Kickstarter Challenge #2 – Queen of the Herbs

Do you think you know herbs? Today and tomorrow, we will be holding a challenge to test your knowledge with information from our book. (We apologize for not posting the first challenge. There was a mixup in the posting time.) Prizes are available for the winners and will be announced on Friday, May 20.


The first person to name the right plant will receive a digital copy of our book of dragon fairy tales, Dragons Tales of Eastern Europe.

The contest ends at 9 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow (Thursday, May 19) or when we get a correct answer.

The final contest will be posted on Thursday.

To participate, head on over to our Kickstarter campaign and check out the full instructions in the UPDATES section:

If you want to qualify for the prize, you MUST submit your answer on Kickstarter in the COMMENTS section. Include “KS Challenge 2” in your response. Responses left on our website are invalid.

Why You Should Back on Kickstarter

You may or may not be familiar with Kickstarter. So, before we tell you the benefits of backing on Kickstarter rather than buying through a retailer, we’ll tell you what this platform is.

It’s a crowdfunding platform. But, unlike many others out there, Kickstarter is a place where people promote CREATIVE PROJECTS to potential backers. It’s a way to test the market to see if the product is something that consumers desire.

What it’s NOT: It’s not a platform for people looking for money for personal goals. You won’t find charities or general fund raisers on Kickstarter. You won’t be donating to a cause.

Instead, on Kickstarter, backers are helping creators support a PROJECT with an outcome—whether it’s a book, a game, a movie, or some other creative endeavor.

The same as a retailer, right?

No. That’s where the similarities end.

On Kickstarter, you can receive more than a book. Creators BUNDLE rewards. These can be digital or physical, or even services like consulting or training. As you help the creator reach his funding goal, he’ll return the favor and offer you incentives and perks as a thank you.

Even more than that, backing on Kickstarter lets you get to know more about the product than a simple description on a retailer can provide you. The “Story” section digs deeper into what’s on offer. You’ll find samples and behind-the-scenes details. Kickstarter allows creators to share why they are producing this product and what is unique about it.

Kickstarter also lets you get to know the creator better, and he or she gets to know and interact with fans. That’s impossible to do on a retailer.

We hope you’ll join us on this venture. You’ll get all kinds of cool perks if you back the project to help us achieve our goal of producing this informative book.

You can find the on-going campaign here:

Herbs Cover Image with Project we Love

More FREE Fantasy Books

Check out the new free ebooks you will receive if you back by the end of this week. You can back at any pledge level. Everyone who has already backed the project will get these ebooks added to their rewards at no additional cost.

So, head on over to out Kickstarter campaign and select any pledge level before the end of the day on Saturday, May 21 to get these books:

Week 2 Perks

Shadowborn by Moira Katson

I was four hours old when I was cast out by my mother. I was cursed, she said. Kinder to let me die in the snow and the wind than let me live, only to be betrayed.

I was twelve when the Duke found me and turned me into a Shadow: bodyguard, spy, and assassin.

I was fourteen when he brought me to court. He wanted his niece on the throne, by any means possible. I was to be her weapon, wielded as she and the Duke saw fit.

But she wants more. She’s playing her own game.

And the court holds its own secrets. A war centuries in the making is ready to erupt, and we are in a race against time to keep it from consuming whole empires.

… If we survive.

Shadowborn is the first book in Moira Katson’s acclaimed Light & Shadow series, all free to read in Kindle Unlimited! Based on the intrigue and shifting loyalties of the War of the Roses and the Tudor dynasty that followed, Light & Shadow exists in a world that never was – a world of magic and prophecy….

The Mantle by WT Meadows and Chrishaun Keller-Hanna

Stefen and Maria Mauer were the fiercest and most famed Hunters in Tennessee. Until a lethal hunt left one man dead and Stefen without his legs.

They left the Hunt and never looked back.

18 years later, their son Edward gets news from home – his mother is pregnant with twins. Three siblings of the same gender mean they all have to Hunt or face monsters coming to their door.

He wasn’t raised in the Hunt, and no real desire to enter it.

But Edward begins to see what life would be like if he takes up the mantle of the Hunters before him.

Is he ready?,

And Death Followed Behind Her by Russell Nohelty

Katrina was just a normal person with a simple life. Then, the Apocalypse descended upon her, and she spent two years fighting with and living among monsters.

