Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: A Hundred Breaths by Jean M. Grant 💕 Fun Facts, Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Historical Romance)

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Hundred Breaths by Jean M. Grant 💕 Fun Facts, Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Historical Romance)



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?




Like any novel, I take my research seriously! A Hundred Breaths explores 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 careful 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. It was a fun day!

Interesting Viking Facts:

  • 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.


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.

    



1296

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…


    

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.




   


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36 comments :

  1. These book covers are great! I really like the one for A Hundred Kisses.

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    1. The cover artist has done an amazing job with all my covers. Thanks!!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your book with us. I always look forward to finding out about another great read.

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  3. What a lovely post! Thanks for hosting me! I'll be back to answer any questions!

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  4. A Hundred Kisses has the best cover

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  5. I love the cover and the title, thanks for the chance!

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    1. Good luck on your entry! Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Great covers, they look really good!

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    1. Thanks! The cover artist did an amazing job capturing the theme of each book.

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  7. This sounds like it is going to be a great read. I'm definitely going to check out this series.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it. Writing the third book in the trilogy now. :)

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  8. thanks so sharing the excerpt sounds interesting

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    1. It's always hard to capture the story in one excerpt but this one does so nicely. I enjoyed writing Simon and Gwyn's story.

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  9. Looks so interesting. I look forward to reading it :-)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by...hope you enjoy the read!

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  10. sounds good!

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  11. Love the cover and the synopsis. Adding this to my must-read list.

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck on the giveaway!

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  13. This sounds really intriguing. Thanks for the chance! :)

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  14. I love the cover! Can't wait to grab one :D

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  15. Sounds so good and the covers are fantastic!

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  16. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the giveaway as well.

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  17. I liked both the excerpt, and the book cover.

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