Monday, April 8, 2024

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Braided Dimensions by Marie Judson @mariejudson1 @GoddessFish


by Marie Judson

GENRE: Fantasy


Celtic mythology, medieval history, and modern-day mystery blend in this story where past and present collide.

Kay, a professor of ancient languages, finds herself drawn into a hidden realm of magic and danger. Transported to a medieval world on Halloween night, she meets Baird, an enchanging stranger who claims to know her spirit, and Duff, a burly silversmith who welcomes her as Kyna, long-lost kin. Kay joins them in a festive celebration where she discovers she can understand their arcane tongue, as ghostly figures haunt the night.

When dawn comes, she is in her own time, still holding a silver pendant that connects her to Baird and his world. She struggles to return to that time even as Baird is endeavoring to find her and unravel the secret of their connection. Follow Kay and Baird on their journey across dimensions in this novel of intrigue, adventure, and magic.



Franklin Street Café had a lively crowd bathed in the lurid orange glow of gauze-covered lights. A projector flashed images of old Celtic stones onto the wall. A fabric forest hung across the entrance to the next room, the air permeated by yeasty aromas of pizza crust and ale. Shouts of conversations battled to be heard over haunting music and the clatter of dishes.

Where were the nyads and faeries? In place of the figures of enchantment in the email invitation, Kay saw a faux belly dancer who never should have revealed her midriff, and men dressed in bathrobes and tennis shoes attempting, she supposed, to convey Druidic high priests. With absurd disappointment at seeing no apparent magic, she thought she wouldn’t stay long. Then her attention was drawn by a hand-printed sign offering homemade organic mead, and pressed through to the bar. A young waitress, her peachy complexion disturbingly pierced with lead posts, asked for her order.

Could I taste the Moonlight Mead?” she requested.

Certainly.” The young woman behind the bar handed over a sample.

Pushing aside glued-on mustache hairs, Kay sipped the tasty brew, then ordered a twelve-ounce, and again surveyed the crowd. She considered making the glass of mead a solo act when she noticed a birdlike creature, tall and hunched like a heron, tattered feathers splaying from head and neck. It stalked, with wild-bird grace, across the projection of ancient stones, through the cloth trees, into the next room. Kay’s drink arrived, and she followed the strange apparition.  


Book Video

Interview with Marie Judson

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    I read fantasy and sci fi avidly through my teen years. In my 20s, a different type of fantasy and fantasy sci fi started proliferating, by women authors. Some of the earliest where Ann McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Jo Clayton. These types of books touched me deeply, with powerful women characters and mind powers. They flipped my idea of what was possible for reading material, and how I could fit my own persona into these stories. After Bradbury and Heinlein, these stories were more my type even though my mind was stretched by all sorts. There are male writers who do pull me in fully, such as Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman, but I love that the genre has broadened so much.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    Names come to me. It’s like a soul thing. I feel like I hear the name and know when it’s right for the situation. Others have commented with my Lost Xentu series that they enjoy the names I choose or invent. I love the process. With Braided Dimensions, I did a lot of research, on old Welsh names, old Cornish names, Welsh Wanderers (Romani). For the later books, I found Jutlander, old Germanic, and old Norwegian ones. I’d almost say I taste the name and savor its quality for the part. Names set off my imagination and I feel them for scene development.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    There are aspects especially of my time travel series that come from my personal life, that some people would recognize. For instance, in BD (Braided Dimensions), the MC, Kay, left a university where she was a professor. When I started writing the books, I had recently left a Ph.D. program and was teaching classes at a university. Some people could recognize that. Some would know that parts of Pomo Bluffs are in Ft. Bragg, California. My kids and writing groups know that Sophie, Kay’s daughter, is based on my daughter and Rousseau is based on my son. My kids have different professions but when I picture their characters—what they would do and say—I partly have my kids in mind.

