Award Winning Author Valerie Biel-B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
In honor of Teen Read Week, I am celebrating with all of you lovely readers with a package of goodies which includes:
A $.99 e-book sale of the first book in my YA series (Circle of Nine: Beltany).
A sample for your reading pleasure on Wattpad.
A great giveaway contest via Rafflecopter.
(Details on all of these are near the bottom of this post!)
AND BEST OF ALL, Brigit Quinn (the main character in the series) has agreed to take you on a tour of her favorite places from her May Day trip to Ireland in Circle of Nine: Beltany.
BRIGIT QUINN’S MINI-TOUR OF IRELAND
On my 15th birthday everything changed.
I wished for the same thing I always wished for—to just be normal!
But that’s not what I got, not even close!!
Truthfully, I knew it was an impossible wish. “Normal” has always been out of reach with a mom who openly practices a pagan religion, making everyone in our small town believe she is a witch.
Instead, my birthday gifts included the unbelievable revelation that I am descended from a legendary Celtic tribe—the guardians of the stone circles of Ireland. While I digested this information, I was also given a spellbound book of family history, a mysterious amber necklace, and a plane ticket to attend my first May Day celebration in Ireland.
I had wanted to attend the annual May Day trip with my mom since I was little, but she always said I had to wait until I was older. Turns out the magic age for attendance is 15, although she’d never mentioned it. And when I use the word magic. . . I mean real MAGIC.
I prepared for this trip for months. And when we finally arrived in Ireland, my excitement carried me through my jet lag as we left the Shannon Airport in the west of Ireland, but my enthusiasm turned to fear as I endured the first few miles of Mom’s opposite-side driving. I was glad when we stopped to check out the Cliffs of Moher. I’d never seen anything like it. (Don’t miss this if you go to Ireland!)
We couldn’t stay long because we had a long drive ahead of us. We sped up the highway, passing through Galway, Tuam, and Sligo. As we neared Donegal Town, we began to catch glimpses of Donegal Bay. I was grateful for the lunch break we took on the beach here.
Did you know that potato chips are called “crisps” in Ireland? Weird. They were just as good as at home, but my favorite thing was a type of cookie I had never eaten before. It was called a Jaffa Cake. This is the best cookie ever! It’s a sort of spongy cookie topped with this amazing orange jelly, all covered in chocolate. Oh, and cookies are called biscuits.
After lunch, the roads got even smaller. I didn’t know how this was possible. The final road to the farm where we’d be staying was so narrow that I held my breath until we turned off. (I was sure that we’d meet someone speeding toward us on the one-lane road and die in a crash!)
We were staying with my mom’s best friend Anya and her family which includes her husband Finn and her son Bodie. I hung out with Bodie, who is only two years older than me. This was fine with me—not only is Bodie super nice, he’s also incredibly cute! He was nice enough to show me around the farm. It was lambing season and these two had just been born. (I was sad when Bodie informed me that they would likely be dinner at some point in the future.)
All of this was fun, but the real reason we were in Ireland was for the big May Day celebration at the Beltany Stone Circle. (Beltane, I learned, is another name for May Day and this stone circle was built thousands of years ago by our ancestors to celebrate this holiday.)
We spent the rest of the day getting ready and then drove to the stone circle. My excitement built as we went up the shady path to the top of the hill.
And there it was . . . Beltany.
Here’s what it was like during our celebration. (I’m not sure if I was supposed to be taking pictures or not . . . so please don’t share this one with anyone.)
There’s so much more to tell about this special day and the amazing thing that happened while I was there, but I don’t want to ruin it for you. (Read the book and you’ll understand why I’m not saying more.)
I know this was just a small slice of all the beautiful things you can see in Ireland. Mom has promised that we’ll go back for May Day next year, but who knows . . . maybe I’ll be back sooner than that!
SALE: The Circle of Nine: Beltany e-book will be on sale until October 17 on Kindle and all other platforms. Amazon & Books 2 Read
SAMPLE: The first chapters are now available on wattpad for free
WIN A COPY! In honor of Teen Read Week, I am running a contest via Rafflecopter. The giveaway will run October 9 through October 15. Prizes include physical books, e-books, and a gift card.
READ MORE: The final book in the series Circle of Nine: Sacred Treasures will be released on November 16. Contests and other fun will be posted to my Facebook Page to celebrate