They were neither pleasant nor polite neighbors, so she snapped and set out to Hell to kill the Devil.

That’s when the carnage started.

Action, adventure, humor, and chaos abound in this mythological fantasy supernatural thriller book box set that’s paced for edge of your seat excitement.

Join Katrina on three hair-raising adventures that pit her against God, the Devil, Zeus, Hera, and Cronos himself as she traipses across the universe breaking as many things as she fixes, fighting her way through Greek, Roman, and Judeo-Christian mythology, and causing trouble at every stop along the way.

If you love action-adventure fantasy stories, monsters, mythology, and heroines with their sass and snark turned up to 11, then this book is for you.

Nostradamus of the Balkans

In our book, we talk about various healers throughout Bulgarian history. Who are these healers, and how did they obtain this power?

Both men and women can be healers, although most often the role falls to an elderly woman called a znahar. But, please, don’t call her a witch. To this nation of people who believe in a single, omnipotent God as much as they do in beautiful, enchanting Samodivi, a “witch” is a veshtitsa, a spiteful person who practices the dark arts and wishes to cause death, sickness, discord, and the theft of fertility from the land, rather than healing and well-being. A community fears a veshtitsa, while they respect a znahar.

In rare instances, the znahar receives her healing arts by a supernatural means—from a saint, angel, or Samodiva through a dream, or even in a near-death situation, when the boundaries between this life and the next merge. The znahar in this case not only becomes a healer, but also a clairvoyant. The most famous was Baba Vanga (1911 – 1996). As a child she was reportedly caught up in a tornado and dumped into a field. From that point on, her eyesight failed, but her psychic and herbal healing abilities developed, which she claimed came from invisible creatures.

Baba Vanga2

Samodivi are said to be daughters of the Great Goddess Bendis, and are therefore protectors of nature. In this capacity, they have the power to heal creatures and the land itself. Bulgarians believe the nymphs initiate chosen women into the sisterhood, and pass on to them the secrets of healing with herbs. The ceremony takes place in the woods right before sunrise on a Sunday on a night when the moon is full.

A more common initiation, however, is one passed down from one generation to the next, or from grandmother to granddaughter. The females involved are expected to be “ritually pure,” that is pre-menstrual or post-menopausal. These points in a female’s life bring them closest to the states of birth and death, respectively, allowing them to transition between the earthly and otherworldly realms so they can communicate with spirits.

The initiation can take place in various sacred places—by a river (symbolic of birth) or next to a hearth (representing the home or temple of the gods). In the first, the initiate climbs a willow tree by the river. With its branches in the air, and its roots in the earth, getting nourishment from the water, the tree unifies all three elements. The initiate recites the words to the sacred ritual three times, then moves to another branch and repeats the words three more times. Once more, the initiate moves and repeats the words three more times, ensuring the power will “take root” in the individual.

When performed at the hearth, the elder woman places bread in a covered clay dish called a podnitza and sticks it into the fire. Using iron tools, which have purifying power to chase away evil, she buries the dish with ashes, then places the tools on both sides of the hearth. Facing the fire, the initiate kneels on a broom, which symbolizes purification, the sweeping away of all unclean things.

The elder woman places three grains of wheat on the initiate’s right knee and three on the left, then tosses three grains into the fire. In ancient rituals, wheat consecrated the sacrifice offered to the gods. Placing it on the initiate, therefore, purifies her so she can become a vessel divine power can flow through.

Next, the elderly woman stands behind the initiate and recites the incantation, which the initiate repeats. They repeat the words three times. The elderly woman removes a metal or clay ceremonial object from a wicker basket placed to the right of the initiate. The initiate makes the sign of the cross three times, then touches the object to her forehead, then to her heart, and finally to her knees. She makes the sign of the cross again, and places the sacred object on her left side.

The elderly woman stirs a bunch of basil in a bowl of water and recites a blessing. After the blessing, the elderly woman sprinkles the initiate with the water using the basil to endow her with divine power. The initiate drinks the water from three places. This provides her with guidance for her mouth, hands, and heart: to speak, do, and feel those things that bring health and life to others.

A mediator is needed to transfer the healing power to the initiate. This is done with the bread, called dobra dusha, kind soul. The elderly woman breaks three pieces from it. She eats one, the initiate another, and the third the elderly woman places on the inside of the chimney. The two women now share the power. The initiate will gain her full power only after her mentor dies.

In the final rite of the ceremony, the elderly woman ties a red thread to the initiate’s right hand and pins a geranium onto her clothing. These both are symbolic of protection.

If you’d like to learn more about these healers, you can get a copy of our book through our Kickstarter campaign:

Don’t Miss Out on FREE Ebooks

The week 1 perks are coming to an end tonight (Saturday, May 14) at midnight, Eastern time. And they won’t be offered again. Get them now while you have a chance. Simply pledge at any level and they’ll be yours after the campaign ends successfully.

Week 1 Perks

The Midsummer’s Day Wreath

Earlier this week, we talked a little about the herbs. Today, we’ll tell you another special use of these magical herbs.

“Is this a portal to another world? Is this a circle to protect against black magic and evil spirits?”

These were questions in my mind when I looked at the colorful floral wreath on Midsummer’s Day many years ago. It was giant. I mean really giant… Woman, maidens, and girls were passing through the wreath. It felt like they are going to a different dimension.

It was magical experience, one which I always wanted to learn more about.

The wreath is made every year on Midsummer’s Day. It’s considered sacred and is woven from 77½ herbs. Not any herbs, but ones that are magical and healing. According to folk belief, the herbs in the wreath can cure illnesses, break spells, and drive away dragons (zmeys) and other malicious entities.

It’s well-known in Slavic folklore that dragons love to capture girls for brides, so the unmarried females need this extra protection as they approach adulthood.

Besides walking through the giant wreath, girls also crown their heads with a wreath made from herbs that repel zmeys and keep the beasts from loving the girls.

Sounds scary, right? Who wants to be abducted by a dragon and taken to a dark cave?

Don’t forget to follow our campaign on Kickstarter if you haven’t already done so:

And here’s another ritual where herbs are prominent.


Ready for More FREE Goodies?

The early-bird perks are gone, but we have more FREE ebooks for you if you back the campaign at any pledge level. You have until the end of the day on Saturday, May 14 to snag these books. If you’ve already pledged at the early-bird level, don’t worry. You’ll get these as well, and any other weekly perks we offer during our campaign.

If you haven’t done so yet, you can find the project here:

FREE ROMANCE BOOKS for backing early

Here’s a look at the perks for the rest of this first week.

Week 1 Perks

Courage to Heal by Shanae Johnson

Grumpy Vincent Klause’s plan to turn the town’s Christmas Tree farm into a paper mill is not a popular one, especially not with the town’s #1 holiday enthusiast, Isabella Snow. Not that a man like Vincent, who prefers sonnets to society, cares what the beautiful bookworm thinks.

When Izzy goes to chop down a tree for the holidays she doesn’t expect her swing to land right at the heart of the handsome new owner… and give him a concussion. Now trapped in a snow storm with a grumpy beast, can Izzy get Vincent’s heart to thaw before the storm is over?

Find out if love can truly heal all wounds in this light-hearted, sweet holiday romance. “Courage to Heal” is a standalone short story that can be read at any point in the Brides of Purple Heart Ranch series which features Wounded Warriors who are healed with the power of love.

Hunting Season by Kate Rudolph

This werewolf will protect his mate.

Owen has one job: keep Stasia from being abducted. Easier said than done when his fiercely independent client tries to fire him the moment they meet. His werewolf senses howl to life and he’s certain of one thing: Stasia is his.

She’s sick of cocky men.

When her wealthy father hires a bodyguard, Stasia says no. Not exactly a smart move after someone tried to nab her off the street. But she doesn’t need a babysitter. Especially not a cheerfully overbearing bodyguard who makes her heart pound and her fantasies run wild.

When Stasia is yanked out of her glittering world and into Owen’s she’ll need to grapple with an impossible new reality that includes werewolves, silver bullets, and fated mates.

Is she ready to embrace her new world? Or will she run back to a universe of glittering high rises and leave her destiny behind?;

Love You Like a Catfish by J. Leigh James

Can a fake online profile lead to real love?

Fiona is forced to live with relatives while her parents pursue their dreams. Her aunt doesn’t want her there, and her cousin, Cyn, only wants revenge on her ex-boyfriend. That’s when Audra is born; a fake online profile using glammed up pictures of Fi. All Fiona wants is peace until she can convince her parents to come get her. Even if that means lying to a guy who may not be as evil as her cousin proclaims.

