These Hollow Hearts
Author: Em Shotwell
Publisher: Pen and Kink Publishing
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Series: This is the collected version of the entire Enchanted series: it’s the entire story of These Roots Run Deep, This Hollow Heart, and These Resting Bones in one novel.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Looking up at the house, I gasped. Marchland was right to call this meeting. This wasn’t good at all.
With its three stories of sugary pink clapboard and white scrolling accents, the house had always reminded me of a birthday cake—happy and joyful and a million other wonderful things that my childhood wasn’t.
When we Murphey girls walked through the front door, the walls would glow bright turquoise, with shapes dancing along the ceilings of different rooms. Clovers for Marchland, hearts for Bradley, and lightning bolts for me. “It’s putting on a show. It’s so happy you girls are back,” Granny would say, smiling and running her hand along the ancient door jamb as if caressing a beloved pet.
We would run through the hallways, meddling in closets and drawers and exploring the changes that’d transpired since our last visit, crying out at the strange patterns that covered the walls and at the often rearranged spaces.
The house liked to play games, especially with Bradley. My youngest sister would open door after door only to see that it lead to the same room. She’d squeal, turning one knob after the other trying to catch the house before it could make the change. At the time, I’d burned with jealousy.
Four weeks ago, when I’d visited my Granny for the last time, the pink paint was a little duller, and the inside walls shown gray-blue instead of cheery turquoise, but it had still been the same familiar house.
The home standing in front of me now was barely recognizable. It still resembled a cake—only now, instead of fluffy and sweet, it was hard and stale, like it had been left on the counter untouched until it was no longer fit to be consumed.
There was no way the house should have fallen so far in such a short amount of time. The paint had darkened to the crusty color of dried blood and was peeling away in sheets. The beloved scroll work was splintered, and in places swung from nails. The ivy that had always climbed cheerfully along the iron fence now crept along the yard like a poisonous snake and slithered up the house, growing into the eaves and dislodging boards. The roof was mottled with missing shingles and even the camellias that had bloomed in the flower beds for generations were nothing more than dried husks—the bare, grinning skeletons of something once beautiful.
At this rate, it would be less than a month before nothing was left but a heap of boards. Marchland was right, we’d have to find the book and take action. And fast.
About the Book:
New Orleans social climber, Cheyanne Murphey has worked too hard to let her fiancé’s wandering eye drag her name through the gutter, and she has the perfect solution to make him stay: an incantation from her deceased Granny’s spell book. Family legend says the Murphey women’s magic is cursed, but that is a risk Cheyanne is willing to take.
When middle sister Marchland’s heart is also broken by a man who does her wrong, not even witnessing disastrous results of Cheyanne’s attempt at spellcasting will stop her from using her family’s powers to exact revenge. With the help of her sisters, Marchland casts a spell to teach the scumbag a lesson he won’t forget. Unfortunately, neither will she.
The youngest Murphey sister, Bradley, would be happy to never work a spell again but when she accidentally kills a man she has no choice but to turn to her family’s cursed magic for help. The wayward spell teaches Bradley the hard lesson that sometimes it’s best to let dead things rot.
With all three sisters in deep trouble, they seek help in the form of the Elder-Witch, a sorceress who claims she can fix their mistakes… but magic always comes with a price, and this one may be more than the Murphey sisters are willing to pay.
About the Author:
Em Shotwell is the author of Blackbird Summer, Blackbird Falling, Forget Me Not, These Hollow Hearts, as well as numerous novellas, short stories, and essays. She lives in Louisiana with her family.