Monday, October 19, 2015

Realm Explorers Part LXIX: Visit Bitter Thorn Grove with Juli D. Revezzo

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Juli D. Revezzo

Title of book and/or series: DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART (Celtic Stewards Chronicles, book 2)

Brief summary of the story:

As the latest in her family’s long line of Stewards, Ruth Macken awaits the arrival of a warrior sworn to the Tuatha dé Danaan, the Celtic gods her family has served since the beginning of time. For on that day, a magical battle will erupt. A war between druids and an evil that will decide the fate of mankind.
Isaac Connel knows the battle is imminent, and is ready to fight, once again but from the moment he sees Ruth flitting around the sacred ground, he’s captivated by her fiery charms and a need to protect her.
Despite Isaac’s assurances and the dreams that guide her, what can Ruth and her lover do to drive off this evil? Despite everything, will the world end at the hands of an evil god?

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: 
Bitter Thorn Grove is a small farm in a fictitious version of 16th century Ireland. Outside the farm lies a small village, but large enough to accommodate a church and a glimpse of the mountains and sea.

If we were to visit Bitter Thorn Grove as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
You could seek out the stone circle nearby or the garrison, both of which the harshad warriors and there druids visit now and then.

What dangers should we avoid in Bitter Thorn Grove?
I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near Old Bog Road. You never know what kind of creatures the nasty Balor might send after you!

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Bitter Thorn Grove?
Given the time period, the question is what wouldn’t they have? Potatoes had not been introduced into Ireland, at the time.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Bitter Thorn Grove?
The harshad warriors carry weapons that can shapeshift to whatever their battle calls for at any given time—a sword, a knife, an ax, whatever. And they do know some martial techniques that might not have been in known in the real 16th century Ireland. ;) They are working for gods, after all.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Bitter Thorn Grove?
Since Ruth and Isaac live in the 16th century, they have limited technology. Ruth and her mother work on looms and spinning wheels, and they tend the farm with the help of cart and horse. They do have some other things that their neighbors irl wouldn’t have. See below.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Bitter Thorn Grove that we don’t see on Earth?
There are the Harbingers. They’re lizard-like supernatural fiends Balor sends to taunt Ruth and Isaac—frequently. And there are also mermaid-like but rather nasty beings Isaac and company call Selkies.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
The harshad warriors command battle magic; as I said before their weapons can take on any needed shape. They can also teleport here and there—and they can understand signs from various animals. The druids have their own special magic and can weave spells to protect Ruth and her family. Ruth has her own steward magic in that she can affect the well-being of the animals and plants on her farm.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Bitter Thorn Grove?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
See above. They are generally on par with historical technology of the time (though I will say, because of Ruth’s status, she’s a little farther ahead than her neighbors. Her family have developed insulation techniques that weren’t available in our real history.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Bitter Thorn Grove.
One of Ruth’s guests is a druid who, according to her colleagues, is one of the Tuatha dé Danaan’s top bards. So she recites poetry and stories. They also have a few musicians who entertain her from and her neighbors from time to time.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Bitter Thorn Grove as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Yes; though due to the nature of the druids, Isaac and Ruth also commemorate the Irish fire festivals, particularly Imbolc (February 2nd).

Is there a particular religion practiced in  the 16th century Ireland of Bitter Thorn Grove?  Please describe what it involves.
Ruth attends the Catholic Church, but she leans toward the druid holidays and those related to the Tuatha dé Danaan.

What is the political or government structure in  16th century Ireland?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Lord Marshal is (or rather, was) at that time (historically), in charge of that part of Ireland.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit 16th century Ireland?
Everyone must attend church on Sundays.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I’ve studied Celtic mythology most of my life and the whole structure of the harshad warriors and their druids stems from that. Though, I threw in more magic than the historical druids were known to have wielded. ;)

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
There’s a little bit of the historical status of women and also the history of the Druids.

Author Autobiography:

Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl with a love of speculative and romantic fiction and legend, and loves writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, New Adult romance Changeling's Crown, and short stories published in ETERNAL HAUNTED SUMMER, LUNA STATION QUARTERLY, among others. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?  

DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART is available (currently) at Amazon and the paperback can be purchased through Createspace.

Where can readers connect with you online? 
My website:
They can follow me on Facebook at:
or Twitter: @julidrevezzo

Thank you for having me here at your lovely little home, Annie! 

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Bitter Thorn Grove.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Tellurae Aquaous, in Realm Explorers Part LXX!
-Annie Douglass Lima


Juli D. Revezzo said...

Thank you for hosting me, Annie! I had fun with this interview. I hope your readers will enjoy Druid Warrior's Heart!

Annie Douglass Lima said...

It was my pleasure. I hope so too!