Down Salem Way
(The Loving Husband Series)
By Meredith Allard
Publication Date: June 2019
Publisher: Copperfield Press
Page Length: 352 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
How would you deal with the madness of the Salem witch hunts?
In 1690, James Wentworth arrives in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his father, John, hoping to continue the success of John’s mercantile business. While in Salem, James falls in love with Elizabeth Jones, a farmer’s daughter. Though they are virtually strangers when they marry, the love between James and Elizabeth grows quickly into a passion that will transcend time.
But something evil lurks down Salem way. Soon many in Salem, town and village, are accused of practicing witchcraft and sending their shapes to harm others. Despite the madness surrounding them, James and Elizabeth are determined to continue the peaceful, loving life they have created together. Will their love for one another carry them through the most difficult challenge of all?
The winters are colder here, I’m certain of it. I feel it so in my bones, which feel brittle, as though they shall shatter like icicles against a hammer. The sky looks nearly as it does in England, gradations of gray from near-black to tinder-slate that shed wind, sleet, or snow depending on its mood. Whilst England grows cold enough in the sunless months, in Salem the sky disappears beneath a woolen blanket. I cannot step one foot outside without feeling liquid ice in my veins, but such is life in Massachusetts in January.
This morn Lizzie laughed as I piled on layers of clothing in an attempt to stay warm: my woolen flannel underdrawers, my linen shirt, my thickest worsted leggings, perhaps not the most fashionable, but they are my warmest; my woolen suit of doublet, jerkin, and breeches, and my heavy coat, the deep blue one Lizzie says matches my eyes, though what matters my eyes when I cannot see for the blizzard? Lizzie pulled my coat close to my ears and knotted my scarf near my throat so I might keep whatever warmth I take with me. I would cover myself in ten coats if I could without looking ridiculous. Even as I was, Lizzie could not stifle her giggles.
“Good heavens, James. You look like a blue onion ready for the peeling.”
“And shall you peel my layers away?”
She blushed in that way I love, red-hot along her jaw. She pushed me toward the door as though she could not be rid of me soon enough.
“Perhaps when you return home. If you’re lucky.”
I pulled my dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty closer and basked in her warmth. I ran my lips along her red-stained cheeks. “I have been lucky thus far. I cannot imagine that my luck shall not continue.”
Lizzie tugged my coat closer round my neck, then opened the door and pushed me toward it. She shivered in the cold, kissed my lips, and pressed me outside.
“Go. Father waits for you.”
“Shall you wait for me?”
“What other man might I wait for who is tall and strong with hair the color of spun gold and eyes like the bluest, brightest jewels?”
I stepped into the unfriendly gloom and the door shut behind me. I had lost the battle to Lizzie, which is as it usually goes.
I quivered in my boots as I walked toward the shore, warming my mind with thoughts of Lizzie, her wondering dark eyes, her dark hair, her luscious, berry-like lips. I needed something else to occupy my mind, but there was nothing. I’m still struck by how sparse tis in Massachusetts.
“They call this a town?” I said aloud, to no one. I struggle to think of this place as civilized. Salem Town grows livelier toward the harbor since tis the hub for shipbuilding and the merchant trade. Tis even more provincial at the Farms. There is so little of everything here, and tis still a shock to walk amongst nothing but
seashore to one side, farmland on the other, and wilderness all round.
“Is this all there is?” I said, again to no one. A seagull cawed overhead, but then I doubted what I heard since even seabirds must know to stay away from Salem in winter.
Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Trilogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her nonfiction book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 New Release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help by Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit Meredith online at www.meredithallard.com.