I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours, I absolutely love the sound of this book and will be reviewing it on the blog tour in March. Today I have a guest post from author Liz Gavin and an excerpt from the book. There is also a blitz-wide international giveaway which you will find the link to a the end of the post.
This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.
When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.
Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.
Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?
Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?
Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?
When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.
Failure was not an option.
The group of warriors follow my lead into the forest, dismounting and taking the horses to the water before lying down under the shady trees. Folding my hands beneath my head, I look upwards and watch the mesmerizing patterns of sun’s rays shining down through the thick foliage. Few are strong enough to make it all the way down to the ground. All of a sudden, the sounds and smells of the brave men around me disappear and the welcoming grove morphs into a dark forest. Although my heart thuds as fast as a galloping horse, these visions aren’t new to me. I’ve had them since I can remember yet they startle me every time.
In my mind’s eye, I stand surrounded by old trees in a forest I’ve never seen before, listening for footsteps and the clash of metal. I can’t see through the darkness, which isn’t brought on by night. It feels as if magically created. I can see only shadows resembling men. They fight for their lives, crying out their fear and hatred yet I can’t make their faces. It’s as if a translucent barrier separates the battle from myself.
Trying to move closer to the ghostly figures, I realize I can’t move and the foreign sensation chokes me like a vise tightening around my neck. A delicate hand appears upon my forearm. My eyes follow up a silk-clad arm until they meet a round face split up in a benevolent smile. I’ve seen this short, dark-haired beautiful lady before in my visions. Her light blue robes glow as if a light is shining from within her ethereal body. I try to bow my head in respect, but I still can’t make my muscles obey me so I drop my eyes instead.
“Eochaid, you must remember your promise to me. Whatever it is that awaits you in your journey, do not fail me.”
“I will not renege on my promise to you as it is the same as renouncing my word given to the Goddess Herself. You are Her Holy messenger, my lady. I am honored to serve you.”
“Very well. The road ahead is littered with perils both material and immaterial, physical and spiritual. You must be vigilant.”
“I shall be, my Lady of the Lake. May my loyalty to the Goddess and the Old Faith guide me through whatever hardships I might face.”
Blinking, I open my eyes as the graceful image is substituted by the frightened face of the cook, who’s shaking me by the shoulders.
“Sir, wake up!”
The distant sounds of metal, and the veiled silhouettes of fighting men, have been replaced by the loud noise of clashing swords and the vivid image of my brave warriors engaging in a fight for their lives with highly-trained Roman soldiers. I’m on my feet, sword in hand, and ready for action, when I glimpse an odd scene unfolding just outside the battleground, to my left. A small band of brown-robbed men kneeling in a circle, clutching their hands and chanting in Latin. What kind of weird sorcery is that?
Paperbacks by Liz Gavin
First, thanks to the awesome team at Xpresso Tours for putting this blitz together. Secondly, thanks to the host for having Celtic Fire on your blog today. You’re much appreciated.
This aspect of the indie publishing industry is much easier than it seems. Long before I became a writer, I was an avid reader. I’d read almost anything I could put my hands on. Granted, if the book were too awful I wouldn’t finish it. Still I would try to read it. I revered the pages of books to the point I was unable to write on their margins as some of my friends did when we were teens. (Yes, I’m old. I grew up reading books, not Kindle!!! LoL)
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I viewed printed books as precious things. As I grew older, I learned authors worked hard before getting a break and being published. I discovered how expensive it was to print books, which added to my previous idea about how rare publishing books could be.
Consequently, when I started toying with the possibility of writing my first short-stories, I didn’t dare consider offering them as paperback. I pushed that thought to the corners of my mind and forgot about it. Until one day I didn’t remember to forget it. LoL
I must confess though that I chose to offer my books in print with a very small margin of profit mainly because it fed my ego. There, I said it! But in my defense, I had my reasons. You see, that little girl I used to be, who spent hours in the neighborhood library gawking at the endless shelves of precious books, still lives inside me. She jumped up and down and somersaulted countless times when I held a printed copy of my first novel. I told myself I had decided to sell printed versions of my stories because many people don’t like reading eBooks. Although that might be a fact, little Liz Gavin is the real reason. She is saying, “I’m a published author! I ROCK!” LOL
Thanks for stopping by today and supporting Celtic Fire. Remember to check out the other stops for more chances at winning the giveaway!!
About Liz Gavin
International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.
This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.
Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.
Head to Rafflecopter to enter the international giveaway to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Celtic Fire
Series: Highland Celts Series #1
Author: Liz Gavin
Genre: Adult | Historical | Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 31 January 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US