CoolBeat Audiobook 025

First Light
by: Helen & Mary Mertins

Read by: Cliff Roles -- Time: 7 hours 12 minutes

Price = $31.00
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A Medieval Celtic fantasy full of deadly deceptions, with twists and turns to be savored.

[Adult - historical romance] Originally published 2005.

Edited by: Joel Nicholas
Cover by: Tim Dawson

First Light delves into a tumultuous era in the Highlands of Eire. Will the ancient rituals of Una, the Mystic of the Swamp, succeed in coaxing the mighty spirits to protect Lady Fiona from the secrets of the grave? The Mertins twins recreate the earthy, crude qualities of medieval castle life. Lords, sans scruples, proposing lust and love... Courtly love... ladies dressed in shimmering satin... ancient chants... poisoned wine...


  1. First Light; The Bride and Groom; Mi Na Meala; Second Light; Enemy in the Night; The Torment
  2. Desperate for Help; Into the Forest; Una, the Swamp Witch; Being Guided Back; The Magical Cure
  3. Silence; Confrontations Persist; Unbearable Unhappiness
  4. A Deadly Game; The Marketplace; The Golden Coin; Revisiting the Market
  5. The Concoction; Sexual Proclivities; Carousing Continues; Messenger of Death; Justice is Served; Caty Defends Herself; Edmud Accuses
  6. Final Trip Home to Lockmoor; Internment in the Meadow; Remembering; Evil is as Evil Does
  7. Home from the Tavern; Daily Routine; Remembering the Good Times... and Bad; Lady of the Castle; Family Discipline
  8. Quarreling Youths; Edmud, Traveling Tradesman; Remorse; A Reason to Visit Fiona; Finding Fiona and the Golden Coin
  9. The Dark Route Home; Checking the East Tower
  10. Time of New Life; A Cause for Joy; Baby Girl; Readiness; The Knowing
  11. The Celebration; The Baptism; One Task Remains; Heir to the Castle
  12. Forty-Day Wait; A Possible Solution; The Sharoke; The Search is Ended
  13. Farewell Warning; Alone at the Castle; A Castle Day; Treasure; A Rich Life; Castle Guards; Captain of the Guards; Nights at the Castle; Dusk Gathers
  14. Springtime; Summer Progress; Escape to Lockmoor; A warning
  15. The Sojourn; The Fair; Safe Arrival at Lockmoor; The Much Awaited Sharing; The Telling of the Rune; The Game of Hearts
  16. The Game; Plans in Motion; Letter Received; A Warning; Courting Love; The Responses; Foreboding
  17. The Encounter; The Big Game; Readying For Entrapment
  18. The Feast Begins; The Evening Progresses; The Players Continue; Coincidences; The Questioning; Sharing of Secrets
  19. Preparations
  20. The Ceremony; Achievement; A Taste of Love; Anxiety; To Bed, to Dream; The Sharing of Secrets; Completeness
  21. Rude Awakening; The Story; Jason is Dead
  22. Burial of Jason Avery; The Confrontation; Alone at Last; First Light reprise

About our authors:

Helen (Mertins) Struble and Mary (Mertins) Brownson-Tobin are identical twin sisters. First Light is the beginning of a series of romance tales set in the medieval Highlands of Eire.

Q: How did the idea for First Light begin?

A: The initial idea for First Light came from an epiphany, an intuitive dream. Helen had a dream of love and conflict... little did she know it was a vision of things to come. The next morning, she wrote down the story as she remembered it and shared this with Mary. Lo and behold, this sharing of a surreal idea lead to a discussion of the 'who, what, when, where and why' of how the story could take place... A middle and an ending to the story followed... and the novel, First Light was literally born.

We decided that the setting of our tale would be in the highlands of Ireland/Scotland to give it a Celtic flare (a decision due in part to the influence of our Irish born mother). A medieval time frame was chosen... one tumultuous era that we could research, have fun with, and knew something about (Helen, who holds a Doctorate in Education, taught her Gifted and Talented classes about the medieval era and directed a Medieval Fair every year with all the folderol of food, costumes, and games).

Thus First Light began. Hours and hours of research followed. Next, the personal touches of color and humor were added. And so, a dream of love, deadly deceptions, and eristic justice helped to bring a book to life.

Q: Being Twins, do you think that made writing the book easier? Tell us a bit about the process.

A: Writing is easier shared with a twin... someone who thinks much like you do! When you write with your twin, you never have to say, "What did you mean by that?" because you already know what was meant. Even individual early writing, poetry and short stories, etc., have always been understood by the other twin. No problem.

Spending our formative years together resulted in nurturing our "identical" relationship, a twin phenomenon, indeed. In school we were in the same classes, busily confusing teachers and friends... being treated as one. It was fun... We developed a team relationship... one of helping, sharing, and decision making.

As authors, we found that writing First Light was easier when together, talking vis--vis. But, when separated by 1250 miles which was also the case, communication depended on the computer, the telephone, and snail mail... a much more complicated process. But it all worked out in the end... that's what "team" spirit can do!

Q: Will there be a sequel? Will Una still guide Fiona?

A: A sequel to First Light is in the works as we speak. Our goal is to complete a trilogy that revolves around life in the highlands. Readers will see the main characters' personalities change... but change can be good... or bad... right? New characters are being added. Castles, chivalry, and covens will remain part of the mix.

Yes, Fiona may depend on Una for guidance. It is true that Fiona often gets lost... in the vast dark sky of the Highlands... and spaces between the stars... she loves the Highland winds in her hair... but better the winds of change and the winds of war.... A dreamer! And yes, Una is her mentor... wanting Fiona to unleash her womanly talents... given talents... that can bring a knight to his knees... and her bed for the night.... But in the sequel to First Light, the reader might find that these protagonists work best as a team!

The twins' new book lets you know there is room for dreams and wishes sent out into the cosmic world might just be granted.


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ISBN 978-1-937880-25-5

Audience = Adult 16+
Fiction Subject = Historical Romance
(Historical romance)
DDC = 813 (Literature / American literature in English / Fiction)
BISAC = FIC027050 (FICTION / Romance / Historical)

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