Mediums are the main attraction in one of my favorite places, Cassadaga, Florida. If you want to communicate with a loved one who has passed away, this is the go-to town.
As you walk along the quiet streets, many of the homes are Victorian with wide porches and colorful gingerbread trim. Others are more like cottages or bungalows. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, and you see signs outside the homes advertising psychic readings
A fascinating bookstore offers the schedule for the month including tours, healing and massage services, orb photo opportunities, educational sessions, and so much more. This is the perfect place to begin learning about Spiritualism and the history of the town.
A historic hotel dominates the smaller businesses and residences. Its 1920’s style luxury immediately brings about a sense of a slower, simpler pace of life. It’s supposed to be haunted, but the ghosts are friendly!
Even if you don’t see a ghost during your stay, you can get a tarot card reading, experience a reiki healing session while reclining in a crystal bed, or have your aura photographed.
I could go on and on about this charming location, which is only about 20 miles from Daytona Beach, but truly in a different world.
My recently released novel, Witch Trial Legacy is set in Cassadaga and surrounding areas and is the first in a collection where romance collides with supernatural suspense.
The Cassadaga Collection: Witch Trial Legacy
If you are a fan of Tricia O’Malley or Kay Hooper, you’ll love The Cassadaga Collection: Witch Trial Legacy.
Sybilla Sanborn must break a centuries-old curse before everything she cares about goes up in smoke.
Sybilla is a nurse gifted with the ability to heal with her touch but cursed with visions of future tragedies she cannot prevent because no one heeds her warnings. With help from the mediums of the spiritualist town of Cassadaga, Florida, she learns she is descended from both the first person executed for witchcraft in this country and the man who accused her.
Conn Ahern is an Iraq war vet dealing with pain and PTSD while working as a paramedic and struggling to save the ranch his grandmother founded. He’s an atheist who wants nothing to do with the people of the town.
When Conn and Sybilla meet, sparks fly, but not always in a good way, and their relationship fans the flames of jealousy and revenge in someone who doesn’t want them to work things out.
During a séance, her ancestor’s spirit reveals how Sybilla can rid herself of the curse and save Conn, but the price may be too high.
Here’s an excerpt that shows Sybilla meeting with a medium and experiencing a past life regression where she views what happened to her ancestor:
This time she didn’t even make it up the sidewalk before the door opened. “Did you glimpse me from the window again?”
“Nah, this time it was my psychic power.” Mr. Bennett said it deadpan.
Not sure if he was joking, she nodded and followed him inside.
Today he sported a blue and yellow Hawaiian shirt over tan pants and sandals. He carried a tray with a pitcher of ice water and two glasses into the living room and set it on the coffee table. “Okay, you’re familiar with the drill by now.” He gestured toward the recliner.
She sat there, and he settled in the other one. “The initial routine will be the same as the previous sessions. First, a short prayer, then I’ll put you in a state of deep relaxation. When you’re completely open, I’ll guide you to younger times in your life. Eventually, we’ll return to previous lives or those of your ancestors. The process is a little like hypnosis, except I won’t be giving you suggestions or commands. Instead, I’ll guide you to remember past incarnations. Time is not a concept of the other side, so during a session, we could move backward or forward from the present. Who you were, and who you are, and who you will be are all the same. Only our mortal minds need to sort events into before and after. So, whatever happens to you, go with it. All right?”
She touched her butterfly necklace. “What if I get scared or find out something terrible? What do I do?”
“Trust me. If you tense up or I think you’re becoming frightened, I’ll bring you to the here and now. Remember, none of what you see or hear is happening in this lifetime, but the past and can’t harm you. Are you ready?”
“Let’s do it.” She leaned back, closed her eyes, and listened as Mr. Bennett said the invocation and guided her through relaxing by contracting and releasing the muscle groups in sequence from her feet up to her neck and face. An odd floating sensation went through her as if she hovered a few inches above the chair.
His calm, soft voice surrounded her. “Now, I want you to remember a time when you were young and happy. Tell me about it.”
“My birthday when I was five. I had on my princess gown with a tiara in my hair. Mommy looked so beautiful in her white slacks and lacy top, like a queen. The cake was white with white icing and gold candles. Everything at the party was white and gold. So lovely.” Sybilla sighed. The day had been one of her best, before the visions and the fear.
“All right. Imagine yourself as a toddler.” He paused. “Now as a baby.” For a moment he remained silent again. “Now, go further, all the way to the womb.”
Imagining myself in utero is silly. No one can remember before they were born. Black nothingness, although warm and safe.
“Let your mind drift to before this existence, to when you manifested as someone else, someone with a different name and a different body, a man or a woman, adult or child. Do you remember?”
She viewed the world from a different perspective as if she were shorter. Her chubby body was that of a child. Young, maybe six or eight. She stood in a cell beside a woman who wore an ankle-length, black skirt with a white apron, and a dark, long-sleeved blouse. The woman wept and sobbed into a handkerchief.
Mother. She clung to the woman. “Don’t cry. I love you. What’s wrong?”
Rough hands gripped her shoulders from behind and plucked her from the woman’s arms. “Mistress, say goodbye to your daughter.” A male voice, cold and harsh.
The woman clutched her and hugged her hard.
The man with the cruel grip dragged her away.
She wailed. “No, let me go. I want my mother.”
The man lugged her out as she kicked and screamed, and her mother shouted, “Damn you, Matthias North. You bear false witness against me. Though I am no witch, I condemn you and your line forever. No one will ever again believe you or anyone descended from you for the rest of time.”
“A witch you are, proved by the curse that falls from your foul mouth, evil one.” The man spat on the floor.
When he reached the outer door of the jail, he handed the struggling child to a woman. “Take her and find a family to care for her until she is grown. The witch hangs tomorrow.”
About the Author
Katherine Eddinger Smits is a direct descendant of Susannah Martin, one of the victims tried and executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. With a master’s degree and over 20 years of clinical social work experience, Katherine addresses real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, fears, and phobias through stories of fantasy and romance which include mages, mermaids, and magical creatures. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.
Other books by Katherine Eddinger Smits:
Water Dreams, Love’s Siren Song, Book I
Water Desires, Love’s Siren Song, Book II
The Sea Witch and the Mage, Sirens Series 1
Siren Descending, Sirens Series 2
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Word Siren Blog: https://katherinesmits.wordpress.com/
(Group Blog) Pen Dames: https://pendames.blogspot.com/
I’ve always wanted to go there! I lived in Florida and can kick myself now for never having gone! Good luck with the story!