Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yours Naturally


It’s great to be here! I’m a fan of the Killer Hobbies blog and now I’m very happy to be a contributing blogger! This is thanks to my protagonist’s passion (and mine) for natural cures featured in my new book DEATH DROPS: A Natural Remedies Mystery (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster 2/21/12).

It’s the first mystery cozy series to feature all types of natural remedies, from flower essences, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, yoga and meditation to specific supplements and herbs. The series stars Dr. Willow McQuade, N.D., a twenty-eight-year-old naturopathic doctor (ND’s take a holistic approach factoring in mind, body and spirit) who specializes in natural remedies.

You may be wondering why write about natural remedies? Well, when I was growing up my mother practiced natural cures such as tea bag baths for sunburn, homeopathic remedies for colds and allergies (she even had her own homeopathic kit), arnica oil for sprains and bruises and, of course, chicken soup with garlic was always a staple. I knew that natural remedies worked and became a believer. This interest became the thread that would run through my entire career as a writer.

So, after I graduated from Boston University with a degree in communications, I dabbled in various vocations including advertising and television production (Designing Women, Evening Shade, Early Edition) in Hollywood, I became a journalist specializing natural health. I’ve written about natural cures for Natural Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention, Vegetarian Times, The Health Monitor Network and was the Good Nature columnist for Remedy magazine.

In 2009 I followed my interest in natural remedies into non-fiction. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies (Alpha, 2009), was followed by Beat Sugar Addiction Now! (Fairwinds Press, 2010 4th printing), and the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook (Fairwinds Press, 2012) both with noted holistic physician Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. and The Country Almanac of Home Remedies (Fairwinds Press, 2011) with herbalist Brigitte Mars.

So it was only “natural” that when it came to fiction, I’d focus on natural remedies too. In 2011, my life-long dream came true when Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster bought my natural remedies series.

Now, I’m looking forward to sharing Willow’s (and my) passion for natural remedies along with snapshots of life with my family and friends and my two dachshunds, Holmes and Wallander (from All American Dachshund Rescue) and brother and sister cats, Tinker and Tuppence, also rescues.

For now, here are this week’s natural remedies just in time for cold and flu season:

1. Vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C stimulates your immune system to fight that cold. Take 1000 mg. (to bowel tolerance) up to three times daily to shorten the duration of a cold. This is confirmed by over 30 studies that were analyzed by the Cochrane Database Systematic Review in 2004. Zinc, especially in the form of lozenges helps prevent viral replication of the cold virus in the throat by stimulating T-cell response. Stay under 50 mg. daily.

2. Elderberry can minimize the duration of flu symptoms including chills, headache and respiratory infection. According to a 2004 study published in The Journal of International Medical Research, when people were given elderberry syrup, (the brand name is Sambucol), 90% felt better after just three days! Elderberry syrup is also delicious! Take a dose every couple of hours you are awake when fighting something off. Decrease as you improve.

3. Drink two teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey in a cup of hot water three times daily to break up mucus congestion. Diluted lemon in hot water or berry juices can help relieve fever.

4. Soothe a sore throat with a nice cup of licorice root tea. It eases irritated mucus membranes and stimulates the immune system.

5. Soaking in a hot bath is good for colds and flu. Draw a bath and add a cup of Epsom salts and 7 drops of essential oil of eucalyptus or ginger to promote sweating release of toxins. You can also sip some diaphoretic herbs in the tub such as elder flower and ginger. Afterwards dress warm and rest. Feel better!

If you have a medical condition check with your doctor before using these natural remedies.

About Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

Dr. Willow McQuade, N.D., a twenty-eight-year-old naturopathic doctor specializing in natural remedies, has decided to take sabbatical and visit her Aunt Claire, the owner of Nature’s Way Market and Cafe in idyllic Greenport, Long Island. But the idea of rest and relaxation is quickly forgotten when Willow arrives from a morning meditative walk to discover her Aunt Claire dead in the store, a strange almond-like smell emanating from her mouth and a bottle of flower essences by her side.

Despite her Zen nature and penchant for yoga, Aunt Claire had a knack for getting into confrontations with folks. An activist, she held weekly meetings for different causes every week in the store. The police want to believe the death is accidental—but Willow thinks she may have been poisoned.

Things get worse when Aunt Claire’s valuable recipe for a new natural age-defying formula, Fresh Face, is stolen during a store break-in, and an attempt is made on Willow’s life. Desperate for a way out of the mess, she turns to a handsome young cop Jackson Spade. Together the two set about solving the case the natural way—through a combination of hard work, common sense, and a dose of luck.

Praise for Death Drops:

Death Drops is a gem! Entertaining, informative, and with a mystery that had me completely baffled! – Gayle Trent, author of Killer Sweet Tooth

"Fiedler's absorbing mystery is an entertaining debut, featuring a likeable menagerie of characters, filled with natural remedies, with all of it unfolding on Long Island's idyllic East End." Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, author of the national bestseller Liberating Paris.

“An engaging investigative thriller…an enjoyable whodunit.” The Mystery Gazette

Death Drops is available for pre-order on I’m also giving away free copies of Death Drops. Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing! For more information please visit


Mollie Cox Bryan said...

What an interesting premise for your book.I can't wait to read it! I've quite an herb garden. I mostly use them in food, but I understand there are healing properties to them. So I'm looking forward to learning more.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks Mollie! Yes, herbs are very versatile. You'd be amazed at what you can do with them! I want to read your book too! It's great to be blogger sisters!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Love your cover, Chrystle. Welcome! You are a fascinating addition to our sisterhood.

Monica Ferris said...

Back when I was an amateur medievalist and a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, I studied a wonderful book called The English Physician, a collection of old remedies and herbal recipes put together by Thomas Culpepper in 1653. A modern doctor told me that some of the remedies would work as advertised.

Welcome to the group, Chrystle!

Julie said...

Great to have you here, and I LOVED Evening Shade! Culpeper's Herbal is well known in medical circles, and the active ingredient in aspirin is found in willow bar, so we should al learn something from your books. Welcome!

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks everyone! It feels really good to be here!

Anonymous said...

Oh my stars. This is wonderful.

Now, I'm not a mystery reader, which is probably one reason I don't comment here very much (that, and the fact that I don't knit, either. I'm hopeless).

But I am hooked on holistic living and natural remedies, and you have piqued my interest. So much so, that in addition to buying a book in a genre I don't usually read, I also paid $10 for the Kindle version, something I've sworn never to do.

I cannot wait to read this.

Allyson said...

I really enjoyed reading your blurb, not just about your new series but also about your very impressive background. I'm going to preorder your mystery on amazon, if I don't win a copy, LOL. I love being able to support mystery writers.

Judy said...

Welcome to the blog. I am interested in becoming aquainted with you books.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome, Chrystle. Your books sound like fun, and I look forward to trying some of your natural remedies!

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Thanks everyone! I'm so happy that you are looking forward to meeting Willow McQuade and the gang in Death Drops!

scrapbookangel said...

Very interesting premise. My great grandmother was a big proponent of natural remedies. She lived to be 98 years old.

I am adding this to my wishlist on Goodreads.

Nancy said...

I think I can really get into this book and hope for many more books in the series.

Betty Hechtman said...

Welcome to Killerhobbies. Personally, I'm all for natural healing.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

Natural remedies are really fascinating. The great thing is you can find them in your kitchen, garden, bathroom and health food store! Thanks for the welcome Betty!

holy basil said...

I feel delightful after knowing about the home remedies book Death Drops. By reviewing this write it sounds good and full of the knowledge about natural remedies. I will buy one copy for myself.