The Last Wife of Attila the Hun by Joan Schweighardt Genre: Epic Fantasy, Historical
Two threads are flawlessly woven together in this sweeping historical novel. In one, Gudrun, a Burgundian noblewoman, dares to enter the City of Attila to give its ruler what she hopes is a cursed sword; the second reveals the unimaginable events that have driven her to this mission. Based in part on the true history of the times and in part on the same Nordic legends that inspired Wagner’s Ring Cycle and other great works of art, The Last Wife of Attila the Hun offers readers a thrilling story of love, betrayal, passion and revenge, all set against an ancient backdrop itself gushing with intrigue.
The Accidental Art Thief by Joan Scheighardt Genre: Contemporary Fiction
For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his ranch in New Mexico. She doesn't make much money, but she has the old man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically a very content recluse who doesn't invest much time thinking about what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property, Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly. With a touch of magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death and the universal forces that connect all things.
"Zinc is an engaging, quirky, and utterly unique heroine, instantly likeable, with a hefty mixture of strong intelligence and overwhelming naivety…. While the novel is realistic, there is subtle magic woven in nearly every line, as coincidence and confusion come together into what might be termed the wisdom of time, spirit, and love." ~ Magdelena Ball, CompulsiveReader.com, author of Sublime Planet, Black Cow, and other titles.
"Schweighardt populates her modern-day odyssey through the southwest with fascinating, quirky characters thrust into a complex (and hilarious) web of emotional turmoil, poignant misperceptions, and downright lies. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is thought provoking." ~ Julie Mars, author of the memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister, and the novels Rust, Anybody Any Minute, and The Secret Keepers.
"A sensitive, gripping, artfully rendered novel that kept me reading from the first page to the last." ~ Faye Rapoport DesPres, author of the memoir-in-essays Message from a Blue Jay.