A few years ago, a fin de siècle serial killer mystery hit the bestseller list, Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, written from a male point-of-view and set in New York City. I admired the book and, being conversant in the period, I wanted to write my own Fin de Siècle murder mystery from a woman’s point-of-view and set in the West.

My acclaimed book, The Gilded Age (on Nook and Kindle), is set partly in 1895 and partly in the far future just like Summer of Love (on Nook and Kindle) is set partly in 1967 and partly in that same far future. Both books, then, had this complex plot structure with which I could comment on 1895 and 1967 and extrapolate to the far future, and both books were well received by most of the science fiction and fantasy community.

But I wanted more. I wanted to immerse myself in the fin de siècle and structure a plot more like The Alienist. Issues affecting women were very much on the minds of educated women like Lily, only this wasn’t called feminism, it was called suffragism. The American struggle to win the women’s vote, and the ramifications of political empowerment affecting pervasive laws and policies that denied women educational, social, and economic opportunities, was a decades’-long, bitter fight. Whatever you may think about American women in combat, I think it’s instructive to review history and realize just how far we as women have come in this great country of America.

But I didn’t want the new book to be as polemical as Summer of Love and The Gilded Age are, I wanted a murder mystery grounded in the period. And I wanted a book more like Diana Gabaldon’s long historical romances, hot and passionate, while never losing sight of the realities of life for women in the 1890s.

I found an exciting context for my murder mystery: immigration policy.

What I needed next was a Fin De Siècle Heroine and Hero.

Next: #Writing Lily Modjeska Part 3: My Fin de Siècle Heroine

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook and Kindle! Also available in the UK (and six other countries; I’ll be posting those links as we gather them). If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

Coming soon! Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus in four affordable installments. The Omnibus Edition will include all four books.

Lily is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments on Nook and Kindle.

Summer of Love is available free on Kindle Select until March 1, 2013 in the Summer of Love Serials 1 through 7.

Thank you for your readership!