Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Have a sneak peek between the covers of Lucretia Grindle's fabulous novel — The Devil's Glove #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour @cathiedunn

The Devil’s Glove

Salem Book One

by Lucretia Grindle

Publication Date: May 1st, 2023
Publisher: Casa Croce Press
Pages: 360
Genre: Literary Historical Fiction

Northern New England, summer, 1688.

Salem started here.

A suspicious death. A rumor of war. Whispers of witchcraft.

Perched on the brink of disaster, Resolve Hammond and her mother, Deliverance, struggle to survive in their isolated coastal village. They’re known as healers taught by the local tribes - and suspected of witchcraft by the local villagers.

Their precarious existence becomes even more chaotic when summoned to tend to a poisoned woman. As they uncover a web of dark secrets, rumors of war engulf the village, forcing the Hammonds to choose between loyalty to their native friends or the increasingly terrified settler community.

As Resolve is plagued by strange dreams, she questions everything she thought she knew - about her family, her closest friend, and even herself. If the truth comes to light, the repercussions will be felt far beyond the confines of this small settlement.

Based on meticulous research and inspired by the true story of the fear and suspicion that led to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, THE DEVIL’ S GLOVE is a tale of betrayal, loyalty, and the power of secrets. Will Resolve be able to uncover the truth before the town tears itself apart, or will she become the next victim of the village’s dark and mysterious past?

**** Early Reviewers are Enchanted with The Devil's Glove! ****

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "From its opening lines this historical novel from Grindle (Villa Triste) grips with its rare blend of a powerfully evoked past, resonant characters, smart suspense, and prose touched with shivery poetry: 'Nothing will lead you to guess what sweet familiars we were, thirty years ago in Massachusetts, where they called me Witch,... Powered by telling historical detail, vivid visions, and an urgent sense of empathy for its characters, The Devil’s Glove will dazzle readers who appreciate immersive, lyric historical fiction open to possibilities."
– BookLife Reviews, Editor's Pick

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This was a read I could not put down. Now I want more on Resolve’s life. I want to read more! I hope there is more books to come!"
– NetGalley Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Lucretia Grindle's writing is a wonder. After reading only a few paragraphs, I knew The Devil's Glove would be a novel I loved. Grindle's descriptive narration is entrancing - stirring yet delicate, never heavy-handed. Her dialogue and characterization are skillful and immersive. Lucretia Grindle is truly a master storyteller."
– NetGalley Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Readers will be mesmerized by 1688 scenarios of Native American and village life, as well as the increasing belief in witches which, ultimately, led to the witch trials in Salem."
– NetGalley Reviewer 

That night, I dream it is dawn and I am standing on the tip of the point. Suddenly, the blackness is split by a burst of flame as a mighty angel’s wing plummets into the sea. The doors of heaven have opened, and the sky flares they cast their traitor out. Then they snap shut, leaving behind nothing but a single spark that grows into the sun. 

It rises fast, and its heat is mighty. I can feel it through the rock with its thin skin of soil. The ocean churns, and sets itself to boiling. All at once, a wind whips across the water. Throwing waves this way and that, it rushes ashore, bending the already bent sea oaks, setting their spindly arms waving.

I would like to leave. To run as fast and as far as I can from here. But a sinew laced into my heart is pulled so tight that I cannot move as one by one the stunted trees trees turn towards me. Their leaves rise and fall. They should clatter, but I cannot hear them any more than I can hear the wind. I cannot taste salt on my lips, or feel its sting, or even look away. 

The trees come closer and closer until I see that their twigs are fingers, and that they are holding something. A lock of my mother’s hair. I snatch at it even as I realize its smell is foul. And then it is no longer her hair. Instead, the putrid stink rises from smudges of ragged red and dark night blue. The trees wave their gifts in front of my face until I know them for what they are - a hundred bouquets of poison flowers. 

I wake panting. A sound is echoing in my head, a long, low, howl that might have been a wolf, but was probably me. I am sweating and the bed linen is soaked. Throwing it off, I see at once that my mother’s side of the mattress is empty. Light fingers the sill of the open window. No breeze blows. The room is so airless, and so hot that for an awful moment I think that somehow, in our distress at what we discovered last night, we forgot to bank and dowse the fire and the kitchen is burning. But when I get downstairs, the hearth is cold. I stand for a moment, then take the poker and jab through the pile of ashes, searching for the remains of the little wooden bowl. 

