Today we welcome author Andrea Matthews to the page, to talk about her book THE CROSS OF CIARAN. Welcome, Andrea.
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
AM: Ciarán is a fifth century Celt, serving as a pagan priest just as Christianity is dawning in Ireland. As a result, he falls in love with a Christian, marries her, and becomes one himself. He’s a child of the goddess, however, chosen to serve only her, and while his adoption of Christianity is an annoyance, the real issue is in his betrayal of the goddess by taking another woman to himself.
Bright and attractive, Ciarán’s hair is raven black and his eyes a dazzling cerulean blue that darken to a midnight blue at the edge of his pupils, Ciaran follows his heart, though it sometimes makes him appear rebellious and obstinate. In truth, he is simply curious and seeks the truth. At heart, he has a strong sense of honor and regrets that others see his marriage as a betrayal. His heart has dictated that he’s done the right thing, however, so what is a man to do?
Caitlin O’Connell is a small, perky twentieth century archeologist, whose short hair is a deep auburn. Her emerald eyes sparkle but change to a mistletoe green when angry or suspicious. She’s worked hard to make it in a man’s world and is respected for it. Though it can make her seem aloof at times, in truth, she cares about everyone that crosses her path, even the night guards at the museum where she works. She has no patience for phonies, however, or people who don’t appreciate the past.
SC: Once upon a time there was a very handsome character on Coronation Street named Ciaran. But I digress. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
AM: I guess it depends on what you consider paranormal. For example, while I don’t believe in ghosts, I do believe in spirits. Let me explain. To me, a ghost goes around trying to scare people. A spirit comes from heaven to watch over us or help us. I believe I have experienced seeing a spirit, though I was very young at the time so I can’t be sure.
Vampires and werewolves, not so much. There are blood-suckers and animals out there, but sadly, they are very real. As for magic, I think the world is full of it, if only we believe.
SC: Good point. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
AM: “The Cave of Rúin Ársa, which is Book 3 in the Cross of Ciaran series. Hopefully, that will be out around the end of May, if all goes well. I’m also working on a historical mystery, “Murder on Oak Street,” which will be written under the name of I. M. Foster. I’m aiming for sometime in August for that one, but we’ll see. I still have a bit of research to do for it. And the third is the fourth book in the Thunder on the Moor series, entitled, “With Fire and Sword.” That should be out around November.
SC: Thanks for stopping by. Let's take a look at your book now.
Ciarán stumbled along beneath the twisted canopy of blackthorn shrubs, their prickly branches entwining with those of the hawthorn to form a mystical passageway. Though only a dim grey light pierced its knotwork, intermittent flashes of lightning broke through the tangled vines to sketch eerie patterns across the moss-covered path. His robe caught on the spiny bramble, and he stopped for a moment to free his sleeve, but a sharp shove from behind thrust him forward once more, the sudden movement ripping a jagged hole in his fine linen robe.
His temper flared, and he turned to object, though it did no good. Another quick jab to his shoulder spun him back around and thrust him out into the lakeside clearing. Slender stone columns stood in a semi-circle around its perimeter, each one facing the sacrificial altar. He rested his hand against the one to his side, steadying himself as the reality of the situation washed over him in a wave of nausea. There would be no escape.
As if in agreement, a bolt of lightning ripped across the horizon, followed by a crash of thunder so loud it caused the breath to catch in his throat. The goddess was angry.
Out of nowhere, thick grey clouds had formed to conceal the morning sun and cast ominous shadows over the secluded enclosure. The urge to fall prostrate before his goddess mother gripped his innards, tearing at his stomach with a fiery knife, but he could not find it within his heart to do so. A black-robed cleric propelled him further into the temple confines, forcing him to his knees beside another of the slender gray columns. The decision to kneel had been made for him, though it was an empty gesture on his part.Trying to retain his composure, he gazed around the quiet glade. Towering thorn bushes encircled the clearing, concealing the sanctuary from the outside world and providing a perfect setting for worshipping the goddess of their tuath. The bile rose in his throat, for he knew the requirements for admission all too well. Entry to its sacred confines was only granted to those within the priesthood and those about to die.