Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, specialising in deciphering ancient texts. And when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further she realises the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred. The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele's entire life. But what happened to the cards? As the mystery of her connection to it deepens, Semele can't shake the feeling that she's being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Brassard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there's more to Semele's desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him? The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere - someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Brassard manuscript is tied to her.
Semele realises it's up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. Her first novel, The Memory Painter, was an RWA PRISM award winner in the Time Travel/Steampunk category and a finalist for Best First Novel. She now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and her son.