Excerpt from Death of a Serpent Sunday, October 7, 1866 The carriage slowed. “What’s that pounding I hear?” Rosa asked. “Nothing. The wind.” They stopped. She heard voices, laughter, roaring beasts, the crack of a whip, and squinted through clouds of dust to a long line of wagons. The madam stuck her head out the window. Holding her hat firmly on her head with one hand, she called out to the driver. “Why have we stopped?” “The circus blocks the road.” “Off the highway,” someone shouted. … [Read more...] about What’s That Pounding I Hear?
Excerpt from Death of a Serpent Sicily, November 1866 Rosa wagged her finger. “Mark my words, think on it well: money is at the root of these crimes. I know it, I know it.” She twisted her fingers. “The killer promises them something for a big fee. He takes their coins and kills them. At the heart is lucre.” “That may be a part of it. Falco, for instance, gains by Bella’s death.” Rosa nodded. “But that’s not all, not the most important part. There’s a systematic … [Read more...] about A Lust for Lucre
Excerpt, Death Of A Serpent Monday, October 22, 1866 “One day, I’ll be a doctor of animals, and your mule, dear lady, needs new shoes. Wrong, not to shoe a mule, not for these roads.” “I’ll tell Carlo, my oldest son. He’s supposed to tend to things like that.” She circled her hand in the air. “A mother doesn’t know about these things.” “My mother did, but she died.” She waited a few moments. Softly she said, “So did mine, last year.” Serafina paused. “Terrible disease, cholera. One day she … [Read more...] about But She Died
Excerpt from Death of a Serpent October 1866 In her mind Serafina visits the orphanage as a child with her mother, seeing Betta and Tigro, two of the orphans standing together. Inseparable, her mother tells her. Tigro is dressed in hand-me downs like the others, but somehow different, straight and proud, muscular for a boy; hands at his side, and still, so still, except for his thumb and forefinger, rubbing them together slowly, deliberately, back and forth. Then he is gone—banished by Mother … [Read more...] about Don Tigro’s Backstory
Excerpt from “Bella’s Body,” the opening chapter, Death of a Serpent On the ride home Serafina considered Rosa’s request. Giorgio’s death had been a sudden slap, what, less than six months ago. Her children needed her now more than ever. Bad enough leaving them when she was called in the middle of the night to a birthing, but she must continue with midwifery: it was her specialness. Besides, she had a commitment to the town, received a stipend, and they needed the coins. If she were engaged in … [Read more...] about Through Clouds of Dust