With new books on the way, the time had come for a website update. And since I was visiting my webmaster, my daughter Christiane, that worked out well. First, we had to change the release date for The Shifting Winds from April to March, since it’s coming out a month earlier than planned. And we had to show it’s availability for pre-orders. With that done, we added an Excerpt so you can read a few paragraphs of the story. Then there were new books to talk about. Today we added a description.
The above photo I took some years ago shows Britain’s famous Stonehenge, which figures in the newest writing project, Book Five of the Golden Isles Series. The book is called Webs of Stone. You’ll find a description on the newly revised Books page. Up until now I’ve shown only five books for the series because I wasn’t sure if I had ideas enough for a book for this 16-year period in Ireland between the end of Book One and the beginning of the final book. That gap parallels events in the Mediterranean at that time, events shown in Book Four, but what was going on in Ireland then? [Note: The Books page has been updated yet again since the writing of this blog post, so the series in late 2022 has eleven titles.]
My muse was slow to visit, but when I took a Thanksgiving trip to Kansas City to visit Christiane and my granddaughter Calliope, inspiration struck. My muse talked to me. It happens in odd ways sometimes. I was searching for a hideout for my outlaw character somewhere north of Stonehenge (which I call the Great Stone Circle of Wessex in the book). And I wanted mountains. Where would I find mountains in England? Would I have to go as far as the Scottish Highlands? That’s a long way from Wessex when you’re walking or riding a pony. And I’d been in the Scottish Highlands. When you’re used to the Cascades and Rockies they seem like rolling hills. Maybe Wales? I’d seen some real mountains there. I clicked the “terrain” figure on Google maps and found the Lakes District in northern England. Then with a click on “street view” I found myself in rugged, craggy, stone-strewn mountains with steep dropoffs down to lovely lakes. Perfect! I could see myself there, my characters. And the story took off in my mind.
The photo above shows another stone circle in near silhouette. This is the circle I chose for the home circle of the Golden Eagle Clan, the central clan for both Book One and Book Five. It’s the Bohonagh Circle near Rosscarbery in Ireland. For me it’s the Golden Eagle Circle. I was lucky enough to spend several days traipsing around these pillars and the vicinity back in 2004 when I traveled to Ireland with my good friend Tilly Engholm. She was my next-door neighbor in Portland then, an avid traveler, and we had a great time on this trip–although as I wandered from circle to circle, she began to weary of stones. Once she sighed and asked, “We’re going to go see more rocks, aren’t we, Janet?” And I had to admit we were. I do love the stone circles and the power I feel in them. Fortunately, Tilly was agreeable.
I wrote Book One, Whisper of Wings, that year. Since then, I’ve spent most of my time focused on Crete, where Books Two through Four are centered. It’s lovely to be experiencing Ireland again–and England, with a few scenes on the coast of Brittany and in what is now Portugal.
I’m excited that a new story is taking off and look forward to immersing myself in it. If you don’t hear from me as often in the next few weeks, that’s where I’ll be–Ireland and the High Lakes and the plains of Wessex and those other places–from roughly 1406 B.C. to 1390 B.C., exploring the mysterious circles and other rocks scattered over the British Isles and Western Europe like interlaced webs of stone.
Check out the revisions on my website. Cheers!