by Marie Judson

GENRE:  Fantasy

Celtic mythology, medieval history, and modern-day mystery blend in this story where past and present collide.

Kay, a professor of ancient languages, finds herself drawn into a hidden realm of magic and danger. Transported to a medieval world on Halloween night, she meets Baird, an enchanging stranger who claims to know her spirit, and Duff, a burly silversmith who welcomes her as Kyna, long-lost kin. Kay joins them in a festive celebration where she discovers she can understand their arcane tongue, as ghostly figures haunt the night.

When dawn comes, she is in her own time, still holding a silver pendant that connects her to Baird and his world. She struggles to return to that time even as Baird is endeavoring to find her and unravel the secret of their connection. Follow Kay and Baird on their journey across dimensions in this novel of intrigue, adventure, and magic.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Halfway down Partridge Street, moonlight filtered through the lofty branches of old oak tree, revealing a man in a long dark cape leaning against its trunk. Half in shadow, he studied her. 

She considered crossing, unnerved by his sudden appearance. But she stopped and took in what appeared to be his costume: under the open cape, he wore an archaic tunic over breeches and worn slouching boots of a bygone era. A light breeze ruffled his long, dark hair streaked with silver. Dim half-moon rays etched his lightly bearded face. 

They stared at each other, the only sound a breeze rustling in dry oak leaves above. The smell of wood fires wafted on the wind. 

Fluidly, he pushed himself from the tree trunk and closed the distance between them. She thought she should run. Yet, something emanated from him—almost…a familiarity. 

He looked down at her, eyes warm and intense. He smelled of the woods and wild winds. She breathed in deep. 

“Why d’ ye dress yerself so, sister?” His voice, deep and sonorous, sent shivers through her. Something from the past hovered out of reach, a chaos of elusive images. A cottage. Herbs hanging from rafters. Faint voices. A smell—was it peat smoke? 

Deep longing filled her. “It’s just…” Her voice came out a squeak. She tried again. “It’s my Halloween costume. You know.” She indicated her monk’s robe, bulging with pillows. 

There was a somber deliberateness about his every breath as he waited, seemingly for a different answer. 

About the Author:

Marie Judson is a schoolteacher on the wild coast of Northern California. Language and the mind are her passions. An ardent fantasy reader since childhood, she also loves singing, dream work, and crashing waves. Follow her blog at

Q&A With the Author

What was your inspiration for writing this book? 

The initial inspiration for this book came with an invitation to enter a story contest in a Druid newsletter hosted by a group based in Denmark. The reason the invitation ignited me was I needed to write fiction, longed for something creative, during a Ph.D. program and the dissertation writing. With the invitation to write for Halloween or Samhain, a full fantasy story came to me, with a perfect arc, of a woman stepping through time, then waking and thinking it never happened, finding proof in a small silver pennant, and waiting for the next Samhain to see if it might happen again. In the story she was just a woman, but when I left the Ph.D. program and took up the story to build it into a novel, I made her a former professor so that she shared what I felt, the sadness of having left academia without defending or getting the degree. In her case, she’s shamed out of the university. 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

I really loved that I set the book in the town where I was living and gave the main character some of my own life. That way, I felt I was living in the fantasy at times, traveling with Kay to medieval time, stepping between worlds as I stepped off curbs in the present-day town of Pomo Bluffs (really Ft. Bragg, CA). In reality, my home was blocks from the wild beach I describe in the book, and as I took nightly walks on the sand at sunset, I built the story onward. I placed her house in the town where I worked so that she walked the blocks I was treading. I fabricated the wonderful, two-block long community garden right in town and Partridge Street, the old oak and the derelict house at the back of the lot. I also made up the Duck ‘n’ Hen but there was a pub I loved in town. It didn’t have enough floor space for dancing, however. Franklin Street CafĂ© existed. It’s changed to a different restaurant now.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about? 

My main project lately has been my Lost Xentu sci fi series. I got the idea for the first book, Elf Stone of the Neyna, in my early 30s when my children were small and developed a lot of the first book at that time. Now I’m working on the third book. The second book, A Far Cry, is out and the audio book is almost done. The series has gone far beyond the original concept. The core idea stayed the same: Yanda is drawn across the universe by the call of a power stone of the elves. On the trip she’s waylaid by a wicked mage. I had written some idea of wood elves forest, and their relationship to the stone. I also had her fall in love with the grandson of the elf leader. But most of the other details arose in the writing. 

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future? 

Currently I plan to make Lost Xentu a trilogy, Book 3, Missing Moon, being the final book, and to extend my BD (Braided Dimensions) series. I had thought from the start that BD would be a trilogy and Lost Xentu the long series, seven or eight books! But as I was finishing BD Book 3, Strange Alliances, my editor oand someone from my writing group suggested I wrote a fourth book because there were still so many parts of the story that could use development. I wrote the fourth book but then my heart moved fully into Yanda’s story, Elf Stone of the Neyna. I had trouble even working on Book 4 because my loyalty was with the Lost Xentu series by that time. I thought I was someone who liked jumping back and forth between projects but that turned out not to be the case. Sci fi and time travel to the medieval past seemed to require two very different mindsets. 

Relaunching my Braided Dimensions series this year has reignited my passion for that time-travel series. I’ve been imagining a fifth book lately, but this one will have more urban fantasy flavor, with some anachronistic steampunk elements. Based in Berkeley, California, the main character might be Rousseau, Kay’s son. If not the MC, he will play a large role. And Galfride will bring in the anachronisms. Nemesis of the first books, he has played an increasingly ambiguous role through the series, sometimes even helpful. What’s he really thinking? Has he gotten nice? In this next book, he’s decided he very much likes the twenty-first century. For one thing, no one knows about magic in our modern era. What havoc might he wreak? 

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

If you want to be a writer, I highly encourage you to consider it a journey of self. But if you just love getting lost in reading books, I think you probably do stretch yourself as you journey with the characters, especially if the author shares the inner worlds of their characters well. Like an avatar, you live that character’s journey, try it on for size. I think that changes us. What do you think? 

Whatever people imagine is the meaning of publishing a book, there is so much more to it than writing and getting it into readers’ hands. At least that’s been my experience. A world can open up, of other writers, maybe blogging, tying in with the community of writers and readers. Hopefully it’s a journey of honing one’s craft and developing as a person, too. What brings stories alive is the inner world of the characters, their feelings, hopes, dreads. The funnest part of writing, for me, is to slip down inside and be that person in that scene, so that I know what they would feel and how they would act next. It wasn’t just the dissertation writing that stretched me as a writer, but a lot of deep inner work I did during the scary years of the Ph.D. program. That’s my journey. Yours would be different but I think fully living life and reading a lot are great elements for readers and writers. 



Book Video:


Marie Judson will award an epub copy of one of her books to a randomly drawn winner.

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  1. Hi this is my first comment! Thank you for having me on your blog. I love interacting with readers and hope you enjoy my interview!

  2. Hi I wrote a comment earlier but it's not appearing on this page! I'm grateful to be here. I love communicating with readers or potential readers! I hope to see some of you commenting on my blog or newsletter!

    1. Hi. Sorry for the delay. I was at my oncology appointment until just a few moments ago.

    2. I hope you're doing okay, Mary!

  3. Nice cover and this looks like a good read

    1. Thank you, Sherry! I hope you'll try it. Its audio book will be out in about 10 days. :) In case you prefer them!


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