One of the themes running through the Warlocks series, is the use of herbal lore in witchcraft. The central character, Evrain, is an elemental warlock with strong links to the earth, while his partner Dominic gained his knowledge of herb farming from Evrain’s grandmother, a witch. Researching the various properties and uses of herbs has been a really interesting part of developing the books.
Of course, most people nowadays are aware of the properties of some common herbs and plants. Perhaps you like a cup of calming chamomile tea, or use Echinacea to help with cold and flu symptoms? Even the smell of lavender is supposed to be calming and it also has antiseptic properties and rosemary is supposed to help memory and concentration – excellent for scatter brained authors like me!
In ancient times, herbalism was a mixture of medicine and magic. Magic being anything that could not be explained within the margins of known science. In addition to their culinary and medicinal uses, certain herbs have also adopted a reputation for having spiritual and magical qualities.
In Elemental Hope, the second book in the Warlocks series, Dominic uses his knowledge of herbs to save Evrain’s life. I had to find a herb linked to the blood in order to fit with the plotline and there proved to be many. The most commonly known is garlic, but I wanted to avoid that because of its associations with vampires, so I hunted down something different.
Agrimony is a herb that has been used extensively in folklore. Witches often used agrimony in spells and to ward off hexes. When placed in a sachet and hung in the home, it was said to provide protection against goblins, evil spirits, and poisoning. The dried flowers of agrimony can be used to brew a drink, which is thought to purify blood. Agrimony has long been regarded as powerfully magical, and one of its earliest common names is ‘fairy’s wand’. In an 18th-century Scottish witch trial, agrimony was mentioned as a witch’s cure for people who were ‘elf-shot,’ or suffering unexplained illness.*
This fitted the bill perfectly and though I took some liberties with how the herb was transferred into Evrain’s bloodstream, the principle around its use are based on this ancient folklore.
So, if you are interested in a contemporary paranormal fantasy where the world of warlocks and witches exists alongside the everyday, you might enjoy this series. There’s a bit of a reversal in this second book, with submissive Dominic having to take huge risks to save his usually dominant boyfriend. He has help along the way from Evrain’s godfather, an enemy turned friend and even an overweight, possibly possessed, cat. Elements of BDSM are often given a light hearted, magical twist – it’s amazing what can be achieved with daisy stems and a light breeze when you have command of air and earth.
* Hatfield, Gabrielle. Hatfield’s Herbal: The Secret History of British Plants. London: Penguin, 2008. Print.
A warlock’s blood gives him life. It can also bring his death.
It’s no wonder Evrain Brookes, newly fledged warlock, is feeling the strain. A coven of power-hungry witches is after his blood. Literally. A psychotic warlock wants him dead. His godfather’s training regime is about as much fun as chewing on nettles and an overweight, scarily perceptive cat has moved into his house.
His boyfriend Dominic yearns for a normal life, or at least a safer one. He accepts his role both as Evrain’s submissive partner and as the conduit through which he channels his gift—but he’s afraid for his lover, and the lengths Evrain’s enemies might go to in order to fulfil their lust for power.
When Evrain falls victim to a plot between the Octis Coven and malevolent warlock Symeon Malus, it’s up to Dominic to rescue him. With the help of the two other North American warlocks, Shadow the cat and an old enemy, Dominic takes steps to get his lover back. There’s a high price to pay and no guarantee that the risks he must take will work out but Evrain is worth going through hell for, even if it costs Dominic his life.
Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/elemental-hope
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2uSXNy3
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2gZ4eK4
LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015. You can track her down online here:
Pride Publishing page: https://www.pride-publishing.com/author/lm-somerton
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/L.M.-Somerton/e/B00AV9XRW8