We have a winner! Robyn L, you are the winner of Leigh Ann’s giveaway! She will be in touch! Thanks everyone for stopping by!
I’m pleased to welcome Leigh Ann Edwards back to the Author Spotlight today–I love celebrating my fellow Tule authors!
Leigh Ann Edwards’s fascination with history, romance, magic, fantasy, time-travel and Ireland sparked her interest in creating the Irish Witch Series and her growing collection of published novels. Growing up in a very small Manitoban village on the Canadian prairies left a lot of time to create stories and let her imagination soar. An author for nearly thirty years, Leigh Ann’s presently writing her fourth series with Tule Publishing and is thrilled to have recently signed a contract for a fifth. Besides writing, Leigh Ann loves spending time with her four grandchildren, reading, traveling, doing intuitive readings and reiki. Leigh Ann and her husband, their one large dog and two cats, live near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.
Tell us all about your new series, Leigh Ann…
I’m very happy to be featured on your author spotlight today, Nan. I really appreciate your willingness to assist other authors in promoting their books. I love being part of the fantastic Tule family. This is the first time I’ve been here when it’s not to celebrate a recent release. In fact, we’re nearly smack in the middle of when the last book in my Witches of Time series was published October/21 and when my next book, Autumn’s Magical Pact, the first in my Maidens Of The Mystical Stones series will be released, September 26/22.
I write historical fantasy with lots of magic, strong women and always an Irish connection either in the setting or with some Irish characters. (I love Ireland and have Irish ancestry.) Writing this series has been quite different––mostly because my heroines don’t have any supernatural abilities. That was completely my idea. I thought it would change it up and be a challenge to create characters who can’t rely on magic to get them out of the fixes they often find themselves in. You can’t imagine how many times I’ve questioned that line of thinking!
There’s still plenty of mystical happenings. Magic is a key element to the main plot. But, I admit, sometimes I just want my characters to be able to snap their fingers and disappear…or create a lightning bolt that will strike their enemies or the unkind men who often dictate their lives.
Maidens Of The Mystical Stones takes place during medieval times in the Kingdom of Wessex (which later united with other kingdoms to form England.) Also unlike my other series, I haven’t pinpointed a precise year or even century. That allows a little more grace in historical accuracy. I’ve done research but the medieval period lasted about a thousand years. This takes place after/during the Viking invasions but before England was a country.
The heroine, Rhianwyn Albray (pronounced Ree-on-win) and the other three female protagonists, live in a small village near Stonehenge. They formation was referred to as the sunstones. As with many historical times, women had few rights and this is the middle-ages, sometimes referred to the dark ages. All decisions were made for women by their fathers and then their husbands, but also the king, his advisors and priests. Women were to marry (whomever was chosen for them) and bear children. Childbirth was the leading cause of death in women. Even noble born females were oppressed and common born, far more so.
Now that I’ve made this sound terribly dismal, I assure you there’s lots of heartfelt moments, endearing friendships, love, romance, humor and magic. These women have been compelling and enjoyable to create. Readers are first introduced to the four young women when they’re aged twelve to fourteen. They’re from very different backgrounds, but meet when their mothers are laid to rest the same day. (I promise it isn’t all gloomy.)
Rhianwyn’s mother was a healer. Selena’s mother a prostitute. Elspeth and her family are castle servants and Princess Lilliana is the king’s daughter.
Their grief bonds them and that day in the graveyard they promise to become and remain friends always.
When readers see them next, five years has passed. They’ve kept true to their promise. Of course their very different personalities sometimes clash and each friend envies something about the other women’s lives. They often wish they could simply switch lives or trade places. (The grass is always greener and all that!)
Now, they’re each facing something they very much dread. If the opportunity to actually change their lives through magic was offered, would they accept? Would all of them truly be in favor of it? Think Freaky Friday with four participants.
I won’t elaborate further, but I will say writing these books has been fascinating, thought-provoking and definitely challenging. The series follows the seasons, beginning in autumn. Each will be released in the corresponding season. Some people initially thought Autumn was the name of the heroine, but no, it’s just the season.
