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The Tower and the Emerald

Set in a legendary Britain of long ago, The Tower and the Emerald is an epic fantasy of good and evil, magic and mystery.

Viviane is a beautiful Celtic princess who stands at the heart of the novel’s conflict between the powers of Light and Darkness. And she unwittingly unravels the spell that binds the spirit of the evil Idoc within a circle of tall stones. Once released from his age-long bondage, the sorcerer-priest is able to use his powers to seek vengeance against those responsible for his original enslavement – including the Princess Viviane and her lover.

With Idoc in possession of the body of Prince Caradawc, her betrothed, Viviane can no longer judge safely between friend and foe, between this life and previous incarnations. Yet to rescue Caradawc from his nightmare, she must risk everything to reach the dreaded dark tower where Idoc awaits. And, success will only be hers if she is able to find the all-powerful emerald which belonged to the archangel Lucifer in ancient and other days.

There follows a search for spiritual grace which is beautifully depicted and which includes all the timeless ingredients of legend.

Inspiration for this Dark Ages novel sprang from three sources. Firstly, an extraordinary psychic experience in an ancient Stone Circle in England; secondly, Moyra Caldecott’s curiosity about the mysterious Black Knight who frequently challenged the Knights of King Arthur’s Court; and thirdly, the powerful legend that an emerald had been lost from the crown of the Archangel Lucifer when he fell from heaven.

Reviews of The Tower and the Emerald:

“A spell-binding mixture.” Sunderland Echo.


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First published in Great Britain in 1985 by Hamlyn Paperbacks. A hardcover edition was subsequently published in 1986 by Century Hutchinson Ltd.


Child of the Dark Star

A gripping story of one man’s fight to free his mind from the conditioning of a restrictive and powerful system.

A science fantasy novel set on an alien planet where the astrologers have created an oppressive caste system, and mysterious hidden rulers act through a malevolent crystal skull.

“There was a planet once called Earth. Its people, scattered like seeds before the wind, came to rest on Agaron… ”

“Had this moment of destruction come then from such a small beginning? Could even an Astrologer have foretold that a girl gathering crops in a field, filled with the love of her unborn child, would lead to the scene now before him…

Or is there ever a beginning?

Hope, like a small leaf unfurling from a dark and wrinkled seed, pushed out from his aching heart… If there is never a beginning will there ever be an end?”


“I read Child of the Dark Star from cover to cover. It flows from chapter to chapter and at no time could I have put it aside. I think it’s a winner.” D Barrett

“…a good and original theme with deep meaning. I feel all astrologers should read it – one comes across so much superstition and misunderstanding about free will.” R Fitzpatrick (an astrologer)

“I have been reading Child of the Dark Star since its arrival and can’t put it down. I would definitely say it is one of your best. I was riveted.” N Pearson

“Your books are so marvellous, they have been one of the renewing experiences in my life.” J Ciner Levine

“They go so unerringly to the pure sources of life that it lifts the spirit to read them.” K Herbert

Availability: Electronic and print editions
Publisher: Mushroom eBooks and Bladud Books
ISBN: 1899142509 (Gemstar)
Publication Date: February 2001
Copyright date: 1984, 2001
Price: $4.99 (ebook)

Publishing History:

July 1984: Bran’s Head Books, UK, ISBN: 0-905220-45-5 / 978-0-905220-45-1 (UK edition), 162pp. paperback. Out of Print.

February 2001: Mushroom eBooks, Bath, England, ISBN 1899142509, Gemstar eBook

July 2001: Mushroom eBooks, Bath, England. Microsoft Reader format and Adobe pdf format.

2005: Bladud Books, an imprint of Mushroom Publishing, Bath, UK. ISBN: 1-899142-23-1/978-1899142-23-1. Paperback, 196pp.


The Silver Vortex

A sequel to the hugely successful “Guardians of the Tall Stones” series.

