A Celtic Blessing
May the blessing of rain be on you --
the soft, sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
I am happy and proud to host one of my favorite authors as she does a tour with Silver Dagger! We have a guest post, a DELICIOUS, not-to-be-missed excerpt, links, and a Giveaway! So exciting! Welcome as always, Mary!
The Wolves of Clan Sutherland Book 2
by Mary Morgan
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
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.
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8 Reasons You Should Read RORIK
1. The Vikings had their ancient laws, but you will also learn the Wolves of Clan Sutherland had their own called the Nine Noble Virtues of Wolf Lore.
2. You’ll get to meet a powerful Seer and wise woman from the Orkneyjar Isles who does not get along with a certain wolf in the elite guard.
3. You learn several ways how Rorik can shift magically into a wolf—from swiftly and quietly, to uttering a chant and transforming into the animal.
4. You’ll have a chance to revisit characters from the first book, Magnar.
5. Find out the other magical gift Rorik possesses.
6. Experience a Viking sporting game over a raging river.
7. Learn what happens when Rorik surrenders control to his inner wolf.
8. Norse Mythology comes alive within the pages of this story, and when you’re done, you’ll feel transported into Rorik and Ragna’s world.
I absolutely loved the book, especially Rorik! Following is my review.
She’s done it again! Master storyteller Mary Morgan has woven history, magic, and very human emotions into an unforgettable and poignant romance. Rorik transports readers back to the ancient lands of Orkneyjar and the Scottish Highlands, during the reign of King William the Lion of Scotland. Reading the story feels like a sublime form of time travel. The author is not only thorough in her research; she has visited the beautiful, mystical places she describes.
Rorik and Ragna are among the most compelling characters I have ever read – ever. He is intense, beautiful, tortured. She is simply magnificent.
This couple has a history, and they fight hard against their feelings for each other. But their hearts – and his wolf -- won’t be denied. The love scenes are passionate, beautiful, and deliciously sweet.
Love this couple.
I love the story, too. There’s lots of action, tension, and satisfaction.
It’s a boon and delight to catch up with Magnar and Elspeth. They are still their strong selves and more in love than ever. There is nothing soft or sweet about Magnar except when it comes to Elspeth. He does something for her – I won’t say what – that is so dear, so meaningful.
It’s also great to be reacquainted with some of the other fascinating characters from Magnar.
I am enthralled by The Wolves of Clan Sutherland and already waiting eagerly for the next book in this spectacular series.
Hats off, Mary Morgan. Five stars!
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.
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Okay, just... swoon!
“Have you been eating the fresh berries in the meadow, Ragna?” asked the male voice behind her.
The man rolled her name off his tongue, sending shivers down her back. She knew him well, often staring at him while she traveled into the nearby village of Kirkjuvágr.
Doing her best to compose herself, she wiped the palms of her hands down the front of her gown and turned around. “I have yet to find any. Why do you ask?”
Rorik stepped forth from the shadow of a tree. His smile came slowly as he approached her.
She tried to control the fierce beating of her heart as the man loomed over her with a dark and hungry gaze.
“Your lips are as red as the berries that grow in abundance in the meadow,” he stated softly.
“’Tis only an apple I have been eating.” Unable to move away, Ragna studied the man’s features—from his deep green eyes to the dimple hidden within the dark facial hair covering his chin. To suppress the urge of twining her fingers into his long ebony hair, she dug her fingers into her gown. She thought the warrior had to be chiseled from the Gods.
Rorik lifted his hand and gently pressed his thumb against her bottom lip. “Beauty.”
An ache grew within Ragna. His nearness made her weak and without breath. When his hand slipped around her waist, she collapsed into his embrace, placing her palms against his broad chest.
“What are you doing?”
“I want to taste your lips, Ragna. I have thought of nothing else these long summer days.”
She tried to breathe, finding it difficult within his strong embrace. “Why me?” she blurted out on a gasp.
He lowered his head near her ear. “Why not you?”
$25 Amazon gift card and a signed print copy of RORIK
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Happy August! It's historically our hottest month here in Texas, but it always has me looking towards fall. I don't know what it is -- a certain slant of light, the knowledge that my favorite season, Autumn, is less than two months away. But it's always there, an upward tilt of optimism despite the broiling/baking/ sizzling weather ahead.
For Catholics, it's the Month of Mary, a peaceful time of prayer and reflection. As days heat up and schedules pick up, the gentle reminders to slow down, to be still for a moment, are helpful and sweet.
