Holly WestThe winners of the Amazon gift cards are: Stephen J., Pop Culture Nerd, and John B. Thanks for playing, everyone. And more importantly, thank you for your wonderful comments.

Today is February 3, 2014.

Today I am a published author.

I started writing Mistress of Fortune (then titled Diary of Bedlam) in June 2008, but the dream of writing and publishing a novel started much earlier, borne from the reading I did as a child. I wanted to write novels too, to inspire others with stories the way I’d been inspired. And now, I’ve finally done it.

I’m nervous, of course. Now that Mistress of Fortune is out in the world, there are so many things to worry about: Will it sell? Will people like it? I’d like to say that just for today, I’ll put those concerns aside and enjoy this moment. That’s not likely to happen, but I’ll do my best.Mistress of Fortune Cover

There will be other stories that capture my imagination and compel me to put them to paper. I’ll spend more long hours alone at my computer, attempting to bring new characters to life and trying to figure out what drives them. But there will never be another first novel for me. And so, today, I celebrate.

Did you know you can buy eBooks from many independently-owned bookstores? It’s true! By partnering with Kobo, independent booksellers everywhere are selling eBooks, just like the larger eRetailers. If you don’t have a kobo reader, just download the app for your computer, tablet, or smartphone and start reading.

Easy-peasy.

Here are a few of the wonderful independent bookstores where you can buy Mistress of Fortune:

Mysterious Galaxy (Redondo Beach, CA, my local indie)
Murder by the Book (Houston, TX)
Book People (Austin, TX)
Book Passage (Bay Area, CA)
Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookstore (Harrisburg, PA)
Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore (Forest Park, IL)
Raven Bookstore (Lawrence, KS)
Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA)
Mysteries on Main Street (Johnstown, NY)

I’ll be adding to this list as I find indies that sell eBooks. But if you don’t see your local indie here, check and see if they sell eBooks. I’d love it if you’d purchase Mistress of Fortune through them.

Mistress of Lies is the second book in the Mistress of Fortune series, set in 17th century London and featuring Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortuneteller. Coming from Carina Press in Fall 2014.

About the book:

For the past six years, Isabel Wilde, a mistress to England’s King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as a fortuneteller counseling London’s nobility. But lately, she’s suffered a downturn in visits to the room in Coal Yard Alley where she conducts her business and she’s worried about her future. So when the king invites her to move into Whitehall Palace, she’s tempted to do it, despite their tumultuous past.

Whitehall Palace circa 1675
The Palace of Whitehall by Hendrick Danckerts, c. 1675.

Isabel’s plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home claiming to be the daughter of Isabel’s older brother, Adam Barber. Isabel’s always believed that Adam died alone, without wife or child, in plague-ravaged England whilst she was in Amsterdam at the behest of the king. But when Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel feels she has no choice but to take up a seemingly impossible task: discover the truth about her brother’s death, twelve years after it happened.

Isabel’s investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear baiting matches and brothels to the secretive world of wealthy goldsmith bankers. As she uncovers the truth about her brother’s dark past—in the process revealing the misdeeds of one of London’s most powerful citizens—she’s left to wonder whether the past is better left buried, especially when crossing the wrong person just might lead to her own burial.