The Witch of Wethersfield
WINNER of two Silver Awards for Historical Fiction and Women’s Fiction from the 2024 Feathered Quill Book Awards.
Accused as a witch, based on a true story…
In 1651 twenty-five-year-old Katherine Gilbert arrives to New England, her destination a small town called Wethersfield in Connecticut Colony. She seeks to leave the ravages of Civil War-torn England behind.
Bringing little with her except her trusted astrology book and a few other secret things, outspoken Katherine expects a warm welcome from her cousin Josiah. Instead she is sent to a wealthy captain’s house in Hartford to serve two years as an indentured servant. For her reputation as a “cunning woman” and one who “followed the troops” proceeds her.
Only after she meets the one “lone-man” of Wethersfield, John Harrison, does her luck and life change for the better. Together they are a powerful couple, a force to be reckoned with…
Until tragedy strikes the Harrison family in 1666…
“The Witch of Wethersfield,” a story of betrayal, love, and passion for life is based on many of the historical records and features Katherine’s trial and verdict. Evidence from envious neighbors, townspeople and collected depositions are woven into the story. Historical figures such as Governor John Winthrop Jr., Major John Mason and Reverend Gershom Bulkeley, all play their role.
So what will Katherine’s fate ultimately be…as one accused of witchcraft?
“This well-researched and well-written narrative takes the reader back to Puritan days in Connecticut. An excellent read with rich details of life back then…I very highly recommend this book.”
— J.T. Sibley,author of Words to the Wise.
Winner in the Independent Publishers of New England 2020 Book Awards for Genre Fiction and Young Adult.
Winner in the 2020 Hollywood Book Festival for Best Religious/Spiritual book.
Winner for Religious Fiction, 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner for Young New Adult (ages 17 and up), 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Cornelia Cosa is unwillingly chosen to be a Vestal Virgin for thirty years. She begins her training as a novice, learning the ancient rites and rituals to Vesta, dedicating herself to guarding Vesta’s flame.
Set during the turbulent reign of Emperor Nero in 60 AD, when Rome worshiped many gods and goddesses, there is one sect the Emperor will not accept; a new group called the Jesus Followers. Led by Paul, under house arrest, Nero perceives them as a threat to Rome and begins to scapegoat those suspected as being a part of the Cult of the Nazarene.
When Cornelia sneaks out one night with her fellow Vestal, Vibidia, to listen to Paul preach, her life will never be the same. And when the augur, Lucius befriends her, she begins to understand how superstitious the Roman people are, and how much credence they give to auguries, signs and omens.
Ms. Spada Basto weaves in the ancient legends and mythologies of Rome, alongside many of the festivals and rituals of the Roman people. Based on many true events, Vestal Virgin;Chosen for Rome follows the authentic timeline during the reign of Nero, culminating in the Great Fire of Rome and the fate of the Apostle Paul.
“Basto’s Vestal Virgin combines her storyteller’s arts with intriguing slices of legend and real events to excellent effect, constructing a broad panorama with cinematic potential.“
Find more information about Vestal Virgin: Chosen for Rome here:
Katherine Spada Basto, Author
Katherine Spada Basto was a teacher before becoming a full time writer. She enjoys colonial and ancient history, mythology and folklore, travel, reading and painting. She lives with her husband and rescue cat and dog in Connecticut. Katherine is presently working on her next novel that is based in an Ancient Civilization.
Katherine Spada Basto is available for speaking engagements including libraries, book clubs, panels, schools and other organizations.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I began writing at a young age. My mother was my first teacher. She would cut out little pictures, glue them on a piece of paper and ask me to write a story. I remember a picture of a robin with eggs in her nest. I wrote a story about that bird and my mother still has a copy.
My love of writing stems from my love of reading. As a child, I read constantly. My nose was always in a book. I remember my family laughing and exclaiming, “How many Laura Ingalls Wilder books are you going to read?” I was also enthralled with any fairy tale, fable, legend, myth and story that fueled my imagination.
As a teacher, I always encouraged my students to read. Reading leads to better writing. I noticed that all my voracious readers in class-those who read for pleasure-always excelled in English and language arts. And they always became better writers. So, I tell others who ask me about my writing, that reading is a big part of my process…and I am constantly learning and trying to hone my craft.
In both high school and college, I wrote for the school newspapers and actually studied journalism for a few years. When I lived in Boston, I wrote movie and restaurant reviews for the newspaper. I also began writing poetry that led to several awards. I enjoyed writing articles and reviews for Earth based religions that focused on mythology and the Gods and Goddesses.
Over the years, I’ve grown to love history and study the context of why and how certain events occurred. I enjoy this study and find myself drawn to the common person of old who found themselves in the midst of an historical crisis, how they dealt with it and what difference they could make. As a keen observer of human nature, I try to incorporate those feelings and emotions into my writing. My goal as a historical fiction author is to bring those characters and tumultuous times they lived through to life.
My next book takes place in an Ancient Civilization during a time of great upheaval. It is a time of transition and change. Religious beliefs and worship are being challenged and threatened every day. How will my young protagonist, caught between the new order and the old ways understand what is right for her? Stay tuned…”