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.
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.
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.