Tag Archives: Young adult Suspense

A Cauldron of Herbs

Scary halloween laboratory
A Cauldron Of Herbs by Christina Mercer

In honor of this Harvest/Autumn/Halloween time of year, I decided to stir up some magic for you. Plant magic, that is! Nature is quite amazing, and humankind has utilized its wondrous magic since our beginnings.  I became a Certified Herbalist many years ago, and when writing my first Tween/Teen books, I enjoyed weaving herb lore throughout them. In addition to herb lore, I had fun with Celtic tree lore to show the marvelous magic of trees. I used the (totally fun!) folk names for herbs and trees, and had my main character use plant remedies for wounds and ailments that she and her loved-ones endured.

A little trivia about remedies found in nature . . .

The Doctrine of Signatures dates back to ancient times, and was studied in depth in Western Europe. The idea was that certain plants resembled the body parts they healed. Also, the names given to certain plants correlated to their healing properties. Some examples:

Walnuts—resembles a brain and helps memory

Ginger Root—resembles a stomach and helps nausea

Kidney Bean—resembles a kidney and helps kidney function

Eyebright—helps with “pink eye” and other eye irritation

Bloodroot—has red sap and helps purify the blood

In addition, herbalists found that certain “cures” grew near “causes.” An example is Jewelweed, an herb used to heal skin conditions, which is often found growing near Stinging Nettles and Poison Ivy.

Folk names were the early names given to herbs, and often eluded to their healing function. Some names, however, are perplexing or quite silly sounding. In fact, some of these silly-sounding herbs were used in healing remedies and not at all the literal meanings that their names may have suggested. Here are a handful of some fun “Halloween-ish” herb names:

Lion’s Tooth—Dandelion

Graveyard Dust—Mullein

Bloody Fingers—Foxglove

Little Dragon—Tarragon

Bat’s Wings—Holly

So, this year, while enjoying the festivities, if you happen to hear, “In the cauldron, Toe of Frog; watch it bubble with Tongue of Dog,” you might just find a neighborhood herbalist brewing up an herbal remedy.

ARROW OF THE MIST (currently 99 cents!) & ARMS OF ANU

both books-BeFunky

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Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband, sons, pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. For more about her and her writing, visit www.christinamercer.com

 

The Inspiration that keeps Me Writing

 

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the best-selling Super Spies Mystery/Thriller series. I’m here today to discuss my inspiration for my writing. There have been many highlights for me during my writing career, but there’s one that really stands out.

Each year I conduct a writing workshop for a local girl’s group. It’s so nice to work with these young girls who are pursuing their dreams. They’re so eager to learn and it’s a rush to work with such inquiring young minds. Each experience is extremely rewarding and the main reason I keep writing. It’s good for the girls as well, to meet an author or an artist and realize that they’re normal people and not celebrities. It makes their dreams possible. I mean if this “normal” mom can write a book, why can’t I?

Their goals and desires become obtainable and this is what I want these young girls to realize, that they can do it with hard work and perseverance. Success doesn’t just happen to the lucky.

I want these girls to leave with that “I can do it” attitude when they finish my workshop and I feel like I accomplish it each time I do one. I want girls to grow up with the confidence that they can achieve their dreams if they “believe.” All the Emblazon Authors feel this way.

They want to inspire and motivate young people with their stories, so if you’re looking for some great middle grade reads, check out the Emblazon books. You’ll be glad you did! 😉

Thanks for reading my post. I’d love to hear what inspires you to keep writing. So leave a comment I’d love to hear from you. In addition, I’m pictured below  with the girls from the writing workshop I conducted a few months ago. I gave each one a copy of my book as a prize for participating. I must say these workshops are just plain fun! 🙂

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20111210_ABS_1296[1]Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then.  “The Super Spies and the Pied Piper” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on a Coming of Age Young Adult Novel. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

You can find Lisa Orchard here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Orchard/328536613877060?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisaorchard1

Website:  http://www.lisaorchard.com/

Writing for the Tween Market

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard, the bestselling author of the Super Spies series and I’m here to talk about writing for the Tween Market.

First of all, I love this age group! When I look back on my life, I recall my tween years as some of my happiest memories. In fact, my friends and I formed our own detective squad and tried to solve a mystery in our  small town. We never did, but let me tell you that was one of the best summers of my life. When I get together with those friends, we always bring up that summer and laugh about it.

When I look back on those years, I chuckle at my attitude. We thought we were invincible and we could accomplish anything! What a wonderful feeling to believe that there are no limitations or obstacles.

So, when I decided to write for this market I wanted to bring that same feeling to my readers. And being an avid mystery fan, it was a natural choice for me to write stories in that genre. However, I had to be careful because I wanted my characters to be good role models too. So, I made sure they didn’t condone or take part in any negative behavior like bullying or teasing. I had to do that and keep the story entertaining. No small task, that’s for sure!

While keeping my stories interesting, I also weave life lessons throughout the books; that way my readers can learn the lesson right along with the characters. Fiction can be a wonderful teacher, and sometimes it’s easier to learn a lesson from a book than it is to learn one from a parent. Sometimes, it’s easier on the parent too. 🙂

I’m always striving to teach with my stories and the other Emblazoner authors feel the same way. It’s so nice to work with a group of like-minded individuals. We all use different tools to tell our story. For example, some of us use humor, and some use fantasy or history. What’s nice about that is there’s something in our selection for every type of reader. So go ahead and check out our books, I’m sure you’ll find something for even the most reluctant reader!

Thanks for reading my post and if you’d like to share some of your thoughts on writing for the tweens in your life, feel free. We’d love to hear from you!