Herbal Lore and Romance
by Beth Trissel
Copyright © 2012 Beth Trissel
The love potion in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been analyzed by a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in England. Doctor Sell thinks it was made up of heart’s ease (violas) blended with the sweetness of musk roses. In the play, Oberon drops the flowery decoction onto the eyelids of the sleeping Titania, but the good doctor cautions against trying this at home. Rather, opt for the nape of the neck or the décolleté. Men just love the décolleté, breasts pushed up by a tightly drawn corset for those of you who didn’t realize.
In ages past it was thought that a young maiden could toss a sprig of St. John’s Wort over her shoulder and soon learn the name of the man she was to marry. Leafy branches of this herb were also hung in windows to ward off evil spirits and burnt to protect against devils, goblins and witches. Bear this in mind, if you’re troubled by them. Legend has it that angelica was revealed in a dream by an angel to cure the bubonic plague. All parts of the plant were deemed of great value against enchantment. And don’t forget boughs of the sacred rowan tree to ward off evil spells.
Feeling timid? Anoint your feet with catnip tea to embolden yourself. Fennel seed is said to boost desire. Lavender is “of ‘especiall good use for all griefes and paines of the head.” For those of you who would be true, rosemary is the symbol of fidelity between lovers. Traditionally, a wreath of the aromatic herb was worn by brides. Rosemary is also the herb of remembrance left at the grave of loved ones.~
Somewhere My Love by Beth Trissel
A cold finger laid its icy touch on Julia and ran down the length of her spine. "How did it happen?"
"He's said to have been run through by the very man who made that mark on the door. Mr. Cameron. Scottish fellow he was, back in..." Mrs. Hensley pursed her thin lips, blue eyes distant. "Ah, yes, 1806. Some fuss over a woman."
"How dreadful. What about Mr. Cameron?"
"The friend of a neighbor, I believe. He escaped and was never found. No justice was ever done in the matter."
Julia hesitated, then asked, "And the woman?"
"Heartbroken, poor thing. She returned to England. She was a guest of the Wentworth family and greatly enamored of Cole. All the young ladies were, but he had a particular fascination with this girl."
"Why was she so special?"
"Apart from her legendary beauty? She had an angelic quality about her. Or so the story goes."
An irrational jealousy twanged a jarring note in Julia. In the space of a few short minutes she'd fallen in love with the man in the portrait--typical of her impractical nature and unlikely to advance her nonexistent love life. And yet, she couldn't help plunging into the sweet madness.
She tore her eyes from the portrait. "Do you recall the lady's name?"
Mrs. Hensley gave a little laugh. She tapped a finger to her furrowed forehead. "Isn't that odd? It was Julia something ... hmmmm."
Was Mrs. Hensley teasing her? She had to know.
"I've got it. Julia Maury," the guide continued and arched graying brows. "You're from England, aren't you, Miss Morrow? Tread with care here, my girl. We don't want you stirring up any ghosts. Foxleigh has enough already."~
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2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
2008 Winner Preditor's & Editor's Readers Poll
Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle
Won Book of the Week Five Times At LASR
2012 Double Epic Award Finalist
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Monday: Heather Hiestand
Tuesday: Jacquie Rogers
Wednesday: Beth Trissel
Thursday: Ginger Simpson
Friday: Karen M. Nutt
Saturday: Linda LaRoque
Sunday: Chicken Dinner, all winners announced!