Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 7, 2017)
About the book:Prepare to be amazed by THE ILLUSIONIST’S APPRENTICE. Wren Lockhart, the talented magician at the heart of Kristy Cambron’s spellbinding tale of Jazz Age Boston, is the fierce, brilliant, guarded headliner you’ve been waiting for. This novel will have your pulse pounding and your mind racing to keep up with reversals, betrayals and surprises from the first page to the last. Like her characters, Cambron works magic so compelling and persuasive, she deserves a standing ovation. –Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and GIRL IN DISGUISE.
Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.
Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
‘Cambron takes readers on an amazing journey into the world of vaudeville illusionists during the Roaring Twenties. This novel includes an intriguing mystery that adds adventure and suspense to the intricately detailed historical drama . . . The romance is wonderfully portrayed as well, rounding out the story with tenderness.’ (RT Book Reviews – 4 1/2 stars TOP PICK)
“Cambron’s lithe prose pulls together past and present and her attention to historical detail grounds the narrative to the last breathtaking moments.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
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About the author:Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons.
You can connect with Kristy at: KristyCambron.com
Facebook: Kristy Cambron | Twitter: @KCambronAuthor | Instagram: kristycambron
Author Interview:How did you pick this subject to write about?
I love this question so much, because I get to tell the story about how my publishing family brought the idea of a Jazz Age series to my attention… but this had already been on my heart, and the books just met it in the middle of it.
Thanks to my Mom’s influence, I’ve had a love for classic films since early childhood. One of our favorites to watch together was the 1952 classic, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH – a behind-the-scenes extravaganza of Hollywood stars, drama, and dazzling performances in the Ringling Bros.’ Big Top world. I’d always wanted to pen stories set in the nostalgia of the Roaring ‘20s, and the idea of a Jazz Age Entertainers series came out of it. What better inspiration is there than the worlds of vintage circus and the vaudeville stage entertainers – such a Harry Houdini – in a visually stunning Jazz Age world? The Ringmaster’s Wife (2016) and The Illusionist’s Apprentice (2017) became the stories-of-my-heart from that era.
The Illusionist’s Apprentice was also my first opportunity to try a flavor of mystery/suspense writing combined in the vintage-inspired historical fiction space I love so much. Combining historical fact in the lives and STORIES of the generations that have come before continually inspire me, and drive the questions about faith and redemption that I try to tackle in each book.
Who or what is your biggest influence in writing?
The transformative power of grace, and the redemptive message of Jesus Christ is the heartbeat of everything I write. Whether the books include a bold faith thread (such as in the Hidden Masterpiece series, on the art of the Holocaust), Bible studies (coming 2018) or an undercurrent of faith , such as in this book, THE ILLUSIONIST’S APPRENTICE, He is present in every story.
If you could meet any author dead or alive who would it be and why?
The answer to this question changes with what I happen to pull inspiration from at the time. I’ve had the honor to meet (and even sign books with!) the fiction author who most inspired me in the start of my career– Francine Rivers. She’s as warm and kind in person as you’d expect from reading the exquisite books she writes.
I also find that the depth of research required to write about historical characters really makes you want to meet them. With Harry Houdini’s incredible life and work–he was an author too–the research for this vaudeville story makes me wish I could tag along on one of his incredible adventures on the stage. Writing about him was close to it, but it would have been fascinating to sit down and ask him every question we’d like answers to.
Kristy Cambron’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Friday, February 24th: BookBub Blog – New Historical Books for Book Clubs
Monday, April 3rd: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, April 5th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Monday, April 10th: Books ‘n Tea
Wednesday, April 12th: Books a la Mode – guest post
Monday, April 17th: Suzy Approved
Wednesday, April 19th: A. Holland Reads – spotlight
Friday, April 21st: Just Commonly
Monday, April 24th: I Brought a Book
Wednesday, April 26th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, May 1st: Reading Reality
Wednesday, May 3rd: Just One More Chapter
Friday, May 5th: Books Without Any Pictures
Monday, May 8th: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, May 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, May 15th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, May 17th: Kritter’s Ramblings