The Witch’s Tree: images and quotations

Dear reader,

I hope you’re enjoying reading The Witch’s Tree. Here’s the blurb:

A tale as old as time. A spirit that has never rested.


Present day
As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat. The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives. But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.

1682

Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…

Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now.

********

Here are some photos I’ve taken in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset, the setting for the novel, alongside some quotations that may evoke the tension of the story.

Blackthorn blossom.
  • ‘I’m going to embroider it with little white flowers, like the ones on the blackthorn, and you can wear it at the May dancing. You will be a beautiful May Queen.’

Exmoor hills
  • ‘Even the Devil himself is said to lurk on Exmoor. It’s a wild place, with changeable weather and vast skies.’

Woodland in the Blackdown hills
  • Selena gazed up at the treetops, sunlight filtering through the leaves casting mottled blotches on the grass.

The hexafoil or daisy wheel in my house
  • They turned to go in, and Selena pointed to deep marks scored in the wood over the door, the letters A and M etched deeply above a circular pattern. ‘What are those?’

‘Witch’s marks.’ Nick explained. ‘The daisy wheel shape is a hexafoil.’

Selena frowned. ‘Did a witch live in this farmhouse?’

Pennywort growing in the Blackdowns
  • When Grace reached the field, she glanced towards the hedgerow and she noticed a cluster of pennywort, the pretty round leaves growing low to the ground. She would return later and pick an apron full.

The witch’s tree, the blackthorn.
  • ‘…a scratch to the flesh from the spikes could be deadly; a piece of blackthorn burying itself under the skin might cause severe infection, blood poisoning, swelling and pain. A thorn in the hand might make the joints stiffen and the blood poisoned.’

Somerset sunset…
  • ‘Sometimes, especially at sunset, you can feel it in the air. There’s a kind of vibe to this area.’

Blackthorn in April
  • ‘Witches apparently made staffs and wands from the wood of the blackthorn, and the thorns were used to prick wax images of those that they cursed.’

Rue has many uses…
  • Grace knew a place on an exposed sunny bank where rue grew all year. She would pick some for herself when no one was looking. She had much need of it.

Lavender is calming…
  • The intense scent of lavender surrounded her and, without knowing why, tears tumbled down her cheeks as she was gripped by an overwhelming sadness.

I hope you’ll enjoy The Witch’s Tree. Please do leave a review if you’ve found the story captivating.

3 thoughts on “The Witch’s Tree: images and quotations

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