Books, the internet, workshops, and reading other books set in the time in which I set my characters, helps keep my Scottish paranormals accurate. But what happens when I include what many deem to be merely myths, folklore, or untruths? Witchcraft is one such aspect of my books that made me work to give my readers the suspense and taste of something not of their world while striving not to offend those who believe in witches, covens, and witchcraft. There is an actual religion called Wicca surrounding some of the faithful.
Throughout the years, stereotypes and other falsehoods have been built from people’s lack of true knowledge about the witchcraft religion. Since I would never want to offend any religious group, I give my characters vague histories. In my Highland Games Through Time series, several modern women are witches, but they use their potions and herbs and other powers to help others. Another witch from ancient Scotland uses a magic amulet and spells to work her magic.
In Dragon’s Curse, one of the dragon tales in my new release, DRAGON Bites, a witch from the 1500’s dies with her daughter and her clan, then rises as a ghostly apparition to avenge her family by cursing my hero. I do not go into her history or her powers, but I do show her living and raising her daughter within her village on a small island. I do not explain how she cursed him, but I do use why she did as a large plot point in the story. How he redeems himself is key to the successful conclusion.
Since all the witches in my Highland Games Through Time books use herbs and potions, I do talk somewhat throughout the series about certain herbs they use to get what they want. In My Honorable Highlander, the magical love potion does not work the way my heroine expects it to, and that problem is carried through the book to a happy ending.
Some of the herbs and plants I mention in my books as part of the plot that one might use when concocting a love potion are mint, apple buds, and yarrow root. This might sound strange to some, because for centuries the ancient Scots use yarrow to staunch blood flow. Willow bark, the predecessor to aspirin, is cultivated for pain. Confervae, which is also known an ancient linarich, and ragwort are used to heal burns. Something more normal, which is used to reduce swelling, is the common blackberry leaf.
There are dozens of books on witchcraft and mythology as well as internet sites where a writer can research just the right item for use in their story. I needed to find plants and herbs that witches in ancient Scotland might use, but were also accessible in present day New England. My present day dabblers in witchcraft needed to be knowledgeable about herbs and flowers found in 16th century Scotland, since they end up helping heal the people they encounter. I also find they need to relieve their own headache.
More About Nancy Lee Badger
She loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.
Connect with Nancy:
Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/13ICHLq
MY RELUCTANT HIGHLANDER
Barnes&Noble PRINT http://bit.ly/10UQa3Z
DRAGON Bites, a 3book Collection of Dragon Tales
Amazon Ebook http://amzn.to/15LqV24
Amazon Print http://amzn.to/17Ynsni
NOOK Ebook http://bit.ly/16aZFuP
B&N Print http://bit.ly/15vYjhG