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HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY FICTION

The Night Bazaar: Volume 1

"In this dark fantasy anthology, editor Hart invites 11 authors to explore the concept of the Night Bazaar, a place where the magical intertwines with the everyday . . . all the stories contribute to a sense of otherworldly dread. Appealing to those who like their fantasy served with a side of psychological horror, this anthology is sure to entertain." - Publishers Weekly

 

Various mentions of a Night Bazaar appear throughout history in obscure and controversial texts from around the world. A forbidden market which opens at midnight, closes before sunrise, and appears for one week . . . but never in the same venue each night, and never again in the same city. There's just one catch: To find it, you must be Invited.

Tonight the Bazaar opens in a parking garage somewhere in Manhattan. A huge subterranean market fair of antique costumes, alchemical treatments, magical dentistry, palmistry, Tarot and tea leaf-reading, and water-, glass-, and crystal-gazing, oddities and objets d'art, medical curiosities and strange instruments, erotic favors, time travel, and body alterations. The narrow aisles throng with jongleurs, freaks, charlatans, mountebanks, faeries, courtesans, dancers, and acrobats. The scents of opium, perfume, tobacco, greasepaint, incense, plastic explosive, alcohol, and sex permeate the air. But each object or service comes with a gift, a curse, or a haunting.

The Bazaar sells that which cannot be had elsewhere. Everything you've read about but thought had passed away, or never existed at all. How wrong you were!

Ah! It seems you have already spotted something you desire. But don't head off that way, not just yet. For you have all night ....though not a moment more. . .  Published by Northampton House Press, available in ebook and trade paper. Click on image to purchase.

The Raven's Bride

"Tragedy haunts Virginia's life from her first meeting with her brooding, romantic older cousin in 1830, when she was seven, to her death from consumption at age 25. Layer by layer, Hart (Becky) builds her characters and their impoverished yet hope-filled world, creating a memorable young heroine whose naïve dreams soon give way to the urgency of saving the troubled, brilliant Poe from his inner darkness." - Publishers Weekly 

 

When young Virginia "Sissy" Clemm meets her handsome cousin, Eddy, she sees the perfect husband she's conjured up in childhood games. Thirteen years her elder, he's soft-spoken, brooding, and handsome. As Eddy fails his way through West Point and the army, each time he returns to Baltimore, their friendship grows. As Sissy trains for a musical career, her childhood crush turns to love. When she turns thirteen, Eddy proposes. But as their happy life darkens, Sissy endures Poe's abrupt disappearances, self-destructive moods, and alcoholic binges. When she falls ill, his greatest fear– that he'll lose the woman he loves– drives him both madness, and to his greatest literary achievement.

Part ghost story, part love story, this provocative novel explores the mysterious, shocking relationship between Edgar Allan Poe and Virginia Clemm, his much-younger cousin, muse, and great love. Lenore Hart, author of Becky, evokes the beating heart of the woman who inspired American literature's most demonized literary figure– and whose loss ultimately destroyed him. Published by St. Martin's/Griffin, available in hardcover, ebook, and trade paper. Click on image to order!

Ordinary Springs

"Dory Gamble's mother disappeared when Dory was just two, leaving Dory and her father in tiny Ordinary Springs, Fla., where lovelorn town ladies circled like buzzards, but the abandoned twosome counted only on each other . . .Gritty, fierce and a little over the top plotwise, Hart's novel is a fine vintage portrait of a tough girl whom life teaches to be tougher." - Publishers Weekly

 

In 1960s Ordinary Springs, Florida, all through the long six months of summer, everything real seems to shimmer, and sometimes change, in the steamy heat. It was that way for Dory Gamble the summer strangers moved in next door. A city couple, the wife young and beautiful and sophisticated, the husband thin and sick, totally dependent on his caretaker wife.

Dory never knew her mother, who disappeared when she was still a baby. So, all her life, she and her father have been a team, at home and in the aisles of the family's hardware store, where she basically grew up.

But now, when she sees the hungry way Owen Gamble looks at their new next-door neighbor, Dory feels angry. She's already lost a mother, during a time her father will never talk about. He refuses to answer her questions, except to say, "She left us both behind, and hit the road, and that's all you need to know."

Gradually she feels rage growing, as hot as the town's sidewalks at noon. She's lived through one betrayal, and isn't about to sit around waiting for another. But when she acts to preserve her life with Owen, the resulting tragedy is bigger than Dory could ever have imagined. A transgression that sends her far from home, and all she knows. Until the day finally comes when she decides she must go home again, to ask the questions that have always haunted her. And this time, she means to have answers, no matter what her father says . . .          

Published by Penguin/Putnam.  Available in hardcover, trade paper, ebook, and Large Print editions.  Click on image to order!

