Publication date: February 13th 2023
Genres: Historical, Magical Realism, Women’s Fiction
When a reluctant psychic tracks a ghost through the mists of time, the treasure she discovers is worth more than gold.
She knows everyone in this seaside, New England town of Penbrook, and everyone knows her—Madeline Hunter, the shy, quiet antique shop owner who whose idea of a hot date is snuggling up with a good book and her cat, Poe.
But she keeps one thing under her vintage hat—her ability to touch an object and connect with its history. Her new-age aunt says she should embrace her “gift”, but she’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist.
After buying an old box at an estate sale filled with rare items, Madeline started having dreams—startlingly vivid dreams about Maria, a young headstrong Puritan whose “knowing” could get her branded as a witch, and whose forbidden love for a poor sailor caused a scandal.
Together with Evan, an attractive history professor who tempts her to believe in love, she uncovers Maria’s story, helpless to stop its trajectory toward tragedy. She may not be able to change the course of history, but with Evan’s support, maybe she can lay the ghosts of the past to rest—including her own.
There was something about the smell of antiques that always brought me comfort. Maybe it was the ever-present dust or the age of all those possessions that held so many memories, but something about their timelessness centered me, a reminder of my mortality.
My store was named Ella’s Attic in honor of my mother, who had died from breast cancer two years earlier. I’d filled the space with vintage items I repurposed over the course of a very long and tireless year, collecting them piece by piece from estate and garage sales, auctions, and even online from eBay and Craig’s List. The used furniture was weather-beaten and nicked here and there from the daily use of life. But they were made from actual wood, not particle board, and whether the piece was Victorian, art deco, or midcentury, each item had its own unique story.
When I first took over this space, I’d made it into a workshop and purchased paints, brushes, a power sander, rags, primer, and other such items. I’d had even less of a social life back then, ordering takeout for every meal. But I loved stripping chairs, tables, and dressers down to the bare wood, filling in the cracks and nicks, and adding just enough pressure with my handy power sander. I finished them with touches of color or, in some cases, fabric to create a new sense of style. Some would call this “shabby chic,” but there’s nothing shabby about vintage furniture.
I loved choosing paint colors with names like Honied White, Polished Pearl, and Chenille Spread. Time passed quickly, which had a healing effect on me. It had taken my mind off my mother’s death while I breathed new life into each piece.
Always an avid reader, Heidi was inspired to write by her college professor who convinced her to switch majors to English. From then on, she harbored a secret wish to write a novel one day. Heidi spent most of her marketing career as a consultant specializing in fresh produce where she worked with a variety of growers, commodity boards, and associations. Her marketing campaigns received multiple awards.
Sea Magic is her debut novel and the first of the Hidden Gems series, which was also a finalist in the 2022 Page Turner Awards. Originally from New Jersey, Heidi lives in Oviedo, Florida with her husband, Tim, and their dog Pumpkin. She loves coffee, chocolate, yoga and visiting historical places.
Heidi pens a quarterly newsletter about her passion for writing, marketing, and the history of her characters. For more information, visit www.heidimcintyre.com.
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