Sisters of Prophecy – Ursula
Sisters of Prophecy
Jude Pittman and Gail Roughton
Genre: Paranormal, Time Travel
Publisher: Books We Love, Ltd.
Date of Publication: September 29, 2014
Number of pages: 164
Word Count: 50,000
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee
What’s a girl to do? Katherine Shipton has a painting that talks, an ancestor who won’t stay in her own century, and a former boyfriend with a serious ax to grind against her new fiancé. She already has a full plate, but when said ancestor sends her tripping back and forth between the 15th and 21st century without benefit of psychedelic drugs, the poor girl begins to doubt her own sanity.
Then her best friend, a high fashion model with more than her own share of psychic energy, and her troubleshooting aunt show up on her doorstep in response to a psychic SOS Katherine swears she didn’t send. Life couldn't get more complicated.
At least, that's what she thinks until her oilman fiancé disappears in the Gulf of Mexico and a DEA agent knocks on her door.
“Okay, where the hell is she?” Sylvia glanced around the room. The only Mother Shipton in sight was the sketch of an old woman on the half-finished portrait.
“In the portrait again, maybe?” Katherine picked up her palate and brush, ready to call Mother Shipton back.
A loud blast of rock-n-roll roared into the room, followed by a high pitched shriek.
“What the—” The girls raced down the hall, following the sound. Mother Shipton stood in front of the television, hands clasped over her ears.
Katherine grabbed the remote and clicked the TV off.
Mother Shipton turned to face them. “What—what manner of sorcery is that?” She pointed at the screen. “And that noise! Surely ‘tis from Lucifer himself.”
“Lots of folks say that about hard rock, and that’s a fact, but more about Ozzie Ozborne than Metallica.” Sylvia laughed. “Welcome to our century, Mother Shipton. That’s a television. Tuned to MTV.”
“‘Tis a devil box!”
“Don’t throw stones, Mother. Your century smells like hell. Guess we all got our little sack of rocks to tote around.”
This book is full of surprises. I wasn't quite sure exactly what to expect. There's lots of romance and drama and some serious plot twists and betrayal. There's some mystery and humor as well. It's definitely an interesting and intriguing read lol! Our main character has some seriously crazy things surrounding her. Not to mention some hilarious people.
Katherine was with Quentin, a lawyer, but met Parker and knew he was her soul mate. Well, Quentin won't be having any of that and he's got a lot of connections. He won't let her go and he'll do whatever it takes to get her back. Katherine just wants to find Parker, marry him, and be rid of Quentin. Katherine also has dreams and when they start leading her to discover her past. These are like road trips but worse and without the road lol!
Katherine also has some instincts or intuition and she's gunna learn about those too. She has to figure out that her past and her ancestors are tied into her future. And sometimes it's hard to realize that you need both a past and a future. And she's trying to deal with crazy ex, missing BF, agents full of questions, and some magical things that aren't explained. Yep, she's a busy bee :)
This story please forgive me reminds me of a soap opera. But not so bad as some. Someone always wants to back stab somebody while acting like they were the victim for being dumped hahaha it's got some humor in it and I liked the story. The writing flowed well and I think it makes for a fun read without being over the top. 4.5 PAWS!!
First, tell me a little about your book :)….
This book’s based on a real historical character by the name of Ursula Sontheil, known in history as “Mother Shipton”. Mother Shipton wasn’t particularly popular with the “powers that be” in the 16th century due to her annoying habit of forecasting the future. It just so happens that Mother Shipton is the real-life ancestor of writer Jude Pittman. And no writer could resist a ready-made plot line like that! Thus was born Sisters of Prophecy – Ursula.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
Jude: I grew up in rural Alberta, before the days of electricity and internal plumbing and someone gave my mom a box of Agatha Christie mysteries. I was a fanatical reader, and can still recall sitting around the pot-bellied stove in the center of our cabin with a coal oil lantern giving off a faint beam of light. Mom and I would be pulled up to it as close as we could get each reading one of the mysteries. From those days onward all I ever wanted to be was a mystery writer.
