The Background of the Book by C.S. Edwards – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddeess Fish Promotions. C.S. Edwards will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Background of the Book

Love Potion #999 is a fun romp with a sassy cast of characters; a whole lot like my twenties. You see, Betsy Babington hales from a famous witch doctor family, and has risen to the height of success and fame. She’s the brains and name behind the famous Babington’s Best brand of potions, which are more like beauty products than life altering magical mixtures. Together with a circle of misfit friends that are also her co-workers and a couple of troublesome cupids, Betsy seems to be headed for nothing but trouble. The bigger problem is she’s bored, single and lonely. Being a good witch, Betsy has never stepped out of line. She’s followed every recipe in her father’s master potions book to a tee… until she finds a forbidden love potion and can’t resist the thought of adding it to her collection; and testing it out for herself. That my friends, was a bad idea and causes all sorts of mayhem; including not knowing if she is really in love with the hunky witchologist she met in Arnold’s Bar! Thinking her rogue potion has possessed the man she may or may not love, Betsy and her band of wacky tag-a-longs go on a journey to set things straight!

Well, my twenties weren’t exactly like Betsy’s adventure, but the background of this book really took me back to my younger years. I lived in New York City in my twenties with a bunch of my college buddies and we couldn’t help but get into trouble – even when we weren’t looking for it. Our antics were always like a domino of errors, where everyone tried to pick up the pieces for everyone else, and that effort just kept knocking other things over. We had a lot of fun! Our intentions were mostly always good, and more importantly, we were there for each other through thick and thin. That is the basis for Betsy and her friends’ story.

However, the second layer of this backdrop and foundation of this book is where it takes place! While I lived in NYC during my crazy years, Betsy and her crew live in Cincinnati, Ohio and travel around in Northern Kentucky, ending up in the tiny town of Rabbit Hash— I Iive on the Kentucky side of Cincinnati today; not in Rabbit Hash, but pretty close! I love to ground my stories with something very tangible from my life. In this series, the characters live where I live and go places I go. For example, there really is an Arnold’s Bar and Grill in Cincinnati and I love it! Rabbit Hash, Kentucky sits on a famous stretch of road that draws a ton of bikers to the General Store every summer. All of those details in this book, and the Witch Doctor’s Series are all real!

Lastly, I was drawn into the paranormal genre by first a love of the fantastical worlds, but second by my best friend and fellow author Robyn Peterman. She is the mastermind behind the Magic and Mayhem Universe that connects this story and series to so many other amazing tales of paranormal romance. Thus, this Witch Doctor’s series always has a strong theme of friendship and how important friends are in the lives of the characters! Because without my best friend, I might not have told these tales!

Now, I hope you have a better sense of the background of Love Potion #999, and all the Witch Doctor books in this series. It’s a dream to share my stories with you! Thank you for reading and supporting!

Did you hear what happened when a witch doctor met a witchologist in a bar? Well, mayhem ensued! What else did you expect? It’s all because everyone had too many Gnome Island Iced Teas, not to mention the cloud of intoxicating glitter that put everyone under the table even if they didn’t drink a drop. But the real punch line in that fateful tale were the two potion-filled arrow toting cupids. For one witch, after that night, stuff got real.

You see, the witch doctor was none other than the famous apothecary and alchemist, Betsy Babington. She’s a celebrity! Famous, successful, single, and… bored. Before she walked into that bar, Betsy was itching to change things up. So, she enlisted her coven of misfits and two mischievous cherubs to make a rogue love potion recipe — destined to be the next big thing in her famous potions brand. She never once thought about making Love Potion#999 for herself! Definitely not! Well, maybe she did, just a little…

For the whole truth, you’ll have to read the story. All I can really say is some magical historians have said Betsy Babington’s tangle with the trouble of Love Potion #999 was like opening Pandora’s box. Now that was a little extreme. For the folks who were there, it was more like a weekend in Vegas.

Enjoy an Excerpt

She was tired of the same ole same ole. The truth was, Betsy Babington was tired of a lot of things in her life. She was tired of working so hard. She was tired of being famous. Some days, she was tired of being a witch doctor. But most everyday Betsy was tired of being alone. Of course, she had her coven, Ron, Lola, April and Jessica—which she loved. Charles, her ogre bodyguard, was truly like family. Her baby boy cherubs were total stinkers, but she totally adored them. But that one true special someone in her life was missing. She was 135, and single. That fact, coupled with the news of her younger sister falling for a hunky, mysterious, mystic angel, made Betsy jealous. Jealously was not an emotion she was used to having or liked. She’d never been jealous of either of her siblings. Bart and Betty Babington were awesome witch doctors, in their own right. But she had the life to be jealous of—that’s what she used to think. Lately, Betsy Babington felt green with envy at the mention of Betty and Gates, or any couple, and that icky feeling was stuck in her crawl.

A red blush crept across her face — brought on by envy and jealousy. She rubbed her cheek, desperate to temper the color before any member of her coven caught a glimpse of it. Ron, Lola, April and Jessica never noticed. They were oblivious, busy arguing about measurements.

“Not too much honey, that’s the key.” Ron measured the thick gooey liquid in a beaker.

“And just a drop of artemisia. We wouldn’t want to poison anyone.” April fussed. “It’s only for the silver color, anyway.”

Betsy strolled across the room to join her team as she gently folded the loose-leaf paper and tucked it in her lab coat pocket. “April’s right. Artemisia can be dangerous. But not the way we use it to tint the potion. Just a drop and a quarter should be all you need to make the Mirror Me potion sparkle.”

About the Author: I was born in Ashland, Kentucky, the youngest of three children, and grew up in the small Eastern Kentucky town of Inez. I moved to Lexington to finish high school. Attending Transylvania University for two years, before graduating from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia – with a degree in Economics – go figure! After a stint in New York City, I moved back home to Kentucky and have since built my life around family.

Living just outside of Cincinnati with my husband, Sean, and our five amazing kids, and a precious goldendoodle, I work hard to find time to balance family, work, and writing.

My first passion is weaving mysteries and I’m working on several new fiction projects now. This past year, I also found great joy in creating useful journals, trackers, and planners. I have big plans for publishing more of these creative notebooks in the future! As always, I cannot wait to share my next novel with you. I hope you enjoy, and welcome hearing from you!

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting! I really enjoyed sharing.

  3. How exciting! Thanks to everyone for reading. Reach out if you have questions.

  4. Bea LaRocca says

    I love the cover art, synopsis and excerpt, Love Potion #999 is a must read for me. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading your story

    • Bea! Thank you so much!! I really appreciate the support and feedback. You’ve made my day! Actually, I design all the covers for my books as well. Personally, the cover design is one of the most fun and exciting parts of writing. LOL. It’s so important for capturing the “feel” of the story!

  5. Rita Wray says

    I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  6. Great excerpt and giveaway. 🙂

  7. This sounds like a fantastic book.

  8. Eva Millien says

    Congratulations on your release of Love Potion #999, C.S., I enjoyed the backgrounds and the excerpt, your book sounds like a fantastic read for me and I like the cover! Good luck with your book and the tour! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a wonderful day!

    • C.S. Edwards says

      Thanks so much, Eva!! I hope you enjoy! This was such a fun post to write. I love connecting with everyone!

  9. Susan Smith says

    This sounds like a fun book that I would enjoy reading. I like the cover.and excerpt.

  10. nice cover

  11. xjanelx78 says

    Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

  12. xjanelx78 says

    Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?

    • Hi! Great question! But a tough one!! Oh my. In this story I’d have to say I relate most to Betsy. I always see a small fraction of myself in the main character. As a matter of fact, I really relate to Betsy’s sister, Betty! Her story was the first in this series – With A Witch And A Smile! Betty is a single mom and has lived her adult life for her daughter – until she meets Gates Thatcher. This is soooo me! : )

  13. The book sounds wonderful. Love the cover!

  14. xjanelx78 says

    As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

    • Oh my! I think my spirit animal is my dog Ginger! She’s kind and funny. Sometimes spastic. And very loving. She loves her people and staying home. She’s got crazy hair – and a lot of it – just like me! She’s easy to get along with, definitely has a routine but is adaptable. Yep. She’s definitely my spirit animal!!

  15. xjanelx78 says

    How long on average does it take you to write a book?

    • Hmmm…. 2 to 6 months. LOL. It depends on the series, length, complexity, and time of year! I have a big family, lots of kids, and they always come first. I also have a 40-hour a week job – that can be pretty demanding. So, it all depends on how chaotic my life is while I’m writing. But the one factor I never can predict is how quickly the story develops. Writing is like navigating a foreign city when you don’t know the language and you don’t have a map – but you have an excellent tour guide – that occassionally gets lost or turned around. LOL>

  16. xjanelx78 says

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    • I love selecting the names!! OMG it’s one of my favorite things! So, for the Witch Doctors Series, I wanted names that sounded ‘oldish’ – like characters from another era. Witches are hundreds of years old, so… they wouldn’t necessarily have trendy names of today. But I also factored in my inspiration song – from the 1960s. Also, the Babington crew (Betty, Betsy, Bart – Blanche and even Birdie) all begin with B – clearly. And that was very much on purpose. It’s a family thing to repeat the initials – so there’s another connection to me personally. Lastly, the name has to fit the character – and yes, sometimes, a character is modeled or named after people I know. I do that to honor others in my life – never to harm or for ill purposes.