From beyond time and space they come to walk the earth once more – the guardians of the tall stones, the Lords of the Sun…

Deva is the beautiful and headstrong daughter of the High Priest of the greatest of the mighty stone circles. She seeks to master the arts of sorcery in order to reclaim her lover from a previous incarnation. Now, trapped by a desire she cannot control, she risks more than herself, and puts the whole community in danger…

In a drama that takes place in Bronze Age Britain and 18th dynasty Egypt, ancient jealousies, hatreds and passions emerge to confront each other on the great journey to the higher realms. (104,000 words)


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Publisher: Arrow, London
Copyright Date:
ISBN: 0099438402
Price: Unknown
Availability: Out of Print


The Lily and the Bull

The Lily And the Bull is a compelling re-creation of life in Minoan Crete – a world of magic and mystery, ritual and superstition, where past and present intersect, the forces of good and evil clash, and everyday life is charged with the supernatural…

Ierii, the daughter of the chief gardener at the palace, is in love with Thyloss, the son of the keeper of the Queen’s bulls. Thyloss, who is looking forward to a future as a bull acrobat – a position of great importance – finds his feelings for Ierii gradually changing.

But their hopes are shaken by events beyond their control.

The Minoan civilization, one of the greatest the world has known, suddenly and mysteriously came to an end sometime during the period 1600-1450BC, baffling present day historians and archaeologists alike. One of the most persistent theories is that it was fatally damaged by the immense volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Thera (Santorini).

This story charts the dramatic events during the last days of Ma-ii, a city on the north coast of Crete.


Paperback edition available

from Bladud Books:

Buy it from Amazon.com
or Amazon.co.uk

The eBook edition is available

in various formats:

Publisher: Mushroom

ISBN: 1899142541

Publication Date: April 2000

Copyright date: 1979, 2000

Price: $4.99

Publishing History:

1979: Rex Collings, London, ISBN 0860360679, hardback

1979: Hill & Wang, USA, ISBN 080906572X

1980: Corgi, London, ISBN 0552115568, paperback,
under the pseudonym ‘Olivia Brown’.

2000: Mushroom eBooks, Bath, England, ISBN 1899142541,


“Living memories that inspire the mythical writer”, an article by Susie Weldon from the Western Daily Press, 16th February 1998 (reprinted with permission).

Moyra Caldecott is fascinated by myth and religion, archaeology and history.

But whereas other authors rely only on research and imagination to recreate a period, Moyra calls upon actual memories to do so.

Bizarre as it may sound, Moyra, who was born in South Africa and moved to Britain in 1951, says she actually experiences much of what she uses in her novels.

“Most of my books come from very strong feelings of having been there before,” says the softly spoken 70-year-old author.

“I write in my experiences and my far memories, as well as research the period.”

Moyra can’t explain what occurs. She “sort of believes in reincarnation; it seems to fit so neatly” but accepts that there may be other explanations.

Perhaps memories can be put down in genes or maybe places become imprinted with strong impressions, which she then picks up. It is even possible, she concedes, that she just has a particularly strong imagination.

But Moyra clearly doesn’t believe that; her experiences are so vivid she can’t help but accept them as real.

“Things start to happen that seem to prove my experiences,” she says. “For instance, in one book I wrote about a priest who had lots of sea urchin shells in his little hut. I thought I must have imagined it but later I learned that sea urchins were often used in burials at that time.”

In any case, who knows what science will discover in the future, she points out. After all, if people had talked about television or radio 200 years ago, “it would have been, well, magic”.

Whatever the explanation, Moyra’s novels brilliantly convey the feel of a particular period. Much of this is due to her impeccable research but also to the masterful storytelling.

Her acclaimed Guardians Of The Tall Stones trilogy. which arose out of her fascination for Britain’s stone circles, earned for her a considerable cult following.

And her novels on Egypt, especially her biography of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut, led to a friendship with a world celebrity, Tina Turner. Tina became interested in Egypt after a psychic told her she was the reincarnation of Hatshepsut.

Their relationship was entirely based on Egyptology, “we never talked about her music” and eventually it led to them both visiting the pyramids together.

Moyra has stayed much closer to home for her latest novel. The Waters of Sul, the latest of her 24 books, is set in Roman Bath which is now her home.

Bath’s reputation as a centre of healing and religion go back to the days of the legendary King Bladud. She says: “Bath has never been a fort as far as we know, it’s always been a religious centre.”

The Waters Of Sul was originally entitled Aquae Sulis. But Moyra was forced to change it after a claim that it had been patented.

“It is ridiculous because Aquae Sulis is the old Roman name for Bath,” she says. “But I just can’t face the hassle of arguing about it in court.”

