Letter M April A to Z Challenge #AtoZChallenge

Day 13 of the April A to Z Challenge, my theme is characters from books I’ve read, plus some audience participation.

Letter M is from Matthew Hopkins from The Black Hours by Alison Williams


The Black Hours is a book that thinks about the actual lives of ordinary people who are mixed up in a period of history that is well publicised. Set in England around 1647, a time of Civil War and strong religious times. This book looks at the famous Witch Trials.

The author has interpreted some of the documented names and facts into a thoughtful story about the horrors of the period. We meet Alice Pendle and her Grandmother Maggie, wise women of Coggeshall who have used herbs and ointments to help and heal the villagers for years. When their midwifery skills result in the unfortunate death of a mother and child, people start to whisper.

Religious fears have been stirred up in the country and Matthew Hopkins believes he has a duty to God. He must rid the earth of evil in the form of Witches. With the law behind him Matthew arrives in Coggeshall and finds a supportive Minister and Lord of the Manor. Villagers are encouraged to sign witness statements condemning Alice and Maggie.

What follows is a horrific tale of their trials and suffering at the hands of Matthew and his supporters. This tale depicts the suffering of just 2 lives. During the actual period of history in question it is believed that between 200 and 300 women were similarly accused and tried. It was a terrible time and an example of how people are easily led and manipulated by their fears.

This is a well written glimpse in to the window of history.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

For my audience participation I’m asking readers to create book titles using the letter M for the picture below.

A book title and cover picture can often make or break a book sale. Is a book cover eye-catching? Does the book title appeal to the reader?

Have fun creating book titles from my own pictures, you might even think about a genre they could fit.


Leave you answers in the comments below and I’ll be choosing my favourites.

Today’s randomly chosen fellow challengers for you to visit today






As part of the challenge we encourage all readers to leave comments, thank you.

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42 thoughts on “Letter M April A to Z Challenge #AtoZChallenge

  1. I read this book over two days, and couldn’t put it down. So well done. Not my usual type of story at all – just a really compulsive read. Based on a true story, too! Chilling.
    Title: My Mum Made Me Wear It.


    • It’s actually a reflexion on what really happened in England at that time, but as you say it’s likely to occur over and over again in history in one format or another.


  2. Thanks for the recommendation, I would love to read more about the Pendle witch trials, and this book sounds interesting! Here is my title idea: Midnight Boy… my imagination sees a story where the statue comes alive in the small hours, and who knows what might happen?


    • Thank you Mrs Green, I love the book title and bio too. Alison’s book is a really interesting read about how people are influenced in groups and their fears of things they don’t understand.


  3. I remember learning about the Pendle Witches at school when I was 11 – fascinating and rather terrifying. Today’s book title: Marking Time – Mark is a time-traveller who goes on wonderful adventures and learns a lot about life in this uplifting children’s fantasy.


  4. Hello, stopping in from A to Z and thanks for your continued participation!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies


  5. I love this book, one of my favourites and another that’s on my to read again list. Hmm, book title Metal Mac – a children’s superhero who poses as a statue


  6. Read this book and enjoyed it – well, maybe enjoy is not the word given the topic. The statue picture is a real challenge. Maybe for sci-fi: Man of the Future


  7. I’ve just remembered that I lost my internet this morning when I was going to list yesterday’s book title which caught my attention with the letter L. So here they are a little late. I Lizard, Leonard eyes the prize, Lookee the Lizard, Lady lizards don’t need eye-shadow, Lenny the lizard, there were loads more and the lizard was definitely a popular picture. Thanks everyone, if I listed them all this would be a huge list.


  8. A fascinating period in history and, as you say, how easily people can be manipulated. I have the paperback – all I need now is some time to read it!!


  9. I have read about punishment for so-called witches and have been gob-smacked. This sounds like another interesting read. ❤
    Book title: Misery's Child (The mother, Misery, doesn't want the responsibility of her children since her lazy husband disappeared. She's taken each of the three to the country, three different locations and times, and left them lost and behind.


  10. Allison William’s book looks like an interesting read.

    Mangled Child, the story of an abused orphan who is hidden safely within a statue by his fairy godmother. After 100 years, a couple, grieving the loss of their son, take comfort in the statue’s likeness to their child. Their grief and love call the abused child back to earth where he finds healing and restoration.

    Visiting from A to Z,
    Drusilla Barron


  11. My internet connection was dodgy to say the least yesterday so I just want to say thank you to everyone who has left such nice comments about The Black Hours and thank you again to Rosie for featuring it 🙂


  12. This looks like a good book, but I don’t think I could read it. I’ve always been saddened and horrified by the persecution of witches – and countless women who weren’t witches – in the Middle Ages. I had thought of writing a story based on the witch trials, but I found the background reading too depressing.
    I love the little statue in the photo! My book title would be ‘Martin’s Mate’. Martin is a shy boy who finds it hard to make friends with real children, so he stops and chats to the statue on the way home. The statue is lonely too – Martin is the only person who has ever spoken to him. He tells Martin how lucky he is to be a living, breathing boy and teaches him to focus on the positives in his life so he’ll have more confidence.


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