Medieval Monday with Ashley York

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Welcome back to Medieval Monday!  My guest today is Ashley York, who crafts stories “where history takes a passionate turn.”  Let’s see why she loves writing medieval.

Where History takes a passionate turn says it all! My medieval stories take place in the 11th and 12th century, the High Middle Ages. I love the fact that survival was not guaranteed and life was not easy. Babies died, food was fought over, and enemies were everywhere. This lends itself to creating complex characters that live life to the fullest, seeking satisfaction in all their pursuits whether it be in warfare or love, while knowing how brief there time may be. That equals passion! The fact that they live in a Christian society adds restraint to their decisions while they struggle with the many things, seen and unseen, and their pagan past hovers over them like a storm cloud.
This is an amazing time period where universities were just coming into prominence, empires were being established, and human ingenuity was on the upswing. I write my characters without an eye toward the outcome of history. Just because we know William of Normandy will conquer the Kingdoms of England in 1066 doesn’t mean we have to act like the Saxons were ripe for an invasion. Just the opposite! Let’s extol their strength and unity and their proud, though diverse, heritage. Let’s not give the ending away!

More about Ashley

Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

You can find Ashley’s books at https://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/books

Medieval Mondays with Mary Morgan

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Welcome to another Medieval Monday.  Today, I’m thrilled to have Mary Morgan as my guest!  Let’s discover why she loves writing medieval.

I’ve often been asked this question, “Why Medieval romance? Why not Regency, Victorian, or Western?” In truth, I love them all, but my heart belongs to one. It started when my fingers opened a book about the great Irish King, Brian Boru (941-1014A.D.). His story is legendary, especially with the people of Ireland. King Brian led the Irish to the peak of their Golden Age—from poetry, arts, saints, and scholars. A spark ignited within my soul for more.

I sought out tales of knights in shining armor and folk heroes, delving into a life teeming with richness, though at times harsh and violent. Yet, it wasn’t until I devoured the history of Brian Boru that I became immersed in medieval life. From there, I treasured tales of life in castles, traveling on horseback, studying foods and herbs. My list is endless and always growing on medieval ways. Yes, there are even days when I long to travel back in time and explore the history, lore, and beliefs.

Therefore, when it came time to pen my own stories, it only made sense for me to place them all in a medieval setting. One might say I live vicariously through my characters. It’s a love affair with all things medieval.

More about Mary

California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

To learn more about Mary’s stories, visit her book page:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com/books

 

Medieval Monday with Barbara Bettis

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Welcome back for another Medieval Monday!  My guest today is Barbara Bettis, and it’s her turn to tell us why she loves writing medieval.

I’m not sure what calls to me so strongly from the Middle Ages, but whatever it is, has done so my entire life. I think it may be rooted in the stories I devoured when I first started reading. Myths, folk stories from different cultures, tales of Knights of the Round Table, they all captured my imagination. It was a different, fascinating world where anything was possible—in theory. Throughout school, history was a favorite subject, and I loved to delve into the events—and lives of the people—of the past.

As I did so, I recognized that the knightly tales of derring do from my childhood were set amidst times of turmoil, deprivation of the many and reward of the few. I usually root for the underdog, so when my studies introduced me to mercenaries and the bad reputation many of them enjoyed (and they probably did enjoy them), I immediately thought, “But they all must not have been bad. What of the ones who fought to better themselves and didn’t practice cruelty?”

Life was not easy for most people. In the eyes of society at that time, bettering oneself usually meant acquiring land. Few folks had the means or opportunity to do so. Later in the Medieval period, landed-society’s restrictions didn’t allow for commoners to aspire to knighthood, except for very limited exceptions. But in the earlier days, it wasn’t all that unusual for a commoner to rise by reason of bravery, strength, and audacity. All but one of my stories have featured such mercenaries who strive to better themselves by acquiring power and land.

All my stories feature strong women, not at all the norm of the period. Yet discoveries tell us there were more strong women than we realize, although most of them were wed or in the church. I imbue my heroines with strength of character given the times in which they lived.

