Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Interview with Amy Impellizzeri/Book Review for Lemongrass Hope

My fans, I post this with the utmost sincerity. When I say that Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri is one of the best books I have ever read, I mean it. It gave me such a lasting book hangover I felt as if I needed to reread the book as soon as it was finished, which I never do.

It was an honor, a treat, and a complete pleasure interviewing Ms Impellizzeri, and getting an insight into her writing, her life as an author, and what the future holds for her and her books. She is one of the most amazing authors I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

I will recommend Lemongrass Hope to every single reader I know, and in writing this blog post and posting this interview, I hope that I have succeeded in making you want to pick it up and give it a read.

Here is what I had to say about Amy Impellizzeri's Lemongrass Hope:

Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri:

Kate will never forget him. That beautifully intelligent man who stole her heart, her mind, body, and soul. Ian. Ian, who had to leave Kate to do some research in Botswana to find a mysterious fruit that holds magical powers.

  They say that at the right time, in the right place, it can make you time travel.

  Kate never forgot Ian, even after she married her husband Rob and had her two boys. She never forgot him.

  Lemongrass Hope is one of the most exceptional books I have ever read. My love for it grew from, "This is a great book" to "This may be one of the best books I've been asked to review" to "Okay, this is one of the best books I've ever read."

  It is extraordinary. Mind-boggling, captivating, emotional, addicting, and positively heartrending.
  It's one of the best books I've ever, ever, ever read. Amy Impellizzeri is a beautiful writer, and her book is a treasure to behold. Ms Impellizzeri's words will captivate you and leave you breathless as you beg for more. And keep in mind I only read the uncorrected ARC (advance reader copy)... I can only imagine how breathtaking the final draft will be.
  I've written and re-written this book review a few times. Each time I begin a sentence, I have to rewrite it in fear of it not being good enough for this story. This book deserves all five star reviews, and it deserves a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list. I could easily see this book becoming every book club's "Book of the Month," soon followed by a movie deal that I just know in my heart will not do this incredible novel justice. As I write this, a few weeks after I finished Lemongrass Hope, I still have not gotten over my extreme book hangover from Amy Impellizzeri's story. As soon as I finished the book and reread the first few chapters again (which I NEVER do in books), I was yearning to reread the entire thing ten times more. Ten times, fifty times, a hundred times, it doesn't matter. It wouldn't be enough.
  Reading this masterpiece a hundred times wouldn't be enough for me.
  Lemongrass Hope is stunning, extraordinary, and a true piece of artwork. A+

And now, an interview with the author herself, Amy Impellizzeri:

The Literary Connoisseur: Hello, Amy! Thank you for stopping by The Literary Connoisseur, and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions about you, your writing, and your debut novel, Lemongrass Hope. If you're ready, let's begin!

Amy Impellizzeri: Thank you so much. I absolutely love your blog, so it’s an honor to be here!

The Literary Connoisseur: Let's start with a few questions about you first. Are you a reader as well as a writer? Whose work do you enjoy reading? 

Amy Impellizzeri: Yes! I am an avid reader. I have pretty eclectic taste in books, and I love books that stay with you. Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins and Jojo Moyes Me Before You come to mind immediately. But lately, I have been devouring debut novels from amazing writers like Amanda Mininger (Touch ), Karen Brown (The Longings of Wayward Girls), Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers), and right now I am reading Julia Fierro’s Cutting Teeth

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you have a favorite place to write? 

Amy Impellizzeri: My car! I’m not sure why it’s the place where ideas are always coming to me (probably because I have a busy life and 3 active kids and it’s the place where I spend most of my life!) But if you are behind me honking when the red light right turns green, I apologize in advance! 

The Literary Connoisseur: With Lemongrass Hope being your first ever novel, how does it feel to know that you are now an author? Are you excited? 

Amy Impellizzeri: It truly is so exciting to see my first novel in print. (Even though it’s still in ARC’s [Advance Review Copies] right now!) I got some wonderful news from writer, Sarah Pekkanen, when I first got my publishing contract. She told me that the feeling of getting your first novel published stays with you always and never goes away. I’m counting on her to be right! 

The Literary Connoisseur: You are already so popular, and you already have so many fans before you've even released your first book! How does that make you feel? 

Amy Impellizzeri: You are so sweet! I am very grateful to my few early readers - like you! - for getting the word out about Lemongrass Hope. Readers of my Blog have been wonderfully supportive as well. I am so, so anxious for everyone to read the book so we can all finally talk about it – instead of keeping its secrets! 

The Literary Connoisseur: What does your family think of your success? 

Amy Impellizzeri: Well my 8 year old asked if I could please get him a bodyguard for school, so clearly he has a completely misguided perception of what the book release will mean in reality! But truly, my kids are so excited and proud and that’s the best part of all of this. 

The Literary Connoisseur: How did you come up with the plot for Lemongrass Hope? 

Amy Impellizzeri: So, it actually all started with an idea which is really the end of the story - which I won’t give away! It came to me rather suddenly, after a surreal dream and wouldn’t let me go. I developed the story over the next three years, in stops and starts, between other projects. I’d leave it and then wonder, is there really something there? And every time I came back to it, I just knew there was. 

The Literary Connoisseur: How are you going to celebrate once it's out and being devoured by eager readers? 

Amy Impellizzeri: Well, if there’s something I love other than my family and writing – it’s throwing a good party! We’re going to throw a book release bash at a local winery the week Lemongrass Hope comes out. And then I’m going to continue celebrating by .... working on edits to my next book – a non-fiction book, called Lawyer Interrupted – and by starting to work in earnest on my next novel!

The Literary Connoisseur: What made you choose to write about Botswana and the Bahamas? Have you been to either? 

Amy Impellizzeri: I have not been to Botswana .... Yet! .... But I have been to the Bahamas and I think it’s a gorgeously romantic and mystical place – perfect for Lemongrass Hope. I’ll tell you a secret – Jack’s Bar is actually loosely based on a place in the Bahamas that I went with my family a few years ago – we ended up there quite by accident – a bar/restaurant on the beach that only the locals seemed to know about – and yes there were amazing and fresh conch fritters! 

The Literary Connoisseur: Have you tried the marula fruit yourself? (For those who don't know, the marula is VERY key in the plot of Lemongrass Hope.) 

Amy Impellizzeri: No. I’m dying to, though. Ever since I read about the marula tree, and its surrounding legends, I have been fascinated by it, and knew it would make a wonderful character in a book. The cover of the book is a real photo of a marula tree, taken by photographer, Lindsey Raughton, on a trip to South Africa in 2008. She and I have become “pen pals” in the course of securing rights to the photo and I have learned in the process of writing this book that the marula tree really is special. And I believe, mystical. 

The Literary Connoisseur: Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life? 

Amy Impellizzeri: Well, I try not to base my characters on my friends or family so people won’t be afraid to hang out with me and confide in me! But there is a scene in Lemongrass Hope that is plucked almost entirely from real life. The conversation Kate eavesdrops on between the two 20-something year olds discussing a green card marriage on the cruise ship is nearly verbatim from a real conversation I eavesdropped on vacation one summer. I’ll tell you another secret, though. The “real” boyfriend’s name was Elvis, not Spike. I didn’t think it would be believable that his name was actually Elvis, so I changed it. 

The Literary Connoisseur: Where would you like to see your success with Lemongrass Hope go? 

Amy Impellizzeri: You know, a good friend asked me that similar question soon after I got my publishing contract, and I told him the same thing I’ll tell you. It’s really not going to be measured for me in terms of books sold or dollars made. (Don’t tell my publisher I said that!) It’s really going to be measured by whether people I respect respond strongly to the book – and whether it stays with them. Whether book clubs pick it up and talk about it and whether it gives people a “book hangover” like you describe (thank you!) Of course, it would be a dream come true (and probably too much to ask!) for it to lead to a second published novel, and a third ....

The Literary Connoisseur: Have you received good feedback from your beta readers? 

Amy Impellizzeri: I’ve been so protective of this book and only a few early readers have read it so far. But. A truly wonderful compliment from early readers of Lemongrass Hope is that they often say it stays with them. Everyone will seize on different aspects, characters, or layers of this book (in fact, as I suspected, I’m learning that people will even interpret the ending very differently!) but I would love to think it’s a story that raises a lot of interesting questions that will keep you thinking long after you put it down. (Some say after they finish, they feel the need to immediately flip it over and start anew, and that is the BEST compliment of all!) 

The Literary Connoisseur: Who was your favorite character to write in Lemongrass Hope? 

