Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Treasure of the Battersea Bluffs

Our special guest today is Sarah Norkus. Sarah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Toastmasters International.  She has published four books, The Eleventh Summer, a creative non-fiction, Until the Wind Changes, a young adult coming of age journey, and two historical fiction/fantasy novels, The Secret Diary of Sarah Chamberlain and Treasure of the Battersea Bluff. She spent her childhood in the horse country of Lexington, Kentucky and now resides in Virginia with her husband, Michael.


In the old factory district of Petersburg, near the Appomattox River, sits a rundown Palladian Villa known as Battersea. Hidden beneath the floorboards of the east wing lies a skeleton that hasn’t been disturbed for two hundred and forty years.

During the Battersea Days celebration, a panicked mare charges through the villa and opens a hole in the floorboards with her plunging hooves.  Sixteen year-old Emily Grace and her boyfriend, Josh, stand frozen beside a display table as the horse is captured. Curiosity overshadowing caution, Em steps over to the hole and peers inside.  Spying something in the cavity, Em reaches under the planks and unknowingly grasps the delicate finger bones of a skeleton.  A vision explodes in her mind. A young girl in colonial style clothes struggles with a man twice her size. The man slaps her and she falls, hitting her head on a stack of bricks. Em jerks her hand back in horror as she begs, “no, God, no.” She pushes to her feet and vertigo hits her with a vengeance. She staggers a few steps, collapses to the floor, and passes out. When Em awakens, she knows immediately that something is wrong. The display table has disappeared along with the panes of glass from the windows. And it’s quiet as a tomb. She looks through a pane less window. Two hundred people have vanished into thin air.

 In Treasure of the Battersea Bluffs, Em and Josh are unwittingly whisked back in time to the eighteenth century.  As the teens struggle to save the life of the young girl from Em’s vision, their interference incurs the wrath of her would be assailant, Angus Blackburn, and inadvertently draws the teens into his obsessive search for a Scottish Lord’s stolen gems.


 Sam pulled Em off his shoulder dropping her in a puddle at his feet. Blackburn picked up the knife he had dropped to grab the cart horse’s halter and shoved it back into his boot. He strode to Em and yanked her to her feet. With a self-satisfied grin, he brought the pistol up to her temple. He glanced over at Ezra as he twisted to his knees and tried to push to his feet.

“Sam, it does appear as if Ezra wishes to gain his feet. Pull the rope taut to assist him.”

Ezra felt himself being pulled up, the rope strangling him until he gained his feet, and then the rope slackened again.

“Now, lad, your choice.”  Blackburn’s voice was rich with triumph. “Shall I hang the Negro or shoot the lass?”

Josh’s mind went blank with shock.  Ezra stood with the noose around his neck and his face full of defiance. Em was plastered against Blackburn, the pistol to her head and her face a mixture of fear and anger.