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Friday, October 2, 2015

Medicinal Herbs in Elen's Garden ~guest post by Jan DeLima, author of Autumn Moon #giveaway

I'm so happy to have Jan DeLima here today sharing a lovely and fascinating post about some of the magical herbs grown by her heroine, Elen, who is a healer. Be sure to check out Jan's new release, Autumn Moon, as well as her wonderful contest at the end of this post.

Thank you so much for hosting a guest post on my blog tour!  It is truly appreciated!

by Jan DeLima

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my books, I write the Celtic Wolves series, which begins with Celtic Moon and is followed by Summer MoonAutumn Moon, book three, is my latest release.  The stories are inspired by Celtic folklore and are a mixture of paranormal romance and urban fantasy.  Imagine if the legends of Celtic lore still walk among us in secret, and you’ll have a good idea of what my books are all about.  They are dark fairy tales in a modern day setting.  My characters are often tormented, not to mention growly on occasion; a side effect from their wolfy sides I’m afraid. 

Autumn Moon is Elen and Cormack’s story.  Nature was, and still is, an important influence for Celts, and making Elen a healer worked well with her magic and history.  She lives in a cottage surrounded by forests and gardens where she collects and grows medicinal herbs.  If that doesn’t sound magical to you, then I will share one of my favorite conversations between Elen and her mentor, Maelorwen.

Maelorwen in Summer Moon:
“I am a problem solver, though I have been called many things in all my years: witch, midwife, alchemist, herbalist, doctor. We were burned on pyres, hung from trees, pressed between rocks, and now people of my trade work in tall buildings made of iron and glass and spin their potions in tubes instead of cauldrons. I read about these things in the magazine-books Gareth brings us. They make squares of chocolate for people to shit and I would have given them a nice cup of elderberry tea.” A wide smile revealed white but uneven teeth. “Alas, I will admit I never made a potion for a six-hour erection.” A dimple appeared on the unscarred side of her cheek. “Though I know of a few men who could have greatly used one.”

A garden can be a magical place filled with inspiration.  Truly, I could fill this post with pictures from my own cottage garden, but I will contain my enthusiasm to just a few popular herbs you may be familiar with that were also used throughout history for their medicinal properties.  This should go without saying, but I will mention it anyway. Medicinal herbs should not be used without consulting a physician first.  Even common supplements can cause harmful side effects and react to current medical prescriptions.  Also, never consume an herb you’re not sure of.  Many plants look alike and have poisonous properties.
·         Comfrey induces rapid healing of cuts and can cause problems if wounds aren’t properly cleaned before applying.  Currently it is illegal to sell in many countries due to its side effects.
·         Echinaceais an antihistamine, among many other things.
·         Yarrow is antiseptic.  Its leaves can be crushed and applied as a poultice over wounds.  It’s the white wild variety, not the colorful plants often seen in mixed borders.
·         Lavender is mostly used in poultices and soaps due to its scent.  Historically, it was used as a headache remedy and as a deterrent for moths when storing clothing.

·         Sage is a popular seasoning herb, as I’m sure you already know, but historically it was used as a tonic for coughs and constipation, among other things.

·         Thyme is also a popular seasoning herb.  It is also an antiseptic that contains thymol and has been used throughout history in medicinal tonics.  You can read more about thymol on its Wikipedia page:

Before I ramble on, I will stop there and leave you with a picture of Brynmor Cottage that is featured in Summer Moon and Autumn Moon, along with a precocious pixie who ordered Elen to build it.  You are welcome to read that excerpt on my website at:

Thank you so much for participating in my Autumn Moon blog tour!As always, I hope you’re reading something just for fun!

Autumn Moon

The Celtic Wolves Series
Book 3
Elen and Cormack’s story
Jan DeLima

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: ACE
Date of Publication: September 29, 2015
ISBN: 978-0425266229
Number of pages: 304

Book Description:

The heart of a warrior, the soul of a wolf, and the desires of a man…

For centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities.

Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever. Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes.

Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…

Available at Amazon  and   BN

Excerpt from Autumn Moon

Too wired to sleep, Elen opened the wine and poured a glass, sipping quietly as she walked over to the bed.  Cormack slept above the coverlet and on his back, with one arm raised over his head, while the other rested by his side.  His hair was still damp from his shower, and he wore jeans but no shirt, as if he’d just rested his head and sleep claimed him first.

His chest rose and fell with even breaths.  She was not one to marvel over physical attributes, but this was Cormack, and his body was meant for pleasure, like a goddess had molded him for her personal divine gratification.  His frame was large, and toned, with wide shoulders and a firm chest that tapered down to his hips.  His hardened stomach would provide the perfect friction were she to ride him just like this.

And as that image flooded her mind, another, more wicked one, followed.  It was greedy, and selfish, but all her niceness had been used up for the day.  He looked peaceful, and innocent, but the man was practically immortal after all.  Their kind did not die from lack of sleep.  They might go mad, of course, but that took a few weeks.  And had he not said, do with me as you will?

She needed to touch him.  That was all.  Well, no, she wanted more, but for now that would do.  Taking a sip of her wine, she gently set the glass on an end table by the bed, and gave into temptation.  Starting by his heart, she brushed lightly across his chest, tracing down the indent between, and lingering on the valleys and curves of his muscles.  Flattening her hand over his stomach, she felt the soft hair that began just above the waistband of his jeans and disappeared below.  She had never seen him in this restful state, at least not in his human form, and took in her ravenous fill.

Her hand lingered over the button of his jeans.  She swallowed, wanting… Oh, how she wanted.  It burned like molten earth, fed by a need that had been denied for too long.  Even now she felt her body moisten and swell just from imagining what waited beyond that closure, and how it would feel inside her.

Or how it would taste.

She thumbed the button.  A quick flick was all it would take.

A sound made her jolt, an intake of breath perhaps, followed by a sudden rise under her hands.  She snapped her eyes to his face.

Cormack was awake.

And watching her.

A fire raged within his cerulean gaze.  “Kill me now if you stop, Elen, because then I’ll know I’m well and truly cursed and I cannot be tortured anymore.”

Prequel for Autumn Moon:

About the Author:

Jan DeLima is the author of the Celtic Wolves novels, including Summer Moon and Celtic Moon. She lives in Maine with her husband and their two sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age, but she has always been a dedicated reader.  It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine.

Tour giveaway
$100 Amazon gift card open to U.S. and Canada
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Koala Reading Den said...

Sounds like a great series and I will have to start reading. Thanks for sharing and getting to know about this author.

Jan said...

Thank you so much for hosting a guest post on my blog tour!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Glad to have you spend a day, Jan!

Stormy Vixen said...

I Loved this book and I enjoyed the guest post! Thanks for sharing!