Annette Blair - The Scot, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Available everywhere December 5th

Where do we get our ideas for our stories? Each has a different beginning, of course. When I wrote my first witch book, I had only THE KITCHEN WITCH in mind, but I thought it might be smart for Melody to have a couple of friends, in case. Turns out, that was a brilliant move. Kira got her story in MY FAVORITE WITCH, and because she was a fundraiser, she fit a story idea I had about a consortium of Newport, Rhode Island mansions. Giving her a hockey player hero was a natural for me. I worked in the prep school that holds the national record for the most consecutive state hockey titles, and I’d watched several young men work their way from the 7th grade to the NHL. That book became a National Bestseller.

Then came the real challenge. I had to find a worthy story, and hero, for Vickie. One thing I had going for me was that Vickie owned the Immortal Classic, a Vintage Clothing and Curio Shop, so she was into antiques. Also, she never claimed to be any kind of witch—a clue. She’s a witch in denial. Of course. Now, how to reveal her true gift, her inherited gift for witchcraft? Put a witch in her family tree . . . and an antique with a spell on it.

I love the stories behind the antiques on The Antiques Roadshow. I watch it all the time, whether it takes place in England or the U.S. and I’ve often thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a story that started with an antique that could change somebody’s life?” I figured that if I watched the British version of the Roadshow, then a Scot could very well be watching the American version. I love romances about Scots—I’m married to a Scot.

Did you ever see the movie Possession? If you haven’t, you should. I loved the notion that a century old love could inspire a contemporary love story. So Vickie’s ancestor, the witch, had a lover, a Scottish lover. He carved carousel figures. Yes, I happen to adore carousels. Now, how to make the carousel piece the Scot is looking for so unique that when one appears on the Roadshow, he has to come to Salem to see if it’s the one his ancestor carved?

We don’t get all of our ideas in a vacuum. My brainstorming buddies helped me with this one. Put the signs of the zodiac on the figures. Twelve figures, twelve signs and they’re all horses except for the Aquarius unicorn, which Vickie finds in her locked family wardrobe . . . because she’s the first direct female descendant who can turn the inherited key in the lock. The key never worked for anyone else. This does not, however, prove to her that she’s a witch. She’s still got a lot of lessons to learn, and some of them are hot.

Now here’s where the amazing part comes in. This is all floating around in my head, and I’ve started to plot the story, and I’m chatting about it with a few writer friends in the car on the way to a writers’ conference, and one of them says something that gives me a vision. It’s a picture, so vivid, I could smell the flowers and see the sun going down on the embracing couple. That vision became a recurring theme in the story, a dream that our hero and heroine share before they meet. And it’s only after Rory MacKenzie comes to Salem—to see if Victoria’s Aquarius unicorn has the hidden compartment his ancestor carved in his Aquarius unicorn—that the dreams escalate, become explicit, erotic, and they realize they’re dreaming about each other.

The way THE SCOT, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE came together seems, to me, more like a gift than an idea. I hope you think so too. Here’s what the reviewers have to say:

"...sassy dialogue, rich sexual tension and plenty of laughs make this an immensely satisfying return to Blair's world of witchcraft." Publishers Weekly

“Enchanting.” Hot. Romantic Times

“Sexy, witty and utterly delightful.” Affaire de Coeur

“Outstanding! Actually made me believe in magic.” Huntress Reviews

Enter my new contest at www.annetteblair.com/contest.htm and don’t forget to looks for THE SCOT, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE in bookstores on December 5th.


Annette Blair