Half Spent Was the Night

In The Witches of New York by ami

Cover design by the amazing Kelly Hill.

So I’ve written a little tale that will appear mid-October (because a certain magical raven didn’t want to stop talking, even when I repeatedly told him I had a different book to write.) “I have unfinished business,” he said. “Can’t it wait?” I asked. “No,” he insisted.

I don’t want to give too much away, but as you can see from the beautiful cover art, the Witches of New York are back, along with Perdu in a Yuletide story that to me sits somewhere between A Christmas Carol and a Dr. Who Christmas special. I’ve always adored short stories that take place during the holiday season—tales of ghosts and magic and time gone wild Between the Years.

The title is actually a line from a carol that was first printed in 1599, “Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming.”  The story itself contains several nods to Victorian tales and fairytales, as well as winter traditions and folklore I hold dear.

There’s also a masquerade ball…

and a scheming demon…

and an intriguing stranger

…and even a pair of recipes from my family tree. The proof pages arrived on my doorstep a little over a week ago and I was completely wowed (as always) by Kelly Hill’s interior design. I swear after all these years of working together, she’s learned to read my mind!

Some of the design elements from Half Spent Was the Night.

As I mentioned above, the tale came as a bit of a surprise. Long story short, I won’t be traveling much (if at all) with it because I need to keep at a book I’ve been working on for the last while—my first work of non-fiction, something I call a “genetic memoir.” I promise I’ll tell you more about it, soon.

For now, I’ll leave you with the publisher’s description of Half Spent Was the Night. If you’re in Canada, it’s already available for pre-order via my publisher’s website (see link below.) If you’re in the States and elsewhere, I’ll have an update on how and where to order it in the next few weeks!

From the publisher:

During the nights between Christmas and New Year’s, the witches of New York–Adelaide Thom, Eleanor St. Clair and the youngest, Beatrice Dunn–gather before the fire to tell ghost stories and perform traditional Yuletide divinations. (Did you know that roasting chestnuts was once used to foretell one’s fate?)
     As the witches roast chestnuts and melt lead to see the future, a series of odd messengers land on their doorstep bearing invitations for a New Year’s Eve masquerade hosted by a woman they’ve never met. Gossip, dreams and portents follow, leading the witches to question the woman’s motives. Is she as benevolent as she seems or is she laying a trap? And so, as Gilded-Age New York prepares to ring in the new year, the witches don their finery and head for the ball, on the hunt for answers that might well be the end of them.

Pre-order: Half Spent Was the Night

(The trio of vintage images above are from the following sources: La Mode circa 1882; The Violet Fairy Book, illustration by Henry Justice Ford; Sigmund and the Witch Woman, illustration by Harry Clarke.)