Today’s guest author is Renee Bernard, whose story—The Sweetest Curse—is the lead novella in Mystified, which is part of the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor collection. Renee’s heroine is a secret member of the local coven, and her peek behind the scenes is about that. Please welcome Renee Bernard!
Sometimes, I feel as if I am always in reverse when everyone else is driving forward. Such is the creative twists of a brain that can never sit still and also never takes the easy way out of a problem. My artist’s brain. I’ve tried to trade it out or up for a new one but apparently the Rules of the Universe mean you have to use the one you’re given.
So, when the challenge of The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor came up, I was ready! And then my brain said, let’s do something different! (And I had to make myself a cocktail and accept my fate.) Because nothing about the usual things that go bump in the night seem to be working for me…
And then it came in a quiet and very politically incorrect moment when someone was spewing something about someone else’s faith and what they considered “a good religion” and I knew I was in for a writing rollercoaster. Because my brain said, “Let’s roll.”
Wicca and the Old Religion have been around since..well…since forever it seems. I modeled the witches in my coven not on pointy-hat wearing caricatures but on a group of women being true to a faith that centers on a care for the earth and others, on a belief in goddesses and gods and things unseen and who would easily be ostracized as the “other” in English society for their wisdom, independence and refusal to kneel at the feet of a religion that they would interpret as being overtly into human sacrifice. What can I say? Misunderstandings happen. Witches not only don’t worship the devil but they don’t acknowledge such a creature’s existence and see him as the invention of the church or as a construct used by wicked men to place blame and burn every hapless midwife they can get their hands on. So…as I said, I tend to write in a different direction sometimes.
Love conquers all and while I kept all the sharp, scary objects off the writing table, I do hope that readers will enjoy the twists of a coven that resembles a knitting circle more than anything else. “The Sweetest Curse” is a light read meant to warm your heart on a chilling Autumn evening—and to remind us all that not everything is what it seems.
Renee Bernard is an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance and recently, contemporary romantic comedy. She won RT’s Reviewer’s Choice award for “Best Debut Historical” in 2006 and never slowed down (she missed the memo). By the end of 2014, she will have fifteen books out there in the world. She has published with Simon & Schuster and Berkley as well as branching out into independent publishing, audio books and comic books. For over four years she has been the host of “The Romance Bookmark” (formerly “Canned Laughter and Coffee”), a weekly internet radio show with between 80-100K registered listeners via Readers Entertainment. From wine wrangling—to stand-up comedy and public speaking, there’s nothing off the table. (No really. Nothing. Except anything involving dancing and a pole. She’s past that now.)
Blade Hambly believes in three things: logic, science and the notion that if a man just keeps his eyes forward, he is unlikely to be tripped up by the past. But how does a man keep his thoughts cool and focused when he meets a young woman like Miss Elethea Fairfax? A woman who heals with the touch of her hands, who talks to the air and radiates magic with every other-worldly fluttering of her eyelashes? What does a man of science do when the woman he is falling in love with is a witch?
Mystified—along with the other three books in the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor collection—goes on sale September 20.
Pre-order your copy at any of these portals: