Blog Archives

Summer Solstice 2017

stonehenge

Wishing you and yours a magical summer!

 

This year’s summer solstice  was at 12:24 AM EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. I love this time of year–long days of sunlight. I spent the morning tidying the garden. Weeding, trimming shrubs, and deadheading blooms. Such activity makes me feel productive.

This afternoon, I’ll dig into my current WIP (work-in-progress), Just His Fae Kiss, the sixth tale in the Highland Gardens Scottish fantasy time travel romance series. This is Caitrina and Douglas’s story. I’ve created a Pinterest board for Just His Fae Kiss. Follow along as I create the tale.

If you are interested in a sneak peek, visit my blog for Excerpt Wednesday.

How do you celebrate the summer solstice?

~Dawn Marie

Recent Release: Just Within a Highland Mist by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Just Within a Highland Mist

The 5th tale in the Highland Gardens series.

 
Fae pixies are meddling with Gregor’s heart…

Gregor MacLachlan returns to Castle Lachlan, where he fostered as a green lad, ignoring rumors of fae activity. As a warrior with his cousin’s elite private guard, he hopes to prove to the clan he’s matured and has worth. A trio of pesky pixies have other plans for his heart. While hunting, a wayward shot from his bow nearly hits a strange lass who appears as if by magic.

Emily Smith follows one of the young boys in her care onto a forbidden mound in the woods behind the local garden center’s display garden and wakes in a strange bed, in a place and time not her own. Can she rise above the heartache caused by the untimely death of her fiancé and find love in the arms of the dark-eyed stranger who becomes her champion?

 

Emily gazed at her new husband with awe. It didn’t matter they were strangers. She sensed there was something special between them, perhaps magical, something that bound them together even though they were from different places. Different times.

She studied his full lips, anticipating the feel of them against her mouth. She moistened her lips, wanting him more than she would have imagined possible only a few days prior.

His pupils dilated, and he sucked in a ragged breath. He lifted a loose tendril of her hair and tucked it behind an ear. His calloused fingers brushed along the sensitive skin at the nape of her neck.

 Fire and ice. She shivered. A delicious chill tingled over her shoulder blades. Why was he making her wait?

 

Available at Amazon and B&N.

 
~Dawn Marie

Book Sale and other News from Dawn Marie Hamilton

Happy Valentine’s Week! Tuesday may have been the day, but many romantics celebrate the entire week, some the whole month. One of the ways I’m celebrating is with a book sale. The e-book version of Just Beyond the Garden Gate, the first novel in the Highland Gardens series, is on sale at Amazon, B&N, Apple, and Kobo for a mere 99 pennies for a limited time. If you haven’t read the series yet, now would be a great time to start.

 

Pink color heart-shaped bokeh background

 

Other News:

I will be presenting and signing at the St. Mary’s County Library’s Author Fair in Lexington Park MD on April 1st from 10:00 to 2:00. There will be presentations from other local authors, a writing workshop, and an information session on self-publishing. If you are in the Southern Maryland area, stop by and say hello.

On most Wednesdays, I share excerpts from my books at my author blog, Dawn Marie Hamilton Writes. Hop over there on occasion for a short read.

I’m excited and honored to share that Just Wait For Me, the third novel in the Highland Gardens series, is a finalist in the 2017 Scéal Award Contest at Books & Benches for Otherworldly Romance (paranormal, fantasy, and time travel). Winners will be announced in late March. Wish me luck!

 

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

Just Wait For Me

Available in e-book and print.
Amazon : B&N

 

~Dawn Marie

A Red Mug and a Christmas Kiss by Dawn Marie Hamilton

My author friend, Terry Spear, challenged me to write a short, very short story inspired by a holiday picture of my choosing for her blog . I’m also sharing the wee tale here. If you’ve read Just Wait For Me from my Highland Gardens series, you met a young lad named Tevin in the epilogue. He appears again in the upcoming novella, Just Within a Highland Mist, coming Winter 2017.

In A Red Mug and a Christmas Kiss, this very short holiday tale, Tevin is all grown up and working as a Santa’s helper for the holidays at Foxgloves, the garden center owned by his mother, Jillian, and her two partners…

 

red-mug-square

A Red Mug and a Christmas Kiss

by Dawn Marie Hamilton

 

Melinda had always wanted to be a Santa’s helper. At twenty-five, it seemed like a silly childhood dream.

Snowflakes danced on the breeze, landing on her cheeks and the tip of her nose. She shivered and sipped from the red ceramic mug she’d just purchased at the garden center’s gift shop along with hot cider. The owners of Foxgloves were Scottish and all the greenery was decorated with tartan ribbon and bows.

Wandering past rows of Christmas trees, the sharp scent of fir, along with apple and cinnamon from the cider, reminded her of Christmases long past. She missed her family. Felt alone in this new mountain town.

In the center of the display garden, a Christmas village had been erected. Young men, dressed in kilts and tunics and wearing elf hats, used hand puppets to entertain children waiting their turn to sit on Santa’s lap and give the white-bearded man their Christmas wish lists.

Melinda couldn’t help but ogle the guys’ muscular legs exposed to the chilly air. She’d be covered in goose bumps if she—

“Lass, would you be so kind as to help me with a medieval skit?”

She lifted her gaze from a firm pair of masculine legs, up a tight body, to very kissable lips that broadened into a grin. Blue eyes glinted with humor. Heat burned her cheeks. And it wasn’t from the steam rising from the red mug.

“Aren’t you cold?” she blurted. “I mean, of course, I’d be happy to help.” Gosh. She sounded silly.

“My name is Tevin,” he said.

“Mine is Melinda.”

“Pretty name.”

He handed her a puppet depicting a faerie princess and another a fair maiden and introduced her to the crowd as Santa’s Helper Melinda. She then joined him in an improvised skit where the faerie princess bestowed magic powers upon a warrior who slayed a dragon and won the hand of the fair maiden.

The children clapped.

“That was fun,” she said as they walked away from the Christmas village to a secluded picnic table.

“It was.” He pulled a flask out of his sporran. “I’m finished for the night. Would you care for some whisky?”

“Um. Sure.”

He poured a small measure of the amber liquid into the red mug and handed it over. She sipped the drink and smiled. How could she let him know of her interest in him without feeling a fool?

Tevin took the mug from her hand and drank from the spot her lips had touched. “I like the taste of your lips. May I?”

The intent glowing in his eyes near to burned her. Her stomach shimmied. Still, she nodded.

His arm encircled her waist; drew her close. The touch of his lips against hers was soft. Gentle. Stole her breath. Became demanding. She dropped the empty red mug into the snow and wrapped her arms around his neck, surrendering to the magic of his Christmas kiss.

 

Meet Tevin as a lad…

Just Wait 200 by 300

Available at Amazon.

Just Within a Highland Mist

Coming Winter 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Dawn Marie

Cover Reveal – Just Within a Highland Mist by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Just Within a Highland Mist

 

The fifth tale in the Highland Gardens series

Coming Winter 2017

 
 

Published Books in the Highland Gardens series:

Poster_Small_Highland_Gardens_300

Available at Amazon.

 
 
~Dawn Marie

A Spidery tale: Sylvia’s Worst Nightmare by Dawn Marie Hamilton

With Halloween only eleven days away, I thought to share a bit of spidery fast fiction…

Sylvia’s Worst Nightmare

Shit. Late for work again.

The early morning California sun blinded. Sylvia slid into the cracked leather seat of her red MGB midget and her short black skirt rode up her thighs. Fumbling, she inserted the key into the ignition. “Please start.”

Click, click, click, click, click, vroom. “Yes!”

She pulled out of the driveway and headed for the city.

With one hand on the wheel, she scratched the raised bite mark near the vein on her wrist and shuddered. That too familiar prickly sensation of eight tiny phantom legs crawled over her skin. Revulsion chills crept down her spine. She despised spiders.

black-widow-spider

Breathe, Sylvia. Breathe. She inhaled air deep into her lungs.

Entering the freeway, she zipped across the lanes to the left and sped with the traffic. Holy shit! Her worst nightmare crawled across the dashboard. She grabbed a used tissue from the passenger seat garbage pile and squashed the damn creepy crawly.

Her thigh started to itch like crazy. She swallowed hard and glanced down. A black widow skittered across her leg, and she spun the wheel.

The crunch of metal was the final sound. She’d never be late for work again.

~Dawn Marie Hamilton

Visit Dawn Marie Hamilton’s author page at Amazon.

Time to Start a New Story by Dawn Marie Hamilton

It’s time to start a new story. So many possibilities.

So what am I working on?

Two stories for the Highland Gardens time travel romance series are in the works. One a full-length novel. Just His Fae Kiss will be Caitrina and Douglas’s story. And the other a novella. Just Within a Highland Mist is Emily and Gregor’s story.

Portrait of a smiling young woman in woodland

Inspiration for Emily in Just Within a Highland Mist.

We met Emily near the end of the first book of the series, Just Beyond the Garden Gate. She was working at the Whispering Pines Inn as a hostess and her boyfriend tended bar in the lounge. Well, since then, they became engaged. Unfortunately, her fiancé was murdered.