Gail: I’d always been a good writer insofar as school assignments, school newspapers, and the like and I’d always been an avid reader, but I really wrote my first book because of simple boredom. I was working in a one man law office and there were times when there was absolutely nothing left work-wise to do. I’d read myself current with all my favorite writers, so I started writing a book.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
Jude: I grew up on the family tales of Mother Shipton and her prophecies. So, although I was a mystery writer, I decided to try my hand at a historical romance. I imagined Ursula Sontheil (Mother Shipton) as a young girl and tried to write her romance with Toby Shipton – “tried” being the operative word here. One of my bottom drawer books, Flames of Prophecy, was the result, and as a matter of fact a lot of the material for the time travel portion of Sisters of Prophecy, Ursula comes from that early novel. One thing I’m very proud of is the immense amount of research on the timeframe and the historical era I conducted. I love the parts of it that we’ve adapted and incorporated into Sisters.
Gail: The first book I ever wrote, the first book ever accepted for publication, or the first book actually published? The answer’s different for all three. The first book I ever wrote was a paranormal romantic suspense titled Yesterday’s Regrets. I wrote it almost thirty years ago and threw it in the closet. I threw my first six or seven books in the closet, in fact, and kept them there for twenty plus years. In its present form, Yesterday’s Regrets will never see the light of day. I’m pretty sure I could take the characters, the basic plot and the title and turn it into a good book, but even with its many flaws – and nobody’s first books are pub-worthy, trust me on this – it’s still my first-born and I really don’t want to change it. It’s special to me and that’s good enough. The first book ever accepted for publication was actually my, let’s see, either fifth or seventh book ever written, depending on how you number them. I’d started it during a break from my fourth book and then stopped writing it and eventually finished it. Vanished. And it’s a paranormal fantasy, a through the Bermuda Triangle plot. But the first book ever actually published wasn’t even written at the time Vanished was accepted. It was The Witch, the original first War-N-Wit novella, which has now been merged with Resurrection, the second War-N-Wit novella, as Witch Resurrected. And it pubbed a month before Vanished did.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Jude: They are based on a combination of things I’ve seen, heard, read about and invented. For instance, my mystery series, A Murder State of Mind. The first book in that series, Deadly Secrets, came to life when I was living in Texas and attended a flea market outside of Fort Worth. There was an old woman there, partially blind and a bit tattered. She was sitting on a stool in one of the market stalls and she held a box of pencils and matches that she was selling for whatever people chose to donate. In the same timeframe there was a case in the news about a young heiress who was paying out a lot of money for information that would help her locate her birthmother. So, my mind put them together, and the result was an heiress searching for her birth mother and behind that a conspiracy by her very rich adoptive family to keep the girl from ever knowing that her mother was in fact a drunken old crone who sold junk at flea markets, and held onto a family secret that had kept her in booze and pencils for a good many years.
Gail: Sisters is rather unique because it’s based on Jude’s ancestor, Mother Shipton, a real historical character, though we certainly fictionalized her life. As to my other books, yes and no and I think that’s true with all writers. Nothing’s based on any one thing, one person, or one event, of course. We pick and choose. We take a little of this and that, here and there, now and then, and turn it into something else altogether. And if we’ve done it right, the reader feels he’s been vacationing somewhere else with some really cool people.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
Jude: As Gail will doubtless tell you in her response, we really don’t get to choose when our characters do anything. It’s just like your kids, you may have ideas about what they’re going to do, or what they should do but characters, like children definitely have minds of their own when it comes to deciding on their actions.
Gail: Oh, my, that’s funny. Because I don’t actually choose when characters do anything. They have to tell me.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Jude: Yes, Gail Roughton. That’s one of the reasons we became close friends and ultimately started working together. She’s written this series called War N’ Wit, Inc. about a warlock looking for his witch, and what happens when they get together. This is the most fascinating, fun, hilarious series I’ve read since the early Mrs. Pollifax novels (remember Dorothy Gilman’s grandmotherly volunteer spy). Well, there is nothing grandmotherly about Ariel Anson Garrett but once you start that series be warned, you will become addicted and you won’t be able to stop. My only complaint is the writer’s refusal to write a new one every time I tell her I need one to read.
Gail: At the moment, I have to confess I don’t read very much. I have a limited amount of time for writing, so it gets priority. That being said, I have lots of writer friends now, so usually when I read, I’m reading their works in progress. We writers are very dependent on our fellow writers and we’re not looking for praise so much as “catches”. Catches of misspelled words, typos, boo-boos in the timeline, plot holes, and the like. My standby writer friends to read (and the writers I depend on to read me) are Roseanne Dowell, Jude Pittman, Jamie Hill, Graeme Smith, and Stuart R. West. And I might also add— any book you pick up by a Books We Love, Ltd. writer won’t disappoint you.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
Jude: Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Dorothy Gillman, Ngaio Marsh, Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb), Juliet Waldron, Jamie Hill, Joan Hall Hovey. The list could go on and on, but those pop into my head.
