#NewRelease! Rorik by @m_morganauthor #Medieval #Scotland #ClanoftheSutherlandWolves

I am thrilled to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Mary Morgan to my blog today! She is a wonderful writer and has a new release to tell you about.

Hello, Jan! I’m delighted to be visiting your lovely blog today and talking about my new release, Rorik, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, Book 2. Let me share a wee bit of my journey to Orkney and Scotland which helped to inspire this series.

During our trip, several years ago to Northern Scotland and the Orkney Islands, my husband and I were fortunate to have a personal guide escort us. David Ladd was exceptional in his knowledge—from referencing the names of flowers in the most obscure places to the wildlife and history, especially during our travels on Orkney. He took us on an amazing adventure, oftentimes off the well-worn path, revealing spectacular vistas. I shall always treasure our time with him and for allowing me to crawl into the Tomb of the Eagles in South Ronaldsay, Orkney. For a few hazarding moments, I worried David and my husband when I had trouble getting out of the small tomb. Was I worried? No.

Before I entered, rain and wind pelted us on our mile walk up the hill. Once I crawled inside the small tomb, I stood and encountered utter silence—no howling wind and no rain leaked through the crevices of stone. It was as if I entered another time and place—literally. Here were my immediate reactions within this cairn: Peace. Stillness. I am not alone.

Let me explain further about the Tomb of Eagles…

Located above the dramatic South Ronaldsay cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn—better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’—is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites. Discovered by a local farmer Ronnie Simison in the 1950s, the Stone Age tomb revealed an amazing collection of bones and artifacts, placed here some 5,000 years ago. Among the human bones, there were many talons and bones of the white-tailed eagle.

The Tomb of Eagles played an important part in the book. I took my experience and wove it into the story and through the first book, Magnar.

For Rorik’s story, I brought the Seer of the Orkneyjar Isles (Orkney) to Scotland. Not only was Ragna a seer, but also a Völva—a wise woman. Seers held high status in Viking society. They were treated with great respect when they came to help a household or settlement in distress. Even the God Odin consulted the seers.

In my story, Ragna converses with the Goddess and has the ability to connect with the birds and animals. With her magical powers, she can become one with them. Then I had to consider the landscape in Northern Scotland which was vastly different than the Orkneyjar Isles.  

Here are Ragna’s first impressions as she steps onto Scottish soil…

Her body trembled. How Ragna loathed traveling across the wide-open water. She glanced to her left at the towering cliffs of dark stone. The waves crashed behind her, and she resumed her progress slowly.

Bending down, she dug two fingers deep within the gritty shore. Coldness seeped into her skin as she tried to get a sense of this country. Others whispered to her from the land—ancient and unfamiliar. Wild and strange this Scotland. Never had Ragna considered leaving the Orkneyjar Isles.

Until recently.

To this day, I continue to process all my emotions and experiences from my travels to Northern Scotland and the Orkney Islands. The land continually calls me to return home.  


Blurb:
The Dark Seducer is known throughout Scotland as a man who charms many women into his bed. Pleasure is his motto as he obtains information for his king. Yet Rorik MacNeil harbors one secret buried beneath his heart of steel. An unfulfilled conquest plagues both man and his inner wolf, and Rorik would rather suffer death’s sharp blade than confront his greatest fear.
 
As the Seer for the Orkneyjar Isles, Ragna Maddadsson confronts an unknown destiny when she travels across the North Sea to Scotland. In her quest to deliver a message from a powerful vision, she fears the warrior will not listen. If Rorik ignores her warning, Ragna must find a way to forestall his impending death. If unsuccessful, she risks having her heart cleaved in two. 
 
To unravel their true fates, Rorik and Ragna must trust in the power of the wolf.  

Excerpt:
 
If he could, Rorik would remain on this boulder by the river for the duration of the evening and into night. His stomach growled in protest, and he realized he had little food this day. He reached for his aleskin and took a sip.
 
Even the thought of entertaining Hallgerd left a hollow ache within. “For all I ken you might have the face of a goat.”
 
Rorik sensed the intruder’s approach behind him before the first footstep sounded. He lifted his left hand and rested it on the hilt of his sword by his side.
 
“I happen to cherish the faces of my goats, though they are stubborn creatures.”
 
