First is a book by an author I'm not familiar with but who is a freelance editor, Maggie Barbieri. This should, in that case, be a great book! Looks really good. I'm grateful to Minotaur Books for this copy.
Maeve Conlon's life is coming apart at the seams. Her bakery is barely making ends meet, and one of her daughters spends as much time grounded as the other does studying. Her ex-husband has a new wife, a new baby, and a look of pity for Maeve that's absolutely infuriating. Her father insists he's still independent, but he's slowly and obviously succumbing to Alzheimer's. And now, her cousin Sean Donovan has been found dead, sitting in his car in a public park, shot through the head.
There was never much love lost between Maeve and Sean and she's not exactly devastated by his death, but suddenly the police are poking around asking the family questions. It's just one more hassle Maeve doesn't have time for, until she realizes that her father, whose memory and judgment are unreliable at best, is a suspect in the murder. Maeve is determined to clear his name, but is she prepared to cope with the dark memories and long-hidden secrets that doing so might dredge up?
Maggie Barbieri will mesmerize readers with Once Upon a Lie, a gripping novel about family, justice, and the choices we make that define who we are.
Then, I happily received a copy of "Becoming Josephine" from the wonderful publishers at Plume, a Penguin Group Publishing book.
A sweeping historical debut about the Creole socialite who transformed herself into an empress
Readers are fascinated with the wives of famous men. In Becoming Josephine, debut novelist Heather Webb follows Rose Tascher as she sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris, eager to enjoy an elegant life at the royal court. Once there, however, Rose’s aristocratic soldier-husband dashes her dreams by abandoning her amid the tumult of the French Revolution. After narrowly escaping death, Rose reinvents herself as Josephine, a beautiful socialite wooed by an awkward suitor—Napoleon Bonaparte.
“A debut as bewitching as its protagonist.” —Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda
“Vivid and passionate.” —Susan Spann, author of The Shinobi Mysteries
In came an ARC from St. Martins which I'm so psyched for!! "The Midnight Witch" written by Paula Brackston who is the author of "The Witch's Daughter." Can't wait to read this one!! This is not the black covered ARC copy you see above...I'm sorry....
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries
My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Let me tell you what it means to be a witch.
In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.
In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon—who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul—in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?
Praise for The Witch’s Daughter
“Lushly written with a fascinating premise and an enthralling heroine, The Witch’s Daughter will linger long in memory after the last page has been savored. Highly recommended.” — Sara Poole, author of The Borgia Betrayal
"A beautifully written, brilliantly crafted page-turner that completely invests you in the lives and loves of the witch's daughter. A true reading event." —Melissa Senate, author of The Love Goddess' Cooking School
“A lyrical and spell-binding time travel fantasy featuring an immortal witch who must summon all her powers to defeat the evil hounding her through the centuries.” –Mary Sharratt, author of Daughters of the Witching Hill
“With her first novel, author Paula Brackston conjures up a riveting tale of sorcery and time travel. By mixing feminine heroism with masculine might, Brackston successfully captivates readers with characters Bess, an immortal witch, and sinister dark lord, Gideon…. It's almost impossible not to root for the underdog in this magical twist on the classic David vs. Goliath tale. Plus, the skill with which Brackston weaves her characters through time makes this book a fascinating take on global history.” –Marie Claire"Brackston’s first novel offers well-crafted characters in an absorbing plot and an altogether delicious blend of historical fiction and fantasy." —Booklist
"This pleasantly romantic historical fantasy debut flips lightly between the past experiences of ageless witch Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith and her present-day life in Matravers, England... Bess's adventures are fascinating." —Publishers Weekly
“Stretching her tale over several centuries, British-based Brackston brings energy as well as commercial savvy to her saga of innocence and the dark arts…. History, time travel and fantasy combine in a solidly readable entertainment.” —Kirkus
"An engaging, well-written novel that will appeal to fans of historical fiction and fantasy alike." —Portland Book Review
"Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak of immortality to stay true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love." —NightOwlReviews.com
"The Witch’s Daughter is a wonderful combination of historical fiction and paranormal. Brackston’s story alternates between past and present as she mixes tales of Elizabeth’s early life with the present day, tying in historical events including Jack the Ripper and the horrors of WWI... Overall, a really enjoyable read." —BookBitch.com
"Readers who enjoy historical fantasy built around an epic struggle between good and evil should enjoy this original take on the theme." —HistoricalNovels.info"An enjoyable read." —Genre Go Round Reviews
"This tale spans centuries and walks the line between good and the darker side of magic. Magic and those who possess it have been feared and persecuted throughout most of human history. Find out what it is like to live for hundreds of years, mostly in solitude, and have to struggle with having the power to help people, but being afraid to use that power." —Affaire de Coeur
“Women will certainly love the independent, feisty female characters, but the narrative is wonderfully imaginative and the plot fast-moving and filled with action. This novel is highly recommended for witches and warlocks alike.” –Historical Novel Society
"The combination of stories from the past and the present meld nicely, and the author adds some clever twists so the reader never knows exactly from whom the next Gideon apparition will arise. Perhaps the best twist is the ending—leaving an opening for another book, but at the same time furnishing the reader with quite a satisfactory ending." —The National Examiner (UK)
"Ambitious and thought-provoking, this book will lure you into vivid, visceral worlds where evil lurks at every turn. The beautifully crafted BOOK OF SHADOWS will be etched on my mind for a long time. What an action-packed, emotionally powerful film it would make too." Sally Spedding, author of STRANGERS WAITING
"An unforgettable story by a highly original new writer." —Rebecca Tope, author of the Cotswold crime series
And, finally, this beautifully covered ARC of Brandy Purdy's new "The Boleyn Bride!" Very graciously sent with a note from the publishers at Kensington. I never miss an opportunity to read this author of historical fiction!
That's the extent of my recent Book Haul. What did you get in books lately????