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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Guest Post by K.A. Servian

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to host K.A. Servian, author of The Moral Compass book 1 of the Shaking the Tree series about a Victorian woman who moves to New Zealand after losing it all in Victorian England.  Today she is here to tell you about this longest journey from England to New Zealand.

The Moral Compass: An Immigrant Story
A Guest Post by K.A. Servian, Author of
The Moral Compass

The voyage from England to New Zealand was known as the ‘longest emigrant journey in the world’ with good reason. Some vessels did the 25,000km trip in as little as 83 days while others took as long as six months. Some called in at various ports along the way, but many did not stop with those on board not sighting land for several weeks at a time. The expedition to New Zealand saw the travelers sail south past the coast of Africa, turning east around the Cape of Good Hope then ride the ‘Roaring Forties’ to approach New Zealand from the South. This route brought a variety of conditions such as equatorial heat, the calm of the Doldrums and raging icy storms in the Southern Ocean. It was not a trip for the faint-hearted yet many thousands undertook it in the hope of making a better life for themselves and their families.

People from all walks of life were encouraged to emigrate in the hope of creating a new ‘little England’ in the South Pacific. There were two distinct classes of passenger onboard most ships: Cabin and steerage. The cabin passengers generally enjoyed comfortable accommodation and decent food. The steerage passengers were usually crammed together in bunkrooms in the bowels of the ship with very little light and fresh air. Despite this distinction between the classes, the fact that everyone was enduring the hardships of ship life together was a great leveler and a forerunner to the flatter social structure they would experience in colonial New Zealand.

Photo Credit: K.A. Servian

Having endured such a long journey, the new arrivals were faced a multitude of hardships in their new home forcing them to be resilient and resourceful. Disease, natural disasters, fire and conflict with the indigenous population resulted in numerous injuries and deaths amongst the colonists.
After reading many first-hand accounts written by colonial women, my aim was to convey the sense of a new world with its many dangers and possibilities in my novel, The Moral Compass. The heroine, Florence Thackeray, is forced to endure a long and arduous voyage only to find that everything is not as she expected upon her arrival. She realizes that the status she enjoyed back in England does not apply in New Zealand and she must struggle for survival along with everybody else. This reality faced many new arrivals who found that there was often no house waiting for them and the land they had purchased required years of backbreaking work to become productive.

Photo Credit: K.A. Servian

While it is a historical novel, the main theme of The Moral Compass is still relevant. The desire for a better life that drove many to leave Europe for the colonies in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds spilled over into the twentieth century. I am an immigrant, as are my husband’s family. Our parents saw possibilities in a new place that did not exist for them in their home countries. And millions of people today still make the decision to uproot their families and risk everything to travel vast distances in search of something more.

As a life-long creative, Kathy gained qualifications in fashion design, applied design to fabric and jewelry making and enjoyed a twenty-year-plus career in the fashion and applied arts industries as a pattern maker, designer and owner of her own clothing and jewelry labels.

She then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills accumulated over the years—design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing and machine embroidery to name a few.

Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Writing quickly became an obsession and Kathy’s first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from the original manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.

Kathy now squeezes full-time study for an advanced diploma in creative writing in around working on her novels, knocking out the occasional short story, teaching part-time and being a wife and mother.

Find K.A. Servian: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blurb:
Florence lives like a Princess attending dinner parties and balls away from the gritty reality, filth and poverty of Victorian London.
However, her world comes crashing around her when her father suffers a spectacular fall from grace. She must abandon her life of luxury, leave behind the man she loves and sail to the far side of the world where compromise and suffering beyond anything she can imagine await her.
When she is offered the opportunity to regain some of what she has lost, she takes it, but soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. The choice she has made has a high price attached and she must live with the heart-breaking consequences of her decision.
This novel is part one in the ‘Shaking the Tree’ series.

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Tour-Wide Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of Throwing Light by K.A. Servian! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  Any questions please contact HF Virtual Book Tours.  Good Luck!

Giveaway Rules
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect 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.

Follow the Tour

On the HFVBT Webpage or on Twitter: #themoralcompassblogtour

Monday, January 22
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, January 23
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, January 24
Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, January 25
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Friday, January 26
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, January 29
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, January 31
Review at Broken Teepee

Copyright © 2018  The Maiden’s Court


  1. Beautiful cover and photos! :)
    I hear this is a good one.

  2. Thank you, Carol Rae and thank you, Heather for featuring The Moral Compass.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting K.A. Servian's Guest Post & Blog Tour, Heather! Good luck to everyone entering the giveaway!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


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