The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber
"The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something...unnatural.
Possession of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he's really acting.
She can't even see what it is she's fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity...her soul."- summary from Amazon
I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, but every so often, I find one that grabs my attention. It might have to do with the fact that magic is involved; I think that makes it more fun for me in a way. Anyway, I loved the first book in this series and was so excited to read the second. I really feel like this book improved on the first, which is a feat considering how much I enjoyed the first book.
This story seemed to be scarier than the previous installment, really raising the stakes for these characters, particularly Natalie. She has to really stand up for herself and learn how to take care of things on her own. She does have help, of course, but it felt like the story still forced her to get brave and face her fears, making her a stronger character.
I loved the interactions between Jonathon and Natalie, especially when they weren't talking about demons or possession or something else bad. Seeing them flirt was so much fun and made me smile.
The story is so compelling and there are so many mysteries to be unraveled, and by the end of the book, the battle is won but the war is far from over. I'm excited to see where Hieber takes her characters next and I so want to see them have a happily-ever-after rather than a happily-for-now-til-a-demon-comes-again.
and here's an interview with Leanna:
1) How did you get the idea for the Magic Most Foul series?
I wanted to thread homage to famous 19th century literary paranormal classics into my series but do so in a way that featured and uplifted strong female heroines and mentor characters. Many women of the famous Victorian paranormal classics are victims in some way, I wanted to utilize women as heroes.
2) You wrote a few adult books before entering the YA field. Is there a difference in your writing process? What brought you to the YA world?
My voice always lent itself towards YA as I love the rite of passage and coming of age story.
3) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor (or flavors, if you're so inclined)? Or if you don't like jelly beans, your favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?
Absinthe. Like a true Victorian romantic.
4) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start?
Research books about espionage in NYC. And I'm aching to get into The Casual Vacancy