Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow moms out there! Hope you’re enjoying a day as relaxing as the scene in the painting above!
I’m giving away an e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred, the first book in my young adult paranormal fantasy series, Guardians of Erin. Comment below or on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/judithsterlingfiction/ by midnight, May 15, 2018 (Eastern Standard Time), and you could win!
In the meantime, here’s a scene from the book in which Maeve Donoghue (the protagonist Ashling’s mother) witnesses a touch of magic while looking at an ancient manuscript’s carpet page:
I gestured toward the manuscript on the table. “It’s incredible. Look at how interlocked the animals are.”
Mom nodded. “Some of them are so contorted, it’s hard to tell what they are. But that’s typical of the beasts in Celtic manuscripts.”
I pointed. “These look like swans. But what’s this?”
“A wolf.” Aengus’s arm brushed against mine as he, too, pointed.
All of a sudden, the carpet page came to life. The entire illustration lifted off the page, morphing into 3D. Ribbons of knotwork and scrollwork wove in and out of one another. Animals whose necks and limbs had once been linked now split apart. The wolves leapt over the shifting image and crept beneath cords that undulated like waves on the ocean. The swans glided across the loosened lines as though navigating ripples on a lake. In the center of it all, a multitude of colored bands broke free and rose higher than the rest, twisting and turning into the shape of letters which hovered above the whole: A-I-S-L-I-N-G.
I gaped at the word. Mom’s hand, still on my back, went rigid.
Her hand dropped to her side. “What the…” Words failed her.
Aengus yanked his arm from mine as though scalded. He stepped back from the table and from me.
Like magic, the page’s three-dimensional version vanished. Its flat counterpart lay as lifeless as before.
Mom blinked hard and shook her head as if to clear it. “Either I need glasses or I’ve been at this too long. Sorry, but I need a break. You two carry on without me.” She scuttled out of the room.
I pivoted around to face Aengus. “Did you see something strange?”
His eyes narrowed. “Did you?”
“You know I did.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
I pursed my lips. “I think you do. I’d be willing to bet that you and my mom saw exactly what I just did.”
“That whole page was alive. And the word ‘aisling’ stood out as plain as the nose on your face.”
He nodded and appeared to be deep in thought.
After a good ten seconds, I planted my hands on my hips. “Well?”
His gaze found mine. “Well what?”
“You saw it, right?”
He hesitated, then sighed. “I did, but I’ve no time to discuss it now.”
“I couldn’t say.” His eyes shifted, and he looked to the nearest window. “I’ve matters to attend to.” Without another word, he turned and left the room.
I stamped my foot. Secrets. Diversions. Dreams I couldn’t remember. Feelings I couldn’t explain.
I’d had my fill. One way or another, I would uncover what was really going on at Breasal Manor and inside myself.
Again, happy Mother’s Day! And check out this amazing carpet page from the Book of Kells:
Hi, everyone! I’m doing another Goodreads giveaway. This time, it’s for Shadow of the Swan, the third book in my medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The story takes place in the spring of A.D. 1102, with warmer temperatures than what we’ve experienced here in New England so far!
Click on the link below and enter to win a signed copy:
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Thanks to my Irish heritage and undying love for the Emerald Isle, it’s a special day for my family. Whether or not you celebrate it, I hope you enjoy the day!
By the way, if you love Ireland as much as I do, there’s still time to enter the Goodreads giveaway to win a signed copy of The Cauldron Stirred, my young adult paranormal fantasy. It’s set in Killarney, one of my favorite places in the world! And I’m almost finished writing the sequel, The Stone Awakened. Here’s the link:
Now, how about an excerpt? The American protagonist is Ashling Donoghue, and her first night in Ireland, she has a vivid dream:
I soared above a silver lake, on which a lone, white swan glided toward shore. I drifted down and behind the bird until, with a sudden acceleration, we became one. As we merged, a cloak of serenity settled around me. Grace was my guide, and I felt freer than ever before.
On the shore ahead, Aengus materialized. He seemed a beacon of love and truth, of all things good in the world. I longed to be near him and swam faster to cut the distance between us.
A loud snap sounded in the woods behind him. Instantly, he vanished.
A misty black mass slithered around the tree trunks and stopped at the edge of the forest. Framed by two trees, it writhed upward into the shape of a tall, thin woman. Her skin was ghoulishly pale; her lips, colorless. Still, she might’ve been beautiful, if not for the evil that oozed from her core. Both her hair and gown were long and black, and they floated on the air as though animated by wind that touched only her.
The sight of her jolted me out of the swan’s body and back into the air above it. Fear coiled around me as I stared into the woman’s stygian black eyes.
She smirked. Then a single emotion subdued her features: hate.
Today you can enter the third Goodreads giveaway, and this one is for the new release! Win a signed copy of Shadow of the Swan by entering here:
This giveaway runs through February 15, 2018. You can also enter to win the first two books in The Novels of Ravenwood series.
For Flight of the Raven (Book One) enter here:
For Soul of the Wolf (Book Two) enter here:
Wishing you luck with all three giveaways!
As you know, I’m doing three Goodreads giveaways to celebrate the upcoming release of Shadow of the Swan, the third of The Novels of Ravenwood. You can still enter the giveaway for the first book, Flight of the Raven (now through February 13) at this link:
Today, you can also enter the second giveaway, this time for Soul of the Wolf, the second in the series. Enter today through February 14 to win a signed copy! Here’s that link:
Good luck, everyone!
The worldwide release of Shadow of the Swan, the third of The Novels of Ravenwood, is only two weeks away! To celebrate, I’m doing three Goodreads giveaways, one for each book in the series.
The first giveaway is for Flight of the Raven. Enter today through February 13, 2018 for a chance to win a signed copy. Here’s the link:
Good luck, everyone!
Hi, all! I’m doing another giveaway on Goodreads. This time, it’s a signed copy of my young adult paranormal fantasy, The Cauldron Stirred. It’s the first book in my Guardians of Erin series, which takes place on the beautiful Emerald Isle. I’m currently writing the second book, The Stone Awakened. There will be four books in all.
If you love Ireland as much as I do, you might want to check it out. The giveaway runs through December 28, 2017, so be sure to enter. Good luck!
Hi, everyone! I’m doing another giveaway on Goodreads. This time, you could win a signed copy of Soul of the Wolf, the second of The Novels of Ravenwood.
Here’s the link to enter: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/258154-soul-of-the-wolf