I love creating the stories of strong heroines we women would like to be and of heroes we’d love to live for.

More about Barbara

Barbara Bettis grew up in the rural Midwest, where reading was a reward for chores well done. So you can bet she did her chores well—and fast. She loved history and English. She’d intended to major in English, but when she arrived at her small, Liberal Arts college, one of the European history professors was on a Rhodes Scholarship. Once she met the English professors, she defected.

Thus, she received her BA in English with a strong minor in history and her Master’s in English. After working as a newspaper reporter and editor, Barb returned to college and taught English and journalism, later earning a doctorate in Higher Education with an emphasis in journalism.

After her husband died, some former students lured her into their critique group, where she began writing fiction. A trip to Scotland and England solidified her love of the Isles (the small tour group set up a ‘Barb’s Castle Alert’ on their train journeys). Her earlier fascination with the Middle Ages led her into her medieval stories, where she’s been roaming around ever since.

Now that she’s retired from teaching, her ambition is to write an angst-ridden, tortured hero set in the High Middle Ages, but somehow her guys end up with inappropriate senses of humor. Perhaps in the future…

Visit Barbara at http://www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

My Path to Motherhood, Part Four

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As I said in my last post, everything is connected. After my twins’ birth, my breasts were definitely in the loop. Overnight, I went from a bra size of 38C to 38J. We’re talking cantaloupes here! Up till then, I never imagined I’d wear an undergarment of that magnitude. Or that I’d develop such an intimate relationship with a breast pump. And who knew cold, wet cabbage leaves could bring down the swelling of said melons, allowing milk to flow?

Despite the discomfort—and the suspicion I’d morphed into a glorified cow—I pumped away. It was the only way to add breast milk to the formula the boys received through tubes.

I feared I wasn’t producing enough, but a male nurse put my mind at ease. “Anything you can do is great,” he said. “Every drop is like liquid gold.”

It must’ve been, for the boys did well. They moved quickly from the CPAP (a method of continuous respiratory ventilation) to the nasal cannula, then from incubators to a double crib. They still had a few nighttime “spells”—when, like most premies, they forgot to breathe—but overall, things looked good.

In the beginning, the NICU allowed us one short visit per day, and the only way we could touch the boys was by cupping a hand over the tops of their heads. But soon after Dan returned to the island, the NICU filled my days.

I moved into the attic apartment of my host family’s Victorian home in Brookline. They apologized repeatedly for the triple threat of staircases I tackled twice a day, but the stairs paled in comparison to bumpy taxi rides to and from the hospital. Dan’s absence was hardest to endure, but he came every ten days for a long weekend. In addition, his parents and my mom flew in for a brief, joint visit.

Being near the boys was my greatest comfort. I sang to them and held them as often as possible to reassure them of our love. But I questioned my ability to care for them outside the hospital, and my constant observation of their vital signs (via monitors) didn’t help.

The data was intriguing, though. More often than not, their oxygen saturation levels ran in tandem. If Connor’s levels dipped, Geoffrey’s followed suit. When Geoffrey’s rose, so did Connor’s. Their whole physiology seemed a joint affair.

Such behavior wasn’t unique to my premies. Whenever the nurses noticed it, they just smiled and said, “They’re doing the twin thing again.”

The staff was less encouraging when I asked if the boys could leave the hospital on the same day. They all had the same response. “That almost never happens.”

During the boys’ sixth week in the NICU, the nurses appeared to be right. Geoffrey progressed faster than his brother, and it looked like he’d be ready to leave in a day or two.

My stomach churned. I’d seen and felt the intense bond the boys shared. When one of them was taken from the crib, the other immediately reached out to the empty space. Once when Connor’s oxygen level dipped, Geoffrey touched his arm, and the readings shot up again. With such an attachment, I wondered how Connor would cope with being left behind. Worse yet, I was afraid he’d think I abandoned him.

I was alone. I didn’t drive. The bassinets, car seats, and other essentials were all on the island. How could I visit Connor if I was busy—and possibly botching the job—with Geoffrey? For that matter, how could I carry Geoffrey up and down three flights of stairs?

