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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Cate Masters

Magical ingredients

Lavender has many legends and myths. In olden times, girls slipped lavender beneath their true love’s pillows to turn their thoughts to marriage. Once married, they used lavender as an aphrodisiac.

As an herb, lavender can be used in cooking or cleaning. Doctors used it as an antiseptic in World War I. The flowers can be candied or used in many recipes, from lavender syrup to lemonade to sugars used for dusting desserts.

Many people today use lavender to help soothe their troubled thoughts. It may appear to be a simple flower, but don’t be fooled! It’s a powerful deterrent against evil. Its complex history intrigued me the more I researched it. So of course I had to use it in a story!

The Magic of Lavender is the first book in The Goddess Connection series, which says: Every woman should embrace her inner goddess. What’s your connection? I have several more novels in this series in mind to follow. In each, the heroine will be somehow connected to a goddess. Her lifelong quirks will become strengths once she finds her true place in the world, and accepts herself for who she really is.

Joss Gibson, the heroine, buys an old bed and breakfast, intending to make her grandmother’s lavender recipes the specialties of the house. But planting lavender also draws the fae – and darker forces. Lavender helps soothe a neighbor, veterinarian Eric Hendricks, who lost his wife five years earlier, and is drawn to Joss by more than lavender. *grins*

Jocelyn Gibson forgot about the realm of magic. But it never forgot her. Gram always told her: don’t ignore your magical gifts, it will insult the family. But Joss didn’t realize her gifts included channeling the energy of powerful ley lines. Or that her family included a goddess. Family connections come in handy when the Lord of the Underworld kidnaps local vet Eric Hendricks. He’s an amazing lover, but Joss didn’t know she loved him until too late. With a little help from the Goddess Iris, Joss defends the new life she’s forged, and helps save the town of Boiling Springs from destruction. Once Eric escapes Hell, can she stop loving him to keep him safe?

Feeling useless, he poked at the logs in the fireplace. The flames leapt higher, and he crouched to stare into the fire. He should be used to it by now—the fact that everyone had a family to share the holidays with. Everyone but him. And Joss. His awareness of her heightened to a sharp keenness. He tried to dredge up a memory of Karen, but the vivid image of Joss in the kitchen blotted it out. He shouldn’t just sit here. He should go home. But then Joss would be left to finish up all alone.

As if in a dream, he moved to the kitchen doorway. “Need any help?”

Dishes and food warmers crowded the counters. She glanced over and flashed a humorless smile. “No, I’m fine.”

Then why didn’t she sound fine? She sounded upset. He moved closer, needing to do something, anything, to erase whatever pained her.

She fumbled containers into the fridge. “Why don’t you go relax? You’re welcome to put on a new CD, maybe sit by the fire. Before you go home.”

He didn’t want to do any of those things. He stood dangerously close, fighting the urge to touch her hair, run his hands down her back.

With wide eyes, she averted her gaze, her body tense as she moved to the sink, picked up the towel and dried a glass. “It’s supposed to dip into the twenties tonight, so if you need to get going now, then—”

He slipped the towel from her hand. “I live three minutes from here.”

“Right.” She slid her gaze away, but turned toward him, opening to him. To the possibility of him. “But the snow…”

Only inches away, the heat from her body zapped the slate of his mind clean. He operated on impulse. On need.

In a breathless rush, she asked, “Did you enjoy your meal?”

“Mm hm.” Every course of the meal brought his taste buds to life as never before. His senses still vividly alive, he traced her collar bone with one finger.

“Eric…” She inclined her head toward his hand.

The motion, slight as it was, made his pulse race. Hearing her murmur his name ignited his senses. His heart revved in his chest like a race car engine ready to explode from the startling line. “Don’t send me away. Please.” He touched his lips to her forehead, then her nose.

Her breath smelled of coffee and cranberries, and something more enticing—herself. “You’re making it difficult to, but…”

His mouth hovered near hers, just out of reach. “Don’t say no,” he whispered.

The honey gold of her hair caught the light, and she appeared illuminated from within. Parting her lips enticingly, she searched his face.

It wasn’t a no. It was enough of a maybe that he closed the space between them. The feel of her soft lips and sweet-tasting tongue moving against his made him shudder with tantalizing release.

You can view the book trailer, read another excerpt and see the Casting Call at:

The Magic of Lavender, Book One of the Goddess Connection, is available at Amazon
and at Smashwords.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think I already told you how much I love the name Joss. The local paper had something in about lavendar this week. I love your goddess idea for a series.

Cate Masters said...

Very cool! I'll have to look for the article. Thanks Susan!

mj said...

"He stood dangerouly close.." Ooh, that sent shivers down my spine!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks Mara! I loved writing this book too. :)