The Magic of Rocks

By Cate Conte

I’ve always loved rocks.

It seems like a strange confession, admittedly. It’s not scandalous. There is no 12-step program (although sometimes I think there should be when I tally up all the money I’ve spent on rocks, but more on that later!). It’s not even really that interesting, when taken at face value, although there are some funny stories about me being a kid who loved rocks.

Like when my mother bought me a doll carriage and a bunch of beautiful dolls to go along with it. One day, we were out for a walk and I had my doll carriage with me. A woman stopped us on the street and asked if she could see my dolls. I pulled down the blanket in the carriage and showed her all the rocks I’d picked up along the way.

I think she was a little scared of me.

I also accidentally hit my mother in the face with a rock when I was helping her build a rock wall (I was probably six or seven and I swear I didn’t mean to do it). But I was obsessed with finding the perfect rocks for the project, and I guess I got a little too overzealous.

As I got older, I still loved finding rocks outside, especially on the beach, but I turned my attention to crystal shops. The first “fancy” stone I ever bought was a raw amethyst. First, it was purple, which made me love it immediately. Second—and more importantly—it made me feel good. At the time I didn’t know a lot about healing crystals, what they were capable of, and how to use them.

My collection started out slow – a lot of small tumbled stones. I used to go to my favorite store back home in Massachusetts and pick them based on the descriptions and what I thought I needed. I always admired the larger stones and put them on my wish list. I bought a couple of books to learn more and planned to expand my collection.

Then I went to a crystal shop in New Orleans during a conference. This shop was brilliant and had so many awesome stones. I got myself some new ones from my list and branched out into some jewelry, including a beautiful dendritic agate ring, which was perfect for the time of transformation I was going through.

Fast forward to last year. I had a discussion with my awesome editor at Kensington, John Scognamiglio, about my new series. He had an awesome idea for a Bewitched-type series about a mother/daughter witch duo. I fell in love with the concept and when I started to think about the proposal I realized two things about my new character, Violet Mooney. One, she didn’t yet know she was a witch, and two, she had to own a crystal shop.

It was perfect. And it also gave me an excuse (as if I needed one) to frequent a local shop. Lucky for me, I already had one nearby so I got friendly with the owner and started visiting pretty much every week. I fell in love with a lepidolite (another purple stone) for emotional healing and got some blue kyanite for protection. I found out that petrified wood can help you stop feeling frozen in time (how perfect is that for these days??). My current favorite stone is a lemurian blue onyx that helps promote confidence and ease, enhances self-control and helps with wise decision-making.

If anything, my rock and crystal obsession has only gotten stronger. I almost love buying crystals more than shoes these days—and I really love buying shoes. So I’m thrilled about my new series because it’s a ton of fun to write and I can also share some knowledge about some really amazing healing tools.

Witch Hunt is out in late June – I can’t wait for everyone to meet Violet!

Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.
Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s “voodoo shop,” the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.

But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . .