BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

EXCERPT And GIVEAWAY: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

On May 26th, all three All Souls Trilogy novels were released in an elegantly designed paperback boxed set that’s perfect for fans and newcomers alike (Penguin Books; On-sale: May 26, 2015; $51.00).

Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Her publications include works on the history of science, magic, and alchemy.  Her most recent scholarly book is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.  She lives in Los Angeles.

Deborah Harkness will be touring to:
 New Orleans * Asheville, NC * Nashville * Washington, D.C. * Pittsburgh * Dallas
Wichita * Boulder * Ann Arbor * Petoskey, MI * Chicago * Santa Fe * Albuquerque
Los Angeles * Seattle

Find Deborah Online:



Chapter 1 Excerpt  


Ghosts didn’t have much substance. All they were composed of was memories and heart. Atop one of Sept-Tours’ round towers, Emily Mather pressed a diaphanous hand against the spot in the center of her chest that even now was heavy with dread.
Does it ever get easier? Her voice, like the rest of her, was almost imperceptible. The watching? The waiting? The knowing?
Not  that I’ve  noticed,  Philippe de Clermont replied shortly. He was perched nearby, studying  his own transparent  fingers. Of all the things Philippe disliked about being dead—the inability to touch his wife, Ysabeau; his lack of smell or taste; the fact that he had no muscles for a good sparring match—invisibility topped the list. It was a constant reminder of how inconsequential he had become.
Emily’s face fell, and Philippe silently cursed himself. Since she’d died, the witch had been his constant companion, cutting his loneliness in two. What was he thinking, barking at her as if she were a servant?
Perhaps it will be easier when they don’t need us anymore, Philippe said in a gentler tone. He might be the more experienced ghost, but it was Emily who understood the metaphysics of their situation. What the witch had told him went against everything Philippe believed about the afterworld. He thought the living saw the dead because they needed something from them: assistance, forgiveness, retribution. Emily insisted these were nothing more than human myths, and it was only when the living moved on and let go that the dead could appear to them.
This information made Ysabeau’s failure to notice him somewhat easier to bear, but not much.
“I can’t wait to see Em’s reaction. She’s going to be so surprised.” Diana’s warm alto floated up to the battlements.
Diana and Matthew, Emily and Philippe said in unison, peering down to the cobbled courtyard that surrounded the ch√Ęteau.
 There, Philippe said, pointing at the drive. Even dead, he had vampire sight that was sharper than any human’s. He was also still handsomer than any man had a right to be, with his broad shoulders and devilish grin. He turned the latter on Emily, who couldn’t help grinning back. They are a fine couple, are they not? Look how much my son has changed.
Vampires weren’t supposed to be altered by the passing of time, and therefore Emily expected to see the same black hair, so dark it glinted blue; the same mutable gray-green eyes, cool and remote as a winter sea; the same pale skin and wide mouth. There were a few subtle differences, though, as Philippe suggested. Matthew’s hair was shorter, and he had a beard that made him look even more dangerous, like a pirate. She gasped.
Is Matthew . . . bigger?
He is. I fattened him up when he and Diana were here in 1590. Books were making him soft. Matthew needed to fight more and read less. Philippe had always contended there was such a thing as too much education. Matthew was living proof of it.
Diana looks different, too. More like her mother, with that long, coppery hair, Em said, acknowledging the most obvious change in her niece.
Diana stumbled on a cobblestone, and Matthew’s hand shot out to steady her. Once, Emily had seen Matthew’s incessant hovering as a sign of vampire overprotectiveness. Now, with the perspicacity of a ghost, she realized that this tendency stemmed from his preternatural awareness of every change in Diana’s expression, every shift of mood, every sign of fatigue or hunger. Today, however, Matthew’s concern seemed even more focused and acute.
It’s not just Diana’s hair that has changed. Philippe’s face had a look of wonder. Diana is with child—Matthew’s child.
Emily examined her niece more carefully, using the enhanced grasp of truth that death afforded. Philippe was right—in part. You mean “with children.” Diana is having twins.
Twins, Philippe said in an awed voice. He looked away, distracted by the appearance of his wife. Look, here are Ysabeau and Sarah with Sophie and Margaret.
What will happen now, Philippe? Emily asked, her heart growing heavier with anticipation.
Endings. Beginnings, Philippe said with deliberate vagueness. Change.
Diana has never liked change, Emily said.
That is because Diana is afraid of what she must become, Philippe replied.

