16th-century portraits. Obsessed, Zari tracks Mira through the great cities of Europe to the pilgrim’s route of Camino de Santiago—and is stunned by what she finds. Will her discovery be enough to bring Mira’s story to life?

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Praise for The Girl from Oto

"I loved the lush descriptions and the hard-nosed female characters who find a way to get what they want in a man's world. An exquisite novel." -Martha Conway, winner of the North American Book Award for Thieving Forest

"An absorbing debut novel. I couldn't put it down." -Deborah Swift, author of The Gilded Lily

"A rich and intriguing evocation of the fifteenth century is interwoven with an emotionally satisfying mystery in the present day." -Emma Darwin, author of A Secret Alchemy

"A powerful story and an intriguing mystery. A Red Ribbon winner and highly recommended." -The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, U.K.

"From the very beginning, I was enthralled with Mira, Zari, and their entwined journeys through history and the world of art. As a curator and art historian, it's a rare treat for me to find a novel that so lovingly reflects our joys and challenges. The Girl from Oto delivers--and I can't wait to spend more time with Mira." -Jennifer Dasal, host of the ArtCurious podcast

About the Author

Amy Maroney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. She studied English literature at Boston University and public policy at Portland State University, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, painting, drawing, dancing and reading. The Girl from Oto and Mira's Way are books 1 & 2 in The Miramonde Series.

For a free prelude to The Girl from Oto, for the full scoop on the research behind the book, and for news about the sequel, please visit

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Interview with  Amy Maroney
  1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Answer: I have several favorite parts, but one of the most meaningful scenes in The Girl from Oto is when Mira, the Renaissance-era heroine, is faced with a sudden tragedy. Now is her chance to escape the safe yet unfulfilling existence she’s always known. Will she find the courage to plunge into a new life full of tantalizing opportunities and unspeakable dangers? The choice she makes is an exciting moment in the book and it captures Mira’s evolution from girl to woman.
  1. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Answ Answer: This is a tough one because I am attached to many characters in the book. Elena, a mountain woman and healer, has a special place in my heart. But I think I would choose Mira, because I love to draw and paint. So I would spend my day with Mira in her artist’s studio, painting by her side. It would be a blast!

  1. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Answer: Ooooh, this is a great question. Again, I’m torn because I have so many favorite books in so many genres. I have read and re-read favorite books during particular periods of my life, when they resonated with me deeply because of my own experiences at that time. I think I’ll go with Henning Mankell’s The Man from Beijing. Mankell is the king of Scandinavian crime mysteries, but he also wrote a few stand-alone novels that are truly epic works of literature, in my opinion. The Man from Beijing combines a Swedish crime novel with a historical fiction element and involves sweeping social issues on three continents. Plus the protagonist is a woman. I read this book about once a year and never get tired of it.
  1. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Answer: It’s truly a combination of the two. I think my modern characters draw from lots and lots of real people, whereas my historical characters are mostly figments of my imagination. For all my characters, I do love weaving in bits of real people whom I encounter in everyday life. Just as my own life experiences impact my stories, so do real-world interactions with people impact my characters.
  1. What made you want to become a writer?
Answer: I was one of those kids who was always reading and daydreaming. I haunted our local library and was happiest when I was lost in a fictional world. I started writing stories when I was very young. I never thought I would be able to make a living as a fiction writer so I didn’t pursue that at first. I was a nonfiction writer and editor right out of the gate after college (not surprisingly, I majored in English literature). It wasn’t until I reached my 40s and a health crisis turned my life upside down that I realized it was now or never if I wanted to write fiction. What really intrigued me were lost stories of women who have been ignored or erased from history. So I started researching Renaissance-era female artists and writing the Miramonde Series in 2012. The Girl from Oto was originally going to be a standalone novel, but my story just exploded and I soon understood that it would have to be a trilogy (Mira’s Way is Book 2, and I’m working on Book 3 now). I’ll keep writing fiction for the rest of my life—I love it.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 11
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 12
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Thursday, March 14
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, March 15
Feature at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, March 16
Feature at Broken Teepee

Sunday, March 17
Interview at T's Stuff

Monday, March 18
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, March 19
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, March 20
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, March 21
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, March 22
Review at Coffee and Ink
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away 10 eBooks of The Girl from Oto by Amy Maroney! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Girl from Oto

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