Leigh Ann Edwards stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in the Maidens of the Mystical Stones series, Winter’s Haunting Pledge!
Where did you get the inspiration for Winter’s Haunting Pledge and the Maidens of the Mystical Stones Series?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved all things historical, magical, or supernatural, and I still do. I’m always trying to come up with something a little different for a new fantasy or paranormal series. I remember really enjoying the movie Freaky Friday and the book The Prince and the Pauper.
It seems we often envy other people’s lives and I thought it would be a really interesting premise for a series with four friends—four very different women in personalities and life circumstances, to be given the magical opportunity to change places—exchanging lives for a season.
Also, when I was looking into my genealogy a few years back, I discovered my branch of Edwards were from a small village near Stonehenge. Sound familiar? It made my imagination go wild with possibilities. I thought one day… that would make a great fantasy series.
How do you relate to Rhianwyn, your heroine, and how do you hope readers will relate to her?
I think I mostly relate to Rhianwyn in how she empathizes with people. She wants to make things better for those she cares about, and feels badly when she can’t always make life easier for them.
I hope readers will relate to how fiercely Rhianwyn fights to better the lives of others and her inability to accept how women, during her time, were abused and devalued. She speaks up for the less fortunate and against injustices even when females were expected to be silent and submissive.
If you could switch lives with anyone, living or dead, like your characters, who would it be?
That’s a really good question and a really difficult one to answer. I definitely wouldn’t want the life of any of my four heroines. Even if I do think Broccan’s a really gorgeous, amazing hero.
Because I like history so much, I’d love to say I’d choose to live as one of my favorite authors, probably Emily or Charlotte Bronte, but having visited the Bronte parsonage in Haworth England and hearing about the terrible living conditions back then, I wouldn’t. None of the six Bronte children lived to be elderly. Charlotte lived the longest and she was still only thirty-eight when she died.
It might be skirting around your question, but I wouldn’t pick anyone in particular. However, I would really like to have my younger body with more endurance, but with the wisdom gained through the experience of the years I’ve lived. It would be exciting to be fit enough to backpack across Ireland or maybe all of Europe.
What was your favorite scene to write and why?
I have a few favorite scenes, but some give too much away. So I’ve chosen one where the characters have a little bit of child-like fun together.
To set up the scene, Rhianwyn has already gone through the first magical transformation and is living as her best friend, Selena. She’s having a very difficult time being separated from her husband Broccan. He’s also really confused and unhappy in his marriage now. He doesn’t understand why his wife seems so changed or why he’s suddenly attracted to the woman he sees as Selena.
On Broccan’s request, Rhianwyn has gone to speak with Selena to try to find out if she’ll tell her what’s wrong. He asks her to discover if his wife doesn’t love him any longer of if she’d maybe fallen for someone else when he was away for a few months.
Broccan came after her, startling Rhianwyn. Her thoughts were on the quarrel she’d had with Selena.
“By your worried look,” he said, “the conversation didn’t go well.”
Rhianwyn grasped with what to tell him to lessen his worries.
“Give her time, Broccan. She’s feeling low. It sometimes occurs during the long dark days of winter. With spring, approaching, I suspect she’ll recover soon enough.”
Broccan’s strained expression told her he wasn’t convinced.
“She’s not in love with anyone else,” Rhianwyn said, hoping to assure him. “But now, I must get back before Shandy sends Aldrich to fetch me.”
He nodded and she started off, but looked back to see him leaning against the stable, deep in thought. How she wished she could ease his burden. Her preferred method––taking him to bed––wasn’t possible. But she could offer him some lighthearted merriment.
She grasped some snow, formed a ball and threw it at him. He glanced up maybe thinking it had fallen from the roof. She threw another and he looked at her in disbelief. She tossed one more, even harder. It struck his chest and sprayed his face. He grinned and she giggled, throwing yet another.
He picked up snow, too, and tossed it at her. She raced off, ducking behind a tree. He followed and they continued the frivolity for some time until he threw a far larger amount. Snow covered her hair and face, went inside her cloak and garments, sliding down her neck and between her breasts. She squealed at the shock of the cold. He must have thought he’d gone too far, for he drew nearer, looking apologetic. She pretended to be dismayed, wiping the snow away, then reached for another handful and rubbed it on his face. He laughed, picked her up, and dropped her gently into a mound of snow. She grabbed at his leg and knocked him off-balance. He fell beside her wearing the broadest, most magnanimous smile.
Overcome with love, she reached out and lightly touched his jaw as she’d so often done before. The attraction between them was profoundly overpowering…as it had always been when her consciousness was in her own body. She desperately yearned for his kiss, but when he moved close enough their lips nearly touched, she quickly stood. He did as well, still wearing an unmistakable look of longing. Aching to be with him, she pushed him against the stable and pulled his head down to her lips. The kiss was undeniably torrid, but then he moved away and pulled his hand through his hair, obviously equally torn.
She was tormenting them both.
“Forgive me, Broccan,” she said as she left him standing looking even more confused.
What are you currently reading?
I have so many books on my Kindle that I can’t wait to get to. Sometimes when I spend long days writing or editing, I can’t read as much as I’d like because of eye strain.
In the last couple of months I’ve enjoyed several stories by different Tule authors. But presently, I’m reading The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian. It was recommended to readers who enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing. I’ve only read the first six chapters, but so far it’s really intriguing.
About the Author
Leigh Ann Edwards’ 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 has almost completed writing her fourth series with Tule Publishing and will soon begin 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 two cats, one large dog and their Boston Terrier puppy, live near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.