Wishes Under A Highland Star #NewRelease @m_morganauthor

It gives me great pleasure to host a fellow Wild Rose Press author here today with a brand new release! Mary Morgan is not only a talented writer but is also very supportive of others. So, without further adieu, I turn my blog over to Mary!

Hello, Jan! I’m delighted to be on your lovely blog today to celebrate my new book, Wishes Under a Highland Star. Since I love a good party, I’m going to take you and your readers to a special feast. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

A Midwinter Feast

Come journey with me as I whisk you away to 13th-century Scotland for a Midwinter feast. You arrive at Castle Taloch, a mystical realm within the Highlands of Scotland. These people are part-Fae, and their Scottish bloodline is steeped in ancient Celtic mythology. Though they respect the new religion that has swept across their land, the Fae continue to honor the old ways. Midwinter is a celebration of light and warmth here within the castle. The doors have been left open for all to enter in peace. Once you step inside, you are drawn to the holly boughs with ivy, bay, crimson-berried yew branches, and fragrant bunches of rosemary twigs.

The torches cast a welcoming light as you proceed onward. As you enter the Great Hall, you observe the boisterous laughter and gaiety. A bard is recanting a tale between the aging Holly King (representing the darkness of the old year), and the young Oak King (symbolizing the light of the New Year). Some of the older lasses have chosen to weave a sprig of holly onto their gowns, and they nod at you in passing.

Candles illuminate the hall in a soft glow as you make your way toward the feasting tables. The elder Fae men and women are seated at a longer table near the hearth. Ale and mead are flowing, along with the tempting dishes you survey as you take your place. The aroma of food teases your senses as your gaze drifts across the table. Should you choose the wild boar stuffed with onions and cabbages on a large trencher? Yet there’s the salmon with dill springs set on another. Perchance you would prefer the spiced apples and damson tarts?

The minstrels begin to play a lively tune, and a few of the couples rise from the benches to join in the merriment…

Sneak preview of a Midwinter feast from Wishes Under a Highland Star

“Aine’s musical voice could tame even the wildest beast,” observed Glenna.

Alex coughed into his hand to squelch the laughter. Recovering, he said, “Or any hardened warrior?”

This time, Glenna laughed. She touched his arm. “Even the fiercest beast can find comfort in a luring song.”

One of the women waved in their direction, and Glenna responded with her own. “Enjoy the feast, Holly King,” she teased, making her way across the hall.

Alex watched the woman depart and then resumed his study of Aine. Pushing away from the wall, he made leisurely strides around the tables toward her. Her attentive audience were doing their best to encourage another song. But when she caught his gaze, Aine rose slowly from her chair.

He dipped a slight bow. “I enjoyed your song.”

“I am pleased, Holly King.” After placing her lap harp on the chair, Aine rested her hand in the crook of his arm.

Sorely tempted to guide his leannán out of the hall to spend some time alone with her, he refrained and led Aine to a table where others were engaged in a lively discussion about the morning battle and games of strength.

After settling into her chair, Aine leaned near him. “Ye look magnificent in the dark blue tunic.”

Slipping his hand under the table, Alex grasped her fingers. “More clothing from your uncle. And ye are a vision of beauty, my Aine.”

Her gaze roamed his features. “I so wanted to please ye tonight.”

Alex squeezed her fingers. “Why tonight?”

She covered his hand with her free one. “Because I wanted ye to see the woman and not the lass who likes to fashion blades.”

Tilting his head to the side, he commented, “Have I not mentioned, I love both? Ye are soft—yet forged with steel.”

Joy bubbled in her laugh and shone in her eyes. She gestured outward. “Did ye taste the bread filled with nuts and honey?”

Alex dropped his hand. “Nae. I have recently arrived.”

Quickly tearing a portion of the bread apart, she placed the piece on his trencher. Pointing to the salmon, she nudged him. “The sauce is mixed with rosemary and onions. Rowena even used wild garlic in the turnips.”

“Did ye assist in making these tempting fares?” he asked, picking up a blade and spearing a slice of boar.

She snorted, then quickly recovered. “I confess, the kitchens will not be my strength, unless ye ask me to chop vegetables.”

“I did enjoy the one bite of bread this morn. And ye did make a tasty porridge the other day,” he reminded, taking a bite of the meat.

Two rosy stains appeared on her cheeks. “Aye, a first.”

Alex choked on the piece of boar, recalling the pleasurable morning in the gatehouse.

Aine swiftly poured him a cup of mead. “Here,” she urged, shoving the cup into his hand.

Grateful for the liquid, Alex proceeded to drain the contents.


PLUM TARTS aka…DAMSON TARTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup finely chopped almonds

3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into small pieces

1 egg yolk

2 pounds firm, ripe plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine the flour, almonds, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.

Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer tart to flat plate.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

**Damsons are a small purple-black fruit similar to the plum

During this time of year, I usually find plums at farmer’s markets or order online.

Blurb:

As chieftain for his clan, Alex MacFhearguis struggles with the burden of an unwanted responsibility. With the midwinter feast approaching, he flees his castle to find comfort and solitude within the forest. Yet on his quest, Alex stumbles into a world filled with magic, mysteries, and a woman with beguiling eyes who could capture his heart.

When half-Fae Aine Fraser makes a powerful wish, her simple request unlocks the magic she possesses and brings forth a Highlander into her world. Though the man has lost all his memories, she finds her attraction growing for this brooding warrior with each passing day. Unable to deny her feelings, Aine risks everything when she confesses her greatest secret.

Can a beauty who wished for a champion tame the beast of Leòmhann Castle?

I just want to add that I had the privilege of reading an ARC of this book and you can find my 5-Star review HERE!

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/31DeYa

About the Author

Multi award-winning paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic and Norse mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of fantasy, then travel back in time within the pages of her books.

Connect with Mary here ~

Website/Blog:  https://www.marymorganauthor.com/

Amazon Author:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/

The Hundred Trilogy – Box Set @JeanGrant05 #Scotland

I am super excited to share a new-to-me author with you. Jean Grant has a trilogy set in Scotland in the 1200 and 1300s. I am intrigued by anything related to Scotland and Ireland, so these books grabbed my attention.

I’ll let Jean tell you about them.

Thank you, Jan, for letting me come on your blog today and talk about this trilogy.

The MacCoinneach family is gifted but afflicted. Deeply rooted powers of healing, feeling, and prophecy run in their bloodline. Descended from the Norse and mystical Ancients of the Isles, they must each face the curses associated with their ability…they must each find the path to love.

A Hundred Breaths

1263

Gwyn of Uist is a merciful Healer but loses breaths of her life with every healing charm. She barters an alliance with a Scot bent on revenge against her Norse kin, in the hopes to save her brother from their abusive father. But can she and Simon MacCoinneach outwit her betrothed and bring an end to the Norse-Scottish bloodshed when it will take all her breaths to save Simon on the battlefield?

A Hundred Kisses

1296

Deirdre MacCoinneach feels the lifebloods of everyone around her…but vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Under the facade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A cruel baron hunts him, leaving little room for alliances with the lass he meets along the way. Amidst ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…

A Hundred Lies

1322

Rosalie Threston’s fortune-telling lies have caught up with her and she’s on the run from a ruthless English noblewoman. Rosalie finds refuge in the halls of Eilean Donan castle deep in the Highlands, and in the arms of the laird’s mysterious son, Domhnall Montgomerie. Terrible visions plague Domhnall and he avoids physical contact to temper them. When an accidental touch reveals only delight, he wonders if Rose is the key to silencing the Sight. Mystical awakening unravels with each kiss. But can Domhnall embrace his gift in time to save her life, even if it means exposing her lies?

Norse invasions, Scottish fights for independence, and the plights of the mystical isles’ people come together in The Hundred Trilogy.

Box Set Purchase Link

Tying a Trilogy Together

What seemed ages ago, but in the grand scheme of life, only about 6 or 7 years ago, I sat down to write another manuscript. With three “practice” novels written but shelved, I dug into a new story. I changed my time period from 12th to 13th century during the Scottish Wars of Independence, wove a mystical element into the storyline, and on some invaluable advice of an agent, worked the heck out of that story to give it twists and turns to excite me, the reader. In 2017, A Hundred Kisses was born with the publishing house The Wild Rose Press.

The backstory of the heroine’s parents nagged at me. And guess what? When I looked at the history thirty years prior to the first book (which was 1296, and I looked back to 1263), lo and behold, it was a time rife with Norse-Scottish turmoil. The end of the Viking reign to boot. That story came forth in a flurry, and I found myself contemplating the third book in what was now becoming a trilogy. A Hundred Breaths (the prequel, and book one) released in 2019. Fast-forward to 1322, a time after the Scottish Wars of Independence, and A Hundred Lies was born, wrapping up my trilogy.

Each story is a standalone but can be read in or out of order. Each story tells a tale of a MacCoinneach family member “gifted but afflicted” with a mystical ability that comes at a cost: to heal but lose your own breaths in return, to feel auras/lifebloods but to feel others’ pain, and to see the future but to be unable to prevent the visions unless refraining from touch. Conquering Norse, Scottish lore, Ancient mystics, and invading English…the trilogy has a bit of everything. Can our mystical family hone their gifts for good, escape curses, discover mercy, find a home, and find love?

Universal Link

About Jean Grant:

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing after children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

Follow Jean Grant on Social Media:

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