From the Salem Witch trials through the Nineteenth Century and beyond, Annabel Horton is pursued by the devil’s disciple, Urban Grandier, the demonic priest from the incident at Loudon. She must take the bodies of those that the devil favors to protect her family. She must uncover the motive behind the illusive Ursula/Louis Bossidan, the scandalous cross-dresser who is pursuing her beautiful granddaughter, and she must learn, being one of God’s most powerful witches, how to use her power. But will it be enough to save her husband from Urbain’s fiery inferno? Will it be enough to save her children from demons greater than themselves? Read on, you will learn more…..
When I am not in the form of flesh, I live in the confines of shadow. The psychics of your dimension have said that I can be seen floating between the kiss of dusk and the evening moon. Yes, some of you can actually see me, though you are unaware of what I am. You usually ignore me because I vanish so quickly. I simply blend into the surface of your world and disappear, into objects, into trees, into the soft fur of a sleeping squirrel, into anything that will have me.
Before I begin my tale, you must know this: I can also blend into a human body. I can steal your flesh if I choose. But before you judge me, you must understand my loneliness. You have no idea how desperately I desire the physical senses you so cavalierly take for granted. But please, do not fear me. I will not harm the innocent. Hear me out before you cast any stones. There are secrets in my tale worth knowing.
The snap of my neck appears to have granted me immortality as a captured soul, doomed to live over and over again in stolen flesh and blood. Therefore, I take bodies in exchange for my freedom. I want you to understand that if I were to ever choose your flesh, I would mean you no harm. I would simply borrow the luxury of your language and take comfort in the pleasure of your warm, beating heart.
The process of my abduction is painless. You see, the earth holds time. When I consume a body all I do is absorb time. It is quite simple. My soul moves out of one perception and into another. Let me reassure you that though I can take any one of you, I prefer the flesh of those whom the devil favors, and I do not have to go very far to consume the devil’s own.
About the Author:
Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women's Fiction, is the author of Dancing Backward in Paradise and Hearts Upon a Fragile Bough, both twentieth century historical fiction novels, told with humor and pathos.
Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan. An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Anne Rivers Siddons. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Color Purple, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She's Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.,
Jane worked in the professional theatre for over a decade, falling further in love with the plays of Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil, Lillian Hellmann, and Sam Shepherd. She has appeared in television, regional theatre, film and off Broadway. Some of her credits have included both classic and original plays at Playwrights Horizons, WPA Theatre, Kennedy Center, Theatre for The New City, Bucks County Playhouse and many others.
After ten years in the theatre, Jane developed a passion for art history, film theory and philosophy. To nurture her many interests, she enrolled at Hunter College through the CUNY BA/BS program from the City University of New York.
Jane received her degree in Communications and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. She went on to earn a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University and took an honorary withdrawal from Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA. For the next decade, Jane became a teacher and seminar/workshop leader. At the New Lincoln School, she taught creative writing, drama and English to middle and high school students. She also taught the craft of acting to adult professionals at various colleges and adult centers. In the mid eighties, Jane developed a seminar for artists that focused on teaching the business of being successful in the arts entitled: The Reality of the Dream. This on-going workshop received successful feedback for Jane and was presented at many artists' forums, acting schools and colleges around the tri-state area.
A bizarre mid-life crisis forced Jane into corporate life at the age of forty-five. She worked as an education territory manager for The New York Times and presented many workshops on using the newspaper in education as a tool for teaching English as a Second Language. She has worked as a Project Manager for the Education department of the New York Daily News, as well as an Education Specialist for Oxford University Press (ESL division) and as an Education Consultant for Scholastic. Jane is presently an academic consultant for Buckle Down Online, Coach Online and iCORE at Triumph Learning.
Jane has completed nine novels. Hearts Upon a Fragile Bough is Jane's second published novel. It will be followed by a sequel, At the End of a Whisper, the culmination of three generations of women. At the End of a Whisper will be published in 2011. Dancing Backward In Paradise, Jane’s first published novel, received rave reviews from Midwest book review and Armchair Interviews. It also won the Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction, 2007. Jane has published in ESL Magazine, Christopher Street Magazine and has written several newsletters and online blogs. Jane has also written early childhood curriculum. Her published curriculum has been for Weekly Reader and McGraw Hill.
The author lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan with her long term partner, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie and her two pussy cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.