Edith here, so excited because it’s finally release day for Charity’s Burden!
In the publishing world, it can take a long, long time between when an author sends in a completed manuscript and when it appears on the shelves, either brick and mortar or virtual. I submitted this book in December of 2017, so I’m delighted to actually put my hands on the real thing.
Charity’s Burden treats the topic of birth control, which was hugely controversial at the time. Midwife Rose Carroll’s clients come to her with pregnancies, but they also seek her help when they don’t want to have another baby – whether before or after they have conceived yet again. The highly restrictive Comstock Laws were passed in the 1870s, which made even speaking about preventing pregnancy a crime. Herbalists and others turned to evasive wording in the advertisements for their products, calling them products to regularize women’s cycles and improve their health. Certain practitioners also offered abortions, which of course were life-threatening at the time. I wanted to explore these issues – in the context of a murder mystery, of course.
Here’s the cover copy: The winter of 1889 is harsh in Amesbury, Massachusetts, but it doesn’t stop Quaker midwife Rose Carroll from making her rounds of her pregnant and postpartum mothers. But when Charity Skells dies from an apparent early miscarriage, Rose wonders about the copious amount of blood. She learns that Charity’s husband appears to be up to no good with a young woman. The woman’s mother, who goes by the mysterious name of Madame Restante, appears to offer illegal abortions and herbal birth control. A disgraced physician in town does the same. Charity’s cousin mistakenly thinks he will take control of his father’s estate. Rose once again works with police detective Kevin Donovan to solve the case before another life is taken.
I hope you love the story! I’m thrilled to be sharing a release date with Wicked Julie, too, and a launch party in Newburyport on Friday.
Readers: What’s the best launch party you’ve ever attended, whether in person or on Facebook?