Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome, Cornelia Amiri and the Druid Bride

Cheers everyone, I’m passing (virtual) heather mead around, please grab a goblet and drink down the heady brew as I tell you about my latest release Druid Bride. It is my ninth Celtic/Romance as I love history and have an unquenchable passion for all things Celtic. I believe it began when I saw the Disney movie, The Sword and the Stone at age five. Speaking of movies, Druid Bride is set against the same historical backdrop of 1st century AD Scotland as the new movie, Centurion. 

Here’s the Blurb for Druid Bride: She carried the seed of rebirth, so what had fallen would rise again. The ghost of her ancestor sent Druidess Tanwen from Britannia to the strange foreign tribe of the Caledonii to wed Brude, son of the chief. But Brude is not about to marry a druidess, even though she has the most beautiful body he’s ever seen. Never mind if his blood boils and he can’t stop thinking of her. He will not wed her. Yet the fate of Caledonia rests in the hands of the Warrior and the Druidess. Will they put their differences aside to fulfill their destiny?
I think the best way to describe a historical time period or events is to just bring the reader into it. Here are some tidbit excerpts and character quotes to take you to the wild world of the Pictish tribes in first century AD, Scotland.
Excerpt:
The tattoos covering his arms and legs were similar to the sacred images engraved on the long stones which stood all over Caledonia. The largest swirl began small and curved into a larger loop, with a little one for wings, and long, thin lines as legs. So his patron goddess was Corra—the crane goddess—which revealed his closeness to the otherworld and his gift of prophecy
2nd Excerpt:
Together they gulped down the golden mead. Never, not once, did they tear their eyes away from each other.
“As the mead flows through you, let the spirit fill you.”Tanwen walked over to the cauldron and dipped her hand in the dark, gooey, blue dye.
Her finger slinked down his face, streaking both cheeks blue. The woad was warm, her touch hotter. His tinted checks burned. After dipping her hands into the dye again, her ring-bedecked fingers danced over the muscles rippling down his arms, tracing each of his tattoos, following the lines as she painted them blue. He quivered. The gods shielded him through these symbols. The first was a wolf, with an open mouth drawn as a curve. Then the boar with tusk made from a circle, with a line drawn though it and two knots on each end. His flesh tingled as she painted the lines of a swirling snake.

3rd Excerpt:
There she was, standing on the hill, enveloped in a flowing, speckled, white cloak held with a gold brooch, and wearing gold clasps on her ears and a thick gold torque around her neck. Brude watched as the villagers took the nine sacred woods and built the great fire. He felt like he didn’t know her. He didn’t think of her as Tanwen while watching her there, but simply as a druidess, a human personification of a war goddess. A woman yes, but one who spoke for the gods, and therefore had more power than the mightiest chief of the land. Not the woman he longed for when the Smertae captured her in that botched cattle raid. Not the fiery lady he’d slept with, who filled his dreams.

4th Excerpt:
Tanwen walked through the wheat field. Half willow tree, half fey was the only description that fit. Tall but lithe, her red hair waving in the wind, streaming down her slender body. Her skin was still pale blue from the woad, giving her the appearance of an enchantress, summoned from the other world to bless the crops. Everyone gazed at her as she walked forward and halted at a stalk. She plucked an ear of wheat and rolled the grain between her finger and thumb as Lossio had done. “It is plump and yielding.” She stared at Brude with an intense gaze that set his insides on fire. “Yes, it is time.”

A cheer went up from everyone, but Brude was captured by her gaze and couldn’t look away. He didn’t want to. He wanted to step forward, scoop her up into his arms, and carry her off to his bed. By the gods, the druidess had enchanted him.

He did not say a word to Tanwen, nor she to him, but she turned her head and flipped her red hair across her back as she walked off.

That’s the final excerpt for the day but please enter the Blogging Contest today, just post a comment or question and I'll draw a winner. The prize is an autographed trade size paperback of Druid Bride. So post a question or comment and you could win.

9 comments:

Cornelia Amiri said...

Hi everyone,

I'm so happy to be here. Please post a question or comment, I will be replying all day. A winner will be drawn from all the comments today for an autographed copy of Druid Bride. So comment away.

Debby said...

Hi Cornelia, love the excerpts. Funny question but is heather mead and honey mead the same? Now actually what I want to know is what sparked your interest in druids?
debby236 at att dot net

Linda W said...

Sounds wonderful, Cornelia. I love the Dark Ages.
Linda W.

kansassweet43 said...

Raising my mug of heather mead to great excerpts. I love stories about the druids. I saw the movie Willow many years ago and was quite fascinated with that time period and people. Can't wait to read the book.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Cornelia,

I remember when you blogged about Celtic customs at Beyond Romance.

I'd like to know what sources you use for information about this very ancient period. How much is actually known and how much is speculation?

Warmly,
Lisabet

cornelia amiri said...

Hi, the comments were all posted the day after I guest blogged so I missed them - that why I didn't reply - I stopped by today and saw them.
There was probably a tech issue with the posting that delayed them.

Dear Debby,

Thank you so much for asking about heather mead - it's not the same as honey mead - it is made from honey but heather mead is also made from heather. It's a legend actually and it was supposed to make the Picts invincible to their enemies. My interest in druids was sparked by Boudica. I began to research the ancient Celts do to my interest in Boudica, my favorite historical character of all time.

Cornelia Amiri said...

Thank you Linda, I appreciate your kind words. I love the dark ages also.

Cornelia Amiri said...

Dear Kansas Sweet,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I loved the movie willow also.

Cornelia Amiri said...

Dear Lisbet,

Thank you so much. I have been reading about the time period for a long time, 20 years. A source I use a lot in my writing is The Celtic Druids' Year by John King. In describing the Pictish tattoos and the meaning of them I mainly used The Pictish Trail by Anthony Jackson. For Druid Bride I also used Pictish Warrior by Paul Wagner. All my battles are based on real battles and are as accurate as possible. The druid ceremonies and ritual are based mainly on modern devotees of this ancient religion. The Celts had no written language and there is no concrete certainty as to who the Picts even were as to where they came from so a lot is conjecture but I try to stay as close the facts and the old myths and legends as I can, however I do throw in paranormal elements to a lot of my stories in keeping with what we know of the belief system.

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Manic Readers

Manic Readers

She Writes

Historical Fiction Books

Readers and Writers of Distinctive Fiction