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:

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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

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.

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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.

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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

 

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

Beat the heat with a cool read.
Beat the heat with a cool read.

JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS (A Highland Gardens Novella – Book 2.5)
Not just a holiday read and e-book only 99 pennies.
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Scottish historical time travel romance with Highlanders, scheming faeries, a mischievous brownie, magic, adventure, and romance set in 16th century Scotland and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match?

~Dawn Marie

Words can be fun!

Wow! I can hardly believe it is January 21st and 2015 is in full throttle. I’m spending most of my time working on my next novel in the Highland Gardens time travel fantasy romance series, Just Wait For Me. I’m what writers call a pantster. I write by the seat of my pants—so to speak. Actually, the term means that I do minimal plotting before jumping in and letting the words flow.

Words can be so much fun. The other day, while doing research, I stumbled across a new-to-me word in the Etymology Online Dictionary. Fern-tickles. I just love the way the word sounds. Fern tickles is from the late fourteenth century and means: freckles, spots or blemishes on the body.

So, I just had to use the word in my book…

Stephen meets Jillian for the first time in Just Wait For Me:

The lass standing before him must be the one of whom Munn spoke. Her garments were strange. Of a type of cloth unknown to him. But it was her face that left him spellbound. Dark lashes graced warm brown eyes specked with gold that made his insides shiver. And the tip of an impish nose sprinkled with fern-tickles—as if the lass was descended from the fae—begged to be kissed. And her lips—

Just Wait For Me

Just Wait For Me

Coming Summer 2015

In the chaotic aftermath of the battle of Flodden, an injured Highland warrior makes a bargain with a twenty-first century lass cast back in time by a meddling, matchmaking faerie. Stephen MacEwen promises that if the lass will help him get home, he’ll find a way to send her forward to her own time. But is that a promise 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?

~Dawn Marie

Cover for Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Cover Reveal: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

A Highland Gardens Novella

Book #2.5

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Release Date: Late November

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?

~Dawn Marie

Journey through Time… with Dawn Marie Hamilton

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of time travel, as has countless authors and scriptwriters. Whether to the past, to the future, or both, movies and literature fuel the imagination. The devices enabling our movement through time varying with the different psyches of their creators. Many are sci-fi. Many pure fantasy. All stretch the borders of reality.

From H.G. Wells’ time machine to the 3D fax machine in Timeline.

From the TARDIS (appearing as a blue British police box) of Doctor Who to the time traveling DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Some of my personal favorites are the standing stones in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, the use of self-hypnosis and a pocket watch in Somewhere in Time, and ‘the gate’ in in the movie Millennium.

Just Beyond the Garden GateI’ve been so fascinated by the idea of time travel, especially to the past, I’ve included the element in all of my romance novels. In the Highland Gardens time travel romance series a faerie-enchanted garden gate propels the characters to the past of the early 16th century.

* * *

Excerpt from Just Beyond the Garden Gate…

Unease skittered along Laurie’s spine as she walked with Caitrina to the back gate. She frowned when she smelled the now familiar exotic fragrance on her friend. “What the hell?”

A tinkling sound confirmed her fear.

The gate swung open.

He stood just beyond the garden gate. Her pulse jackrabbited. Pulling away from Caitrina, she stepped back in panic.

Caitrina pressed a hand against Laurie’s back and shoved her forward. Terror forced the air from Laurie’s lungs as she tripped through the gate opening.

Nothing held her back, no barrier. She fell forward…over a precipice into a swirling fog, down…down…down through a dark tunnel. The walls spun. She plunged faster and faster. In the distance, she couldn’t tell how far, a blinding, bright light—just a white glow in a tunnel of blackness—showed. What was there? Death?Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

Oh God, what was happ—

All at once, she was sucked into the white brilliance. She choked on the scream in her throat, cringing against the intense whining assaulting her ears.

She spun, or everything around her was spinning, she wasn’t sure which. Her sensitized skin tingled as if zapped by an electric charge. Laurie squeezed her eyes shut against the brightness. With her eyes closed, she felt lost, more frightened. She opened them just as the light exploded into a million fragments of brilliant color, a dazzling kaleidoscope. Then she was falling again.

