Monday, December 18, 2023

Have a sneak peek between the covers of Milana Marsenich's intriguing novel — Beautiful Ghost #HistoricalFiction #Mystery #BlogTour @milanamarsenich @cathiedunn

Beautiful Ghost

Sequel to bestselling novel, Copper Sky

by Milana Marsenich

During the fall of 1918, the influenza pandemic crosses the nation and reaches the mining town of Butte, Montana.

Marika Jovich, who wants to go to school to become a physician, works menial tasks for Dr. Fletcher. She feels useless as she tries to save friends and neighbors from the ravages of the flu. In the midst of the pandemic, she watches the town shut down, young and old perish, and her medical dreams all but evaporate.

Kaly Monroe used to be a half-good woman of the night. She left that life to raise her daughter, Annie, and live and work with her long-lost mother, Tara McClane. Kaly waits for her husband, Tommy, to return from the war. Word from the east is that soldiers are dying of influenza and she prays that Tommy is not one of them.

When an out-of-town woman named Amelia suddenly dies in Dr. Fletcher's office, both women try to learn more about the mysterious woman and the circumstances regarding her death. Is she another casualty of the pandemic, or the victim of manmade foul play? Who is this stranger, and is her demise a portent of the fate that awaits the residents of Butte?

Praise for Beautiful Ghost:

“Marsenich doesn't just describe the place and times, she conjures it up like time travel.” ~ Amazon Review by Ellen Leahy Howell

Snippet: Kaly

And then there she was, sitting across from her in the upstairs room at Miss Anderson’s Big House. Rain had poured and the heater clanked through the night, as if nothing had changed. But something had changed. Something in Kaly shifted, bitterness watering the seed she’d kept buried all those years. It sprouted like an angry, tangled bush. 

Tara hadn’t even come for her. And that made it worse. She had come to ask her to talk Danny, her son and Kaly’s half-brother, out of joining the army. The rain had splintered the sky, relentlessly pelting the empty streets, and Kaly felt the chill in her bones. She felt that cold darkness crawl into her chest, a bad rhythm pounding in her head that she’d never quit. 

Later that night, George had slipped into her room and offered to take care of her if her mother wouldn’t. Even a young boy like George knew how wrong her own mother had been. He offered her comfort, a young boy like George had offered comfort where her mother had failed. 

Now, her mother was trying to right the losses of the past. 

Kaly still felt the primal sting of rejection, a cold moss growing on the wrong side of her heart. Tara had told her she’d been poor, with no help, and unable to feed her and her sister. She had feared they’d die in her care. 

Kaly wanted to understand. And she did. After all, she herself had tried to find someone else to raise Annie, knowing that no good life could come from the child living in the tenderloin while her mother tried to eke out a living. The thing was, Tara had raised Danny. That was the part that Kaly couldn’t put right. She had tried to forgive but failed. 

Then everything had changed again.

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Milana Marsenich

Award winning author, Milana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana near Flathead Lake at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. She enjoys quick access to the mountains and has spent many hours hiking the wilderness trails with friends and dogs. For the past 20 years she has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. As a natural listener and a therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. She first witnessed this in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for Copper Sky, her first novel. 

Copper Sky was chosen as a Spur Award finalist for Best Western Historical Novel in 2018. Her second novel, The Swan Keeper, was a Willa Award finalist in 2019. Her short story, Wild Dogs, won the Laura Award for short fiction in 2020. 

She has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, The Polishing Stone, The Moronic Ox, BookGlow, and Feminist Studies. 

She has three published novels, Copper SkyThe Swan Keeper, and Beautiful Ghost, and one popular history book, Idaho Madams. Her upcoming novel, Shed Girl: A Juliet French Novel, will be released January 2024. Her popular history book, Mary MacLane: Butte’s Wild Woman and her Wooden Heart, will be out sometime in 2025.

Connect with Milana:

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  1. I am such a fan of Milana's writing. Loved Beautiful Ghost.

    1. Aww, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for stopping by.