Gregor is a new character to the series. He fostered at Castle Lachlan in his youth and has returned.

Here is the working blurb. It is unedited and could change before the tale is complete.

Just Within a Highland Mist:

Gregor MacLachlan returns to Castle Lachlan where he fostered as a green lad, ignoring rumors of fae activity. As a warrior with his cousin’s elite private guard, he hopes to prove to the clan he’s matured and has worth. A trio of pesky pixies have other plans for his heart. While hunting, a wayward shot from his bow nearly hits a strange lass who appears as if by magic.

Emily Smith follows one of the lads within her care onto a forbidden mound and wakes in a strange bed, in a place and time not her own. Can she release guilt over the tragic murder of her fiancé and find love in the arms of the dark-eyed stranger who becomes her champion?

I’m working on the cover and hope to share it soon.

Published Books in the Highland Gardens series:

Poster_Small_Highland_Gardens_300

Available at Amazon.

 ~Dawn Marie

New Highlander Time Travel Release: Just Wait For Me by Dawn Marie Hamilton

 

Black Friesian Unicorn

I’m very excited to announce the release of the most recent book in the Highland Gardens time travel series—Just Wait For Me. This book is the third novel in the Highland Gardens series and the fourth story rife with faeries and brownies and other fae creatures causing mischief. One such individual is the enigmatic auburn-haired Caitrina—a halfling faerie challenged by the Queen of the Fae to complete three unlikely matches uniting mortal couples separated by the veil of time. During one scene in Just Wait For Me, she glimpses something totally unexpected on a ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Unicorn. Is the magnificent beast real or illusion?

 

About Just Wait For Me

Just Wait 200 by 300

Available at Amazon.

The third match in the Fae Queen’s challenge is in play. Will fae magic change Stephen and Jillian’s destiny?

In the chaotic aftermath of the battle of Flodden, an injured Highland warrior makes a vow to a twenty-first century lass cast back in time by a meddling, matchmaking faerie. Stephen MacEwen promises to find a way to send her forward to her own time. But is that an oath he’ll want to keep after finding love in Jillian O’Donnell’s arms? And after saving Stephen’s life, will Jillian want to go?

No matter what the lovers decide, Stephen’s wife—a woman who acquired the title through deceit—and an old enemy attempt to destroy the couple’s chance for happiness. Only with the help of Fae allies can Stephen and Jillian overcome and earn their reward—everlasting love.

 

Sneak Peek

The peregrine falcon rose on thermals and soared out of sight. Caitrina crossed her arms in a self-hug, already feeling the loss. ’Twas best he fly wild and free until spring when he would head for northern climes. She was needed in Scotland past.

As she wandered toward the trail heading down the mountain, alarm hummed over her skin. Someone watched. Unnerved, she thought to vanish, but then she wouldn’t learn who or what flaunted such intent interest. Trying to appear nonchalant, she scanned the meadow, the rocks, the forest edge, and froze in awe. What the…

She closed a gaping mouth and stared.

The silky black stallion reared up on hind legs then galloped away, disappearing into the forest, though not before Caitrina glimpsed the single horn protruding magnificently from the center of the animal’s broad forehead. Couldn’t be. Wasn’t possible. Unicorns only existed in Tir-nan-Og. Faerieland. Land o’ heart’s desire. There were rumors, of course. Stories made up by the local storyteller, Mr. MacNaughton, more than likely. Faerie tales meant to amuse children.

Caitrina rubbed tired eyes, feeling deflated. Dealing with the queen’s matchmaking challenge made her daft. Made her see things that didn’t exist. She needed to complete this match and win the game. If only Jillian and Stephen would cooperate.

A large hand clamping on her shoulder made her jump. As she partially faded into the vanishing, a unique scent of earth and wind and animal musk invaded her nostrils. Ah. Said hand belonged to Douglas, the proprietor of the Celtic Image shop in the Village of Anderson Creek, and her sometimes lover. The grip tightened on her shoulder, and she jerked back to solid form. She didn’t dare bring him along to the past, which would have happened if he touched her.

 

The Highland Garden Series

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Visit Dawn Marie Hamilton’s Author Page at Amazon.

~Dawn Marie

Christmas in July Sale: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas by Dawn Marie Hamilton

It has been hot, hot, hot where I live. The other evening around 6 o’clock, we crossed the Potomac River near Dahlgren , VA. It was 101 degrees at the highest point on the bridge. So, to cool down, I’m thinking of snow and Christmas. Christmas in July. And, a Christmas in July Sale.

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Beat the heat with a cool read!

 

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas
A Highland Gardens Novella
Book 2.5

Just 99 pennies for the rest of July!

For Kindle and Nook

 

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan’s enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?

A snowy excerpt:

“Can we make snow angels?” Scott hollered over bantering voices.

“Yes, please,” Young Iain begged, too.

Laurie urged the lads into jackets and the entire family trudged out into the snowy garden. Patrick flicked a switch. Light illuminated the area, making the snow sparkle. The lads fell onto their backs in the snow, waving their arms and legs. The imprints left behind were the images of angels. Laurie made a large one. Patrick’s even larger.

If a once powerful warrior could display a playful side so could she. Isobell dropped onto her back to make an angel of her own. To her utter surprise, Archie threw off his plaide and plopped beside her in naught but his trews and leine. As they spread their arms to make angel wings their fingers touched. Their gazes met. A thrill shot through her.

Archie’s eyes flared. He must have felt it, too.

She couldn’t let the moment pass without making one last memory with him. Isobell squeezed his fingers. “Come with me. I ken a special place.”

 

~Dawn Marie

June is Synonymous with Weddings

Medieval Architecture

Since June is synonymous with weddings, I thought it would be fun to share an excerpt from Just Beyond the Garden Gate, the first book in the Highland Gardens time travel romance series, where a wedding goes horribly wrong thanks to a meddling clan brownie.

* * *

The gilded chapel glowed with candlelight. Laurie’s gaze circled the small interior, filled with her new friends.

With a twinge of regret, she thought of her family. She would never take the long walk down the aisle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Uncle David’s arm. Nor would she see the expected smirk on her Cousin Finn’s face as she passed him on her way to meet her intended at the altar. She wholeheartedly wished they both could be here with her now, to share her happiness.

Lost in thought, she startled when the chapel quieted.

Laurie raised her gaze to Patrick, forgetting all else. Only him, the man of her dreams. The man she desired for her own, the man with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life.

Even if it meant staying in the past.

Her heart swelled and she smiled at him with love.

Patrick strode past those gathered, eyes only for her. His heated gaze scorched her. Her nipples puckered in response. Oh, how she wanted this man.

He came to stand before her. Their eyes locked in communion. Time and space no longer existed, they were alone, two souls united.

The old priest cleared his throat, breaking the spell. Directing them to stand together in front of him, he joined their hands and bade them kneel. He motioned for Elspeth and Archibald to step forward, for they were to witness this union before God and their clansmen.

Patrick squeezed Laurie’s fingers. The mass and ceremony buzzed by in a blur. She hardly remembered saying her vows.

Laurie accepted Patrick’s assistance to stand. With his hands on her shoulders, he twisted her to face him. He placed his fingers on her cheeks and lowered his head. His eyes smoldered.

His lips were warm and persistent. The kiss shot to her toes.

Everyone cheered, and her cheeks burned.

Patrick stepped back. “Wife.”

She stifled a giggle. “Husband.”

They left the chapel and crossed the passageway to the council chamber where they would celebrate their union with a wedding feast. Patrick’s warriors, some with their wives, and some with their sons and daughters filled the chamber when they arrived.

The cheer echoed from the rafters.

Laurie toyed with the large sapphire ring on her finger, the beautiful token of Patrick’s love. This was the happiest day of her life. Yet it was as if she walked within a dream.

Could this be real?

She sighted Patrick across the chamber, standing with some of his men. Jamie slapped his back with some jest and they laughed. Catching her eye, Patrick raised his cup to her, and she smiled.

The crowd moved in waves and she lost sight of him.

Her stomach clenched when Munn, the clan brownie, approached. He made odd sounds as if he couldn’t form words and handed her a beautiful bejeweled goblet.

Elspeth joined them. “He presents you with an offering of peace.”

The little man made a choking sound, but vigorously nodded.

“Thank you.” Laurie accepted his token and sipped the sweet wine. The ruby drink tasted delicious, fruity flavor burst on her tongue. More wonderful than any wine she’d ever tasted before.

Strolling around the hall, she accepted the best wishes from Patrick’s clansmen. She sipped from her goblet. The cup never emptied. Each taste was more luscious than the last.

She danced with Patrick, ate from the savory assortment of foods, and drank from the goblet given to her by Munn.

Later, she whirled around the floor with Stephen. When they danced past the trestle table where her goblet sat, she stopped to take more of the sweet wine. Delicious.

Laurie enjoyed the minstrels and more dancing. She moved to the side of the hall to rest her aching toes and sipped from the goblet. Whew. She blew out a puff of air. A feverish heat flushed her chest and neck, making her desperate for Patrick’s embrace. She wanted to consummate her marriage. She’d been waiting forever and didn’t want to wait any longer.

