1660 in Breda the Netherlands. Catherine de Burre refuses an Anglican Dean, John Wednesday in marriage-unaware he has blackmailed her father for her hand. Her father’s fate lies in her answer. Martello Sanchez a swordsman of exiled Charles Stuart the Second, encounters Catherine in the forest. He is determined to make her his own bride, sending her a secret code : the call of a raven. John Wednesday soon discovers that his fiancée has a lover-a mystery rival for her affections. Catherine discovers her father’s treachery, his sin of siring another child; the housekeeper Clancy’s own dark secrets and the truth regarding her mother’s death. She must choose to save her father or elope with Martello? Pretty Catherine de Burre aged seventeen has lived a sheltered life, under the rule of her Puritan father, a pastor. Clancy Mortimer, the housekeeper has become a substitute mother to Catherine since the death of de Burre’s wife, Cecilia whose remains lie, in the sanctuary of the de Burre house. Catherine spends much of her time in the sanctuary, overlooking the cemetery feet away from the chapel, daydreaming and feeding the birds that flock to the glassless window ledge. She had not contemplated marriage, until her father unexpectedly forces a suitor upon her, he has chosen. She is not happy with this arrangement and wishes to marry for love. The Dean gives her eight days to accept him-allowing her time to take it in and come to her decision. Her father fears for his life, if his daughter refuses him again. He could hang or worse for his past misdeeds, if John Wednesday carries out his threats. Pastor de Burre is getting on in his years, and rues the day he befriended the villainous man and joined forces with him. The Dean is corrupt. The pastor’s wife suffered much at the hands of this man too. Dreading the eighth day to arrive, Catherine and Clancy are almost knocked over in the forest on their way to pick wildflowers by a reckless swordsman, whose horse charges towards them. Martello had glimpsed her in the market sometime earlier, as he rode through with his comrades and exiled Charles Stuart, whilst Catherine was there choosing her bridal cloth from the haberdashers.’ Catherine had also glimpsed him, Martello Sanchez, a dashing half Spaniard and mixed blood.He is also a Catholic. Martello Sanchez is the man Catherine wants to be with, but there is no hope of seeing him again, but he discovers where she lives, having followed her and he sends his trusted friend, a raven, to deliver a message to the sanctuary window. They meet in the forest. The day the Dean is due to arrive, Martello has arranged another clandestine meeting, where he surprises her with a picnic, rescues a youth from a deer trap, unintentionally gets Catherine drunk, and tells her to refuse the Dean again, in marriage. Martello. had briefly encountered John Wednesday himself and warns Catherine about him. When she refuses the Dean, he threatens her and she is now aware of the fear her father emits of her refusal and feels she has no choice but to beg him-now, to accept her. She proffers him a threat of her own. Martello comes across the youth again he freed from the deer trap, being taunted in the marketplace. Rufus has bought shoes for his sisters with the coins the swordsman gave him for his silence, on encountering him with the pastor’s daughter in the forest. Martello, befriends Rufus and his peasant family, including their widowed mother Maggie. Martello promises Catherine he can save her father and Clancy, if she elopes with him. He can have the Dean arrested. The eldest Claye children get embroiled in Martello’s affairs and danger and a secret connecting the Claye’s and the de Burre’s come to light. A plan to rescue Catherine the day of her wedding fails. Tragedy strikes. Martello is framed for murder. Can Clancy and the Claye’s save him? Can the wheel of fate turn around, reuniting the lovers again?
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About the Author
Born Samantha-Dorothy Anne Lightfoot, in Barkston Ash, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire 1963. Moved to York, aged three. Educated at St. Wilfred’s Catholic Primary School, Haxby Rd Juniors and Burton Stone Secondary Modern that no longer exsists except for the annexe.] Finished school aged fifteen. Employed aged sixteen at Terry’s chocolate factory. Currently employed as a Nursing Assistant on a medical ward, in an East London Hospital, where I have worked for over seventeen years. Spend squeezed time off duty in Bournemouth where my immediate family and baby grandson live and York where my siblings and other relations are. I am married and have five grown up children. I have been writing romance and saga’s since the age of fourteen, but Call of Ravenheart is my first book published, but not the first one written, but is the first one set in the 17th Century, during the exile of Charles Stuart the Second on the verge of the restoration. I have a great interest in the Victorian era, inspired to write novels, having read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and since love anything to do with the Brontes. I have a passion for history and books and Dickens was my first love as an author when I was eight, having spent my days in the library buried in books by Enid Blynton and Witches, faeries, Goblins, Elves, pirates and ghosts! I am always buried in a good book when travelling or at appointments. I attend faery festivals and paranormal events. I believe in angels. Visit Ascot Races once a year: Dubai Shergar cup. Book day events and events with the Romantic Novelists Associaton and attend London Chapter and Chelmsford writers lunch, and Waltham Writers. Writing festivals and conferences. Interested in religion, historical places, castles and stately homes. Love period dramas of most historical eras. love the 80’s too! My debut novel Call of Ravenheart was originally a one page story, entered in the Tracey Chevalier short story competition in York, themed on a painting of choice in the art gallery, 2010 I chose the Flowers, fruits and bird’s nest painted by Jan Van Os in the 1840’s. Ravenheart is a swordsman in love with a Puritan girl, who is doomed to marry a corrupt Dean. A romantic tragedy that turns around? If you have a love for Charles Stuart the Second, he also plays his role in this book.
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