Catherine Fearns is a writer and musician from Liverpool, UK. Her Amazon-bestselling Reprobation series of crime fiction novels, originally published in 2018, has just been re-released as a boxset from Northodox Press. The first in the series, Reprobation, won a Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal and a Page Turner eBook Award. Catherine’s first historical fiction novel, All The Parts Of The Soul, is coming in October 2023 from Quill & Crow Publishing House. She has also been widely published as a music journalist, specializing in heavy metal. She plays guitar and keyboards in the all-female metal band Chaos Rising, and her sheet music compositions are published by Universal Edition.
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1545; Geneva has defeated the Catholic forces of the Duke of Savoy and established itself as the centre of the Reformation, with John Calvin as its spiritual leader. But peace is fragile and the city ravaged by plague, the atmosphere one of fear and suspicion. So when new rumours of witchcraft emerge from the isolated village of Satigny, Calvin sees an opportunity, and plucks a reclusive young magistrate to investigate.
Henry Aubert was orphaned by plague at the age of twelve, and since then he has lived alone, consumed by fear and by the temptations he finds in the margins of his book collection. Now for the first time he is forced to confront the possibility of society, friendship, even love. Local healer Louise de Peney is kind and beautiful, but skirts dangerously close to the fringes of his investigation. Can he escape the horrific task he has been set? And is it too late to save a soul that has too long been turned in on itself?
All the Parts of the Soul
Is it too late to save a soul that has too long been turned in on itself?
Book Excerpt or Article
When I was a boy of twelve, I saw a long-tailed star. It was a hot night, and stagnant air hung heavy over the city under plague curfew. Rue Tabazan was deserted save for the crier who paced slowly ringing the warning bell. In my childish zeal to contribute to civic duty, like my father, I leaned over the window frame watching for curfew-breakers or, most thrilling of all, the terror of the plague-spreaders. Sometimes I would sit for hours, not knowing what I would do if I actually saw one of these servants of the Devil. But that particular night I was distracted from my vigil by a white light in the sky. Far across the lake, it lit up the snowy peaks of the Mont Blanc so that I could discern every ridge and contour, like a secret glimpse of heaven itself. In awe I shook my elder brother awake, and he was unwilling at first but when I finally persuaded him to stagger bleary-eyed to the window, he too widened his eyes in amazement.
‘What is it, Pierre?’ I asked him, unable to tear my eyes away. ‘Is it an angel?’
‘It is a portent of some sort, that’s for certain.’
We watched in silence as the star continued its passage, slow and steady across the sky, with a tail that quivered like white fire. And we prayed for good fortune; for how could anything so beautiful ward ill?
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Teri M Brown