The Treasure of Savage Island

Loaded with vivid geographic descriptions, barrier island lore, and historical detail, this fast-paced, compassionate story explores the friendship that develops between Molly and Rafe, who confront their mutual oppression and racial biases, share their hopes for a better life, and unite in their efforts to save one another. Post-Revolutionary War complexities of anti-British sentiment, pirate activity, and fugitive slave laws are smoothly woven into the story. The blend of lively dialogue, distinctive personalities, emotional conflicts, suspense, and resourceful protagonists makes this an exciting, informative, and insightful coming-of-age historical novel.–  School Library Journal

 

Befriended by thirteen-year-old Molly, a poor island girl, after being stranded in a shipwreck Rafe, an escaped slave, must help his new companion fight off the picaroons who have come to raid Savage Island, in an exciting adventure featuring pirates, traitors, and hidden treasures. Young Adult novel.  Published by Dutton, available in hardcover; click on image to purchase.

Becky

"Hart's riveting and often moving take intersperses Becky's version of events in the Mark Twain novel with the events of Becky's life as the wife of Tom's cousin Sid during and after the Civil War. In Hart's hands, Becky morphs from sniveling and helpless to woman warrior: dressing as a man to find her husband on Civil War battlefields and trying to hide from Sid, and herself, her lifelong love for Tom. The narrative finds Becky in Nevada, navigating life in a mining town, and eventually in San Francisco as a wealthy woman." - Publishers Weekly

 

Becky Thatcher wants to set the record straight. She was never the weeping ninny Mark Twain made her out to be in his famous novel. She knew Samuel Clemens before he was "Mark Twain," when he was just a wide-eyed dreamer who never could get his facts straight. Yes, she was Tom's childhood sweetheart, but the true story of their love, and the dark secret that tore it apart, never made it into Twain's novel.

Now married to Tom's cousin Sid Hopkins, Becky has children of her own to protect while the men of Missouri are off fighting their "un-Civil" War. But when tragedy strikes at home, Becky embarks on a phenomenal cross-country quest to find her husband and save her family---a life journey that takes her from the Mississippi River's steamboats to Ozark rebel camps, from Nevada's silver mines to the gilded streets of San Francisco, and to Panama.

Time and again, stubborn but levelheaded Becky must reconcile her independent spirit and thirst for adventure with the era's narrow notions of marriage and motherhood. As she seeks to find a compromise between fulfillment and security, she also grapples with the ghosts of her past. Can she forgive herself, or be forgiven, for the lies she's told to all the men she's loved? Will she ever forget the maddening, sweet-talking, irresponsible Tom Sawyer, the boy who stole her heart when she was still a little girl? And when she's old, and Huck and Tom and Twain only memories, whose shadow will still lie beside her? Published by St. Martin's/Macmillan.  Available in hardcover, trade paper, ebook, large print. Click on image to order!

Waterwoman

"A gripping story with an admirable, complex heroine . . . The love and rivalry between the sisters will strike a chord with teens." -- BOOKLIST

 

"Lenore Hart's story of love and betrayal yields as many surprises as the sea itself." -- SOUTHERN LIVING

 

"Pure as the waters of the pre-industrial Chesapeake . . . utterly convincing and beautifully sensual. You feel the shell cuts, the pull of the nets." -- BALTIMORE SUN

 

Even as a child, plain, boyish Annie Revels had everyone's role in life figured out. Everyone's, that is, except her own. Her mother was sickly and needed to be taken care of. Her little sister Rebecca was remarkably beautiful and admired for it, and she was not. Her father was a waterman, a free-looking life Annie deeply envied and figured she could've had, if only she'd been born a son.
She lives with her family on tiny, remote Revels Island, a barrier island off the Eastern Shore of Virginia. A place that's quite the opposite of the partying, gin-soaked Roaring Twenties which grips the rest of the country. The Revels family depends on the Atlantic's coastal waters to make their living. But working on the water is fraught with peril, and tragedy is always only a bad storm away. A tough life that's hard for some to tolerate. For, as Annie notes, "In order to live on the Shore, you need to understand that good weather always follows bad."
Annie is one of those people. But when her father dies, suddenly and unexpectedly, it falls to her to take his place aboard the boat, to support what's left of her family. The life of a waterman had always been what she thought she wanted, of course. Though she'd imagined working with her father, not in his place, all alone. Still, though it comes at a greater cost than she'd expected, Annie finally masters the work of a waterman. And it does seem to be the only sort of life she could ever really want. Until one day, out on the water, she meets a man called Nathan . . . and her whole view of the world and what there is to desire from it, changes dramatically. But back home, there's still her invalid mother and her sister to look after. Now, Annie finally has a chance at happiness, but what about Mam and Rebecca? Soon she must face the hardest choices of all: between duty and loyalty, and her own hopes for the future. Originally published by Penguin/Putnam, new 2019 edition published by Northampton House Press. Available in trade paper, ebook, and Audible audiobook from Polyhymnia Audio.  Click on image to order!