This post is parto of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
What would you write in a letter to your teen self?
This is a tricky one!
If it was Early Teen Judith, it would be something along the lines of: “hang on in there! School doesn’t last forever and things will get better from here. Stop thinking about running away because you’ll never be happier than you are with your family, and the misery at school is worth it when the reward is spending time with them.”
If it was Mid Teen Judith, it would be more like: “well done. You survived school. Admittedly, that was because you’re being home-tutored, but you’re doing really well. You won’t be able to recognize the person you were before soon! Also, your fashion sense rocks: there aren’t enough people who go around dressed like musketeers!”
If it was Late Teen Judith, it would have to be: “you’re living on your own and you’re surviving! Way to go! Admittedly, you’re living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so I know that makes it easier. Make sure you read all your core texts so you don’t, say, end up writing an essay which is about completely the wrong thing!”
Favorite hot beverage. Why?
A really nice hot chocolate. I have to say, I make a mean hot chocolate. I use semi-skimmed milk and heat it nearly to boiling, then add Cadbury’s drinking chocolate. Once it’s all pale brown and smooth, I pour it into giant mugs and put in massive marshmallows and lots of squirty cream. Yummmmm….
Ideal summer vacation.
Ooh, very difficult! In an ideal world? A long trip around Ireland, with plenty of time spent in Dublin. It is my favourite city in the whole world, and I would love to spend more time there. My sisters and I have been, but this ideal summer vacation would have my parents there too.
Then, on the way back up to Caithness, we could call in and visit York (my second favourite city) and Whitby (what’s not to love?!), and then meander through Scotland until we get home.
I would love to take my parents to Rome (another adventure I’ve shared with my sisters) but not in summer. I could hardly stand the heat in February – I’m a true Scot!!
Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?
Probably William. He was loosely based on a man I was desperately in love with but, as I’ve grown up (and William hasn’t), I’ve realised I was far too – let’s say – idealistic. But all the same, I would love to meet him and maybe have the chance to fall in love all over again!
You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?
Well, that would have to be Ailric. He’s an outdoorsy, survivor type, so he’d be able to look after me and make sure that I don’t starve or get eaten by wild animals. Either that or Tam Lane, who could just whisk me away. But that would probably be cheating!
Favorite pizza toppings.
Mm… the spicier the better. My local pizzeria (an independent, family-run business called Devita’s) make a pizza called Mexicana. It’s heavy on the vegetables, pepperoni and chilies and, to make it even better, it has mushrooms too. Oh, it’s just too good for words! I always order a 12” because then I can have the leftovers for breakfast the following morning.
You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?
The little house in our local cemetery has just come up for sale, so the first thing I do is buy that and do it up. To be honest, that will probably be in the region of 200k by the time I’ve done everything I want to with it. I’ll then run it as a bespoke artists’ and writers’ retreat – perfect for anyone planning to enter the Crowvus Christmas Ghost Story competition! I love cemeteries and graveyards, so this would be perfect for me but, without that mystical million dollars, I’m not sure it will happen!
The rest of the money? I’d organize that ideal summer vacation and, when we got back, buy my little sister a smallholding – this is her long-term objective and would mean we would have a lovely little escape-place in the countryside!
Not that I’ve thought about all this or anything…
Who was your teenaged crush? Why?
When I was fourteen, I was absolutely obsessed with Charlie Sheen. We’d always loved the film of The Three Musketeers (the 1990s Disney version) and, just after I left school, we bought the DVD. I think, for me, it represented this new non-school life! Charlie Sheen was my first proper pinup, and I bought loads of DVDs with him in through the next year. Then I moved on to Johnny Depp (slightly more conventional for someone of my age) and took down my pictures of Charlie Sheen and replaced them all. I even sent back the DVD of Lucas I had ordered so that I could afford Edward Scissorhands.
I’ve still never seen Lucas. Perhaps that would just be too weird now.
Favorite class in high school. Why?
I suppose, probably, English Language. I had an amazing English teacher. He loved his subject and that love was contagious, so everyone enjoyed his classes. I remember I had to do resits of my first year exams if I wanted to get a high grade overall and, when they came back, he sought me out and said “a great wrong has been righted”. I still remember how that vote of confidence made me feel. What a guy!
When Kelli follows the mysterious Tam Lane, she finds herself in a place where folk songs come to life. As she comes to terms with the world, she makes friends, uses her privilege to help others, and even falls in love.
But Kelli has forgotten the fates which await so many characters in the songs, and she soon finds herself surrounded by heartbreak. Determined to protect the people she has left, can Kelli change a fate which has been sung for centuries?
Read the Excerpt
They left the inn as the church clock began to chime midday and completed their journey in relative silence. As they neared Arlen Manor, Kelli began to feel a strange sensation of being watched, as though a hundred pairs of eyes were following her wherever she went. Looking carefully, she saw there were sculpted birds in many of the trees: great, black, hideous creatures with round eyes which stared unseeingly and followed her as she passed them by.
“They are crows,” William explained. “Centuries ago, before it was Arlen, the castle which stood here was called Corbie. That’s just another word for crow. According to family legend, when a disaster is about to befall the men of the family, the crows of Corbie Castle can be heard talking to one another.”
Kelli felt a shiver stalk down her spine, and she was grateful when they left the woods and moved up the long driveway to the house, which was a picture of gothic splendour in the late afternoon light. She immediately had the feeling that this was the place she had been meant to find, although she could not explain where the idea came from. Climbing down from the trap, Kelli followed William to the door, and stood behind him as he hammered his fist against it.
About the Author:
Judith’s new book, Dance With Me, combines her love of folk music and creative writing, and finds her main character in a world where folk songs come to life. Her debut book, The Backwater, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019.
When she isn’t writing, Judith is a primary school teacher who enjoys crafting and music, as well as being a generally doting spaniel owner.
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Me-Judith-Crow-ebook/dp/B08GC86MG7
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