The Shimmering Circus: secrets & magic in a gilded age


Today, LitNuts is shining a spotlight on The Shimmering Circus from author Annie Dewell, a series that throws readers into a macabre world of secrets and magic, set against the evocative backdrop of a Gilded Age circus.

If you've ever wondered what it was really like to travel with carnies or fall in love under a big top, then the Shimmering Circus series is for you. Perfect for fans of Caraval, Miss Peregrine, and The Night Circus.

"A glistening, deliciously dark page-turner." ~Laura J., Bookstagrammer

Avery's Ghost

Book 1 in The Shimmering Circus series
Genre: Historical Fantasy
4.4 stars, 44 ratings
Paperback: $8.99
Ebook: $2.99 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)

The circus keeps its secrets.

When seventeen-year-old Evelyn is accidentally poisoned, her only hope for an antidote is to sign the curious contract of Hart's Circus—the same place her brother vanished.

As she investigates her new canvas home, she’s consumed by questions no carnie will answer: why do the performers lie about their uncanny performances? What caused the “hideous” scars of Essence, the sideshow freak who draws portraits so vivid they nearly leap from the page?

Terrified into attempted escape by the tempestuous Manager Hart, Evelyn is stopped by paralyzing pain. Undeterred, she’ll cajole and blackmail her way to the truth behind the circus mysteries and her brother's disappearance—truths that will uncover long buried secrets and catapult her into the crossfire of a plot with explosive consequences.

Praise for Avery's Ghost
"A literary-fiction style of puzzle box." ~Goodreads Review

"Vivid characters, an evocative setting, and a twisting narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat." ~laura.j_official, Bookstagrammer

"If you love melting pots of genres, you will surely enjoy it. Avery's Ghost is at the same time a history novel, a fantasy novel and a mystery novel." ~@ablueboxfullofbooks, Bookstagrammer

Avery's Rings

Book 2 in The Shimmering Circus series
Genre: Historical Fantasy
4.4 stars, 9 ratings
Ebook: $3.99 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)

A new season, a new mission...

It is 1913, and Evelyn has spent the winter testing the boundaries of her newly complicated relationship with her mother—while trying to pry from her the secret to reaching her homeland. Determined to break the binding on the circus and free her fellow travelers, she finds an unexpected ally in enigmatic mentor Eptzeig Whitley, who informs Evelyn that she’s been offered a job as secretary to the mysterious circus manager.

But like everything at the circus, the perilous and painful crossing is not as simple as it seems; the portal lies between two continents in her mother's world, and the circus manager is presenting his own set of challenges. As she embarks on a tour across the Midwest, Evelyn must prepare both her body and mind for a long-distance swim, all while testing the boundaries of her new magical abilities, making new allies, and navigating some very confusing feelings for a fellow performer.

Avery's Trinket

Book 3 in The Shimmering Circus series
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Ebook: $3.99 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)

A world to discover… an impossible heist…

Evelyn has reached Kasiit, and now faces her most daunting challenge yet: a formal dinner with the family of her beau.

But she and her friends are soon forced to flee this relative safety for the capital of Birandii, where they’re embroiled in a scheme involving rival newspaper moguls, bitter ex-spouses, and the theft of one of the most valuable necklaces of the new world—an artifact with unique magical properties which just may be the key to their safe return home.

Third in the Shimmering Circus series, Avery’s Trinket plunges readers into an awe-inspiring but treacherous new world, illustrated in the style of turn-of-the-century Yellow Journalism comics.

Avery's World

Book 4 in The Shimmering Circus series
Genre: Historical Fantasy
New release: April 26, 2024
Ebook: $4.99 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)

The samarinh has begun...

Evelyn kicks off the religious festival with a brand-new face, fresh identity, and singular mission: to coerce the elected monarch into releasing the circus binding.

Thrust into a world of lavish dinner parties, masquerade balls, and dangerous duplicity, she navigates the complex social code of upper crust society while struggling with recent trauma and crippling social anxiety—and sharing a titillating bed with her fiancé for their political "Tour of Beds."

But someone is poisoning politicians, and colored rain falls in random spurts—bizarre occurrences that may herald the Apocalypse. As their task grows nearer, Evelyn begins to wonder whether she is saving the circus…or dooming the world.

The Shimmering Circus Series

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Ebook: $15.96 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)

Get the complete four-book series! The Shimmering Circus series is a labor of love, the result of countless hours of historical research. Full of quirky detail drawn from real circus history, as well as the edgy, extravagant world of the wealthy elite, The Shimmering Circus will delight history enthusiasts.

About the Author

Annie Dewell is an illustrator, avid armchair historian, and author of The Shimmering Circus series, which details the adventures of seventeen-year-old Evelyn Earle in a mysterious 1912 circus. Annie has a love of the turn of the century aesthetic and atmosphere in writing, and has spent years slowly giving herself arthritis by drawing the world's most detailed circus posters. All artwork within the Shimmering Circus series was hand drawn with watercolor pencil.

Learn more at The Shimmering Circus website. For updates on the series and Annie's work, please join The Shimmering Circus mailing list. And be sure to follow Annie online:

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