The ale soured in his gut. “Seer.” He released his hand from his sword and continued to stare outward.
 
When silence greeted him, he dared to glance over his shoulder. Wariness from her all-knowing eyes reflected at Rorik, not the bitter coldness she often imparted to him. “Why have you come?”
 
Ragna lifted her chin. “I have a message you must hear fully.”
 
Shrugging, Rorik resumed his gaze outward. “Then speak your words.”
 
Again, the woman remained silent. Rorik pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.
 
“Do you not deem it best to put on your tunic?” she suggested, stepping closer and brushing the garment against his arm.
 
Slowly, Rorik lifted his head to look at her. Even her words sounded different. They were almost a plea, not filled with terse venom. A rosy stain had blossomed on her ivory cheeks, and her breathing appeared labored. He pondered two things—either his naked form disgusted her or perchance appealed to her. Surely, she despises me, nothing more.
 
The barb he wanted to fling out at her became trapped on his tongue. He guzzled deeply from the aleskin. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he dropped the empty skin next to his sword and swiftly got off the boulder.
 
Ragna gasped and clutched his tunic to her breasts. Yet she did not avert her eyes.
 
He dared to move toward her.
 
Her eyes widened and she stumbled back, dropping his tunic.
 
Rorik reached out and grabbed her hand, preventing her from falling. The contact of her skin against his sent a tremor of warmth up his arm. This time, his breathing became labored while he stared into her gray eyes. He found no hatred there—only beauty within their depths. His gaze traveled down to her full red lips, partially open and begging to be kissed.

Buy Links:
 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093Y2FG9K/
 
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Rorik-Wolves-Clan-Sutherland-Book-ebook/dp/B093Y2FG9K/
 
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rorik-Wolves-Clan-Sutherland-Book-ebook/dp/B093Y2FG9K/
 
Amazon: AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Rorik-Wolves-Clan-Sutherland-Book-ebook/dp/B093Y2FG9K/
 
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rorik-mary-morgan/1139405450
 
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/rorik/id1566954806
 
 
Author, Mary Morgan

About Mary Morgan

Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy 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 mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing 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 magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

Connect with Mary at these places:

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/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

Audible: https://www.audible.com/author/Mary-Morgan/B00KPE3NWI

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-morgan-2634a77a/

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:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

May #BookReviews Part 2 – @stacitroilo @m_morganauthor @ErskineCaldwell

This is Part 2 of my May Book Reviews and I am thrilled to share my thoughts on these three books with you!

Life in the Colorado mountains isn’t easy for immigrants Anita and Ottavio Notaro, particularly when they’re isolated on a hillside and barely speak the language. Anita is carrying their first child, and Tav works many long, hard hours away from home. This isn’t the American dream they were promised; this is a brutal life on the frontier. Tav has been saving money to make their lives easier, and he stumbles on a windfall. The only problem is, he isn’t the only one who knows about it. Trouble befalls these two humble Italians, threatening their livelihoods—and their lives.

A strange posse made up of fellow countrymen ride to their rescue. But will they get there in time?

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:


This short story sets the stage to begin the Medici Protectorate Series and after reading this introduction, I will be reading the rest of this series. The story gripped me from the first word on the first page to the last. A young Italian couple living on the rugged frontier in the Colorado mountains is struggling to survive. Ottavio and Anita Notaro have one dream and that is to return to their beloved homeland. Anita is heavy with their first child. Ottavio works hard and when he finds a treasure that will pay for their trip back home, he is overjoyed. But he isn’t the only one who knows about the treasure. The tragedy that befalls Anita and Tav is heartbreaking. This story is written in rich narrative, heavily descriptive, and filled with emotion that drips off the pages. It includes folklore, history, and even a touch of mysticism. I am anxious to dive into book one of the Medici Protectorate Series to see what happens next!

Known as the Barbarian, Magnar MacAlpin is a fierce ruler for those under his command. As leader of the Wolves of Clan Sutherland, his loyalty and obedience lies with Scotland. However, the king’s last demand is not something Magnar will tolerate.

After Elspeth Gunn’s brother the Chieftain of Castle Steinn is murdered, she flees with her nephew, and finds safety amongst a band of men who are rumored to be part wolf. When the king forces her to wed a heathen Northman, she fears losing her heart and soul not only to the man, but the beast as well.