There is nothing there. And it crosses my mind that this, too, was a fever dream. That it was Judah who slept beside me last night, the hollow of her body that I felt in the mattress, and that my mother stayed here in the kitchen or went out to sit under the arbor as she sometimes does. That Judah slipped away at first light without waking me because she has work to do at The Ordinary, and my mother is out searching for mallow and burdock. That we never went to the point yesterday, or buried what was left of the little cat, Percy, or dipped our fingers in a wooden bowl and tasted the milky poison that killed Avis Hobbs. I have all but convinced myself that this is the case, when I step outside and see the big flat stone I placed on poor Percy’s grave. Around it, fringes of earth are still black and damp against the summer grass. 

Back inside, I dress quickly and start towards the birch grove. Beyond the columns of silvered trunks, the tide is high. I stop on the top of the bank. Below me, the strip of fine sand is almost swallowed. Even the end of the launching plank is floating. It does not surprise me that the canoe is gone, and I am sure that if I look hard enough I will see echoes of my mother’s paddle, the dips like liquid foot prints. I stand quite still for a moment. Then I turn up the track. 

I think I must know already what I am going to find. Part of me wants to hurry, part of me wants to drag my feet, as if not getting there will somehow make all of this, whatever this is, less real. I consider turning back. But I am pulled along, remembering the tug of the sinew, and how, as I lay in the brambles, it stretched between me and Abigail Hobbs, the beat of our hearts traveling along it as if from the same drum. 

The thought makes me momentarily dizzy again. The turn of the world, my mother said. Fate. We are all instruments. But I do not want this turn of the world. Nor this fate. Whatever it is. Still, I walk on. Passing the bramble scree, I shinny into the underbrush that will give way to my hidden clearing. The by now almost familiar silence has come down again, stilling everything, swaddling the world. The lap and stroke of the sea has stopped. The air does not move. I am hardly surprised when, as I step through the last screen of trees, the morning is ripped by the furious scream of a jay.

My hidden clearing is hidden no more. Its thin covering of sea grass is trampled, as if someone has run to and fro and around and around in a fury. Branches are snapped. Twigs are broken. Leaves lay crushed. And all of my memory holes are filled with stones. 

The Devil’s Glove is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

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Lucretia Grindle

Lucretia Grindle grew up and went to school and university in England and the United States. After a brief career in journalism, she worked for The United States Equestrian Team organizing ‘kids and ponies,’ and for the Canadian Equestrian Team. For ten years, she produced and owned Three Day Event horses that competed at The World Games, The European Games and the Atlanta Olympics. In 1997, she packed a five mule train across 250 miles of what is now Grasslands National Park on the Saskatchewan/Montana border tracing the history of her mother’s family who descend from both the Sitting Bull Sioux and the first officers of the Canadian Mounties.

Returning to graduate school as a ‘mature student’, Lucretia completed an MA in Biography and Non-Fiction at The University of East Anglia where her work, FIREFLIES, won the Lorna Sage Prize. Specializing in the 19th century Canadian West, the Plains Tribes, and American Indigenous and Women’s History, she is currently finishing her PhD dissertation at The University of Maine. 

Lucretia is the author of the psychological thrillers, THE NIGHTSPINNERS, shortlisted for the Steel Dagger Award, and THE FACES of ANGELS, one of BBC FrontRow’s six best books of the year, shortlisted for the Edgar Award. Her historical fiction includes, THE VILLA TRISTE, a novel of the Italian Partisans in World War II, a finalist for the Gold Dagger Award, and THE LOST DAUGHTER, a fictionalized account of the Aldo Moro kidnapping. She has been fortunate enough to be awarded fellowships at The Hedgebrook Foundation, The Hawthornden Foundation, The Hambidge Foundation, The American Academy in Paris, and to be the Writer in Residence at The Wallace Stegner Foundation. A television drama based on her research and journey across Grasslands is currently in development. THE DEVIL’S GLOVE and the concluding books of THE SALEM TRILOGY are drawn from her research at The University of Maine where Lucretia is grateful to have been a fellow at the Canadian American Foundation. 

She and her husband, David Lutyens, live in Shropshire.

Connect with Lucretia and Casa Croce Press:

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