Nathan has enough to deal with. He needs his secret business to succeed and get his dad off his back. He needs to distance himself from his clingy ex-girlfriend. The last thing he needs is to get distracted by the mysterious new girl in town. But there’s something about Audra that’s captured his attention and interacting with her online is the most fun he’s had in a long time.

Catfishing is a dangerous game. Will Fiona get caught in her lies and ruin her chance for love?,, TikTok @jleighjamesauthor


Magical Midsummer Herbs

Here’s a little about the meaning behind the 77½ Magical Healing Herbs book. Today, we look at the half herb.

“On Eniovden (Midsummer’s Day), the stars fly down, infusing herbs and water with magical healing power.”

Every year on June 24, I remember these words spoken by my grandmother. She understood the power of herbs and used them to heal soul and body, protect the home and family, and bring fertility and prosperity to the household.


“There is an herb for every illness, and the half for all unknown.”

I never fully understood the meaning of the “half” herb as a child—and not even as an adult. How can you have a half herb? Even if you break it in half, it’s still an herb.

In Bulgaria and other Slavic countries like Ukraine, June 24 is a special day filled with magical rites. Healers gather herbs at dawn, because this is the time when they have the most healing abilities.

In our book, we go into more detail about what the half herb is, and provide folk beliefs and tales about the herb.

Be sure to follow our campaign on Kickstarter, where we’ll keep you updated about the status of the campaign:

Our Kickstarter Campaign Is LIVE

We’re so excited. Our book is finally available for pre-order through our Kickstarter project! If you’ve followed the campaign, then you’ll have already received your email notification from Kickstarter the moment the campaign went live.

Here’s a little bit about what the book is all about.

kickstarter6 idea

Venture into the magical, healing world of herbs and embrace the power of nature.

  • Have you ever wondered what use you can make of all those “weeds” in your yard?
  • Do you prefer a natural way of cleansing the body and soul?
  • Are you looking for creative ways to add magic to games or novels?

If this sounds like you, then 77½ Magical Healing Herbs is the perfect solution. The book is an introduction to herbs found in a special Midsummer’s wreath. This is an especially enchanting time of year. Among the Bulgarians, the day is called Eniovden.

You may think herbs are only for spicing up food and healing the body and mind, but they have other uses, as well.

Herbs can:

  • Help prevent hair loss.
  • Eliminate turkey neck.
  • Repel insects.

And did you know herbs have magical properties?

Here are a few:

  • Attract love or repel it.
  • Provide protection from curses and unseen forces.
  • Help an individual find favor in court or success with money matters.
  • And so much more.

This unique herbal book is an essential guide for tapping into the power of herbs. It highlights centuries of lore and historical facts about healing and magical uses of herbs from Slavic and other traditions.

Plus, it includes rituals, herbal remedies, and simple recipes. Not only that, you’ll learn about several renowned Bulgarian healers throughout history—from St. Ivan Rilski to Baba Vanga.

One or two high-quality color photos, as well as a full-page botanical illustration, accompany each plant, so anyone can use the book as a field guide in their backyard or when they go foraging.

An index identifies some of the more interesting medical and magical abilities and the herbs that fall under them.

With more than 200 color images and fascinating information, 77½ Magical Healing Herbs is certain to entertain and enlighten you. 


Don’t forget to pledge early, so you get the EARLY-BIRD PERKS. You can find them at the top of our campaign page: But, they’ll be gone after 9 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow (Wednesday, May 11).

Herbal Prints

The botanical prints are available on merchandise on our Redbubble store. Keep checking back as we add new ones to the list.

Our Store:

Rose image:

Rose Print on Redbubble


A Sneak Peek at the Early-Bird Campaign Perks

Our Kickstarter campaign for 77½ Magical Healing Herbs will launch within 24 hours!

So, we’ll be posting daily about it to let you know what’s happening. You can also follow our campaign now to get the daily updates and participate in contests we’ll be holding later on in the campaign.

Simply go here and select the “Notify me on launch” button:

And we have MORE EXCITING NEWS. We’re giving everyone who backs the project within the FIRST 48 HOURS… some early-bird perks. If you support our project AT ANY PLEDGE LEVEL, we’ll add these FREE ebooks to your pledge. You’ll receive them, along with your other rewards after the campaign ends if we meet our funding goal.

