Every year, Amazon picks twenty books for its “Best of” categories and BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best YA Books of 2023. You can see the list here. It’s truly an honor!
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE just got its THIRD starred review!
Once upon a time four years ago, I got the first inklings of an idea for a book about cursed apples & Faustian deals with the devil
It was a peculiar tale but the more I thought about it, the more fascinating threads unspooled in my head to form the book I’m writing about today: BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE
I knew it was outside the typical conventions of mainstream fiction—fast-paced yet very literary with intricate characters inspired by books that have always fixated me: Paradise Lost, Inferno, Sleepy Hollow, 1922 by Stephen King, the collected poetry of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, fables and folklore and Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales, along with my own unique heritage of being a triracial author whose family has had a long history here, filled with its specific hardships but also so so so much love—but I wrote it anyway
I definitely lost my faith in it as editors fell in love yet balked at how to market it. Then my acquiring editor read it in one sitting and bought it at auction
It’s since gotten two starred trade reviews and was chosen as an Amazon Editor’s Pick
But most importantly, it already seems to have found its readers 🖤 as an author, there is nothing more I can ask for
If you’ve journeyed into my dark folklore tale that’s full of odd whimsy or plan to, thank you from the bottom of my heart
This story is for you and always has been
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOURE HERE: out now
I am so happy to announce the title and share the synopsis of my next book
It’s title is
The flowers in my book are called “Grave Flowers” because in this dark royalcore world of floral magic, the grim odds are that they will more than likely adorn your grave than sit in a vase
What you can expect:
A Hamlet meets Boleyn family inspired fantasy
A floral magic system–AND I’m making up my own breeds of flowers, which I have just had the literal best time doing. These flowers are beautiful…but they bite!
A princess bride, Madalina, set on a deadly quest to assassinate her betrothed, the prince. Which should be easy because she detests him, right? She definitely doesn’t find him attractive at all. NOT AT ALL
An eerie ghost story meets twisty murder mystery
Here’s the official announcement/synopsis in Publisher’s Marketplace:
Author of BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE Autumn Krause’s GRAVE FLOWERS, a twisty, dark-royalcore YA fantasy that combines the courtly intrigue of Hamlet with the vicious ambition of the Boleyn family, in an decaying but opulent world of flower magic; when Madalina’s twin sister, who was betrothed to the heir of a powerful kingdom, appears to her as a ghost, Madalina agrees to take her sister’s place to investigate her sister’s murder, knowing that whoever killed her sister is sure to wish her dead as well, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, for publication in fall 2025 by Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary (world).
Naturae vis maxima ~ The greatest force is that of nature
So blessed and overjoyed that I get to keep writing books!
I am so thrilled to announce the book tour stops for BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE! It’s a small, two-state tour but I’ve never had one before and am so grateful to these bookshops for having me. If you’re in the area, I would love to meet you and make a copy of my book all pretty for you
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE received its second STARRED review, this one from Publisher’s Weekly. You can read the full review here
Preorder BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE to receive the pre-order gift suite:
a poison apple corner bookmark featuring Catalina’s hand with a lace cuff
an envelope with woodland art scene
a surprise sticker of a classic art piece, leaf, or rose
Submit your proof of purchase here
The entire starred Kirkus review for Before the Devil Knows You’re Here is up on the Kirkus website. You can view it here or read it below:
“Folklore, fantasy, and horror are interwoven in this story of a 17-year-old’s journey to save her brother set in 1836 Wisconsin.
The story unfolds as Catalina’s father dies and her brother, Jose Luis, is stolen by the Man of Sap, a monstrosity of bark and leaves. Pa ranted about the terror of the Man of Sap’s deadly apples before he succumbed to them, but when the monster disappears with her brother, Jose Luis, Catalina’s world falls apart. Taking a satchel of supplies, Mamá’s beloved book of poetry by Sor Juana de la Cruz—a treasure from her Mexican homeland—and a knife that belonged to her white Pa, Catalina sets off to find her brother and destroy the Man of Sap. Along the way, she finds friendship, terrifying creatures, whispers of magic, and the key to believing that love is not always lost. Surrounded by poetry, both that of de la Cruz and her own personal writing that she cannot finish, Catalina finds words are a redemptive force. Readers are thrown into an exploration of the heartbreak and loneliness following death and loss, and each character, whether human or otherwise, brings introspection and courage to the tale. Mesmerizingly told through the eyes of both Catalina and the monster, the book invites readers to travel with characters who are reckoning with greed, fear, and love as they consider what makes a monster—and whether monsters can be redeemed.
Highly imaginative and powerfully affecting. (author’s note) (Speculative fiction. 14-18)” — Kirkus, Starred Review
I’m thrilled to share that BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE received a starred Kirkus review!
Kirkus can be so tough and I was feeling so anxious every time I thought about being reviewed by them. I simply hoped the review would be positive but never imagined it would be starred.
Only 10% of the 7000 traditionally published books that Kirkus reviews gets starred and its a designation for “books of exceptional merit.” I was beyond shocked to see the famous “starred review” after the title when my editor forwarded me the news
You can read the full review here
And here is an excerpt:
“Mesmerizingly told through the eyes of both Catalina and the monster, the book invites readers to travel with characters who are reckoning with greed, fear, and love as they consider what makes a monster—and whether monsters can be redeemed.
Highly imaginative and powerfully affecting.” -Kirkus, starred review
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE HERE is getting an audiobook recording by Penguin Random House