The wonderful Author Jen McConnels' The Burning of Isobel Key has been acquired by Bloomsbury’s new imprint, Spark, as one of seven titles for the launch list, and is rereleasing under the title THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY.
It is always amazing hearing editing news from the author about their book babies :) I hope you get your hands on this beautiful new book and enjoy it as much as I did!
THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY
Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.
They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.
Flashing between seventeenth century Scotland and a contemporary romance, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.
Read MY Review HERE!
About The Author:
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Her debut NA novel, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY, is coming December 2013 from Bloomsbury Spark . Visit http://www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.
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The Burning Times: GUEST POST by Jen McConnel
Call me gruesome, but I’ve always been fascinated with witch trials in history. When I was a pre-teen, I was particularly captured by the events at Salem; how had a group of children single-handedly destroyed their community? Over the years, I’ve read many fictional and historical accounts on the Salem Witch Trials, and a small spark of the paranormal still lingers in my mind when I think about these events.
When I was in college, I learned about the burning times across Europe, and I realized that what happened in Salem wasn’t an isolated phenomena. Women and men had been accused of witchcraft for centuries, confessions were regularly obtained under torture or unsavory circumstances, and people rarely spoke out against the madness.
Like Lou, the main character in THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY, I always thought that the trials were terribly depressing, and I imagined that one day I would write a novel exploring the “true” story behind some of the outlandish accusations. But I always thought I’d write about Salem; I knew next to nothing about the witch craze in Scotland until I traveled there in 2007.
While I was there, I learned snippets of gruesome stories from the tour guide and the places we visited. I discovered that Scotland arrived to the burning mania late, compared to the rest of Europe; the first witch trial in Scotland was the North Berwick trial, which took place in the late sixteenth century. Most of the European continent had already been accusing witches for a couple of centuries by then, and the craze had begun to lose steam. Not in Scotland; it took one zealous monarch and a bad storm to bring the burning times to Scotland, and they lasted into the eighteenth century.
Yes, you heard me right. The last person to be executed for witchcraft in Scotland was killed in either 1722 or 1727 (there’s some debate about the accuracy or either date). Her name was Janet Horne.
The history behind the Scottish witch trials is fascinating and gruesome, and researching this book was challenging. As Lou and Brian discover, the records of accusations and trials are sometimes overflowing with details and sometimes blank, and what details exist paint a stark, frightening picture.
There are some pretty amazing events scattered through human history, and some pretty terrible ones, too. Sages through the ages have told us that remembrance is key, so even though I chose to tell a fictional story, at its heart lies a past that cannot be forgotten.