It has always been an interest of mine to consider the nuances involved in my encounters with others, those that are nourishing and even those that are more distasteful for some reason. In recent years, my interest has broadened to include encounters with animals, nature, books, movies and now, online conversations with people who I treasure yet may never meet.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


It is a pleasure today to have as my guest, Julia Hughes. I happen to be a huge fan of this London-born author’s tales though she tells me that all fans are really, ‘fellow travelers.’

Everyone enjoys a giveaway and Julia Hughes is offering some great ones!

‘Celtic Cousins Adventures’ Reloaded Blog Tour’ launches the release of a newly re-edited version of Julia's time-travel romantic adventure, A Ripple in Time.
The new version is available today from these virtual bookstores:
Nook Books: click here. 
Amazon: click here.
WH Smith (in the U.K.): click here.
 Smashwords: click here.

 Readers can expect to have a smoother reading experience on their Ebook devices.

For those who enjoy paperback reads, the new version will be released in paperback on December 10.
It is so easy to enter Julia’s giveaway contest. Head over to her website - here - then click onto the Rafflecopter link and follow the easy instructions. The prizes are:

FIRST PRIZE: Autographed Paperback: ‘A Ripple in Time’ with a unique SPECIAL edition. The winner’s name will be featured in the book as a passenger on board the Titanic.

SECOND PRIZE: An Amazon $10 gift card.

A RUNNER’S UP prize will be given to twenty (20) people – a free ebook format copy of A Ripple in Time.  

A special congratulations to Julia! Her protagonist, Wren – the more mystical of the two Celtic Cousins, has just received an award. In the recent eFestival of Words Awards Hall for 2013, Wren was nominated for “Best Hero” and voted by readers into joint second place.

A Ripple in Time SYNOPSIS: Wren awakes in a present day in which World War I never ended and the alternative-Wren died as a child. Somehow, his nightmares entered the dreams of Carina, a girl on board the Titanic. Using Wren’s knowledge, she has been able to avert tragedy, so creating a ripple in time. With the help of Carina’s descendant, Carrie, Wren must find a way to go back and restore the time line. If he does, the lives of those aboard the vessel will be lost and the love of his life will never be born. Will he be able to save the present or is history as we know it doomed?

Julia’s note: “An iconic image of the last century, the Titanic represents hope, ambition and tragedy. It marks the beginning of the end of an era. However, A Ripple in Time isn’t all about the Titanic. It’s about making unbearable decisions, taking chances and allowing faith and love to grow.”
To read my review of A Ripple in Time, click on the page shown at the top of the blog.

Julia agreed to take some time and answer a few questions about her writing in general and a few questions I have specific to A Ripple in Time.

Q: Writing a novel is not as easy a task as some might think! What is it that compels you to pour a ton of glue on your chair, put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), lock the door and shut off the phone?

A: (Had to stop and think about this one!) I think everyone indulges in daydreams from time to time – what would our world be like if, say for example, Lee Harvey Oswald had never been born? I take these fantasies one step further and, honestly Dody, it’s annoying to other people because I can easily lose myself in an entire movie running inside my scatterbrain mind. There are more questions than answers; so many ‘what ifs’ and ‘whys’. I guess you could say I’ve invented my own solutions to mysteries that niggle. Writing down these stories seemed a natural progression.

Q: Since I am an avid fan, having read each of the aforementioned novels, I’ve come to appreciate your great ability to weave into your stories not only the day-to-day minutiae of living but also historical facts, geographical landmarks and mystical possibilities. Are you a student of history; an ardent observer of people and life?

A: I wish! Who wouldn’t love to live their lives in study? I’m so envious of youngsters nowadays who have so many opportunities to access learning. The internet has widened things up to us oldies as well but, in another life, I would be a historian. For me, history speaks. It’s all around us, sometimes mysterious, sometimes quite plainly saying, “This is how your great grandmother lived, worked and played.” Our ancestors’ ‘magic’ is our science and, in the years to come, for certain many mysteries will be explained by science to our children.
Q: In other interviews, you have shared that you have a fascination for historical events. What intrigued you so about the sinking of the RMS Titanic – so much so that you wove such an intense, intricate tale surrounding this event?

A: The lifeboat scenes you see in the film "A Night to Remember" were filmed at our local lido. That and the fact that the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in 1912 were the only two facts I knew about this tragic event before writing ARIT. Any pivotal moment in time would have served the story line. I originally selected the assassination of The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which provided the catalyst for World War One. Anyone who's read the war poets or Vera Brittain's "Testament of Youth" will understand why I had to abandon that storyline as being too raw. The Titanic's tragedy led to an appalling and needless loss of life, but it was a tragedy dwarfed by the war that followed.
Q: ARIT is one of the most incredible stories that I have ever read – in my view, you wrote a brilliant story. How did you gather and discern the possibilities that could ensue regarding the alternative world that we would have had if the Titanic had made it into New York City?
A: Thanks for the up – you can come over for dinner any day! As I read through the inquests' transcripts, it became apparent that floorboards were shifting, the conventional class structures were challenged. The American courts and newspapers in particular were vocal in their condemnation of the "establishment" and upper classes. "Why should the value of a life be based on social status?" was a question asked repeatedly. The owner of the White Star Line, Mr. Bruce Ismay was called to the stand, and appeared bewildered that anyone should even think, let alone ask this question.
The "Zimmermann telegram" inviting Mexico to invade America with Germany's backing actually exists. It's pretty easy to imagine what might have happened to European history and development, without America's intervention in the World Wars.
Q: As in all of the Celtic Cousins Adventure tales, the descriptions of your characters and their dialogues are so vivid that they practically leap off the pages, bringing readers like me into the story itself. Especially when scripting the complex scenes and dialogues in ARIT, did you go into some sort of writer’s altered state – were there ‘ripple in time’ experiences in your mind that leapt out at you?

A: Again – I'm flattered – you're really too kind. But of course, readers read a different story from the one the author thought they wrote. Isn't that the beauty of reading? You bring your own imagination to the table, and the story comes to life.
I imagine for most writers, their fictional characters live. It's a fabulous feeling to know that for one reader, the Celtic Cousins and Detective Crombie exist.
Julia Hughes is London-born and the author of five notable novels that are personal favorites:  the remarkable Celtic Cousins Adventure series - A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time and An Explosive Time. The Bridle Path is a delightful romance set in the Cornish countryside and The Griffin Cryer is a fantastical not-just-for-young-adult adventure for griffin rider wannabes like me.

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