Posted by Nancy Lee Badger
Is there anything hotter than a disgruntled dragon?
My latest Scottish paranormal/fantasy romance, Shimmer: The Beginning, has gained popularity and I am pleased this 100 page prequel has opened readers to my entire Clan of Dragons series. Since writing a story of any kind must start with a period of time, I researched several books, clan maps, and navigated around the internet to find a setting for my entire series. I am still amazed at the amount of information that is at your fingertips these days! I delved deeply and came across an island off the west coast of Scotland that perfectly suited my story.
The island, called Skye, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and a narrow inlet off Scotland’s mainland. Its geography and natural flora and fauna intrigued me; from the jagged black peaks, to the flower-covered moors, to the rocky beaches and crystal-clear fairy pools. Pine martens, red deer, marsh marigolds and heather added to the my ability to heighten the plot of my books.
Check out the Book Blurb of Shimmer: The Beginning
On Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Robina uses her gifts to turn algae and muck into crystal clear fairy pools. A dark fairy chases her, while a black winged creature falls from the sky. One wants her body, the other claims her heart.
Duff was dying, and his search for a mate looked doomed to failure. A pretty dragon knocks him off his feet. When she says she had simply transformed her shape in order to meet him, his heart breaks. Human hunters and the dark fairy threaten them, while love erupts between them. How will two very different otherworldly creatures co-exist?
Check out the ebook and print buy links on my blog’s Book Page
Posted by Nancy Lee Badger
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.
***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.