Today I’d like you to meet
Jean M. Grant
She’s a fellow Rose with Wild Rose Press and a brilliant writer, as well as a fellow travel enthusiast!
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.
Jean has a brand new book out entitled A Hundred Breaths
Healing his heart…with her last breath.
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?
Writing a series that has a lot of history, connections, and misperception about it myself, I asked Jean to give us a few facts, known and unknown about the Vikings and here’s what she had to say.
Vikings refer to people of Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden) from 750-1300 A.D., though their reign had greatly diminished after 1100 A.D.
They put rocks inside the keel of a ship beneath removable planks for stability, and longships were made with a shallow draft and square sails to navigate rivers, coastal waters, and fjords, as well as open sea.
There were three main types of ships: longships (warships that could carry 100 men), cargo ships (called knörr), and small coastal river ships.
How did they navigate? Simple Mother Nature (including birds and the color of the sea), a sunstone, and the night sky. And luck. They were messy navigators, and even messier fighters. Though this unorganized brutality caught many opponents by surprise.
They traveled far: ranging as far as Russia, Africa, and Asia Minor, and as far west as North America (Newfoundland) around 1000 A.D.
Some Norse words present in English: Thursday (Thor’s day), window (vindauga), guest (gestr), anger (angr), husband (húsbóndi) to name a few of hundreds.
Viking women had a freer status compared to many in Europe for this time period, with duties of maintaining the farm and wealth; some could be rune masters, priestesses, merchants, and warriors.
The phrase “going berserk” comes from the elite warriors called Berserkers (Old Norse berserkir, “bear-shirts”) and úlfheðnar (“wolf-shirts”). These crazed warriors were rumored to either have supernatural powers (possessed by animal spirits), or modern theory suggests this trance-like frenzy was induced by drugs, alcohol, or precipitated by mental illness.
Viking men loved blond hair and would use lye to bleach it.
Though information abounds online, my primary resources included a tour of the Draken Harald Hårfagre, and several books including: The Sea Wolves, A History of the Vikings by Lars Brownworth; Norse Myths by Martin J. Dougherty; Vikings: Raiders, Traders, and Masters of the Sea by Rodney Castleden.
Intrigued? Here’s a taste…
She breathed two deep life-giving breaths.
Pull breath from my body.
Heal this man with my own breath.
A thermal life filled her fingertips as she clasped the Healer’s stone in her pocket. For something small, water was not necessary. However, if left unattended, it
could and would kill.
The man faltered but didn’t move from her light grasp. Wind rustled her hair as Eir surrounded her. Unlike her mother, she never plaited it for healing. She liked to feel Eir’s fingers upon her and the fiery rush of healing as it flowed through her arms to the injured person, as the wind lifted her hair, announcing its presence.
“What the—?” He drew in a sharp breath.
She mouthed the rest of the chant, invoking the goddess’s power. She moved closer to him, their bodies an intimate—and stirring—distance apart. His nearness captured her breath, and not just from the healing.
“What are you doing?” His words said one thing while his body said another. He didn’t step away. His breathing hitched and then steadied.
“It’s not the devil’s works,” she clipped.
“Then what in the devil are you saying? That’s not Norse.”
She ignored him. He placed a gentle, nearly sedated hand on her free arm in protest, but he did nothing. Her healing had a way of stunning and spellbinding her charges. It was working.
A long moment passed. She opened her eyes and stepped back, releasing her hold. He let go of her other arm and immediately reached to touch the wound. Her stomach twisted as she broke from the enchantment. This was her father’s enemy, a murderer. Finished with her prayer, she stepped away, hit with coldness.
Where to find this wonderful writer:
Social Media links:
(links are in the quick link hyperlink and the long URL; use either)
What more Jean M. Grant?
A Hundred Kisses
is her first published novel,
and she has just released in audiobook format as well.
First, here’s a bit about A Hundred Kisses…
A broken past, a broken heart…and a broken curse.
Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.
Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.
Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.
Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…
I am an avid fan of listening to audio books. When I worked out of the home, they were my pleasant company on the commute. When we take long road trips, the lyrical voices sweep us away and help the hours pass (btw, the Harry Potter series on audio – divine! Same goes with Outlander.). So, when I heard that my book’s publisher, The Wild Rose Press, added this opportunity, I jumped at it! After a few months and no bites from narrators, I took the next step: I researched several voice actors available with ACX, emailed them, and hoped for the best. If I learned anything in the past year of my first book’s release, it’s that the author must take initiative in marketing and promotion (and I am still learning and have a massive list of “to-do’s” to attack this fall for two more upcoming books). I was elated that Rosalind Ashford agreed to narrate the book. It was like Christmas each week for me when I received the audiobook chapters to listen to and review. She was pleasant to work with and I hope you enjoy her work with A Hundred Kisses as much as I do! Happy reading, err, listening!
p.s. Rosalind stopped by on my blog to tell me more about her background
and the recording process.
I absolutely LOVE audiobooks too and find myself listening more than reading these days, unfortunately. What’re your top five reasons for loving the audio format?
- The commute to work/road trips/travel
- I can multitask during exercise, cleaning…
- The lyrical and magical voices of the narrators
- My eyes get tired writing and editing all day
- To get lost in another world and daydream
p.s. and no, I’ve never crashed my car or gotten distracted while listening. In fact, I used to get to work, park, and not want to leave my car mid-scene.
I’ve caught myself belly laughing at times while wearing headphones and have received some of the strangest looks from people! Well, as I said before Jean is a travel enthusiast and like me has a love for Scotland, which is where A Hundred Kisses is set. Below she’s testing your knowledge of Scottish trivia, let’s see how you do? No Cheating!
- Which of these is not a name of a Scottish isle?
- A Hundred Kisses takes place at this famous castle.
- Eilean Donan
- It’s the year 1296. Who’s the king of England?
- Henry V
- Edward I
- Richard II
- Edward III
- Somebody with a number after their name. Pass the Whisky!
- All of the following are in Haggis except:
- Sheep liver
- Sheep heart
- It’s all encased in sheep stomach
- All of these are parts of haggis
- True or False – Men wore kilts in 13th century Scotland
- MacCoinneach is the precursor name of what Scottish clan name?
- Uhh, something that starts with Mac?
- Bannocks are:
- Decorations hanging on walls in castles
- Oat cakes
- A type of medieval drum
- Special pants that men wore in 13th century Scotland
- Sheep balls
- In A Hundred Kisses, Deirdre’s ability to sense lifebloods stems from which of the four elements?
Answers: 1 – c, 2 – b, 3 – b, 4 – f, 5 – false, 6 – b, 7 – b, 8 – d
It sounds intriguing, right? To give you a little bit more, here’s an excerpt.
She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.
She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.
When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.
She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.
His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.
iTunes: A Hundred Kisses (Unabridged)
Thanks, Jean for coming by for a visit! I wish you every success on A Hundred Kisses.
If you want to follow Jean’s success, learn more about her or her publications, click on one of her media links below!