Hi, folks! Please help me welcome Mary Gillgannon to our blog today! She's got some great information for you about a book that sounds awesome, so let's jump right in!
Who is Mary?
Mary Gillgannon writes romance novels set in the dark ages, medieval and English Regency time periods and fantasy and historical novels with Celtic influences. Her books have been published in Russia, China, the Netherlands and Germany. Raised in the Midwest, she now lives in Wyoming and works at public library. She is married and has two grown children. When not working or writing she enjoys gardening, traveling and reading. Call Down the Moon is her fifteenth published book.
A few words from Mary...
When I first started writing Call Down the Moon, it was intended to be a historical romance set in ninth century
But as I got into the story and started seeing my characters in present day Ireland , it eventually
morphed into a reincarnation/time travel romance. While I’m not sure time
travel is really possible, I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of
reincarnation. Who hasn’t had those moments when you’re almost certain you’ve
had that experience before? Or been in that place before? Or, even been a
different person sometime in the past? Denver
My first book was set in north
, a place I’d never visited.
But it called to me so strongly that I ended up setting two more books there.
And when several years later I finally was able to visit some of the sites I’d
described in my books, there were many places that were eerily familiar to me.
Adding to the intrigue, I recently discovered among my great aunt’s papers (she
lived to be almost 100) a letter from my great-great aunt, addressed to my
grandmother. The letter was written on a folded series of pictures showing
scenes in north Wales ,
where my great-great aunt was visiting at the time. This aunt still lived in Wales , which
is a ferry ride away from north Ireland ,
so perhaps she visited because it was a popular destination for Irish residents
at the time. Or maybe there really is some sort of family connection to the
place. Or it could simply be that something about north Wales inspires
me and sparks characters and scenes in my mind. Wales
My connection to
, where Call Down the Moon begins, is also very
strong. Here’s an excerpt from the
opening of the book which begins when Aisling (who is called Allison in the
present day) is initiated into the Nine Sisters, a sect of priestesses/healers:
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 firelight, 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 will be released later this year.