In order to get these ebooks, though, you MUST back our project by 9 a.m., Thursday, May 12, Eastern time. Then, when the campaign ends successfully, these will be yours!

We’ll have more FREEBIES and GAMES throughout the campaign, too, so be sure to read the daily updates. The earlier you help us reach our goal, the more goodies you’ll receive.

Thank you for your support.

Early-Bird Perks

FREE FANTASY BOOKS for backing early

Here’s a look at the early-bird perks we’re offering.

A Tribe of Kassia by Tom Leveen

For Family. For Vengeance. Tanin, a desert elf who’s grown up in a peaceful desert enclave, is the only member of his clan not killed when White Riders ravage his town. They take few prisoners, but one of them is his betrothed, Memine.

Orrock of Guar has become a monk, taken in by a race of creatures not his own for the past ten years. With his training complete, he is sent back into the world to discover his creator’s will for his life . . . never anticipating that he would be challenged to revert to his former barbaric nature to serve his god.

Despite crippling panic attacks after seeing the carnage back home, Tanin swears to track down the White Riders and rescue Memine. With Orrock’s help and the aid of two other odd companions, he may stand a chance of finding the Riders somewhere in the wilds of Kassia . . . if his guide is truly leading the way . . .

Dragonwar by Mirren Hogan

In Dargyn, war is looming.

As dragonrider of Dargyn, Laynin Laithorn is treated like royalty, given the best of everything, with little but the care of her dragon to occupy her time. But she wants more.

Travin, talented bard and magic user, just wants stop singing in the town’s taverns and bond a newly hatched dragon.

News of a deadly invasion to the south shakes the Dragonhall to its foundations. It brings with it unease, and conflict between the draakin.

Their leader, Ara, is determined the dragons won’t become involved. But as war draws near, it becomes clear she might have to lead the dragons into battle.

Wyvern Awakening by Joanna Mazurkiewicz

A Wyvern dragon shifter. Revenge, lies and a deadly magical challenge.

When her parents were murdered eleven years ago, leaving her physically scarred during the event, dragon shifter Astri never learned the identity of their killer. That is until he appears to her in a nightmare.

The powerful Duke Jorgen not only rules the city of Rivenna where she lives, he is also responsible for her parents’ death and for the disability she’s had to bear most of her life. When the chance arises for her to compete to become Duke’s assistant, she realises this is her opportunity for revenge.

But everything in Astri’s world comes with a price. Can she overcome her disability and make Duke pay?

Can You Help Us?

Every time we’ve talked about the 77½ herbs of the Eniovden (Midsummer’s) wreath to people in conversations and posts, the question has been: “What are these herbs?” After much research, we’ve uncovered the answer. So, the book you’ve been waiting for is nearing completion. It’s currently in the hands of our graphic designer, who will make the pages come alive with color.

If you are new to our site, we’re launching this book through a Kickstarter campaign.

You may or may not be familiar with Kickstarter. It’s a crowdfunding platform. But, unlike many others out there, Kickstarter is a platform where people promote CREATIVE PROJECTS to potential backers. It’s a way to test the market to see if the product is something that consumers desire. It’s not a platform where people are seeking personal funding. No charities or general fund raisers. All backers are helping support a PROJECT with an outcome—whether it’s a book, a game, a movie, or some other creative endeavor. And you get all kinds of cool perks along the way if you back the project to help us achieve our goal of producing this informative book.

Here’s where we need your help.

We’d love it if you could look over the preview of our campaign that we hope to launch in early May and provide us with feedback. Look over the content. Does it make sense to you? Is there anything confusing? Is there something else you’d like to see included? All comments and suggestions are welcome. We want this to be something you are excited about as we are.

Here’s the preview link: 77½ Magical Healing Herbs: Secret Powers of Herbal Medicine — Kickstarter.


And don’t forget to click on the “Notify me on launch” button at the top. The moment the campaign goes live, you’ll receive an email from Kickstarter. You don’t want to miss this because we’ll be offering perks along the way. The earlier you back the project, the more perks you’ll receive.

If you’ve never used Kickstarter before, you’ll have to create an account. Once you click on the “Notify me on launch” button, the site will ask you to log in. Scroll down to where it says: “New to Kickstarter? Sign up.” And follow the instructions from there.

Thank you for your support. As the Kickstarter guru who has taught us about this platform says, “We hope to see you behind the backer wall.”

Kickstarter Green logo

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