Give a warm welcome to Jean M. Grant, author of A Hundred Kisses just released Today!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Jean and A Hundred Kisses.
Jean, Tell us a little about writing this story. Was it fun or difficult? Writing this book was quite the journey. It was fun, first and foremost. I love losing myself in fictional worlds, especially my own. I also love all things Scotland, even if I write about a time period before the kilt came around (because who doesn’t love a dashing Scot in a kilt?). This book is my fourth completed manuscript, and my first to make it to publication. I learned a great deal writing the first three. Feedback from agents and beta-readers, conference attendances, lots of time reading and honing my craft…all have resulted in the story in A Hundred Kisses. Blood (usually just a character’s, not my own), sweat, and tears. But so worth it. I even got to visit Scotland in 2008, which helped me embrace the beauty of a land I’d only experienced previously in books and online. I look forward to writing the prequel (working on that now), and I’ve written a mainstream women’s fiction novel that I hope to see published in the near future. I have many more stories in me, in both the romance and mainstream arenas.
Do your characters always act as you expect? My characters start out on a good track, but they do have minds of their own and can take interesting detours. Some moments I have to laugh at them because they do the unexpected!
Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants? I love plotting. I plot before I even chart out the characters. I love to outline and plan. However, specific elements don’t always come to me until farther into the book (or even during the many revisions), and sometimes the story takes an unplanned turn. So I would say I start out with a rough outline and plot, but I may write by the seat of my pants for some parts of the book. Each story has a voice and it speaks to me.
Tell us a little about the A Hundred Kisses.
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…
Wow, the original black widow? Oh, sorry! Who is this handsome gentlement you brought?
Sir Alasdair Montgomerie.
Can I ask him a few questions?
Great! (rubbing my hands together)
Tells us about the real you—
The real me? It’s thorny story. We don’t have enough time.
That’s too bad, I’d love to here it. (shaking my head)
What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?
My mother’s death. She was burned at the stake for witchery. My father boasts about it, for he is the one who made it happen. I am scarred from it, in quite the literal sense.
Wow, that was unexpected. I’m so sorry for your loss.
What do you most value?
Loyalty to country and men. Honesty.
What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?
I’d love a lass who’s passionate about a cause and willing to travel the countryside with me for the sake of Scotland’s future. And one without complications.
What do you consider most important in life?
Faithfulness and family, although my family is lacking.
What is your biggest secret?
Well, I’d rather hear one and hear about the real you, and you mother, was she really a witch…. Ok, I can tell by you stormy expression, that’s not going to happen, so…only one.
Well, I’ve been traveling under a false identity for The Scottish Cause, to see the rightful heir restored to the throne. And the woman I love thinks I am somebody else. I’ve also got a baron hunting me, and my mother’s past haunts me.
Thanks for answers a few questions. I do appreciate it. Maybe you can come back and we’ll delve into… Oh, never mind. He marchs out the back door of the office. As I turn around, Lady Deirdre MacCoinneach, enters from the front. Oh, how wonderful to meet you. Will you tell us abou the real you?
Is that a trick question? What do you know? Have you been talking with my father?
Noooo.. not at all. I was just talking to Sir Alasdair Montomerie and he seems to be as unwilling to tell me about…. Let’s move on.
Who were the biggest role models in your life?
My mother, though she died when I was young. So our castle cook has taken me under her wing. I’ve had to keep my own against the men my father brings for Hall. I can carry on well with political banner. And I’ve got this, mmphmm, ability, you can call it, to sense people’s true intentions. It comes in handy when my father, the laird, needs me to weed out the scoundrels that come calling.
What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with?
Somebody who appreciates me for me, and accepts my “gift” without question. I’m not a witch, mind you! I’d love a man that won’t be bothered by my explorations, too. Castle life is rather boring. Although, I’ve had two husbands die on our wedding nights, so I’m wary of entering into marriage again. I feel cursed. I’d rather just be alone, honestly.
What kind of man would you never choose?
I don’t have much say in who I marry. Sadly, my father is already working on trying to arrange my marriage to this mysterious lowland noble traveling to the isles on trade.
Oh, but that could be interesting. (Lady Deirdre MacCoinneach sadly shakes her head. I shrug.) What is most important to you in life?
My family, my independence.
What is your biggest fear?
That people learn about the true me – about my ability to feel others emotions and life energies – and that I am cast out or worse, burned as a witch.
Ohh, I hope such a thing would never happen. (Lady MacCoinneach gets to her feet.)
I really must be going.
Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us. Jean may we have a sneak peek in the book?
She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…
Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.
Muffled words yelled at her.
Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.
“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”
His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”
She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. 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.
Where can we find A Hundred Kisses?
Now a little about Jean Grant:
Jean is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about…
When she is not doing all those other things, you can find her here:
I so glad Sir Alasdair Montgomerie and Lady Deirdre MacCoinneach could join you here today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with A Hundred Kisses!
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Historical Romance, Jean M Grant, Medieval, Scotland, Scottish by firstname.lastname@example.org with 10 comments.