Give a warm welcome to Judith Marshall, author of The Cauldron Stirred just released on July 21, 2017!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, or there’s fresh lemonade on the counter. Choose a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Judith and The Cauldron Stirred.
Judith, tell us inspired this particular story? A deep love for Ireland, my travels there, and paranormal events in my own life.
What defines you as an author? As a person? Are they one in the same? As an author: passion, empathy, and a magical view of the world. As a person: those same qualities, but also an eye toward adventure and a desire to understand, love, and heal people I encounter.
What secret do you use to blast through writer’s block? I step away for a bit, then return and poise my hands over the keyboard, signaling my muse that I’m ready to go!
Who is your favorite character of all of the books you’ve written and Why? Maybe Sir Robert le Donjon, the hero in Shadow of the Swan (The Novels of Ravenwood, Book 3) which I just turned in to my editor. He has wit, patience, and a generous heart.
What inspired you to write? An instinctive urge that’s always been with me.
How long have you been writing? Since I was three years old. By age nine, I was writing chapter stories and elaborate scripts for my dolls to act out. Of course, I played all the parts!
Did you tell friends and family that you were writing a book? Or did it take a while to come out and tell friends and family you were a writer? Friends and family have always known my passion for writing.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books? Interconnection. A sense of the mystical. Warm memories of a beautiful world.
Where do you find your story ideas? If they come to you in the middle of the night, do you get up and write them all down? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how and why inspiration strikes, but I always use old-fashioned pen and paper for brainstorming and outlines. If I sit in front of blank paper with my pen poised above it, images and ideas just start to flow. Sometimes they’re connected to my own experience; other times, not. And yes, I have jumped out of bed to jot down ideas!
Do you find it easier to write from a male or female point of view? Why? If I had to choose, I’d say female, because I am one! But I also empathize with my male characters.
Why do you write what you write? Contemporary, paranormal, suspense, etc. I write what I love: the paranormal, history, romance, and mystery. I enjoy weaving stories, and sometimes, writing a scene can be cathartic.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second? The paranormal.
What do you like to do when you are not writing? Hang out with my family, visit historic sites, watch classic movies and favorite TV shows, walk through the woods, read, travel, cook, bake, and EAT!
Alright, one last question, and it’s my favorite. You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do? Ooh! There are so many events I’d witness if given the chance. The building of Stonehenge. The moment when Antony met Cleopatra. The coronation of Elizabeth I of England. The filming of Hitchcock’s Rebecca, The Birds, and Rear Window. And of course, I wouldn’t mind spying on the set of the TV series, Supernatural!
Okay, wow, you’d make good use of the cloak. LOL Tell us a little about The Cauldron Stirred.
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.
How about a peek between the pages of The Cauldron Stirred?
The night air was deliciously cool. Moonlight and darkness held equal sway over the backyard thanks to the shifting clouds. I dashed across the lawn and halted in the exact spot where Aengus had stood. Panting, I looked around, willing some kind of clue to materialize.
The ruins in front of me darkened as large, heavy clouds swallowed the moon whole. The wind tugged at my long, loose hair and pajamas. Tiny raindrops spattered on my nose and cheeks. I turned my palms to the sky, and cold rain pelted them.
“Great.” Intending to return to the house, I swiveled around.
I gasped. My right hand flew to my chest. “Aengus?!”
The man himself stood an arm’s length in front of me. “Why are you here?”
“You scared the crap out of me!”
The strident sound came from the ruins. I whirled around and stared at the dark keep.
Aengus grabbed me from behind. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arms around me. I reveled in the feel of his taut body, of his warm flesh against mine.
Suddenly, everything changed. The rain stopped. The wind died. The entire landscape was bathed in the soft hue of twilight. Breasal Castle looked brand spanking new, just as it had during the bizarre dream in which I brought Aengus to the cottage. But this time, I knew I was awake.
Dumbfounded, I gawked at the medieval magnificence before me. I had no idea what had happened and no desire to pull away from his embrace.
His lips brushed my right ear, sending a shiver down my spine. “This way.”
His right arm released me, and his left slid down to my waist. Maintaining body contact the entire time, he steered me toward the stand of oaks on our right.
Once sheltered by the trees, he turned us around so we faced the castle.
“Are we hiding?” I whispered.
“Why? And what just happened?”
“I can’t say.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
Until that moment, I’d forgotten I wore pajamas. Now I was acutely aware of it. Satin was pleasing to the touch, but something told me my attire had nothing to do with his grip on me.
I looked up at him. “Not that I mind, but why are you holding me so close?”
His hand tightened on my waist. “It’s necessary.”
“I don’t suppose you can explain that, either.”
With his gaze locked on the castle, he shook his head. He pressed his right forefinger against his mouth in a silencing gesture. Then he pointed up at the keep.
High on the battlements, the black-haired woman from my dream—and from Branna’s painting—paced back and forth. Her hair whipped about her pale face and slender frame.
She paused beside a gap in the crenelated wall and glared down at the fairy mound. Her colorless lips curled into a sneer. Then her human form morphed into a dark shadow, which fragmented into what seemed a million black particles. They swarmed into the air and shot across the twilit sky, disappearing into the distance.
I took a deep breath. “So she’s real.”
He nodded. “She’s real, to be sure. Come.” With his arm still hooked around me, he led me out of the woods and toward the fairy mound.
You can purchase The Cauldron Stirred at: Amazon
About the Author:
Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in 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.
Learn more about Judith:
Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/judithsterlingfiction/
It was wonderful having you with us today Judith. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with The Cauldron Stirred!
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