Monday, September 14, 2015

3 giveaways! The Xanthakos Family Series by Susan Craft ends 9/21

Please welcome Susan Craft to my blog. Susan has a fun post today. Be sure to read all the way down to find out how to enter in her awesome giveaway. There will be 3 winners as she is giving away each book of her trilogy!! And don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a follower for an extra entry.

Sometimes doing research for my colonial era novels can be amusing.

A couple of months ago, I saw my family doctor for a problem I’d been having. The night before, I’d been reading a resource book for my upcoming novel Cassia. The name of it is Indian Doctor – Nature’s method of curing and preventing disease according to the Indians.
I took the book with me to show the doctor the Indian cure for my problem. What a hoot! We had such fun looking through the book. Seems as if every cure involved mixing something with wine, ale, beer, or liquor. We came to the conclusion that with enough of the “cure,” even if you still had the problem, you wouldn’t care anymore.

Here’s what the book says for my problem, “Take some pounded panic (panic is another name for powdered corn), and give it to the patient to drink with wine, and he will recover. The same panic, being boiled with goat’s milk, and eaten twice a day, morning and evening, will operate the same.”

Seriously, knowing the right herbs and natural cures was extremely important in an era where there were very few, if any, doctors available. And, most of the time, those doctors weren’t classically trained.

Lilyan Xanthakos, the heroine of Cassia, is not only a portrait and mural artist she is a healer who carries her medicine kit wherever she goes. In Cassia I mention an incident in Swansboro, NC, where pirates blockaded the port not for money or other booty, but for medical supplies (which were worth their weight in gold.)

There’s also a scene where the ship’s cook, because there is no doctor on board, applies a camphor-based ointment to the scratches on Lilyan’s face.

While she's being cared for, Lilyan checks out the cook's medicine kit that has: jalap for purging, mercury salves for the Foul Disease, autumn crocus and meadow saffron for gout, and St. John’s Wort for insomnia, all carefully wrapped in oil-soaked paper.

Lilyan, along with most colonial women, maintained a medicine kit that might have included the following:

• Valerian root, combined with hops and lemon balm; a sedative for sleep disorders, insomnia
•Sweet gum bark, boiled; for sore eyes, wash eyes three times a day
•Rum or brandy; for a burn apply a wet rag doused; Two or three swallows of cold water before breakfast; for heartburn
•Feverfew; for headaches/migraines, body aches, and fever
•Southern Wood; for upset stomach (also used as an insect or moth repellent
•Calendula, dried, ground and mixed with animal fat; for cuts
•Tansy; for indigestion, cramps, sunburn, and to remove freckles
•Basil; draw poison out of animal bites
•Black Cohosh; for menopause
•Boswellia; for arthritis
•Chamomile tea; for digestive problems
•Flaxseed; for menopausal discomfort and osteoporosis
•White Willow Bark; for back pain
•Ginger; for nausea and vomiting
•Lavender flowers; for anxiety
•Fleabane; for venomous bites, smoke from it kills gnats and fleas; dangerous for women and children
•Hellebore root snuffed up the nose; for sneezing and melancholy and to kill rats and mice
•Penyroyal; for vomiting, gas, and vertigo
•Fox’s tongue softened in vinegar; applied topically, draws out a thorn or splinter
•Rose petals steeped in vinegar; applied topically for headache
•Chalk; for heartburn
•Calamine; for skin irritations
•Cinchona Bark (contains quinine); for fevers 

Oh, two weeks after I saw my doctor, who prescribed medicine that cured my original problem, I had to see him again for a terrible earache. We looked at the Indian cure that involved lily onions, marsh mallows, oil of violet and, of course, taken with wine. And then, bleeding.

I’ll stick with the antibiotics.

Want to enter for the awesome giveaway? Three lucky people will win. To enter answer the question: What’s in your First Aid Kit? Don't forget to leave your email and to let me know if you are a follower!


The Xanthakos family’s sea voyage from South Carolina to the North Carolina

Outer Banks turns ugly after they pressure their ship’s captain to rescue a pregnant woman thrown overboard from a slave ship.

When the slave contracts smallpox, the captain maroons her, Lilyan and Nicholas and their children, Laurel, Paul, and Marion, on an island.

After Nicholas and Marion leave to seek help, Lilyan and her children and the baby, whom they have named Cassia, are captured by pirates and taken to their island hideout under the command of the vile Captain Galeo (The Shark), but Paul escapes along the way.

Galeo is attracted to Lilyan and orders her and Laurel to dine with him where reveals his plan to make Lilyan his own and auction Laurel to the highest bidder and where he forces them to witness a mock trial and a hanging.

Heartsick to see her child exposed to such evil, Lilyan rekindles her long-dormant courage and forges an escape plan. Meanwhile, Nicholas faces his self-perceived failure to protect his family. He must abandon the life of a vintner and once again call upon the skills he honed as a captain in Francis Marion’s militia.

Together they face the hardest challenge to a parent, watching as life tests the mettle of their highly sheltered and beloved children. Bolstered by their faith, they realize their strength isn’t enough to see them through and that God is in control.

Will the Xanthakos children withstand their trials and learn to be as tough as their parents? Will the family be united and return to their peaceful Blue Ridge Mountain home?


