These fires were fed with the nine sacred woods to honor the coming of summer, such as the branches of rowan, apple, dogwood, poplar, juniper, cedar, pine, holly and oak. Some use alder, ash, birch, hazel, and willow.
Animals were then herded between the two blazing bonfires in order to purify and protect them in the upcoming year. It is also said that these fires celebrated the return of life and fruitfulness to the earth after the long winter months, especially in the Highlands of old Scotland.
Besides leading their cows and sheep between huge bonfires to bless them with fertility, the annual celebration included joyous dancing, beverage-downing, traipsing across the countryside, a sensuous ballet around the Maypole by young maidens, and leaping over fires by young warriors. It was customary for young lovers to spend the night in the forest.
Hmmm…how many new bairns were born each winter following this annual May Day celebration? Have a lovely Beltane, and check out my latest release.
Smolder is the 3rd Book in the Clan of Dragons series.
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day salutes America’s favorite sandwich spread. What kid didn’t grow up loving a PB&J sandwich?
Personally, I always ate my peanut butter sandwiches NAKED.
On this sticky holiday, I will share with you a simple, yummy recipe.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
1-8 oz. bag of @Kiss chocolate candies, unwrapped
1/2 cup shortening ( I use Crisco)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Directions: Preheat oven to 375* F. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large (mixer) bowl until well blended. Add sugars and beat until light & fluffy. Add egg, milk, vanilla and beat well. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet (I place on parchment paper for easy removal.) Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate kiss candy into the center of each cookie. Remove from pan and cool completely. Makes about thirty-six cookies.
Enjoy with a big glass of milk and a book…
did I mention my next book is now available for pre-order at
Smolder Bk#3 Clan of Dragons
What would happen if a Scottish dragon met an
They’d probably be the best of friends.
Groundhogs hibernate in underground burrows. The most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil is brought out into the sunlight on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on the 2nd of February to see his shadow. If he does see it, it would mean six more weeks of winter.
Dragons loves dark, moist caves, and the ones in my series, Clan of Dragons, prefer caves found at the base of the Black Cuillin Hills, on the Scottish island of Skye.
Whether you wish for winter to continue, or look forward to spring, have a very Happy Groundhog Day!
Now available for pre-order at
Smolder Bk#3 Clan of Dragons
November is one of my favorite months, and not because my country celebrates Thanksgiving Day on the 24th with some of my favorite foods: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie! It is also my birthday month (the 13th), and the holiday shopping season starts on the 25th with a day most shoppers refer to as ‘Black Friday’, and the following Monday, November 28th, called ‘Cyber Monday’.
The word ‘November’ comes from the Roman word ‘novem’ meaning nine, because it was the ninth month in their Roman calendar. What is so special about this month? Well November is the official month for the following:
Aviation History Month
Child Safety Protection Month
National Adoption Awareness Month
National Diabetes Awareness Month
National Epilepsy Month
National Model Railroad Month
And National Novel Writing Month which is also known as NaNoWriMo. Many authors and would-be authors sit at their computer screens and write, write, write. The goal? To write at least 50,000 words (the start of a good book) and to commiserate with or get inspiration from writers all over the world. I participated once, and although it is not my cup-of-tea, I highly recommend joining. Learn more at their national website HERE
November is also known for being the official month for some very ODD Holidays, such as:
November 2 Deviled Egg Day…one of my favorite foods, but I HATE making them!
November 5 Book Lover’s Day…print books are like kittens because they are fun to cuddle up with.
November 7 Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day…need I say more?
November 13 Sadie Hawkins Day…when I was 16, I asked a boy out because of this day!
November 16 Button Day…I have a big tin box full of buttons.
November 19 Have a Bad Day Day…what? Guess I will stay in bed.
November 27 Pins & Needles Day…our parents gave sis and I cats that we named Needles & Pins!
When not celebrating with one of these ideas, try one of my books… find all my titles HERE
Beltane, the Celtic May Day, officially begins at moonrise on the eve before the 1st day of May. It marks the beginning of the third quarter or second half of the ancient Celtic year. For centuries, Scotland’s Celtic people celebrated the day as the coming of spring. Before driving cattle into the hills, many would hope to ensure a healthy herd by running them between the Belfires to protect them from ills. This practice dates back to the Druids. When the Christian church took over the Beltane observances by holding services in church, the parishioners would follow the clergyman to the fields to light the fires.
Branches of a tree that grows all over Scotland is hung over the hearth in homes. The rowan tree is mentioned several times in my latest time travel romance, My Hunted Highlander. Scottish marriages of old, called handfastings, were traditional at this time. This holiday is still a time of fertility and harvest. It is a time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that the Celts have sown. For a slightly sexy custom: the flowers and greenery, usually accompanied by colorful ribbons, are worn by women to symbolize the Goddess. The May Pole represents the God (fertility, anyone?)
Whether you decorate your home with a rowan branch, wear a ribbon headdress, dance around a May Pole, or light bonfires to acknowledge that spring is finally here, please take a moment to read my book.
My Hunted Highlander is my 6th book in this genre, and the first one where I add a pirate ship, the crew, and their captive. Research showed me there were indeed privateers plying the North Sea of Scotland…at least during the warmer months. The English chased them northward, at times, and I took the liberty of mentioning that the English decimated my pirate’s home base.
A short Excerpt from My Hunted Highlander
“I want to bring ye pleasure, to show ye what a man can do with his mouth, and his tongue,” Niall said.
“Only his mouth and tongue?” Blair asked.
The flame of a nearby oil lamp made Blair’s eyes sparkle. Did she mean to tease him with words? “I am quite capable of pleasing a woman, without impaling her with my cock.”
