Severe Weather and New Distribution for ‘Just Wait For Me’ by Dawn Marie Hamilton

August has brought storms to the area where I live. Every evening, so it seems, lightning flashes across a blackened sky and rolling thunder roars. I remember the earth-shattering sound of thunder when I lived in the mountains, but am surprised how loud it can be at sea level.

As the son of the Queen of the Fae, controlling the elements, especially lightning and thunder, is one of Prince Dugaid’s gifts.  He display’s this skill in Just Wait For Me, the fourth tale in the Highland Gardens series.

 

Dugaid stared at the compromised hidey-hole, a snarl curling his lip. How dare his mother remove her protection from the lost bairns? Oonagh was a beautiful woman, sought after by many a man, both fae and mortal, but she lacked even an iota of motherly tendencies. Had the Fae Queen put the bairns in harm’s way?

His pointed ears perked at a commotion deeper in the wood. A lad cried out as if in pain. Cloaked in the glamour of invisibility, Dugaid followed the scuffling sounds.

Two of the woodland bairns huddled together on the ground, faces battered and bruised. Dugaid fisted his hands. No one had the right to hurt children.

An explosive outburst of nature heralded his anger to the world. Lightning sliced the darkening sky. Thunder reverberated over mountains, hills, and glens. Hail pounded the earth. The pungent smell of ozone sharpened the air, making his nostrils flare.

Maclay’s gaze shot to the ominous sky, and the man frowned. Returning attention to the third bairn, the one he held by the shoulders, he shook the battered lad. “Tell me!”

When the bairn didn’t answer, Maclay knuckle-slapped him hard across the face.

The lad cried out. Blood spewed from a broken nose.

Red also wept through a rag wrapped around Maclay’s wrist, but didn’t hinder the man from inflicting pain on those weaker. “Tell me what you ken of the lass traveling with MacEwen, unless you wish for more of a thrashing.”

“Nae. Dinnae hurt me anymore,” the lad pleaded. “She is from the future. ’Tis all I ken.”

Maclay thrust the lad away, grabbed the backpack from the ground, and strode away from the whimpering bairns. Dugaid’s rage boiled. The storm intensified. One especially jagged streak of vertical lightning pierced the ground at Maclay’s feet.

The villain leapt back, tossing weight from leg to leg, attempting to find balance as the ground rolled and splintered around him. Spider cracks spread from long narrow slits. Trees and rocks tumbled into deep crevasses. The backpack Jillian had brought through the time gate slipped from Maclay’s nerveless fingers. It tumbled into a fissure, got caught by the strap on a branch, and dangled just within reach.

He dove to retrieve it, but the earth pitched with a violent shudder. The pack dropped into the hole while the vibration joggled Maclay precariously close to the edge. He crabbed backward scarcely in time. One more quake closed the opening.

In a flash, Dugaid placed a vanishing blanket over the bairns, making them invisible.

Maclay stood, paced in a small circle, and punched a fist in the air. “Where are those cursed changelings?”

Unable to release his frustration on the bairns, the nasty devil strode away from the scene of destruction, muttering obscenities. Dugaid hated allowing the man to leave, but there were certain covenants to which he must adhere. As much as he so desired, he mustn’t kill a human.

Dugaid waited until the man had traveled a great distance before uncloaking himself and the lads. “Can you all walk?”

“Aye.” The lad with the mismatched eyes helped the older, pudgy fellow, who’d taken the worst beating, rise to his feet.

“Hie tail to the Caves of the Gray Women and use the pool to heal your injuries.”

“Many thanks for coming to our aid,” said the lad with a head too large for his child-sized body.

“You are verra welcome. Now run along and forget you saw me.” Dugaid watched them leave, chanting a spell of protection to keep them safe.

Then he, too, vanished, traveling through the nether in search of Caitrina. She would never win the challenge if she didn’t keep her mind on the task at hand. He was more than ready to give her a lengthy scolding.

 

just-wait-for-me-b-b-finalist

New Distribution Channels for

Just Wait For Me

 

Now available at:

Apple and KOBO.

Also available at:

Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

~Dawn Marie

 

*Lightning Flash Featured Image by Felix Mittermeier from Pixabay

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Celebrate the 5oth Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with a Sale on the Fantasy Romance ‘Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon’ by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Wow! July 20th, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Where did the time go?

The Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon’s surface at 4:17 p.m. EDT with, if I can believe what I read, less than thirty seconds of fuel remaining. The moon walk took place six hours later.

…one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.

-Neil Armstrong

I was at girl scout camp in Pennsylvania at the time. We hiked up the hill from the tent sites to the activity center where the counselors had set up a television and we watched the events unfold. ‘Twas exciting. When I returned home from camp, I learned my dad had named our new beagle puppy ‘Moon Shot Duke’. The thought still makes me smile.

I’ve held a special place in my heart for the ‘moon’ ever since.

What are your memories from when Apollo 11 landed on the moon’s surface?

Continue reading for an excerpt from Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. And then, please share in the comments your memories from the Apollo 11 moon landing. If you were too young or not born at the time, share your thoughts on what you know of the event.

Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

Full moon and cloudy sky
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple

Finn inhaled deeply. His lungs filled with fresh mountain air. For the first time in months, he was free of fawning women. Free of the awkward position they put him in.

Patrick’s sword sliced past his face, drawing him from his thoughts. Rain streamed over his bare chest, mixing with sweat. He needed to pay attention. If he weren’t more careful, he’d do a face-plant in the mud.

“You fight like a lass, MacIntyre,” Patrick taunted.

“Hilt is slippery.” Finn cursed under his breath and sought a better grip.

“You must learn to fight under every circumstance. That includes rain. Could save your miserable life someday.”

Grunting, Finn barely ducked the next assault.

Patrick pulled back. “Enough!” He dropped the point of his claymore to the ground and scowled. “’Tis obvious you are not paying attention.”

Trying to catch his breath, Finn gulped air. He glared at his cousin-in-law. “This is supposed to be just for fun.”

“Ach, then. You must try harder to have fun, lad.” Humor lit Patrick’s blue eyes, and he unloosed the leather strip holding back his long chestnut hair. Patrick MacLachlan was a primitive man; to him a workout with the large two-handed sword was child’s play. “At times I forget we live in a modern world.”

Finn shook his head. “You are my fiercest opponent.”

Patrick laughed and placed a hand on Finn’s wet shoulder. “Come. The bairns are at the inn for Rory’s Thursday morning story time. Let us go and warm ourselves by the fire and listen to the old Highlander tell his tales.”

Finn yanked on a soaked t-shirt and followed Patrick across the wet lawn.

About twenty-five eagerly waiting children sat on the plush carpet in the parlor of the Whispering Pines Inn while gossiping moms relaxed on overstuffed floral sofas. A few dads stood nearby, appearing disinterested. Finn knew better. Everyone loved hearing Rory’s stories.

The crackling fire brought much-needed warmth to the dreary mountain morning. Finn joined Patrick at the hearth, hoping his clothes would dry.

Conversation ended when Rory MacNaughton entered from the rear door, his carved walking stick at his side. The elderly gentleman wore dress slacks, a brown tweed jacket with leather patches at the elbows, and a tam covering his white hair. He greeted individuals as he crossed the room and eased onto the tall stool at the center of the parlor. With an age-spotted hand, he motioned for his audience to move closer.

Alert eyes sparkling, Rory glanced at Finn and grinned. One of the men standing nearby snickered. Finn groaned, sure he knew the yarn the storyteller would regale them with.

Taking a deep breath, Rory began…

“The Sithichean, the faeries of the ancient Highlands, had a special affinity for moonstones. Enamored by the pale, lustrous, blue color resembling that of moonlight, they found the best of these unique stones on the shores of their sensuous faerie paradise Tir-nan-Óg—land o’ heart’s desire—having washed ashore on the tides when the sun god and moon maiden were in a particular heavenly harmony.”

Rory leaned forward. “Ye ken this miraculous occurrence happens only once in three, seven-year cycles of the moon…”

He held up an index finger. “Just once in a verra blue moon,” he whispered.

A hush fell across the parlor.

“Handfuls of these precious stones belonged to a beautiful flame-haired faerie with eyes the color and brightness of the most costly emeralds.”

“Caitrina?” a precocious little girl, with red curls and freckles sprinkled across her nose, whispered. Her blond-haired friend giggled, and Rory smiled at the pair.

“She bestowed upon the moonstones magical powers, gifting them to deserving mortals. Some of these charmed stones had the ability to reunite lost lovers. Others gave the bearer the gift of second sight. One especially large gemstone she forged into the hilt of a magnificent Highland claymore, and with a kiss enchanted it with extraordinary power.”

His eyes wide, a boy in front pointed at Finn.

Finn glanced down. He must be a sight, his soaked shirt clinging to his chest and his wet kilt slung low on his hips. He’d grown his hair long and now the knotty, wet strands hung around his shoulders in disarray. Beside him, his sheathed sword leaned against the stone of the fireplace, the large moonstone in its cross-section plain to see.

Rory chuckled, locking gazes with him. With tight lips, Finn shook his head  no. He didn’t want the kids to think his sword was the one of which Rory spoke.

“Over the ages, the sword brought many a worthy warrior fame and fortune. That was until the day an evil, dark power used it.” Rory’s voice rose and his pace quickened. “This could not be borne. With green eyes shooting flames of fire, the one who fashioned the splendid weapon cast it far away to vanish in the Sands of Time.”

The storyteller lowered his voice an octave and slowed his speech. “There are those who believe the lost sword of the fae has been found.”

Finn refused to listen to more of the man’s fantasy. He signaled to Patrick he was leaving.

Patrick followed him into the foyer. “Why the rush, lad?”

“My claymore doesn’t have supernatural powers. It’s just an antique sword.”

“Ach, well. Dinnae take offense. Rory means nae insult. He merely wishes for the bairns to believe in a wee bit of magic. Nae harm in that.”

 

Hope you have a magical day!

~Dawn Marie

Happy Summer Solstice 2019

I love this time of year–more hours of sunlight means more time spent in the garden. Time to notice the little things. Like this tiny praying mantis on a daylily bloom.

Peach Daylily with Mantis

Time to spend sitting in the garden reading. Perhaps something from the Highland Gardens series…

 

Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon
Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon — Highland Gardens Book 2

* * *

Lively fiddle tunes greeted Finn as he parked his truck in the gravel lot near Laurie’s home and garden center. A portion of her garden and the crowd were visible through the iron gate. He was tempted to leave. He didn’t feel like making nice-nice with her business associates, but she’d never forgive him if he didn’t make an appearance.

The anniversary of opening her garden center meant a lot to her. He couldn’t hurt her feelings. And she just didn’t seem herself lately.

They had a falling-out several years ago when she handed him her resignation and moved to Anderson Creek. At the time, the thought of her in the country seemed ludicrous. But since she survived her adventure—at least physically—and married Patrick, damn if she hadn’t proved him wrong. Her garden center and gift shop, Foxgloves, had grown into a successful local enterprise.

He’d been a real jerk back then. So, yeah, he’d stay tonight. Laurie needed to know she could depend on him.

Finn got out of the pickup and entered the garden through the front gate. Geez. He hoped he could dodge Laurie’s two business partners, Jillian and Caitrina, for the rest of the evening.

His luck, Jillian was the first guest he saw. She leaned against the side of the tool shed, watching the musicians. Whenever they were thrown together, she tripped over herself to get his attention. Although it would make his cousin happy, he’d no desire to pursue a relationship with the mousy woman.

She had a kind heart and nice eyes yet the chemistry wasn’t there. No way could he picture her as the mother of his sons.

“Finn.” She waved her arms and lunged forward, knocking over a planted urn. The ceramic pot shattered on the stone patio, scattering shards and soil. She stared at him then bent to clean up the mess.

Shit, he should offer assistance. He struggled with his conscience. Good manners won, but before he moved, a couple of other guests jumped to her aid. Finn grasped the opportunity and strolled in the opposite direction.

He stumbled upon Caitrina almost hidden within the lush foliage near the rear gate. Their gazes met. An impish smile played on her lips.

The fine hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He wasn’t sure what it was about her. Beautiful, tall and willowy, she had intense green eyes. Her long auburn hair would set any man’s heart racing. In fact, his buddy Douglas was in love with her. Nevertheless, there was something unusual about her. Something out of the ordinary he couldn’t quite identify, which made him damn uncomfortable.

Caitrina always watched him, staring with her piercing emerald eyes, as if she knew something he didn’t.

She probably did. But still—

Annoyed he allowed her to unnerve him he tore his gaze away.

Before long, Jillian bore down on him.

He sidestepped a server with a tray of champagne flutes and strode to the sanctuary of the house, to the refrigerator for a cold beer, hoping she wouldn’t follow.

* * *

Caitrina stood amongst the rose-colored foxgloves, alone in the shadows near the garden’s rear gate. She smiled when Finn evaded Jillian’s clumsy attempt to attract his attention. As he disappeared into the house, Caitrina turned away to gaze at the silvery haze surrounding the full moon. The time neared, and she’d work to do.

She would set the match into action before the High Queen of the Fae learned the game had begun. Caitrina could almost taste victory. This round and one more—she’d earn her freedom and be returned to the royal realm.

She inhaled a deep breath and uncurled her fists.

From her peripheral vision, she glimpsed Douglas MacKinnon watching her. Didn’t he understand he no longer aroused her curiosity?

She pressed her palm against her chest. She must have ingested a stimulant with an unusual property capable of causing a faerie heart to beat too fast.

Douglas raised a dark eyebrow in question.

What a meddlesome man. Caitrina glanced heavenward, wishing he’d go away.

When she looked in his direction again, he gave her one of his devastating smiles, saluted, and walked off.

Oh, how she wanted to turn him into a horny toad. But she couldn’t waste time thinking about the beguiling man. She’d a challenge to win.

Taking note of the other guests, she made sure no one noticed as she shimmered, faded, dissolved into a fragrant fae mist.

Available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Apple.

 

What are your plans for the Summer Solstice?

Enjoy!

~Dawn Marie

An Author’s Visit to the 2019 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Tinker Magic 2017
From the 2017 festival and my favorite Disney character.

Fantasy and gardens are woven throughout my Highland Gardens romance series. Like many children from the US, my introduction to fantasy was by way of the imagination of Walt Disney and company. I love when a trip to Disney World in Orlando, FL includes time spent at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. The 2019 festival began on March 6th and will end on June 3rd.

 

 

This year, I visited Disney World with my family during the Easter holiday. We had an absolute blast.  My favorite part of the garden festival, besides the great food, is the topiaries. How about I share a few of the wonderful Disney couple character topiaries from this year’s festival…

Mickey and his love 2019

 

Beauty and the Beast 2019

Lady and the Tramp 2019

 

~Dawn Marie

 

Happy Spring! Happy Spring Equinox!

daffodils 2019

Happy first day of spring! I love this time of year. Bulbs blindly planted during the autumn are emerging from the soil, providing bright smiles. Day length–amount of sunlight–is increasing. And the weather is warming. Oh, happy days!

Spring begins in the northern hemisphere this afternoon with the vernal equinox at 5:58 PM EDT. The length of day and night will be nearly equal. And guess what else? A full moon will brighten our skies at 9:43 PM EDT. This will be the third and final supermoon of 2019. How special is that? Very! According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the last time a full moon closely coincided with the spring equinox was in March 2000. The last time they happened on the same date was on March 20, 1981.

I’m sure hundreds will swarm Stonehenge to celebrate the equinox.

What do you plan to do on this first day of Spring?

Since there will be a full moon tonight perhaps a vampire / shapeshifter story is in order. Have you read Sea Panther yet?

Sea Panther
e-Book available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Apple.

Can love mend a fractured soul?

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crew member and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain’s crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She’s lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly’s blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther’s heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.

 

For more information about the full moon on the spring equinox check out this Farmer’s Almanac article by Bob Berman.

~Dawn Marie

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

romantic read

During my dating years, I dreaded Valentine’s day. When the day arrived, I’d smile bravely at the gals who received flowers at the office from their significant others. More often than not, I didn’t have a guy in my life because I worked too much. Or the guy in my life wasn’t into sending flowers.

My way of enjoying Valentine’s day was with a romantic book.

Now that I’m married to my hero, I don’t worry about receiving flowers on a specific holiday. We celebrate our love every day of the year. But I still enjoy a romantic read on Valentine’s Day.

This year I’m reading A Royal Christmas: Featuring Waiting for a Duke Like You and A Prince in Her Stocking by Shana Galen.

What are you reading?

If you haven’t decided on something yet consider a book from the Highland Gardens series and travel to the Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time. And on occasion, so do mere mortals.

HG-Series-Teaser no text 1000

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

~Dawn Marie

Supernatural Birds from Dawn Marie Hamilton

After singing its heart out, a wren joins the cardinals, titmice, and chickadees at the feeders. Juncos (also known as snowbirds) swoop in from the mountains and mingle with sparrows and doves foraging within the garden beds. Herons wade in the creek.

Birds–symbols of power and freedom–have often been featured in the mythology and folklore of many countries. From prominent figures in creation stories to messengers of the deities to mediators between humans and the supernatural world, birds represent, strength, love, and wisdom.

Perhaps that is why so many of us enjoy watching birds. Birds have uncanny smarts. If you’re lucky, you can observe supernatural bird behaviors in your backyard.

Many birds build elaborate nests without ever getting lessons. They just know how to do it through instinct.

hummer

Some birds are born knowing how to navigate by instinct. Hummingbirds hatch during the summer in North America then fly solo a thousand miles or more to their wintering habitat in the tropics, without the guidance of a parent or a flock. In the spring, a hummingbird may return to the place where it began its journey, using its amazing memory. Perhaps you might see one in your backyard hovering around the spot where your sugar feeder previously hung, even though you haven’t put the feeder out as of yet. I’ve seen this occur in my backyard. When I do, I rush to get the cleaned feeder hung. I want to keep the hummers coming to my backyard.

raven2

 

 

Members of the crow family–jays, ravens, magpies, etc.–have incredible memories. They excel at hiding things and then finding them.

 

 

green heron

 

 

Green herons dine on small fish. They’ve been seen dropping pieces of bread or other bait to lure fish to the surface. Amazing. Right?

 

 

 

I enjoy writing birds into my romance stories…

From Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, Book 2 in the Highland Gardens series:

She marched across the ridge, her hair blowing in the wind. A loud, rapid kek kek kek kek kek sounded before the whish of wings and the large bird landed on her outstretched arm.

“Trystan, you’ve returned to our mountain. I’m glad to see you, my friend.”

The peregrine falcon murmured close to Caitrina’s ear.

“Ah, you want to feel the sun on your face again. Aye, I imagine the northern tundra was verra cold.”

 

Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth-century seer? Of course, he must raise his sword in her defense.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

 

~Dawn Marie