Hello Old Spirituals readers!

I’ve missed writing and reading your comments, but I’ve been spending all my time on Book #3. I’ll share a little update about Book 3, some news about The Poisoned Glass, and Cold Heart, but first I want to ask you a question to identify the type of post you’d like to read next on Old Spirituals:

Book 3 update: This has been, by far, the hardest to write of the three. I think this is mostly because I’ve written it at home, where it’s so easy to be distracted. With my other two books, I would go to cafes to write and get a lot done in a short amount of time. But the world shut down for the pandemic–and California is still shut down–so I’ve been writing at home!

The other reason this book has been such a challenge is because some crucial information has been hard (and in some cases impossible) to find. Thank God for the people who have helped me at the museums, historical societies, and archives! I would be sunk without them.

And my beta readers. I sincerely believe none of my books would be very good if it weren’t for my beta readers and their feedback. They transformed both of my earlier books into something good! I’m hoping to send this manuscript to them by the end of this week. (Fingers crossed!) The new book will be out in March 2022, and I’ll be announcing the title and a synopsis later this summer.

The Poisoned Glass update: I will be leading a live, virtual presentation about the Poisoned Glass for Somerset Library in New Jersey in October. It’s free to attend and participate online, and you don’t need to be a member of the library. Sign up here  The link to register is directly under the image of the book, on the left. I hope you can be there!

Cold Heart update: I’ve heard from some of you who are audiobook readers and have been awaiting the arrival of the Cold Heart audiobook, and I have good news! The audiobook was released today! It’s available on Audible and Audiobooks.com 

Do you know of any good, mostly forgotten historical true crimes you’d like to suggest? Reach out to me at Kimberly@OldSpirituals.com  

A tip o’ the glass to Old Spirituals’ friend, and the editor of The Poisoned Glass, Beth Crosby, for pointing out that today is National Absinthe Day!

Absinthe was a central element to my first book, The Poisoned Glass, which is the true and tragic story of 17-year-old Jennie Bosschieter’s murder in 1900. And in honor of National Absinthe Day, here is the first cover of The Poisoned Glass, a lovely original drawing by acclaimed artist Alexandra Balestrieri! If you would like to see more of Alexandra’s artwork, I highly recommend visiting her Instagram and her page on Etsy!

Alexandra Balestrieri original artwork for The Poisoned Glass

 

If you aren’t familiar with absinthe, it’s a legendary type of spirit that tastes like licorice. In the US, it ranges between 90-148 proof. It’s a plant-based alcohol made from fennel, wormwood, anise, and other herbs.

 

The Absinthe Drinkers (1881) by Jean Francois Raffaelli.

 

It’s noted primarily for being a controversial drink, which is said to bring on hallucinations, which made it a favorite with turn-of-the-century artists. Its nickname la fée verte, or the green fairy, comes from its distinctive green color. In advertisements it’s often depicted with a green woman, luring the viewer to drink a glass.

Absinthe originates in Switzerland, though many associate it with France. Its reputation as a dangerous drink resulted in its being banned in 1915 in the United States.

There’s good news for those who are interested in trying absinthe: it’s back on the market today! Have you tried absinthe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Old Absinthe House, New Orleans, circa 1900

I received an early copy of Cold Heart! It’s exciting… I almost forgot about the book for a while. When you sign a book contract, the release date seems like a million years away.

Lots of people have asked me about getting a book published, so here’s your behind-the-scenes look!

Early copy of Cold Heart

 

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