Today’s Novel Magic guest, Jean M. Grant, takes us to Scotland where she delves into the magic and lore of a mystical land.
Finding the Mystic in Scotland’s Lore
by Jean Grant
Scotland is a magical place. Sweeping moors and meadows, craggy mountains, eerie castles rich in history and lore, kilted men, brogue-accents. Ahh…I fell in love a few decades ago thanks to Julie Garwood and Diana Gabaldon (of Outlander fame). The setting in A Hundred Kisses takes my hero and heroine on a journey across the Isle of Skye and the sea separating the Hebrides and mainland, and then on to the Isle of North Uist. The best way to research? Go there! My trip to Scotland and this awe-inspiring region was nothing short of remarkable and fed my imagination.
My story takes place circa 1300, so alas, there are no kilts, but there was plenty of superstition, intrigue, and magic in this time period. Myths and customs abounded and were rooted in stories of faeries or “sith,” witches, creatures, and people with mystical abilities. Since much of this is folklore, I researched and created a story filled with lore and mystique.
My heroine in A Hundred Kisses hails from the isles where the “Silver Folk”, also called the Ancients, used to dominate. Through the years they have been exploited, assimilated, or extinguished by both the Scots and the Vikings (Nordmen). Why? Well, fear and greed. Fear of the unknown, lust for their powers. These Ancient people hold a special connection to the earth through the elements of wind, fire, and water. Though my Ancients are fictional, they are loosely based on the ancient folklore of the isles. Nobody really knows definitively who built those stone circles after all…
Deirdre’s power is as a Feeler, and her conduit is fire. She can see into a person’s soul, sense their lifeblood, and know their motivations and emotions. People emit colors (much like auras) as their lifebloods…from fiery red to warm amber to icy cold blue and white. It’s an amazing and debilitating power to have such an intuitive sense of those around her.
Deirdre’s mother, a Healer, died when Deirdre was a child. The stakes are high. If others learn of Deirdre’s power in a time period when fears of witchcraft thrive it could cause the demise of her father, the laird, his people and land, and lead to her own death. Answers lay in Deirdre’s aunt, a Seer. Along comes a man, Alasdair, with his own secrets and political motivations but who is willing to travel to the far-off mystical isle of Uist to help Deirdre…even if he doesn’t know about her power, or the curse of a hundred kisses bestowed upon her. Enter a passionate journey where spirits are tested, secrets revealed, hearts healed, and mysteries explored.
Though I fell in love with the beauty and history of this land and people, I found that delving into the mystic of Deirdre’s kin to be a fascinating and rewarding journey. So much so that I wrote a prequel about her mother, where we dig even deeper into the story of these Ancients (to be published in early 2019), and I’m working on a sequel. I’m a scientist by training and sure do enjoy some hardcore evidence and facts, but admittedly, I had fun expanding my mind into the unknown and exploring the spiritual connection people may have with the land. I hope my readers will enjoy it, too!
So What’s It All About?
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…
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iTunes: A Hundred Kisses (Unabridged)
Meet Jean M. 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. A Hundred Kisses is her first published novel. On the front for publication in early 2019: the prequel (A Hundred Breaths), a contemporary women’s fiction, and a contemporary romance.
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