My body ached. My hormones were wacky. I was exhausted from pumping out milk every four hours. Let’s face it: I was the definition of overwhelmed.

In the end, Geoffrey orchestrated a solution on his own. The day before his proposed discharge, Dan arrived and together we visited the NICU. Because the boys had to master drinking from a bottle before their release, Dan took a stab at feeding Geoffrey. The NICU staff wasn’t always in the room during visits, but this time a nurse stood by and asked Dan about his work.

Free from all monitors, Geoffrey drained the bottle. Then Dan began to burp him, all the while chatting with the nurse.

For some reason, I glanced at Geoffrey. Then I got the strangest impression.

He’s not in his body. He’s floated off somewhere.

I interrupted the conversation. “Dan, Geoffrey’s not there.”

He and the nurse turned to me.

“Something’s wrong,” I said. “He’s not there.”

They looked at Geoffrey, who by then was turning blue. The nurse scooped him up, laid him on the crib, and worked on him until he started breathing again.

With a sigh of relief, she regarded us. “He’s going back on the monitors, and after a stunt like that, he’s not going anywhere for at least five days.”

Five days more, by which time Connor was ready to leave. My prayers were answered. The boys could leave the hospital together.

Even though both of them passed the NICU’s “car seat test” the same morning, I squeezed between them in the back seat of the rental car and kept a constant watch. I glanced from right to left, from Connor to Geoffrey, for the entire length of our drive to the Cape. I had to make sure they were breathing.

I continued my vigil during the 2½-hour ferry ride to Nantucket, after which our landlady picked us up and took us home. The boys were asleep, so Dan hauled them in their carrier car seats up the steps to our apartment. He placed them on the floor, and we shared a long hug. Then our gazes locked.

“What do we do now?” he asked.

I shrugged. “It beats me.”

As it turned out, the twins dictated our every move. They got the tiny bedroom, while we slept on the couch/double bed in the living room/kitchen of our shoebox apartment. We bottle-fed and burped them. We changed hundreds of diapers. We did load after load of laundry and barely slept.

Until one blessed night, five months in, when both boys slumbered from 6:00 p.m. until dawn. From that point on, they slept through the night.

Today is their thirteenth birthday. What a ride it’s been! Dan and I still don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re giving it our best. Those boys have taught us so much about unconditional love. Is it any wonder I added identical-twin boys to my cast of characters in the Guardians of Erin series? The first book, The Cauldron Stirred, will be released July 21, 2017. If you read it, you’ll see that Kian and Conall Donoghue have a little bit of my boys tucked inside them.

Medieval Monday with Cathy MacRae

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Welcome to another Medieval Monday!  My guest today is Cathy MacRae, and it’s her turn to tell us why she writes medieval romance.

Welcome to my world of Medieval Romance! I have always been drawn to historical romance, and love re-reading some of the first books that welcomed me to that special time and place. Books by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Judith McNaught still hold much-loved places on my bookshelves right alongside more current favorites. They are a whirlwind of drama, passion, and promise, where trust is everything, and sometimes love develops in the most unusual places.

I am intrigued by history. The what-ifs and whys; the research into the actions of a few people who set the course for many. You will find often gritty history coloring the background of all of my stories.

My books in the Medieval Era are a blend of high drama and romance set against a backdrop of treachery, hardship and duty. And in a time when women were stronger than history tells us, and marriage was rarely for sigh-worthy reasons, I find it fascinating to relate stories of relationships that blossom into love.

More about Cathy

Cathy MacRae is an Amazon best-selling author whose stories feature strong heroes and feisty heroines set in the Highlands of Scotland. Her hobbies include gardening, photography, travel and cooking. Cathy lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains with her wonderful husband, three dogs and a cat (who runs the house), and enjoys spending time with sweet granddaughters who are the heroines of her heart.

You can find Cathy’s books on her website at http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com

My Path to Motherhood, Part Three

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Boys in NICU 001At 5:00 a.m. on the morning of June 3rd, I sat bolt upright in bed.  I hadn’t moved that fast in months, but I had good reason.  Niagara Falls gushed between my legs.

I shook Dan awake.  “I think my water broke.”  I slid off the bed and waddled to the bathroom.

He followed me.  “I can’t believe it.  Six weeks early!”

I shook my head.  “This shouldn’t be happening.”  Then a strange calm settled over me.  “No.  It is happening, so it’s meant to be.  We’ve got calls to make.  The doctor, our parents…”

All at once, the Reiki Master’s words came back to me.  Whoever this is, he’s going to be present at the birth.  Actually, a lot of spirits are.  I don’t know why, but it’s like they’re crowding around, vying for the chance to be there.

No wonder!

We made it to Nantucket Cottage Hospital, and the staff there organized an ambulance to the airport.  By the time it arrived, minor contractions had begun.  One paramedic started timing them, while another strapped me onto a stretcher.

I grimaced.  “I’m sorry you guys have to move me while I’m so heavy.”

The paramedics exchanged grins.  “That’s our job,” one said.

In the space of 15 minutes, they wheeled me into an ambulance and onto a plane.  Then we were in the air.

When we reached the mainland, a second ambulance stood at the ready.  The original paramedics wished me well, and the new team took over.  I felt like we were playing some bizarre game of musical medics, but there was nothing to do but go with the flow.

During the 40-minute ride to Beth Israel, Dan rode in front with the driver.  The paramedic on my left seemed determined to keep me calm and struck up a conversation.

“Were you shocked when the doctor said you were having twins?” he asked.

“No.  I already knew.  There were signs, and I’d had a dream about it.”

He smiled.  “You sound a lot like my wife!”

By the time we arrived at the hospital, we were chatting away like old friends.  Then new hands whisked me onto an elevator, along a maze of corridors, and into the long-awaited hospital room.

My doctor was away—en route to Nantucket, believe it or not—but his colleagues stepped in.  They gave me magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions, hoping to buy another 48 hours.  Their primary concern was the boys’ lungs.

“Every minute counts when you’re dealing with premature birth,” they told me.

Everyone expected the magnesium to work.  Translation:  no epidural!  It actually lengthened my labor, and by mid-afternoon, the contractions were brutal.  First one pain gripped me, then another slammed it home.  Over and over again.

One nurse gaped at the monitor.  “I’ve never seen this before.  It’s like double contractions.”

Dan squeezed my hand.  “Well, you are having twins.”

The “twin peaks” went on for hours until just before 6:00 p.m.  At that point, the doctor discovered my cervix had dilated from three centimeters to ten in as many minutes.  The babies wanted out, and nothing in this world was going to stop them.

The nurse who’d refused me pain medication all day gave me a nod.  “I guess you really were in labor.”

You think?!

If the pain hadn’t been so severe, I might’ve laughed, but there wasn’t time.  Connor’s butt was lodged in my cervix, which meant an immediate C-section.

Dan was bustled out of the room and into sterile attire (complete with blue shower cap and booties), and I was rushed into surgery.  Once again, I apologized to the staff for my hefty frame as they hoisted me onto the operating table.

“Don’t you worry,” one of them said.  “We do this all the time, and we’ve moved bigger patients than you.”

I took his word for it and buckled under the force of a new contraction.  Time was of the essence, so an anesthesiologist gave me a spinal, which mercifully removed all sensation from the abdomen down.  Then I met the surgeon in a “hi and good-bye” fashion, and Dan was at my side.

Soon after, a tiny cry rang out.  It was Connor, and the fact that he’d been able to cry boded well for his lungs.  One minute later, it was Geoffrey’s turn to rage against the light, and he did so with utter abandon.

They weighed 3 lbs. 6 oz. and 3 lbs. 9 oz. respectively.  Dan cut their umbilical cords, while I lay like a slug on the table.  Even so, the nurses tried to include me.  They held the babies where I could see them for five seconds, then bundled them off to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Our family had just doubled, and incredible as it seemed, Dan and I were parents.  We were totally responsible for two new lives whose tiny bodies and delicate features were perfectly formed.  They were indeed identical, to each other and to the faces I’d seen in my dream.

