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Tag: Scotland

The Witch’s Claims

Mr. Clemens, our editor doesn’t know what to make of this woman who claims to be a witch, but she insists every word  of this tale is true.

Some people think the “Ring of Belief” is a myth, but as one of the witches attached to the ring I can tell you they’re wrong. The magic is unpredictable, but real, and I shudder every time I think about what I’ve seen over the centuries. It’s my task to help the men of the Clan MacKay find love. Now you might ask, “How hard could that be?”

Would you believe that men in some eras are far from lovable? At least during the Regency Era the gentlemen have a veneer of civility. Some of the Scots in the Georgian Era were impossible. Why, I had to bring a woman from the future to find a match for Caden MacKay. And, she brought her dog. (Alright, to be fair, I gave Scruffy a choice and he wanted to come with her.)

WitchWell, Caden wanted nothing to do with my choice. Part of that may have been my fault. I miscalculated in bringing back a Sutherland, but to Ariel’s credit she didn’t back down. The two of them didn’t always understand one another. You don’t believe me? We can go back in time and I’ll let you listen in. Oh, that’s right, you wouldn’t know what just happened. Ariel saved Caden’s life and they shared their first kiss. Now, be very quiet:

Caden turned to his cousin. “We’ll search the windows above. By now the coward has fled, but we may yet find something to unmask our would-be assassin. Then we’ll attend to your urgent matter.”

He drew Ariel aside far enough that Ian couldn’t hear them. His expression screamed, I’d rather fight a dozen well-armed warriors than be in debt to a Sutherland. “Thank you for . . .” He simply stared at her.

“Saving your life?” She waited. Nothing. “Kissing you?” She raised her eyebrows. “Just trying to fill in the blank here.”

He blanched, but then heat filled his eyes. “Aye.”

“Well, one of us had to take the bull by the horns.” Okay, best not to dwell on that image. “I mean, I was curious. I wanted to kiss you. No big deal. It was just a kiss.”

“Aye.”

“Will you stop agreeing with me.”

His smile was genuine and she felt it to the tips of her toes. Good heavens, the man had charisma.

“I’ve nae had a woman who wanted me to disagree with her.”

“Well, I’m not like most women.” That was true enough. She’d never done the ‘let’s talk about boys, clothes and makeup thing’ with a group of girls. Somehow, she’d never fit in.

He smiled down at her. “Aye.”

“There you go, agreeing again.”

“Perhaps it’s because you make yourself so agreeable.”

She couldn’t contain the laughter that burst from her lips. “Really?” The word came out between gasps. “Oh, I wish you could have been there to tell my teachers. Not that they’d believe you. They thought I questioned everything.”

“Then they didnae ken you.” His brows drew together. “I believe the stone was meant for me, but just in case, I want you to take care.

Her laughter died. “Why would anyone want to kill me?”

Have you offended anyone aside from Ranald, the Countess or Robertson since I met you?”

“I don’t-So, I speak my mind. Is there a law against that in this century?”

“No. And I prefer plain speaking, but I’m nae most men.”

“No, you’re not.”

Do you see what I mean? Caden MacKay was one of my more challenging cases, although his twin, Gavin, may just be my worst assignment yet.

witchAbout the Book

Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alonemarry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own?

Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century?

Buy it here

About the Author

Dawn Ireland has  written several award-winning novels set in England, Scotland and Ireland. She prefers the Georgian era, because that time period fascinates her with its rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy society by refusing to follow expectations. After all, what woman in her right mind would want to wear panniers?

Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. Can you think of another profession that encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?

Dawn lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband.

http://www.dawn-ireland.com/startpagina.html

The Poor Wee Lass!

HighlandsThe Highlands are agog with the news of the impending marriage of Ailsa Cameron to the dreaded Laird Duncan MacLean. Clans MacLean and Cameron have been enemies since St. Columba walked these lands. All know these two clans rather break bones than bread. Now, they are binding together for peace.

And that poor lass, Ailsa Cameron—she is a sweet, tender soul they say. Ailsa the Tender— as she is known—will be no match for Black Duncan MacLean. The Laird is a man who likes to display the heads of his enemies on pikes, not display the type of affection the lasses like. The man doesn’t smile and lives a spartan life few came withstand. Worse, he has vowed to kill any Cameron who steps on MacLean land.

Yet, there may be hope for the bride and her groom…Black Duncan has loved before and had his heart crushed like heather beneath a foot. If Ailsa can somehow reach the heart he has buried then a chance for love and happiness exists.

All fear that Ailsa doesn’t stand a chance.

An excerpt from The Marriage Alliance

Duncan MacLean took stock of the lass. Her curtain of blazing tresses draped down to her hips. She had green eyes. Easy to notice since she gawked at him. Her complexion seemed fair, if not pale with fear. Her fine features exhibited a delicate quality yet a resoluteness radiated from her high cheekbones that should have held the rosy bloom of youth and health. Comely lass…If she closed her gaping mouth.

“She’s puny,” Duncan said to his two trusted commanders, Caelan and Lachlan. These two men had been at his side since he wielded a wooden sword. He valued their judgment, sought their advice and half the time adhered to it, and they guarded his back.

“It’s her inferior bloodline,” Caelan replied.

Duncan agreed. If Cameron men were stunted, it was only proper their women were even smaller than wee. He expected too much from a Cameron Female.

“At least, you’re not wedding the Urquhart lass. What’s her name?” Lachlan asked Caelan while peeking at the Cameron female.

“Nessie,” Caelan grunted.

“Oh aye, the Loch Ness monster,” Lachlan said, with a brief laugh. “At least this one’s a bonnie lass.”

“I do not care about her looks,” Duncan replied, secretly pleased she bore no resemblance to her father.

Lachlan snorted. ‘That’s what every man says until he’s shackled to a beast.”

Caelan smirked and Lachlan puffed his chest with pride.

Duncan blocked out Lachlan. It still dumbfounded Duncan that he was taking a wife and a Cameron no less. MacLeans and Camerons had been enemies since before his birth but that ended with a priest and a vow before the Lord. Warring with the Camerons sounded much more thrilling than standing before a priest and vowing his life to her.

When the red-haired rat offered peace for both clans to war against their common enemy the MacKinnons, his plan shocked Duncan. When Cameron offered marriage to his only daughter, he felt insulted. For some daft reason, he never pulled his broadsword from it scabbard and cleave Cameron in half but instead, he sat and listened. For some reason unfathomable to him even now, he decided to wed the lass.

Duncan smirked. Much as he expected, this puny woman to behave as a Cameron, ready to run, she remained at his side. She must have realized there was no escape or rescue but she kept her head lowered.

He stared at the top of her head, waiting for her to spare him one glance. She had the loveliest hair he had ever seen, streaks of auburns, coppers, golds and bronzes blended to create her silky strands. He only beheld such radiant tones when the sun set over the highlands. In the deep recess of his mind, he was grateful her hair wasn’t the palest of blonde. Hers pleased him.

It was convenient he preferred her waving tresses since he would only see the top of her head from the rest of his days. The woman hadn’t looked past his chin.

That might not be a bad thing. He recognized her fear of him, after all, he was Duncan MacLean, and it was right he be feared. Yet, she risked his displeasure and wrath to state her wants even as her voice trembled but her daring pleased him. How much more spirit she had hidden away? Duncan wanted to seek it out, see her face color from it. Hell, he was enjoying the prospect of having her as his wife.

But she was Cameron.

Forgetting that truth could kill him.

He barely survived the last betrayal.

As he recited the vows, she leaned toward Father Murray. While he pledged his troth, never raising his voice but adding more bite when he heard her hiss, “Must he stand there with his arms crossed as such?”

Father Murray waved her to silence. She shrugged. Duncan smothered his grin. Aye, her spirit pleased him. She wasn’t weak like other Camerons. When he vowed to love and cherish her, she humphed in a high-pitched tone like a mouse trapped in a cat’s mouth.

He was the cat.

About the Book

Her hand in marriage could secure peace and safety for those she longs to protect.

Lady Ailsa Cameron is not the most patient of souls. She has even slept through a few high masses. Still, this gentle lass never did anything wicked enough to deserve her father’s pronouncement that she must wed the dread Black Duncan, Laird of Clan MacLean.

