Tag Archives: Vikings

#bookrelease featuring #WRPbks Author Jean Grant, A Hundred Breaths

You all know I lovelovelove when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visits and brings me info on a new book they’ve got releasing. Today, JEAN GRANT is visiting and telling me – and you ! – about her new book release A HUNDRED BREATHS available today! First, Jean’s giving us a little insight into how she does her research for the book. Then, stick around because she’s got a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from the book to whet your reading appetites!!

Here’s Jean…..

Researching Culture and Setting: Viking ships, Abbeys, and Enchanting Castles

Like any novel, I take my research seriously! A Hundred Breaths delves into the Norse culture and I was fortunate to tour an actual Viking ship, the Draken Harald Hårfagre, last year. When I heard this ship was coming to a port near us (Mystic, CT, and only an hour drive away), I messaged the captain and booked myself tickets. The researcher in me squealed with delight. The ship did not let me down. I asked questions, got to walk along the deck, and my sons got to “steer” with the steerboard. This ship was built as a fully working replica based on much research of Norse vessels. The crew was handpicked and sailed it cross the Atlantic Ocean. Exploring the vessel gave me a taste of what it must have been like to sail the ocean as a Viking.

 

Gwyn and Simon’s journey in A Hundred Breaths also takes them to Dryburgh Abbey. I had loved Scotland for years, and in 2008, finally planned a visit there. One stop was to visit the lowland abbeys. I’ll admit that Dryburgh Abbey was an idea from a previous manuscript (ahem, a “practice one”). With a bit of brainstorming, and since I had already done the research and visited the rosy stone abbey, I worked this setting into part of the story. Though much in ruins, a few of the sidewalls remain. Echoes of yesterday blew on the wind (aye, wet wind…did I mention it rained during our entire trip to Scotland?) as we explored this ancient landmark. It was eerie, exquisite, and inspiring.

Aside from the moors and machair of the Western isles, the other key location for the series is Eilean Donan Castle. This castle originated in the 13th century, becoming the future seat of Clan MacKenzie, and has been burned, attacked, and rebuilt numerous times. The sun shone on us during this visit, and right before a tour bus unloaded, we snapped some picturesque shots of this highly photographed romantic Scottish castle.

Next on the wish list? To get to Uist, Lewis, and Harris on our next trip to Scotland (we made it to Skye, and it was a soaker), visit some standing stones, and find out if I can also feel the earth’s hum within them…and for the hiker in me, I would enjoy the multi-day trek along Hadrian’s Wall.

A HUNDRED BREATHS

 

1263, Scotland

Simon MacCoinneach’s vengeance runs deep. The blade is the only way to end the blood-thirsty Nordmen’s reign upon Scottish soil. His soul might be lost, but the mystical Healer he kidnaps from the isles could be the answer for his ailing mother…and his heart.

Isles-born Gwyn reluctantly agrees to a marriage alliance with this heathen Scot in return for the sanctuary of her younger brother from her abusive Norse father. Her brother’s condition is beyond the scope of her Ancient power, for larger healings steal breaths of life from her own body.

As Simon and Gwyn fight to outwit her madman father and a resentful Norse betrothed, Gwyn softens Simon’s heart with each merciful touch. Gwyn’s Seer sister foresees a bloody battle—and an end to the Nordmen—but Simon will also die. Will Gwyn save Simon on the battlefield even if it means losing her last breath?

Excerpt 

“I’m your wife, and still I am guarded?”

Simon shrugged though she couldn’t see. He’d given up on excuses. “What must I do to prove I won’t flee? I signed your marriage contract. I said my vows.” Her voice broke on those words.

Was she crying? He laid the tray of food on her table and approached. He didn’t touch her, as much as he wanted to link his arm within hers as they’d done during their walks. He reached inside his ganache and withdrew her small, simple dagger. Unadorned with jewels or carvings, it possessed a bone hilt and a blade worn from use. Likely from tree limbs, flowers, and household use. His smith had sharpened it and cleaned the hilt.

“Here,” he said, placing it in her lap. Gildy had retrieved the sheath from Gwyn’s laundered gown.

Gwyn stared at it, her fingertips dancing butterfly wings hovering over the hilt. After a moment, she drew her hand around it and pulled it from its leather sheath. She rose and whirled on him, the dagger pointed out before her, barely pressing into his chest.

He didn’t retreat as he met her fiery, misty gaze.

She made no move to remove the dagger’s tip.

“A smidge to the center, Gwyn, and you’ll be square over my blackened heart.” He held her glower. The heat blazed in her entrancing blue eyes like the devil. He fought a smile.

Buy links: 

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Google Play

A little more 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 children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

Social Media links:

Website  //   Twitter //  Facebook //  Goodreads // Bookbub //  Amazon Author Page

Peggy here – Jean, thank you so much for being my guest today. Good luck with A Hundred Breaths and all of your other endeavors!

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An #interview with author Peggy Chambers

 I’ve recently met a new author to me and thought I’d introduce her to all of you as well. Say hello to writer Peggy Chambers. Peggy’s got a new release out and she “stopped by”the other day to be grilled by yours truly. Sit back and find out more about this lovely author.

