Oak and Mistletoe by J.Z.N. McCauley totally felt like taking a trip to Ireland. The setting was absolutely gorgeous. I recommend the book if you can’t get enough stories with Celtic themes!
There’s a giveaway happening on Goodreads right now to win a signed copy, so definitely check that out. Thank you so much to the author for sharing her thoughts here!
About the Book:
A Druid Curse, A Prophesied Love, A Consuming Vengeance…
Catherine Green, along with her twin sister and older brother, travels to Ireland on a college graduation trip. Her vacation takes a permanent turn when she lands her dream job at an art and history museum on her beloved Emerald Isle. She meets a handsome stranger named Bowen, an expert of sorts on local ancient studies. Though their first meetings are turbulent at best, Catherine finds herself drawn to him.
Unaware that she is the key to breaking a hidden curse, Catherine unleashes the evil madman Conall and his druid followers, imprisoned since ancient times. Tragedy and loss ensue, sprouting within Catherine the deep seeds of rage that thrust her onto the damaging path of vengeance. Confused by the enigma that is Bowen, his mixed signals, and her own feelings, she is swept away with him on an unexpected journey surrounded by myth and long-forgotten knowledge. In order to stop the evil plans of Conall and his reunified army, Catherine must entwine her fate with peril. Her survival is trivial to her as long as Conall dies. She’ll do whatever it takes.
About the Author:
J.Z.N. McCauley resides in lovely New England, where she loves wearing jackets and boots in the unpredictable weather there. She is a wife and mother who enjoys life to the fullest. Also, being a nerd across many genres is something she expresses openly.
McCauley spends most of her “free” time writing nowadays, putting down each new fantasy story that comes to mind. She is inspired by and loves archeology, mythology, folklore and fairy tales, history, music and many other forms of art as well. Always having a variety of interests and talents, she could never pick just one. (Singing and drawing to mention a couple.)
Funny quirk number one: When the chance pops up to travel to any of her favorite places, she takes way too many pictures. Number two: She hates her handwriting and often can’t read her own handwritten notes.
She writes a mix of sci-fi/fantasy, historical fiction, and contemporary (sometimes all in one story) in New Adult and Young Adult categories. Currently, she is working on multiple projects, but three (including The Oathing Stone -a sequel to Oak & Mistletoe-) will be published Fall 2017.
You can find her on Facebook | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram
• Can you summarize Oak and Mistletoe in three words?
Adventurous Fairy Tale
• Which scene was your favorite to write?
Well, of course I enjoyed writing it all, but I would have to say the battle scene. I love the magic in it, and the massive swooping hand of justice.
• Who would be your dream movie cast for your main characters?
That’s a tough question for me because, though I’ve imagined it being made into a movie (as I’ve read most authors do, haha), I’ve never thought about actors. I only imagined the characters as I see them in my head, and then put them in live action. So, unfortunately, I don’t have any actors in mind, they’d probably have to be new faces.
• Were there any real-life locations or experiences that inspired your story?
Why yes there are! Though the story itself was completely made up and came to me when I was reading some ancient history about the ancient druids, I did take from my real life experiences, so some were added and of course changed to suit the plot. When I first visited Ireland (which was over ten years ago) I stayed several places including a few different hostels. I kept one particular hostel, which was my favorite, in mind while writing the prologue part of the story. Catherine and her siblings staying in a hostel on the trip there, meeting a fun-loving Australian girl and befriending her, and some sight-seeing were from that real-life visit of mine. I also used my knowledge of art museums from my years of taking art classes at a particularly large one. Everything else came from my imagination, or research of Ireland from my interest and time there and from one of my best friends who is a born and raised Irish archeologist.
• What’s one of your absolute favorite books?
The Phantom of The Opera. I’ve read it twice, and will probably read it at least a dozen more times. Simply AMAZING book, play, and musical!
• Do you prefer to write on rainy or sunny days?
Either is fine for me, but I think it depends on the mood of the book whether sun or rain would be more beneficial to leak into the story. If it’s a darker story/scene and I’m moodier during the gloomy rain, then that helps me get that feeling across easier.
• Any advice to aspiring authors?
Keep writing, set goals and follow them through. With each experience you learn from, you also learn from each mistake that followed, and improve for your next goal. Don’t be afraid to be completely original, and just try to keep doing your best. That’s all anyone can do, and you’ll feel even better after the hard work is done.
Thanks for sharing & congratulations on your book!
Thank you so much for having me for an interview!