award-winning author, historical romance, inspiration for setting, Magnar, Mary Morgan, Orkney, paranormal romance, Rorik, Scotland, Scottish Vikings, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, travel
I’m thrilled to welcome my dear friend, Mary Morgan, back to the blog to celebrate her new release, Rorik! It debuts tomorrow, and it’s the second book in her historical Scottish Viking paranormal romance series, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland. What inspired her to write the series? Let’s find out as Mary takes the stage…
Hello, Judith! I’m delighted to be visiting your lovely blog today and talking about my new release, Rorik, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, Book 2. Let me share a wee bit of my journey to Orkney and Scotland which helped to inspire this series.
During our trip several years ago to Northern Scotland and the Orkney Islands, my husband and I were fortunate to have a personal guide escort us. David Ladd was exceptional in his knowledge—from referencing the names of flowers in the most obscure places to the wildlife and history, especially during our travels on Orkney. He took us on an amazing adventure, oftentimes off the well-worn path, revealing spectacular vistas. I shall always treasure our time with him and for allowing me to crawl into the Tomb of the Eagles in South Ronaldsay, Orkney. For a few hazarding moments, I worried David and my husband when I had trouble getting out of the small tomb. Was I worried? No.
Before I entered, rain and wind pelted us on our mile walk up the hill. Once I crawled inside the small tomb, I stood and encountered utter silence—no howling wind and no rain leaked through the crevices of stone. It was as if I entered another time and place—literally. Here were my immediate reactions within this cairn: Peace. Stillness. I am not alone.
Let me explain further about the Tomb of Eagles…
Located above the dramatic South Ronaldsay cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn—better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’—is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites. Discovered by a local farmer Ronnie Simison in the 1950s, the Stone Age tomb revealed an amazing collection of bones and artifacts, placed here some 5,000 years ago. Among the human bones, there were many talons and bones of the white-tailed eagle.
The Tomb of Eagles played an important part in the book. I took my experience and wove it into the story and through the first book, Magnar.
For Rorik’s story, I brought the Seer of the Orkneyjar Isles to Scotland. The landscape in Northern Scotland is vastly different. Rugged, wild, and ancient as well. My heart beat fiercely as I settled my gaze outward at the North Sea on a mist-filled afternoon. To this day, I continue to process all my emotions and experiences from my travels there.
Here are Ragna’s first impressions as she steps onto Scottish soil…
Her body trembled. How Ragna loathed traveling across the wide-open water. She glanced to her left at the towering cliffs of dark stone. The waves crashed behind her, and she resumed her progress slowly.
Bending down, she dug two fingers deep within the gritty shore. Coldness seeped into her skin as she tried to get a sense of this country. Others whispered to her from the land—ancient and unfamiliar. Wild and strange this Scotland. Never had Ragna considered leaving the Orkneyjar Isles.
A little more about Rorik:
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.
A peek between the pages:
If he could, Rorik would remain on this boulder by the river for the duration of the evening and into night. His stomach growled in protest, and he realized he had little food this day. He reached for his aleskin and took a sip.
Even the thought of entertaining Hallgerd left a hollow ache within. “For all I ken you might have the face of a goat.”
Rorik sensed the intruder’s approach behind him before the first footstep sounded. He lifted his left hand and rested it on the hilt of his sword by his side.
“I happen to cherish the faces of my goats, though they are stubborn creatures.”
The ale soured in his gut. “Seer.” He released his hand from his sword and continued to stare outward.
When silence greeted him, he dared to glance over his shoulder. Wariness from her all-knowing eyes reflected at Rorik, not the bitter coldness she often imparted to him. “Why have you come?”
Ragna lifted her chin. “I have a message you must hear fully.”
Shrugging, Rorik resumed his gaze outward. “Then speak your words.”
Again, the woman remained silent. Rorik pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.
“Do you not deem it best to put on your tunic?” she suggested, stepping closer and brushing the garment against his arm.
Slowly, Rorik lifted his head to look at her. Even her words sounded different. They were almost a plea, not filled with terse venom. A rosy stain had blossomed on her ivory cheeks, and her breathing appeared labored. He pondered two things—either his naked form disgusted her or perchance appealed to her. Surely, she despises me, nothing more.
The barb he wanted to fling out at her became trapped on his tongue. He guzzled deeply from the aleskin. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he dropped the empty skin next to his sword and swiftly got off the boulder.
Ragna gasped and clutched his tunic to her breasts. Yet she did not avert her eyes.
He dared to move toward her.
Her eyes widened and she stumbled back, dropping his tunic.
Rorik reached out and grabbed her hand, preventing her from falling. The contact of her skin against his sent a tremor of warmth up his arm. This time, his breathing became labored while he stared into her gray eyes. He found no hatred there—only beauty within their depths. His gaze traveled down to her full red lips, partially open and begging to be kissed.
Buy the book:
Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B & N | Apple
More about Mary:
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.
Where to connect with her:
Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | BookBub | Audible | LinkedIn
Thanks so much for joining us today, Mary. I’m wishing you great success with the book!