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Visit 1918 Montana in BEAUTIFUL GHOST by Milana Marsenich

Books and Benches is pleased to welcome author Milana Marsenich to the blog and to share a snippet of her historical novel set in Butte, Montana, Beautiful Ghost. The 1918 Pandemic left devastation worldwide in its wake, and in this book, the author brings to life the impact it had on a small Montana mining community. Scroll down for a look.

“Marsenich doesn't just describe the place and times, she conjures it up like time travel.” ~Amazon Review by Ellen Leahy Howell

Beautiful Ghost by Milana Marsenich

Beautiful Ghost by Milana Marsenich

During the fall of 1918, the influenza pandemic crosses the nation and reaches the mining town of Butte, Montana.

Marika Jovich, who wants to go to school to become a physician, works menial tasks for Dr. Fletcher. She feels useless as she tries to save friends and neighbors from the ravages of the flu. In the midst of the pandemic, she watches the town shut down, young and old perish, and her medical dreams all but evaporate.

Kaly Monroe used to be a half-good woman of the night. She left that life to raise her daughter, Annie, and live and work with her long-lost mother, Tara McClane. Kaly waits for her husband, Tommy, to return from the war. Word from the east is that soldiers are dying of influenza and she prays that Tommy is not one of them.

When an out-of-town woman named Amelia suddenly dies in Dr. Fletcher's office, both women try to learn more about the mysterious woman and the circumstances regarding her death. Is she another casualty of the pandemic, or the victim of manmade foul play? Who is this stranger, and is her demise a portent of the fate that awaits the residents of Butte?

Genre: Historical Fiction

Beautiful Ghost by Milana Marsenich

Beautiful Ghost is an exceptional depiction of life in Butte, Montana, during the flu pandemic of 1918. In this sequel to Copper Sky, Milana Marsenich captures the details of this unsettling time in history against the backdrop of a gritty western mining city. ” —Lolo Peak, Amazon Review

A Snippet from Beautiful Ghost


But today was a new day with Michael at her side, tall dark-haired Michael, with his wide flat nose and strong broad forehead. He took long easy strides and sent her heart a shiver. He was about as fine a man as any woman could want for a husband, if a woman wanted a husband, which Marika hadn’t. Nevertheless, here she was, married, and better for it.

He pulled her hand close to his chest. She swooned at the simple gesture, her desire growing with their closeness. If they weren’t careful, Mama would be getting those grandbabies, and Marika would be looking for sitting services so that she could still work at the clinic. But she was careful. They’d been careful, her passion overruled by logic most of the time.

Most was a terrible word.

End of Snippet. Excerpt © Milana Marsenich. Read more great content at the author's blog.

“You might be wondering who the beautiful ghosts are? There are a few, but I’ll keep you in suspense. Find out as you read your copy! High praise for this beautiful novel!” —Susan S., Amazon Vine Voice

Meet Author Milana Marsenich

Author Milana Marsenich

Award winning author, Milana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana near Flathead Lake at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. She enjoys quick access to the mountains and has spent many hours hiking the wilderness trails with friends and dogs. For the past 20 years she has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. As a natural listener and a therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. She first witnessed this in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for Copper Sky, her first novel.

Copper Sky was chosen as a Spur Award finalist for Best Western Historical Novel in 2018. Her second novel, The Swan Keeper, was a Willa Award finalist in 2019. Her short story, "Wild Dogs", won the Laura Award for short fiction in 2020.

She has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, The Polishing Stone, The Moronic Ox, BookGlow, and Feminist Studies.

She has three published novels, Copper Sky, The Swan Keeper, and Beautiful Ghost, and one popular history book, Idaho Madams. Her upcoming novel, Shed Girl: A Juliet French Novel, will be released January 2024. Her popular history book, Mary MacLane: Butte’s Wild Woman and her Wooden Heart, will be out sometime in 2025.

You can find her books and blog posts at

Beautiful Ghost by Milana Marsenich - blog tour


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