Gail: I grew up on the classics, branched out into Mary Stewart (that woman was magic), Victoria Holt, Alistair Maclean, discovered Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich, Diana Gabaldon, Robert Parker, pretty much all the big names. I admire many writers of all genres, but the three who’ve probably had the most influence on my own writing would have to be Harper Lee, Stephen King and Robert Parker. Harper Lee only wrote one book, To Kill a Mockingbird, but she had a dry and ironic voice that was frequently legalize (I’ve been in a law office for 40 years, so I recognize legalize when I see it and speak it fluently myself. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a matter-of-fact recounting of the factual situation that, when done properly, I find absolutely hysterical—because I’m sort of strange). Stephen King is just an absolute master of story-telling. He doesn’t follow rules except his own, he never lets anything get in his way when he’s telling a story. And Robert Parker was an absolute master of narrative. His characters spoke volumes in one word sentences, especially Hawk of the Spenser series. So I guess you’d have to say I’m a real hodgepodge of writers and genres.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Jude: Actually there was something in my series Texas, Murder State of Mind series, that I did go ahead and change and republished the book, but so far no one’s complained.
Gail: I’m very lucky there. Because of a change in publishers over to Books We Love, I’ve had the chance to have a second and even third run at all my books and right now, based on the writer I currently am, I can honestly say no, except of course any typo that might have slipped by. And it’s a rare book by any writer published by any publisher who doesn’t have one or two of those that have slipped by all the final edits. That wouldn’t be the case had I not had the chance for a second go at my books, and it might not be the case in five years, but for right now, I’m a very lucky and contented writer;.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Jude: Sitting myself down to the computer and actually writing without letting myself be distracted by the million and one things always calling out for my attention.
Gail: The first sentence. Always.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Jude: Michelle Lee, who is very patient because I am always interfering and have very strong opinions about covers, but I hope I’m smart enough to know when it is time to shut up and let Michelle work her magic.
Gail: Michelle Lee designs all the covers for Books We Love, Ltd. and one of the publishers who shall be nameless but whose initials are Jude Pittman, is very hands-on during the process and has final say over all covers. And yes, Books We Love authors are very fortunate in that we do have the opportunity to participate a great deal in the process and both Michelle Lee and Jude try very, very hard to make every writer happy with their covers.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Jude: Yes, I really hope you enjoy Sisters of Prophecy, Ursula. This is the first in a planned series, and because of the challenges inherent in combining both a paranormal with a time-travel, this is the shortest of the planned books. Future editions will have a couple of the main characters appearing repeatedly – most notably Mother Shipton and Lillian, but they’ll be paranormal – as opposed to time travel. It’s just that the unique nature of this series really made it necessary to include enough of the back-story by using the time-travel element, so that readers would understand about Mother Shipton and where the gifts shared by all of her descendants came from.
Gail: There’s a little bit of magic in all of us. And I think that’s the most constant recurring theme in every one of my books. Including Sisters.
About the Authors
Jude Pittman emigrated from Canada to the United States with her mom and brother when she was 14. Her time there included 12 years in Texas where the genus for her first murder mystery, “Shadows Are Deadly” now part of Jude’s “Murder on My Mind” trilogy first took root. In 1992 Jude returned to British Columbia where she met her husband John. The couple moved to Calgary, Alberta where they continue to live. Descended from the Shipton line, Jude has always been fascinated with the historical and legendary stories about her late and often maligned ancestor, Mother Shipton and her gifts of prophecy. The Sisters of Prophecy series is a fictional account of those Shipton sons and daughters who inherited Mother Shipton’s gifts.
Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia whose Deep South heritage features prominently in much of her work. She’s worked in a law office for close to forty years, during which time she’s raised three children and quite a few attorneys. She’s kept herself more or less sane by writing novels and tossing the completed manuscripts into her closet. A cross-genre writer, she’s produced works ranging from humor to romance to thriller to horror, sometimes in the same book. She’s never quite sure herself what to expect when she sits down at the keyboard. Now multi-published by Books We Love, Ltd., her credits include the War-N-Wit, Inc. series, The Color of Seven, Vanished, and Country Justice. Currently, she’s working on Black Turkey Walk, the second in the Country Justice series, as well as the Sisters of Prophecy series, co-written with Jude Pittman.
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