Oct 29, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Byron Ballard

Byron's books are going home with:

KellyM and Sam Saye - congratulations!

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When I read our next author's first book "Staubs and Ditchwater: A Friendly and Useful Introduction to Hillfolks' Hoodoo" I felt like I was sitting around a table with my grandmother and aunts, a large pot of tea making the rounds, while they talked about the business of keeping house, and keeping other folks noses out of your business. My grandmother was not from the Appalachians however, she was a British import who could grow spectacular roses with little effort, brew a pot of tea that would fix anything from a headache to heartbreak, and use a potato to dislodge the stinger of a bee that was stuck in your foot. She had a small witch on a broom hanging in her little yellow kitchen, and gods help you if you lifted a lid on one of her pots while they were bubbling on the stove (she knew if you did too - whether she was in the room or not).

Byron Ballard writes in such a way that makes me miss my grandmother with even more than the usual ache. She reminds me of a time when women were in command of their kitchens and gardens and every item had several purposes. A time when the person who kept the home, kept it peaceful and safe with whatever skill and items they had on hand. That time does not have to be "back then" - it can be now, with a little know-how.

Byron has generously offered up two signed copies of her new book "Asfidity & Mad-Stones: A Further Ramble Through Hillfolks' Hoodoo"


I had the pleasure of taking a sneak peak at this book and it is a treat!

"Grab your work-basket and a good, sharp blade, and come along in to the back lots, the meadows, the hills. Byron shows us the folkways of her beloved Appalachian homeland, and shares practical wisdom and workings that she has learned and adapted over a lifetime of practice.

Ms. Ballard tells of ancestors and ghosts, folk-sayings and omens. She offers up a list of herbal helpers, discusses fundamental needs, and shares all manner of works - from blessings to banes. All while weaving an enchanting picture of the land and the spirit of place that holds her heart. 

This is good, get-dirt-under-your-nails craft. By the time you are finished reading this charming book, you should have an impressive toolkit of local plants, dirt, stones, and waters, and a bit of a sore back. 

Dig in deep to this gem, and be sure to carry a buckeye in your pocket, encourage plantain in your yard, mind your dishwater, and pay attention to the moon."


There are two copies of Asfidity & Mad-Stones up for grabs. I seem to be running out of October, so you will only have until Friday at 11pm Pacific to leave a comment here. I will be out in a haunted cornfield that evening, so I'll draw the names when I stumble home, cold and scared silly.

Here are the rules and legal bits.

Photographs copyright Byron Ballard. Quoted text my own.

36 comments:

Iesadora said...

Now that sounds like a fun and interesting read!!! I'd love to win a copy! =D

petoskystone said...

Sounds like a great read! I would love to win a copy.

Kristen Fisher said...

I would love a copy of this book!

Harbinger said...

I loved Staubs and Ditchwater and I'm really looking forward to Asfidity & Mad-Stone!! I'd love to win!

Chad said...

Having Appalachian blood myself, this sounds like a great read!

chadblevins(at)gmail(dot)com

Eliora said...

Oh, how I would love to have this book in my library. Thank you, Jen, you sweet generous love.

Donna L Dyer said...

I love Byron and would love to add her new book to my library! How nice of you to give us the opportunity to win it!

Stephanie said...

Would love to read this one!

zb said...

That would be amazing to add to my library!

Aidan Wachter said...

Sign me up!

Christine Candora-Hickey said...

Having moved from New England to now being close by to the Appalachians, I really am interested in learning more of their folk magic and medicine.

Ms Smirk said...

I would love to win!!

Adam Beld said...

Sounds like a good read!Im in!

Witchy said...

Would love to win this! Thanks for having these giveaways!

lady said...

With family lines stretching back to West Virginia for several generations, this book looks so enticing! It reminds me of a dream I had a month ago- my (deceased) Nana, born in WV, was teaching me songs her mother, also born in WV, taught her - I wish I could remember them - the only line I remember was about stretching your legs in the morning!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I won't enter this giveaway because I won the last one (and even my Reader's Greed has limits). However, I think I will purchase this one. After reading about your grandpa, anything that makes you miss one of your grands is probably written in a wondrous way. ♥

Charicola said...

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book Jen! :) Nici

Sam Saye said...

Fantastic! I was just listening to a podcast (at the crossroads) with Byron yesterday. First time I've heard of her work. I'd love to learn more.

Many blessings
Samantha

Carrie said...

Oh perfect for October...would love this book for my collection of reading...I am older now and I look to inspiration grandmother

Engie Willow said...

Sounds like an interesting read! engie.willow@gmail.com

Jen Lawrence said...

I won't enter as I won before but she sounds fascinating!

Yvonne Allsopp said...

I would love to read this book it sounds like my cuppa tea xx

Guinneth said...

Oh, PLEASE pick me! I loved her first book!

Pati Tozer said...

Oh, so interesting! I'd love a copy of this book, win it or not. :)

Kelly M said...

Sounds like a fascinating book.
Thanks for the chance.

Michelle Willms said...

I would cherish such a book. This sounds like something I could sorely use. Thank you for finding such wonderful authors to share with us and thanks to the authors for providing their books to us as such precious gifts.

I have my own kitchen witch on my fridge that I'm anal about and I know when someone lifts the lid on one of my pots - even when I'm in my bedroom, so I know Ms. Ballard's writing in her newest book will touch my soul.

orion`s daughter said...

I was born, raised, and will probably die in the Appalachians, so this book looks great.

Eveline Maedel said...

Looks like a fascinating read!!

Misty Fouquet said...

I want to win this one so badly!! I had the opportunity to meet her at the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference earlier this month and I fell in love with her! I have been saving up to get this one and her first one. Crossing my fingers and hanging a cloutie!! <3

Debra H. said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I really loved her first book.

L J Dogsmom said...

This sounds like a book I need when I hit the roads next summer for my camping trips.


wismomworks@gmail.com

sunwyn said...

I would love to win this book. My family roots are all in Appalachia.

Melisa Glassford said...

These books sound great! Love your blog!

Jamie said...

I'd love a copy of this book. I live in Va and it would be fantastic to learn something that's roots are so close to where I've grown up.

Crystal Sell said...

That sounds like a book that I would absolutely love!

Liz Davenport said...

Thank you again, Jen, for your generosity this month. :-) :-) I would love to dig into this book to discover its wisdom. I have many Appalachian ancestors.

Liz
ledvenport@aol.com