Amy Impellizzeri: All of them! No really. I love these characters – having lived with them for so long. And I know that people will try to read a lot of me into Kate, and that makes sense, because she has bits of me in her. But I’ve written bits of me (sometimes by accident!) into almost all of the characters, including of course, Benton, the litigator trying to plan her exit strategy from a cutthroat midtown Manhattan law firm. But one character that I really relate to is, quite frankly, Ian Campton. I mean, he’s a writer, for heaven’s sake! Also, I’m a pretty hopeless (hopeful?) romantic. And I promise you that - before kids – had someone offered me the chance to go to Botswana to research marula booze, elephants and time travel – I would have jumped at the chance. Plus. I’m crazy good at blackjack. 

The Literary Connoisseur: Kate reads Life of Pi over and over again in the book... Is there any specific reason why you chose this book to incorporate in your own book? Is it a favorite of yours? Without spoilers, what does Life of Pi symbolize for you and for Kate? 

Amy Impellizzeri: Oh, Life of Pi. Sigh. It’s such a small and yet amazingly important part of the entire novel. Strangely enough – and this is not usually the case! – I saw the movie before I read the book. The movie had such a profound effect on me and the book even more so. I, like Kate, really respond to the seamless blending of the mysticism and realism in that story, and the reference to the “botched farewell” in Life of Pi literally breaks my heart and was just so perfect for the story development of Lemongrass Hope. When my editor and publisher both said “you know you can’t keep that Life of Pi excerpt in there unless you get permission” I refused to be daunted. I just knew that Life of Pi was going to I wrote to the publisher, secured the rights within a month or a two, and am absolutely thrilled that Life of Pi is such an integral part of Lemongrass Hope! 

The Literary Connoisseur: Are you currently working on any new projects? 

Amy Impellizzeri: Yes! I am currently working on my first non-fiction book, called Lawyer Interrupted. It is due to be published by the American Bar Association in 2015. It’s such a fun and special project – a synthesis of hundreds of hours of research and interviews with lawyers who have left the practice of law for all sorts of reasons, including internationally famous lego artist, Nathan Sawaya, and celebrity jewelry designer, Jill Donovan, founder of Rustic Cuff. I am also sketching out my next novel, and hope to really get that draft underway this fall after Lemongrass Hope hits shelves October 8! 

The Literary Connoisseur: Amy, thank you again for stopping by and answering some questions for me, for your fans, and for your future fans, who I know are just going to be chomping at the bit to read Lemongrass Hope by the time it comes out! Please continue writing, and we'll talk soon! 

About the Author:

Amy Impellizzeri is a reformed corporate litigator and author. After spending a decade at one of the top law firms in the country, Amy left in 2009 to advocate for working women, eventually landing at a VC-backed start-up company, Hybrid Her (named by ForbesWoman as a top website for women in 2010 and 2011), while writing her first novel, Lemongrass Hope, and her first non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted, which is scheduled to be published by the American Bar Association in 2015.
Her essays and articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Glass Hammer, Divine Caroline, and ABA's Law Practice today, among more.
Amy currently lives in rural Pennsylvania where she works and plays and keeps up on all of the latest research confirming that large volumes of coffee are indeed good for you.

Buy the book:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Interview with a Librarian--Kristen Pratt

The average person has a local library within five miles of their home. Some even have one across the street or within walking distance. Yet, when was the last time you stopped in to your local library, breathed in the book-scented air, and checked out a book you've been wanting to read? 

Something made me want to write this blog post... I am not entirely sure what it was, but something made me want to spread the word about libraries, renew the love we once had for them, call attention to the library's struggles, and get an insight into the life of a librarian.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing a close family friend, who is a librarian, and someone who was heavily involved in helping me to discover my love of reading. That person is Kristen Pratt.

How many times have you been to the library? Have you any fond memories? Have you brought your children there to help start their fond memories as well? How many times has a librarian helped you to find the book that was hiding just around the corner?

When was the last time you thanked a librarian for all of their hard work?

I wanted to publish this blog post to bring awareness to the library system, and hopefully rekindle the love you have for that incredible reading paradise.

Here is my interview with librarian, Kristen Pratt:

The Literary Connoisseur: Welcome Kristen! Thank you so much for stopping by The Literary Connoisseur and answering some questions about your life as a librarian. If you're ready, let's begin. What made you want to become a librarian? Have you always known that this is what you wanted to do for a living?

Kristen Pratt: I started out as an elementary school teacher. I taught fourth grade and was also a writing teacher/coach. I learned quickly that reading and writing instruction were my favorites.  So, when it was time to peruse a graduate level degree, I decided on the various areas where my love for reading and writing would play a major role. There was a flyer in the teacher work room about a graduate school program for library/media specialists and the wheels started spinning!