Peggy Chambers: The Writer

  1. What drives you to write? I began to write when my parents became ill. It was a way to get thoughts and feelings down on paper. Now, I feel compelled to write to get the stories out of my head and on paper. I think I’ll write until I can no longer hold a pencil or open a lap top.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why? I write romantic suspense. I am not attracted to romance only books. I need an underlying mystery or suspense to hold my attention.
  3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read romantic suspense and historical romance (Outlander series). I need an underlying mystery or suspense to hold my attention. I am a former romantic – and then life got in the way.
  4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I normally write every day. Some days I write longer than others. I find that if I can carve out about 4 hours and close myself off from the world, I accomplish more. Short snippets of time are better for editing than creating the original story.
  5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

I inherited the old recliner that belonged to my father-in-law. It is well-worn burgundy leather that still smells like him when it warms up. It is cozy and comfy and it sits in the spare bedroom with my grandmother’s antique bedroom set. I sit with my laptop in my lap and fall into a different world. Recently I received a rare gift from an immensely talented artist, Pauline Jones. Pauline and I worked together. She loved my books and one day we traded our art. Her beautiful picture now hangs above my father-in-law’s recliner as a muse over my shoulder as I write.

I find this mostly unused bedroom suits me well. Here I am surrounded by my past, my family, and my friends. My mother-in-law’s roll-top desk holds the computer when it is charging, the small table that my father loved to eat ice cream on as a child is in the corner. I have a bench and quilt rack that I created when I took some woodworking classes, and of course, there is a bookcase for my grandson’s books when he was young.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel vision? I need quiet to compose – I need to immerse myself in my characters and their lives.
  2. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? Sometimes, but only instrumentals, no lyrics. They mess with my creative side.   I try to sing along. I love classical music.
  3. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I took three short stories with strong characters and put them together. The hardest part was trying to decide what their purpose was – what did they need to accomplish together. I finally found that thing and the WIP is coming together even though slowly.

9.Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? I think my characters play the main part. Strong characters make a strong plot.

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Creative, driven, conflicted. (I’m conflicted because I write more than one genre)

Peggy, The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I once ate Wart Hog pizza for lunch on an African safari.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? My husband, we were high school sweethearts.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. A day spent with my children when they were young and the fun we had as a family playing with the dog or on vacation.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Hairspray.
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Kind, worker, organized
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? You are the Sunshine of my Life
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any timeline, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Claire Frazer

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound laughing
  2. Least favorite sound Nails on a blackboard
  3. Best song every written Halleluiah by Leonard Cohen
  4. Worst song ever written Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer by Randy Brooks
  5. Favorite actor and actress Harrison Ford and Charlize Theron
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead) Stephen King to see what goes on in his head.
  7. What turns you on? kindness
  8. What turns you off? anger
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) My mother has that same bikini. (sorry, that’s 6)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? A road trip and picnic

Blurb:

Fourteen years ago, Ethan met Glome, the Viking ghost, and the fairies at the cottage where his father was studying the Heavener Runestone. Now Ethan was back and news traveled fast in the forest. Currently working on his Ph.D. in Archeology, Ethan soon found the forest much as he left it when he was young. Only he had changed.

While making s’mores with Glome and the energetic fairies, Ethan learned that the Vinland Maps lay hidden in a nearby cave. They were drawn by Vikings who traveled to North America long before Columbus. Every self-respecting archeologist had read about the maps in college. And he wanted them.

Warned by Trondelag, the dragon, not to go up against Loki and the draugrs for a piece of paper to make him famous, Ethan decided to go anyway. And then there was Mac – his doppelganger from when he was young. Would he be able to protect her? With his magic sword and friends to back him up, how could he lose?

Once again Ethan revisits the runestone only to face challenges and find adventure, danger, surprises, and an epic battle.

Excerpt:

The dragon’s scaly head broke the surface of the pond and burst into the ebony sky like a missile, sending cattails and sleepy dragonflies spewing from both sides of the pond. Her long neck was quickly followed by a massive body that glowed a blood red on the underside. Free from the confines of the pond and finally airborne, the front legs unfolded releasing her magnificent crimson wings edged in shining gold. She flapped once, sending the trees bending to her glory and flames belched from her mighty jaws illuminating the moonlit night. Then, pointing her nose toward the cave the draugrs guarded, she flapped once again and rocketed through the night sky like a giant ruby ready to explode.

Fafnir sat on his bat watching the spectacle, then followed at a safe distance to avoid the prop wash created by her wings and magnificent tail. The cave, a half-day’s hike from the cottage on foot, was a mere three flaps of the monstrous wings – and all eyes looked up – marveling at her arrival.

Buy Links:

Amazon

A little about Peggy Chambers

Peggy Chambers calls Enid, Oklahoma home. She has been writing for several years and is an award-winning, published author, always working on another. There aren’t enough hours in the day. She has two children, five grandchildren, and lives with her husband and dog. She adores travel and the great outdoors, even if it is just taking the dog for a walk and once ate warthog pizza for lunch when she followed her husband across deepest, darkest Africa. She even climbed the pyramids at Chichen Itza.

She attended Phillips University, the University of Central Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.   She is a member of the Enid Writers’ Club, Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc., and Oklahoma Women Bloggers. There is always another story weaving itself around in her brain trying to come out.

Connect with Peggy here:

website // FaceBook // Twitter // Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

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