I am so excited to have Heather here today!!
Inspiration in the Strangest Places
By Heather Blake
Often people wonder how I come up with story ideas. Sometimes there are no answers—the plots and characters are just stuck in my brain ready come out. Other times, I find inspiration from the news. I’ll hear something that starts me playing the “What if” game. What if one of my characters found that body… (That game is a lot of fun, by the way.) But as I was writing A Potion to Die For, a found inspiration in a place I never had before…
In one of my own characters.
Let me back up a bit. Originally Carly Hartwell, the main character in A Potion to Die For, was a white magic witch, a healer, who used potions made of herbal concoctions and some magical drops to heal the mind, body, heart, and soul. And when I first started this story, that’s all she was and that’s all she did. But I couldn’t help but feel that something, some element, a deeper layer, was missing.
About this same time, I’d received edits on a book I’d previously written, The Good, the Bad, and the Witchy, (the third book in my Wishcraft series). After I’d done the edits, one of the characters kept nagging at me. That character is an Emoticrafter, a witch who can feel another person’s emotions. I adore this character because of how he tugged on my heartstrings and made me feel for him. And after a day or so, I suddenly realized why I couldn’t get him out of my head.
What that character could do was exactly what Carly Hartwell needed, except I kicked it up a notch. I made her a full-fledged empath—she can feel a person’s emotions and their physical pain. She uses her gift to help find the exact potion to make that person better (and sometimes to solve crimes!).
With this final element in place, Carly Hartwell finally came to life. Fully layered.
As an empath, she’s compassionate yet guarded.
As a witch and healer, she’s magical.
As a woman, she’s deeply flawed, but oh-so-hopeful.
She’s complicated and unconventional. Loyal yet cynical. Feisty yet caring. Most of all, she’s utterly lovable.
She’s absolutely become one of my favorite characters, and I hope she’ll become one of yours, too.
Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than a dozen mystery novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She’s a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, bake (mostly cookies), and occasionally leave the house to travel to the beautiful mountains in the northeast. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book.
A Potion to Die For:
A Magic Potion Mystery
Brand New Series
An Obsidian Mystery (November 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 1979 KB
Welcome to Hitching Post, Alabama. A charmed little town that revolves around love and marriage. When a local soothsayer forecasts “Sunny with a chance of divorce” the entire town goes crazy and heads to Little Shop of Potions to get their love potions to make sure they stay hitched. Carly Bell Hartwell, the owner of the shop, rushes to beat the crowds and get her magical potions ready for her many customers.
Upon her arrival things quickly turn from magical to criminal as there is a dead man on the floor clutching one of her potion bottles. Now she is the prime suspect and she will be lucky if she can give her potions away.
*In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!
The whimsical characters that inhabit Hitching Post are just fantastic. You have Carly, the “good” hoodoo witch, who chooses to focus on the positive – healing, love, marriage, happiness. Delia, her cousin, the darker, “not really bad”, voodoo witch who owns Till Hex Due Us Part and conjures more of the hexes with no concern of consequences. Both have the ability to feel other people’s emotions.
Then there is Carly’s mom who runs one of the local wedding chapels and who will do anything to drive the competing chapel out of business. Add in Eulalie, Hazel, and Marjie Fowl, Carly’s aunties or “The Odd Ducks” as the townsfolk call these 65 year old, fraternal triplets, that never have been married. They own 3 local Bed & Breakfasts. Two of which are very welcoming to tourists and the third will greet anyone trespassing on her property with a shotgun.
And for that necessary romantic conflict there is Sergeant Dylan Jackson, investigator for the Darling County Sheriff’s Office. He is also the man Carly almost married not once but twice! There are more wonderful townspeople to meet too.
Heather Blake takes these characters and brews up a magical mystery that was a pure pleasure to read. Smart, funny, and clever with a touch of southern charm. A truly extraordinary debut for this series!!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 3 COPIES to give away!
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Contest Will End November 28, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
*FROM BACK COVER