top of page
  • N. N. Light

Censored Angel: Anthony Comstock’s Nemesis (Audiobook) by Joan Koster is a Historical Fiction/Romance Event pick #historicalfiction #audiobook #mustread #giveaway

Title: Censored Angel: Anthony Comstock’s Nemesis (Audiobook)


Author: Joan Koster 


Narrator Linda Kutzer


Genre: Biographical Historical Fiction


Book Blurb: 


A nineteenth century mystic marriage counselor and her angel lover battle the Inquisitor of Smut in this biographical historical novel based on a true story.

She will not be silenced!

Brilliant, corseted, and haunted by spirits from the Borderlands, a young girl turns her back on the constrictions of Victorian society and strikes out on her own, becoming a mystic marriage counselor. Teaching women the joys of love puts her in the crosshairs of Anthony Comstock, the nation’s Anti-Obscenity Postal Inspector. He promises to silence her forever. She vows to bring him down. With prison looming, Ida and her angel lover must prepare for a battle they may not be able to win.




The angel is my favorite. I trail my fingers over the polished folds of cold marble and stare up at the monument. Stone curls, frozen in wind-tossed perfection, frame a radiant face that shows no anger—only enduring love. I could stand here forever, basking in his gaze.


“Come, Ida.” Mother’s voice is icier than the December gusts whipping at my skirts.


I hurry down the cemetery path, an armful of evergreens clutched tight to my bosom. Up ahead, she stops beside the half-buried stone marking the grave of my long-dead sister. Shears flicking, Mother trims the dried grasses around the granite marker with the same attention to detail she gives everything.


I turn my head. Sometimes, I wish I lay beneath that stone. Maybe then, she would love me, too.


Ignored again, I inhale the sharp scent of the fresh-cut fir and set a bough at the foot of my father’s headstone. The simple limestone slab is gray-green with moss. I press my palm to the chill stone.


There will be no wreath for my father. His weathered tombstone lies untended. No carved angel stands sentinel at his grave. No loving sorrow from my mother marks his passing.


I trace the date, December 1857. He died a mere four months after my birth. How different my life would have been if he had lived.


“Forget him,” Mother hisses. “Bring the garland here.”


I wipe my damp hand on my cloak and slip to her side.


Mother tugs at my sleeve. “Wreath, Ida.”


I hand her the pine circlet with its black ribbon, and she sinks to her knees and rests it on the most elaborate of the six small tombstones.


“Dear lost child, would that you had survived.” Her breath trembles.


She peers up at me. “Men will have their way, Ida. Heedless of the consequences. I begged your father to wait, to let me grieve. Recover my health. But no. An heir to inherit the business—that was all he wanted from me. What choice did I have? Wives must submit to their husband’s will. It is our duty in marriage. Our duty as women. Our path to heaven.”


I pinch my lips together and watch the wind rattle the bare branches of the poplars. It is always the same litany when we come here. If she wants to ensure I never marry, she has done well.


Mother straightens the wreath. “And then to suffer the pain of bearing children”—she runs a hand down her face—“only to lose them.”


I want to shout that I am here. I am alive. But it will do no good. I was not the desired child. Instead, I humble myself, as always. “I know, Mother. But think—she is with God, a blithe spirit cavorting forever in heaven.”


“Does she, daughter? Or does she hover in the borderland?” My mother kisses the damp stone.


Beneath lies my sister, dead from the swoop of the strangling angel—the dreaded diphtheria. Dear Nan. We would have played, shared secrets, and known each other’s innermost thoughts. She would have clasped my hand as we sat straight-backed, feet flat on the floor, for hours during Mother’s wearisome lessons.


But heaven wanted her more than me.


Sometimes, I despise the angels.


For a moment, it is all too much—the cold, the wind, the moldy scent of death. The memories. I fall back on the Bible, more for myself than for my mother. “The Lord loves the little children. The kingdom of God belongs to them.”


Mother pushes to her feet, her eyes wild, the traces of her French accent strong. “The séance table at the Hunters. It moved, Ida, when I asked if my little ones are at peace.”


I rub one foot against the other. “Perhaps, that was a yes?”


She glares at me. “What do you know of the spirits? You are but a foolish child, Ida Celanire. Now stand up straight and stop dirtying your stockings.” She seizes my hand as if I am a disorderly toddler instead of an eighteen-year-old on the cusp of womanhood. “Come. I have borrowed one of those new spirit boards. Together, we will learn the answer.”


“A spirit board?”


The tree branches sway. Bitter cold crawls under my petticoats. I do not need to know if spirits are real. I already know they are.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):








What makes your featured book a must-read?


Censored Angel is powerful because it makes readers examine their beliefs about women’s right to know about their own bodies, marriage relationships, and censorship in the context and drama of the late 19th century.

Giveaway –


Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs March 21 – April 2, 2024.


Winner will be drawn on April 3, 2024.


Author Biography:

When she is not writing in her studio by the sea, Joan Koster lives with her historian husband and a coon cat named Cleo in an 1860s farmhouse stacked to the ceiling with books. In a life full of adventures, she has scaled mountains, chased sheep, and been abandoned on an island for longer than she wants to remember.


An ethnographer, educator, and award-winning author who loves mentoring writers, Joan blends her love of history, and romance into historical novels about women who shouldn’t be forgotten and into romantic thrillers under the pen name, Zara West. She is the author of the award-winning romantic suspense series The Skin Quartet and the top-selling Write for Success series.


Joan blogs at, Women Words and Wisdom, American Civil War Voice, Zara West Romance, and Zara West’s Journal and teaches numerous online writing courses.


Social Media Links:


1 comentario

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
01 abr

Thank you, Joan, for sharing your audiobook in our Historical Fiction/Romance Bookish Event!

Me gusta
bottom of page