This Month’s Featured Book is Leigh Goff’s magical young adult romance Disenchanted. Last week, we talked about Disenchanted’s main character, Sophie Goodchild, and this week we’re going to talk about what makes Leigh Goff’s world so enchanting!
Wethersfield, Connecticut is a town rich in history and ghostly stories. Puritans founded the town in 1634 and because of its religious roots, Wethersfield has been connected to witches and witchcraft ever since. That history combined with the architecture and ancient cemeteries creates an amazing atmosphere in a fantasy romance where magic rules. Here are some of my favorite spots.
The Rare Muse
The Rare Muse appears to be a regular bookstore, but the appearance is meant to deceive the ordinary shoppers. When Sophie, the sixteen-year-old white witch main character, stumbles into the shop with her magical currency, Celtic coins, she is able to trade them for access to the rare, rare book room. This room, with its theatrical movie screen framed by red velvet curtains, and tiers and balconies filled with book shelves was inspired by the real life El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a former Parisian-style theater turned bookstore, the largest bookstore in South America. Sophie meanders through the grand room until she finds the Book of Dark Spells. When she tries to return the nefarious tome to the shelf, the shop owner, a diminutive goblin, tells her she cannot. The book now belongs to her whether she wants it or not. When she opens the cover, she sees the list of previous and deceased owners, and her name has been mysteriously added.
The True Love Tree
The True Love Tree is an old mulberry tree growing in front of Sophie’s house where she lives with her quirky Aunt Janie. For the first time in three hundred-and-fifty years, the tree is bearing fruit. Long ago, beneath the tree, two lovers first met and exchanged promises. When this girl, a witch ancestor of Sophie’s, fell in love with Francis Mather, a cursed ordinary, she herself was cursed to die. After her death, the grief-stricken boy, drank a goblet of wolfsbane potion and dropped dead beside her grave, where he was soon after buried; ill-fated lovers resting for eternity. In the present, it is where Sophie’s true love, Alexavier Mather, goes to die when he falsely believes Sophie has died trying to break his family’s true love curse.
The Village Cemetery
Inspired by the real life Village Cemetery in Wethersfield, this setting is where Aunt Janie tells Sophie the story that sparks her curiosity about Alexavier Mather’s family secret. The story involves Judge Mather, Alexavier’s father, digging up one of their ancestors to have genetic samples taken so he can get to the root of a family medical problem. The judge learns the problem is not genetic, but rather a curse that has affected the Mather bloodline since his ancestor condemned Sophie’s ancestor, the witch, Rebecca Greensmith to hang at Gallows Hill. Very creepy!
Kingshill Detention Center
Kingshill Detention Center is a fictional setting inspired by the Crownsville Hospital Center in Crownsville, Maryland, which served as a hospital for the insane and was where patients died from shock therapy and botched lobotomies in the early part of the twentieth century. The hospital was closed decades ago, but looks eerily pristine as it sits off a main road outside of Annapolis. And ghosts have been known to haunt its empty halls. In Disenchanted, this detention center is on the outskirts of Wethersfield and where Judge Mather, taking revenge on the witches, locks them up for crimes of public mischief and con artistry when he spies them unleashing their magic around town. The old iron locks on the doors make it nearly impossible for the witches to escape. Nearly.
The old fairgrounds
The old fairgrounds are the fictional setting for the climax scene where Sophie comes into her power and shows her unsuspecting coven exactly what she can do. The haunted grounds are filled with dilapidated buildings and rusted amusement rides. There is a circle of white marble columns surrounding a stone basin that holds the witches’ fire for the Seeking ceremony, an event that happens to coincide with a very powerful eclipse and causes Sophie’s power to surge.
Disenchanted is ON SALE for the entire month of February in our Bookstore! You can get $4.00 off the ebook, making it only $0.99 or use your discount towards a paperback with the code: MAGIC at checkout. We are also hosting a goodreads giveaway AND there will be more blogs on this subject coming up, so make sure to subscribe above!