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Paula Brackston is a British New York Times bestselling author of historical fantasy books.

Prior to becoming an author, Paula had tried her luck with many different jobs.

She has worked as a groom on a racing yard, a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, and a goat herd.

Paula holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport.

She makes her home in the wild and mountainous part of Wales, where she derives her writing inspiration.

Whenever she isn’t working, Paula can be found playing Swedish tennis with her children, enjoying walks with her dog, and savoring a nice glass of wine by the pond.

More about Paula Brackston

Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance

United Kingdom

Website: http://www.paulabrackston.com/books/

Non Series

  • Lamp Black, Wolf Grey (2010)

Found Things

  1. The Little Shop of Found Things (2018)
  2. Secrets of the Chocolate House (2019)
  3. The Garden of Promises and Lies (2020)
  4. City of Time and Magic (2021)

Non-fiction

  1. The Dragon's Trail (1999)

Shadow Chronicles

  1. The Witch's Daughter (2008)
  2. The Witches of the Blue Well: A Shadow Chronicles Novella (2012)
  3. The Winter Witch (2013)
  4. The Midnight Witch (2014)
  5. The Silver Witch (2015)
  6. Return of the Witch (2016)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey

Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.

She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and will give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey tells both Laura's story and Merlin's. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his renowned career as a magician, but when he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who may pay the price.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1250069689
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Found Things

The Little Shop of Found Things

An antique shop haunted by a ghost.

A silver treasure with an injustice in its story.

An adventure to the past she’ll never forget.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. When she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine, she has to know more.

It is while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century, where she discovers an injustice in its history. The spirit that inhabits her new home confronts her and charges her with saving her daughter’s life, threatening to take Flora’s if she fails.

While Xanthe fights to save the girl in 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1250229502
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Secrets of the Chocolate House

After her adventures in the seventeenth century, Xanthe does her best to settle back into the rhythm of life in Marlborough. She tells herself she must forget about Samuel and leave him in the past where he belongs. With the help of her new friends, she does her best to move on, focusing instead on the success of her and Flora’s antique shop.

But there are still things waiting to be found, still injustices needing to be put right, still voices whispering to Xanthe from long ago about secrets wanting to be shared.

While looking for new stock for the shop, Xanthe hears the song of a copper chocolate pot. Soon after, she has an upsetting vision of Samuel in great danger, compelling her to make another journey to the past.

This time she'll meet her most dangerous adversary. This time her ability to travel to the past will be tested. This time she will discover her true destiny. Will that destiny allow her to return home? And will she be able to save Samuel when his own fate seems to be sealed?

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1250269867
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
The Garden of Promises and Lies

As the bustle of the winter holidays in the Little Shop of Found Things gives way to spring, Xanthe is left to reflect on the strange events of the past year. While she's tried to keep her time-traveling talents a secret from those close to her, she is forced to take responsibility for having inadvertently transported the dangerous Benedict Fairfax to her own time. Xanthe comes to see that she must use her skills as a Spinner if she and Flora are ever to be safe, and turns to the Spinners book for help.

It is then that a beautiful antique wedding dress sings to her. Realizing the dress and her adversary are connected in some way, she answers the call. She finds herself in Bradford-on-Avon in 1815, as if she has stepped into a Jane Austen story.

Now in Xanthe's time, Fairfax is threatening Xanthe into helping him with his evil doings, and demonstrates all too clearly how much damage he is capable of causing. With Fairfax growing ever more powerful, Xanthe enlists the help of her boyfriend Liam, taking him back in time with her. It is a decision that might just ensure she prevails over her foe, but only by putting her life―and his―on the line.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1250804013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
City of Time and Magic

City of Time and Magic sees Xanthe face her greatest challenges yet. She must choose from three treasures that sing to her; a beautiful writing slope, a mourning brooch of heartbreaking detail, and a gorgeous gem-set hat pin.

All call her, but the wrong one could take her on a mission other than that which she must address first, and the stakes could not be higher.

While her earlier mission to Regency England had been a success, the journey home resulted in Liam being taken from her, spirited away to another time and place. Xanthe must follow the treasure that will take her to him if he is not to be lost forever.

Xanthe is certain that Mistress Flyte has Liam and determined to find them both. But when she discovers Lydia Flyte has been tracking the actions of the Visionary Society, a group of ruthless and unscrupulous Spinners who have been selling their talents to a club of wealthy clients, Xanthe realizes her work as a Spinner must come before her personal wishes.

The Visionary Society is highly dangerous and directly opposed to the creed of the Spinners. Their actions could have disastrous consequences as they alter the authentic order of things and change the future. Xanthe knows she must take on the Society.

It will require the skills of all her friends, old and new, to attempt such a thing, and not all of them will survive the confrontation that follows.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2021
ISBN: B08R2HCFLR
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Non-fiction

The Dragon's Trail

This day-by-day journal is a record of the alternative perspective gained from travelling through Wales on horseback. It includes a route map, ideas on how to plan a similar or shorter ride and information on little-known parts of Wales.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1850586920
Publisher: Sigma Press

Shadow Chronicles

The Witch's Daughter

"My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Let me tell you what it means to be a witch."

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn't know she had. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan.

Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon―who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul―in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?

NB: This book is also known as The Book of Shadows.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1250004086
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
The Witches of the Blue Well: A Shadow Chronicles Novella

"The Witches of the Blue Well" is the story of Ceri, a young woman in early eighteenth-century Wales whose grandmother always told her the magic blood of the women in their family flows through her veins.

But when famine and hardship come to their village, will Ceri be able to harness her magic to save herself and her sister, or will her power bring about the destruction of all that she loves? With her signature enchanting style, Paula Brackston has penned an enthralling story set in the world of her novel The Winter Witch.

In addition to the short story, "The Witches of the Blue Well", this also contains a letter from the author, Paula Brackston, on writing The Winter Witch, an excerpt from "Welsh Folk Lore: a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales," an authentic publication by the Reverend Elias Owen, from 1886, on witchcraft in Wales.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B009LRWVLY
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The Winter Witch

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her married, and Cai Jenkins, a widower from the far hills, seems the best choice.

After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai's farm and the wild mountains that surround it.

Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana's affections. It's not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village.

A dark force is at work there―a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1250042705
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
The Midnight Witch

Lady Lilith Montgomery is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city's most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes on his title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father's role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven's guardianship for their own dark purposes.

Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her engagement to her childhood friend and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1250063298
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
The Silver Witch

A year after her husband's sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat's death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her – a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she's near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.

On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.

In her own time, Tilda's grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake's ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each other's, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren's prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1250086341
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Return of the Witch

After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom. Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter. 

In the time since she the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has traveled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was.

However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her. Will Elizabeth be able to find her? Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all?

In a breathless journey that takes them through history to the 17th and 19th centuries, witch pursues warlock. Three people steeped in magic weave a new story, but not all will survive until the end.

Author: Paula Brackston
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1250118394
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin