Judith Sterling is here to tell us an amazing true ghost story, one that sends shivers down my spine. She also shares an excerpt and blurb from her new time-travel romance, NIGHT OF THE OWL. Thanks for being here, Judith!
Christmas of 1992 found me packing for Sweden, where I would study for the next six months under a Swedish Institute scholarship. At the time, which was well before I met my husband, my Swedish-American boyfriend arranged for me to stay in his grandmother’s empty house in Stockholm for the week leading up to nyårsafton (New Year’s Eve). It was a small, quaint dwelling with numerous knick-knacks and—as I would soon discover—a tragic past.
The bedroom where I slept opened onto an alcove, above which hovered the trap door to the attic. My first night, I woke with a start…to darkness and an acute sense of someone lurking in the alcove. The space was alive with creaking floorboards and a bluish light.
A flashlight? An intruder?
My heart pounded. I shifted in bed to gain a better view.
No one was there. Or so it seemed.
I slid out of bed and tiptoed around the house, just to be sure I was alone. The doors were locked, and by the time I climbed back into bed, the strange light was gone. I fluffed up my pillow and rearranged the bedcovers.
Scraping, scratching sounds filled the alcove. Had rats infested the attic?
A rush of emotions slammed into me. Despair. Dread. Distress. Not mine but another’s.
Every night brought the same experience: the light, the sounds, and the mood. Months later, I learned the truth. My boyfriend’s uncle had committed suicide years before. He’d hung himself in the alcove, not ten feet from where I slept. If I’d known that at the time, I would’ve tried to help him move on. I hope he has since found peace.
Blurb for Night of the Owl (The Novels of Ravenwood, Book Four):
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.
Hugh stormed into the cave, unable to stem the tide of jealousy swelling inside him. A pox on Ranulf! Ardyth thought him smart, talented, kind, and handsome. She told me she didn’t need a man. Now here she is, half in love with a goliard!
Her arms dropped to her sides, and she stumbled backwards.
He stopped and frowned. “Why do you recoil?”
She halted and lifted her chin. “Why do you look so angry?”
With purposeful strides, he closed the distance between them. “I met Lady Isobel near the gatehouse. She told me you were here, talking of Ranulf.”
“Oh, she did! How good of her to report my every move, and how predictable that you prize her opinion above mine.”
“As you prize Ranulf above other men?” He clenched his fists, willing her to contradict him yet knowing she wouldn’t.
“What are you talking about?”
“I saw the pair of you last night…conversing cozily in the hall. ʼTis obvious he’s claimed your affections, though how I cannot—”
“What?!” Her flushed face was a mask of disbelief.
“You heard me.”
“I did, but I doubted my ears. A man of your depth and perception must’ve realized that…”
His clamped fingers relaxed. “Realized…what exactly?”
“Must I say it out loud?”
“I think you’d better.”
With a huff, she rolled her eyes. “Ranulf is just a friend. If there’s anyone I like around here, ʼtis you!”
He hesitated only an instant, long enough to absorb what she’d said. Then he grasped her arms, pulled her to him, and pressed his lips to hers.
Breaking free of his hold, she took his face between her hands and returned his kiss with passionate abandon. Her tongue took the lead. Her moan harmonized with the howling wind. She tasted of elderberries, ginger, and honey. Of lust and life. Heat rushed through him, heightening every sense as he gave himself to the kiss.
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/night-of-the-owl-judith-sterling/1133653973
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.
Social Media Links:
Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/judithsterlingfiction/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16291161.Judith_Sterling
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judith-sterling
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MT3KB7L
The Wild Rose Press – https://www.thewildrosepress.com/authors/judith-sterling
The Captivating Quill – https://www.thecaptivatingquill.com/Author/Judith-Sterling
A little extra…
The hero and heroine’s mutual love of history reflects my husband’s and mine. You might say history brought us together because right around the same time, each of us decided independently to move from different parts of the country to Virginia, specifically to seek work at Colonial Williamsburg. Nowadays, we work (respectively) at The House of the Seven Gables and The Witch House here in Salem, MA. There’s a lot of both of us in Night of the Owl. That’s why the release date is perfect; it’s our 19th wedding anniversary. As if that isn't enough, I wore my hair almost exactly like the cover model's on the big day. Neither my publisher nor the cover artist knew about either coincidence. Pretty cool, right?!