I haven’t even mentioned the men in this series. There’s the tall, sexy Irishman, Broccan Mulryan, with a mysterious past, who’s inherited a manor house near the village. There are several gorgeous knights, a protective huntsman, an amusing minstrel and a handsome, but complicated Welsh prince. There’s heartwarming romance, powerful attraction and steamy love scenes. I won’t give away anything about the antagonists or the magical old crone, but as you can tell, I’m excited and eager for readers to dive into this series.
Book one, Autumn’s Magical Pact, just came back from the copy editor. Book two, Winter’s Haunting Pledge, is with the developmental editor. I’m now writing book three, Spring’s Mystical Promise. The fourth and last instalment will be Summer’s Celestial Plea. (All released between Sept/22 and June/23.)
I might have jinxed myself a bit. Before beginning book three, I made the comment that when writing the last two series, the third book was easiest. When I began book three, there was an editorial change mid-series, which has turned out wonderfully, but did cause some anxiety. Then, our four year old, much-loved dog, Newton, who was been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition last fall, developed a small abscess on his leg that worsened unbelievably fast. We noticed it mid-morning and by the end of the day, we already had to make the heartbreaking decision not to put him through the painful, complicated surgery. Because of the autoimmune condition and the steroids he was on to keep it controlled, it was unlikely he’d ever heal. He would’ve had to be kept mostly immobile for weeks which we felt was unfair to him.
It’s been tough. It’s always difficult to lose a pet. Making the decision with him being so young, seemed much worse. At 100 pounds, he was huge, but he also a huge presence in our lives. He was smart, affectionate, funny and energetic. The house seems unbearably quiet without his deep bark letting us know someone was walking or driving down his street. Plus, we have his sister/litter-mate who misses him terribly. It took me a couple of weeks before I could get back into my story–– missing having two big dogs lying at my feet while I write.
We printed some photos and with Newton’s paw and nose prints and a tuft of hair given to us from the vet clinic where we had him cremated, my husband made a lovely memorial collage. Now, we’re trying to decide whether to get another dog to keep Medora company or let her become even more spoiled. She sleeps on our bed now. She’s only 80 pounds so just tiny! Ha ha.
Once I did get back into writing, thankfully it just flowed. I’ve exceeded the allotted wordcount, yet again, but I’m working on shredditing as another Tule author refers to it. I look forward to hopefully being here with Nan again in September for the release of book one. It’s out on my only granddaughter’s birthday. Book two releases on my youngest grandson’s birthday. I have four amazing grandchildren. Having two books come out on their birthdays with me having no influence on publication dates, must have some powerful universal relevance! Thanks again, Nan and to Tule and my loyal readers, too.
Best wishes, Leigh Ann
Giveaway:– For a chance to win a signed copy of the first book in one of my three series (your choice) answer one or all of these questions:
- Is there a friendship you’ve had since you were a child or for a very long time?
- Have you ever envied another woman’s life?
- If you’d had a chance to trade lives (which means trading bodies) with someone when you were eighteen or nineteen would you have done it?
After her father’s unexplained disappearance, the entrancingly beautiful healer Rhianwyn Albray finds herself in a perilous position. She’s nineteen, living alone, and unwed—which, by the king’s law, is strictly forbidden. Several men rally to claim her as their bride, but when a mysterious Irishman, Lord Broccan Mulryan, requests the king’s permission to wed her, Rhianwyn immediately objects. Though he is handsome and there is an undeniable physical attraction, he’s also demanding, arrogant, and not husband material.
Rhianwyn meets with her three closest friends, Elspeth, Selena, and Lilliana, at the mystical stone circle near their small English village. Bemoaning their inevitable and undesired fates, each presumes the others will fare better. Then a peculiar old crone offers them a magical opportunity to trade lives—a binding pact that will forever change them, their friendships, and their destinies.
With a world of possibilities ahead of her, Rhianwyn must decide: is there a future for her with Lord Broccan?