Welcome Guest Esme Addison

I’m so delighted to welcome Esme Addison to The Wickeds. Esme and I have been trying to sync our schedules so we could do an event together to no avail. And then of course the pandemic hit. Look for a giveaway at the end of the post! Her first cozy is A Spell for Trouble An Enchanted Bay mystery. It releases on May 12th. Enjoy getting to know Esme.

I’ve always loved the power of flowers, plants and herbs. Don’t they seem magical, the way they perfume the air with such lovely scents? The way they enhance any space with color and shapes? But wait – they do so much more… they can actually heal, too!  Flowers, plants and herbs have always enchanted me – and when I decided to write my first cozy mystery, I knew it had to be set in an herbal apothecary. And I knew I wanted to use my stories to share some of my favorite herbal remedies and educate and inform my readers about the many uses of the flowers, plants and herbs growing all around us.

The main characters in A Spell For Trouble use flowers, plants and herbs in soaps, candles, teas and medicines just like I do. I don’t regularly make my own soaps and candles, but I do create my own herbal tea blends and herbal remedies for therapeutic purposes: ashwaganda and kava kava for stress relief, essential oil of cinnamon and unrefined coconut oil for inflamed gums and tooth aches.

I think that herbal remedies can be used to compliment modern medicine, while using best judgement and guidance from your family doctor of course. And it’s my hope that my Enchanted Bay Series will encourage readers to explore herbal options when they have mild medical issues. For example, I used tea tree oil on my teenaged son’s acne prone-skin when he was in high school, I made my own rash ointment with unrefined coconut oil, and essential oils of chamomile and tea tree when my middle son had eczema brought on by dairy allergies as a baby, I created my own drops for ear infection by mixing olive oil, lavender, tea tree oil and oregano for my youngest when he had ear infections monthly as a toddler and I didn’t want to give him anymore antibiotics or put tubes in his ears.

One of my favorite essential oils, lavender is gentle enough to create a bath and body oil for fussy babies – this one helped me out as a new mother more times than I can count.

Of course, a lot of reading, researching and trial and error has to occur if you’re going to create your own blends. You also have to cross check herbal ingredients against any health conditions you may have or any other medicines you may be taking. Even though herbal ingredients are from the Earth, it doesn’t mean they’re not potent or can cause serious side effects. You’ll have to do your due diligence!

There are plenty of recipes online and in books if you just want to follow something tried and true. But I wanted the satisfaction and creativity of crafting my own blends. It’s so rewarding when you can create something from natural ingredients to help your family, whether it’s itchy skin, an earache or a sore throat. But when time is of the essence, there’s nothing wrong with going to a trusted source for an herbal remedy recipe.

One of my remedies for a sore throat and dry cough includes Manuka honey, and essential oils of oregano (the strongest antibiotic and antifungal found in nature), orange oil and peppermint is so popular in my family that I bottle up several jars during cold and flu season and hand them out!

The characters in A Spell For Trouble are water witches, with the ability to command water and enchant herbal remedies for amplified benefits, but you don’t have to practice magic to unlock the power of plants, flowers and herbs! You can get started simply by going to your local grocery store and purchasing a few herbal tea blends for therapeutic benefits. Or stop by Whole Foods or your local natural foods store or market and try a natural honey-based cough medicine. Herbal remedies work gently with your body, work best at the onset of the ailment but should be discontinued if symptoms get worse.

I’m giving away one ARC (advanced readers copy) of A Spell For Trouble! Leave a comment below about your favorite herbal remedy or one you’ve heard about in your family. And then then let me know you’ve subscribed to my newsletter at this link. Contest runs from May 5th to May 10th. Winner announced on May 11th!

Readers: If you have a tried and true natural remedy, whether it’s your own, or something your mother or grandmother used, I’d love to hear about it in the comments sections. 

Bio

Ever since Esme discovered Nancy Drew, she’s wanted to solve mysteries. As a mystery author, she’s finally found a way to make that dream come true. A former military spouse, Esme lives in Raleigh, NC with her family. When she’s not writing or dreaming up new mysteries for her sleuths to stumble upon, you can find her dancing her calories away in Zumba, patronizing her local bookstores or visiting the beach, the mountains and all historical sites in between. Learn more about Esme at esmeaddison.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @EsmeAddison.

Book Blurb

Aleksandra Daniels hasn’t set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother’s tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.

Bellamy Bay doesn’t look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.

Alex’s investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex’s own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.

