Now and Then

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/15/novels-internet-laura-miller

“Writing historical fiction is the easiest way to escape the Now; to avoid dealing with the internet, you only have to step back a decade or two. If you’d prefer to write about characters entirely innocent of TV, you’d need to retreat as far as the 1940s; then you get the second world war and the Holocaust, subjects that, despite their historical specificity, are understood by everyone to be unimpeachably Timeless.”*

I think what bothers me most about this sentiment is the oversimplified assumptions made about not only the past, but the intentions of authors of historical fiction in choosing to write about it. It’s extremely reductive to ascribe a single set of motives to anyone who sets a story in the past, and it trivializes the past itself as static, utilitarian and safely contained. (After all, bad stuff happened in the past, but at least the past is knowable. This does lend a patina of Timeless, but probably not in the sense implied by the article.)

I write historical fiction for a lot of different reasons, but one of them isn’t that I don’t want characters to be able to text. I firmly believe that the past is interesting in its own regard, that the middle ages were full of fascinating, three-dimensional individuals whose lives and worldviews are worthy of narrative space.

When I do my job right, my characters aren’t puppets who caper around acting out some modern morality lesson and they’re not twenty-first-century people playing dressup in chain mail and kirtles. When I do my job right, they’re people with problems to solve in a specific historical context, people who have to make their way in a world just as complicated as ours – sometimes more complicated – and more often than not, ten times as violent and fifty times as uncertain.

Inventing the future, one toilet at a time.

Inventing the future, one toilet at a time.

The past isn’t a stage. It isn’t a mirror. But is it an “easy” way to escape the Now? Maybe. We’ve spent most of recorded history trying to escape the Now. That’s why we developed representative democracy and codified law and flush toilets.

The problem arises when the past we want to escape into isn’t the past that really was. But revisionism is a whooooole ‘nother post.

* Nota bene: I understand that the primary concern of the article is more the state of Literature (and Literature is definitely not what I do), but even in other genres historical fiction is routinely dismissed as escapism and displaced wish fulfillment. I feel like I’m constantly fighting through a veil of romanticism that’s a direct result of how history is understood and mobilized in certain venues.

Introducing our Newest Member, Susan Hill Long!

author photoWe’re thrilled to introduce you to our newest Corsets, Cutlasses, & Candlesticks member: Susan Hill Long. She’s the author of Whistle in the Dark, an upcoming middle-grade novel set in the mid 1920s.

More about Susan:

Susan Hill Long has worked as an editor and has written several books for beginning readers. Her honors include Bank Street College Best Books, Oregon Book Award finalist, and the Katherine Paterson Prize. Her debut novel, Whistle in the Dark (September 2013), takes MG readers to 1925-era Missouri with a story about a boy and a dog, mining and moonshine, a mysterious girl and a devastating tornado. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two daughters.

Introducing Whistle in the Dark

What Clem wants for his thirteenth birthday is a dog. What he gets is a miner’s cap. It’s the 1920s in Whistle jkt legalLeadanna, Missouri, and money is tight in the Harding household. So, Clem, a gifted student and talented writer, must leave school and join Pap in the lead mines, spending his days digging in the suffocating dark beneath the crushing weight of the earth.

While searching for another way to help support his family—Grampy’s suffering from miner’s consumption and little sister Esther with epilepsy—Clem meets Lindy, the daughter of a local moonshiner, whose face bears a scar from a terrible accident. The two become friends, but soon a series of disasters strike, including a devastating tornado.

Clem’s friendship with Lindy and the devotion of a remarkable stray dog help him to reconcile his dreams with the reality of family responsibility and face some hard decisions about his future.

This beautifully written coming-of-age novel shines with true characters, a vivid setting, and heartfelt relationships.

Website: www.susanhilllong.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/susan.hilllong
Twitter: @susanhilllong

An Interview with Katherine Longshore about her newest novel, TARNISH!

It’s my happy privilege to interview the very talented Katherine Longshore (she also happens to be my publishing sister—we are both Viking authors) for her latest book, TARNISH, her second novel about Henry VIII’s court. Katy’s first book about the Tudor court was GILT, now available in paperback. As usual, the Corsets, Cutlasses, & Candlesticks crew submitted questions for Katy.  To start off the interview, here is a synopsis:

tarnish

Viking Juvenile, June 18th, 2013

Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history

TARNISH released on June 18th.  Penguin uploaded the first 30 pages to scribd.  Bonus! You get to scroll through GILT to get there.

From J Anderson Coats 

“Which scene do you think will surprise readers the most?”

I think that depends on what they know about Anne Boleyn.  If all of their information comes from The Other Boleyn girl, they might be surprised by a scene with Mary Boleyn in which Anne is vulnerable and affectionate.  If they have read accounts of Anne as a strong-willed, aggressive force of nature, they might be surprised by a girl who (at first) capitulates to the opinions and desires of Thomas Wyatt.  If they believes the myths—the six fingers, the poisoning, the witchcraft—they might be surprised by how ordinary this extraordinary girl could be when she first enters Katherine of Aragon’s household.  Ultimately, I wanted to present a realistic, multi-dimensional character whose actions might be misconstrued if filtered through the experiences of the other characters. So I hope these scenes are surprising, but not unbelievable!

From Laura Golden

Was it harder to write Tarnish, your second book, than it was to write your first? What challenges did you face, both on the page and in your mind? 

Yes and no.  I’ve said before that when I wrote my first book—GILT—I didn’t know what I was doing, but wrote anyway.  With TARNISH, I realized I had no idea what I was doing and for a while it terrified me so much I froze.  Early in the process, I suffered the worst writer’s block I’ve ever faced.   Luckily, I had the support of some amazing writer friends and when I pulled myself back out of the hole, I saw that I knew more than I originally thought.  That helped get me through the rest of the draft.

What made the process easier was the strength of Anne’s voice.  This character’s voice spoke for itself, and sometimes I felt like all I could do was hang on and enjoy the ride. Deadlines helped, too.  They can be stressful—and to some writers even deadly—but I find them invaluable.

From Jessica Spotswood

Anne Boleyn is such a fascinating character. What are your favorite other fictional or nonfictional depictions of her?

Like many Tudor fiction fans, I loved The Other Boleyn Girl.  Philippa Gregory’s Anne is one of those brilliant characters you love to hate, and Gregory exploited all of the salacious details of history and myth to create her.

Because I like to get a fair and balanced opinion, I also love historian Eric Ives’ account in The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn.  He digs out the truth in the history and busts the unsavory myths in a comprehensive and compassionate account.

From Sharon Biggs Waller 

How did you research Anne’s teenage life? Was there a lot of information on her?

There is very little concrete information about Anne’s life before she attracted the attention of the king.  Even her birthday isn’t known for sure, and there’s debate over whether she was born in 1501 or 1507.  I’ve used information pieced together from surviving letters and court records and the rather unreliable biographies written in the decades after her death.  This made my job easier (if no one knows anything, I can’t be wrong!) and more difficult (how old was she? Was she even at court when I say she was?)  But it’s also why I find writing so much fun—because I can look at how people saw her later, and try to create a character who could become the queen we know and love.

From Cat Winters

What’s the most surprising fact you learned about Anne Boleyn when you were conducting research for TARNISH?

I was surprised by the passionate devotion the Anne Boleyn fans feel for her.  I had always seen her as a fascinating and tragic historical character, but it wasn’t until I’d lived with her for a year that I understood.  She was a feminist before feminism was a word.  She had strong beliefs and convictions and wasn’t afraid to voice them.  She is more admirable than some fictional representations would lead us to believe.  Even after all these centuries, she has a charismatic appeal that encourages respect and strong emotions.  It’s inspiring.

From Jennifer McGowan

What was the biggest difference for you in your writing process in working on Book 2, after launching GILT last year?