  17. Great guest blog

  18. xjanelx78 says

    What part of the book was the most fun to write?

    • C.S. Edwards says

      I loved writing the cupids and Lola. The dialogue that comes out of them is just super fun. The cupids are rough and naughty – all trouble. While Lola is bold and beautiful with an accent to die for!! She’s fearless and honestly so are the cupids!!

  19. xjanelx78 says

    What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

    • C.S. Edwards says

      I like to read everything out loud – and I like to “talk my stories out” in character! Lol. The talking things out means my husband is subjected to chatter in different accents about towns, people, and problems he has no context for!! It really does make for interesting date nights!!

  20. xjanelx78 says

    If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

    • Hmmm… depends really on who I’m meeting. But for this series, I’ll tell Betty to let go and trust that she’s done a good job raising her daughter. I’ll tell Betsy she’s doesn’t need a potion to fall in love, she just needs to put herself out these and find a better work / life balance. As for Bart – whose story I’m writing now – well, I’ll tell him to grow up and stop being so afraid of love. But then again, this is all my motherly advice for characters that I know as well as I know my own children. lol

  21. xjanelx78 says

    What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

    • That I could really do it… sounds hokie, sure. But writing a book – any book, is hard. And sometimes really defeating. It’s scary, and nerve-racking. But amazing all the same. I wasted so many years doubting myself – that’s the surprising thing to me. I could have and should have published my first novel twenty years ago, when I ‘got serious’ about writing.

  22. xjanelx78 says

    Have you read any of the old classics? What did you think of them?

    • Old classics? Yes, I would think I’ve read a lot of old classics. I love them – Jane Austin. Seriously, she is the best. Sherlock Holmes – another touchstone. Reading the classics for inspiration is like all history, you have know what came before you to understand where you are going.

  23. xjanelx78 says

    What do you think makes a good story?

    • So many things… but character development is the key. I love getting lost in a new world – whether fantasy, historical, or just a new town – so I value place, as well. Ultimately, all stories are about an experience… so the character’s lives and how they experience the world are the page turner for me. We need to see them develop, grow, change, fail, succeed, feel – even for just the moment we are there with them in their world.

  24. xjanelx78 says

    What author do you look up to the most?

    • There are so many. It’s an unfair question to writers and readers really. I go through phases of genres, too. But I’ll say Louise Penny and / or Robyn Peterman. They are my heroes and my inspiration.

  25. That I could really do it… sounds hokie, sure. But writing a book – any book, is hard. And sometimes really defeating. It’s scary, and nerve-racking. But amazing all the same. I wasted so many years doubting myself – that’s the surprising thing to me. I could have and should have published my first novel twenty years ago, when I ‘got serious’ about writing.

  26. xjanelx78 says

    What book are you the most proud of writing?

  27. xjanelx78 says

    What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

  28. xjanelx78 says

    What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?

    • This one…. I cut it up a few time… the first chapter was not the first chapter when I started. I really wrote this one from like chapter 3…. then had to go back and build around the story.

  29. xjanelx78 says

    Hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

  30. xjanelx78 says

    Do you have a favorite book you’ve written?

  31. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

  32. xjanelx78 says

    Happy Monday, hope you have a wonderful week!

  33. xjanelx78 says

    Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

  34. What inspired the idea for your book?

  35. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

  36. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

  37. What books have you read more than once in your life?

  38. How do you come up with the titles to your books?

  39. Have you ever traveled as research for your book?

  40. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

  41. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

  42. Did you have any say in designing the cover?

  43. Happy Friday, hope you have a great weekend!

  44. How long did it take you to write this book?

  45. Do you enjoy writing more than reading?

  46. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

  47. What book is currently on your bedside table?

  48. Happy Saturday! Hope you have a great weekend!

  49. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

  50. What did you do with your first advance?

  51. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?

  52. Is there anything specific that inspired this book?

  53. Is there any advice that you got early on about writing that has stuck with you?

  54. Happy Friday! I hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  55. What was your favorite chapter and why?

  56. Which authors do you admire and why?

  57. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

  58. Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audio book?

  59. Do you have a strict writing schedule or do you just write when you want to?

  60. What was the highlight of writing this book?

  61. Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?

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