Monday, October 12, 2015

Dragon Lore Books, by Ann Gimpel: Mini-Review/Excerpt



Welcome to the Dragon Lore 
Blog Tour, sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

For my stop, I'm featuring 
a mini-review and excerpt!



Highland Secrets
(A Dragon Lore Prequel, Book 1)
Ann Gimpel
Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published by Ann Gimpel
Sept. 7, 2015
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Book Synopsis:  
Furious and weary, Angus Shea wants out, but no matter how he feels, he can’t stop the magic powering his visions. The Celts kidnapped him when he wasn’t much more than a boy and forced him to do their bidding. He’s sick of them and their endless assignments, but they wiped his memories, and he has no idea where he came from.

Dragon shifters are disappearing from the Scottish Highlands, and the Celtic Council sends Angus to investigate. He meets up with Arianrhod, legendary virgin huntress from Celtic myth, in Fire Mountain, the dragons’ home world.

Arianrhod prefers to work alone, mostly because she harbors a dirty little secret and guards her privacy for the best of reasons. She’s not exactly a virgin, and she’d be laughed out of the Pantheon if the truth surfaced. Despite the complications of leading a double life, she’s never found a lover who tempted her to walk away from her fellow Celtic gods.

Attraction ignites, hot and so urgent Arianrhod’s carefully balanced life teeters on the brink of discovery. Angus is everything she’s ever wanted, but he’s far too close to her Celtic kin to keep her secret safe. Angus wants her too, but she’s a Celt. He’s hated them forever, and she’s part of everything he’s lain awake nights plotting to escape from.

Can they risk everything?

Will they?

If they do, can they live with the consequences? 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26241802-highland-secrets?ac=1






To Love a Highland Dragon
(Dragon Lore, Book 2)
Ann Gimpel
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published by Ann Gimpel
Sept. 21, 2015
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Book Synopsis:
A dragon shifter stirs and wakens in a cave beneath Inverness, deep in the Scottish Highlands. The cave’s the same and his hoard intact, yet something’s badly amiss. Determined to set whatever’s gone wrong to rights, Lachlan Moncrieffe ventures above ground—and wishes he hadn’t. His castle’s gone, replaced by ungainly row houses. Men aren’t wearing plaids, and women scarcely wear anything at all, particularly the woman who accosts him with unseemly banter. What manner of wench is she to dress so provocatively?

In Inverness for a year on a psychiatry fellowship, Dr. Maggie Hibbins watches an oddly dressed man pick his way out of a heather and gorse thicket. Even though it runs counter to her better judgment, she teases him about his strange attire. He looks so lost—and so unbelievably, knock-out gorgeous —she takes a chance and stands him a meal. Lachlan’s shock when he picks up a local newspaper at a pub is so palpable, Maggie jumps in with both feet.

She knew something was off, but the hard-to-accept truth bashes gaping holes in her equilibrium. He looks odd, sounds odd, acts odd because he’s a refugee from another era. Her half-baked seduction scheme takes a hike, but her carefully constructed life is still about to change forever. Born of powerful witches, Maggie runs headlong into the myth and magic that are her birthright.  


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26785663-to-love-a-highland-dragon?ac=1






(This mini-review only covers the excerpt 
below, not the entire book.)

This is a very funny excerpt! Gimpel has set the scene so well, I was totally drawn in, and hugely entertained, as well as intrigued. You can almost hear Lachlan's Scottish accent, and it's truly comical how he and Maggie totally misunderstand and misjudge each other. And poor Lachlan.....he's having a very hard time taking his eyes off Maggie, as the women of his time would never have dressed as immodestly as Maggie does, in his 17th-century opinion. For her part, Maggie, as a psychiatrist, immediately wonders if he hasn't escaped from the loony bin....In short, this has started out in such a delightful way, I need to read more, and I definitely will!




To Love A Highland Dragon
 
He detached the last thorn, finally clear of the thicket of sticker bushes. Where could he find a market with vendors? Did market day still exist in this strange environment?
“Holy crap! A kilt, and an old-fashioned one at that. Tad bit early in the day for a costume ball, isn’t it?” A rich female voice laced with amusement sounded behind him.
Lachlan spun, hands raised to call magic. He stopped dead once his gaze settled on a lass nearly as tall as himself, which meant she was close to six feet. She turned so she faced him squarely. Bare legs emerged from torn fabric that stopped just south of her female parts. Full breasts strained against scraps of material attached to strings tied around her neck and back. Her feet were encased in a few straps of leather. Long, blonde hair eddied around her, the color of sheaves of summer wheat.
He itched to make a grab for her. She had an amazing butt: round and high and tight. What was expected of him? The lass was dressed in such a way as to invite him to simply tear what passed for breeks aside. Had times changed so drastically that women provoked men into public sex? He glanced about, half expecting to see couples having it off with one another willy-nilly.
“Well,” she urged. “Cat got your tongue?” She placed her hands on her hips. The motion stretched the tiny bits of flowered fabric that barely covered her still further.
Lachlan bowed formally. He straightened and waited for her to hold out a hand for him to kiss. “I’m Lachlan Moncrieffe, my lady. ’Tis a pleasure to—”
She erupted into laughter—and didn’t hold out her hand. “I’m Maggie,” she managed between bouts of mirth. “What are you? A throwback to medieval times? You can drop the Sir Galahad routine.”
Lachlan felt his face heat. “I fear I doona understand the cause of your merriment…my lady.”
Maggie rolled midnight-blue eyes. “Oh, brother. Did you escape from a mental hospital? Nah, you’d be in pajamas then, not those fancy duds.” She dropped her hands to her sides and started to walk past him.
“No. Wait. Please, wait.” Lachlan cringed at the whining tone in his voice. The dragon was correct that the Moncrieffe was a proud house. They bowed to no one.
She eyed him askance. “What?”
“I’m a stranger in this town.” He winced at the lie. Once upon a time, he’d been master of these lands. Apparently that time had long since passed. “I’m footsore and hungry. Where might I find victuals and ale?”
Her eyes widened. Finely-arched blonde brows drew together over a straight nose dotted by a few freckles. “Victuals and ale,” she repeated disbelievingly.
“Aye. Food and drink, in the common vernacular.”
“Oh, I understood you well enough,” Maggie murmured. “Your words, anyway. Your accent’s a bit off.” His stomach growled again, embarrassingly loud. “Guess you weren’t kidding about being hungry.” She eyed him appraisingly. “Do you have any money?”
Money. Too late he thought of the piles of gold coins and priceless gems lying on the floor of Kheladin’s cave. In the world he’d left, his word was as good as his gold. He opened his mouth, but she waved him to silence. “I’ll stand you for a pint and some fish and chips. You can treat me next time.”
He heard her mutter, “Yeah right,” under her breath as she curled a hand around his arm and tugged. “Come on. I have a couple hours, and then I’ve got to go to work. I’m due in at three today.”
Lachlan trotted along next to her. She let go of him like he was a viper when he tried to close a hand over the one she’d laid so casually on his person. He cleared his throat and wondered what he could safely ask that wouldn’t give his secrets away. He could scarcely believe this alien landscape was Scotland, but if he asked what country they were in, or what year it was, she’d think him mad.
Had the black wyvern used some diabolical dark magic to transport Kheladin’s cave to another locale? Probably not. Even Rhukon wasn’t that powerful.
“In here.” She pointed to a door beneath a flashing sigil.
He gawked at it. One minute it was red, the next blue, the next green, illuminating the word Open. What manner of magic was this?
“Don’t tell me you have temporal lobe epilepsy.” She stared at him. “It’s only a neon sign. It doesn’t bite. Move through the door. There’s food on the other side,” she added slyly.
Feeling like a rube, Lachlan searched for a latch. When he didn’t find one, he pushed his shoulder against the door. It opened, and he held it with a hand so Maggie could enter first. “After you, my lady,” he murmured.
“Stop that.” She spoke into his ear as she went past. “No more my ladies. Got it?”
“Aye. Got it.” He followed her into a
low-ceilinged room lined with wooden planks. It was the first thing that looked familiar. Parts of it, anyway. Men—kilt-less men—sat at the bar, hefting glasses and chatting. The tables were empty.
“What’ll it be, Mags?” a man with a towel tied around his waist called from behind the bar.
“Couple of pints and two of today’s special. Come to think of it…” She eyed Lachlan so intently it made him squirm. “Make that three of the special.”
“May I inquire just what the special is?” Lachlan asked, thinking he might want to order something different.
Maggie waved a hand at a black board suspended over the bar. “It’s right there. If you can’t read it—”
“Of course, I can read.” He resented the inference he might be uneducated but swallowed back harsh words.
“Excellent. Then move.”
She shoved her body into his in a distressingly familiar way for such a communal location. Not that he wouldn’t have enjoyed the contact if they were alone, and he were free to take advantage of it…
“All the way to the back,” she hissed into his ear. “That way if you slip up, no one will hear.”
He bristled. Lachlan Moncrieffe did not sit in the back of any establishment. He was always given a choice table near the center of things. He opened his mouth to protest but thought better of it.
She scooped an armful of flattened scrolls off the bar before following him to the back of the room. Once there, she dumped them on the table between them. He wanted to ask what they were but decided he should pretend to know. He turned the top sheaf of papers toward him and scanned the close-spaced print. Many of the words were unfamiliar, but what leapt off the page was The Inverness Courier and presumably the current date: June 10, 2012.
His heart thudded in his ears, deafening him with the roar of rushing blood, as he stared at the date.
It had been 1683 when Rhukon chivied him into the dragon’s cave. Three hundred twenty-nine years ago, give or take a month or two. At least he was still in Inverness—for all the good it did him.
“You look as if you just saw a ghost.” Maggie spoke quietly.
“Nay. I’m quite fine. Thank you for inquiring…my, er…” Lachlan shut up. Anything he said was bound to be wrong.
“Good.” She nodded approvingly. “You’re learning.” The bartender slapped two mugs of ale on the scarred wooden table.
“On your tab, Mags?” he asked.
She nodded. “Except you owe me so much, you’ll never catch up.”
Still shell-shocked by the realization hundreds of years had slipped past while he and Kheladin slept, Lachlan took a sip of what turned out to be weak ale. It wasn’t half bad but could’ve stood an infusion of bitters. Because it was easier than thinking about his problems, he puzzled over what Maggie meant about the barkeep owing her so much he’d never catch up. Why would the barkeep owe her? His nostrils flared. She must work for the establishment—probably as a damsel of ill repute from the looks of her. Mayhap, she hadn’t been paid her share of whatever she earned in quite some time.
Protectiveness flared deep inside him. Maggie shouldn’t have to earn her way lying on her back. He’d see to it she had a more seemly position.
Aye, once I find my way around this bizarre new world.
Money wouldn’t be a problem, but changing three-hundred-year-old gold coins into today’s tender might prove challenging. Surely banks existed that could accomplish something like that.
One thing at a time.
“So.” She skewered him with her blue gaze—Norse eyes if he’d ever seen a set—and took a sip from her mug. “What did you see in the newspaper that upset you so much?”
“Nothing.” He tried for an offhand tone.
“Bull,” she said succinctly. “I’m a doctor. A psychiatrist. I read people’s faces quite well, and you look as if you’re perilously close to going into shock.”…








Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist with a Jungian bent, and a vagabond at heart. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2015 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.






You can access the complete 
tour schedule by
clicking on this button!

http://www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com/2015/09/now-on-tour-dragon-lore-books-by-ann.html




6 comments:

  1. So glad you were able to enjoy this book to the fullest, and that you're looking forward to more. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Sarika,

    Well, actually my mini-review is not of the entire book, but just of the excerpt. So what I meant was that I do want to read the whole book.

    I've been including mini-reviews in my Spotlight tour posts for a while now, because some people consider blog tours to be unoriginal. The mini-review is my original content, so I'm adding something of my own to the post.

    From now on, I'm going to insert a note at the top of the mini-review, to make this clearer to visitors and regular readers.

    You're very welcome for the share! Thanks for commenting!! : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dragons? Scotland? A man from the past? This sounds like something I would really enjoy!! I'm surprised I hadn't heard of these before :O Thank you so much for sharing! The excerpt was great :D

    Lipstick and Mocha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much, Maria, for hosting me and for your kind words about the first two Dragon Lore books. To Love a Highland Dragon is the second book in Dragon Lore. Highland Secrets is the prequel, but it's essential to understanding books three and four. One of my favorite parts of these blog tours is all the wonderful bloggers I discover along the way. Hugs and thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, Carla!

    Yes, I love the combination of dragons and Scotland, too! You haven't heard of these books because they have just been published. But now you have, so I hope you don get them and enjoy them!

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting, mi amiga!! : )

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, Ann!

    You're more than welcome!!

    Oh, I thought "To Love A Highland Dragon" was the first book.....so it turns out that Amazon had it right! I'll go fix that right away.

    Aw...that's such a sweet thing for you to say! I am really touched...! I, too, can say that one of the best parts of doing blog tours is meeting nice authors like you, who TRULY appreciate how hard we book bloggers work, especially on blog tours!!

    Hugs and thanks back for leaving such a SUPER nice comment!! YOU ROCK!!! <3 : )

    ReplyDelete

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