I’ve lived in Columbia, SC, since I was five years old. Forty-five years ago, I married my high school sweetheart, and we have two adult children, one granddaughter, and a granddog. I’m a history nerd who enjoys researching for my novels, painting, singing, listening to music, and sitting on my porch watching the rabbits and geese eat my daylilies.

I recently retired after a 45-year career as a communications director, editor, and proofreader.

I write inspirational historical romantic suspense. My Xanthakos Family Trilogy includes my Revolutionary War novel, The Chamomile, which won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick; its sequel, Laurel, which was released in January 2015; and the third in the trilogy, Cassia, which will be released in September 2015. My publisher is Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC). I currently serve on the LPC Heritage Beacon Imprint publication board and work for them as a manuscript editor of historical fiction. My literary agent is Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency.

To assist authors to “get it right about horses in their works,” I worked with the International Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation to compile A Writer's Guide to Horses that can be found at

Where you can find Susan: (personal website) (Historical Fiction a Light in Time) (Colonial Quills) (Stitches Thru Time) (Heroes, Heroines and History) (Goodreads)
@susanfcraft (Twitter)
Link to The Chamomile on Amazon:
Link to Laurel on Amazon:
Link to Cassia on Amazon:


  1. My first aid kit that's always in my purse.. Kleenex & a bottle with Tums, Tylenol, ibuprofen & a few allergy pills.. The same can be found in the glove box of each vehicle too.. I do have a few of the herbal remedies listed in my medicine cabinet :) I would enjoy reading Cassia!
    dkstevensneAT outlookDoTCOm I am a follower...

    1. Hi, Deanna. Sounds as if you're prepared! I used to carry all kinds of stuff in my purses, just in case something happened to one of the children. I'm too old to haul that stuff around with me. I was always the "go to" person at work who had bandaids, aspirin, etc., in my desk.

  2. I have peppermint oil for headache or tummy ache, lavender for bug bites, tissues and band aids. I signed up to receive emails. Thanks for the giveaway! How great is that!

    1. Hi, Vicki. Peppermint oil for headaches? I may have to try that.

  3. Hi, Susan - always enjoy your interesting posts, this one was no exception.

    Some of the older medicines have proven to be just as effective as our modern medicines - some that I have are calamine lotion, ginger, flaxseed, chamomile tea, & St. John's wart. However, I don't think I'd want to snuff the same thing that is used to kill rats, lol. Other items in my medicine kit are the usual: antibiotic cream, bandaids, aspirin, etc..

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway opportunity!!

    I am a follower.

    Shared post.


    1. Hi, Bonnie. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement.

  4. Tissues, Tylenol, Band-Aids, Neosporin, Aspirin and Polar Ice for muscle aches are in my medicine kit. I enjoyed reading the different remedies and my daughter swears by Varerian Root as a muscle relaxer/sleep aid. I tried it and I didn't sleep a wink!
    Debbie Lynne, I follow your blog. Thanks for this giveaway.
    cps1950 (at)gmail (dot)com

    1. Hi, Connie. Never tried Polar Ice. I ache all over sometimes, so I may try it.

  5. I have the usual things like Tylenol, band aids, antibiotic salve,tweezers, Vick:s vapor ointment For bug bites or stings, gauze rolls and pads and tape. Dr. and phone numbers taped to lid.

    1. I forgot : I follow by feed burner and ; Mcnuttjem0(AT)gmail(dot)com

    2. Jackie, that's a good idea about taping the doctor's phone number to the lid.

  6. Mostly bandages and an insect bite cream.

    I follow


    1. Mary, I have lots of bandages and bandaids. Couldn't find one recently except one that had little yellow ducks on it. My husband really appreciated my putting it on the boo-boo on his arm. :-)

  7. Hello Susan! I enjoyed reading this informative post. My first aid kit includes ibuprofen as I drive a lot and my knee bothers me. I've not yet read your books. They sound wonderful.

    I am a subscriber via psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

    1. Hi, Caryl. Happy that you liked the post. I hope you will read my books and let me know what you think.

  8. Hi Susan. My purse always has Tylenol in it. The first aid box has various sizes of bandaids, antibiotic cream, anti itch cream, peroxide and Epsom salt. I follow via Google connect. Thanks for the giveaway :)
    bettimace at gmail dot com

    1. Hi, Betti. I don't know why, but Aleve seems to work better for me. Epsom salt...h-m-m... I had forgotten about that. I used to soak my tired feet with it. May have to do that again. :-)

  9. Some of those old cures worked pretty good! (If they didn't kill you!) jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. You're right, Joan. Colonial Americans used penny royal for stomach ailments and gas, but they also used it in higher dosages to kill rats. Ee-ew!

  10. My first aid kit is the off-the-shelf special, with a tube of Neosporin added.

  11. Let's see, I always have nearby (in my purse or at home) allergy meds, cortisone cream, neosporin, band aids, and disinfectant gel. I also use natural vitamins and essential oils. Some of the old remedies were effective (some were scary!), so it's fascinating to read about them. :-)

    Your books sound fascinating! My email is: PatchesDanny (at) Yahoo (dot) com