Down…down…down, faster and faster. Water flowed below her, a stream. She plummeted toward it. Bracing herself, she thought she’d crash into the rushing water, only to propel across it. She hit the ground hard and saw nothing more.

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In the Crimson Storm paranormal romance series a wormhole created by the energy of the Bermuda Triangle propels the hero and heroine to Jamaica 1715 where they must stop a Voodoo priestess from performing a curse.

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Excerpt from SSea Pantherea Panther…

“The compass is going haywire. Spinning wildly.” His tone of voice revealed growing excitement.

Kimberly chewed on the edge of her lip, taut with anticipation. They’d been waiting for something to happen, though she hadn’t really believed the stories. The contents of her stomach shimmied. Was she ready to confront the unknown?

A cool mist advanced, quickly developing into dense fog, which expanded into an enormous semicircle not five hundred yards off deck.

“The RPM’s are dropping,” Robert reported.

The boat slowed to a near idle. Kimberly’s stomach lurched. She glanced at her watch. The second hand had stopped moving. She tapped on the crystal. Nothing.

She reached for Robert’s hand. “It’ll be okay,” she said, lacking true confidence.

Robert squeezed her fingers. “That’s my brave lass.”

The eerie fog swirled, encircling the sailboat yet kept a distance of about three hundred yards. Kimberly glimpsed the clear sky in the center—bright blue with no clouds. It was as if they were caught in the eye of a mellow storm.

Without warning, a large mass burst through the edge of the milky fog to hover about thirty feet above the surface of the water off their port side, throwing a huge shadow. The air smelled different. Like after a thunderstorm.

“What the hell is that?” Kimberly whispered.

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What are some of your favorite time travel devices from films and books? What would be your preferred mode of time travel? Would you rather travel to the past or to the future or to another dimension? We’d love for you to share your thoughts with us.

~Dawn Marie

Highlands Games make Great Research Trips

 

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After writing several novellas about Scottish dragons, I wanted to use my love of modern Scottish Highland Games to weave tales full of witches, time travel, and ancient Highlanders. Since my family volunteers annually at the New Hampshire Highland Games held each September in Lincoln, NH, I filled notebook after notebook with my interpretation of the sights, smells, sounds, and history of the games. I filled albums with great photos, too.

This in-person research added to my list of possible story ideas. I have since completed a three-book series called Highland Games Through Time and have recently published My Lady Highlander, the first book in the Kilted Athletes Through Time series.

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***find all the buy links HERE

What do modern games have to do with a story of ancient Highlanders? Well, my present-day characters volunteer at the games. Somehow, each are swept back in time. This allows me to set my story in today’s modern times as well as in the historical Highlands of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Besides the costumes and weaponry people wear to these festivals, there are sports, food, craft displays, music, and vendors beneath tents, selling everything under the sun. The aroma of meat pies mingles with the tang of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Sheep, herded by Border Collies, run near tent-covered platforms where pretty girls dance a Highland fling. Bagpipers march while craftspeople spin wool or tell tales to kids.

The modern games are so much more than an athletic competition yet watching burly, kilt-wearing men tossing a tree called a ‘caber’ end-over-end is a favorite sight.

Historically, the games were a way to hone skills. Coming together once or twice a year gave a community a sense of camaraderie during a time of upheaval in Scotland. Skill, stamina, and determination easily kept young Highlanders ready for war, or any threat to their livestock and women. Foot races kept messengers ready should they need to spread the word of a battle. Using simple tools such as stones, hammers and the occasional sack of hay kept their back and leg muscles ready for hand-to-hand combat. All events sharpened a warrior’s body and kept him ready-and-able to answer the call to war.

Nowadays, people of Scottish descent gather all across America and in many Canadian provinces for a few days of fun and pride while wearing festive kilts and Highland gowns. Clan tents share a wealth of information, listing the many ‘septs’ included in each clan as well as books on tartans. Visiting several of these festivals each year continues to give me ideas that might show up in my next book.

Buy Links:    Amazon     Amazon Print     NOOK    Barnes Noble Print  Smashwords    All Romance  iTunes      Kobo    Books-A-Million   Book Depository     Powell’s Books

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