To celebrate the publication of my first novel, ‘The Cross Of Santiago‘ in paperback, I’m running a giveaway on Goodreads, where you can enter for your chance to win a signed copy.
The idea for this book came to me many years ago, while watching Oprah (bear with me!). She was interviewing a psychotherapist by the name of Dr. Brian L Weiss, who had just published his book, ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’. It documented his experience of treating a patient with hypnotherapy and, rather by accident, stumbled across past-life traumas that were causing her emotional distress in this life. All a bit far-fetched, but you know Oprah, by the end of that hour I was bound for my local library and got a copy of the book. It was a pretty incredible story, but the evidence-based approach of Dr. Weiss was very convincing and it got my mind racing with ideas for a novel. What if reincarnation does exist and we carry the memories of our past lives deep within us, waiting to be unlocked?
And that is how my story began. History was always one of my favourite subjects in school, and I took to my research with gusto. I knew that I wanted to set my novel in medieval times and Ireland had no shortage of dramatic events during this tumultuous period. But for me, the most compelling story was that of the Spanish Armada, who crashed upon our Western shores during the most violent storm in history. Following an indecisive battle with the Royal Navy, marred by misfortune and bad luck, the Armada decided to retreat to Spain and set a course to round the tip of Scotland and south along the Irish Coast. Even today, the sea is offering up clues and artifacts belonging to great Spanish galleasses , washing cannons and cannon shot up on the beaches of Sligo. The Ulster Museum houses the entire treasure of La Girona, a ship that sunk off the coast of County Antrim, which also features in my novel.
Past life therapy and medieval warfare were two major themes to cover in a debut novel, but I relished the challenge of writing a ‘Time-Slip’ novel that showed the impact of the past on our present lives. Being a huge fan of authors like Kate Mosse and Diana Gabaldon, I enjoyed the intertwining story-lines, the parallel lives and the different time periods that make the genre so intriguing. The first section of the novel introduces us to Amanda Morrison, a young woman whose parents died in a car crash when she was just a baby. Growing up in her adoptive family, she has always felt loved and secure, but somehow apart. Then one day, she receives an heirloom from a distant blood relative, whom she has never met, and her search for the truth about her family’s past begins.
If you are a fan of Historical Fiction, Time-Slip or Irish Fiction, why not enter for your chance to win, or download the eBook on Amazon for just 99c/99p until the end of August, as part of my Kindle Countdown Deal.