Charm #1: On being an open book #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

The last three weeks I’ve talked about the elements of the membership ring for the Order of Witchery Lore in Charmed Against All Odds. Those elements include which finger to wear the ring, what color of stone, and what metal. Now I’d like to talk about the enchanted charm bracelet and more specifically the individual charms Roxie Golden and Leo King have to hunt for and why I chose them.

One lesson I’ve learned over years, or make that decades, of writing is that nothing in the story should be arbitrary. Everything should have a reason for being. So when it came time to sort out the booty my main characters were in search of, I had to determine the why before the what.

The first thing I did was to make a list of things I feel are necessary to have a successful relationship, partnership, marriage, based on my observations and my 30+ years’ experience married to my husband. Then I arranged those into an order of increasing importance.

Charm #1: Gold-plate open book

The first charm, an open book, is given to them to launch the quest spell. This is the moment in Charmed Against All Odds when Roxie realizes something is amiss, after Leo (her ex-fiancé) arrives out of the blue with a mysterious box:

“The sole reason I’m here is to give you this box.” He plunked it down on the glass display case by the register, knocking a stack of postcards advertising the open mic night across the surface. “Done. I’m out of here.”

Wait, she wanted to cry out as he glanced at her and then away. He couldn’t leave. She had questions only he could answer. If he’d stay long enough to hear them. He pivoted on one heel and marched toward the door.

“Stop.” She hurried to pick up the silver box and then hurried after him, holding it with both trembling hands. She caught up to him and momentarily laid a hand on his arm to detain his rapid departure, sensed the deep agitation inside him even as the familiar sizzle flowed through her. She stifled a gasp. He glanced at her hand and then met her eyes with a steady look. Releasing his arm, she gripped the box with both hands. “What am I supposed to do with it?”

The box vibrated in her hands and then a lyrical click sounded as the lid popped open. What had unlocked the box? She blinked at it, angling it one way and another to search for a release or some other catch she might have brushed. Nothing. Tara and Beth came around the counter and stood to one side, peeking at the tiny box. Magic must have been infused in the object, sensitive to her touch. But only after she’d touched Leo. Before then, it had remained firmly secured. She stared at the box as if it held a secret she didn’t want to know.

“Open it all the way.” Beth stretched a hand toward the box but hesitated to make contact with it. “What’s inside?”

“No idea. Not sure I want to but… Here goes.” Roxie slowly lifted the lid to reveal another gold folded note under a chunky golden bracelet. A single charm—an open book—was attached to it.

So, why an open book to begin the search? It’s not that either of the main characters, Roxie and Leo, are open books. Not at all! It’s more a symbol of knowing each other by walking in their shoes. Like when you read a story set in a different world from your everyday life, you get to experience life from a different perspective by “becoming” one of the characters.

The open book also symbolizes, to my way of thinking, being open to knowing everything about the other person in the relationship. Of attempting to understand the world through their eyes, their experiences. Do we always succeed? Of course not. But the attempt makes it easier to understand their reasoning, their reaction, their decision-making process. Ultimately to find common ground when you have a disagreement, an argument, or even an out-and-out verbal fight.

One charm down, five more to go!

Charmed Against All Odds is available for preorder now and releases on November 11. As a bonus gift, for everyone who pre-orders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order with me on my Facebook page ( and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, let me know and we’ll work out a different story as a thank you gift!)

My next signing is November 2, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. I’ll bring copies of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) to sign and I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you there to support the Shades of Pemberley independent book store as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

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Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

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7 thoughts on “Charm #1: On being an open book #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

  1. So many experiences, so little time to read them all! Keep writing, Betty Bolte! The right words in the right context can change someone’s life!

    Liked by 1 person

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