You can add A Spell For Trouble to your Goodreads shelf here. Follow me on BookBub and or purchase at Amazon.

 

65 Thoughts

  1. Welcome, Esme! I had a wonderful calendula and lavendar baby massage oil when my second son was little. I would give him a massage after his older brother went to bed and it was such a sweet, relaxing time. Best of luck with your new series!

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    1. I love the smell of peppermint too. Not just for Christmas! Peppermint is a powerful stimulating herb. Besides the fact that peppermint helps keep your scalp itch-free and your hair clean, the scent helps to increase energy levels. If you like peppermint, you might try lemongrass too. I use that on my hair almost daily for a fresh pick me up and all of its normal hair benefits.

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  2. Welcome! Looking forward to reading your book! I’ve always drank mint tea (peppermint or spearmint) for an upset stomach, ginger for digestive issues. I grow herbs right outside my back door and as they grow, and my husband and I brush them as we walk by, it provides a very comforting aroma as we walk in the door.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jill! Yes, peppermint, spearmint and ginger are great for digestive issues. Peppermint and ginger tea are staples in my pantry for just that reason. My mother used to grow rosemary and lavender by her front door and the smell was so amazing – that reminds me – I should do that with lavender. I never tired of smelling fresh lavender.

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    1. Thank you, Sherry. I can’t wait to read your Sea Glass Saloon Mystery series. Until I can actually travel to the beach, I’m going to be reading ALL the cozy mysteries set at the beach this spring and summer!

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  3. My mom always uses peppermint for her allergies. I don’t know much about herbal remedies but I’d like to learn more. This book sounds interesting, I hadn’t heard about it till now. I’ll have to check it out.

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  4. It sounds like a great series! I can’t wait to read it when it comes out.
    I prefer herbal remedies over drugs. Here’s one I got from my Grandma: for bumps, bruises, and sprains; make a poultice out of Comfrey leaves by steeping the leaves in a small amount of boiling water, then use the softened leaves to make the poultice. ** I heard that comfrey is toxic if ingested **

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    1. Hi Kim. I have fortunately never had a need for this type of remedy, although I have three rough and tumble boys. But comfrey sounds like a great herb to try, I’ll have to add to my list.

      By the way, I’m guessing by your last name that you have some Polish ancestry or have married into a Polish-American family? A Spell For Trouble was inspired by my Polish in-laws, features the women of the Sobieski family and is based on the myth of the Mermaid of Warsaw. More here: https://esmeaddison.com/2020/01/26/introducing-the-mermaid-of-warsaw/ 🙂

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    1. Love ginger for this purpose. Also, I’m not a soda drinker but when I was preggers with my now 9-year-old, I drank A LOT of organic ginger ale (the kind with inches of real ginger floating in the bottle).

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  5. I’ve always loved herbal teas. My husband and I currently use a colt’s foot tea to help ward off the common cold, and we also use a tincture made of elderflower (and other goodies) to aid in congestion relief. Congratulations on the new series!

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  6. Our family has always used natural products and remedies. I use tea tree oil for many things and neem too. They both make great shampoos and are in our toothpaste and mouthwash. I buy herbal teas and have used echinacea/goldenseal tincture for years for colds. Lately, I’ve been using elderberry to knock down any sickness. My favorite though is 1/4 teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon and one teaspoon of raw organic local honey. Mix together and take every morning and evening for 3 days at the first sign of illness, like a cold, sore throat or flu. I swear by this as every time I’ve done this, I have not gotten sick but it must be a the first sign of not feeling well.
    Arnica is amazing to stop bruises from forming if used right away. Real ginger works great for nausea too.

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    1. You’ve listed a lot of great remedies! My kids get an elixir of elderberry syrup, with zinc, and vitamin c drops at the first sign of sickness. It’s a potent mix. I’ve personally used arnica on a swollen finger that came from too much typing, and it was very effective.

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  7. I love the smell of peppermint. I have some hand sanitizer that has peppermint oil in it. Every time I use it, though, it makes my dog sneeze!

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    1. A lot of essential oils make great hand sanitizer – not just alcohol. Just blend with your favorite carrier oil. The only issue is not to get it in your eyes. In a pinch, I’ll rub lavender essential oil (neat) on my hands. Okay for the eyes and kills germs! Also smells good.

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  8. Nothing helps me sleep better than lemon and ginger herbal tea. Settles me right down.

