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?
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?
Yes, spring has sprung and snow covers the ground and rooftops in Southern Maryland. The temperatures will rise today, the snow will melt, and the daffodils will raise their faces to the sun. Life is good!
I’m looking forward to getting my fingers dirty in the soil soon. I’ve the longest list of plants I want to add to the gardens this year. Gotta love spring optimism.
Do you have special plans for springtime?
What else is new? e-Book Sale!
Just Beyond the Garden Gate, the first tale in the Highland Gardens series is on sale for for a limited time–$0.99. Grab your copy today…
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No, it isn’t Halloween, also known as All Hallow’s Eve, or Samhain, but there be dragons!
I write paranormal romance and my latest series, Clan of Dragons, is filled with dragons. When dealing with mythological creatures instead of actual wildlife, the writer has a certain freedom over other writers, which is why my dragons live in Scotland’s Black Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye.
Dragons have certain traits such as scales, talons, wings, fangs, spiked tails, etc. However, as a writer I can make my dragon purple with copper-colored wings, as I did in SPARK, the first book in my new series. Or, I can make my current hero a green dragon with snow-white wings as I did in SMOKE, the 2nd book which I just released!I can make my dragons speak, shift into humans, and fall in love.
This freedom-to twist and turn creatures in order to enhance my story-is why I love to write about dragons. If you love dragons, Scotland, men in wool plaides, and romance, check out my newest series, Clan of Dragons.
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.
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.
I asked another author to share a supernaturally-flavored event in their life, which I will call musings with author Ria Cantrell. Since she and I both have lived on New York state’s Long Island, this story made me shiver.
Ria: When I was about five years old, I attended a church on Long Island. When my mom led me up the steps, I started pulling away and crying. I said I did not want to go in that church…that witches were burned there and that I could still smell it. I kept crying, “Can’t you smell it? Can’t you smell it?” My mom thought I was just having an “active imagination” day, except, I don’t know many five year olds that know about burning of witches.
That memory stayed with me all my life and when I got older, I researched the history of that place and the grounds. It turns out that there were no DOCUMENTED cases of “witches” being burnt on Long Island. There were several hangings in colonial times, but no burnings. I was very definite about that; because of the smell. Well, after doing some further research, in Rouen France, there was a church in the 14th century with a similar name (which I do not want to mention, by the way). There, many people were tried and convicted for witchcraft and you guessed it…burnt for their crimes. Hundreds to be exact.
That’s my little creepy story.
Ria grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, New York. Her family has promoted her love for the arts, especially music. She learned to read music at a very early age and started singing at the age of four. Ria has enjoyed some very exciting endeavors in the past including competing as a figure skater, dancing professionally as a belly dancer and singing as a classically trained vocalist with auditioned chorales. She also enjoys working as a soloist. Ria began writing at a very young age and even had some of her early poems published in local literary magazines. Frequently, she would be seen carrying notebooks to scribble many of her stories and poems. With a love of the past, Ria was fascinated with Medieval and Renaissance history and found herself drawn to participate with a reenactment group, The Society for Creative Anachronism, which re-creates the Middle Ages. Since fostering her love of all things medieval, Ria’s stories soon became flavored with Medieval and Renaissance themes. Ria is a hopeless romantic. She married the love of her life after a long-distance courtship, spanning two continents. She now lives in the sunny tropical paradise of Southwest Florida with her English rock-star husband. The two share their love for music and writing. They perform together locally and they collaborate on writing endeavors. Her husband’s first full length novel, Reflections of Love, is being released simultaneously as Morag’s Tears. Connect to Ria: FacebookTwitter
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.
* * *
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.
Coming August 10, 2016
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 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.