Rewind half an hour and travel to Florida.  My parents, who’d been with us in spirit and prayed all day for the babies’ safety, went out to dinner.

A short while into their meal, a toddler at the next table let out a single cry.  He’d been calm and well-behaved before then, and his cry sounded more like an infant’s.

Comprehension seized my mom.  One of the babies was just born.

She asked my dad to check his watch.  It was 6:15 p.m.

One minute later, the same child emitted a second cry, which also resembled an infant’s.  Dad glanced at his watch again.  It read 6:16 p.m.

Mom had no doubts.  “There goes the second one.”

The toddler kept quiet for the rest of the meal.  First thing after dinner, Mom called Dan on his cell phone, and he confirmed the twins had arrived.

“What time were they born?” she asked.

His answer came as no surprise.  “6:15 and 6:16.”

What did surprise us all was a related phenomenon.  Three women who were knitting blankets for the boys stayed up most of the previous night to complete them.  Even though the due date was six weeks away, a sense of urgency compelled them to finish the job.

Everyone and everything is connected.  The events surrounding the boys’ births erased any doubts we still harbored on the subject.

Medieval Monday with Sherry Ewing

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Welcome back to Medieval Monday!  My guest author today is Sherry Ewing, and it’s her turn to tell us why she writes medieval.

My love for everything Medieval began with the very first historical romance novel I ever picked up as a teenager. For many of us, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss paved the way for the type of novels that would overflow my bookshelves for many years to come. Then I stumbled across a hard copy of Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor, and my fate was sealed. It was only natural that when it came to writing my own novels years later that I would write a historical romance. Since I began my writing career later in life, I am lucky to be able to do any type of research on the internet. Knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, knights breaking down the walls of a keep, and then sometimes throw in a modern day woman who has fallen through time and a series was born. I can’t help but constantly say I was born in the wrong century and continent.

Although I do also write Regency era romances, my true passion lies with my Knights of Berwyck in the 12th century. I can still remember the day when I was just about finished with my very first manuscript. The image of a castle sitting high upon a cliff came into my mind. Before I knew what was happening, I had all these characters forming, along with my plot, and I had to tell them to take a back seat while I finished my current book. Yes it’s true… authors really do have voices inside their heads! My characters continue to battle inside my head wanting their turn at having their story told, sometimes even keeping me up at night when we could have had such conversations during the day. Medievals, time travel, and Regency era novels… all with a happily ever after, all to awaken the soul one heart at a time!

More about Sherry

Sherry Ewing is a bestselling author who writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Her debut historical romance, If My Heart Could See You, hit Amazon’s top ten bestseller list for the eBook only two days after the paperback release. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a national and local member of Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and The Bluestocking Belles. She is currently working on her next novel. When Sherry is not busy writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

Visit Sherry on her website at www.SherryEwing.com.

Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1TrWtoy

My Path to Motherhood, Part Two

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My dreams were correct; I was pregnant.  From day one, I told the doctors and nurses I’d have twins.  They listened to my belly, then smiled and shook their heads.

“Just one healthy heartbeat,” they proclaimed.  Repeatedly.

Even my mom, who’d always wanted twins herself, warned me not to get my hopes up.

I sighed.  “Hope has nothing to do with it, Mom.  I just know.”

After the ultrasound, everyone knew.  My mom fought tears, then laughed.  “Even as a little girl, you had to make things even.”

I’d made it even, all right!  The babies were monozygotic:  two embryos with nearly identical DNA formed by the division of a single, fertilized egg.  Because they shared both placenta and sac, they were also considered the riskiest kind of twins.  Frequent ultrasounds were necessary to ensure their safety, but I felt certain they’d be okay.