In order to restore peace to a shattered clan, Magnar and Elspeth travel a treacherous path that challenges their beliefs. When evil seeks to destroy ancient traditions, will Magnar be compelled to restrain his wolf or allow him free to protect those he loves?

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:


This is the first book in the Wolves of the Clan Sutherland series. Set in Scotland in 1206, this story combines history, magic, folklore, and myth with reality. Magnar is the powerful and undisputed leader of the Sutherland Wolf Clan. All members of the clan are part man, part wolf but their power is in controlling the beast that resides within. They are fierce warriors and loyal to King William of Scotland. It would take a special kind of woman to win Magnar’s heart, to love both him and the wolf, and that woman is Elspeth. When her brother, Chieftan of Steinn castle, is murdered by heathen Northmen, she escapes taking her small nephew with her. Little Erik is now Chieftan by default, at the age of 7. Starving, she steals bags from two horses, never suspecting she has stolen from the king. When she and the young chieftain are brought before King William, he offers shelter and protection. He then commissions Magnar and his clan to go and rid the castle of the marauders. But to bring peace to the clans, the King orders Magnar to marry Elspeth. What starts out as a cautious and untrusting marriage soon turns steamy. This is a fantastic story with layers of side plots, including a twin brother unknown to Magnar. The two are destined to clash. This author did a fantastic job of weaving all of the layers together seamlessly and depicting the time period perfectly. I devoured the book and am now anxious for book 2, Rorik. If you love a steamy romance from that time period in the setting of Scotland and the Orkney Islands, this book is for you! If I could give it more than five stars, I would!

Single father and poor Southern farmer Ty Ty Walden has a plan to save his farm and his family: He will tear his fields apart until he finds gold. While Ty Ty obsesses over his fool’s quest, his sons and daughters search in vain for their own dreams of instant happiness—whether from money, violence, or sex. God’s Little Acre is a classic dark comedy, a satire that lampoons a broken South while holding a light to the toll that poverty takes on the hopes and dreams of the poor themselves. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erskine Caldwell including rare photos and never-before-seen documents courtesy of the Dartmouth College Library.

KINDLE PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I have always been a huge fan of Erskine Caldwell’s writing and lucked out recently in finding several of his books in a half-price book store in Dallas. I bought all of them and am now rereading them. I started with “God’s Little Acre.” This book was first published in 1933 and there is no way on earth this book would be published in today’s social climate. Erskine depicts poverty, attitudes, and social separations perfectly in this story. It opens with Ty Ty Walden digging deep holes all over his small Georgia farm. He is convinced there is gold under the ground. Two of his sons help him daily with the digging while sharecroppers make a half-hearted attempt to farm the land that isn’t riddled with holes. Because Ty Ty is a god-fearing man, he has designated one acre of his farm as God’s little acre with all profits realized from that acre to be donated to the church. However, when he thinks he is close to finding gold on that acre, he moves it. 🙂 Caldwell had such a distinct style of writing. The dialogue is original and true to the times and demographics of the story. Phrases such as “and that’s a fact,” follow many conversations. The loose morals of the women in this story are depicted in such a way that is believable but not offensive (at least to me.) As the story unfolds, there are two major plots. The first being gold fever and the second being a different life that depends on the cotton gin running to survive. When the big wigs shut down the gin to starve out the workers, Ty Ty’s son-in-law takes the matter into his hands, determined to push past the guards, turn the power back on and return his people to work. It doesn’t end well for him. This book could possibly be classified as a tragedy, or perhaps as a high-drama, but at best it is the work of an author who dared to blur the lines and be boldly “real.” Caldwell’s greatest strength is in portraying three-dimensional characters and what motivates each. He writes from multiple points of view (a no-no in today’s literary world.) It is a classic no-holds-barred novel. If you have a weak stomach or strong social morals, this book is not going to be for you. But if you want to explore the writing genius of Erskine Caldwell, it’s a great place to start. Interestingly enough, the story is classified on Amazon as dark humor, classic humor, and literary satire. In my opinion, none of that fits. I will be making my way through the collection that I purchased. On a final note, Caldwell died in 1987. Thank goodness the publishing houses didn’t decide to keep publishing new work using a ghostwriter after his death.