THANKFUL AUTHOR BLOG ROUNDUP
Featuring Mary Gillgannon
What I'm Thankful For
I am thankful for my family and friends, I don’t think I would be able to appreciate or enjoy them as much if it wasn’t for the other thing I’m very thankful for—writing.
Before I started writing fiction, I struggled with depression. Nothing severe, mainly a vague feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Writing changed that. Not only did writing books give me a purpose and concrete goals, the creative process itself seemed to change me. When I am in the hyper-focus state of writing, everything falls away and I become calmer, less stressed and more optimistic. It’s like the perfect drug with few side effects (Well, OK, my house isn’t nearly as clean as it should be!)
I’ve published fifteen books, all set in the past. I love the gritty details of the medieval and dark age time periods and the brawny warrior heroes who inhabit them. When I started my latest book, Call Down the Moon, it was also originally a historical romance. But somewhere in the process of writing it, I realized that while my story started out in the past, my characters didn’t stay there. Before I knew it, they’d ended up in contemporary
It turns out that Irish warrior Connar and his beloved Aisling didn’t get their happily ever after back in ninth century
when it doesn’t work out for them in the past, Connar uses magic to follow
Aisling to the future so they can have another chance together. But once there,
he has to cope with the dark forces that have followed him from the past. And
Aisling, now Allison Hunter, has to deal with the terrifying visions she
experiences whenever she’s around him. Because Allison doesn’t remember her
previous life. Which means Connar has to get her to fall in love with him all
The nine Sisters danced upon the hillside. Light from the Seed Moon revealed their long flowing hair—raven black, blood red, gold and silver. It shone on their nakedness, young and old flesh shaped into the flowing lines of the Earth Goddess herself. Their bodies gleamed as they writhed and whirled, calling on the Ancient Ones.
Aisling stood in the center of the circle of women. Whorls of black and crimson marked her breasts and belly, while serpent shapes encircled her arms and ankles. Her skin felt heavy, as if the patterns covering her had substance, as if they were not merely dyes from earth and plants. Her body tingled and her nipples felt hard. Her lower belly and thighs burned with a heat that defied the cool night air.
Aisling took a deep breath. Her night. Her initiation. Although she had watched the Sisters dance many times before, she had never been part of the circle. She feared the gods would not speak to her. Even more, she feared they would pronounce for her some future she could not endure.
The dance grew more frantic. The women wove in and out, a ribbon of pulsing flesh. They formed circles within the circle. Three sets of three, the sacred number. The whirling dancers bound Aisling in place in the center of the magic. The tension built. The night air crackled with energy, fierce as lightning. Their voices rang out in eerie exhortation and they ended the dance with arms stretched to the sky, long hair streaming down their backs.
A few heartbeats passed. Then they approached Aisling and guided her to the fire on the other side of the hill. As she reached it, Aisling turned and saw her companions’ sweat-slicked faces, lit by the orange gold flames. They looked weary, empty. Maebbina, the oldest, took Aisling's arm firmly and guided her to a caldron near the fire. "Look," she said. "Look in the scrying bowl."
Aisling bent over the cauldron, heart hammering. She stared at the oily surface shining in the firelight. At first, she saw nothing. Nothing but blackness, the reflection of flames and her own face. She knew a sharp disappointment, mingled with relief. The magic didn't work. Everything was real and ordinary. She stiffened as something in the orb of liquid began to swell and grow. There was another light there, softer, grayer. Silver instead of the gold of the fire. It was filled with shapes. The sheen of armor and flash of weapons caught her eye. "Warriors," she murmured.
The women near her whispered with excitement. Aisling watched as the shapes in the cauldron grew nearer, filling her vision. The warriors were all around her. She could hear the clank and rattle of their weapons, smell the scent of them. Dust and sweat... and man. Their long hair flowed over their shoulders. Their hands stood ready on their weapons. Their hot breath covered her.
One of them grasped her wrist and fixed her with a piercing look, his eyes like the glowing green depths of a shadowed forest pool. "Aisling, my love," he whispered.
Call Down the Moon, the first book in the Soulmate series
Available December 29 from The Wild Rose Press