Guest Post (The Vine Witch): A History of Witches in France | Feat. Giveaway (US)


I’m so excited to bring you this (belated) guest post today about the history of witches in France, written by author Luanne G. Smith whose debut was released recently on October 1st–a story about witches, revenge, French vineyards, and vine magic (which sounds like the coolest thing). The book is giving me seductive looks from my TBR pile right now, so I’m hoping to get to it soon.

Hope you enjoy this little piece! (I definitely did)



It’s always an interesting question to consider the witch trials of the past. One thing that’s always struck me as a rather obvious notion is that none of the people executed for sorcery, in France or elsewhere, were actuallyย witches.ย They were invariably mortal men and women (and France was less gender-biased in the persecution of “witches” than other nations) who perhaps dabbled in herbs and fortunetelling on the side, but that was fairly common stuff in certain circles. France, in particular, has had a reputation for being obsessed with the occult for centuries, going back to the days of Louis XIV and the Affair of the Poisons. If you’ve never heard about Catherine Deshayes Monvoison, akaย La Voisin, and the things she was up to, you’re in for a ghastly read. But in general, the accusations of witchcraft against citizens often served more than merely appeasing moral righteousness and saving the world from the Devil’s influence. They were often acts of retaliation or outright villainy by aggrieved neighbors who used the law to disguise their motives. I mean, if you think about it, a real witch ought to have had the cunning and skill to escape a hapless group of pitchfork-wielding mortals.

From what I was able to discern, the last person to be burned for the crime of witchcraft in France occurred in 1745. That’s why, in The Vine Witch, the laws for witches are referred to as the 1745 Covenants. I was playing off the premise that mortals and witches were forced to come together as a matter of necessity in that year. Too many mortals had been executed as witches, and too many witches had been getting away with harming mortals. So, the two sides drew up the Covenant Law agreements and each, from then on out, left the other alone. Mostly. Which is my interpretation for why there’s no more mention of witches being executed in the public record after that date. Doesn’t mean witches went away. Or mortals stopped being afraid of witches and their powers. Or that everyone obeyed the laws. After all, stories aren’t written about the law-abiders.



About the Book


The Vine Witch (Vine Witch #1)

Author: Luanne G. Smith
Publisher: 47North
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre(s): YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction

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About the Author


Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. Sheโ€™s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.



Giveaway (US Only)

One finished copy of The Vine Witch is up for grabs! ENTER HERE


Tour Schedule

You can go check out the other stops on the tour HERE!


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Tammy October 11, 2019 - 5:48 am

Love this, Kathy! I’ve always been fascinated by witches and my copy of The Vine Witch is taunting me as well๐Ÿ˜

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky October 29, 2019 - 2:24 am

I saw you posted your review for it!! I need to catch up on blog posts BADLY. Can’t wait to see what you thought of it! ๐Ÿ˜€

maddalena@spaceandsorcery October 14, 2019 - 12:18 pm

Very interesting! I look forward to your review! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky October 22, 2019 - 2:17 am

Thanks, Maddalena! I still haven’t had a chance it out yet, and I’ve heard a few mixed things….but fingers crossed! ๐Ÿ™‚

waytoofantasy October 15, 2019 - 5:01 pm

I have a copy of this one in my TBR, looking forward to getting to it!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky October 26, 2019 - 1:29 am

Hope you like it!! I still haven’t read it yet lol. My reading pace this month has been ***abysmal***. Though I guess I have an excuse of being busy with stuff ๐Ÿ˜…

waytoofantasy October 26, 2019 - 6:47 am

Reading has it’s ups and downs. I remember I went months without reading a book one time! Life happens, can’t always hold yourself to a standard (even though I know we all do it anyway). ๐Ÿ™‚

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky October 29, 2019 - 2:23 am

The funny thing is I have no idea what triggered the slump! If it’s the mot-great/DNF books I’ve read recently, or if I’m just busy and don’t have the energy read words? Hm…maybe I’ll try reading some old favourites and see if that helps. ๐Ÿ˜€

waytoofantasy October 29, 2019 - 4:15 am

For me it’s usually a mood thing. Hope your rereading help!

Brianna H. December 14, 2019 - 7:35 am

How in the world did I miss this?! This looks sooooo good.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 16, 2020 - 3:07 pm

Gah sorry I’m getting to this late! Hiatus and all that. ๐Ÿ˜€ And I know right??? I still have to check it out, but vineyard magic sounds SO COOL.


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