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My debut novel, THE BURNING OF ISOBEL KEY, is now available.  I can’t believe it’s finally here!  In celebration of the release (and to whet your appetite, I hope) I’m revealing the opening pages of the novel here.  Remember to pop over to the official website to learn more about the story.

As the flames rose, Isobel stopped cursing and instead started to make a shrill, screaming whine, much like the sound of the sap boiling in the logs at her feet.  It was so eerie, so utterly un-human that even the executioner, a man long seasoned to the sounds of death, wanted to cover his ears and sob into the skirt of the nearest woman.

The sound carried from the village green, through the streets and wynds, penetrating the windows and doors shut tight against the execution.  It was as if not attending could erase the sin of allowing it to happen in the first place.  No one who heard that sound could reconcile it with the once melodious voice of the burning woman.  The evil thing at the stake was not a woman they remembered or recognized.

Their memories were as short as the day, from the morning after her terrible deeds were revealed and the witch was brought into town bound in the back of a pony cart.  It was suddenly as if none of the villagers knew the poor creature at all.  None could recall seeking her help, and none would avow that she had always been kind and ready to bake breads for town feasts or to watch the little ones play while their parents danced together.  Kindness lingers less than murder, for it was obvious to all that the woman had murdered at least three souls, if not countless others.  Justice was being served, and her blood would not stain the god fearing hands in St. Andrews.  She was not their responsibility, and they wanted to take no claim for her evil.

From The Burning of Isobel Key, by Jen McConnel.  Published October 1, 2012 by BrightFish Press.

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