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Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in Compulsion, the first novel in a spellbinding new trilogy.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
About the Author
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of the Heirs of Watson Island series, and the founder of both AdventuresinYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a Tumblr site devoted to news, giveaways, and insider secrets of much-loved and up-and-coming YA series.
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.
"Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you’ll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series."
— #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout
“A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic—haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.”
— Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and the Evernight and Spellcaster series
"COMPULSION is a stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!"
— Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy
"A star-crossed romance, lush gothic plantations, and an island full of intrigue—COMPULSION was a heart-pounding race to the finish! A thrilling debut!”
— Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder series
"Beautifully written, with vivid characters, a generations-old feud, and romance that leaps off the page, this Southern ghost story left me lingering over every word, and yet wanting to race to the compelling finish. Martina Boone’s COMPULSION is not to be missed."
— Megan Shepherd, author of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER
"Martina Boone's COMPULSION is the perfect Southern family saga: charming and steamy on the surface, with cold-blooded secrets buried down deep. Feuding families, sinister curses, hidden things behind locked doors! What more do you want? More time to read it, that's what."
— Kendare Blake, author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and ANTIGODDESS
"A shivery, delicious Southern Gothic with feuding families, dark spirits, ancient curses... and caught up in the middle, a young girl learning to live and love for the first time. Atmospheric and suspenseful, COMPULSION will draw you in and hold you until the very last page."
— Leah Cypess, author of DEATH SWORN
"Ancient spirits, mystery, and Southern charm—what more could you ask for? COMPULSION mixes dark magic with darker family secrets in a way that'll make you relieved there are two more books. I can't wait to continue reading about Barrie and the rest of Watson island!"
— Kat Zhang, author of WHAT'S LEFT OF ME
"A little bit Gone with the Wind, a little bit Romeo and Juliet...Boone’s debut mixes a Southern gothic setting with fantasy and romance for an engrossing...mystery."
"A paranormal Southern gothic with decadent settings, mysterious magic and family histories rife with debauchery."
In Boone’s debut, an expansive Southern gothic tale, Barrie Watson is sent to live with her aunt Pru on Watson Island after Barrie’s shut-in mother, Lula, dies and her godfather is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Barrie was born with a “finding gift” that compels her to seek what is lost or left unsettled, and amid the Beaufort and Colesworth clans—the founding families of Watson Island, along with Barrie’s forebears—Barrie learns she isn’t the only one with a gift. Curses plague Watson Island, ghosts haunt its mansions, evil spirits live in its woods, and a frightening “Fire Carrier” emerges at night over its waters. Together, Barrie and a handsome Beaufort boy named Eight seek justice and to right old wrongs. Though the novel is grounded in the present day, there’s an old-fashioned quality to Boone’s dialogue and characters; she skillfully blends rich magic and folklore with adventure, sweeping romance, and hidden treasure, all while exploring the island and its accompanying legends. An impressive start to the Heirs of Watson Island series.
— Publishers Weekly
"Delivers a compelling mystery about feuding families and buried secrets, not to mention a steamy romance."