The Book of Carraig The Cross of Ciaran Series Book 2 by Andrea Matthews Genre: Paranormal Romance
Almost a year after waking to find himself in twentieth-century New York, fifth-century Celt Ciarán Donnelly has finally returned to his childhood home, but Ireland is nothing like he remembers it. The realization is overwhelming and taking a toll on his relationship with archaeologist Caitlin O’Connell as well. Keeping his secret from her has been no easy task. Due to some quick thinking on the part of her Uncle Mike, however, Ciarán has managed to conceal the fact that he and the Celt that mysteriously disappeared from a local museum the previous year are one in the same.
Ciarán intends on keeping it that way, at least for the time being. Right now, there is another more pressing issue. He longs to locate the grave of his fifth-century wife. Her only crime was daring to love him, a guardian of the goddess, and for that he can never forgive himself. Even more urgent, he needs to figure out a way to wake his brother, Aodhán, and free him from the Dublin museum, where he continues to exist in the same centuries’ long sleep Ciarán had. At least, Ciarán hopes he does.
Of course, things never go according to plan. When a serial killer starts stalking the countryside, Ciarán may be the only one who can stop him. To do so, however, he’ll need to risk his own life, as well as that of his brother, thus revealing his secret and exposing the truth. But can he even defeat such a ruthless monster? Only the Book of Carraig holds the answer, but first, Ciarán needs to find it.
Ciarán rested his head back against the car seat and stared out the window. It had been fifteen hundred years since he last saw his homeland, and so far nothing bore the slightest resemblance to the land of his youth. Gone were the rambling paths of his younger days, the dirt-covered tracks that passed through forests and ran alongside babbling brooks. Instead, black tar roads encroached on thin patches of grass, and iron-like rails ran intermittently along their route. Though there were trees off in the distance, none formed anything that resembled a sacred grove. In fact, they could barely be called trees at all, being closer to clumps of straggly bushes. A lump rose in his throat as he remembered the green dales and shimmering streams that had surrounded his local village.
The last year in New York had prepared him to a certain extent, but deep down he’d hoped the Ériu of his childhood had somehow escaped the harsh progression of time. He let out a long sigh. Apparently, it had not.
“Are you all right?” Caitlin shot a glance in his direction before returning her attention to the road. “Did you see something familiar?”
“Not likely.” Though he huffed the words to himself, he shook his head and flashed a smile in a feeble attempt to ease her concern. “I’m sorry,” Caitlin said, the hurt clear in her voice. “I am trying not to push too much.” Had he actually spoken out loud? “No, I didn’t mean to be so short with ye. ’Tis just all a bit frustrating.” He could hear his brother’s voice echoing in his head.This would be a lot easier if you’d just tell her the truth.Aodhán always had been the sensible one. Caitlin reached over and squeezed Ciarán’s hand. “It’s okay. I know it must be hard not being able to remember anything, but we’ll do it together.” She bit her lip, hesitating before speaking. “From what I understand, the Donnelys are mainly from Donegal. What if we check in at the dig and then head up there for a day or two? I’m sure the professor won’t mind.” Donegal! Mayo was his home. Why on earth would he want to go to Donegal? The only reason he’d even adopted a last name was because people in this century seemed to have one. But then, she didn’t know that, did she?
The Cross of Ciaran
The Cross of Ciaran Series Book 1
When a fifth century pagan priest is unearthed in Ireland fifteen hundred years after being entombed, archaeologist Caitlin O’Connell is convinced it’s the find of the century. The body is in perfect condition, right down to the intricate tattoos adorning the Celt’s skin. In fact, if scientific data hadn’t proved otherwise, she would swear he hadn’t been interred more than a few hours.
Eager to discover more about the mysterious Celt, Caitlin accompanies the body back to the New York museum where she’s employed, but before she has time to study him, the priest disappears without a trace. Rumors surrounding the event begin to circulate and result in the excavation’s benefactor pulling the plug on the entire expedition.
The rumors are not far off the mark though. After being buried alive for betraying his goddess and his priesthood in the dawning age of Christianity, Ciarán wakes to a strange new world. Alone and frightened in an unforgiving city, he stumbles upon the only thing familiar to him and seeks sanctuary within the church walls. With the help of the parish’s pastor, Father Mike, Ciarán slowly grows accustomed to his surroundings, though he’s plagued by dark dreams and the disturbing sensation that an evil from his past has followed him into the future. But a more immediate danger lurks on his doorstep.
Caitlin is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery concerning her missing Celt, and when she meets her Uncle Mike’s new handyman, Ciarán Donnelly, she’s convinced the handsome Irishman knows more about the theft than he’s letting on. Yet, even she can’t deny the attraction between them, simmering below the surface and blurring the lines between her personal and professional life. But will Ciarán’s secrets draw them together or shatter their future forever?
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.
Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. In fact, it was while doing some genealogical research that she stumbled across the history of the Border reivers. The idea for her first novel came to mind almost at once, gradually growing into the Thunder on the Moor series. And the rest is history, as they say.
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Actually, I write, but without worrying about all the technical stuff. I can edit it later during the second draft. When I’m relaxing, though, I simply enjoy writing out the story. It will definitely need that second draft, and probably a few more besides, but for that moment, all that matters is the narrative and the dialogue. Sometimes, however, I even need a break from that. When I do, I turn to reading or researching my genealogy.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
That’s a difficult question since there’s not much about the story I didn’t enjoy writing. If I had to name something though, I guess I’d have to say it was fun mixing in little bits of the paranormal and Celtic mythology. That being said, I loved writing the characters as well, imagining how Ciarán would handle a world fifteen hundred years beyond his own, and how he would interact with other characters, especially his brother. I always feel every story should have a little bit of comic relief. And of course, I love the romance between Cairán and Caitlin.
Pen, or Typewriter,or Computer?
Pen first, then computer. There was a time I used the typewriter, but once the personal computer came along, it was so much easier and no more correction tape. When I first write down an idea though, or want to draw an outline, it’s still good old-fashioned pen and paper. I’m fairly good with typing on the keyboard, however, I can write it out a lot faster, something that’s vital when I’m trying to get an idea down. It also gives me a better visual if I decide to plot out chapters or do on outline. Pen and paper definitely came in handy while I was figuring out where to put in Ciarán’s flashbacks. It saved a lot of toggling back and forth on the computer.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I imagine all of them becoming movies because that’s how I see them even as I’m putting the words to paper — or the computer screen nowadays. I see the scene unfolding on the screen, acted out, and hear the words being spoken. Not literally, of course, but in my imagination. Sometimes a scene might even have a soundtrack. Actually, I think picturing it that way enhances the narrative and the dialogue, making it more realistic and helping it flow smoother. And if someone decides they’d like to make it into a movie, all the better. It’s ready to go!
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