Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankful Author- Mary Gillgannon

November 24, 2014
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 Denver.

It turns out that Irish warrior Connar and his beloved Aisling didn’t get their happily ever after back in ninth century Ireland. But 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 over again. 


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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Call Down the Moon, the first book in the Soulmate series 
Available December 29 from The Wild Rose Press


  1. Love the excerpt, Mary. As tough as writing is, I agree that I never feel better than when I'm creating! All the best!

  2. I loved your excerpt, Mary. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Excellent excerpt and great cover, as well. I am grumpy when I am not working on a project.

  4. Hello Mary.
    Glad to hear writing has such a good effect on you. And love the words 'get her to fall in love with him all over again." *Sigh* How is one supposed to resist THAT! :)
    Annie (aka Kelly Ann Scott)

  5. I agree - writing is much less expensive than a psychiatrist, and a million times more healthy! I can't tell you how many times I've combined some of the meanies I've experienced and killed them off. Very satisfying! Okay, don't call the cops, I meant I murdered them in my books - really - fictionally, only. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. What a 'timely' post, Mary, sharing what you're thankful for - I, too, am thankful for so many things, among them the ability, both physically and mentally, to write. Oh, and what Annie said, too! So romantic! I love the book's title.

  7. Oh, that sounds like an excellent story. Like I've said, Mary, you won't be remembered for a clean house.

  8. Such a nice post. Clean house? Are we supposed to do that? ;) I really like the title of this book. Best of luck with it.

  9. I agree with Barbara on the clean house thing.
    I loved the excerpt. It sounds like a fascinating story.