AI'm thrilled to have my good friend and talented Rose (The Wild Rose Press) sister here in the Tavern today! We're celebrating her new release, The Stone Awakened, Guardians of Erin Book 2! My digital copy arrived on my kindle, and I'm eager to dive back into the world of Ashling Donoghue and Aengus Breasal in Ireland. If you don't want to be spoiled, I encourage you to pick up the first book, The Cauldron Stirred, or leave a comment below for a chance to win an e-copy. It's a phenomenal story. The Tavern is serving hot cider and Irish Soda Bread, so grab a mug and let's hear what Judith has to say about her life and stories...
MM: Congratulations, Judith on your new release! So happy you could join us today. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?
JS: I’ve always been a night owl, but between raising my fourteen-year-old twin sons and working at The Witch House (the 17th-century home of Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials) I need my sleep! So now I write when I’m home and my boys are at school.
MM: Fascinating, Judith. You know from our conversations that I love The Witch House. I was fortunate to visit once years ago. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
JS:I’m writing Night of the Owl, the fourth book in my medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The story begins in 1986, and my heroine is Ardyth Nightshade, a PhD student in Medieval Studies who journeys through time to 12th-century North Yorkshire, where she meets her destiny in the drop-dead sexy Lord Seacrest. When I finish it, I’ll start writing The Sword Unsheathed, the third book in my Guardians of Erin series.
MM: For those that follow us on Medieval Monday, I'm sure the readers are delighted to hear about another book in The Novels of Ravenwood. What inspired you to write this book/series?
JS: My deep love for the Emerald Isle and the paranormal events which peppered my travels there. It may sound strange, but I feel I was meant to write this four-book series, beginning with The Cauldron Stirred (Book One).
MM: Now for a few fun questions. Do you prefer...
Southern drawl or Scottish burr? A Scottish burr, without question! I studied at the University of Aberdeen and miss Scotland every day. I love so many of the accents there, but I think my favorite is the one spoken around Fife.
Kilt or Leather pants? Definitely the kilt! For our wedding, my husband wore a dress kilt, complete with sporran, ghillie brogues, and dagger. (Awesome!)
First romance you read? Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught, when I was in high school.
MM: And now let's hear from the main character from The Stone Awakened. What is your full name?
MM: What is one word that best describes you?
MM: What is your greatest fear?
That the lure of darkness will eclipse my natural affinity for the light.
MM: When you look at Aengus, what catches your interest?
His soulful, sapphire eyes.
MM: What is one word that best describes Aengus?
Wonderful, ladies! Thank you both for sharing your day here in The Tavern! Wishing you all the best, Judith!
Backcover blurb for THE STONE AWAKENED:
Since moving to Ireland, Ashling Donoghue has tackled one challenge after another. Now the mystery of her parents' disappearance seems unsolvable. Are they dead or only missing? No one—not even the godlike Breasals—has a clue. Hope and fear war inside her, but she's determined to find answers and stay strong for her siblings. Even as she hones newfound powers, her banshee-in-training sister Deirdre needs her support.
Ashling could use a little help herself. She's struggling to navigate her first romance, and while Aengus Breasal stirs her body, mind, and soul, his nemesis Lorcan does too. Both men harbor secrets about her past life as Caer. One has ties to Aoife, the scheming wind demon whose influence is on the rise.
As the Stone of Destiny awakens, so does the conflict within.
A Sneak Preview from THE STONE AWAKENED:
Thunder shook the night as the Dullahan’s black stallion reared beneath him on the sweeping lawn below. The horseman thrust his severed head toward the sky and called out the names of those he hunted.
“Dylan Donoghue! Maeve Donoghue!”
Powerless to stop him, I watched from the bedroom window. The glass panes infused my palms with the chill of death itself. Out of sight, my parents screamed, then fell silent. The sound of laughter followed.
Exultant. Spiteful. Malignant.
Aoife! The wind demon whose foul plot shattered my family with a single blow.
Hate and despair welled inside me. “No!”
“Ashling, wake up!” My sister shook me awake.
She switched on the lamp between our beds, and I scanned the room. The same sash windows as in the dream. The same luxurious décor in shades of periwinkle, white, and gray. Even my slippers beside the bed were the same. But the night was quiet, and there was no immediate danger.
Deirdre tucked her long, blonde hair behind her ears and gave me a knowing look. “Another nightmare about the Dullahan?”
Nodding, I wiped the sweat from my brow. “And Aoife.”
“Sounds almost as bad as my dream the night he took Mom and Dad.”
“We don’t know he took them.”
“We don’t know he didn’t.”
“They’re not dead!” Dread clutched my heart, and I pushed out a long breath to calm myself. “They can’t be.”
As a special bonus, Judith is giving away a free e-copy of the first book, The Cauldron Stirred. Five random people will be chosen from the comments by Judith, so don't forget to leave a message for her.
Ashling Donoghue never dreamed moving to Ireland would rock her perception of reality and plunge her into a mystery that brings legend to life.
At seventeen, she’s never had a boyfriend, but she feels an immediate connection to Aengus Breasal, the son of the wealthy Irishman who’s invited her family to stay at his Killarney estate. For the first time in her life, a guy she likes seems attracted to her.
But Aengus is secretive, with good reason. He and his family are the Tuatha Dé Danann, ageless, mythical guardians adept at shifting between this reality and the magical dimension known as the Otherworld. Evil forces from that world threaten the Breasals, the Donoghues, and all of Ireland. Ashling must open her heart, face her fears, and embrace a destiny greater than she could ever have imagined.
About the Author ~
Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven, Soul of the Wolf, and Shadow of the Swan are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred and The Stone Awakened are part of her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.
Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/
The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2212_judith-sterling