One of the fun aspects for me when writing a new story is finding out about new-to-me subjects. I’m curious by nature, so it’s something of a treasure hunt to go looking for the details to include in my stories. The meanings behind the “props” my characters use. For example, what kind of wand would Roxie have? She itches to use it in Charmed Against All Odds:
“My tea is cold.” Paulette screwed up her face as she set her cup on the low table in front of her.
“So, go put it in the micro for a few seconds.” Zak squeezed her shoulder with one large hand. “Lazy.”
“Am not. I don’t want to miss a thing.” Wrinkling her nose, Paulette turned away from her husband to pin her hopeful gaze on Roxie. “Would you mind?”
“Of course not.” Suppressing the bounding of glee inside, Roxie flourished her wand, aimed it at the flowered mug. She flicked the tip of the wand at the cup. Steam rose from the warmed liquid. “Try that.”
Paulette lifted the mug and took a sip, aiming a grateful grin at her cousin. “Perfect.”
Grant had one beefy arm around Tara as they sat on the loveseat facing the fireplace. His storm gray eyes held a hint of skepticism, the scientist in him still doubting his wife’s abilities as well as her sisters. Despite having proof. Objective, irrefutable evidence and yet he continually showed that he doubted his own observation. Roxie pursed her lips as she studied the man. Ere long he’d have to acknowledge the abilities of the witch he’d married.
“What do you know about the quest spell, Roxie?” Beth sat on Mitch’s lap in one of the chairs flanking the fireplace.
Mitch, too, tended to be reticent about the three sisters and their magical talents. Even though he would soon be a member of the family of witches with their individual gifts. Still, he’d only been part of the group for a couple of months. Over time, she hoped he’d come around fully to believe in them. Like Max and Zak.
“Enough to know that Leo and I may need all of you to help.” She slid her gaze to take in the rest of the group.
Max and Zak had married the Golden sisters’ cousins, Meredith and Paulette, respectively. The owners of the Twin Oaks plantation and B&B, the sisters had been instrumental in freeing the two ghosts who once haunted the place. Luckily, the ghosts were friendly and not scary. A whole different kind of magic might have been necessary in such a case. Roxie’s wand fingers itched at the thought. It had been too long since she’d had a solid reason to seriously wield her wand. Warming her cousin’s tea did not satisfy the itch. She put her wand away with a reluctant sigh.
I had to go digging for what kind of wood her wand would most likely be made of. There are many to choose from with their own unique properties and affinities, I found out. The list at Dragon Oak includes alder, apple, ash, basswood, beech, birch, cedar, cherry, elder, elm, hawthorn, hazel, hickory, honey locust, holly, ivy, lilac, maple, oak, Osage orange, poplar, sassafras, vine, black walnut, and willow. After reading through the descriptions, I chose ash for Roxie’s wand. Why?
Several of the properties tie into Roxie’s family heritage and her personal abilities as a witch. With her Irish ancestry, the fact that ash is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology struck a chord. The more importantly ash “aids in communication, intelligence, wisdom, and promotes curiosity” which are all important to Roxie. And it’s also the “wood of the writer, poet, and scholar” which Roxie is as well.
I looked a bit further into ash wood wands over at British Originals to see what they had to say. Turns out “ash wands cling to its one true master” and so shouldn’t be handed down to another witch. Also Roxie’s stubborn nature makes her an ideal candidate for an ash wand since “witches…best suited to ash wands are not lightly swayed from their beliefs or purposes.”
I do find it fascinating that so much thought has gone into understanding the inherent properties of individual woods and how people can use them to suit a given purpose. I do not fully understand it myself, but is an interesting aspect of the woods available. To think of how they possibly impact us without our being aware of the subtle influences they generate.
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Charmed Against All Odds is now available!
Charmed Against All Odds is also part of the Common Elements Romance Project. More than 75 romances—historical, sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, suspense—which include the same 5 elements. Those elements are a guy named Max, a lost set of keys, a tall stack of books, a haunted house, and a lightning storm. Visit the website for a listing of all the books by subgenre and for monthly giveaways.
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.