Death of an Alchemist
by Mary Lawrence
Death of an Alchemist
(A Bianca Goddard Mystery)
2nd Book in Series
Mystery – Women Sleuths
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2016)
Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00X2EOZRU
In the mid sixteenth century, Henry VIII sits on the throne, and Bianca Goddard tends to the sick and suffering in London’s slums, where disease can take a life as quickly as murder. . .For years, alchemist Ferris Stannum has devoted himself to developing the Elixir of Life, the reputed serum of immortality. Having tested his remedy successfully on an animal, Stannum intends to send his alchemy journal to a colleague in Cairo for confirmation. Instead he is strangled in his bed and his journal is stolen.As the daughter of an alchemist herself, Bianca is well acquainted with the mystical healing arts. As her husband, John, falls ill with the sweating sickness, she dares to hope Stannum’s journal could contain the secret to his recovery. But first she must solve the alchemist’s murder. As she ventures into a world of treachery and deceit, Stannum’s death proves to be only the first in a series of murders–and Bianca’s quest becomes a matter of life and death, not only for her husband, but for herself. . .
About The Author
Mary Lawrence studied biology and chemistry, graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Cytotechnology. She won the Celtic Heart Golden Claddagh Award for historical fiction, and was a finalist in both the RWA® Golden Heart contest, and the Gotham Young Adult Novel Discovery competition. Along with writing and farming, Lawrence works as a cytologist near Boston. She lives in Maine. The Alchemist’s Daughter is the first book in the Bianca Goddard Mystery series. Visit her at marylawrencebooks.com.Author Links:
1) I grew up in southern Indiana and graduated from Indiana University with a specialty degree in Cytotechnology, which is the study of cell morphology. I found a job in Maine and for most of my adult life I’ve called Maine home, except for a brief detour to Western Massachusetts.
2) I’m thrilled that Suspense Magazine chose The Alchemist’s Daughter as a “Best Book of 2015” in the historical category. It’s an honor voted on by editors, contributors, and fans of the magazine. I had no idea the book was even being considered.
3) I began writing about twenty-five years ago. I’ve always been an avid reader and I got to the point where I wanted to try to write a story set in 16th century England. At the time, I was bored with the lifeless style of the genre. I also wanted to know how common folk managed to survive in such a brutal time, the majority of books set in this time period involve court intrigue. But the series didn’t happen overnight. It took me a long time to learn how to write a decent novel.
4) I gave myself permission to believe I’m a writer when I signed a three book deal with Kensington. I’m still tentative thinking of myself as a writer. I’m not a natural; I didn’t grow up wanting to be an author. My identity is wrapped up in what I do to earn a living—I’ve been a lab worker, written indexes for reference books, and I farm.
5) An early version of The Alchemist’s Daughter was good enough to land me an agent, but it never sold. I rewrote it so many times I lost count. The original was a coming of age story, too old for a young adult market and too young for an adult market. I gave up and stopped thinking about it and focused on writing other manuscripts. After I started making it to the finals in writing contests, I took out the manuscript and thought, “What if I write a mystery?” I’d never written one before and I figured I had nothing to lose.
6) I write in the third person omniscient. I jump into the heads of the characters and move the camera between chapters. I think it helps keep readers engaged and keeps the pacing alive. My stories are meant to be fun, I want to take the reader for a ride. I throw in a bit of creep—it suits the period and keeps the reader from becoming too comfortable.
7) The original title for book 2 was, A Crest of Red. My editor was less than impressed. We haggled around a bit, and he suggested Death of an Alchemist. It keeps the theme of alchemy going while we establish a niche for the series.
8) Death of an Alchemist deals with love and death. We have a short time here; often we never know when we’ll die. Cherish those that you love as long and as much as you can. Love and life is ephemeral.
9) Expand your mind. Stretch your boundaries. Try something new every day.
Webpage – http://www.marylawrencebooks.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/marylawrence.author
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