MYSTERY ADVENTURE SERIES with a TWIST of MAGIC..... written by Valerie Bower

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall is the Time

It is truly Autumn around here. The leaves have changed. The weather has gotten a bit cooler. And that is what to me, Fall is about. Change. I've been getting prepared for winter. After all, here in the Appalachian Mountains, the winters can be a bit brutal! But, now it's time for a change with me. And to celebrate, I'm moving onto a new story. Going back to my Medieval Scotland genre that I can't seem to move away from.

I took the summer off from writing for the most part, as we moved to our new home atop of SugarLoaf Ridge. And had a couple of very good vacations with the boys. Merely Magic is still in revisions, but almost complete. I guess I work better with a deadline! So, while I'll be brewing a new story with my muse in preparation for NaNoWriMo, coming in November, I'm going to be wrapping up Merely Magic, and sending it it out before the November 1st start of that awesome event.

Hope to see and connect with a few of my long time writing buddies.
(this is the view from my front porch.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Old Mission Peninsula

I was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan, not far from Old Mission Peninsula, the main location for MERELY MAGIC. As a young girl, I never really appreciated the history that I now took the time to learn about as I wrote this story. Gillian is the perfect heroine for living in the lighthouse out at Old Mission Point, which was built in 1870. The fact that a few of the locals consider her their own local ‘friendly witch’ has Stephen Maitland, not only a bit bewildered, but unable to understand what it is about her that makes him so attracted to her. Can she really do ‘spells’?

The first log cabin was built in 1939 and it served as a school and church after Reverend Dougherty and Henry Schoolcraft came here from Mackinac Island to set a up a mission for the local Ottawa Indians. The area is steeped in history, and not a little bit of Indian lore and a touch of magic.

Cherry trees were already in existence in this area when the Reverend arrived. The Indians knew a good thing!  

The area is nestled on the 45th parallel, which lends itself to the perfect microclimate for growing wine grapes. Other well-known wine regions that lie near the 45th parallel that one may recognize include Alsace, Burgundy, and Bordeaux. And as a visitor to Old Mission, one will find about seven unique wineries. The landscape and views are stunning—an adventure awaiting.
So join me for Gillian and Stephen’s adventure in Merely Magic.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dittany of Crete

Who is Dittany of Crete?

It really isn’t a ‘who’,
Dittany of Crete or Origanum dictamnus - L. is a plant with a long mystical and magical history associated with ancient myths and animal folk lore, that dates back to Hippocrates. Believed to come from a mountain in Crete named Dicte, hence its name, young men were encourage to forage for it on the treacherous cliffs to prove themselves worthy of a young maiden’s interest.

Common uses then included stomach and digestive healing, but it was also sought after and used for an aphrodisiac….and snakebite.

Today, while it is not commonly used, a few Wiccan practitioners may use it as an ingredient in love potions.  Additionally, it is used in magic rites and rituals, as it is a potent smoky herb.

A delicate, pretty perennial, it attracts the butterflies and bees to the modern day garden, along with adding a colorful history. For more information about growing this plant in your own garden visit,  Plants for a Future.

Gillian Winters mainly uses herbs to cook with, and leaves the love potion practices to her friend, Rindy. 
Read more about them in my soon to be finished novel, Merely Magic.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I owe the process of my revisions to Holly Lisle and her writing course, How to Revise Your Novel.

I've almost completed the revisions to Gillian and her magic witch balls and am anticipating sending the manuscript out to an agent the first of next week. I'll be glad to have it gone as I look forward to starting a new story, but I think I'll also look at the possibility of resurrecting an old manuscript from a couple years back.