The Literary Connoisseur: Are you a reader? If so, what do you enjoy reading?

Kristen Pratt: I read everything from children’s books to young adult titles to mysteries and sometimes nonfiction titles too. I just finished Orange Is the New Black, have John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines on audio book in my car for my commute for work each day, Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments is what’s on my Nook (almost done) for my nighttime reading and a hard cover copy of Rowell’s Landline is on my desk at work for break time reading!

The Literary Connoisseur: In what area of the library do you work?

Kristen Pratt: I have been a Youth Service’s Librarian (children’s librarian) for the past year in the public library setting. Prior to that I spent two years as a Reference Librarian and six years as a school Library/Media Specialist.

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you prefer working with children, teens, adults, or do you not have a preference?

Kristen Pratt: Honestly, I enjoy it all. At the library where I work right now, the staff is small so although I am the children’s librarian, I spend many hours of my work week at the reference desk too. When the director is out, I get to play that role too! So, I have the best of both worlds.

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you have the opportunity to visit other libraries often? If so, do you have a favorite?

Kristen Pratt: I wish I had more time to get out and see more libraries. Someday I’d like to work in an older library with books that go all the way to the ceiling!

The Literary Connoisseur: Tell us why you feel libraries are important to society.

Kristen Pratt: Libraries are the heart of the community. I think that sums it all up!

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you feel that libraries have suffered because of the recent craze with eBooks?

Kristen Pratt: I think at first the libraries suffered because ereaders make it just so easy and convenient to not even leave home to get a book immediately! But once the library got involved with ereaders/eBooks and more and more people actually discovered that the library had eBooks available; things changed...and continue to change. In three years I’ve seen the availability of titles triple, the user friendliness of the once difficult to install program, become a much easier to install app, and continued changes to improve the variety of formats in which a person can choose to read their selected book. The county where I work actually leases the eBooks! In the early days of eBook lending selections were so limited due to this publisher and that publisher not making their titles available in the eBook format. But due to continued changes the eBook statistics are catching up to the regular check out stats!

The Literary Connoisseur: How do you feel about book banning?

Kristen Pratt: Ugh!!!!! People are going to complain about anything and everything in life, right? I believe that not everything is for everyone. If you don’t like a particular book then you don’t like it for whatever given reason, but leave the rest of us alone! We all make our own choices, it’s not our place to decide for others what they should read or not, so leave the books alone!

The Literary Connoisseur: Would you like to see your branch of the library receive a new program or reading system? Book clubs for teenagers? A new program for adult readers? A new program for young readers, etc.?

Kristen Pratt: We have just added on a few new after school programs for children including a Lego free building club and a read to a dog program! Yes, read to a dog! We have a few ideas that we are working on for young adults/teens/tweens and adults as well. Honestly the biggest problem we face is limited staff. We have the space, the time and the desire to build our library programs for the community but unfortunately not enough man power to everything we want to do! Ideas are welcome!!

The Literary Connoisseur: How would you like to see your library, the West Melbourne Public Library, improve?

Kristen Pratt: More open hours to the public and more staff members available to create and execute all the exciting programs we are dreaming about for our wonderful patrons.

The Literary Connoisseur: Tell us how people can get more involved with their local library.

Kristen Pratt: “Like” your local library on Facebook, follow them on other social media outlets; check their website for special programs! Stop by...look around, smell the books! Get to know the staff and we will quickly learn what you like and do our best to make it available for you! We have it all!! Books, eBooks, DVD’s of all the popular movies and TV shows, ours are free, unlike Red box! We have computers, printing, faxing, copying, notary service, free Wi-Fi, great lighting! My children’s department even has a small play are for the little ones. Did I mention most everything is free? Stop by and fill out a volunteer application! Ask to join a Friends of the Library Board and help make the big decisions!

So remember, everyone: Libraries are the beacon for book lovers. Next time you drive by one on your way to work, school, or to a friend's house, why not make a stop? Check out their book sales. Pick up a few bookmarks. Donate a book or two. Or if you can, volunteer a bit on the weekends, or take a family trip to a library function. There are always new and exciting things being planned at the library!

Libraries have been around forever, and they're incredibly dependable. They are always there to welcome you home.

