I am pleased to announce that the Black Dog Coffee Company will host a book signing of my novel The Problem with Power April 27th at the Black Dog Coffee Company, Ranson WV, from 3-5 p.m. Please join me to get your copy of The Problem with Power!
I am at the Muse Online Writer's Conference today presenting about Herblore.
Herb lore is an ancient discipline that remains a valuable tool for writers of fiction. It is likewise an interest that stretches across time and cultures. Authors who use herb lore in their work vary from writers of high fantasy like Tolkien to modern day romance writers like Nora Roberts. In my own works, I create characters with magical abilities, and the addition of herb lore adds interest and history to characters. I don’t claim to be an expert on herbs, but I have spent many years reading and learning about the applications and folklore surrounding different herbs, and I apply this knowledge to my writing. I’ve also spent the last five years cultivating an herb garden of my own and learning about the different properties and personalities of these plants.
For example, a familiar archetype or stock character that many writers use is a wise man or woman. In my novel, The Problem with Power, that character is Maeve VonPeer, a local wild woman with a penchance for herbalism. Maeve’s herbal store room, which features as much in the story as Maeve herself, is located in a pantry beside her kitchen. The whole room is chock full of dried herbs, flowers, and other oddities. Emily VonPeer, the main character in my novel, finds herself in this room on a night when she is unable to sleep.
“She was greeted with the familiar whiff of mingled herbs and flowers. On either side of her, shelves rose above her head, stuffed with glass jars, earthen jugs, and occasional oddities like hand mirrors and feather dusters. After searching and sniffing several canisters, Emily found a jar that contained her favorite blend of tea that Aunt Maeve had dried and bundled last summer.”
Without giving too much away about the plot, this scene occurs when Emily is at a very low, lonely point in her life. To me, there’s something very soothing about the sweet scent of herbs and teas, and I often find myself reaching for my stash of herbal teas on lonely nights when I find myself unable to sleep. I envision Emily’s favorite tea to be a combination of chamomile, rose, and mint with a dash of honey. Chamomile would be to settle the nerves, rose would be for hope, the mint would be for good luck, and the honey would make it sweet.
One benefit of using herbs in a story is that they can communicate several senses all at the same time. The sense of smell is very powerful, and to add reality to your story, it’s a good thing to include as much as possible. For those of you who work with herbs or enjoy cooking, you know the distinct, powerful, and differing aromas of scents like cinnamon, rosemary, cloves, mint, or lavender.
Apart from the sensual appeal of herbs is the magical appeal of herbs for the writer. Most herbs have a folklore or magic of their own, and the ability to use this knowledge as a writer can really enhance your scenes. For your own study, I have included some handouts for you discussing some of my favorite lore about common herbs and a reading list of both print and Internet sites that will help you conduct some of your own writerly research.
For example, did you know that there is an old tradition that if a young woman peels an apple in one long, thin slice, then throws the peel over her left shoulder onto the ground, the peel will shape itself into the first letter of the name of her true love?
Herbal spells or magics can be used by paranormal characters to forward the plot. They can be used by mainstream fiction writers to add a local flair or authenticity to period style pieces.
Please feel free to check out the site, or to leave a comment or question and I will get back to you with an answer!
A big thanks to Roxanne Rhoades at Bewitching Book Tours for setting up this tour!
My blog tour for The Problem with Power begins tomorrow, September 7 at Fangtastic Books.
It kicks off a month of tours, interviews and giveaways. Please feel free to join me!
Congratulations to Maureen and Nancy, winners of The Problem with Power book giveaway. I will be in contact shortly to determine your preferences and send you the books.
I am giving away 2 free copies of my novel The Problem with Power, your choice of ebook or a signed paper copy. The contest runs from Friday, August 3- Friday, August 10. It's very simple, just click one of the options below so that you are entered to win. Rafflecopter will choose winning names at random, then I will contact winners to determine prize delivery (Please note: This is just me running the contest, I do not collect or sell any type of personal information). That's it, and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Book Trailer - Available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million
Please click the picture below to purchase Soul Reborn by Jean Murray at a special anniversary price, available at AllRomanceebooks through July 15th!
The below message is from my friend and co-author at Crescent Moon Press, Hildie McQueen:
The second in the Protector Novels is available for sale today!
I began to write Desperate Surrender, but stopped because Kieran, the hero, was silent. I could not figure him out and got so frustrated I wanted to kick the Scot back to Scotland! Then I did what I always do when wanting to hear from a character, I went on a long drive, an eight-hour drive to be exact. There is a scene in the book that I had to get directly from Kieran in order to write. And boy did I. When I finally broke through it became so emotional that I pulled over and cried for him.
When you read the scene in which Kieran finally decides what he must do, I hope that I conveyed the emotions in a manner that will make you desperately want this hero to have his happily ever after.
I am proud to announce Desperate Surrender, Kieran Fraser and Wendy O'Sullivan's story...
Buy Desperate Surrender on Amazon (Kindle)
Buy Desperate Surrender at Barnes and Noble (Nook)
Hildie loves the strange and unusual, pair that with humor and you’ve got an idea of what her writing is like. Besides writing, her other occupation is as an administrative assistant in support of the Department of Defense. She enjoys making sure action, intrigue, and sizzling romance add up to an escape that her readers won’t soon forget. Hildie is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter and Romance Writers of America. She resides in the beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt.
Giveaway - Go through and click on one of the boxes, then hit the Word "Enter" in the bottom corner of each of the boxes below. Best of luck!
Finally, some news. All of my edits on my book are finally done and we're looking at a June release date. Last night, my good friend Mark finished cutting the film for a book trailer for The Problem with Power. I am really excited about the trailer and the summer release of my book. Click the link below to view: