#AuthorDIY with Heather McCollum


Hello everyone! I am Heather McCollum: mom of three, wife of one Highlander, ovarian cancer survivor, and Scottish Historical Romance writer.

With seven years of cancer survival under my belt, I do what I can to keep toxic and synthetic products out of my home. So, I dabble in making my own lotions and lip balms, using herbs from my garden.

Each month on the Entangled Historical Romance Readers FB Takeover, I give a brief live tutorial on how to make some of these products. Below is a basic how-to on making homemade lip balm (altered from the recipe on the fabulous Lovely Greens website). For the live action tutorial, please check out my FB page. Heather’s Homemade Lip Balm – FB Tutorial


Small containers– I used an empty chapstick tube, an empty mint box, and a tiny herb box. Sterilize containers by letting them sit in steaming, just-boiled water for five minutes. Dry and use when cool.

Double boiler with small heat-proof cup inside– I used a glass measuring cup in a pot with two-inches of water.

1 tsp solid Beeswax – I ordered the pellets online so I wouldn’t have to chop the wax up to melt. You only use a little for this recipe, but you can use beeswax in lotions, etc. You can also use cocoa butter.

4 tsp infused liquid oil* – choose one with conditioning properties and a mild flavor such as Grapeseed oilRice Bran oil,or Sweet Almond oil. I used Almond oil and infused peppermint from my garden into it (see how-to below).

Herbs. Your choice of dried peppermint, chamomile, calendula, plantain, or other skin-loving herbs. I use fresh peppermint from my garden.


Optional – three drops of an appropriate and skin-safe essential or natural flavor oil. I used orange peppermint oil, which I bought at my local Whole Foods store.


*How to infuse herbs into oil: Place equal amounts of liquid oils and dried herbs into a small double boiler (if using fresh herbs: wash, dry and crush slightly to release the goodness). Simmer the water in the outer pan let the oil infuse with herbs for 30 minutes. Keep the herbs under the surface of the oil. Strain the oil. Some herbal residue in the oil after you strain is fine. (picture – Infuse herbs into oil)


Use the double boiler to melt the beeswax in the small, heat-proof bowl.

Once melted, pour in your infused oil and keep stirring until all the oils are completely melted — when you add the liquid oils, you may see some solidification. Just keep stirring.

When fully melted, add your optional essential oil and stir. This makes the lip balm smell nice.

Pour the hot melted oils into clean lip balm containers and allow to cool. Cool until they’re room temperature. Mine solidified in about 15 minutes. Once cool, they are ready to use or store with the lid on.

(picture – lip balms cooled)

I like to have lip balm handy, you know, in case there is a Highlander around to kiss – LOL! Thanks for coming by the blog today. Good luck with your homemade lip balms! Heather






Mairi Maclean is kidnapped on her wedding day by the enemy ofher dead husband. Taken north to the water-surrounded Kisimul Castle, she is held captive in the name of retribution. But The Wolf of Kisimul Castle soon learns Mairi is not a docile pawn in this game of war between neighboring Scots. Nor will she be frightened into walking down the aisle to wed the fierce Highland chief.

Alec MacNeil is set on revenge. When he finds his enemy dead, he takes his wife to replace the one that was murdered. An eye for an eye. A bride for a bride. But Mairi is more tiger than kitten and refuses to bend to his will. Set stubbornly against one another, the passion that flares between them threatens to tear Alec’s strategy to shreds.








Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal and YA romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists. The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond. When she is not creating vibrant characters & magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever & 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

For more information about Ms. McCollum, please find her here:






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