An unsolved Victorian murder forces together the son of an English crime lord in 1881 and a Canadian woman living over a century later, in this thrilling time-travel trilogy.
In 1881, Henry Asheford—heir to a smuggling empire—is living in solitude in his country estate in Cornwall, England. A once free spirit, his life crumbled after the death of his brother and grandfather. Afflicted by anxiety and haunted by a past drug addiction, he struggles to keep his head above water, making life seem increasingly hopeless.
Over a century later, in 2018, Evaline Quinn has come to Cornwall from Canada to clean out her deceased father’s cottage. Searching for closure, she discovers evidence of an old cold case murder linked to the Asheford family, plunging her straight onto the front steps of Henry’s country estate … one hundred and thirty-seven years in the past.
Linked by a violent act, Henry and Eva must work together with a single purpose: to return Eva to her time by locating a missing time-travelling device. But their plan is put on hold by increasingly dangerous circumstances…
A rising desire.
Despite finding comfort in Eva’s refreshingly brazen manner, Henry is pushed to duty when he hosts a party with an American heiress as one of the main guests. Tempted by Henry’s charming yet brooding ways, Eva distracts herself by playing Victorian party guest. She forms a friendship with a fearless Scottish scholar, whose sudden infatuation throws both Henry and Eva into a tangle of forbidden intimacy.
A dutiful secret.
When Henry’s father seeks to rekindle their distant relationship, he forces Henry to bend to his will, fanning the flames of secrecy and catching him in a struggle between duty and desire. Meanwhile, Eva, who finally gave up her independence for Henry, begins to regret trusting him.
A gut-wrenching sacrifice.
Trapped in a battle between rising passion and doing the right thing, Henry and Eva will learn that to get what they most desire, self-sacrifice may be the only way forward. Can Henry survive his father’s madness and scheme his way to help Eva return to her time? Will Eva survive the unpredictable twists of nineteenth-century drama caused by the deadly secrets of the Asheford family and return to her world? Whatever decisions are made will have long-lasting, far-reaching consequences…
"At twenty-nine, he was a lonely bachelor with no romantic prospects in sight and he was inclined to believe it was his own fault; a self-inflicted wound, if you will. Despite wanting love, he could not bring himself to subject his wife-to-be to his world of terror. In this world, a wife did not mean love. It meant another person to protect, another pawn for his father to extort, a mother to his children who would continue the ghastly Asheford lineage. These were all thoughts that frightened him."
"During the day, she worked as a computer technician in a dingy, closet-sized room with hospital-grade fluorescent lighting. It was an odd, boring job, but she liked the automation of fixing machines and she was damned good at it. At night, however, the awareness of being a twenty-three-year-old woman without a partner, let alone any friends, crept beneath her skin. It was a constant reminder that she was running out of time to mend her life back together and she hoped that her soul-searching adventure would begin after selling her dad’s English cottage."
"She, with her large, fearless hazel eyes, boisterous energy and plain-spoken ways; a fiery hurricane of stubborn wickedness, a destructive modern spirit that defied his every word with determined spite. He wondered if she would ever come to accept her new reality. Would she ever accept him? Unfortunately, they were now bonded by a crime and he had to cooperate with her, even if that meant grinding his teeth to stubs from stress. Besides, she had something he wanted…"
Ann-Elizabeth Wittke wrote The Year of Fallen Stars out of her love for melodramatic romance, true crime and the gritty Victorian era.
Outside of writing, she works as a project manager, producing videos and writing technical documentation for a Germany based agency. She is also an artist with her own YouTube channel and teaches the younger generation how to draw, paint and gain confidence in their creative pursuits. Hailing from Canada and living in Germany, she hopes to one day move to the UK where she plans to own a cottage by the sea with a herd of dogs.