Guest Post & Giveaway: A Mad, Wicked Folly

Guest Post & Giveaway: A Mad, Wicked FollyA Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by Viking Juvenile on January 23, 2014
Pages: 448
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Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

On the blog today, I’m happy to have Sharon Biggs Waller, the author of one my favorite books so far this year, A Mad, Wicked Folly.

It’s usually the kiss of death to say your book has a message or that you wrote it teach a lesson, especially for the historical novel, because you know…history. Believe me, I understand that history can be dead boring, especially when you’re forced to memorize dates and things like the Preamble of the Constitution. The story is the most important thing, no matter the setting or time. But I think all good stories should say something, should tell us more about what it’s like to be a person. I think that’s why we read, that’s why we are drawn to certain characters because we either see something of ourselves in that character or something we want to become.  A good book changes you.  When I was a teenager I read a book called LORI by Gloria Goldreich, which is about a 16-year-old girl who is kicked out of school for smoking pot and sent to Israel to live with relatives she’s never met.  Lori’s story was riveting, but at its heart, this novel was really about acceptance and understanding.  I recently reread LORI and I was pulled right back to those feelings I had when I was a teen reading it for the first time. That book taught me a lot about tolerance and peace and I’ve carried that into my adulthood.

I hope that readers of A MAD, WICKED FOLLY will think about the freedom they have, and not to take it for granted. Our suffragette sisters worked hard for the vote and we should never forget that.  I also hope that readers will understand that fighting for the life you want is worth doing, and that a good life is often found down the rockier path. Fighting for your rights or your own expression is worth it.  What you have to say is important, and you should never let anyone tell you how you should live your life or who you should love.

Votes for Women Mary Poppins

About Sharon Biggs Waller:

Sharon Biggs Waller is a novelist and award-winning non-fiction writer who lives on a 10-acre sustainable farm in northwest Indiana with two horses, four dairy goats, four cats, two dogs, and 60 laying hens. She is a dressage trainer who for many years was a Civil Service Club instructor at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace in London.  Visit her at or on Twitter @Sbiggswaller.


One of my lucky US readers gets to have a gorgeous hardback copy of A Mad, Wicked Folly. Trust me, you want this. Just fill out the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.
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30 responses to “Guest Post & Giveaway: A Mad, Wicked Folly”

  1. At first, I don’t think I would be. I’d be way too nervous/afraid. But the longer I was living a life I had no desire for, I would definitely start fighting.

    Vicky sounds like an amazing character and I can’t wait to read about her fighting for the life she wants. I love a good historical novel where the women refuse to fit into the mold of their time. Can’t believe I haven’t heard about this before and missed your review – going to read that right now! 🙂
    Andrea @ Bookish recently posted…Blog Tour: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen (Guest Post + Giveaway)My Profile

  2. Love everything about this book, from the cover to the title to the premise. I’m so fascinated by the suffragettes — there was such violence heaped on them for what feels like a ‘no duh’ sort of decision! I’d like to think I’d be so bold and brave, but it’s hard to shake off the easy path/inertia.
    Audra (Unabridged Chick) recently posted…While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth BlackwellMy Profile

  3. I’ve read A Mad Wicked Folly and want a hardback of it for my shelves omg.

    I agree that a good book stays with you and they can impart lessons that are not very obvious, but you know, still important, like with Lori teaching about tolerance and such.

    That’s probably why I liked A Mad Wicked Folly so much, because there’s good lessons but it’s not like here let me beat you over the head with morals.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Brotherhood | AB Westrick | Book ReviewMy Profile

  4. Oh and because I left a comment before reading the question on the rafflecopter, I am not sure if I would be that brave. I like to think that I would but in reality, no, probably not.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Brotherhood | AB Westrick | Book ReviewMy Profile

  5. Ellie says:

    I would hope I’d be brave enough, but honestly, I would probably be too scared to do anything.
    Ellie recently posted…Book Blogger Love-A-Thon 2014: Mini Challenge {4} – Book PlaylistMy Profile

  6. Bookworm1858 says:

    I would hope to be brave enough but I’m not sure I am. I do think I would fight for the right to vote though-I can’t believe it’s almost 100 years since a woman’s right to vote was added to the Constitution. It should be more!
    Bookworm1858 recently posted…ARC Review: The Winner’s CurseMy Profile

  7. I definitely hope to one day be able to fight for freedoms that I want to have. I already am a huge advocate for feminism and I feel like after reading this book I’ll definitely have a lot more respect for how far we’ve come so far in terms of women’s rights. I always love books that really make you think like that 🙂

    And to answer the giveaway question, I feel like I would want to, but I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to actually take the initiative if no one else supported me.