The one thing I didn’t know was their sex.  To the doctors, they were Baby A (from my perspective, on the right side of my growing abdomen) and Baby B (on the left), and apparently, babies never switch sides during a twin pregnancy.  Dan and I decided on four full names, two for boys and two for girls.  The baby on my right was either Connor Tarian or Gwyneth Sterling; on the left, it was Geoffrey Debrett or Evelyn Fay.

When Dan announced the names to his mother over the phone, her response was instantaneous.  “They’re going to be boys!”

Her reasoning was simple.  At work, the coworker on her right had a child named Connor; the one on her left, a son named Geoffrey.

Sure enough, my next ultrasound confirmed it.  The babies were boys.

On the heels of this revelation, I met with a friend who was a Reiki Master.  She worked on me for a bit, then wanted to chat.

“I don’t know if you noticed,” she said, “but my hands were farther away from you this time.  When someone’s pregnant, it’s good to form a protective bubble and work around it.”

Immediately, I recalled the odd experience with the other energy worker.  Whoever—or whatever—had lifted her hands and pushed her back must’ve shared this view and resolved to protect my body’s precious cargo.

The Reiki Master continued.  “The babies seemed so excited about coming to earth and having you and Dan as parents.  They can’t wait to experience everything and don’t seem to remember how difficult life on this plane can be.

“I also kept seeing a strong individual around them in spirit.  This is going to sound strange, but he looks like Albert Einstein or Mark Twain, with white bushy hair and a moustache.  Did anyone in your family or Dan’s look that way in life?”

I racked my brain for images from old family photos.  “Not that I know of.”

“Well, whoever this is, he’s going to be present at their birth.  Actually, a lot of spirits are.  I don’t know why, but it’s like they’re crowding around, vying for the chance to be there.”

As my pregnancy progressed, I discovered the joys of projectile vomiting, day and night.  I started to waddle, and my feet disappeared under a near comical girth.  My niece’s prediction was correct.  I was fast becoming a big, big mama.

Dan was offered a job on the island of Nantucket, so we left Virginia and moved into the only place we could afford:  a shoebox apartment above someone’s garage.  I was five months pregnant and big as a whale, prompting jokes about the return of Moby-Dick.

It wasn’t long before my new doctor dropped a bombshell.  The complications inherent in multiple births made them impossible to perform on the island.  Our twins would need to be delivered at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.  Even worse, the likelihood of premature birth meant I had to move to Boston six weeks before the due date and remain there until the twins were born.

We had no clue how we’d cope, financially or emotionally, because Dan had to stay on the island to work.  Both of our families lived far away, and there hadn’t been time to make many friends.

Like magic, everything we needed unfolded before our weary eyes.  A specialist, one of the country’s leading authorities on multiples, visited the island once a month for the ultrasounds.  Hospitality Homes set me up with a family in Brookline; they’d provide me with free lodging on the third floor of their Victorian house for the duration of my stay in the Boston area.  One by one, the details worked themselves out.

On the night of Wednesday, June 2, I donned my white, cotton granny nightgown.  Then I heaved myself onto the bed beside Dan and rested my hands atop my voluminous middle.

The babies were at it again.  It never failed.  Whenever I settled into bed, they perked right up, doing God knew what.  Tennis, gymnastics, Irish jigs…nothing would’ve surprised me.  We even joked that one of them fancied himself “Lord of the Dance.”

I tried to take a deep breath, but it was impossible with two babies pushing against my diaphragm.  “Dan, I’ll miss you when I’m in Boston.”

He kissed my shoulder.  “I’ll miss you too.”

“I might end up having these babies alone.”

“Jude, don’t worry.  Once I know you’re in labor, I’ll catch the first flight out.”

Everything was set:  the ferry, the rental car, my estimated arrival time in Brookline, and my first appointment with the specialist in his Boston office.  Early Saturday morning, in just two days, the plan would commence.

Or so we thought.  The boys had hatched a plan of their own.

 

We have a release date!

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I just learned the release date for The Cauldron Stirred, the first book in my Guardians of Erin series:  July 21, 2017!  If you’re wondering what it’s about, here’s the scoop:

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.