Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Blogger Renee Field - From Old Hag to Sexy Momma – How the view of witches has changed through the ages

A hundred years ago a witch was viewed as old, ugly and with a wart on her face. But time changes and perspectives move forward.

Witches have been around since the beginning, but their names have changed with the times. In the 15th & 16th centuries, witches, or anyone believed to use supernatural powers (and yes, that would include at that time a person who was good with plants or an herbalist), were persecuted throughout Europe. While a few witches burnt at the stake were men, those of course were the ones who failed to pay their taxes for the most part, the majority of witches condemned to die were women. France and Germany were keeners when it came to witch hunts back in the 16th century, but don’t forget that’s also when there was a rise in Christianity and if there’s one thing religious leaders quickly keyed on, it was marketing – good versus bad. Witches, again mostly women, were viewed as bad for religion, especially those women who wanted to be left alone or ones not wishing to marry, because only married women were saved from the whispers of the Devil, who was bad.

Fast-forward to 2012 and witches are now sexy. Who doesn’t want to dress up like a sultry witch on Halloween? Why did the image of witches change? You can all thank the feminist movement and trend to a more secular society. And I for one applaud it. My great-grandmother used to be called a witch in her community because she had the ability to read tea leaves, help people who were sick and see the future. Some of her gifts have been handed down through our family line and yes, my odd childhood is all because of her.

I grew up seeing ghosts, reading people’s auras and relying on my sixth sense when I felt things were going to be bad. Has that served me well? Yes. I knew when my oldest son was three years old he was dying, and after being sent home from the emergency room twice, I told them I’d sue if they didn’t do a barium test to prove my point and what do you know, I was right. He had emergency surgery the next morning with a team of doctors and they even apologized but I knew by looking at him. Am I a witch? Only if I can claim to be that sexy witch –lol – but at my age not so much. But I’m a free thinker and my life has been far from ordinary, so just maybe I am a witch.

I’d love to hear from readers. Have any of you had weird experiences you couldn’t explain? Do you have special “magical” powers? Let me know and I’m giving away two e-copies of my latest erotic novella, Witch Me Good, plus a copy of my latest HQN Spice Briefs novella, Claiming the Temptress.

Excerpt: Witch Me Good by Renee Field

Chapter One

“This is for your own good.”

That was the last thing Bella heard in her head from her meddling Aunt Cat, and while a part of her laughed at those ominous words another part screamed, “Oh no!”

Bella Pickman wanted to retort with a sarcastic remark but before she could she felt the sizzle of her aunt’s magic zap through her like a dozen demon-infested cats—fast, furious and mind-numbingly scary. When Bella opened her eyes again she had to blink a few times, first to clear her fuzzy head from the overload her senses had just experienced and secondly, she had to absorb where the heck she’d been thrown to. A place that made her skin crawl while a dozen unwanted memories boiled through her.

Bella had been transported back to her home town of Salem, Massachusetts. Would figure!

Holy cats, thought Bella as the sounds of some wild street party jarred her senses. Without a doubt she knew exactly what was going on. It was All Hallows’ Eve which meant Salem was partying like never before. Well, before last year, that was. The annual street party traditionally encompassed five blocks, all of which were filled with mostly drunk tourists looking for a good time. A slight smile began to form on her cherry painted lips. She might have been thrown back to Salem as punishment for once again dropping in unannounced but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy some fun while here. With a zap, Bella quickly changed outfits. She smoothed down her now snug black dress and knew without a mirror she looked damned sexy in the form fitting outfit she’d conjured which of course also came with a black Halloween witch’s hat. Her sister Sarah would have a hoot if she saw her now. She made a mental note to call her sister first thing in the morning so she could at least reconnect while in town. By tomorrow Bella thought her Aunt Cat would have cooled down enough to allow Bella’s magic to zap her out of Salem. If not, Bella would simply ask her younger sister for a travel spell. Bella seriously hoped her sister’s spells had improved because a decade ago she couldn’t even conjure up a good date on her own.

Bella wasn’t dressed entirely in black. She had a red thong and matching push-up bra on because the color represented fun to Bella. As she sashayed down the cobbled sidewalk she loved knowing she wore the skimpy red lingerie. It made her feel straight up sexy. She’d also conjured up red four-inch heels. They made a slight click on the old-fashioned sidewalk.

Suddenly, before Bella could react, a dozen crazed cats headed headlong into the street. Four cars crashed into each other at the three-way stop sign. A fifth car flew straight into an orange fire hydrant, sending a torrent of water squirting out, which just added fuel to the panicked felines. And when another car came speeding at her Bella froze, feeling much like the cats wishing for a way out but not able to move.

Chase Castille hated parties. Street parties he detested even more. He should have left the office hours ago but lab work never bored him. As he made his way through the throng of people, most of whom had consumed more alcohol than he did in a year, he felt nothing but annoyance. Why the heck were they celebrating like kids when they were adults? It had been bad enough growing up being classified as a geek in New Orleans with its voodoo magic and snake charmers but Salem on Halloween seemed slightly tired and old. Or maybe that’s just how I feel?

All work and no play would shame his Mama. She was mighty proud of his accomplishments as a renowned gene sequencing scientist but that didn’t mean she wasn’t like any other southern mama wondering if he had a girlfriend and when he’d get married. Since he didn’t have a girlfriend that negated marriage. Just once Chase wished for the comfort of a warm, willing woman in his bed and that thought made him realize the last time he’d gotten laid had been well over a year ago, when he’d dropped back home for a quick visit.

Jostling through the crowd, a loud crash drew his attention. Turning the corner quickly he heard the yowling of cats and couldn’t believe his eyes. There, standing like a deer frozen by the headlights, had to be the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Thick, long, black wavy hair fell to the middle of her back and she had to be wearing some type of lycra dress because it hugged all her marvelous curves. On her head was the most outrageous costume witch hat he’d ever seen. The hat was so wide she had to grasp it just to keep it from falling off. She was tall at about five foot nine, slender with long, athletic looking legs the color of honey and she looked terrified.

Chase didn’t think. For once in his life he relied on his athletic instincts, which had served him well enough in the past to secure a football scholarship to attend university. With seconds to spare he dashed into the street and grabbed her, the car’s mirror hooking her right arm in the process, throwing them both to the street. Taking the brunt of the fall, Chase hit the uneven cobbled stones hard, banging his head in the process. He held onto the woman, ensuring she was safe. His mama would have been mighty proud of him for his Southern gentlemanly instincts as they kicked in to save a damsel in distress. Knowing his breathing was slightly ragged he asked, “Are you okay?”

Two mesmerizing exotic cat shaped eyes the color of sparkling green gemstones blinked at him. She smiled and squirmed a bit in his hold. He felt all those lush curves of hers to the marrow of his bones, forcing him to gulp and attempt to dampen down the arousal flaring to light. Over a year without a woman certainly had taken its toll, thought Chase. His hands flared wide, cupping her ass in a very intimate hold, which at any other time in Chase’s life would be highly improper. Since, however, he’d saved her, he let his hands stay exactly where they were.

“Thank you,” she said.

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