Thursday, March 1, 2012

Death Drops

by Chrystle Fiedler

First of all I’d like to thank the Stiletto Gang for having me as a guest on their blog! I’m here to talk about my new book DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY that features Willow McQuade, ND, a naturopathic doctor who specializes in natural cures. When her aunt Claire is murdered, Willow takes over her health food store Nature’s Way Market & Cafe and sets out to solve the crime with a hunky ex-cop. Not only is Death Drops a fun cozy mystery it also has over 2 dozen natural remedies you can try at home. You’ll find everything from yoga to meditation, from vitamins to herbs and homeopathic medicines.

You may be wondering why write about natural remedies? Well, when I was growing up my mother practiced natural cures such as tea bag baths for sunburn, homeopathic remedies for colds and allergies (she even had her own homeopathic kit), arnica oil for sprains and bruises and, of course, chicken soup with garlic was always a staple. I knew that natural remedies worked and became a believer. This interest became the thread that would run through my entire career as a writer.

So, after I graduated from Boston University with a degree in communications, I dabbled in various vocations including advertising and television production (Designing Women, Evening Shade, Early Edition) in Hollywood, I became a journalist specializing natural health. I’ve written about natural cures for Natural Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention, Vegetarian Times, The Health Monitor Network and was the Good Nature columnist for Remedy magazine.

In 2009 I followed my interest in natural remedies into non-fiction. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies (Alpha, 2009), was followed by Beat Sugar Addiction Now! (Fairwinds Press, 2010 4th printing), and the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook (Fairwinds Press, 2012) both with noted holistic physician Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. and The Country Almanac of Home Remedies (Fairwinds Press, 2011) with herbalist Brigitte Mars.

So it was only “natural” that when it came to fiction, I’d focus on natural remedies too. In 2011, my life-long dream came true when Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster bought my natural remedies series.

Now, I’m looking forward to sharing Willow’s (and my) passion for natural remedies with readers. Since it’s cold and flu season I thought these cures would be most helpful:

1. Vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C stimulates your immune system to fight that cold. Take 1000 mg. (to bowel tolerance) up to three times daily to shorten the duration of a cold. This is confirmed by over 30 studies that were analyzed by the Cochrane Database Systematic Review in 2004. Zinc, especially in the form of lozenges helps prevent viral replication of the cold virus in the throat by stimulating T-cell response. Stay under 50 mg. daily.

2. Elderberry can minimize the duration of flu symptoms including chills, headache and respiratory infection. According to a 2004 study published in The Journal of International Medical Research, when people were given elderberry syrup, (the brand name is Sambucol), 90% felt better after just three days! Elderberry syrup is also delicious! Take a dose every couple of hours you are awake when fighting something off. Decrease as you improve.

3. Drink two teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey in a cup of hot water three times daily to break up mucus congestion. Diluted lemon in hot water or berry juices can help relieve fever.

4. Soothe a sore throat with a nice cup of licorice root tea. It eases irritated mucus membranes and stimulates the immune system.

5. Soaking in a hot bath is good for colds and flu. Draw a bath and add a cup of Epsom salts and 7 drops of essential oil of eucalyptus or ginger to promote sweating release of toxins. You can also sip some diaphoretic herbs in the tub such as elder flower and ginger. Afterwards dress warm and rest. Feel better!

If you have a medical condition check with your doctor before using these natural remedies.

About Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

Dr. Willow McQuade, N.D., a twenty-eight-year-old naturopathic doctor specializing in natural remedies, has decided to take sabbatical and visit her Aunt Claire, the owner of Nature’s Way Market and Cafe in idyllic Greenport, Long Island. But the idea of rest and relaxation is quickly forgotten when Willow arrives from a morning meditative walk to discover her Aunt Claire dead in the store, a strange almond-like smell emanating from her mouth and a bottle of flower essences by her side.

Despite her Zen nature and penchant for yoga, Aunt Claire had a knack for getting into confrontations with folks. An activist, she held weekly meetings for different causes every week in the store. The police want to believe the death is accidental—but Willow thinks she may have been poisoned.

Things get worse when Aunt Claire’s valuable recipe for a new natural age-defying formula, Fresh Face, is stolen during a store break-in, and an attempt is made on Willow’s life. Desperate for a way out of the mess, she turns to a handsome young cop Jackson Spade. Together the two set about solving the case the natural way—through a combination of hard work, common sense, and a dose of luck.

Praise for Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery

“With a terrific premise and an interesting topic Fiedler’s debut shows promise.” Library Journal

Death Drops is a gem! Entertaining, informative, and with a mystery that had me completely baffled! – Gayle Trent, author of Killer Sweet Tooth

"Fiedler's absorbing mystery is an entertaining debut, featuring a likeable menagerie of characters, filled with natural remedies, with all of it unfolding on Long Island's idyllic East End." Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, author of the national bestseller Liberating Paris.

“An engaging investigative thriller…an enjoyable whodunit.” The Mystery Gazette

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster) which will be published on February 21st 2012. I’m also the author of the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle's magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times and Remedy.

For a chance to win a free copy of DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY, post a comment with your answer to this question: What is your favorite natural remedy?


  1. My Mom always gave us a drop of peppermint extract on a spoonful of sugar when we had a tummy ache. It worked, but now all peppermint is medicine to me and I can't eat it without getting a tummy ache! LOL!

  2. When we had really bad cold as kids, mom made a mustard plaster and put it on our chests. Burned like heck.

    My granddaughter washes her hair with Tea Tree Oil to keep it lice free. (She has really long hair and works with kids who constantly have lice.) Tea Tree Oil is also supposed to be really good for earaches too.

    Having been given ginger ale when I had vicious flu as a kid, to this day I can't drink ginger ale.

  3. Honey is my favorite.

  4. Thanks for stopping by! My favorite remedies are lavender and arnica. Lavender is a great stress reliever. I even had lavender cleaner. Arnica is wonderful for bruises and sore muscles. You can take homeopathic pills too, say before you go to the dentist. There are plenty more in Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery! Hope you enjoy it!

  5. I use cinnamon to naturally regulate blood sugar, plus it tastes great. Honey is terrific for coughs and sore throats! I look forward to learning lots of other natural remedies from your new book.

  6. What great timing! I am full of mucus now with pregnancy rhinitis! So I'm going to try your cure, Chrystle! Thanks for visiting with us at Stiletto today and good luck with the book!

  7. Your book sounds very interesting and informative. I'd love a chance to read it. I like to use honey for soar throats.

  8. Have to watch those throats...they will go soaring on you! I meant to say sore throats.

  9. Cinnamon is a great remedy when it comes to blood sugar levels Maureen - good one!

    I hope the cures help you Susan. You could also use a neti pot. Make sure it is sterile and add a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda (you can also get pre-mixed solutions)and put it in each nostril. You can find pictures of how to do it on the web.

    Honey is a multi-purpose cure for sure! I'll announce the winner on Friday. Thanks for stopping by! Chrystle

  10. Herbal teas--any variety.

  11. My Mother swears by an orange every day & usually an apple. This is on top of the daily requirement for fruit. She is 86 and going strong.


  12. Good for her! An apple a day is always a good idea! Eating tart apples can help if you get migraines. Vitamin C is super important for the immune system. Herbal teas are very comforting! Thanks to everyone for stopping by! The winner of a copy of Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery is: Pam Hopkins! Please send your address to:! Thanks everyone!