***Free for a limited time***When the Black Roses Grow by Angela Christina Archer***Free from January 16th through January 20th***
When the Black Roses Grow
Twenty-five men and women were accused. Nineteen hung to their death on Gallow Hills. One suffocated under bone-crushing stones. All believed to possess the power of witchcraft. In 1692 the fear of witchcraft is spreading around Salem Village. While those who are accused and sentenced face death, everyone else faces the risk of accusations placed upon them. As Emmalynn Hawthorne, the daughter of a woman hung for witchcraft, places a bouquet of flowers upon her mother’s grave, a circle of black roses sprouts out of thin air. Dark magic, the roses strike fear through her heart when Mary Pruett and the handsome newcomer, James DeKane, spy upon her as they pass along the traveling road. Emmalynn flees and her panic soon turns into terror as another vine of black roses sprouts and grows throughout the inside of her home. Is she a witch? Will she be the next accused? James DeKane has secrets of his own—ones that could prove deadly for him and anyone he holds dear. At fault for the untimely death of his parents, he must protect his hidden brother and dying sister, all while fearing that the
haunting prophecy bestowed upon him at birth will come to pass. Desperate and fighting the monster deep inside of him, he’s searching for the one love who can alter his destiny.
Out of the corner of my eye, a dark green vine whispered for my attention. It appeared in the corner—the stem grew quickly from my floorboards, growing a few inches every passing second. Smaller vines sprouted from the first, curling in all directions. A few leaves grew from the stems, popping outward and bouncing a little from their sudden burst of movement.
I flung my arms—the sudden jerk of my body sent my rump slamming hard onto the floor. My hand slapped across my mouth to hide my scream. The dark magic fluttered through the air in a teasing and taunting dance, waving its leaves as if to scold me for my sins.
I scrambled to my feet, and grabbed the handle of the pot, not caring that the hot piece of the wire burned the palm of my hand. I shoved the back door open. It collided with the outside wall of the house as I shoved the pot through the doorway and cast the iron flying through the air. It plunged to the grass, landing with a loud bong.
I slammed the door, raced to my chopping block, and grabbed the large knife laying on the cutting board.
If I cut it, it will wither and die. Tis nothing more than a weed, a simple weed, and if I cut it, it will wither and die.
My heels slid across the floor slowly. Hesitation stirred in my blood, and my hands trembled as I hovered over the vine.
The familiar green vine I had seen before...floating over my mother's grave.
In a bold, swift swipe, I slashed the stem. The green color turned into a deep black, and the vine shriveled and vanished.
My rump hit the floor, and curled my legs up into my chest. My heart pounded in panic. My lungs heaved. The thought of moving, even an inch, overwhelmed me.
Please do not return. Please do not return.
I sat upon the floor, trying desperately to control my breathing and slow my rapid heartbeat. The anxiety of needing to calm myself immediately only made me want to crawl out of my own skin even more.
Please, Lord, do not allow it to return. Please.
I finally heaved myself up off the floor onto my knees, and slowly placed one foot on the floor, rose, and placed the other foot down.
Please, Lord, plea--
Another vine sprouted before my eyes.
The knife slipped from my fingers, landing on the floor with a thud and bounced a couple of times. The green vine reappeared, curling through the air once again. Leaves sprung from the stem, waving just as the others had don. The vine's growth as short-lived as it sprouted, although larger than before.
My mind whirled out of control, lost in a sea of unexplainable reasons and sheer terror. Shadows closed in all around me with one single wave of panic I did not know if I could withstand.
A knock gently rapped against by back door. I spun on my heel, and covered my mouth. Surely, twas nightfall, surely, the sun had set, giving way to the darkness for its evening slumber. The only expected visitors were the ones invited, and I certainly did not invite anyone over to my home.
Another knock rapped, this time a little harder than the first, and I tiptoed over to the door.
“Who is there?” My voice cracked on the last word.
“Tis James DeKane.”
Growing up in Nevada, reading was always a pastime that took second place to trail riding and showing horses. When she did find the time in her youth to curl up with a book, she found enjoyment in the Saddle Club Series, the Sweet Valley High series, and the classics of Anne of Green Gables, The Box Car Children, and Little House on the Prairie. Although, writing always piqued her curiosity, it wasn’t until September 2009 that she worked up the courage to put her passion to paper and started her debut novel.
When she’s not writing, Angela spends her days from dawn to dusk as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. She also works in her garden and takes care of her many farm animals, as well as loves to bake and cook from scratch. She doesn't show horses anymore, but she still loves to trail ride her paint horse, Honky, as well as enjoys teaching her daughters how to ride their horses, Sunny and Cowboy.