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The Warrior and the Druidess by Cornelia Amiri is a Kobo Plus Bookish Event pick #koboplus #historicalfantasyromance #historicalromance #mustread #giveaway



Title: The Warrior and the Druidess

 

Author: Cornelia Amiri

 

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:


By 117 AD, Rome gave up on conquering Caledonia, the Picts ruled their land as they pleased, and Emperor Hadrian had to erect a huge wall to keep Roman-Britain safe from them.Druidess Tanwen’s quest takes her from her home of Britannia to Caledonia.The spirit of her ancestor, Boudica, sends Tanwen forth to wed the son of the chief of the Caledonii tribe: to aid in the war against Rome, keep their ways alive, and save Boudica's bloodline.But Brude, her intended, has other ideas.

 

Excerpt:

 

Brude handed her a firebrand, and she lit the wheel afame.

 

My life has turned in a new direction like a wheel on a wagon rolling from one street to go down another. Will my life with Brude be as passionate as the fiery wheel? Her mind filled with the memory of the wild pleasure of his firm, muscular body taking her over the crest until she’d screamed in ecstasy.

 

With an iron rod, she rolled the blazing wheel down the hill. “The end of Lleu’s reign, god of the sun.”

 

As she ran with the rolling symbol of the sun, she glanced at Brude, who kept pace with her on the other side of the burning wheel, garbed in a red tunic interwoven with gold and draped with a plaid brat of blue, green, purple, gray, white, and black. Tanwen’s gaze fell to his eyes, which smoldered with heat and enflamed her with desire. Smoke rose, as flames ate the wood.

 

The flaming wheel reached its end and crumbled into pieces of burning wood. The crowd stopped in their tracks and circled the symbol of the dying Lleu.

 

She spread her arms into the air and focused on the gods. “The sun begins its journey into dark winter. The season turns, sun and earth, Lleu and Macha, life to death. Winter nears, Lughnassa, Lughnassa.”

 

With the re nothing more than smoldering embers and the wheel no more than ashes, and with Brude at her side, she led the crowd back up the hill.

 

The gentle wind tousled her hair as she whispered to the rising moon, “You come so soon now.”

 

She glanced at Brude, who stood beside her, and followed his gaze to nine warriors climbing the steep path toward them, each clutching a stack of wood.

 

Warmth and energy owed through her as, one by one, each man gave her a bundle of one of the nine sacred woods. She greeted the men in turn, “Hail, willow of the streams, hazel of the rocks. Welcome, alder of the marshes, birch of the water‐ falls. Greetings rowan of the shade, yew of resilience, elm of the brae, oak of the sun, and sweet pinewood.” Tanwen bowed to each. “Great blessings to you for feeding the sacred re.”

 

She piled the blessed wood together. The chosen men made several trips up the hill, delivering stack after stack until she’d created a towering Lughnasa bonfire.

 

Lossio’s wrinkled hands trembled as he struck sparks from flint, lighting the rebrand aflame. The crowd grew silent as Lossio handed the torch over to her. She raised the rebrand high and walked full circle around the tower of wood, which reached to the sky. She lit the Lughnasa fire. Brude’s shouts of glee rang through the air as it ignited. The sparks flared into a rising flame. Hungrily devouring the nine sacred woods, the amber blaze roared.

 

As the harpist’s vibrating notes danced to the height of the raving mountain of re, Lossio stirred the hearts of all gathered there as he sang ancient paeans to brave heroes of bygone days. The smoke rose and vanished in the vast, ebony sky. Tanwen opened her mouth and rang out a melodic song.

 

“Boudica,championed by the goddess, Andraste’s image adorned your hilt. Your white blade drank Roman blood. The Celts were strong.The gods were happy.


Boudica,championed by the goddess,hear the carnyxs blow.Hear the drums beat.Up the slope you led us,but Rome struck with venom.

 

Boudica, championed by the goddess.

 

We took death, like our queen,

fell on Roman blades,robbing Rome of prisoners and slaves.

 

Boudica,championed by the goddess,

 

Sure as dragons slay eagles,the day shall come

when Rome leaves these shores,and Celts stand evermore.”

 

Tanwen brushed a wayward tear from her eye. Druidess Sulwen wrote that song. She had also told Tanwen about the Lughnassa festivals of old, when a chosen one, the god king, was sacrificed so the deities would protect the tribe. Boudica gave her life to the gods when the final battle was lost. When Tanwen came to Caledonia, she felt like a sacrifice, here to wed a man she’d never met, who didn’t know her or love her. But now she felt blessed. She could not imagine having another man for her husband. If only Brude felt the same way about her.

 

As Tanwen stood next to Brude, she burned for him. She laced her fingers with his and led him in a circle around the roaring blaze. Fire pulsated through her blood. The harpists and pipers played as the drummer kept a fast beat on the bodhran.

 

Tanwen and Brude whirled together, singing, “Lughnasa, sun and earth, Lleu and Macha, life to death, the wheel turns, Lughnasa, Lughnasa.”

 

Tanwen leapt high, bouncing up and down on her feet and laughing. As soon as the dance ended, Brude pushed a cup of heather mead into her hands. As she drank it down, mellow warmth flowed through her.

 

Brude couldn’t tear his eyes from her, nor could he rub out the memory of her long shapely legs entwined with his. The way she looked in the relight, covered in warrior paint — she was the perfect wife for a Pict warrior, save for her powers. She could read his mind, effect his dreams.

 

Brude rubbed his forehead as he thought, who would marry a druidess?

 

He would. Though known for his cunning and his ability to overcome obstacles, Brude couldn’t fathom a way out of this. He’d never been so trapped in all his life. He stood with aplomb, as the son of a chief must, but his mind turned in chaos, disturbed and exuberant with thoughts of Tanwen.

 

His gaze slid from the smooth skin and full lips of her oval face down to her up-tilted breasts and her slim waist, which flared into rounded hips. This was an eve for pairing and coupling around the bonfire. He didn’t want to marry a druidess, yet she enthralled him like no other woman ever had. His hands slipped up her warm arms, and he dug his fingers into the soft flesh, massaging her shapely shoulders. One whiff of the sweet yet earthy scent of her hair had him lightheaded and giddy.

 

He whispered, “Will you share my bed tonight?


“Yes, my husband-to-be.”


His lips captured hers in a fiery kiss, melting away all his concerns. He swayed, dancing like a flame of the great fire, leaping as the heat built. Grabbing her hand, he pulled her along, running to the wheelhouse. He lifted her into his arms, carried her through the entrance and then laid her on the bull hide-covered pallet.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?


It’s a passionate Scottish romance in an unusual time-period, 1st century AD. It’s well researched and written so the reader is swept away and can easily picture the ancient world of Picts and Celts.  Plus, it’s romantic and highly entertaining.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $15 Kobo or Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally. 

 

Runs March 5 – March 11, 2024.

 

Winner will be drawn on March 12, 2024.

 


Author Biography:

 

Drawing on her love of a happy ending, Cornelia Amiri, has penned over 40 published romance books.  She and her muse, Severus the Cat, live amid the hustle and bustle of humid Houston, Texas.  When not writing, she loves to read, watch movies, and attend local steampunk events and comic cons. 

 

Social Media Links:

 

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11 mar

Thank you, Cornelia, for sharing your book in our Kobo Plus Bookish Event!

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