Magic Spark, featuring THESE ROOTS RUN DEEP, by Em Shotwell

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“These Roots Run Deep” by Em Shotwell:
Spitfire, New Orleans weather girl, Cheyanne Murphey has everything, and that is exactly how she likes it. When she discovers evidence of her fiancé’s philandering, she refuses to let her perfectly cultivated image fall to pieces. Cheyanne has worked too hard, dragging herself up from the trailer park into New Orleans’ society, to give in without a fight…even if that means trading a year of her life in exchange for a love incantation from her ancestor’s spell book.
A skyclad, moonlit dance, a mysterious potion, and magic gone awry leave Cheyanne with a very peculiar life lesson: love can take on many forms, so be careful what you wish for.

Em Shotwell: If there is one constant in my writing that I have noticed, it is that I always end up writing sisters. Maybe this is because I come from a very female-centric family with two sisters of my own as well as more than a few girl cousins. I believe that the relationship between sisters is one of the most complex dynamics that exist. You can love your sister fiercely, but grow up in constant competition. The same person, your sister, who you will always protect can be the same person who drives you bonkers.

My husband grew up with brothers, and while it has its own original dynamic, I don’t find it as intricate.  He and his two brothers are straightforward. When they are mad, they are mad. When they are happy, they are happy. Their feelings are often complicated, but the relationship isn’t. No, there is no other relationship like sisterhood, which means there are many threads for this writer to tug when crafting a female sibling group. Tallulah and Delia in BLACKBIRD SUMMER are different from Milly and Francis in WORN OUT WISHES. Evelyn and her sisters in FORGET ME NOT have a very unique bond.

The oddest sisters of all, however, are my Marchland family from THESE ROOTS RUN DEEP, THIS HOLLOW HEART, and THESE RESTING BONES. They are a tangle of trust issues and defensiveness, wearing chips on their shoulders like badges of honor, and they love each other fiercely.

Em Shotwell is a Mississippi native turned Louisiana local who writes about misfits and the people who love them. You can visit her online at, or on Facebook at


Holly Rizzuto Palker


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