Kristen's picks: 

Book                                ebook

Book                                ebook

Book                                ebook

Book                                ebook

Monday, August 25, 2014

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

  After years and years of saying, "I have got to read Gayle Forman's If I Stay," I've finally done it, and boy was it worth the wait.
  Before I started If I Stay, my mother informed me that I would either love the characters in the book, or be incredibly annoyed by them (since I am annoyed by female characters very easily). I have to say, that intrigued me quite a bit.
  About a week ago, I decided I was going to read the two Forman books, one right after the other, and I would get back to my Stephen King/Robert Galbraith binge.
  Little did I know that these books would deeply affect me, and give me a lasting book hangover. In fact, such a lasting book hangover, that when I listened to A Great Big World's "Say Something" on the radio this afternoon, I almost curled into a ball and cried my heart out because I miss Mia and Adam so much.
  If I Stay is about a young girl, Mia, who has to make the choice between living and dying. After a fatal car accident involving a truck and her family's car, Mia has been transported out of her body, witnessing the frantic panic of the car accident's aftermath.
  Will Mia choose to move on to whatever awaits us after we die, or will she stay and live?
  Where She Went is about what happened to Mia after she made her choice, and most of all (since it's told in his perspective) what happened to her boyfriend, Adam.
  If I Stay is probably one of the most beautifully written and told books I have ever read. It left such a huge impact on me, I just cannot get over it. I feel as if reading this book committed me to a long-term relationship with my one true love, my soul mate, and when it ended, I felt betrayed that it would end without so much as a "goodbye."
  I never expected to fall in love with this book as much as I did.
  That being said, I was incredibly hesitant to start Where She Went, knowing that the book was told in Adam's perspective, not Mia's.
  I love Mia. I wanted her to tell me what happened to her after she made her choice. Not Adam.
  But I continued on. I had to know what happened.
  At around a hundred pages, I became emotionally invested in Adam's story. I cared about his outcome and his future, and...well, I became an emotional wreck because of him.
  At one point in the book (I won't say when, where, or what happened because as you all know, I keep my book reviews spoiler-free), I almost choked on my sobs. Not because something terrible or tragic happened, but because I was so overwrought with Adam's emotional turmoil, I couldn't stand it.
  Gayle Forman is a genius, an artist, and a master at writing such amazing stories. She made me feel as if I were right in the middle of this story, feeling what the characters felt, and experiencing every human's worst fears.
  There is rarely a time where I add books to my "Books I'll Recommend to Literally EVERYONE" list, but I'll make an exception this time. Just as I do with John Green's, Susanna Kearsley's, and Markus Zusak's books, Gayle Forman's books will be recommended to my nearest and dearest.
  If I Stay and Where She Went are some of the best books I have ever read. I am positively, absolutely, 100% in love with them, Gayle Forman, Mia, and Adam.

Book                                ebook

Book                                ebook

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Interview with New York Times Bestselling Author, Deborah Harkness

When I had the immense pleasure of meeting Ms Harkness last month at Books and Books in Coral Gables, Florida, I asked her if it was at all possible for her to honor my blog with an interview about her All Souls Trilogy books.

She said yes.

My friends, I truly cannot tell you how much of an honor this is. Deborah Harkness is one of the kindest, most caring authors I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. 

I hope you enjoy this little conversation between the wonderful Deborah Harkness and myself! 

Goodness knows I had a blast setting it up.


The Literary Connoisseur: Deborah, thank you so much for stopping by The Literary Connoisseur, and for answering some questions for me, your fans, and my blog. If you're ready, let's begin. Let's start with a few questions about yourself first. Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

Deborah Harkness: Not at all. I wanted to be a dancer, or an actress, or an archaeologist LONG before I wanted to be anything else.

The Literary Connoisseur: What made you fall in love with history? 

Deborah Harkness: I’ve loved history ever since I was a small child. My parents took us to historical sites every vacation—battlefields, historic houses, Colonial Williamsburg, English castles. I’ve been fascinated with the past ever since.

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you have a favorite place to sit down and write? Outside? A writing desk, perhaps?

Deborah Harkness: Airplanes. My second favorite place is hotel rooms. I tend to be easily distracted when I write at home. And it’s much too sunny to write outside in southern California!

The Literary Connoisseur: Countries other than America are very common in your books... Where are some of your favorite places to see when you travel? 

Deborah Harkness: Whenever I’m traveling, I try to visit museums. I especially love art museums. When I was on Houston on book tour I was able to spend an hour there visiting their special exhibition on the English Country House. It was fantastic.

The Literary Connoisseur: You've recently been traveling for The Book of Life, your final book in the All Souls Trilogy. How has it been for you on the road so far? Are you having fun?

Deborah Harkness: I always have fun meeting readers, and talking with them about their experiences with the trilogy. I only wish I had ruby slippers so I could magically go from my hotel to the airplane with no hours of waiting in airports.  

The Literary Connoisseur: Which of your All Souls Trilogy characters has been the most fun to write so far? Diana? Matthew? Ysabeau? Marcus, perhaps? 

Deborah Harkness: Gallowglass is the most fun to write, without question. Miriam is pretty entertaining, too. I never know what she’s going to say next.

The Literary Connoisseur: Family is a key theme in your books. Please tell us about the importance of family when writing such beautiful stories. 

Deborah Harkness: My families are traditional families, in the sense that they are not about blood or marriage but include all the people you scoop up along the way who need some love and compassion and a soft place to land. You hear a lot of misinformed commentary on “traditional” families these days. Historically speaking, families have always been blended and they’ve never been limited to blood relatives. 

The Literary Connoisseur: Now that you've finished writing the All Souls Trilogy, what would you say you're going to miss about Diana and Matthew the most? 

Deborah Harkness: Everything. 

The Literary Connoisseur: Are you planning on taking a long vacation after your book tour is over? Or is a "staycation" more on your "to do" list? 

Deborah Harkness: No vacations for me! I am touring for most of the autumn, and then am back in the classroom in January. Next summer I’ll be out promoting the paperback. So additional travel doesn’t seem very attractive as a leisure pursuit!

The Literary Connoisseur: Do you have your next writing project all planned out? If so, would you like to give your readers a hint as to what they'll be reading about in the future? 

Deborah Harkness: I’m deliberately not making any future plans at the moment. After the paperback tour, when I’m back in the classroom for fall semester 2015, I’ll begin to think about it. Until then, I’m just going to focus on recharging my creative batteries.

Deborah's Books:

A Discovery of Witches

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.
Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

Book                               ebook

Shadow of Night

A Discovery of Witches introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Drawn to one another despite longstanding taboos, and in pursuit of Diana’s spellbound powers, the two embark upon a time-walking journey.
Book Two of the All Souls Trilogy plunges Diana and Matthew into  Elizabethan London, a world of spies and subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night.  The mission is to locate a witch to tutor  Diana and to find traces of Ashmole 782, but as the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them they embark on a very different journey, one that takes them into heart of the 1,500 year old vampire’s shadowed history and secrets. For Matthew Clairmont, time travel is no simple matter; nor is Diana’s search for the key to understanding her legacy.
Shadow of Night brings us a rich and splendid tapestry of alchemy, magic, and history, taking us through the loop of time to deliver a deepening love story, a tale of blood, passion, and the knotted strands of the past.

Book                                ebook

The Book of Life

 After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

Book                               ebook

About the Author

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and have lived in western Massachusetts, the Chicago area, Northern California, upstate New York, and Southern California. In other words, I’ve lived in three out of five time zones in the US! I’ve also lived in the United Kingdom in the cities of Oxford and London.
For the past twenty-eight years I’ve been a student and scholar of history, and received degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, and the University of California at Davis. During that time I researched the history of magic and science in Europe, especially during the period from 1500 to 1700. The libraries I’ve worked in include Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the All Souls College Library at Oxford, the British Library, London’s Guildhall Library, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Newberry Library—proving that I know my way around a card catalogue or the computerized equivalent. These experiences have given me a deep and abiding love of libraries and a deep respect for librarians. Currently, I teach European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
My previous books include two works of non-fiction: John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature(Cambridge University Press, 1999) and The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution (Yale University Press, 2007). It has been my privilege to receive fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Humanities Center. And I was honored to receive accolades for my historical work from the History of Science Society, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the Longman’s/History Today Prize Committee.
In 2006, I took up my keyboard and entered the world of blogging and Twitter. My wine blog, Good Wine Under $20, is an online record of my search for the best, most affordable wines. These efforts have been applauded by the American Wine Blog Awards, Saveur.comWine & Spirits magazine, and Food & Wine magazine. My wine writing has also appeared on the website Serious Eats and in Wine & Spirits magazine.
My career in fiction began in September 2008 when I began to wonder “if there really are vampires, what do they do for a living?” A Discovery of Witches is the unexpected answer to that question. The book debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and was also a bestseller in the UK, France, and Germany. Thirty-eight foreign editions and translations will be published. The story of Diana and Matthew continues in Shadow of Night(published in 2012, it debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list)  and coming on July 15, 2014, The Book of Life,  the third book of the All Souls Trilogy.

For more on Deborah Harkness, check out her website here!