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Review by Suze
Emmalynn's mother was declared a witch. It's 1962 and Salem is a scary place to live. Many people suspect Emmalynn to be a witch as well and she's living in constant fear of condemnation. While Emmalynn doesn't think she's a witch weird things start happening to her after she visits her mothers grave. Black roses suddenly grow in several different places and Emmalynn has no idea how she can remove them and doesn't know where they come from.
Emmalynn misses her mother dearly. She can use a friend and when she meets the handsome James she finally has someone to talk to. There's a connection, but Mary, the local deacon's daughter, wants James to be hers. She isn't someone who should be antagonized, so Emmalynn is advised to be wise and stay away from him. The deacon is involved in the witch hunts and his daughter shouldn't be provoked. James has secrets and isn't who people think he is. Mary doesn't know him at all, but when she wants something she usually gets it. Will Emmalynn's fate be the same as her mother's because of finding a friend and will the black roses be discovered?
When the Black Roses Grow is a beautiful story. Emmalynn is kindhearted and generous, but hardly anybody in Salem wants to come near her. She lives in a difficult time. When someone's suspected to be a witch their death is more or less guaranteed. Reading about the cruel methods that were used to make people confess was sad, but also historically interesting. Angela Christina Archer has clearly done her research and the result is a compelling story filled with fear of being convicted, friendship, love and black magic. I loved the combination and Emmalynn is a great main character. I admired her strength and determination. I could understand why she wanted to get to know James better. He's a friendly man who doesn't mind being associated with a possible witch. He also has plenty of secrets and can be quite intense because he knows life is short. He shoulders a lot of responsibility and I couldn't wait to discover what he was hiding. I was so curious that I read the book in one sitting.
When the Black Roses Grow is written in an old fashioned style, which I liked a lot because it gives the story an authentic character. I loved the combination of history and magic. Angela Christina Archer uses the fear that comes from the risk of being exposed as a witch in a skillful way. One accusation is all it takes and there's no real proof that the women, and sometimes men, who are being killed are actually witches. I had tears in my eyes when I read about the fate that could await Emmalynn and I admired the strong way she deals with it. She remains true to herself, even if her behavior might cost her dearly. Her connection with James is fascinating. I loved reading about the magic as well and was surprised by the clever way it finds a way into the story. All of these aspects together made me enjoy When the Black Roses Grow very much.
When the Black Roses Grow is a great choice for readers who like stories about magic combined with history.
About Angela Christina Archer
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.
Find out more at
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Reno, Nevada riding and showing horses from a very young age. I still ride, though, it's only for pleasure. My husband and I moved from Nevada to Oklahoma in 2007 and in 2009, after being laid off from a job, I woke up, sat in front of my computer, and just started writing my first novel. While I'd love to say my words were beautiful and wonderful that would be a lie. My first several drafts were awful, and I cringe when I think of them. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, though. My first novel took me four and a half years from writing the first word to seeing it live on Amazon, and I didn't tell anyone I was even writing it until about a year and a half in. It scared me too much to say anything. Since then it's just been this indescribable whirlwind and I don't think my feet have touched the ground once.
2. On your blog you write about forgotten blessings each week. Would you like to share a blessing with us?
Recently, I've reflected on legacy and the one I wish to leave when pass away. Of course, having my novels in print, sitting on my mantel where I can hold them in my hands is wonderful. It is always my sincere hope that I entertain and inspire people, and to have left that mark, however large or small on someone or many someones, is a dream come true. With that said, I believe the most important one isn't my written craft, though, but it's in what I hope to leave with my children. I want to leave them with passion, the drive to follow their dreams, the will to fight for what they believe in, and the ability to just enjoy every day for the blessing it is. Sure, some days will be bad, but they are still gifts when you can spend them with those you love.
3. You have a household filled with your family and animals. What does a typical day look like for you?
Oh boy, is this ever a loaded question. Not only do I work on my novels, writing, editing, promoting and marketing, but I'm a stay-at-home mom and I homeschool. My husband and I also have a small farm we are trying to grow into a homestead. I'm up pretty much everyday around 4am, so I can get my work done before the kids wake up for the day. Once that happens, it's school, chores, feeding animals, my daily workouts, more chores, meals, bath times, and of course playing and enjoying the day. Needless to say, I don't have any trouble going to sleep at night. Currently, we have two horses and one chicken, but we are adding a cow and several more chickens this year to the farm as well as bringing back our garden. I like to cook and bake from scratch and I can wait to add cheese, yogurt, cream, and soap to the mix.
4. Could you describe yourself in 5 words?
Stubborn, Quiet, Old-Fashioned (wait, is that two of the words?), devoted, passionate.
5. What's the most romantic thing that ever happened to you?
I actually laughed when I read this question. Lord knows I love my husband, but he is not a romantic person. In all honesty, I may write about romance, but I'm not really romantic either. We are the type that just want to have fun together. Like the night of our wedding after everyone was gone, we were both starving and the only place that was open at such a late hour was Jack in the Box. So there we sat in the drive-thru while I was in my gown and he in his tux ordering tacos and sourdough jacks, and laughing at how perfect it was.
6. You like cooking and baking from scratch. Could you tell us your favorite recipe?
I have so many on my website (and so many more to post in the coming months) that it's hard pinning it down to just one. But I suppose if pressed, I'd have to say my favorite is my enchiladas. I think I could eat those every day and not grow tired of them. Although, I also have a Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake that is pretty amazing. I have only made that once, though since I would probably have to triple my workouts each day to burn off all the calories in just one slice. I love cheesecake. Like love it. Like I would eat it off the floor type love it.
7. Could you tell us about the books / genre you personally love to read and why?
I mostly stick to Contemporary, Chick Lit, and Historical Romance. Just as I prefer to write clean, sweeter romances, I tend to stick closer to reading them as well. However, if I come across a blurb that piques my interest, but isn't as sweet or has a hotter heat level, I'll read it anyway and just skip over the parts I don't wish to dive into.
8. What can we expect from you in 2017?
Currently, I'm working on the final draft of my 6th novel, A Road Paved in Copper, that I hope to release sometime in May of 2017. It's another historical romance set in 1903 during the gold, silver, and copper mining days in Tonopah, Nevada. Once that novel is release, I have a Contemporary/Historical novel set for 2018 titled Another Tomorrow. It follows the two lives of a mother and daughter in 1964 and 1994, and weaves the two stories into one as it shifts back and forth between the two time periods. I'm very excited about both of these novels and can't wait to share them with the masses. You can read about them both on my website.
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