Guest Post by Leigh Goff
While trying to hide her uncontrollable magic and master her aunt’s spells, Sophie learns about her enchanted garden and all the amazing plants in it. She finds many practical and a few hilarious applications for the enchanted herbs and flowers. Below are a few that appear in the book.
Devil’s Bit. A small purple meadow flower and a good source of nectar, which Sophie applies to her lips everyday to help her lie (this only works for Wethersfield witches), because when you are a witch in a small town with Puritanical roots, you need a little help blending in with the ordinaries and keeping secrets from your witch sisters.
White Willow Bark. A natural anti-inflammatory and hemorrhoid reliever. When Sophie meets Alexavier’s taunting older brother, Zeke, she wonders if applying the bark powder all over Zeke would improve his disposition.
Munstead Lavender. Sophie’s pillow is filled with the summery scent to help her sleep through her haunted dreams, but lavender cannot compete with the tenacity of a four hundred-year-old witch’s spirit. Fortunately, this witch is helpful and guides Sophie in her quest to break the True Love Curse her ancestor, Rebecca Greensmith, cast on the Mather bloodline. Did I mention Rebecca, Sophie’s witch ancestor, was hung at the gallows in Wethersfield?
Calendula/Chickweed. Combined in a teabag, cooled, and applied to Sophie’s eyes, this powerful anti-inflammatory reduces puffiness from her sleepless nights where strange foreboding dreams of the past blend with her present.
Annatto. Wards off evil and eases stomach distress, but this natural pigment from achiote seed pods also tints Sophie’s teeth orange, which does little to impress the popular coven clique, the Glitterati, who already think she’s an odd half-witch. Little do they know she is destined to be the most powerful witch Wethersfield has seen in four hundred years.
Lemon verbena, valerian, and rose petals. The fragrant combination brings lovers together and, as Sophie inhales the perfumed scent, her bad boy love interest, Alexavier Mather, who happens to be her family’s enemy and is devastatingly handsome with a to-die-for British accent, enters the scene.
Here's a little from DISENCHANTED for your reading pleasure.
I touched my hand to my bloodcharm and dressed in the uniform then took a deep breath as I slid the ceremonial black robe off its hanger and tied the satin belt around my waist. I smoothed my hands against the front panels of fabric, feeling the cold silk against my fingertips. An icy trickle of darkness, the same liquid black ice I felt before listening to Judge Mather and Laney, traveled the length of my arm.
This time, I invited it in.
I felt the darkness tame my impetuous nature, allowing me to feed slowly on the hatred and control it. The coldness flowed through my veins and to the lengths of each limb. The icy darkness pooled in my chest and chilled my heart.
The change was beginning. “Elizabeth, I hope you’re right about the magic in me being able to change black hearts ’cause I’m going to need it for my own.”
The doorbell chimed, startling me to a more alert state. “Hold on,” I shouted. I opened the duffel bag and removed the knife and vial before tossing the robe in. I stuffed the small items in my skirt pocket and carried the bag with me downstairs, setting it in the foyer. I clenched my hands tightly together before opening the door. “Cal? What are you doing here?” I asked, shocked to see him on my doorstep.
“I was worried about you,” he said abruptly, entering the house and grabbing me by the hand.
“I don’t have time for this right now. I have a meeting with my aunt tonight,” I implored impatiently.
“A meeting?” He noticed the gray skirt and white shirt. “Not yet.” He led me to the kitchen and pulled a chair out.
He studied me and grimaced. “Sophie, I don’t know what’s going on, but I get the feeling you’re in trouble.” Perhaps it was his connection to tribal magic, but beyond his tough guy exterior, he was surprisingly intuitive.
“Cal, I’ll be fine. I’m a little stressed and tired, that’s all.” I blinked, feeling a strange weight on my lashes. I glanced at my hands, turning them over. My skin looked luminescent. Flawless. I smacked my lips together, feeling their plumpness.
He scrunched his face up as he eyed me. “Tired? You don’t look tired. Are you wearing makeup?”
I raced to the foyer mirror, out of Cal’s view. My heart-shaped lips bloomed a blood red, my lashes thickened and bowed upward like the arms of a goddess, a dewy glow radiated from my flawless ivory complexion, and as I watched, the messy knot unrolled down the length of my back into a wavy sea of glossy sable hair. My mouth fell open.
“I wasn’t finished.” Cal marched toward me. “Whoa. What is going on?”
I turned to him, having to act like I normally did. “Nothing.”
His eyebrows arched. “Something. Did you get a makeover in the last thirty-seconds?”
I gathered my silky hair and draped the long smooth tresses over one shoulder. “I’m trying something new. Don’t make fun.”
He shook his head, stupefied. “Whatever. I came here to give you something.” He took a breath as if to say something else, but he stopped. Our friendship had evolved and deepened into a mutual love for each other; a love between friends, but nonetheless sacred and forever.
I shook my hands at him. “Cal, don’t. It’s not...”
He reached into the pocket of his jeans and extracted a tangle of black leather string. Angst crossed his bronzed brow. “I want you to wear this.”
I glanced at the object resting in his open palm; a small wood carving attached to leather strands. The amulet was the size of a postage stamp.
“It’s a talisman carved from eucalyptus wood. It wards off evil spirits and will protect you.”
“Is this a white magic token?” He smiled without explanation. “Cal, it’s incredibly thoughtful of you. I love it. But I can’t take that.” I didn’t deserve to wear it at the moment, not as the darkness spread through me like the poison Romeo drank, silencing the warmth in my heart. My lips tingled. “Your mom wouldn’t like it.”
His lips twisted to the side and his expression was one of rejection. “I think she would be okay if she saw it on you.” He smiled, a hint of sadness seeped into the corners of his mouth. “Here...” He took my hand and looped the leather around so the talisman dangled delicately from my wrist. I could feel his gentle touch on my skin as he secured it. He placed his large hands on my shoulders and looked at me. “Promise you’ll be okay?”
A laugh cracked through my stress. “Promise.” Cal’s sentiment was deeply appreciated. He never failed to make me laugh, even as the temperature of my heart dropped.
He leaned in and kissed my cheek as a small tear escaped from my eyes. “You better be.” The doorbell rang again. It was too late to stop him. In one long stride, Cal turned the knob before I could move.
Alexavier stood in the doorway, glaring at Callum with disapproval and irritation. “Callum, what a surprise to find you here,” he said gruffly, sarcasm saturating his voice.
“I’m trying to take care of my girl.”
I didn’t want Cal to mess this up. I still needed one thing from Alexavier. Alexavier spoke directly to him. “Callum, I know you care about Sophie, but I can take care of her. She doesn’t need you.” He kept his voice low, but his tone was protective and threatening.
Callum stepped closer to him.
“Callum, this will not end well for you if you insist on challenging me,” Alexavier warned. His voice remained even, but his body was poised to fight if Callum insisted.
I wiped my cheek and stomped toward them. “Please, stop this. Please! I care about you both, but Callum, you need to go,” I pleaded, fearing Cal would snap. I pulled on Alexavier’s arm roughly to break the defensive eye contact he maintained with Callum.
“I’m not afraid, Mather. I also don’t need my fists to prove I’m the better man. Sophie will see that one day,” he snarled ferociously.
I flashed my eyes wide. My jaw jutted out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was the last thing I wanted to deal with or could deal with and I feared what I would do under the influence of my choice. “Callum... leave now!” I didn’t care about hurting anyone’s feelings at the moment. My emotions were shifting beyond that.
He pushed past Alexavier in a huff to leave. Alexavier ignored the action, focusing his attention on me. I was relieved he didn’t engage Callum in a fight. He stood before me, astoundingly handsome in a blue button down shirt. He grasped my hands and looked deeply into my eyes. “What was that all about?”
My blackening heart skipped a beat. “I’m sorry about Callum. I don’t know what got into him.”
“Jealousy, I would say. I warned you.”
“I don’t want to believe that’s it.”
His fingers gently pressed against my hand and wrist, lifting them to inspect the talisman. “Did he give you this?” A combination of regret and jealousy lined his voice.
“It’s to keep evil spirits away,” I replied as I touched the wood carving with my fingertips.
He sighed. Our future was under a black cloud from the past where Rebecca’s curse and his father’s mistakes affected us in the present. And after tonight, even if the ritual went according to plan, there was no guarantee things would be the same or better for us. I was risking my life and my soul. Even if I survived breaking the curse and the reconversion, I would be different, changed, tainted from the black magic I had already invited into my heart and it might all be for nothing.
Mirror World Publishing - Amazon
Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it's also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area's great history and culture.
Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch's Ring which is set in Annapolis.
Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.