    Thanks for sharing, Christina, and fantastic guest post! <33
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  8. erinf1 says:

    hecks yay! Haven’t found him yet but I’m sure that I will and would once I do! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I hope I would be brave enough to fight! I love the idea, and I’m glad this story deals with issues like these, especially for female readers. I’m so excited to read this! Thank you for the opportunity.
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (49)My Profile

  10. Bonnie says:

    Excellent message! It’s easy to follow the path of least resistance but I can only hope that I’d have the strength if put in her situation.
    Bonnie recently posted…Something To Look Forward To – Week of February 17th, 2014My Profile

  11. I’m listening to the audio of Mad, Wicked Folly now and adore it. I’d love to own a hardback copy!

    Sharon’s guest post is awesome, and I especially love the last paragraph. Perfect gif too 🙂

    I hope I’d be as brave as Vicky in Folly- she is such a wonderful heroine.
    Lucy @ The Reading Date recently posted…Mailbox Monday (84)My Profile

  12. Carl says:

    I think that I would fight for the life I wanted but things were a lot different in those days. I’d still like to think I would, though.

  13. AngWrites says:

    For what it’s worth, I love books that have something to say. I love when authors are passionate & excited to start a conversation with their readers. It might be the kiss of death for some, but I’m a sucker for a great story that has something to say. So excited about this book!

  14. Angela C. says:

    Probably not. I hope I would be though. 🙁 But I’ve never brave enough to do anything, haha. Even if it was for the life I want…

  15. bn100 says:

    not sure

  16. Molli says:

    I can’t even begin to put into WORDS how badly I want to read this book. Feminism. Romance. ART. My goodness. Plus Vicky sounds AMAZING. And to answer the question…it’s hard to be brave but so so WORTH IT in so many ways. So…yes.
    Molli recently posted…Cover Reveal: After the Storm by Marie LandryMy Profile

  17. Hannah says:

    I’d like to think I’d be as brave as Vicky in a contemporary setting…but I’m not sure I would have been back then, in the historical setting the novel is actually set! The norm was definitely not expecting women to be outspoken and the choices Vicky made were particularly daring ones. Would I have been brave enough to be that extreme back then? Probably not, but I would have admired people like Vicky who were! And I definitely would have supported the same causes, but probably in quieter ways.
    Hannah recently posted…ChangesMy Profile

  18. Darith L. says:

    I’d like to think I am, but the world is hard to navigate.

  19. Jamie says:

    I’ve been in a wicked (heh) reading slump and I’ve heard amaaaazing things about this one (from yourself and others I trust) that I just really hope the giveaway fairies love meeeee!
    Jamie recently posted…Date With My Bookshelf {1}My Profile

  20. Amanda says:

    I hope I would be that brave! I’d like to think I would.
    Amanda recently posted…Review: The Seers (Holders #2)My Profile

  21. Nori says:

    I would fight for the life I wanted. And I would fight for the lives of future women like me, or at least I think I would.

    I know I’m not as brave as a lot of main characters in novels, but I at least like to think that given a similar situation I could come close to certain levels of bravery. Good question!
    Nori recently posted…A Good Week in Books (68)My Profile

  22. Kirsten W says:

    I’d like to think so. I mean, modern me definitely would, but if I were raised in the early 1900s I’d be a completely different person with a different set of cultural norms, and I’m not sure how that would affect my bravery 😛

  23. I aim to be a bit braver every day. I’m far from being as brave as she, but I do think that I have it within me.
    Lisa (Fic Talk) recently posted…Comment on Blog Tour & Review: Asking for Trouble by Tessa Bailey by LisaMy Profile

  24. Anita Yancey says:

    I think that I am brave enough to fight for the life I want. This book sounds so amazing, and I’d love to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  25. I hope I would be when the time came.

    Now excuse me while I march around my house bellowing, “Cast off the shackles of yesterrrrrrday! Shouldah to shouldah into the fray!”
    Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The Room recently posted…Cover Reveal + Giveaway: MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFeversMy Profile

  26. Christine says:

    Yes I would, I would not like to have a life I didn’t want. It sounds so trapped.

  27. Chloe Lee says:

    I hope I would be breave enough to fight for what I want, I guess you never know untill your put in that situation. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Chloe Lee recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #31My Profile

  28. Tamara says:

    I hope I would be brave enough to fight for what I believe in. Usually the best things don’t come easily and I don’t think you would regret fighting for the life you want.

  29. I most definitely would be willing to do so. I kind of have to, as it is. The career I want and am in college for is in a predominantly male field, so I have to fight for it if I want to make it up there with the “big boys.”

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway. =)
    Katie Bucklein recently posted…Monday Music 20My Profile

  30. Stephanie H. says:

    I would hope that I would be brave enough to fight for the life that I want. I think it is important to stand up and fight for what you believe in and what it is you want.
    Great giveaway. This book is on my TBR list. It sounds so interesting.
    Stephanie H. recently posted…Unremembered Fan CastMy Profile

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