Having all those other voices in my head was the biggest difference.  GILT was written in a vacuum.  But once a book is out, you start to hear all this other noise while you write.  Editor, reviewers, readers.  Sometimes, it brought me to a standstill, hearing all the characteristics that had been applied to GILT by the negative reviews—boring, long, anachronistic.  My inner editor has always had a pretty strong voice, but it was never stronger than it was last summer as I was finishing my line edits for TARNISH, because it had lots of extra ammunition.  What saved me was being able to call on the voice of my actual editor, Kendra Levin.  I trust her implicitly and her kindness and insight brought out the best of my abilities.

Can you tell us what you’re working on next? 

I have two projects coming out next year.  MANOR OF SECRETS will be published by Scholastic in February—an upstairs/downstairs, dual point of view novel in the spirit of Downton Abbey.  Book 3 in the Tudor series features entirely new characters living in Henry’s court in the time between TARNISH and GILT and is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Goodreads

Visit Katherine Longshore online at KatherineLongshore.com.

A Celebration of Jessica Spotswood’s Brand-New Release, STAR CURSED!

I’m BEYOND thrilled to interview Jessica Spotswood today for her hotly-anticipated sequel, STAR CURSED, which debuts tomorrow, June 18. STAR CURSED is second in The Cahill Witch Chronicles following Jessica’s amazing debut BORN WICKED. We have several questions from our crack CCC team for Jess to answer, but first, a quick synopsis:

Putnam Juvenile, June 18, 2013

Putnam Juvenile, June 18, 2013

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to BORN WICKED, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

STAR CURSED releases on June 18. You can read the first chapter here.

Find Jess online: blog | Twitter | Facebook | Cahill Witch Inspiration pinboard

And now, onto the questions!

From Katy: Jessica, if you lived in the world of STAR CURSED, what is one thing you would have done differently from Cate?  And what is one thing you especially admire her for?

Oh yikes. I’m not nearly as self-sacrificing as Cate. How to say this without major spoilers? I admire her for the decision she makes at the end of BORN WICKED to protect the people she loves, but I don’t think I would have made the same choice. Also, there’s a scene early on in SC where a woman is pushed into a bonfire. Cate wants to help but realizes in the nick of time that any magic she does would ultimately be blamed on the hapless woman. I suspect I would have acted first to “save” the woman and ended up getting her in worse trouble.

From Laura: STAR CURSED is the sequel to BORN WICKED. I’ve heard that sequels can be quite challenging to write due to continuity concerns and continuing plot threads. What were the biggest challenges you faced while writing this book?

I won’t lie – writing STAR CURSED was really challenging! I handled continuity concerns by creating a Cahill Witch Chronicles series bible that referenced every detail in the text about every character, setting, and date. It was super-time-consuming but worth it to catch errors about what color the curtains are in Cate’s bedroom or what color a minor character’s eyes are. The plotting was more difficult. The middle book in a trilogy is a tricksy beast – it has to be more everything – more thrilling, more romantic, more twisty-turny, more heartbreaking – lest readers find it a placeholder in which nothing really happens. The stakes have to be higher; the pace has to be faster. I wrote the first draft under a four-month deadline and it didn’t work and I had to throw it out and start over, rewriting 75% of it.  It was the best possible thing for the story – the plot just didn’t make sense and the stakes weren’t high enough – but at the time, I didn’t realize that this was incredibly common; I felt like I’d failed. Now I can’t imagine it unfolding any other way!

From Cat: We often hear about the pressures placed upon an author to create a second novel that lives up to the first book in a series. For you, what was the BEST part of extending your story into a second book?

I love exploring the evolving relationships between the sisters. Things are even more fraught between Cate and Maura in STAR CURSED. Maura is resentful and jealous of Cate: for how things ended with Elena, for being the prophesied sister, and for being in love. Cate is annoyed by the way Maura comes swanning in and tries to take over, and she’s deeply dubious about the ways Maura tries to get power. Tess tries to stay neutral but she doesn’t really succeed – and she’s keeping her own secrets.

From Jillian: Let’s say a couple of your characters are raiding your fridge right now. What are they most likely to eat?  Are they disappointed or excited about what they find?