Taking another sip of wine, she spied him at the edge of the hall. She rushed across the oak flooring toward him. Everyone else faded away. She giggled as she stumbled into him. He caught her by the arms. He was so sexy, and tonight, finally, all of that glorious man would be hers. She wrapped her arms around him and breathed in his earthy scent.

He smelled different. Felt different. His eyes were different.

It gave her pause, but only for a moment. They were married now.

Everything was different.

She leaned into him. When she hit his hard chest with her sensitized breasts, she pressed even tighter to him. She kissed his neck, slid her tongue along his jaw.

“Lass, what are you about?” He chuckled, the sound rough against her throat.

Why was he trying to push her away?

Laurie wouldn’t allow it. She wrapped one leg around his hip, laced her fingers in his hair and shimmied up his body. Without losing her stride, she sucked his bottom lip into her mouth.

He let out a tormented groan.

* * *

Just Beyond the Garden Gate

Available at Amazon and other online stores.

When Patrick caught sight of Laurie on the other side of the hall, an intense, hot fury boiled within him. Her arms draped his brother’s neck and she smiled adoringly at Archibald as if he were her one true love. Couldn’t she tell them apart?

Did she prefer Archibald?

A red haze clouded Patrick’s eyes and angry words choked his throat. He strode across the chamber, his steps long and sure. Somehow, he managed to gain some control, forcing himself to swallow his rage before he made a public display of his disgust.

Archibald wrestled with her. She was an unruly vine, clinging to him.

“Archie, take my lady-wife to our bedchamber. I will follow,” Patrick ordered through clenched teeth.

His brother had the audacity to chuckle. He practically manhandled Laurie to move her. He lifted her through the doorway and up the stairs before anyone noticed. She attached herself to Archibald, wrapping her legs and arms around his body, kissing him with sloppy, wet kisses. He struggled with her. Finally, managing to get her to the bedchamber and off him, he dropped her onto the big bed.

“I am not Patrick. He is over there.” Archibald pointed to where Patrick watched the scene from the threshold, fury smoldering inside his chest.

“You’re mine.” She jumped up, reaching for Archibald once more.

Moving quickly, Patrick lunged across the chamber and grabbed her around the waist, pulled her away from his brother and dumped her back on the bed.

She laughed and swayed as she tried once again to rise. “Wow. Everything is spinning. Hey, there are two of you.” She giggled and fell back against the mattress like a heavy boulder.

“I never thought the day would come when you would covet my bride.” Patrick glowered at his twin.

Archibald raised his hands, palms forward. “I stand before you, falsely accused. Your lady-wife is in her cups. She is not herself.”

“How did she get that way? I saw her take but one goblet of wine. Nary enough to confuse us. She is a trifler, playing with us.” Patrick continued to glare at his twin, his disappointment and anger consuming him. “’Tis too late. I have wed the wench. I will have to teach her I am her only master.”

“You make too much of this. She is but drunk.”

“Leave. Before I forget you are my brother.”

Archibald pivoted on his heel and left the chamber without uttering another word. Patrick stared at his new wife in disgust. She sprawled across the bed, insensible, as intoxicated as a drunken warrior. Since he first found the lass, she’d been naught but trouble. Not in his thirty summers had he ever been this angry.

He reached for her and as if he held a rag doll, shook her. She didn’t stir. Cursing harshly, he dropped her onto the feather mattress.

If she loved him, she should be able to tell them apart.

* * *

Now would be a great time to read Just Beyond the Garden Gate and the other books in the Highland Gardens time travel romance series with the next book, Just Wait For Me scheduled for release on August 10th.

Poster_Small_Highland_Gardens_300

 

Coming August 10, 2016

Just Wait Coming Aug 200The third match in the Fae Queen’s challenge is in play. Will fae magic change Stephen and Jillian’s destiny?

In the chaotic aftermath of the battle of Flodden, an injured Highland warrior makes a vow to a twenty-first century lass cast back in time by a meddling, matchmaking faerie. Stephen MacEwen promises to find a way to send her forward to her own time. But is that an oath he’ll want to keep after finding love in Jillian O’Donnell’s arms? And after saving Stephen’s life, will Jillian want to go?

No matter what the lover’s decide, Stephen’s wife—a woman who acquired the title through deceit—and an old enemy attempt to destroy the couple’s chance for happiness. Only with the help of Fae allies can Stephen and Jillian overcome and earn their reward—everlasting love.

 

Have a fabulous summer!

~Dawn Marie