Times are a-Changin’ at the Academy in Barbara Mueller’s Debut Book

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New YA novel transports readers to the turn of the 20th century

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Sometimes we need reminders of that, and stories help. The greats became great because they made choices, experienced mostly failure and sometimes success

In her debut novel, “A Pretty Age” (published by WestBow Press), author Barbara Mueller presents a turn-of-the-century novel set in a convent teetering against the winds of change.

It’s the year 1910. A missionary visitor arrives at the local convent boarding school in Concord, Kan. Student Sophiny Mumm is smitten. Her best friend, Antoinette Dominguez, is not. When Antoinette surprisingly elopes and the enigmatic missionary reappears with a different mission, to find Antoinette, Sophiny is drawn to Antoinette’s trunk for answers. Her discoveries launch her into a dogged search for her missing friend. Is a monster in their midst? To solve the mystery, Sophiny must use all the resources the era has to offer – emerging women’s rights, the increasing popularity of photography and telephone, and Sister Louise’s lessons on sums, measures and virtues.

“‘A Pretty Age’ is about finding love and one’s legacy,” explains Mueller. “Friendship is the bond that enables both young women to make the journey.

With nuanced characters and subtle plot twists, “A Pretty Age” captures the spirit of an unforgettable time. When asked what makes her novel different than other YA novels on the market, Mueller quips, “It is missing a few vampires, witches and walking dead.” While Mueller, who took advantage of her recent retirement to pen “A Pretty Age,” imbues this same sense of humor into her writing, she hopes her readers are not just entertained, but also inspired.

“Life is made less ordinary by the greats who have walked among us,” she says. “Sometimes we need reminders of that, and stories help. The greats became great because they made choices, experienced mostly failure and sometimes success. It is what all of us are asked to do, and we do not need special powers of magic, just our own observations and applications of what is available to us.”

A Pretty Age
By Barbara Mueller
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 282 pages | ISBN 9781449779566
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 282 pages | ISBN 9781449779559
E-Book | 282 pages | ISBN 9781449779542
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Barbara Mueller recently retired from teaching English at a Southern California community college. For 28 years, she taught composition and literature courses, including critical thinking, women’s literature and Bible as literature. She now has time to think about the larger issues of what her grandmothers left her and what she wants to leave her grandchildren. Mueller grew up in Kansas and attended the same convent boarding school her grandmother attended. She loved the experience, as she knows her grandmother did. “A Pretty Age”is her first novel inspired by that experience, but all names, places, and events have been fictionalized.

WestBow Press is a strategic self-publishing alliance of Thomas Nelson, Inc., the world’s largest Christian publisher, and Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI) — the world leader in the popular self-publishing industry segment. Through this partnership, authors benefit from the rich publishing heritage of Thomas Nelson and the speed-to-market advantages of the ASI self-publishing model. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication under the Thomas Nelson imprint. Thomas Nelson, Inc. continues to “inspire the world” with distribution of products in more than 100 countries worldwide. For more information, or to start publishing today, visit http://www.westbowpress.com or call (866)-928-1240. Follow us @westbowpress on Twitter for the latest news.

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