The novel transports the reader to Roman Bath, when pilgrims came from miles around to visit the hot waters gushing out of the earth at the Temple of Sulis Minerva.

It is set in 70 AD, a time of high tension and divided loyalties. The Celtic inhabitants are still coming to terms with their Roman overlords who began occupying Britain about 30 years beforehand.

Equally wrought are the tensions between different religions.

There is the Celtic goddess Sul, who reigned supreme in Bath before the Romans introduced their goddess Minerva; the Greek religion based around Orpheus; and the fledgling new religion, Christianity, which was just being introduced into Britain.

Then there are the emotional entanglements, the troubled romances, family conflicts, jealousies and hopes.

“I try to make history come alive for people but I’m not writing a straight history so I don’t have to stick absolutely to the facts,” she says.

Instead. she uses facts wherever they are appropriate to the story. For instance, one character in the novel throws a lead curse into a river. Examples of lead curses can still be seen at the Roman Baths.

Moyra is passionate about Bath. She moved there from London with her husband, Oliver, in 1989, shortly before he died. He was a talented artist and his stunning pastel drawings cover the walls of her Bath home.

Their children, Rachel, Stratford and julian, appear to have inherited their parents’ creativity and drive. Rachel is an artist and lives nearby with her glassblower husband Chris Thornton, whose workshop is off Walcot Street in Bath.

Stratford runs a centre for faith and culture in Oxford, while Julian is a conservationist fighting to save the world’s rainforests.

Moyra shares her son-in-law’s delight in glass: she creates beautiful leaded lamps and vases. But writing remains her chief love.

Writing, she says, is “a total drive. It’s the way I live my life, I live through my books.”

Published in the Western Daily Press on 16th February 1998, and copyright © Western Daily Press.


A biographical sketch

Written in the mid-nineties by Moyra…

  • Born in 1927 in Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Started academic career by obtaining degrees in English Literature and Philosophy.
  • Briefly lectured in English Literature at university level.
  • Married in 1951.
  • Raised three children and had a most interesting and stimulating life as the wife of Oliver Caldecott in London from 1951 to 1989. (Oliver was an editor at Penguin, Readers Union, and Hutchinson and founded his own publishing firm Wildwood House with his partner Dieter Pevsner. His last editorial post was at Rider, for Century Hutchinson. He was also a very good artist.)
  • Took evening classes in palaeontology (geology always a favourite subject), religious studies and mythology.
  • Was secretary of the Dulwich Group in the ‘sixties, a most successful poetry reading group. Read a lot. Wrote books. Met many interesting people and had many interesting discussions. Travelled a lot.
  • Moved to Bath in 1989.
  • Her life has also been enriched by the interests of her children: Religion – Conservation – Art.
  • She has had various experiences she considers to be ‘paranormal’, including a dramatic healing from angina. She gives talks to various personal growth and consciousness raising groups, and groups interested in the ancient sacred sites of Britain.
  • Her most successful book so far, Guardians Of The Tall Stones, is set in ancient Bronze Age Britain, and is required reading for some groups visiting the sacred sites of Britain from America. It has been in print continuously since 1977.
  • Myths and legends are a particular passion and she follows Jung and Joseph Campbell in believing that they are not ‘just’ stories but actually deep and meaningful expressions of the universal and eternal in the human psyche.
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An Interview with Venue Magazine

These are answers to some interview questions posed in 1997 by Venue, the local listings magazine, based in Bath and Bristol, UK. The magazine later carried a feature on Moyra Caldecott and her new book Aquae Sulis (later republished as The Waters of Sul)

The novel Aquae Sulis uses the name of the town of Bath in Roman times because it is a story about the town, the people who lived there in c.72 AD – the loves, hates, the conflicts and reconciliations – all set against the back-drop of an ancient sacred place in the process of change. The Celts and the Romans, the conquered and the conquerors are trying to adjust to each other.

My husband and I left South Africa in 1951 at a time when the country was an efficient police state, and any protest against the very unjust system of apartheid was punished instantly and severely. Several of our friends were already in prison. We left hoping we could do something to alert the rest of the world to what was going on there. It was world opinion that finally forced a resolution and a change. We lived in London until 1989 when my husband was found to have cancer and given a year to live.

We came to Bath, seeking, and finding, a less stressful environment. It seemed the perfect human-sized town after London, and yet it had all the culture – theatre, bookshops, art galleries – and a fast train to London. A city beautiful architecturally, and rich in history. As an author of novels set in ancient times I was particularly interested in the Roman and pre-Roman era. I wrote one novel about King Bladud, the flying king, entitled The Winged Man (pub.Headline) set centuries before the Romans came, and then Aquae Sulis (just published by Bladud Books in Bath) about Roman Bath. At the time of writing I was visiting my daughter in Rome frequently and so the research I did was not only in books and museums, but also ‘on site’.

The novels I write are woven from many threads:

  1. Academic research into the place and time in books and museums and ‘on site’.
  2. My interest in the myths and legends of the people I describe. Stories handed down through generations carry not only certain profound truths about the general human condition, but are flavoured with the culture from which they come. We can understand a lot about the Celts and the Romans by taking account of their myths and legends.
  3. Certain experiences of my own. Some are from my travels e.g. in Rome itself, in Petra in Jordan, and in Pompeii in Italy. Some are from more esoteric experiences. I do a sort of ‘time travelling’. I cannot make it happen, but sometimes in some places I seem to slip out of my present persona and experience being someone else in another time. Whether this is reincarnational memory or just a very vivid imagination I don’t know, but the strange thing is that when I come to write the story of that experience I find out, often years later and after publication, confirmation that what I have written is accurate, though there was no evidence for it at the time. In Aquae Sulis the Greek priest of Orpheus slips in and out of time in the same way, experiencing the past, present and the future.
    I know this can happen, because it has happened to me. The first time I used it to write a book was in Guardians Of The Tall Stones (pub. Celestial Arts, USA). I was in a stone circle in Scotland when I experienced that slip in time – this time to the Bronze Age. I wrote the trilogy during a series of heart attacks. There is nothing like believing you are about to die to concentrate the mind on important matters! The priesthood used a form of spirit-travel to cross the world. I had not yet heard about astral-travel, though I myself had experienced it as a child not knowing what it was. In Crete I ‘experienced’ a house that had not yet been excavated — but later was, and corresponded exactly to my vision of it. From this I wrote The Lily And The Bull set in Minoan Crete. My Egyptian novel about Akhenaten, The Son Of The Sun, sprang from an experience under hypnosis. The week it was published, without even knowing that I had written a book about Akhenaten, a medium saw Akhenaten standing behind me in my living room.

I have been asked if I am a religious person. I believe I am. I certainly believe in realities other than the physical. People have always tried to make sense of the mystery of life and death. They make up stories to explain it and give names to the mysterious forces and energies they feel around them influencing their lives. In Aquae Sulis in Roman times these names were Jupiter, Apollo, Isis, Orpheus, Sul, etc. In the Middle Ages they were called angels and archangels, saints etc. When I write about a period I go into the belief systems of that period and find, just as we do today, that some pay lip-service and some are deeply, mystically committed. Many of my characters are priests — for in the priesthood the responsibility for good and evil is powerfully concentrated. Corruption of those who lead, whether it be in the Church, or in the police, or in the State, is always devastating.

You ask if I write poems. Yes, I do. In my novels I am describing people outside myself yet familiar to me from people I have met, either in ‘real life’ or in ‘flash back’. In my poems I write from my own heart. I am currently gathering a volume together.

You ask if I fancy a dip in the Roman baths. Yes, I do. It would be a fitting celebration for the publication of Aquae Sulis. It may even be possible if I last out to the millennium!

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Guardians of the Tall Stones

Guardians of the Tall Stones was originally published as three separate novels:  The Tall Stones, The Temple of the Sun and Shadow on the Stones.

The Tall Stones
(first published in Great Britain by Rex Collings Ltd, 1977)

This book has been called “one of the great esoteric novels of the 20th century”, and has been continuously in print for 23 years.

The first of three novels set in Bronze Age Britain, a society focused around the great circles of Sacred Stones scattered across the landscape. It tells the story of a community threatened by the evil designs of Wardyke, a corrupt and ambitious priest, and its only defence, the courageous young psychic, Kyra. But to defend her community, Kyra must enter the forbidden circle of stones and call upon its unseen, mystical powers…

The Temple of the Sun
(first published in Great Britain by Rex Collings Ltd, 1977)

The second book of The Sacred Stones Trilogy, continuing the story of Kyra’s hazardous journey undertaken with Karne and Fern to the Sacred Temple where Kyra is to receive her training as a priestess, and renew her love for the Lord Khu-ren. But a malevolent spirit still opposes them. Wardyke has returned, and his influence has already permeated the sanctity of the Temple. Kyra is forced once again to face the evil Magician-Priest, whose thirst for revenge and power threatens the balance between good and evil…

Moyra Caldecott sees the “Temple of the Sun” as Avebury in Wiltshire, and the “College of Star Studies” as Stonehenge.

Shadow on the Stones
(first published in Great Britain by Rex Collings Ltd, 1978)

This book continues the story of Kyra, priest of the Temple of the Sun, who, with her husband the Lord Khu-ren, has guided their civilization to a time of spiritual strength, psychic energy, and communal peace. But there is a shadow on the Stones –the spreading influence of the terrible god Groth, dark god of chaos and barbarity. Only the priests of the Temple have the means to resist the tides of destruction…

The Silver Vortex is the sequel to Guardians of the Tall Stones.


Tricycle Press, USA, recently republished (2008-2009) Guardians of the Tall Stones as three seperate novels aimed at young adults. Confusingly, they have re-titled The Tall Stones to The Guardians of the Tall Stones and have renamed the series as “Sacred Stones series”.

The Tricycle Press covers for the Sacred Stones series

The Tricycle Press covers for the Sacred Stones series

Mushroom eBooks published the series in 2006 as three seperate ebooks with their original titles, plus The Silver Vortex (originally in 2004, and re-released in 2006). The entire series of four books is published under the series title “Guardians of the Tall Stones”.

GOTTS marketing image

The Mushroom eBooks covers for the Guardians of the Tall Stones series

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The Winged Man

To this day, throughout the ancient city of Bath, there exist statues and images of the man who was the legendary founder of the city, and the father of King Lear. A leper and a swineherd… a necromancer and a wise king… his memory lives on.

Restless at the royal court, the young Prince Bladud sets off to consult an oracle in the west country – a wild wooded place near a mysterious hot spring that gushes from a cave. There the priestess tells him that he will be a great king, and that one day he will fly like an eagle.

When he returns to his father’s hill-fort at Trinovantum, ancient London, Bladud’s head is full of magnificent dreams… until trickery entraps him in a loveless marriage. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge, sharpened by a mysterious experience at the burial mound of his forefathers, takes him away from his home and wife on a dangerous journey to faraway Greece. There he meets and falls in love with a woman who has appeared to him many times already in dreams and visions.

On returning to his own country, he finds his father dying and his wife conspiring with his brother to disinherit him. Then, found to be suffering from a disease believed to be leprosy, he is driven from the court and shunned by his people. In this dark time he becomes a swineherd. One day, he notices his pigs are free of sores after wallowing in hot mud. He tries the healing waters of Sul himself, is cured, and returns to claim his throne…

His was a golden age of wisdom and magic, where Otherworld beings mingle freely with the people of this world, and where swans and ravens and owls take on their own special mysterious significance.

Full of brilliant imagination, this colourful fantasy draws its strength and inspiration from the strange and beautiful realms of Celtic and Greek myth and legend.


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Paperback (USA) 1843193302 $16.95 Amazon.comBuy The Winged Man
Paperback (UK) 1843193302 £8.99 Amazon.co.ukBuy The Winged Man


  • First published in Jun 1993 in paperback in UK by Headline Book Publishing plc.  Reprinted in same edition 1993 by Headline. ISBN 0747239304, 384 pages. Out of print.
  • Hardback edition published in Jul 1993 in UK by Headline Book Publishing plc. Reprinted in same edition 1993 by Headline. ISBN 0747206120, 384 pages. Out of print.
  • Published in paperback in USA by Trafalgar Square, 1994.
  • First eBook edition published 2001 by Mushroom eBooks, with further eBook formats in 2006. ISBNs as under “Availability” above.


The author weaves into her story many elements from Greek and Celtic myth and legend, as is explained in helpful notes.The storyline is exciting, and the period is brought vividly to life. (Casca, on Amazon.com)