    I buy a balm (made nearby) at a local Amish store called Quilter’s Boo Boo Balm. It heals cuts amazing fast. (Quilter’s get stuck a lot!) The description on the tube says it is made of “Comfrey & Calendula infused in a base of Mango Butter, Apricot Kernel, Avocado, Jojoba and Vitamin E oils & beeswax plus Tea Tree & Lavender essential oils.” I recommend it to everyone including my doctors. It’s great for cat scratches, too!

    I would love to win an ARC of your book. It sounds fascinating.

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  9. Congrats on the release! I should explore this kind of thing more, but I haven’t. (No need to enter me for the ARC.)

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    1. Thanks, Mark. 🙂 Yes, it’s an interesting topic. A nice gateway might be to find an herbal tea for relaxation or energy depending on your needs. Yogi brand has a great line of products and they’re at most grocery stores.

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  10. A few years ago I had a squamous cell removed from my leg, which ended up very infected. My dermatologist did prescribe antibiotics, but she also recommended using honey on my wound. She said local is best, don’t worry about the expensive manuka honey. I fell in love with the healing powers of honey. Black fly bite on my lip? Honey. Mouth sore? Honey.(and Coconut oil )The list goes on. I get my honey from a neighbor. The best. And I loved that it was a traditional doctor who taught me this, showing me that we can benefit from different beliefs, being open minded.
    Looking forward to reading your book! My gardens are my healing place.

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    1. Thanks, Janet. Yes, honey is powerful. Manuka is very expensive but it’s not the only game in town. 🙂 The ancient Egyptians (and many others historically) used it for wounds and locally-sourced honey was just as effective.

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  11. Taking a teaspoon of local honey each day to help with allergy season is one we do in my house. I’m subscribed 🙂

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  12. Congrats on the upcoming release, Esme! My mom was always a big believer in chicken noodle soup when I wasn’t feeling well. The steam really helped clear the sinuses. Cheers!

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    1. Hi J.C. Chicken is not an herb lol but your mother (and many others know the deal.) 🙂 The topic of healing foods is also an interest of mine. Whether it’s the steam or a component of the chicken, this soup is both comforting and healing. Maybe because it’s made with love or the intent to heal (another topic!)… I”m a pescatarian, but when I make this for my family, I add lots of onion (great healing properties), rosemary and basil and thyme and oregano to amplify the healing effects. Na Zdrowie!

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  13. Congratulations on your book! Every spring I switch to local honey as a sweetener. From what I’ve read, You can build up immunity against seasonal allergies that way since the bees are using the pollen from local flowers

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  14. Esme, your new book sounds like the perfect escape right now! Thanks to you and all the commenters for sharing your herbal remedies. I don’t have any to contribute, but these all sound like wonderful alternatives to traditional medicine.

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  15. Peppermint for stomach aches and chamomile for helping to sleep. You can make cookies with 4 tea bags of chamomile tea in the batter for comfort cookies. Thank you for the chance

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  16. Does elderberry count? It’s a great immune booster. I bought dried ones through Amazon and make my own syrup. Much less expensive. Congrats on your debut!

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    1. Oh yeah! Elderberry, it’s a berry but the plant – the flower – can also be used. It is surprisingly easy to make your own syrup, I have a friend that makes his own. 🙂 I usually buy the syrup from the local farmer’s market, but it’s on my list to make myself.

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  17. I make Elderberry syrup, about to make some today. Raw local honey, fresh ginger, cloves, cinnamon and lemon peel.
    Also peppermint ginger chews.

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  18. I don’t know much about herbal remedies. We do keep a nice assortment of different teas in the house.. I have an herb and spice shelf with 30 or 40 different items that I play with. I do that to try and improve the taste of the food I prepare. At 72 I’m still testing new ways to cook edible food.

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  19. I also recently tried butterfly pea flower in a drink. I was so enchanted with the color changing properties and started reading up on it. It’s actually very good for you. I’m in the process of trying to order some. It’s supposed to enhance memory, boost your brain and calm you. Plus it’s beautiful!

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  20. I use magnesium phosphorica 6X (Hylands) to relax my jaw muscles and prevent clenched teeth and grinding my teeth at night. I have used it as needed for over 30 years now. I rarely need it anymore as I have learned how to relax my jaw on my own.

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    1. I use Magnesium to calm my body for stress and anxiety, it’s a great option. Not an herb but a supplement that is very powerful. I keep a jar of a drink called Calm which you mix with water for a fruity carbonated taste, similar to flavored Alka-Seltzer and it really workds!

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