Marcus Whitmore had faced horrors aplenty since the night in 1781 when Matthew de Clermont made him a vampire. None had prepared him for today’s ordeal: telling Diana Bishop that her beloved aunt, Emily Mather, was dead.
Marcus had received the phone call from Ysabeau while he and Nathaniel Wilson were watching  the television news in the family library. Sophie, Na- thaniel’s wife, and their baby, Margaret, were dozing on a nearby sofa.
“The temple,” Ysabeau had said breathlessly, her tone frantic.  “Come. At once.”
Marcus had obeyed his grandmother without question, only taking time to shout for his cousin, Gallowglass, and his Aunt Verin on his way out the door.
The summer half-light of evening had lightened further as he approached the clearing at the top of the mountain, brightened by the otherworldly power that Marcus glimpsed through the trees. His hair stood at attention at the magic in the air.
Then he scented the presence of a vampire, Gerbert of Aurillac. And someone else—a witch.
A light, purposeful step sounded down the stone corridor, drawing Marcus out of the past and back into the present. The heavy door opened, creaking as it always did.

From The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, published on May 26, 2015 by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright by Deborah Harkness, 2015.


This summer, Penguin Books is proud to publish the #1 New York Times bestselling novel THE BOOK OF LIFE, the highly-anticipated final installment of the bestselling All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, in paperback (Penguin Books; On-sale: May 26, 2015; $17.00). The trilogy began with A Discovery of Witches, which People magazine called, “A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight”. The sequel Shadow of Night debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and the Miami Herald called it, “Enchanting, engrossing and as impossible to put down as its predecessor...a perfect blend of fantasy, history and romance.” Over two million copies of the All Souls books have been sold in the U.S., with publications following in 38 countries, and the series is now in development with the BBC, who hope to adapt it for television. “A thoroughly satisfying…action-packed All Souls trilogy ender” (Entertainment Weekly), THE BOOK OF LIFE is “a stirring, poignant saga” (US Weekly) and “pure escapist summer fun” (Parade).


THE BOOK OF LIFE picks up right where Shadow of Night left off.  After traveling through time, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to continue their hunt for the magical alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, otherwise known as the Book of Life.   At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they re­unite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception—ready to face old enemies. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the Book of Life and its miss­ing pages takes on even more urgency. In the tril­ogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and forbidden passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowl­edge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Deborah Harkness ▪ Penguin Books ▪ $17.00 ▪ On-sale May 26, 2015 ▪ ISBN: 978-0-14-312752-9

Buying Links:  Amazon* | OmniLit* | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
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Thanks to Penguin Publishing I have one copy of the paperback edition to give away to a US reader. No purchase necessary. Please read my Giveaway Policy. VOID where prohibited.

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  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I love the AST. Your books are amazing Deborah!

  3. Your books leave me wanting more! I can't wait to see what Deborah writes next!

  4. This isn't my usual genre but something about the sound of this series has me wanting to pick this up! Plus the covers are just stunning.

  5. This giveaway is captivating and a real treasure. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. this series looks and sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharin :)

  7. I've read the first book, have the second book and need to read it and know I'm going to want the third book! Thanks for this giveaway.

    1. I have al 3 books but haven't read them yet. :D Good luck with the giveaway!

  8. congrats & continued success to Deborah.....

    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  9. Can't wait to read book 2 and book 3. I loved book 1!

  10. I'm a new fan to this series and I recently read and reviewed Shadow of Night since that's the one I had on my shelf. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the Book of Life.


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