Wednesday, December 2nd, When the Black Roses Grow will release on Amazon. So what could be better than to give you one last little teaser
The novel is now on PRESALE and will be automatically uploaded to your Kindle on December 2, 2015!
Don’t forget to join us for the ONLINE ONLY RELEASE PARTY on December 2nd where you can play to win copies of the novel, plus gift cards to Amazon!
Nestled in the furthest corner, near the peddler road, lay the remains of my mother. Set against her headstone, a tiny wooden cross rested behind a rock, hidden from view–its existence only known by me, well, God, and me. I suppose He knew.
I desired to believe that the notion of a cross on such a woman’s grave was not a sin. That He would not hold my mother’s damned fate against her as Reverend Perris preached He would. No, surely God knew my mother. Knew her mind, heart, and soul for who she really was, a mere mortal daughter of Eve, not what the warrant of a man claimed her to be.
My mother, Gladys, was not what they accused–a witch.
Kneeling in the dirt next to the headstone, I laid the flowers upon the earth and wiped away the tears that streamed down my cheeks. Surrounded by the graves of the cursed, my guilt over my honest words toward the old woman stung. She knew not of my pain or the unrelenting memories that haunted me.
Perhaps to speak the truth in my heart had been shameful.
Overgrown grass sprouted all around, and I shook my thoughts away as I ripped the blades from the roots, tossed them aside, and brushed my mud caked hands on my apron. Rocks burrowed deep into my legs through my stockings, impressions that will undoubtedly leave bruises upon my shins.
I would gladly take the bruises over the burdens of my sorrow.
Bruises healed over time, gone in a few days, they vanish, and their color fades until one forgets they even existed. Unlike the bruises, however, the mourning, the heartbreak–all I would never forget. Today was just today. Today was just another tortured day. Today was just another day I wish would end.
Renounce thy negative thoughts, Emmalynn, renounce them.
I pinched my arm as I repeated the advice to myself–the same words Mother said to me throughout my life and especially as I cradled her hands between the two iron bars of her prison chamber. Always the delightful positive person, even when facing the malicious accusations, she held onto her faith, refusing to let it break her spirit.
I forced a smile, fluffed the flowers, and closed my eyes, listening to the unspoken words I knew she would say to me now: the sun shines high in the sky, the birds chirp loudly in the trees, the day set to be beautiful, and you, my dear, are alive to enjoy it.
Oh, how I longed to disagree with the ghost whispering in my ear and refute the truth in her words.
Sudden laughter echoed from the road through the trees, a familiar cackle that made me recoil and dragged me down into the depths of an anger, which I held onto tighter than I should.
“I simply cannot forsake the notion that you mock me,” Mary Pruett’s voice echoed in the distance with a hint of amusement under her disdainful tone. “I only meant…oh…my, my, my.”
Her unexpected silence twisted in my gut as I stared at the ground.
She had seen me.
“And, who do we hath here? Emmalynn Hawthorne, the widow of my departed, beloved brother. Oh, my…what a tragedy we hath happened upon.”
I glanced up.
My late husband’s family stood just feet from me in a clearing of the tree line along the peddlers road. Three sets of eyes I wished to forget, and yet, I could not.
Along with the Pruett family, handsome James DeKane returned my gaze.