Cindy Thomson’s love of Irish history inspires much of what she writes. She is the author of eight books, including her newest set in the early Middle Ages, Pages of Ireland. Her first novel, Brigid of Ireland, was published ten years ago. She continues to write both fiction and non-fiction stories set in Ireland, writes regularly for genealogy magazines, and has recently begun doing research-for-hire, helping people uncover their Irish roots. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband Tom. They have three grown sons and new granddaughter.
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Cindy is giving away a copy of her novel, Brigid of Ireland, to one lucky winner on this blog. To enter, click the link at the end of this post.
Where I Get My Inspiration
by Cindy Thomson
When I was a little girl I dreamed I was on a farm. I had never seen one like it before. The grass was unbelievably green. I was standing next to a barn that was partially built into the ground. Now, you know where I’m going with this, or rather you do if you know anything about my writing. But I truly did not know I had dreamt about Ireland until I was an adult. My father thought some of our family was Irish. My mother was from Appalachia, which everyone knows has roots in the British Isles. But other than that, there was no cultural identity displayed proudly in my family. We were Americans from Kentucky and Indiana, and that’s all anyone knew.
Until I decided to investigate. Doing genealogy research, I found one branch that indeed came from Ireland, the part that is now Northern Ireland. I also found some others that probably came from Ireland, and recently found out the line that my father always said was Irish actually came from Wales in the seventeenth century.
The first novel I wrote, still unpublished, was about my Irish ancestors’ journey to America. After that I became keenly interested in Irish history. At an Irish festival I started learning about St. Brigid and that led to my first published novel, Brigid of Ireland. A few years later that same publisher published my non-fiction book, Celtic Wisdom: Treasures From Ireland. After that my agent steered me to writing about Irish immigrants and my Ellis Island series was born.
But I truly wanted to return to ancient Ireland. Years ago I had written a sequel to Brigid, but it never found a home and I had a contract for the Ellis Island series to focus on. But I’m happy to report that this year I have finally published that sequel, Pages of Ireland. Over the years I heard from readers who wanted to know more about the characters in Brigid. I really enjoyed telling the rest of their stories. I chose to explore the theme of the bad guy, the one who hated the new Christians, especially Brigid. Even the bad guys are beloved by God, and I wanted to show—in a rather supernatural way—how God calls to those who work against him. Loving your enemies has a purpose.
About that dream? Of course I realized it was Ireland many years before I was able to travel there. But when I did, the color of the grass amazed me. I immediately remembered that dream. Here are a few pictures. One shows better the color of the grass, and the other is a traditional Irish barn.
In sixth-century Ireland, books are rare treasures.
Aine, a young woman unwillingly pledged to marry, believes the book is a talisman with the power to change her circumstances. When she steals it from her betrothed’s clan, desperate to use it to help her mother’s impoverished people, events tumble out of control. She seeks help from Brigid, the woman who rescued her long ago, but doing so puts an entire monastery at risk as the king deploys his army to get the book back.
The formerly banished druid Ardan hopes the book can be traded for revenge, but a mysterious force curses him with a reoccurring mark in the shape of Brigid’s famous reed cross. Is it the power of a vengeful god or the command of the book that is causing his anguish?
While many seek to possess the book, it appears to choose who will hear its words. No one in Ireland will know the power of the words written on its pages if the book does not survive the battle.
You can find out more about Cindy’s books at this link.
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n 5th-century pagan-dominated Ireland, Brigid is born a slave to her own father and is separated from her mother. Desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid becomes a believer in Christ. Knowing how the Irish people cling to superstitions and fears, can Brigid overcome them? Will her hatred for her father and a scheming evil sorcerer destroy her faith?
Set in the era of St. Patrick, this fantasy-filled novel will captivate readers as Brigid must choose between God’s will and the desire to save her family.
Book Giveaway: Cindy is giving away the first book in her Daughters of Ireland Series, Brigid of Ireland. Click the link below to enter the drawing.