Sneak Peek: The Lady with the Dark Hair by Erin Bartels

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The Lady with the Dark Hair by Erin Bartels
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Award-winning novelist Erin Bartels has the gift of exploring complex themes within the pages of her expertly crafted stories. Regardless of the topic—young love, racism, family drama, abuse, sisterhood, or grief—Bartels courageously tackles the emotions and topics head-on. In her newest work, The Lady with the Dark Hair, Bartels offers a story that takes readers from the sleepy Midwest to the sultry Mediterranean on a relentless search for truth, identity, and the freedom to follow one’s dreams.

Esther Markstrom and her artist mother have always been proud of their ancestor, painter Francisco Vella. They even run a small museum and gallery dedicated to raising awareness of his scandalously underappreciated work. But when Esther reconnects with her former art history professor, she finds her once-solid family history on shaky ground as questions arise about Vella’s greatest work—a portrait entitled The Lady with the Dark Hair.

In 1879, Catalan orphan-turned-fugitive Viviana Torrens has found sanctuary serving in the home of an aging artist in Southern France. It is in his studio that she meets Francisco Vella, a Gibraltarian merchant who sells artists’ pigments. When her past catches up to her, she is compelled to pose as Vella’s sister and join him on his travels or be deported back to Spain to stand trial. Along the way she will discover that the many parts she has been playing in order to hide her identity have far-reaching implications she never could have foreseen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things, The Words between Us, All That We Carried, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water, and Everything Is Just Beginning. A two-time Christy finalist and winner of two 2020 WFWA Star Awards and the 2020 Michigan Notable Book Award, Erin has been a publishing professional for more than twenty years. She lives in mid-Michigan with her pastor husband, their teenage son, and a neurotic little chihuahua mix with a devoted online fan base.

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Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.