Anastasia Romanov knows she should be dead; she watched her family fall in a hail of gunfire. Instead, something, or someone, saved her. Trapped and scared in a magical hut with a witch who may be friend or foe, she begins to come to grips with the truth about her situation: that some fates are WORSE than death.
In her dreams, sixteen year old Anne Michaelson is somewhere else. She is someone else. The dreams feel as real as her waking life and they terrify her. This is not good for her social life! Aside from that, Anne thinks her life is pretty ordinary – until she runs into handsome, mysterious, and (okay) annoying Ethan on her way to chemistry class. Now Anne has powers she doesn’t understand, a history-altering mission she doesn’t want, and a growing attraction to a blue-eyed stranger that seems to be stalking her! And when Ethan realizes that Anne is the girl he’s been searching for, things start to get a little surreal! Despite her skepticism and reluctance, Anne quickly realizes that you don’t need to be imprisoned to be trapped! Stir in the doomed Duchess Anastasia, who is not quite as dead as the history books say, and the Baba Yaga, a legendary witch from Russian folklore, and you’ve got Dreaming Anastasia by debut novelist Joy Preble.
This contemporary YA fantasy alternates between the voices of Anne, Ethan, and Anastasia as they try to decipher what is going on, and who they can trust–which becomes difficult when you have secrets going back nearly 100 years…
Joy Preble’s experience with Russian legends developed through her crazy maternal grandmother, who had been one of TWENTY children! The story goes that her grandmother’s family didn’t even notice when she ran off to America at sixteen, married badly, raised four children on her own and was the least grandmotherly of grandmothers a girl could ever hope for (despite her amusing and insane tales of the Bolsheviks and tsars). No warm and fuzzies there, only admonitions for Joy to eat her vegetables so she would be strong enough to survive the impending pogroms! Originally from Chicago, she earned a degree at Northwestern University. She has since replaced the endless snow and ice of Chicago for the overpowering heat of Texas. She is a wife, a mother and a high school English teacher living in Conroe, Texas. She can be found online at www.joypreble.com.