Cate loves strawberries and would be disappointed that there are some molding away in my fridge. I never eat fresh fruit fast enough! She’d probably munch on an apple. Tess would be disappointed by the dearth of fresh baked goods and horrified by the pre-packaged granola bars; she would no doubt set to work whipping up some scones (yay!). Rilla would be pleased that I’ve got some hot cocoa mix – it’s dark-chocolate mint, which I think would intrigue her.

From Jenn: What has been the biggest happy surprise of your writing career so far? And what are you working on next?

I think getting the book deal in the first place – and it being a deal that let me quit my day job – was the biggest happy surprise. Writing full-time has its challenges, but I am very grateful for them. The best daily surprises, though, are hearing from readers. It means so much when someone takes the time to email me, or tweet at me, or Facebook message me – whatever – to tell me how much she loves Cate and her sisters and Finn. If you’re ever wondering whether you should contact an author to tell them you loved their book – do it! It makes our day. As for what I’m working on now – edits for Cahill Book 3. I’m relieved to report that my editor loved my draft, and they are challenging-inspiring, not challenging-traumatic-and-sob-inducing (like STAR CURSED).

From Sharon: What was it like to return to your characters again? Was it easier to write the sequel knowing your characters so well?

Yes and no. When I stopped trying to force my characters into the plot points in the outline I’d painstakingly created and my editor had approved – yes. But after throwing out most of the first draft, I was full of self-doubt. It taught me that when I get stuck, I need to get quiet and listen to what they want and what they fear. I lost Cate’s voice sometimes and needed to reconnect with it, tell her story and not a story I was trying to impose on her.

Thanks so much for the fab questions, ladies!

Summer 2013 YA & MG Historical Fiction Preview

Here’s our roundup of the middle-grade and YA historical fiction coming out from July to September. Are we missing something? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it!

BelladonnaBELLADONNA: SECRETS OF THE ETERNAL ROSE #2 by Fiona Paul

Publisher: Philomel

Pub Date: July 16

In the second in the stunning SECRETS OF THE ETERNAL ROSE series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?

Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.

A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY: SOMETHING STRANGE AND LOVELY #2 by Susan Dennarda darkness strange & lovely

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pub Date: July 23

With her brother dead and her mother insane, Eleanor Fitt is alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and the handsome Daniel—have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor hears the vicious barking of hounds and see haunting yellow eyes, she fears that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are after her.

To escape, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. But Oliver harbors a dangerous secret involving necromancy and black magic that entices Eleanor beyond words. If she can resist him, she’ll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over, and there’s a whole new evil lurking. And she is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there’s a price for this darkness strange and lovely, and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

charmed vengeance  CHARMED VENGEANCE: THE AETHER CHRONICLES #2 by Suzanne Lazear

Publisher: Flux

Pub Date: August 8

In the Faerie realm, Noli Braddock’s relationship with her best friend V has grown into something more. But V’s mother, Faerie Queen Tiana, has ruled that they are forbidden to see each other. Returning to the mortal realm, Noli joins the crew of her brother’s air-pirate ship, the Vixen’s Revenge. There she discovers that her brother has hired the scallywag Faerie huntsman, Kevighn Silver. While serving as shipmates, Kevighn and Noli learn that the Earth Court King plans to find a forbidden artifact—one that will bring destruction to everyone Noli loves.

THE DEEPEST NIGHT: THE SWEETEST DARK #2 by Shana Abe

Publisher: Bantam

Pub Date: August 13

The Deepest Night

It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities.

As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To h

elp the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood.

Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.

With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.

VIII  VIII by H.M. Castor

Publisher: Templar

Pub Date: August 20

Destined for greatness…tormented by demons. The epic story of Henry VIII’s transformation from a handsome, gifted youth to a murderous, cruel king.

Hal is a young man of extraordinary talents, astonishing warrior skills, sharp intelligence, and a fierce sense of honor and virtue. He believes he is destined for greatness. His father wishes he would disappear. Haunted by the ghosts of his family’s violent past, Hal embarks on a journey that leads him to absolute power—and brings him face to face with his demons.

