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15 May, 2014

Book Tour Review: Puritan Witch by Peni Jo Renner

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On a cold night in 1692, two young girls are caught up in the divining games of a slave woman-and then begin to act very strangely when the game goes wrong. Suddenly, Salem Village is turned upside down as everyone fears that witches may be involved. Six months later, as news of the girls’ strange behavior becomes known, fear and suspicion overwhelm a nearby farming community, pitting neighbors against neighbors and turning friends into enemies. When Rebecca Eames makes one careless utterance during a verbal attack on her family, she is falsely accused of witchcraft. After her fate is decided by three magistrates, Rebecca must endure a prison sentence during which she and her fellow captives have no choice but to valiantly struggle to find humanity and camaraderie among dire conditions. In this novel based on a true story, a woman wrongly imprisoned during the seventeenth-century witchcraft trials comes full circle where she must determine if she can somehow resume her life, despite all she has endured.

Praise for Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames

“Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames is a story of the fear, suspicion, and accusations as they permeate the surrounding communities. The narration was exquisite, really painting a picture in my head and bringing to life the language of the Puritans much better than it usually is done. I loved that it was based on a true story and that the story really expands on a piece of the darkest of American history. Such a cool read!” – Katelyn Hensel, Readers’ Favorite
“Elegantly written, meticulously researched, and historically accurate, the author’s work rings true. … Renner’s vast talent as a writer is enhanced by the fact that she’s telling the story of her own family, completely captivating from beginning to end.” – Kelly Z. Conrad, award-winning author of Shaman
“In the colonial-era tale Puritan Witch, the plight of Rebecca Eames and her family plays out against the backdrop of one of the most intriguing periods in American history.” – Julie Castillo, writer and editor

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About the Author

Peni Renner is the author of “Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames”, an award-winning historical novel based on the true-life account of Peni’s 9th great03_Peni Jo Rennergrandmother. The book is Renner’s first published work, and follows Eames’ life and struggles in 1692 Massachussetts during the Salem Witchcraft Trials.
Writing historical fiction has always been a lifelong dream of mine. I was discouraged for many years after receiving multiple rejection slips, and turned to other creative outlets like crocheting, quilting and cross-stitch for many years. Then I met a 3rd cousin of mine online who is also into geneology and history. She told me we shared a common ancestor who was involved in the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and her story had never been told. My love of writing was rekindled and I began to research this ancestor, Rebecca Blake Eames. In August of 2012 I had the privilege of visiting her grave in Boxford, Massachusetts.
After months and months of research, writing, rewriting and revising, Puritan Witch came into being, featuring a lovely sketch done by my sister-in-law, Jane Sisk.
I have several other story ideas I am working on at the moment, all pertaining to interesting ancestors my 3rd cousin has introduced me to.
For more information please visit the Puritan Witch Facebook Page. You can also follow Peni Jo Renner onTwitter.

Review:

Series: N/A
Release Date: 17 September, 2013
Publisher:  iUniverse
ISBN: B00FF4ZC1S
Edition: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 13 May, 2014

The Salem Witch Trials is always a popular subject, and a prime example of mass hysteria and its effects on the masses. However, within the witch trials there are stories within the bigger picture with Rebecca Eames being one such story.

Settled in Andover, MA, a neighboring village near Salem, MA, Rebecca's family finds itself captured into the midst of the Witch Trials when others cry out against her as a witch. Through the seven months that follow, Rebecca finds her faith tried and her sanity tested to the breaking point. Sentenced to die, she accepts her fate, but when a hangman's noose goes awry, she finds herself spared. Slowly, the world seems to come in full-circle and she's freed. But will her family ever be the same again?

Ms. Renner's story is a fascinating one, especially since she's a descendant of Rebecca. Her writing is captivating, well-written, and over all fascinating with following events of the famous trials. I found it hard to put the book down once I started it and honestly loved every second of it. Whether you're interested in just the witch trials or if you just love family stories, this book will definitely deliver both history and a good read.

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