Monday, July 16, 2018

Second Time Around - It Can Be Deadly!

 It's so good to have the fabulous, horror-writer extraordinaire Catherine Cavendish come to visit again. Many of her books have been re-published. I've read most of them (but not all I find - so must make a trip to Amazon) and can thoroughly recommend them for their brilliant story-telling. Even if you're not a Horror fan, I think you'll find them most enjoyable.
Today Catherine is talking about her book "The Second Wife".
Here's Cat:

My novella – The Second Wife – is, essentially, a scary ghost story. As its title implies, the story revolves around the frightening experiences of a newly married second wife Chrissie, her husband Joe, and his first wife Emily. The first two sentences of the story tell you what’s in store for Chrissie from that quarter:

Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead, how different my life would have been.’

Chrissie’s harrowing tale is not the first time second wives have had a raw deal; in real life or in fiction. Starting with the latter, remember this famous first line from Daphne du Maurier’s unforgettable Rebecca?Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again’. Poor Mrs DeWinter, scared half to death by the glowering housekeeper, Mrs Danvers, who uses every type of psychological manipulation to undermine and frighten off the vulnerable bride. And Max DeWinter, her husband, hardly helps matters as he battles with his guilt over Rebecca’s death. As for Rebecca herself – well, in case you haven’t read the book, suffice it to say that she isn’t the saint Mrs Danvers would have you believe!

Not that second wives are all as innocent as Mrs DeWinter. Turning to history, we find one of the most notorious: Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Blessed with a quick mind and a passionate nature, she is said to have ‘bewitched’ the King who was, at the time, married to Queen Catherine of Aragon. Some say she was a great beauty with her dark, flashing eyes and gleaming chestnut hair. Others point to contemporary portraits of her which show her as rather plain. She was certainly far from the pale, blonde ideal of womanly perfection so highly prized in Tudor times.

Then there are the fabled imperfections, such as the ‘wart’ on her neck and the ‘extra’ finger – both of which she artfully concealed through cleverly designed necklaces and sleeves.

Having fallen headlong in love (or more likely – lust - with her), Henry divorced his Queen and married Anne but then, not three years later, the old rogue found it rather convenient to accuse her of witchcraft, when she failed to provide him with the promised son.

These accusations were usurped by the far greater one of treason. Anne, it was alleged, had committed adultery with a number of lovers – including her own brother. She was beheaded – by a French swordsman – on 19th May 1536. Her predecessor, who had been so unceremoniously cast aside, had died just four months earlier. Anne is said to haunt a number of locations including Hever Castle and Rochford in Kent where she lived, the Tower of London where she was beheaded, Windsor Castle and the church of St Peter ad Vincula where she is buried. Henry gained no real measure of happiness. His next wife died following childbirth, his fourth marriage was most likely never consummated, his fifth wife also preferred the company of other men and paid for it with her life and only Katharine Parr, his sixth wife, seems to have afforded him any real companionship. By then, he was sick and almost certainly impotent anyway!

Finally, ancient tradition has it that Eve was not Adam’s real first wife. According to a number of sources, including the Babylonian Talmud and Jewish mythological tradition, God created Adam and a woman called Lilith to be his equal. She was created, like him, from the dust of the earth. But Lilith proved headstrong and willful. She wasn’t going to be Adam’s inferior and obey his orders. Not only that, she refused to return to the Garden of Eden after mating with the Archangel Sameal. From then on, she went off to become a she-demon, leading husbands astray from their wives and killing their children. Over time, Lilith was blamed for everything from turning wine sour to rendering men impotent and women barren.

All Adam’s second wife Eve did was eat the wrong type of apple! Of course, there is the little matter of original sin…

So there we have it. Being a second wife can be a pretty scary affair – but being the first wife isn’t all strawberries and cream either.

Here’s what to expect from The Second Wife:

Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead…

When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn’t want her. But it’s her new husband’s home, so now it’s her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe’s first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.

A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There’s something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it’s not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie’s marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife…

The Second Wife is available from:

About the Author

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy - Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.

Her novellas, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room,, The Demons of Cambian Street, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife have now been released in new editions by Crossroad Press.

She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:


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