With less than two weeks to go before the publication of the second novel in my Tales of Corsica series, here’s an excerpt from the beginning of The Corsican Widow. Set in mid/late 18th-century Corsica and Marseille, the novel concerns a young Corsican woman, Valeria Peretti, who must marry a wealthy widower she does not know. A quiet, respectable life apparently awaits her, but a prophecy on the eve of her betrothal spells misfortune ahead.
The Corsican people have always held strong beliefs in the supernatural and magic, which predate the modern Catholic religion by a long way. The spirit world was, Corsicans believed, never very far from ours and the two coincided at certain times.
The dead had to be appeased and bad omens banished with spells to avert mishaps to the living. Corsicans wore amulets, uttered protective charms and called on people with special powers to cure illnesses supposedly caused by supernatural forces.