“History comes alive from the first page to the last” (The Independent) in this fascinating, previously untold story of how a charismatic, athletic young man grew up to become the murderous, vengeful King Henry VIII.

THE DARK BETWEEN by Sonia Genslerthe dark between

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pub Date: August 27

At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.

Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.

the morning star THE MORNING STAR: THE KATERINA TRILOGY #3 by Robin Bridges

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Reader

Pub Date: August 27

Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors.

Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina’s focus remains on the sword. Russia’s fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.

relicRELIC by Renee Collins

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Pub Date: August 27

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

whistle in the darkWHISTLE IN THE DARK by Susan Hill Long

Publisher: Holiday House

Pub Date: September 5

What Clem wants for his thirteenth birthday is a dog. What he gets is a miner’s cap. It’s the 1920s in Leadanna, Missouri, and money is tight in the Harding household. So, Clem, a gifted student and talented writer, must leave school and join Pap in the lead mines, spending his days digging in the suffocating dark beneath the crushing weight of the earth.

While searching for another way to help support his family Grampy’s suffering from miner’s consumption and little sister Esther with epilepsy Clem meets Lindy, the daughter of a local moonshiner, whose face bears a scar from a terrible accident. The two become friends, but soon a series of disasters strike, including a devastating tornado.

Clem’s friendship with Lindy and the devotion of a remarkable stray dog help him to reconcile his dreams with the reality of family responsibility and face some hard decisions about his future.

magic marks the spotMAGIC MARKS THE SPOT: THE VERY NEARLY HONORABLE LEAGE OF PIRATES #1 by Caroline Carlson

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Pub Date: September 10

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

rose under fire ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pub Date: September 10

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling CODE NAME VERITY delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

BROTHERHOOD by A.B. Westrick brotherhood

Publisher: Viking

Pub Date: September 12

The year is 1867, the South has been defeated, and the American Civil War is over. But the conflict goes on. Yankees now patrol the streets of Richmond, Virginia, and its citizens, both black and white, are struggling to redefine their roles and relationships. By day, fourteen-year-old Shadrach apprentices with a tailor and sneaks off for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, at her school for African-American children. By night he follows his older brother Jeremiah to the meetings of a group whose stated mission is to protect Confederate widows like their mother. But as the true murderous intentions of the group, now known as the Ku Klux Klan, are revealed, Shad finds himself trapped between old loyalties and what he knows is right.

the falconer THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May

Publisher: Gollancz (UK)

Pub Date: September 19

18-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined to a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery kills her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season. Between a seeming endless number of parties, Aileana slaughters faeries in secret. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, every night she sheds her aristocratic facade and goes hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But she never even considered that she might become attracted to one. To the magnetic Kiaran MacKay, the faery who trained her to kill his own kind. Nor is she at all prepared for the revelation he’s going to bring. Because Midwinter is approaching, and with it an eclipse that has the ability to unlock a Fae prison and begin the Wild Hunt.

A battle looms, and Aileana is going to have to decide how much she’s willing to lose – and just how far she’ll go to avenge her mother’s murder.

radio girl

ETA: RADIO GIRL by Carol Brendler (thanks to Caroline Carlson for pointing this one out!)

Publisher: Holiday House

Pub Date: August 1

Can a girl from a middle-class Irish Catholic family living in Newark, New Jersey, in 1938 find fame and fortune (or even a job) as a radio star?

Tune in to this unforgettable historical novel to find out. Poignant, often hilarious, it’s the story of a family in crisis. Just as artful deception, smoke and mirrors characterize radio reality, so lies, secrets, and profound misunderstandings mark fourteen-year-old Cece Maloney’s life: her secret job at a radio station, a cheating father, an aunt who may be romantically involved with the parish priest, a boy-crazed best friend, and a ham radio operator and would-be soldier both lying to their parents. The worlds collide on the night of Orson Welles’s famous “The War of the Worlds” broadcast. As thousands flee in panic from the alleged Martian invasion, Cece must expose the truth about the radio hoax and confront the truth about her own and her family’s dishonesty.

***

What’s going on your wishlist, Dear Reader? Did we miss anything?