Updated: Feb 3, 2020
From the award-winning author of THE MEMORY PAINTER comes a sweeping and suspenseful tale of romance, fate, and fortune.
“Beginning as a clever mystery based on an ancient manuscript and evolving into a family epic spanning centuries, an international thriller, and a destined romance, THE FORTUNE TELLER has something for everyone. Offer it to fans of A.S. Byatt’s Possession and Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series.”―Booklist
THE FORTUNE TELLER
Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, deciphering ancient texts—and when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further, she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.
The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele’s life. But what happened to the tarot deck? As the mystery of her connection to its story deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Bossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?
The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Bossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery | Publisher: Picador | Pages: 368pp | Paperback Publication Date: June 6, 2017
“THE FORTUNE TELLER takes you on an international thrill ride across centuries—with fascinating research and memorable characters—proving once again that Gwendolyn Womack is a magician, keeping readers turning pages with wonder and awe.”—M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author
ENJOY AN EXCERPT
from The Fortune Teller
The Fool . . .
The fireplace stood like a sentry in the room. Embers crackled and popped behind the grate, breaking the silence, and a log fell forward in a rain of sparks.
The flames bent and bloomed, spreading out their warmth, but Marcel could feel only coldness. His heart slowed and beat out of time, making each breath more diffi cult to take. The glass of cognac slipped from his hand and tumbled across the carpet.
Unable to call out from his chair in the study, he looked toward the door and gripped his arm. The muscles of his heart closed tightly like a fi st and squeezed until his body began to tremor.
Panic consumed him as his mind rode the pain to its pinnacle. He needed to tell Theo he had found her. He needed to tell Theo what to do—to warn him the manuscript was no longer safe.
He slid from his chair and tried to crawl to the phone at his desk. With a gasp, he rolled to his side and stared up at the framed photo graphs on the wall. His family looked down on him like angels.
Had he failed them?
His wife gazed at him with eyes full of peace. She had already made this journey. Three years ago he had watched her die— three long years. She would be waiting for him on the other side.
The certainty calmed him.
Relinquishing his last hold on life, his eyes glazed over and settled back onto the fire. His spirit departed like a thousand collapsing stars, leaving all his thoughts, all his secrets to burn away like paper.
“What a mesmerizing journey. The suspense increases steadily throughout the novel, as Semele realizes her identity is caught up in the mysterious manuscript and that the truth of her own abilities is a secret people will kill for. Readers who enjoy the novels of Katherine Neville, Kate Mosse and Diana Gabaldon will savor this treat.”
—Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown
Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. Her first novel, The Memory Painter, was an RWA PRISM award winner in the Time Travel/Steampunk category and a finalist for Best First Novel. She now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and her son.
“There aren’t enough words to adequately describe how much I love THE FORTUNE TELLER. It is a gripping and masterfully woven combination of history, mystery, fate, adventure, and family ties: a true page-turner that enthralls from the first sentence with unique characters, fascinating settings, and intriguing artifacts. Womack brilliantly illuminates how there is more at play in the world than logic can explain.”
—Kelli Estes, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Follow the tour on Twitter: @hfvbt @Gwen_Womack @PicadorUSA
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