Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grab My Heart #30

TITLE: The Salem Witch Detectives
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

Merilyn Bookwright would prefer to hang the witch hunters plaguing Salem, but witches rarely get what they want in colonial New England. Yet the sheriffs searching for witches have forgotten the oldest wives' tale. Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.

Merilyn Bookwright has never wanted to kill anyone, much less in front of her daughter, but the shout, "Be careful! There's a witch on the loose!" reminds her that neither God nor fate has ever shown much concern for her wishes. Taking them into her own hands, Merilyn pulls Gwenifer close, while the Puritans skitter away from the sheriffs, each person staring at their neighbors with expressions that all ask: "Who?"

For those few seconds, everyone is a suspect. Anyone could be next on the judges' list.

To lessen the chance she's put on it, Merilyn shrieks, "Please save us from the witch, Sheriff Corwin!" and faints alongside Gwenifer, who mimics her mother without instruction. It's what every witch learns before they can be trusted with magic. Although her daughter's heart beats hard enough for Merilyn to feel through her hug, Gwenifer wiggles forward to spy from beneath her bonnet as well.
The ever-smiling Sheriff Corwin and his team of witch hunters sweep past, checking the other women in the marketplace. The plain wool dress so many wear hides the wolf among the sheep until the accused reveals herself by running toward the docks.

"Don't let her reach a boat!" Sheriff Corwin says, charging after his prey, but even the largest sailors scatter before her, no more willing to fight a witch than a mouse would a serpent.


  1. I am intrigued by this but a little confused in your pitch. She doesn't get what she wants...but it sounds like the Sheriffs are in fact going to get what's coming to them? Is it her who has forgotten the old wives' tale? In such a short pitch, I would stay focused on your main character. In the piece itself, I love the fainting moment. The clothing--the bonnets and wool dresses--put me in this time and place. I am very curious if the accused, in this case, is really a witch, and how the main character feels about that either way. I am also curious about how the sheriff and his men are going to handle a witch the sailors are so afraid of. All details I hope will be revealed in the coming pages!

  2. I like this perspective and would like a bit more set up, like where they are first (ie: a dusty marketplace) and then the call to watch out for witches. I got hung up on 'Taking them into their own hands' where I thought you meant the sheriff and his posse, then was confused when she pulls Gwenifer close- only because then it felt like she had her hands full. If the action occurred without the exposition as to why, then I think the tension would be more immediate when she and her daughter (I'm assuming) faint, creating more mystery around your CC and her true identity.

  3. Thank you both for your notes! It's most appreciated. :)

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