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A Mysterious Relic

Victoria Marswell Author Interview

The Mystery Stone follows an archaeologist that heads to Ireland to look for her missing brother and instead finds a strange relic and love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

A few things set the story in motion. The initial inspiration for The Mystery Stone began with an article I read in 2016 about a mysterious relic named the Mystery Stone, discovered in Meredith, NH, just as I describe in the book. If readers are interested, they can look it up online and read more about it. In 2018, I viewed the stone when it was on display in the historical society. I have a love for Ireland and the Irish, so I had always planned on writing about locations I visited. I also interweaved my Norwegian heritage into the story, based on a book a distant relative published about our family moving from Hardanger, Norway, to North America.

How much research did you undertake for this book and how much time did it take to put it all together?

There’s a lot of my personal experiences included in my stories since I write about places I’ve visited. I love to travel and it’s a ton of fun to revisit the locations when I start the writing process. Usually, a couple of years pass before a site, city or country ends up in one of my books. I also enjoy studying history, and there’s so much I’ve learned while traveling and visiting historical sites. For The Mystery Stone, I spent about six weeks researching and studying mysterious relics around the world and how stones fit into many cultures’ ancient rituals. At one point, I’d spend hours a day fascinated and disturbed by some civilizations’ sacrificial ceremonies.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

A couple of themes were personal and important for me to share. As a single parent, I wanted to reveal the challenges and feelings of inadequacy in a sole-parent household. The accident that created my character’s overprotective nature was based on a real-life incident that happened to my daughter when she was in my care. It’s therapeutic for me to work through the traumatic experience and come to terms with the fact she survived, and it happened over twenty years ago. Another theme that makes it into all my stories is the importance of family. In The Mystery Stone, I focus on exploring the dynamics of siblings and their differing perceptions, growing up in the same environment.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve scheduled my current novel for release in 2023. I can share that the story takes place in Italy. It’s based on my visit in 2019 and, like my other two novels, has plenty of action, adventure and romance! Readers can stay updated by subscribing to my monthly newsletter on my website

I also have a rom-com short story, Deadwood, available on August 2, 2022. My 2021 trip to the old historic town inspired the story.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Supernatural stones. Ancient rituals. Mysterious ruins. Nothing unusual for the Hillestad siblings. Until…

Jeanette Hillestad receives news of her brother’s disappearance during his recent archaeological expedition and must travel to Kinsale, Ireland. She enlists the help of local Irishman Conlin Murphy, who’s adamant about staying out of her rescue mission for the safety of his teenage daughter.

But when relic hunters attack Jeanette, and Conlin discovers a map, they team up to search for her brother. The clues lead them on an international, life-threatening chase from Ireland to Old Quebec, and Montreal to New Hampshire.

While on the run, Jeanette and Conlin’s bond deepens with their undeniable attraction, which complicates matters.
Now, they need a greater force to survive the dangerous people willing to kill for the Mystery Stone. The consequences of her brother’s actions challenge their beliefs and may cost Jeanette to sacrifice everything.

The Mystery Stone

Jeanette Hillestad is a archaeologist that has always believed family comes first. She arrives in Ireland looking for her brother, Thomas. He is the golden child in her family, she is thought of as the overachiever, the perfectionist. Yet, she is always the one that bail’s Thomas out of trouble because Thomas is somewhat of an adventurer. This time, Thomas has gone missing and she ends up looking for answers from Conlin Murphy, the Irishman Thomas met while staying in Ireland. Her family thinks she’s over-reacting by jumping to conclusions to look for Thomas, however, what Conlin tells Jeanette has her troubled. What happens next is a story of love, faith, adventure, relics and… the supernatural.

The Mystery Stone is a compelling adventure novel that is filled with everything you want in a thrilling romance story; an intrepid sense of adventure, romantic intrigue, and a villain that readers will love to hate.

Jeanette, the lead character, is headstrong, smart, and lovable but her one flaw is putting others before herself, even if it costs her. Conlin Murphy, Jeanette’s love interest, steals your heart easily. He’s smart, passionate, capable and his love for his daughter is wonderful to observe. Saoirse, Conlin’s daughter, is a natural scene-stealer. She acts worldly and is never afraid to crack a joke at her old man’s expense. The characters are wonderfully developed, and readers will find themselves rooting for them as they enjoy this edge-of-your-seat and will-they-won’t-they romantic novel.

This energetic action story is wonderfully crafted, with vivid action scenes that will keep you furiously flipping pages. I also enjoyed how detailed the scenes are. The author takes time to really place readers in each setting, which is important in a novel that takes you to some fantastic places.

The Mystery Stone is a must read for readers looking to be swept away on an enchanting adventure that is imbued with a sense of romance and intrigue right from the beginning. With an ending that is worth waiting for, this is definitely a story that stays with you long after the final page.

Pages: 364 | ASIN: B09JL59XQS

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