Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, Courting the Devil is the second book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy, which follows Anne from her childhood in the rural English countryside, to London society, and into the center of the American Revolution.
Kathy will be awarding $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Fatigue overtook him. The long day had left him worn and aching. Yet he could not sleep. The feather bed was soft, the linen clean and freshly pressed. But he could not keep his mind from dwelling on that woman. Annie…. When he closed his eyes, his mind conjured images of her as she stirred a thick, bubbling kettle of grease and lye on the open fire in the yard, until her lithe arms rippled, and sweat poured over her face, shining on her skin in the last light of the setting sun. In the close and sultry night, if he fell for a moment from consciousness he saw those exquisite violet eyes—so filled with resignation—and heard her soft voice carefully controlled against even the slightest hint of inner turmoil, her manner restrained. He recognized it all for a telltale sign of guilt, for he too lived under its dark cloud, though his eyes and voice would never betray him as hers did. Yet it festered inside him.
Because of his dedication to the cause, his father was dead.
“Proceed with vigilance.” The cryptic reminder of the note had been all but forgotten. “Uncle is aware of our devotion.” Damn, why has it come to this?
“Devil take the ripplin’! They’s a storm comin’! A big, angry storm! Feel that wind! They’ll be a storm awright.”
“Go on then, before you’re caught in the midst of it.”
“Ain’t you afraid, Miss Annie?” Eyebrows raised, Reba set down the bates she had gathered, and waited for the reply that never came. She laughed, deep and hearty. “’Course you ain’t! You ain’t afraid o’ nuthin’, are you? Why jes’ this mornin’ Mr. Lucius, he say if’n Gen’l Johnny Burgine and his army o’ red-coated devils come marchin’ down the crick on wash day, you’d say, ‘Hurry on by, Gen’l! Hurry on by! They’s work to be done. And it won’t wait for you and your ole army neither! Jes’ hurry on by!’”
“He said that, did he?” Anne feigned indifference. Why should she concern herself over anything that Lucius Harris had to say? She tossed a double handful of flax onto the pile at Reba’s feet and started on another. “Seems all he ever does is talk!”
Reba continued to laugh as she gathered up the stalks and bound them. “Mighty fine with words is Mr. Lucius. Always was, even as a boy. Said you’s about all Gen’l Schuyler would ever need to drive old Johnny Burgine back up to Canada and ’cross the sea where he come from. Jes’ you and a empty fowlin’ piece ’gainst the whole British army. ’Magine that!”
Like a far-off echo, the sounds from the camp could hardly be distinguished from the breeze rustling through the treetops, the creaking of the branches, the falling of a leaf. So calm, so still. Even her agitation eased under the tranquility of the place.
When she looked up, she was struck with awe by the towering height of the trees all around her. How tall they stood in contrast with their slender girth. How closely they competed for the sky, forsaking the security and stability of the earth in their pursuit of the sun. It was as if she had been jolted from a long stupor to find herself in the midst of that same deluded struggle. She, too, had placed an ever-increasing distance between herself and the wellspring of her existence. She, too, had forsaken her roots for an uncertain reality that would topple in an instant, the moment the lies were laid bare.
She had always been aware of the precariousness of her situation. She could never forget who she was. Yet she clung to the lies in the way a drowning man clutches at illusions. Lies protected her against the false hope of ever finding forgiveness.
Yet, in spite of the lies, hope remained an ever-present thread tying her, even tenuously, to a past filled with innocence. The unexpected appearance of Major Ellerdine had been her long-awaited invitation to nurture that hope. The hope so long denied. And it frightened her.
“It is I who am unnatural!” she cried out to the trees. Tears flooded her eyes, blinding her. “I need to accept it! It can’t be wrong to hope!”
MY REVIEW ON COURTING THE DEVIL **** 4/5 Stars
Courting the Devil by Kathy Fischer-Brown is book two in the historical series, The Serpent’s Tooth. In Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, book one, we meet the plucky Anne Fairfield. Fate and mistakes take a hand in her life and land her in colonial America as an indentured servant. Book two picks up during the American Revolutionary War.
Anne in an act of contrition involves herself in the machinations of war and some unsavory sorts. She is also on the hunt for the best friend of her deceased sweetheart. Word is he is close by, Anne is determined to find him.
Courting The Devil has such accurate details you feel like you are in the story. The characters, even the secondary ones come to vivid life. The story is tight and well written, but it is a three-act play. What this means is you really NEED to read book one first. You will definitely want to read book three or you will never get your happy ending.
Courting the Devil is a high caliber historical drama. I commend Ms. Fischer-Brown on her research and attention to detail. It moves well with interesting characters and story lines. Ms. Fischer-Brown was a Golden Heart winner and it shows. Two thumbs up for Courting the Devil.
Authors get their ideas in a variety of ways. For me, it’s mainly from dreams—very cinematic dreams—that stay in my head long after I’ve awakened. Mostly these night flicks are nothing more than a collection of cryptic and often unrelated scenes that need to simmer on the back burner while my muse helps to add seasoning and substance to the mix.
I’ve always loved history. Way back in junior high, my mind would wander from dates, battles and treaties to musings on what it might have been like to live in another time. Family vacations always included visits to Civil War or Revolutionary War battle sites, tours of colonial houses and restored villages, which, even these many years later, serve as inspiration.
Born in New York City, I live in central Connecticut with my long-time husband, a grown-up daughter and two dogs. 2012 was a big year for the family as we welcomed our first grandson into the world.
Blog: http:// http://illsay.wordpress.com/