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About Martha Conway
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It’s 1838, and May Bedloe works as a seamstress for her cousin, the famous actress Comfort Vertue—until their steamboat sinks on the Ohio River. Though they both survive, both must find new employment. Comfort is hired to give lectures by noted abolitionist, Flora Howard, and May finds work on a small flatboat, Hugo and Helena’s Floating Theatre, as it cruises the border between the northern states and the southern slave-holding states.
May becomes indispensable to Hugo and his troupe, and all goes well until she sees her cousin again. Comfort and Mrs. Howard are also traveling down the Ohio River, speaking out against slavery at the many riverside towns. May owes Mrs. Howard a debt she cannot repay, and Mrs. Howard uses the opportunity to enlist May in her network of shadowy characters who help ferry slaves across the river to freedom. Lying has never come easy to May, but now she is compelled to break the law, deceive all her newfound friends, and deflect the rising suspicions of a slave catcher.
As May’s secrets become more tangled, the Floating Theatre readies for its biggest performance yet. May’s predicament could mean doom for her friends on board, including her beloved Hugo, unless she can figure out a way to entrap those who know her best. “Twain has his ‘Life on the Mississippi’. Conway’s life on the Ohio makes you see the place, through May’s eyes, in all its muddy glory” (New York Times Book Review).
"An elegiac, hopeful historical novel... hypnotic." -Kirkus Reviews
"An extraordinary new historical novel." -Akron Beacon Journal
On a humid day in June 1806, on the edge of Ohio's Great Black Swamp, seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner watches from behind a maple tree as a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna makes the rash decision to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman's quest to find her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives.
Over the course of one summer, the lives of all five women are transformed as they contend with starvation, slavery, betrayal, and love. Fast-paced, richly detailed, this is a riveting novel that demonstrates the true wildness of the wilderness, and the rugged perseverance of those who find themselves there.
CHICAGO, 1921: When talented young musician Eve Riser is caught in a drive-by shooting that kills the bootlegger standing next to her, she forms an unlikely friendship with the bootlegger’s sister. Eve is looking for her missing stepsister, a popular night club singer, and Lena wants to solve the mystery of who killed her brother and why. Together these two women navigate the back alleys and speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties, encountering charismatic managers, handsome musicians, romance, and a mysterious gangster called the Walnut who seems to be the key to it all.
As they fight racial barriers trying to discover the truth, Eve and Lena—two strong women fighting for their families—must learn to rely on each other and trust no one else. SUGARLAND mixes the excitement of the 1920s with the darker side of Prohibition in a gripping story with “real suspense for anyone who likes a good mystery.” (Kirkus Starred Review)
Winner of multiple awards, including Readers' Favorite Book Award, and the EPIC Award Winner in Mystery.
"Short-story writer Conway's jump to novel length is as lean and sexy as her cardio-kickboxing heroine." - Kirkus Reviews
Nicola is having a really bad day. She's tired of her job, her boss, and even her San Francisco apartment, which she's just heard she's being evicted from anyway. Her life's only excitement is fueled by fantasy – about the expensive lingerie she wears under her business suits, about a man she sees at lunch every day, a darkly handsome man she calls Chorizo, after the kind of pizza he orders. She's flat-out tired of her life, and nothing brings it home more than running into her annoying but harmless ex-husband, Scooter, on the way to work.
But if ever anyone learns a lesson in "be careful what you wish for," it's Nicola, because suddenly her life seems to be full of excitement. First she gets kidnapped after kickboxing class by two inept teenagers who, it turns out, aren't your garden-variety ransom kidnappers at all. But before she can resolve this situation, her innocent flirtation with Chorizo turns sinister. Suddenly Nicola's problem is no longer how to survive her boredom but how to survive, period. All in all, Martha Conway's debut is a deliciously hip, sexy, and suspenseful crime novel.