August 1, Lùnastal also known as Lughnasadh and Lammas, is an ancient celebration that marks the beginning of the harvest season in Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain. Here in Texas, it might be harvest time only in that many gardeners will be clearing the last of their summer plantings, harvesting what's left. It will soon be time to sow seeds for fall. Garden planning has begun.
Students are getting ready for school. Around here, they begin well before Labor Day. There is a sense of anticipation and preparation in the air.
I think that's it, how I feel about August. It's a time of anticipation and preparation.
We returned from vacation and hit the ground running. I had known that we needed the break. I wasn’t even in denial as to how much. And when we got back, that realization was doubly-confirmed. And that’s okay. Life is good. Life is hectic. Life is full. Thank you, God.
I’ve sort of fallen in love with short road trips – especially if the destination is the mountains. I’m not sure how keen I would be to drive cross-country anymore. We did that a lot when our boys were small. But a day’s drive, even a long one, gives us more control over our trip and it’s just a lot easier to toss everything into the car and go.
I didn’t post much while on vacation. For one thing, we had no internet at our mountain cabin. We couldn’t even watch tv because the setup depended on streaming and the line had been spliced. It wasn’t repaired during our stay. We were a bit alarmed initially because Joseph had a little work to finish up, but it all worked out. We had one or two bars near certain windows and usually we were too tired from hiking to want to go online, anyway. We sat outside, cooked some great meals together, and relaxed.
But now I’m home. I have internet. 😊 I can share thoughts, photos. How about this sunset?
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
Lucas van Valckenborch (1535-1597)
Do you like grocery shopping? If you don’t, you might think I’m being a little, um, let’s just say… a little dramatic.
Where do you buy your food? I realize that in many parts of the world, even here in the states, groceries can be and usually are purchased from small shops and markets, not gargantuan grocery stores/supermarkets. I’ve often thought how much I would enjoy shopping that way, buying high quality goods from local merchants, enjoying a chat, picking up a bouquet of fresh flowers on my way home.
We have farmers markets in the greater Houston area, but not that many. Most aren’t near our neighborhood and the few that are aren’t open daily. On the other hand, our closest grocery store is really close and at least it carries some fresh, Texas produce.
I’m not a fan of shopping, but I’ve always appreciated grocery stores. Does that sound odd? Who doesn’t, you might ask? But I think my view of them is not so common. I sort of see them as modern versions of medieval markets. Food is a necessity. We all have to obtain it from someplace. We always have. Holidays and seasons add fun and interest. The people working there also often add fun and interest. Something’s always going on. Supermarkets are dynamic and necessary.
Super markets. Markets. Yes, they are markets and the people who work there are merchants, just like in medieval times, just like in many towns even today. And I, at least, am a villager, ambling down the aisles in lieu of a winding, village street, often seeing people I know, sometimes exchanging a few words with some of the store’s employees. A lot of them have worked there ever since I’ve shopped there, several years now. It’s where they earn their livelihood.
It’s all just so human. Things change over time, but not all things change completely. There’s a timeless aspect to selling and procuring food and dry goods. I like to be aware of the timelessness, to embrace the humanity, and be in the present.
So, am I way overthinking grocery shopping? Perhaps. But it’s not really all about the groceries.
So, there I was, pleased as punch that I'd consolidated my blogs. I'd feel more free to write about everything, share my interests, bare my soul.
But I have very specific interests. It didn't work at all. I'd had a garden blog for over a decade. I have a garden memoir on the back burner. But every time I wanted to write a gardening post, I stopped myself. I can't only write gardening posts on a multi-topic blog.
And how many gardeners love romance? Probably a great many, if I know romance writers -- and I do. But certainly not all.
So I've decided to keep Grains of Sand as a more personal blog, with book reviews, even a few interviews, for topics.
It's going to be fun! Rubbing my hands together...
Thank you for your patience! More soon!
June. Where we live, it's the beginning of unrelenting heat and humidity. One of our favorite escapes is to the beach. My husband likes to fish. I like to nap. I also like to swim and I love to watch the seabirds. Much as I love the mountains, the ocean always impresses me. It's just so vast. It's also vulnerable.
Immense and powerful as they are, our oceans aren't immune to maltreatment. Oceans Day was first declared June 8, 1992, at the Global Forum in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008, the UN designated June 8 as World Oceans Day and observed it for the first time the following year. The impact oceans and humans have on each other is a broad topic with many subtopics. Fascinating lectures and discussions have highlighted World Oceans Day through the years.
Since last year, due to Covid, the UN hosts a day-long, virtual event that we are all welcome to join. This year's theme is The Ocean: Lives and Livelihood.
