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Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Pendle Curse by Catherine Cavendish (Review)

Title: The Pendle Curse
Series: Standalone
Author: Catherine Cavendish
Published: February 3, 2015 - Samhain Publishing
Format: Ebook received for review
Pages: 214/Goodreads

Four hundred years ago, ten convicted witches were hanged on Gallows Hill. Now they are back…for vengeance.Laura Phillips’s grief at her husband’s sudden death shows no sign of passing. Even sleep brings her no peace. She experiences vivid, disturbing dreams of a dark, brooding hill,and a man—somehow out of time—who seems to know her. She discovers that the place she has dreamed about exists. Pendle Hill. And she knows she must go there.But as soon as she arrives, the dream becomes a nightmare. She is caught up in a webof witchcraft and evil…and a curse that will not die.

It's been a very long while since I've read a book about witches, especially real witches (apart from the witches who are usually in shifter books... you know what I mean!) The Pendle Curse by Catherine Cavendish turned out to be quite the pageturner!

Our main character is Laura, and you can't help but feel for this woman.  Her husband died six months prior, and she is still lost in the bubble of grief.  She doesn't eat well, sleep well, she doesn't go out very much.  Her life has revolved around sadness.  And then things start getting a little spooky.  A ping pong ball rolling in the night, doors shutting, mysterious breezes.  Surely it's a ghost.  And sometimes she even thinks it's her late husband, despite the fact she lives in a building rumored to be haunted. All of this on top of vivid dreams that seem just a bit too real.

So she decides to go away for a bit.  A little time to escape every single reminder of why her life is so much different now.  Her trip leads her to Pendle Hill, and almost immediately, odd things are happening there too.

Meanwhile, the author also takes us back in time to the 1600's where we see life through the eyes of James Device.  He's a sexy young man, and a witch.  I don't think I ever really decided how I felt about him.  On one hand, he is completely there for his family and his true love (and there is a lot of taboo there!), but on the other, he has no problem setting his familiar on people or even killing them.  The family's displays of witchcraft eventually lead to no good, much like the Salem witches here in the States.

There is a lot of back and forth, and absolutely no issue about continuity.  But it did take a little longer than I'd hoped to find the common thread, what ties these two times together.  Overall though, the story was fantastic, especially if you are into historical witchcraft stories.  The characters in this book are all very intriguing, and I could picture each of them.  There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you wondering what is going to happen next.  Definitely a good read, and I recommend it!

Catherine Cavendish - Cat to her friends - lives with her husband in a haunted 18th century building in North Wales. Fortunately for all concerned, the ghost is friendly and contents herself (she's definitely female) with switching on lights, and attempting to discover how the TV and washing machine work (it's a long story!).

 Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Cat is now the full time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She is the 2013 joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor, which features in the anthology What Waits In The Shadows.  The Pendle Curse is her latest novel for Samhain; her first  – Saving Grace Devine – was published in 2014.

Her daily walks have so far provided the inspiration for two short stories and a novella. As she says, “It’s amazing what you see down by the river, as it flows through a sleepy rural community.” Those with delicate constitutions are advised not to ask!

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