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End-of-the-Year Contest 2020

Congratulations to the winners of our 2020 End-of-the-Year Contest! One Grand Prize winner received all 42 of Carol Fitzgerald's Bets On picks from 2020, while 14 others won a selection of three of these titles. You can see all the winners below, along with 2020's Bets On books.

Finola Austin, author of Brontë’s Mistress

Yorkshire, 1843: Lydia Robinson --- mistress of Thorp Green Hall --- has lost her precious young daughter and her mother within the same year. She returns to her bleak home, grief-stricken and unmoored. With her teenage daughters rebelling, her testy mother-in-law scrutinizing her every move and her marriage grown cold, Lydia is restless and yearning for something more. All of that changes with the arrival of her son’s tutor, Branwell Brontë, brother of her daughters’ governess, Miss Anne Brontë, and those other writerly sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Branwell has his own demons to contend with --- including living up to the ideals of his intelligent family --- but his presence is a breath of fresh air for Lydia. However, her new taste of passion comes with consequences.

Brontë’s Mistress by Finola Austin

August 2020

BRONTË’S MISTRESS is a brilliantly strong debut from an author you will want to keep an eye on. I confess to knowing much less about the Brontës than I feel that I should. Finola Austin’s novel was captivating from the opening pages.

It’s Yorkshire in 1843, and Lydia Robinson lives with her family in Thorp Green Hall. She’s dealing with two personal losses --- her mother and her daughter --- and a husband who has turned cold towards her. It’s not surprising that her son’s tutor, Branwell Brontë, catches her eye --- and suddenly she is wrapped up in an affair with a man who has a lot of baggage. It’s blissful for a while until things get out of control, and her regimented life is upended.

Week of June 21, 2021

Paperback releases for the week of June 21st include A PRIVATE CATHEDRAL, James Lee Burke's 40th book and his 23rd featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux, who must battle the most terrifying adversary he has ever encountered --- a time-traveling superhuman assassin; LOVE YOUR LIFE by Sophie Kinsella, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer’s retreat in Italy, only to find that real love comes with its own filters; GHOSTS OF HARVARD, Francesca Serritella's much-talked-about first novel about a Harvard freshman who becomes obsessed with her schizophrenic brother’s suicide --- then she starts hearing voices; WHAT’S LEFT OF ME IS YOURS, Stephanie Scott's gripping debut set in modern-day Tokyo that charts a young woman's search for the truth about her mother's life...and her murder; and BRONTË’S MISTRESS, newcomer Finola Austin's dazzling work of fiction that revolves around the scandalous love affair between Lydia Robinson and Branwell Brontë, brother to novelists Charlotte, Emily and Anne.