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

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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 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

Stay Cool with Christmas in July

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas
A Highland Gardens Novella

The 3rd tale in the series.

e-book sale:
$0.99 through July 31st

(regular price: $2.99)

 

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?

 

Snatch your copy today…

Kindle : Nook : Apple : Kobo

 


Twelvetide-200

Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic
A Highland Gardens Novella

e-book:
$0.99 or KU

 

He has twelve nights to gain her love. She has twelve nights to save his soul.

Fulfilling a childhood promise, Ashley Dumont returns to an ancient Druid garden in the Black Hills of Scotland on the eve of the winter solstice—a time when magic hums and the veil between realms thins and tears, allowing all manner of supernatural creatures through. Will the ghost who claimed to be her destiny still be there?

Caelan Innes awaits her arrival. Unjustly murdered in the sixteenth century, a second chance at life depends on this woman. The Druids grant them the twelve nights of Yule to find love and save Cael’s soul. Will a trip through time and the treachery of enemies make the sacrifice too dear?

 

Find it on Kindle…

Kindle

 

Hope you have a magical summer!

~Dawn Marie

Yes, the Name of the Fae Horse Matters

black and white photo of horse - 1000

Does a horse mentioned in a romance novel need a name?

If you’ve read the books in the Highland Gardens series, you may recall that Caitrina rides a white stallion. The fae horse is mentioned in a couple of the books, but never by name.

In Just Beyond the Garden Gate, the fae horse is mentioned sort of as description…

When they cleared the forest and road into the glen, a mysterious woman galloped out of the mist. Tinkling music filled the air. She raced toward them across the moor, her flaming red hair flying behind her like a pennon billowing in the wind. She rode a handsome white steed with a golden bridle and with golden bells plaited in his mane. The stallion was a fine beast, fast as wind, with an arched neck and broad chest. His nostrils flared; his ears laid back.

Something similar from Just Wait For Me

A red-haired woman, richly garbed in green velvet and fur, sat a magnificent white steed with golden bridle and golden bells plaited in its mane. The beast stomped a hoof and snorted steam from flared nostrils, impatient for action. The lady murmured something in an ancient tongue and the animal calmed.

I think the stallion needs a name for the next book in the series, Just His Fae Kiss, especially since the tale is about Caitrina and Douglas. I expect Caitrina will have more interaction with the animal in this story and I hope the fae horse will become a character himself.

So I need your help. I’m running a contest over on my Facebook author page, Dawn Marie Hamilton, to find a name for Caitrina’s steed. Consider heading over there and entering the contest pinned to the top of the page. I sure will appreciate your help.

The contest will run through December 13th. Good luck!

Dawn Marie’s Facebook Author Page

~Dawn Marie