Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Welcome Facebook followers!

Hello Facebook followers! Normally I would have sent you to Madeline Archer's blog, but I'm doing the MFRW Book Hooks there today. When you're finished with our Entice Me event, I invite you to go see the rest of my blogs. It's a very busy hump day!

Madeline is my new pen name. While Rose Anderson writes the intimate side of award-winning romance and will continue to do so, Madeline writes the other flavors of fiction. It might be a sweeter love story, an otherworldly walk in the twilight zone, or something dark...

Today it's a bit from the sweeter side of my imagination.

HEART of STONE Part of the Entice Me anthology
A multi-author collection for 99¢ ! Buy on Amazon

The story opens with the notorious witch hunts in 17th Century Salem, Massachusetts.

As formal education for women lacks substance in 1904, Neila Flannigan leaves Ireland to attend Radcliffe women’s college in America. Shy and introverted, Neila passes her lonesome hours sketching the Harvard grounds and sending drawings home to her father. A chance encounter with a kind and elderly Irish woman inspires her to sketch a statue in an old, unused building. Desperately lonely, Neila ends up sharing her thoughts and feelings with a man carved in stone. Some days it feels like he listens.

♥♥♥Heart of Stone~ 
    From the moment Finola woke that morning, her skin felt prickly. It was noticeable when she set her dough to rise and it grew stronger as the day went on. The prickling sensation often appeared when something was amiss. As a result, apprehension shadowed her steps all day. As did Martin. The packrat sensed trouble too. He dogged her heels instead of questing for trinkets, as a packrat was wont to do.
   A glimmer of black and white flashed overhead, catching the corner of her eye. She glanced at the wooded path. The piebald raven always arrived ahead of Abigayle. Seeing no one, Finola returned to skimming scum off the brining pork. Finished, she topped the barrel lid with heavy stones to keep vermin out, particularly the marauding raccoons that wore masks like highwaymen and thieved with the best of them.
   Wiping her hands on her apron, she turned back to the trailhead and waited. Her daughter’s family lived on the adjacent lands, in the clearing below the wooded hillside. It should not take this long for Abigayle to venture here. The bird returned and widely circled three more times before disappearing beyond the trees. Finding his behavior both anxious and agitated, Finola frowned and murmured,      “Where are ye, girl?”
   Turning to the packrat sitting atop the pork barrel, she told her familiar, “I’m feelin’ uneasy, Martin. Abigayle should have come by now.” Her chin jerked skyward, she mumbled, “And will you look at him? Something is amiss.”
   Martin nodded.
   The raven had been her daughter’s constant companion from the day the child found the featherless chick thrown from the nest. Not every witch was chosen by a familiar spirit but witches in her bloodline often were. Familiar spirits were the channel that connected all of nature, their power drawn from the essence of both God and Goddess. If a witch had a familiar as a companion, that same channel made the witch’s magic stronger.
   A pang of sadness followed that memory. The chick came to Abigayle the day Auld Agnes and her familiar, a bandy cat named Nicodemus, were put to death. Finola couldn’t help but remember—that terrible day was etched upon her heart. The circumstances that led to the crone’s death sentence were not her doing. Auld Agnes had midwifed a babe born with a terrible affliction to its face, with a malformation so severe that not even careful stitching could mend it. Aggrieved by the sight, the mother smothered the infant and then blamed the old woman, declaring the midwife’s devil’s witchcraft had caused both the deformity and the death.
   The gentle old crone had been wrongly accused and imprisoned; her fate fueled by prejudice and superstition. Of course Auld Agnes could not defend herself beyond the facts, so her silence was taken as admission of guilt. The court declared her a devil-worshiping witch. Auld Agnes was indeed a hereditary witch—a worker of the Auld Ways—but no devil worshiper. Devil’s work was never done among their kind.

 5 Stars for The Changeling!
"Secrets abound as the story continues. I don’t want to retell the story here and this is already long enough. Suffice it to say this is a very well written, engaging, story with all sorts of deeper historical tidbits and storylines involving the characters, their family lines, and the townsfolk culture. Scenes are written vividly with date and culture appropriate dialogue that overall made this a delightful read right down the satisfying ending that ties all the pieces together."

~ A Reader



In honor of the first anthology by the Authors of Romance Books '4' Us, we're running an additional October contest. Prizes include a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a terrific "super power" Romance Reader or Romance Author t-shirt. If you're into romances, the t-shirt will make you smile. 
Three ways to enter!

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Madeline Archer writes the other flavors of romance
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  1. Sounds like a great book. The bandy cat's name is Nicodemus.

  2. Sounds good! Nicodemus is the bandy cats name! Thanks for the chance! :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This sounds great! The bandy cats name is Nicodemus! Thanks for the chance.
    Sue M. Van/Haven Malone