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Spotlight #NewRelease "Let No Clan Put Asunder" by Judith Sterling

Please make welcome to the tavern my good friend and talented author Judith Sterling! We're celebrating her new book release, Let No Clan Put Asunder, The Gothic Gwyn Mysteries, Book Two. I'm eager to start reading the second book in this phenomenal series.


Grab a blueberry scone and a glass of apple cider and let's take a peek into Judith's new story...



“It was no small thing to marry into the Donnachaidh clan, and there was nowhere to hide from its past.”


So states the tagline of the gothic mystery Gwyneth Camm discovers out of place—not once, but twice—inside her newly inherited Salem home. Her deceased Aunt Ethel seems determined she read the book, and once again, Gwyn finds herself sucked into a gothic romance, inhabiting the body of its heroine.


This time, she’s a young bride in 1970 on her way to a clifftop castle that harbors secrets, Scottish legacies, hidden malice, and…a vampire? Only by learning the truth can she return to her own life, where yet another puzzle awaits.


Sneak preview from Let No Clan Put Asunder ~


Just before midnight, I tiptoed across the darkened drawing room. Anyone might be hiding in the shadows, including the black obscurities high on the vaulted ceiling. Those in particular could cloak something inhuman.

            A shiver trickled down my spine, and I paused. Do I really want to do this? The bottom line: I had to if I wanted to further the plot and solve the mystery of Alistair’s disappearance.

            I continued to the chapel. Once inside, I reached for the brass light switch on the wall to my right—the same switch Fiona used while playing tour guide—and flicked it. Nothing happened. Darkness reigned supreme, apart from two small flames in a votive candle stand near the altar.

            Had the lightbulbs burned out? Did the circuit breaker trip?

            No. Someone planned it.

            Not a comforting thought. I dared not dwell on it, or I’d lose my nerve. Determined, I hurried to the arched portal that led to the crypt and tried the light switch Garrett had used earlier. It, too, refused to work.

            An unbridled shudder ran through me. There was something creepy about a church at night, especially one flooded by darkness. Donnachaidh’s chapel was no exception. The absence of light seemed to twist the sacred into the profane and awaken primal fears. What manner of evil, arcane and unseen, slithered along the stone and woodwork of this lonely place?

            All right. That’s enough. I squared my shoulders. The lights don’t work? Fine. I’ll use a candle.

            I hastened to the votive stand. I wouldn’t take either of the lit candles; not only did they represent someone’s prayers, but the glass vessels were likely too hot to hold. I grabbed a fresh candle, held the wick to one of the flames, and put it into an unused vessel. Light in hand, I returned to the archway and padded down the spiral stairs.

            I hesitated at the bottom. Beyond the limited scope of my candle, the crypt was pitch-black. The air was charged with an ominous silence.

            Nerves aflutter, I cleared my throat. The sound seemed as loud as an avalanche. “Is anyone here?”

            A silly question, really. If someone were there, they’d let me know it. Unless they wanted to scare me.

            Or harm me. I swallowed hard and crept forward.

            David Robertson’s tomb. The thought popped into my head and wouldn’t be denied. Intuition or something more? Whatever the case, I obeyed, veering to the right. As I neared the tomb, I halted. The black bouquet was still there, but someone had altered it. Every last petal had been plucked and strewn around the base of the sarcophagus. I inched closer.

            No, not plucked. Torn from the stems and ripped to shreds.


Available on Kindle Unlimited and from these online retailers ~

 

Let's take a peek at the first book, Trip the Light Phantasmic



Gwyneth Camm has just inherited her great-aunt’s house in Salem, Massachusetts, along with an extensive collection of gothic romance novels. As a PhD student who prefers “serious” books, Gwyn has always avoided pulp fiction. Now, in honor of her beloved Aunt Ethel, she gives one of the gothics a try…and promptly falls asleep.


When she wakes, she finds herself inside the story, thrust by forces unknown into the heroine’s role. There’s magic afoot, and the only way back to her own life is to play her part and solve the mystery.


When fiction becomes fact, anything can happen…


Sneak preview form Trip the Light Phantasmic ~


I stepped out into the crisp, fresh air of an autumn evening and inhaled deeply. To my eyes—and lungs—the terrace was Heaven, illuminated by electric lights whose glow reached partway down a wide stone staircase. Darkness hid the rest of the grounds and whatever else lay beyond.

I turned to my savior as he closed the doors to the dining room. “How can I thank you enough?”

“By telling me the real reason why you wanted to leave.” He closed the distance between us. His broad shoulders looked sturdy, dependable.

“I’m not sure you’ll like it.”

“I still want to know.”

“I’m sensitive to cigarette smoke. I was okay with it for a while, but then I had to get out of there.”

He performed a little smile. “You sound just like…”

I held my tongue, expecting him to elaborate, but the wait was wasted. “You were saying…”

He shook his head as though shaking off a memory. “Never mind. Why didn’t you tell the truth?”

“I didn’t want to seem rude. But I suppose I did anyway.”

“You’ll have to forgive Mother. She’s had her share of tragedy.” He took a deep breath, then sighed. “She was once a prima ballerina…world-famous. Until she married my father. They were happy for a time. Then she had an accident and was paralyzed from the waist down.”

“How horrible.”

He nodded. “Being confined to a wheelchair is…difficult for her, perhaps harder than for most.”

Out of nowhere, an icy gust swiped me. I shivered and rubbed my bare arms.

“You’re cold.” He removed his jacket and placed it around my shoulders. Though haunted by the smell of smoke, it infused me with his warmth and an odd sense of intimacy. He lingered behind me.

“Thank you.” Twisting around, I looked up into his finely chiseled face and detected a hint of interest.

His pupils expanded. “It’s the least I can do.”

Oh yeah? What more could you do if I let you? Best not to think about that.

A slight movement at one of the windows caught my eye. Penny, the maid, watched us from inside the house. Before I could acknowledge her presence, she dropped the curtain, hiding herself from view.

Okay. That was interesting.

Edgar followed my gaze. “What is it?”

“We had an audience.”

“Oh?”

“Penny was watching from that window.” I pointed to the one in question.

“Ah, Penny. I’ve known her a long time, and she’s a curious girl. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if she had company.”

I turned to face him. “Meaning?”

“This house has many eyes, and they’re always watching. You’d do well to remember that.”

Dude, you just upped the creep factor by half. “I’ll try.” I doffed his jacket and handed it back to him. “Thanks for this. I’m going now.”

“Where to?”

“My room. I know it’s early, but—”

“You’ve had a long day.”

You have no idea. “Yes. Should I go back through the dining room?”

“Better not. Roland will still be smoking. Go through the drawing room, over there.” He indicated the other set of French doors. His eyes held understanding, and if I wasn’t mistaken, regret. “Good night, Gwyn.”

“Good night.”

 

The first book is on sale for 99¢

Available on Kindle Unlimited and from these online retailers ~

 

Meet the Author



Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Through gothic cozy mystery (The Gothic Gwyn Mysteries), medieval/time travel romance (The Novels of Ravenwood), and young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), she loves to whisk readers away from their troubles and remind them of the hidden magic all around us.


Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, 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.

 

Connect with Judith here ~

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