At the shock of Niall’s words, her mouth opened wide, giving him a chance to demonstrate what his mouth and tongue could do for her.
Find Buy Links for this book and all my books HERE
Tartan Day is a day to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey, in Scotland. The abbey’s red sandstone ruins still stand, and what occurred inside its walls stands proud. Today, the residents of Scotland celebrate all that is good about their small country. As an American, I also celebrate Scottish history, culture, and legacy every 6th of April.
If I could travel to Scotland this week, I would enjoy the various events such as a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath; the massed bands and bagpipe concerts called a Tattoo; or Highland games.
Were you aware that Americans of Scottish descent played an important role in the growth of the United States? Even before we were a country, John Hancock, the first signer of America’s Declaration of Independence, was Scottish. More recently, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is a Scottish-American. My own American Clan MacBean, descendents of John Bean of Exeter, claim astronaut Alan Bean (the 4th person to walk on the moon) among our Scottish-American heroes. Men and women such as these famous people contributed to the fields of law, the arts, and more, which is why Americans who claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish roots celebrate on Tartan Day, April 6th.
Scottish Americans are encouraged to wear their modern kilts or ancient plaids anywhere and everywhere. Many communities host parades, Highland games or festivals, or special church services. Tartan Day is the unofficial start of the Highland games season. As we head into spring and summer, the chance to wear Highland attire and shop the various clothing, souvenir, and food vendors is something my family and I look forward to. In fact, ideas collected while at various Highland games helped me create most of my Scottish-themed books. *
My husband is threatening to wear his kilt to work on April 6th! If he does, I will get a picture!
Nancy Lee Badger
Check out all my books HERE
…and check out our latest release
*article originally posted by me on the Romance Junkies Blog April 4, 2015
New Release: When Love Conquers Time by Ria Cantrell, Nancy Lee Badger, P. A. Crust, and Dawn Marie Hamilton
Posted by Dawn Marie Hamilton
An eclectic mix of enticing full-length novels featuring historical time travel romance. Sit back and journey through time to the past in search of romance, passion, and adventure.
Morag’s Tears by Ria Cantrell
Love comes in many forms. Step back in time to the beautiful Highlands of Scotland in the 14th century. Come and sit with us by the warm peat fire as Morag tells the story of her life. From a child, gifted in the Ancient Ways, to a beautiful young woman in love, Morag weaves her rich tapestry of tales. She is a mystical Seer, healer, manipulator of time and chatelaine to the clan MacCollum. Share her tears of joy mingled with ones of sadness, as she recounts the triumphs and tribulations of a long life filled with love.
My Reluctant Highlander by Nancy Lee Badger
Skye Gunn could not prevent her husband’s death, and will risk everything to defeat the sorcerer she blames. When he attacks her nephew, she is taken instead. She escapes by plunging into the North Sea, and a spell takes her back to the future, to Jake. The woman who haunted his dreams since she blackmailed him into traveling back in time falls from the sky, beaten and bloody. He must trust her as they return to ancient Scotland. To survive, he and Skye must dare to love in the time they have.
Sea Panther by Dawn Marie Hamilton
Robert MacLachlan sails the Atlantic seeking to reverse the Voodoo he believes turned him into a vampire shifter. One taste of crewmember Kimberly Scot’s blood convinces him she is the one woman who can claim the beast’s heart and break the curse. But at what price to his honor?
Reflections of Love by P.A. Crust
Antiques dealer, Jason Hobbs, acquires an old dresser with an oval mirror among a shipment of antique pieces from England. That same evening, strange images start to appear, reflected in the old mirror, and the mournful sound of a woman weeping can be heard, echoing through the night air. As he searches for answers to the mysterious events which began the day the dresser came into his possession, the past and present collide, bringing events from World War I crashing to his doorstep. A shocking revelation will rock his world, changing his perception of who he really is.
“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
“You sure you don’t want me to come over? We could make a snowman in the garden, or one in front of the hotel for the guests’ arrival tomorrow. Or we could build snow forts and have a snowball fight.”- Terry Spear, A Silver Wolf Christmas
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
“What I mean, is I pictured you in my life surrounded by our children. Please tell me this is possible. Please make this Christmas the best I’ve ever had?” Staff Sergeant Christopher Hawkins) – Nancy Lee Badger, Unwrapping Chris
Unwrapping Chris is FREE for a limited time!
featuring my Scottish time travel romance
MY BANISHED HIGHLANDER
only 99 cents at AMAZON
Happy Holidays to all!
What does Halloween mean to you? Do the neighborhood kids come calling, begging for candies and other treats? Do you decorate the house with pumpkins, cornstalks, and skeletons? Do you dress up and pretend to be a zombie, pirate, or Highlander? The Celtic world has a slightly different take on this time of year.
(Photo by Eric Badger)
Samhain is to the Celts, like All Hallow’s Eve is to us…a night before the 1st of November, a time to celebrate the end of the harvest and the coming of winter. You probably will not light bonfires and jump over them, to ensure the cows produce milk and the spirits keep away from your door, so enjoy the idea of Samhain.
(Photo by Eric Badger)
Find all of my
book buy links HERE
I recently returned from volunteering at the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival, held each autumn at Loon Mountain Ski Area in Lincoln, NH.
The weather was unseasonably hot, so my dress stuck to me, and I can imagine how hot the thousands of men wearing heavy wool kilts were coping. Not even the leaves had yet changed color!
Here are a few photos to give you a taste of ‘Highland games’, which are held in many U.S. states and Canada.
I take notes and photos while soaking in the flavors, sounds, and sights in order to write Scottish romance.
Nancy Lee Badger