Uncaged: Your latest release, Night of the Owl is the fourth book in a series. Can you tell readers more about the series? How many books are you planning for this series?
The Novels of Ravenwood are medieval romances with a supernatural twist set in 12th-century northern England. They’re all related but can stand alone, and I’m writing the fifth and final book, Return of the Raven, now. The first three take place only in the medieval period—AD 1101-1102 to be exact—but Books Four and Five feature modern characters who travel back in time to fulfill their destinies with characters from the first three.
Uncaged: I read that you live in Salem, Massachusetts and you work in The Witch House – which is an original historical house from the witch trial days. Is this a busy attraction? What do you do there? Does the rumor of Salem being a strange area to be in around Halloween have any truth to it?
Yes, I’m a tour guide at The Witch House, which is the 17th-century home of Jonathan Corwin, one of the 9 judges during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Honestly, it feels like a second home to me. As the only structure in town (that you can visit) with direct ties to the trials, it’s one of Salem’s top destinations. During the month of October, particularly on the weekends, tourists might wait up to two hours to enter the house. No doubt some people find Salem strange, but the month-long Haunted Happenings celebration can be a lot of fun. We have so much more history (maritime, literary, etc.) than just the witch trials. My husband works at another local historic site, The House of the Seven Gables, so October is our busiest time of year.
Uncaged: What are you working on next that you can tell us about?
Besides writing Return of the Raven, I’m preparing for the upcoming release of The Sword Unsheathed, the third book in my young adult paranormal fantasy series, Guardians of Erin.
Read the rest of the interview in the issue of Uncaged Book Reviews below
Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Whether penning medieval romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) or young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), her favorite themes include true love, destiny, time travel, healing, redemption, and finding the hidden magic which exists all around us. She loves to share that magic with readers and whisk them far away from their troubles, particularly to locations in the British Isles.
Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.
Night of the Owl
PhD student Ardyth Nightshade has renounced men and pursues her twentieth-century career with single-minded focus. When fate whisks her to medieval England, she meets her match in a man whose passions mirror her own. Can she sacrifice ambition for a love she never sought?
Hugh, Lord Seacrest confounds all who know him. He refuses to marry without a meeting of minds and hearts, and no lady has even approached his ideal…until Ardyth. But she’s an odd one, with unique skills, shocking habits, and total conviction she needs no man. She also harbors secrets, and in the midst of rumors, plots, and murder, trust is fragile.
A woman outside of her time. A man ahead of his. They must take a leap of faith to forge a bond that will shape history.
Ardyth looked from one tunnel entrance to the next, and then the next. The ledge in front of them was substantial. It ran along the rock wall to the right, all the way to the mouth of the cave, winding around it to continue along the outer cliff.
Again, she pointed. “Where does that lead?”
“Shouldn’t you be doffing your clothes?”
Her eyes narrowed. “In other words, you don’t intend to answer my question.”
He grinned. “Clever, aren’t you?”
She returned his smile. “I like to think so.”
“If you’re stalling because you cannot swim—”
“Oh, I can swim.” She could hardly wait to feel the cool water on her skin.
He folded his arms, and his intense, gray eyes held a dare. “Then show me.”
“Hold this.” She handed him the folded smock. Get ready to eat crow, buddy! Quickly, she removed her boots, hose, and tunics. When only her thin, white chemise remained, she stole a peek at her skeptical host. He stared at her bare feet.
She sighed. “I know. My feet are hardly attractive. In fact, I’ve always thought my toes resemble…”
He raised his eyebrows. “What?”
Astronauts. But I can’t tell you that. “Nothing.”
His eyebrows settled again, but the orbs beneath them seemed to glow with a new light. “I beg to differ with your opinion. Your feet are quite…lovely.”
She almost laughed, until heat flooded her cheeks. I’m blushing? “Thank you,” she muttered. With an inward groan, she started toward the water. For crying out loud! He only complimented your feet. Your pale, crazy, NASA-evoking feet. Get a grip!
The ocean breeze caught the hem of her smock as she stepped into the surf. Foamy water—colder than she would’ve liked—enveloped her feet. Thank God for the heat of the sun! But this was the closest she’d come to a bath in days, and she was determined to prove her skills to the man who underestimated her at every turn. She waded forward, and the brisk, undulating water swallowed her calves, knees, thighs, and hips.
She turned. Her dry smock in his hands, Hugh stood with feet well apart on the wet sand.
“You needn’t prove your courage further!” he called above the lapping, swishing voice of the sea. “Come back before—”
“Courage isn’t the point! Swimming is!” The level of the surrounding water lowered to her thighs, signaling a coming wave.
Read the rest of the excerpt in the issue below: