| |

Lillian’s Legacy Pre-launch Interview with Julie Stephens

Welcome to the Lillian’s Legacy pre-launch festivities and book giveaway.

I’m excited for you to meet Julie Stephens. She has been the translator for the Welsh dialect Lillian’s mentor, Doctor Mali Maddox, speaks and currently resides in Wales.

I love using language in my books, and because some of my ancestors came from Wales, this piece of culture has a special place in my heart.

To learn more about how I came to find Julie, read Heritage Threaded Through Stories.

And now for my conversation with Julie. Enjoy!

Where you were born?

I was born in Priory Hospital Carmarthen 18/02/1960.

Where did you grow up?

My parents moved a few times when I was small. From the age of seven, we lived in Pinged, Carmarthenshire on a Farm. I got married to Gwyn on 15/08/1981 abd we have four children.

Anwen, Helen, James, and Owain. We have 6 granddaughters age 9,6,3,2,18 months and 10 months.

We also had Coli, a sheepdog, as we live on a farm with a large milking herd.

Tell me about your career. 

I am a social worker in a long term child care team. I work with children from pre-birth to 18 years of age.

What are your hobbies?

I love to cook and read to my 6 granddaughters. Music.

What is your favorite book or author?

Welsh TLlew Jones and my Nephew Iwan Rhys who has just written his first book called Y Bwrdd. Iwan is a Welsh bard he has won the  Urdd Eisteddfod Eisteddfod Chair.

What is your favorite Genre?

Crime, romance, musicals.

What kind of music do you like?

Daffydd Iwan Welsh Singer. To listen click here.

Any Welsh music. My dad’s voice singing. Dusty Springfield, Elton John, Queen, Elvis Presley, Matt Monro, Adel.

Would you rather live in town or the country?

I have always lived on a farm in the Country.

If money was not an option, where would you like to travel and why?

Italy, because it’s very beautiful. Australia because one of my brothers lives there. I love Wales to be honest. I’m so happy to visit its beautiful coast and mountains.

Please share anything else about the Welsh customs or favorite traditions you and your family share.

We celebrate St Davids Day on the 1st of March each year.

After he died, the Catholic Church made him a saint. St. David (Dewi Sant in Welsh) is the patron saint of Wales, and March 1, his feast day, is celebrated as a patriotic and cultural festival by the Welsh in Wales and around the world. … Later in life, David was made Archbishop.

Love spoons / Llwy Caru.

Welsh love spoons are decoratively carved wooden spoons that are often presented as a gift of romantic intent. The love spoon is normally decorated with various symbols of love and was traditionally intended to showcase the skills of the carver.

What are some of your favored Welsh dishes?

I grew up eating Welsh Cakes.

My Welsh grandmother would often make them using her very heavy cast iron griddle pan, and I would eat them as fast as she could make them, spreading some lovely Welsh butter on the top and simply enjoying them.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook time

3 minutes

Serving size

15 Appro


You’ll need a griddle pan, cast iron skillet or a frying pan to use on the stovetop.


1 3/4 cups or 225 g self-raising flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup or 100 g margarine

1/4 cup or 50 g sugar

1/4 cup or 50 g currants/raisins

1 egg

2 Tablespoons milk to mix.


Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Put in butter and mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and currants or raisins. Beat the egg lightly and add to flour mixture with just enough milk to make a firm dough similar to shortcrust pastry. Chill dough 1 to 2 hours.

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch on a floured surface and cut with 3-inch rounds. Bake the cakes on a greased griddle or frying pan over low heat until golden brown. Cool and sprinkle with sugar. These also freeze well.

1 lb. / 450 grams dried fruit (mixed)

2/3 pint / 300 ml. cold tea

2 tbsp. marmalade

1 free-range egg (beaten)

2 tbsp. soft brown sugar

1 tsp. mixed spice

1 lb. / 450 grams self-rising flour

Steps to Make It

Soak the fruit overnight in the tea.

The next day, mix in the marmalade, egg, sugar, spice, and flour. Spoon into a greased 900g loaf tin and bake in a warm oven 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 for 1 ¾ hours, or until the center is cooked through.

Check from time to time to see that the top doesn’t brown too much, and cover with a sheet of foil if necessary.

Once cooked, leave the Bara Brith to stand for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a cooling tray.

Cawl is a Welsh stew that’s wonderfully comforting and best made the day before serving.


1kg/2lb 3oz neck of lamb (on the bone), preferably Welsh, cut into serving pieces

2 litres/3 pints 10½fl oz lamb stock

225g/8oz potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

225g/8oz onions, roughly chopped

225g/8oz leeks, trimmed and sliced into 1cm/½in slices

225g/8oz carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

225g/8oz swede, peeled and roughly chopped.


Put the lamb into a large pan and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Add the vegetables and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to cool. Put in the fridge overnight.

When you are ready to serve, return the stew to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until completely heated through.

Spoon the cawl into serving bowls and serve with crusty bread and Welsh cheese.

A huge thank you to Julie Stephens!

It has been a pleasure working with Julie to help make Doctor Mail Maddox an authentic Welsh-speaking Character.

Excerpt from Lillian’s Legacy

Tears stung her eyes. She pushed to her feet, followed the sound of the rushing creek, limping with slow, uneven steps, and washed her face. Where is Mali? As she sipped from her cupped hands, footsteps sounded behind her, and she jumped to her feet, whirling around. “There you are!”

Er mwyn y nefoedd, for heaven’s sake! What happened to your eye? It’s as big as an egg!” Doctor Maddox waved her over. “Let me take a look at ya.”

“I’m fine––”

“Come on, now. Os gwellwch yn dda, annwyl, please, dear.” Doctor Maddox strode toward her.

“I’m coming. It’s dark and rocky. No use in both of us bleedin’.” Lillian picked her way back to the healer.

Cold hands touched her face. “It’s too dark. Rip off the cuff of your shirtwaist and press the fabric against your eye. That will have to do for now.”

Lillian did as suggested. “Owen’s missing.”

Release Day is July 17!

You are invited to the Lillian’s Legacy Facebook Launch Party, July 17 at 1:00 PM Pacific Time Zone. Three extremely-talented authors and one gifted singer/songwriter will join me in releasing my book. There will be fun, games, giveaways, and party-favors all on this Facebook Event Page.

For a chance to win a signed copy of Lillian’s Legacy, share what you found most interesting about my interview with Julie Stephens.

The randomly selected winner will be announced on Book Release Day on July 17th. Pre-order now!


Connect with Carmen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. What an interesting interview, Carmen. I’m reading Lillian’s Legacy now and am loving it!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Mary! Julie has been amazing! I’m glad you are enjoying Lillian’s Legacy.