Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: When the Black Roses Grow by Angela Christina Archer @AuthorACArcher

When the Black Roses Grow

By Angela Christina Archer
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: December 2, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance with Paranormal Elements
Pages: 182
ISNB: 978-1682911778


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.

When the Black Roses Grow will be on sale for $.99 December 26th - December 28th.


I would not show them the torture or terror they desired to see. They relished in believing they hunted and murdered the devil amongst them, that they rid the evil from the earth, and they found joy in the applause for condemning those who should be condemned and damned to Hell.

The deputy’s footsteps halted in front of me. I opened my eyes and met his unsympathetic glare. He hesitated for a second before he stepped over the large pile of logs and branches and stood in the foot wide space between the pile and the table.

“Step onto the table.” His order growled through his clenched jaw.
I obeyed then faced the crowd while he secured the shackles to the post.

Just as while watching John Coleman’s death, a few women clutched their throats as they watched, while a few hid their faces in their husband’s chests. Mothers covered their children’s eyes, and a few staggered away so they would not hath to witness the scene.

Everyone’s stunned silence fueled my terror, leaving my lungs only capable of tiny breaths. The world spun and my knees grew weak. I glanced down at the logs and branches and lost control of my tears. Through my blurred vision, I continued to look for James. My gaze fluttered from face to face as I prayed to find the one I desperately needed to find.

Where is he?

Reverend Perris strode forward from the back of the crowd, followed by the Deacons and Sheriff Corwin, who held a lit torch in his hands.

I caught my breath.

My knees trembled under my weight.

I fought the urge to scream.

“Emmalynn Hawthorne, you hath been found guilty of witchcraft and hath been sentenced to burn to rid this world of thy evil. You are henceforth damned to Hell.”

I bit my lip as Sheriff Corwin pitched the torch upon the pile of logs and branches. Several women screamed, others spun on their heels and buried their face in their hands, while a few more dashed for their homes. Children fled in all directions, some by the commands of their parents while others just out of sheer fear in what they saw.

The logs and branches ignited, and within seconds the flames blazed higher and higher. Heat surrounded me as the inferno spread through the kindling and encircled me in a ring of orange and red fire.

Smoke billowed around me, choking my lungs as flames licked the toes of my shoes.

The blaze hit another layer of kindling and raged even higher.

I screamed again and braced myself for the pain to shoot through my body as my skin caught fire and began to burn.

I closed my eyes and held my breath.

Please, God, please, help me.

Seconds ticked by. One by one, they grew into minutes--gut twisting minutes as I waited and waited.

My Review:

When I read the summary for When the Black Roses Grow and realized that it had to do with the famous Salem Witch Trials or at least it was written about people living in Salem Village in 1692 and beyond who were accused of being a witch I knew I had to read it as I am fascinated with anything during that time period. When the Black Roses Grow grabbed me right from the beginning and still hasn’t let go. I truly and dearly loved reading it and would recommend it to anyone who just loves a good story or especially the Salem Witch Trials.

I loved all the characters and how well they handled anything that was thrown at them. Emmalynn Hawthorne was a very strong woman with a great big heart and would never do anything to hurt anyone or betray them but she would never grovel at anyone’s feet for her own life either. Emmalynn has been alone for a while now as her husband died from a fever and her very own mother was accused of being a witch.

Emmalynn’s life is about to take a turn for the good or is it? A new guy James comes into town and takes a liking to Emmalynn while at the same time she starts to have feelings for him. She tries to deny her feelings for this guy and at the same time she is telling him they cannot be together. At first he doesn’t quite understand what she is saying but when she explains to him that when a certain woman in the town finds out about them then it will be all over for the two of them. Emmalynn could find herself walking in the footsteps of her mother.

I can’t understand how anyone can be so evil as to accuse someone of something when they know the outcome for that person. All it took was for one person to get mad or upset at something someone said or did and it would mean that person’s life. How could they go to bed at night and shut their eyes with what they had done? Furthermore the people that you are taught to trust the most will back said person up. That is all it took to get rid of some person that you didn’t like or took something or someone from you that you thought belong to you.

James has somethings in his past that he would like to keep hidden for whatever reason. James is a very mysterious person. What is he hiding? Why is he hiding it? What did he do? Did he do anything? Who is this mysterious person? Will his love for Emmalynn be strong enough to save her? Can James convince the town folk that Emmalynn is innocent?

Books and Benches December Cover Contest:

Sometimes a book is judged by its cover. Why not join the fun? The cover for When the Black Roses Grow was chosen by the creative team at Books and Benches for their December Cover Contest, and it could use your vote!

An Interview with Angela Christina Archer:

How did you come up with the story and why did you pick that particular time period?

After I’d submitted my second novel for a contract with my publisher, I knew that I had to start thinking about what I would write next. I had several outlines and ideas already saved, but none of them were really jumping out at me, screaming ‘write me next’ or ‘pick me’. Then it happened. One afternoon, I was sitting on the couch watching one of those this is the history of the United States documentaries on the History Channel. I love those kinds of shows.

Anyway, I was watching it when they started talking about the Salem Witch Trials. Of course, as a historical romance author, my interest piqued. After the segment, I paused the TV and ran to my computer. With several days of research and mulling over the idea in my head, the story was born. As for the unexpected ending, that came a little later after diving into the first draft. In writing James, he morphed himself into something else and it all just seemed to click in place.

What was the most difficult part of writing the story?

Honestly, the dialect, and I still wonder if I got it down correctly or not. One of the reasons I began writing historical romance was that I loved doing research. While not a ‘history buff’, I enjoy learning about different time periods. Research was never a problem for me until this novel. Of course everyone knows about the Salem Witch Trials and you can find a ton of articles and university papers on the subject. However, there is one thing that is hard to find and that’s examples of how the Puritans spoke. I had to dig rather deep, pulling up old historical documents that quoted different legal orders against each of the women accused. Even then, I found conflicting information. Some would be written one way, some in another.

My difficulties caused me to shelve the novel three times, each time I believed that I’d probably never finish it. Couple that with a hero and heroine who didn’t seem to like each other, and it’s no secret this was, by far, a novel filled with problems. It nagged at me, though, and I eventually finished it. Of course, we still had issues as I submitted it and pulled it from my publisher another three times so I could “fix” it.

Would you consider or have you already planned for a sequel?

While the thought of stepping into 1692 is a draining thought, I’ve had several requests from readers to create a sequel, if not for Emmalynn and James, but for Logan, James’s brother. I never really gave Logan much thought or credit outside the little back story and the turmoil between the brothers; however, Logan does have a past. At this point, it’s undeveloped in its potential, but it is there. I have an idea for him, but I haven’t really fished out the details of the story. Maybe one day I will. 




Living in a small town in Oklahoma with my husband and two daughters, I spend my days enjoying the outdoors with my family and chasing around two horses, four goats, six chickens, a dog, and two cats. I live life on a farm, milking goats, collecting eggs, and cooking and baking from scratch. It's hectic, at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Growing up, I always wanted to write a novel. I never believed I could, though, so every time the desire flickered, I shoved the thought from my mind. Burying it deep down and ignoring it until one morning I awoke with the determination to finally follow my dream.