While writing A Feast of Souls, I researched herb lore because the heroine, Mana, is a spirit walker. In the Araneae world, that makes her a spiritual leader for her clan, one who can walk in between worlds and aid in healing from the spiritual plane. Mana also studies herbology. During the course of the book, she mentions making white willow bark tea to cure her headache.
White willow (Salix alba) is probably best known as the plant from which aspirin was derived. It’s an analgesic commonly used to relieve headaches and body pain. It has been used for its medicinal purposes for thousands of years. While the most popular form was a tea made from the powered bark of the willow, some people chose to chew the bark instead.
Here are a few cool facts about white willow bark:
1. White willow is a blood thinner.
2. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory used for treating arthritis and carpal tunnel.
3. It’s a good alternative for people who are unable to tolerate traditional aspirin.
4. By purifying white willow’s natural salicin to salicylic acid, you can burn off warts.
So my question is this—have you ever tried a home remedy or herbal cure? If so, did it work for you? Leave a comment to let me know and you’ll be entered to win your choice of title from my backlist in any digital format and an Araneae swag pack. Contest is open internationally.
A Feast of Souls Excerpt
“Get closer,” Vaughn said. “Body heat will take the edge off if you lay against me.”
I did as he asked, sitting hip to hip with him and leaning my head on his chest. His thick coat insulated him too well. No warmth escaped to thaw me. Breathing his scent heated my blood. I glanced up to find him staring down at me, that same soft look in his eyes. There was no firelight to blame now. Nuzzling him, I buried my ice-cold nose against his throat, and he jumped.
Gooseflesh textured his skin. “How can the nose of one little mouse be so cold?”
“I wish you wouldn’t call me that.” I sighed. “No one else has since I was a child.”
“I knew the child.” His lips brushed my temple. “The female has eluded me.”
“This female was where she always has been—in Beltania—at home.”
“I sometimes wonder…would she have welcomed a visit from me?” His voice dipped. “As I recall, she leapt into the arms of her cousin, but his brother…he never received such a welcome.”
I reared back to stare into his face. “You aren’t serious.”
“You never seemed to believe I was.”
I licked my lips. “I had nothing—I have nothing—to offer you, or your clan.”
He was Mimetidae, heir to a mercenary clan that lived by their swords. I was Salticidae, heir to no one. I was a healer who hailed from a clan of agriculturists. Vaughn’s mother, Isolde, was a shrewd female. The maven wouldn’t sell her heir short, and any price she set was too tall for me.
“You had a smile that warmed me from across the council fire and arms opened to any who dared accept the comfort you offered.” He chuckled. “You can’t know how tempted I was to—”
“All right you two, get on your feet.” The guard had returned. “I said, on your feet.”
He let Vaughn kneel before kicking him with rib-cracking force. He landed on his back with a snarl, but one fluid wave of his body propelled himself onto his feet. The guard stumbled back.
When he glanced toward me, Vaughn stepped between us and shielded me as I stood.
“Thank you,” I whispered to him.
He gave me a curt nod as the guard circled us.
“Enough of that, now, they’ll be no talking among prisoners.” He caught my arm and hurled me to the ground. My teeth jarred on impact. “Let’s see how you manage without his help, eh?”
Cold wind blew hair from my eyes. I startled to find the shade squatting at my feet. Eerily solid hands pulled me into a sitting position. I dug in my heels to give him leverage.
Both the guard and Vaughn stared as I seemed to float to my feet.
Vaughn’s jaw was tight when he said, “I think she managed fine on her own.”
Born in the Deep South, Hailey is a lifelong resident of Alabama. Her husband works for the local sheriff’s department and her daughter is counting down the days until she’s old enough to audition for American Idol. Her doxie, Black Ilex, helps Hailey write by snoozing in his recliner in her office.
Her desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after.
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