Hello everyone. For those who don’t know me, I’m Leigh Ann Edwards. Besides being an author, I’m married to a sweet English expat who’s been in Canada for sixteen years. I’m mother to two beautiful daughters, and grandmother of four wonderful grandchildren. I love animals and traveling. I’m a reiki master and also do angel and tarot card readings. We live in a small town northeast of Edmonton Alberta, with our four spoiled pets.
I’ve written historical fantasy series for Tule since 2016. I’m pleased to be back on the Tule blog today and thrilled to celebrate the release of Fate’s Final Season during Tule’s 10th anniversary month.
Isn’t this a beautiful cover? I’m really happy with every cover in this series. Christian, at Covers by Christian, is unbelievably talented. Don’t Broccan and Rhianwyn make a great couple?
Fate’s Final Season is the fifth and last book in my Maidens of the Mystical Stones series. ARC reader reviews have been fantastic. I’m grateful to the Tule team, my editors, and loyal readers for all their support.
Every book in a series is important, but since mine aren’t typically stand alone, the first and last in a continuing series are crucial. Book one has to grab and hook the reader. The following installments must hold their interest, but the final book is often the one that stays with readers. Therefore, authors aim to ensure readers are given a satisfactory ending. That said, it’s true you can’t please everyone and to quote a line from this book, “not everybody’s idea of happily ever after is the same.”
I also leave a few little mysteries to allow for a possible spinoff series. I’m delighted that readers have already been asking if there’ll be a sequel series featuring the Welsh Dafyddson brothers and their dragon curse.
Fate’s Final Season is set in a fictional village near Stonehenge in medieval Wessex before the individual kingdoms formed England. However, the story also takes Rhianwyn, the main heroine, on a dangerous adventure in Wales.
Although my four heroines, Rhianwyn, Selena, Elspeth, and Lilliana’s story takes place during the medieval era, some issues they encounter and life-lessons learned, are timeless. The healer, harlot, castle servant, and princess, soon discover walking a mile in someone else’s shoes (literally) is more difficult than they could’ve imagined.
Writing this series was extremely thought-provoking. It touches on the harsh realities women of all stations faced during historical times––having no rights, they’re often the victims of oppression and abuse––sadly with little or no hope for change.
That sounds dark and serious, but along with the heavier storylines, there’s humor, magic, strong heroines, chivalrous swoon-worthy heroes, great secondary characters, enduring friendships, true love, steamy love scenes, knights, dragons and other mythical creatures, beautiful scenery, and several plot twists. Readers have said they laughed out loud and ugly cried. Knowing that our books have evoked emotion in our readers is perhaps the greatest compliment to any author.
Whether reading or writing, a series ending is always hard for me. Writing the last few chapters, I become quite emotional. True, authors might torture or cause chaos and conflict for their characters (what’s a story without conflict?) But you also become deeply attached to them. They’re your babies, after all. Authors often spend more time with their imagined characters than people in the real world.
Writing the conclusion of a series of books with the same characters is like having to say goodbye to dear friends knowing it’s unlikely you’ll see them again. (Unless there’s a sequel.) My series also have several characters, therefore ensuring you provide an ending for each of them is somewhat daunting.
This is maybe a perfect time to discuss my present personal challenges.
Last time I was on this blog, I’d purchased airline tickets and was looking forward to attending Tule’s July author retreat. Unfortunately, my California trip didn’t happen. Insert heavy sigh! My husband had ongoing back issues. (Carpentry work for 40+ years isn’t kind to a body.) However, when he became ill, I had to cancel my trip. I was naturally worried about him and of course disappointed. But I admit, selfishly, I was also a little upset… thinking why did it have to be now?
I haven’t traveled in over six years. My month long writing holiday in a 200 year old cottage in Ireland in 2020 had been cancelled. (COVID cancelled everyone’s travel plans then.)
With my husband sick, I simply couldn’t leave. Taking care of two active dogs and two cats can seem a lot even when you’re well. Especially our year old Boston Terrier who’s extremely attached to me. When he hides under the trees in our back yard, good luck to anyone but me in getting him out. I think we might need doggy behavioral advice. But I digress…
Initially my husband’s diagnosis was kidney stones which I’d been told are very painful. Although I only witnessed that second hand, renal cholic looks absolutely excruciating. Hubby finally had to have the lithotripsy procedure done––where kidney stones are broken up by ultrasound shock waves so they can be passed through the body.
Thankfully it worked, but his appetite didn’t return and he continued to feel unwell. His blood tests results are still all over the place––some levels much too high, others low. Doctors suspect something autoimmune as my husband’s been experiencing full body weakness, fatigue, painful muscles and joints. Meds are helping; he’s been able to return to work, but they’re only a temporary fix until the cause can be determined. (No. It wasn’t COVID as many people have suggested.)
We’ve recently had another serious, upsetting health issue come up in our family. Someone very near and dear to me requires complicated surgery. Needless to say, me not being able to travel this summer has been all but forgotten.
Funny how something that seemed so relevant becomes trivial when facing something more alarming. It changes a person’s outlook and makes you extra thankful when you and yours are blessed with good health.
The theme of remembering to count your blessings occurs throughout the Maidens of the Mystical Stones series. The four female friends fell into the destructive habit of comparing and envying each other which causes heartache for them and our hero, Sir Broccan.
It reminds me of one of my favorite poems, “Desiderata”, by Max Ehrmann. It contains a wealth of wisdom. During the seventies a popular song included the Desiderata poem. I used to have it memorized. If you’re interested, check it out on YouTube. (You Are a Child of the Universe.) I thought about including the link here, but wasn’t sure about copyright infringements.
This first photo is of a lovely gift my two daughters gave me. We found it in a little tea shop on my fiftieth birthday when my sister surprised me by flying out to see me. The four of us spent the most special day together. The other photo is a wall hanging with the beginning of the Desiderata. My kitty obviously loves it, too.
This line is relevant to my series but solid advice for everyone:
If you compare yourself to others you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.
Here’s another important passage I try to follow when I have self-doubts or life becomes hard:
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees or the stars, you have a right to be here… and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
I’m super excited to be writing another five book series for Tule. It’s titled Witch and Demon Hunter. As usual, it’s fantasy/paranormal. However, at my suggestion, it’s a bit of a diversion from my previous works. It’s a mystery, time-travel adventure series where the two main characters (who aren’t romantically involved) investigate magical beings and supernatural occurrences.
Ever a hopeless romantic, I keep trying to pull romance into their story. Roxanne, my amazing editor, wisely reminds me this isn’t primarily a romance series.
Those who’ve read my Witches of Time series briefly met Fiona and Lorcan–– the witch and demon hunter. I’m enjoying further developing these two interesting characters and now writing, Book two, Highland Dark Magic.
Book one, Dark Irish Demon is presently with the copyeditor, and scheduled to release February 29/24. Yep…Leap Year. I’m a huge believer that dates are highly significant. What are the chances? Leap Year does only happen every four years, so how special is that!?
I look forward to being back in February to talk about Dark Irish Demon and the Witch and Demon Hunter series. Until then have a wonderful autumn, a joyous holiday season, and a happy, healthy beginning to 2024.
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.