Tuesday, January 20, 2015

RELEASE DAY: Sara Burr "Underground Rose"


After her surprise discovery of a mystical gift, fourteen-year-old Rose Wilson thinks her life is ruined. It turns out she comes from a long line of gifted women, and despite her protests, Rose’s mom ships her off to her grandmother’s house to spend the summer learning about her family’s well-hidden secrets. To make matters worse, Rose is expected to carry out this tradition alongside her mousy, bookworm cousin, Megan. What a waste of a summer.

With some effort, Rose and Megan manage to find common ground and by the time they get home, they’re working together to adjust to their new life. But everything is turned upside down again when their families are exposed by witch hunters who call themselves The Witches’ Hammer. With killers on the loose, their tiny town isn’t safe anymore. Rose’s entire family is fragmented and forced to flee through a network of hiding places, dubbed The Witches’ Underground Railroad.

As she journeys to the sea, Rose learns more and more about who she really is. The closer she gets to her destination, the more danger she encounters, until she is forced to make the ultimate decision: follow her family’s edict of non-violence and become an orphan, or save her mom’s life.




Sara has been entranced by the written word for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a school teacher, she fell in love with books as soon as she could read them. She wrote her very first story, about a girl who ran away and hid in her cousin’s lilac bush, when she was just eleven. Although her stories have grown more complicated and less petulant since then, Sara still loves to entertain kids with her words.

When she isn’t writing, Sara has a big family to keep her busy: a husband who is her other half, and four children who are wonderfully individual. They live next to a beautiful lake in a tiny town with no street lights. Sara spends lots of time taking care of little superheroes. She likes to camp with her family, enjoys traveling, and hopes to see the Northern Lights someday.



Now available on
Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords




Staring into the shadowy woods through the wooden bars of her cage, the girl vaguely wondered if they would burn her at the stake, or if they would sink her into the lake with stones in her pockets. That’s how they had killed her cousin, Catherine.

The girl had been declared a witch and there was nothing she could do about it now. They were going to kill her. She had panicked and wept for days when the realization of this had sunk in, but now she was empty, all emotion gone from her.

The awful priest came back and poked his stick through the bars to make her move back. He got her right between two ribs, and the pain of it made her cry out.

“Shut up, evil girl!” he screamed at her, spittle flying from the corners of his cracked lips. “Your horrible spells and incantations must not be uttered again.”

Putting her head down to avoid eye contact, she peeked at him through her dirty strands of red hair, studying his bulbous nose and thick dark eyebrows. She didn't understand how anyone could think he was honestly a man of God. Nothing about him was good or kind, and the man wasn’t charming or even nice. How had he convinced them all?

When they first captured her, she had cried endlessly and tried to convince them she had not made a pact with the devil. She didn’t understand how this had all happened. It was just a talent of hers, it wasn’t evil – it was more useful than anything she could do. Hurting the boy had been an accident. The fire had just gotten out of control.

She didn’t feel afraid anymore – she didn’t feel anything. It was like she was watching all of this happen to someone else. The sooner they killed her, the sooner she would be out of this miserable, caged existence. Truthfully, she could have burned the cage long ago and escaped, but it would be pointless. They would only hunt her down like an animal. And there was nowhere to run in these woods. There were plenty of stories about people disappearing into them, never to return.

The irony of the whole situation made her laugh, a hollow, emotionless sound, even to her own ears, and the priest poked her with his stick again. Feeling a burst of anger, she looked him in the eyes – a dangerous thing that may earn her another beating – and his stick burst into flame, burning his hand. He cried out and dropped it.

She laughed again. Burning the priest had been an accident, too. She hadn’t even meant to burn his stick. The unpredictable nature of this gift was what had gotten her into trouble to begin with, however this time, it was a happy accident.

Before he could retaliate, the whip cracked in the air and the horse began pulling. The wheels beneath her cage creaked and groaned as if they were dying of the plague, and then they lurched into motion, moving more slowly than a walking pace.

She was being taken to a monastery where the monks could determine her innocence or guilt, but she already knew the outcome. Once a woman was accused of witchcraft, she was always condemned to death. Besides, there was too much evidence against her, especially now that she had burned the priest.

“Do not despair, child,” the priest said, walking in pace with her cage. The horrible smirk on his pockmarked face combined with his yellow teeth made her cringe. “We will make sure you pay for your sins. Each and every one of them. You will do your penance, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.” He made the sign of the cross from his forehead to his chest and shoulders.

As he moved to walk away, the girl heard a strange noise, like a combination of rattling trees and a pot boiling over into the fire. It was hard to tell from which direction it came.

The priest cocked his head and peered into the trees. “What do you suppose that noise is?” he said to the driver.

The driver just shrugged his skinny shoulders and urged the horse forward.

As the noise grew progressively louder, the priest studied the girl with suspicion. “This better not have something to do with you, witch,” he said, as he stalked towards the trees to investigate.

Just as he reached the tree line, he was swept off his feet by a rushing wave of water as high as his knees. He cried out and reached for the nearest branches, but he was swept away.

Understanding dawned on the girl. The stream they had been traveling alongside had somehow overflowed its banks. It made no sense – there was no rain. She gazed into the beautiful blue sky. There was not a cloud in sight, yet the growing mass of water was angrily searching for a new place to run to.

She thought she was ready to die, but she certainly had not expected it to be like this. Feeling lightheaded from panic, she stared hard at the wooden bar that held the lock to her cage. Concentrating as hard as she could, she hoped to produce a burst of flame, but she only saw a small wisp of smoke. Then, as she thought of the priest and his horrible sharp stick, a lick of flame immediately bloomed, releasing her from her prison.

By now, the noise of the raging water was deafening, and as she jumped from the burning cage, the water came all the way to the middle of her thighs. There was no dry ground in sight. Grabbing a nearby tree to remain upright, she surveyed the scene.

The priest was nowhere to be seen, and the horse was barely holding its footing. It was agitated and ready to bolt. Having lost control of the reigns, the driver balanced precariously on his seat.

The girl felt a hand on hers, and bracing herself for a battle, she tensed.

“Anna!” she heard a familiar voice cry.

Looking more closely, she saw that the person at her side was her sister. “Mary!” she cried, hugging her tightly. “You did this?”

No comments:

Post a Comment