Chapter 1

Our mother was a witch, too, but she hid it better.

I miss her.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t wish for her guidance. Especially about my sisters.

Tess runs ahead of me, heading for the rose garden–our sanctuary, our one safe place. Her slippers slide on the cobblestones, the hood of her gray cloak falling to reveal blonde curls. I glance back at the house. It’s against the Brothers’ stricture for girls to go out of doors uncloaked, and running isn’t considered ladylike. But we’re concealed from the house by tall hedges. Tess is safe.

For now.

She waits ahead, kicking at the dead leaves beneath a maple. “I hate autumn,” she complains, biting at her lip with pearly teeth. “It feels so sad.”

“I like it.” There’s something invigorating in the crisp September air, the searing blue skies, the interplay of orange and scarlet and gold. The Brotherhood would probably ban autumn if they could. It’s too beautiful. Too sensuous.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Jessica Spotswood

About the book:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

What people are saying:

“Spotswood has re-imagined history, entwined with magic and the struggle for power, in a tale so captivating you don’t want it to end. The Cahill sisters are heroines to be reckoned with!” –Andrea Cremer

“The feminist undertones, the descriptions of sumptuous dresses, the dangerous, secretive magic wielding: Born Wicked is like a sizzling, more fun version of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.”–Romantic Times

Released: February 7, 2012

About the author:

Jessica Spotswood lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She’s never happier than when she’s immersed in a good story, and swoony kissing scenes are her favorite. You can visit her at