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    When I’m writing fantasy, no scene seems hard to write. I’d say the ones in medieval time came easiest and flowed best because I was researching for them so there was extra excitement creating those scenes and living in them, in my mind. Maybe the present day is slightly harder because the mundane gets me less fired up, but bringing magic into the present always sparks even the modern scene development.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    I love writing series. That’s my favorite to read. I do read some mystery and detective fiction series. I like to get to know the characters and keep moving along with them so that’s what I find most compelling to write, imagining my readers wanting that in the way I crave it. My greatest aim is binge-worthy fiction in long series. It’s hard for me to even contemplate writing a stand-alone, though there is a work of historical fiction I’d like to build someday about generations of my family, starting in Northern Ireland.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal for Braided Dimensions was to immerse myself with a woman whose life turns magical, and to bring readers along with me. I feel I achieved that. After my Ph.D. program, a new superpower emerged in me. Through the arduous years of dissertation writing, and some depth work to survive the ordeal, I found myself able to drop deep and find the emotions of my characters. From there, the scene and dialogue could build. People say I make the fantasy feel very real. I can at any moment sink into a scene and ask the next scene to come alive. I always have a writing group and one of my favorite aspects is that I get immediate feedback from readers. As I write, I know that that very week, I’ll hear whether a scene is as funny and/or poignant as I hoped when writing it.

    What inspired you to write Braided Dimensions?

    The initial inspiration was an invitation in a Druid newsletter based in Denmark to enter a story contest. I was in a Ph.D. program at the time. The idea of letting a fantasy story ignite in me was too tempting to resist after years of grueling dissertation writing! In the story, the main character leaves a Samhain (Halloween) party dressed as a monk. On her walk home, a medieval bard steps from an oak tree. She goes with him to a party on a hillside a thousand years ago. When she wakes next morning, she’s in her bed and finds no sign any of it happened except a silver piece. She waits a year and when she sees pumpkins appearing on front porches, her heart races, as she hopes she’ll find that medieval world again. The story is very much like how the book begins. (It won the contest, by the way!)

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in the series or what you have planned for the future?

    Relaunching my Braided Dimensions series, including currently getting them made into audio books, has reignited my enthusiasm for that time-travel saga! I’m imagining a fifth book that I’ll write later this year, as soon as I finish Missing Moon, the third book in my sci fi trilogy. BD Book 5 will have more urban fantasy feel, with some anachronistic steampunk elements, set in Berkeley (San Francisco Bay Area). Kay’s grown son, Rousseau, the human rights lawyer, will play a large part, as will Galfride—nemesis mage of the first books who’s had an increasingly ambiguous persona. He’s decided he very much likes the twenty-first century. What mayhem might he wreak here in our time? And will he still try to draw Ian, their surly musician friend, back into meddling magics, like they got up to in their youth in ancient Cornwall?

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Braided Dimensions?

    When BD starts, Kay is living in a small coastal town, doing office work, after leaving her professorship. She makes a few friends in town—Jarl, Joaquin, Shelley (a midwife) and members of the band, Harper in the Glen, just as she takes a tumble into medieval time, meeting Baird, the enchanting bard, Kyna, a healer, Kyna’s brother Duff, a silver smith, and Boldo, a Traveler who remains connected to her through her boots and stays her ardent friend throughout the trials of their adventures. Maybe the most dynamic is the bad guy, Galfride. He’s refined, smooth, works for royalty, yet he’s driven to exploit others’ mind powers for his own gain. Or so it seems.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I loved that Kay acted as an Avatar for me. Since she embodied aspects of my life at a time when I was distressed over leaving academia without the phd, her journeys and discoveries of magic felt like they were my journeys and my magical discoveries. Working in mundane office jobs at that time, I related to her character. As she emerged from that state of affairs, I too was emerging in my life. I didn’t find a charming bard or the way back to the 900s, but I crafted a new path: studied depth psychology, took a teaching credential and began a different kind of work in schools. I involved myself in the worlds of writers. Slowly I’ve found more ways to become aware of readers and hear back from them, which is the most valuable part of writing to me, what I do it for.    

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marie Judson is a schoolteacher on the wild coast of Northern California. Language and the mind are her passions. An ardent fantasy reader since childhood, she also loves singing, dream work, and crashing waves.

Connect with Marie Judson

Blog ~ Instagram ~ Website


epub copy of one of the author's books

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you so much for featuring BRAIDED DIMENSIONS and Marie Judson today.

Sherry said...

This sounds like a good book and I really like the cover.