The schedule is posted on the website.
UN World Oceans Day 2021 - UN World Oceans Day
It’s such a wonderful feeling to read the first few pages of a book and realize that a wonderful story is unfolding. Crafted by an awesome storyteller, Knight of Runes is a beautiful, enthralling time travel romance. The book is filled with mystery, action, and passion.
I’ve begun to accept that author Ruth Casie was a warrior princess or a pirate, or maybe even a ninja, in another life. Her action scenes are astounding!
Even better, the romance is both tender and passionate. The relationship between Rebeka and Arik opens up and grows throughout the book. Their love for each other is deep and true. They are perfect together.
I am thrilled with the way the author handles the time-travel aspect. She doesn’t give too much away too soon and creates a perfect setup for a series. Trust me, we want more of these knights!
Many thanks to the author for a well-written, amazing, medieval escape! Five stars!
It’s as if we’ve moved to a new house, maybe even like we’ve built a new house – across the country. Ha.
But we haven’t. We just moved back into our renovated house. Anyone who has gone through home renovation knows how it feels. So does anyone who has moved. The amount of work is startling. The dust is startling. The amount of cleaning involved is downright shocking.
And so what? Now that the worst is over, I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m also loving the updates.
Are you the type of person who wants to hang the pictures almost before unpacking or do you focus on the less obvious tasks? Neither my husband nor I worry too much about the surface stuff at first. We’ve moved a lot and we’ve sort of nailed our routine. And each move – because that’s really what this is – is different, with different requirements.
For one thing, we’re not quite finished with updates. There’s going to be a Round 2. At least it should be a lot simpler. In the meantime, my husband is tackling some tasks himself. This “move”, he doesn’t have to worry about setting up the electronics. But he is installing our new stove tonight.
The kitchen cabinets have been cleaned, everything taken out, washed, and put back. Of course, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to purge and rearrange. This afternoon, I plan to unpack some books.
We’ve had more help than we ever imagined. Our family has been wonderful.
But the space has changed in all sorts of little ways and will change a little more before the renovation is complete. There’s still so much to do. Our bedroom hasn’t even been unpacked.
That’s why I’ll be taking a bit of a hiatus. It won’t be for long, maybe a week or so.
At least we know where the pictures will go. 😊
Wishing you all a wonderful week.
Hidden secrets could tear them apart as fast as their passion drove them together.
Welcome to Medieval Monday! I have the honor of hosting Ashley York. For this last week of the spring session, enjoy a "first kiss" snippet from Lachlann's Legacy.
For more more medieval romance, be sure to stop by Medieval Romance Lovers on FB. We can also be found on Twitter, #MedMonSpring21.
For more of Ashley's beautiful work, be sure to visit her website.
Now for the snippet:
He clamped his teeth, then blew a breath, puffing out his cheeks. He decided not to answer her at all. Best if she believed he was asleep. Never had his hands, his entire body ached so, urging him to set aside his chivalry and test the desire smoldering in her eyes. A need she probably couldn’t name. No, it was better to find an experienced wench to see to him. Soon. As soon as they were done here. As soon as they found the silver, returned it to the priory, and were done with this. As soon as he could get Ethne out of his thoughts.
About the book:
An 11th-century highlander must deceive a lovely woman living among outcasts in order to save his priory, but it’s his heart that’s truly at stake…
On the Moray coast in Scotland…
Ethne’s genuine and caring nature makes her invaluable to her brother as his son’s caretaker, but he and his wife treat her as little more than their servant. When she learns their tribal leader would use her chaste status for his own purposes, Ethne plans to escape and reluctantly accepts the help of Lachlann—a handsome pilgrim she only just met at the local faire.
Despite her independent spirit, Ethne feels drawn to Lachlann. Her instincts say his intentions are honorable, but can she trust him with her heart?
Raised by his godfather with few clues to his family’s past, Lachlann values his freedom and the brotherhood of his highlander kin. Disguised as a pilgrim on a mission for the priory, he encounters Ethne, a warm, intelligent maiden whose courage in the face of a loveless marriage awakens an intense need to protect her.
Unfortunately, Ethne is one of the very people he must deceive to explore the cave system containing clues to the lost treasure he seeks. But he cannot abandon her to an uncertain fate—or deny the simmering tension between them.
With religious prejudice running high and both of them facing tests of loyalty, Lachlann and Ethne may realize the only way to fight for their futures is to surrender... to each other.
Get your copy of Lachlann's Legacy here.
Happy Medieval Monday!
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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