Her Secret Inheritance by Jen McConnel #BookBlitz #Giveaway




THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY
 

Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

Flashing between seventeenth century Scotland and a contemporary romance, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.


HER SECRET INHERITANCE


Five years after the trip to Scotland that changed her life, Lou is back in the misty, magical country. But this time, she’s not on vacation.

When Brian, her old Highland fling, turns up at the scene of some depressing family business, tension mounts between the former lovers. But dealing with Brian is only part of the problem; something wicked is stirring in Scotland. Lou must use all her strength to handle the increasingly desperate situation, but will she be strong enough to battle both a vengeful ghost and her heart?

Lou may have thought that she was finished with the witch Isobel Key, but some secrets can’t stay buried forever.




            Five years ago, she’d climbed a cliff on the beautiful island of Skye, and during the trek, Lou had realized she was falling in love. She remembered it like it was yesterday.
~
            Brian bellowed to be heard above the wind. “All right, everyone, this is our hiking spot. It’s not too steep, but be careful and look out for each other as we go. We’ll be heading down the cliff, and our goal is the spectacular waterfall that’s hidden from you right now, but is well worth the climb.” Brian paused, his blue eyes dancing with humor. “We may even see the mascot of the Highlands on our way down…the wooly sheep!” Laughing, everyone stood uncertainly for a moment, the wind whipping their coats and scarves and stinging their eyes. Lou breathed in deeply, smelling a tinge of salt and the deep, fresh scent of sopping wet soil. Tammy smiled at her.
            “See, I told you today would be better, didn’t I?” Lou nodded at her friend, trying to focus on the rich smells around her rather than her uncomfortable awareness that Brian stood only a few feet away.
            Lou glanced in the opposite direction of Brian, and found herself looking down the cliff. Stunned by the power of the wind and the sheer descent to the deep blue ocean below, Lou froze for a moment, letting her senses drink in the scene. She was pulled from her reverie by the sound of Brian’s voice.
            “Follow me, all, and keep close to each other. If you want to turn back, there’s no shame in that, just wait here on the hillside for the rest of us.” Brian was already on the face of the cliff, moving with the certainty of a mountain goat. The tourists followed, single file, with Tammy and Lou bringing up the rear.
            “Careful, Lou, it’s a bit slick from the rain.” Tammy’s helpful comment came a moment too late. Lou’s foot hit a patch of mud and she landed with a hard thud on the cold, wet ground. Laughing, Tammy helped her to her feet, and Lou ground her teeth, determined not to let anything spoil the lovely day. “Do you want to wait here? I can take pictures for both of us if you don’t want to make the climb.”
            “No,” Lou said firmly, “I want to see the waterfall. I can do it, I’m not afraid!”
            “I never said you were. I just want you to have fun! Let’s do this!” Her enthusiasm unflagging, Tammy turned back toward the steep incline and increased her speed. Walking more slowly, keeping her eyes on the ground, Lou followed her friend down the cliff, angling her body strangely to compensate for the lack of flat footing.
            It was a much more difficult climb than Brian had let on, and by the time they reached the bottom of the cliff, Lou had fallen twice more and Tammy had almost slipped once. Lou was embarrassed by the mud stains covering her legs, until Tammy pointed out that most of the group bore similar battle wounds. Brian, of course, looked as fresh as if he had floated down the rocky cliff on wings, but that was something Lou had already come to expect after spending two days traveling with him. Brian gave the impression of someone more at ease out in the wild than inside, and Lou wished she were as comfortable.
            But the view he had promised them was worth any difficulty in getting down the cliff, and Lou stood still for a moment, overwhelmed. The waterfall was set back in a cove, facing the sea, and it crashed down in wild splendor at least fifty feet long. The group started snapping photos of the water and the cliffs and the sea, and Lou eagerly lifted her camera to her face, trying to find a way to capture the beauty in front of her in one shot. She crept closer to the edge of the water and angled her camera up at the waterfall. The faintest hint of a rainbow shimmered in the mist where the waterfall met the ground, but Lou wasn’t sure it would show up in a photo. She tried to capture the beautiful colors anyway.
            Glancing around, she saw that most of the other tourists were scattered. Brian sat on a rock at the edge of the water, and with a furtive look, Lou snapped a quick photo of the tour guide. He was almost as good to look at as the waterfall in front of them.
            “What are you thinking about, Lou?” Tammy’s voice came from over her shoulder, and Lou turned, blushing slightly.
            “Just enjoying the view.”
            “It is pretty spectacular, isn’t it?”
            Lou nodded. “I don’t think I’ve said it since we got here, but thank you for bringing me with you.”
            Tammy looked surprised. “Of course! I wouldn’t want to make a trip like this alone.” Turning to survey the water, Tammy let out a little squeak.
            “What is it?” Concerned, Lou looked at her friend.
            Tammy pointed to the water. “Ugh! The carcass of a large sheep was floating in the water a few feet from the two girls.
            Lou gagged, but she swallowed the bile and said, “I’m certainly glad I didn’t fall like that poor thing!”
            Nodding, Tammy made a face and they turned away.
            The bloated sheep aside, Lou was happy she had braved the climb. Then, looking back at the path that had brought them there, she began to feel dizzy. Craning her neck, she couldn’t see the top of the steep trail, and panic clenched her chest. She was suddenly sure that she would never be able to make the climb back up, sure that she would rot down here with the sheep while the rest of the group merrily continued their tour.
            “Whoa, Louisa, steady there!” Brian’s deep voice reached through her foggy mind and Lou suddenly realized she was sitting on a large rock. She didn’t remember sitting down, and wondered if she’d fallen over. Brian was squatting beside her, his face level with hers, concern written in his eyes. “Just take it easy. Going up is easier than going down, that’s for sure and certain, but you can’t let yourself look all the way up or all the way down, or you’ll get dizzy like you did just now. Breathe in, that’s a good lass, breathe out, it’ll be a fine climb, and soon you’ll be done climbing for today.”
            Lou let him fuss over her, despite her embarrassment, and she felt herself calming down as her heart began to beat more evenly. Brian continued speaking to her in his rich, lilting voice, and Lou let the words wash over her. When she felt like she could stand again without swaying, she let Brian pull her to her feet and was shocked at the way her hands began to tingle from his touch. Their eyes connected for just a moment before Lou shook her head and jerked her hands out of his strong grasp. She didn’t meet his stare, trying to act nonchalant and hoping he hadn’t sensed her deep physical reaction to his touch.
            Glancing up, Lou realized that most of the rest of the group had already begun their ascent. Steadying her breath, Lou began to follow Brian, very slowly. As she moved up the mud path, Lou had to admit to herself that Brian was right. Going back up was easier than going down. Lou concentrated on the dent between Brian’s shoulder blades as she climbed behind him. Staring at Brian was giving her plenty to think about that didn’t involve cliffs and waterfalls and plummeting to her death. Lou watched the muscles on his back tighten and ripple under his snug fleece jacket, and she felt her cheeks getting hot the longer she watched him. She couldn’t shake the memory of the physical sensation she experienced when his hands touched hers.

            
            








Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Her debut NA novel, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY, is out now from Bloomsbury Spark. She also writes YA and nonfiction. Visit http://www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.
   


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About Jen S

I love books, tea/coffee(by the gallon) and sour candy. I wear my nerd badge with pride and have two children ages 5 and 3 that keep me on my toes.
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