As leader of the Spartans of the North, Duncan MacLean has inspired many a gruesome tale throughout the majestic highlands and beyond. Duncan accepts Laird Cameron’s offer of his daughter’s hand in marriage and pledges to make war against their shared enemy, Clan MacKinnon.

Duncan aches to possess his ravishing bride as passionately as he vows never to lower his defenses again. Love blooms between them nonetheless, until betrayal incites a war. Clan MacLean is in danger as are Ailsa and Duncan – but the thing in most peril is their love.

Can past enemies become lovers at last? Or will the flame in their hearts be consumed by the fires of war?

Pre-order Link for The Marriage Alliance

About the Author

An Air Force brat, Mageela Troche has lived throughout the world then landed in New York City. She wanted to leave the same day she arrived. Yet, with her stubbornness, Mageela learned to like the place and the libraries were the main reason. Since she was a little girl, Mageela wanted to be an author and an actress, however, once in college, she changed her life plan in the pursuit of money. After all, college loans must be repaid.

With life’s twists and turns, she returned to writing and focused on the romance genre. Mageela Troche’s first break came when she sold a short story to a magazine. She sold two more before the publication of her historical romance novel, The Marriage Alliance. She has gone on to write four more novels and a novella.

Mageela is currently writing in the cramped corner of her Big Apple apartment. She is the proud owner of a Black-masked lovebird named Boobula. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found online at MageelaTroche.com

Shocking Revelations in a Lecture Hall

Mr. Clemens has rented a theater near Covent Garden for this event. To his delight, the placards posted around London seem to have brought out a huge crowd. We had to turn people away.

Good evening. This is an occasion for celebration. Standing here in the theater and looking out among you, I am reminded of which happened to me several years ago, when I had succeeded in writing one of my stories and my characters were as alive to me as…

(Mr. Clemens laughs and takes a seat in a large chair that’s set on stage with two chairs facing him. Behind the chairs are potted palms. Beneath them is a rich oriental carpet. The lights illuminate the setting. The rest of the stage is dark.)

Hang’d if I didn’t see those characters and speak to them. Well, tonight I have a treat for you. I’ve pulled a real coup. I’m about to interview the hero and heroine, Lord Alex, and Lady Lisbeth, of my dear friend Ruth A. Casie’s book, The Guardian’s Witch. I see you’re all ready and our guests have arrived. I’ll fill you in on their story when the interview is over.

[footsteps walking across the floor]

Samuel Clemens: (Facing the audience) Just as I promised, today’s guests are Lord Alex Stelton, the exceptional knight who put his life on the line for the woman he loves. Also here is his extraordinary wife, Lady Lisbeth. She too was willing to risk it all–to save the man she loves.

Alex Stelton is the seventh son of Lord and Lady Stelton. Alex’s father is also a seventh son, an oddity that arises in the Stelton family from time to time. Lady Lisbeth and her younger sister, Laura survives their parents Lord and Lady Reynolds who were lost to us in a terrible carriage accident and their brother, Richard. Richard died valiantly on the Welsh battlefield.

(Turning to his guests) Thank you both for taking time to talk to us today. The first question I have is for Lord Alex.

Alex: Please, call me Alex.

Samuel Clemens: Certainly. Alex, what was your first impression of Lisbeth?

Alex: I’m embarrassed to tell you.

Lisbeth: He avoided me for weeks.

Alex: (Taking Lisbeth’s hand.) That’s not quite correct. You made it perfectly clear that you wanted no part of me. As a matter of fact I got a very clear impression that you would’ve been quite happy if I had disappeared like the others the king sent to protect you.

Lisbeth: Well, what did you expect? You came marching into Glen Kirk all proud and self-important just like all the others.

Alex: (Raising an eyebrow to his wife.) Did I now?

Lisbeth: (A bit contrite.) Well, maybe not exactly like them. (She pulls her hand away from his and faces him.) How was I to know?

Samuel Clemens: (Cough.) How did this disagreement start?

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me for weeks.

Samuel Clemens: I beg your pardon. What didn’t Alex tell you for weeks? (Looking at Alex Mr. Clemens noticed him squirm, just a bit.)

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me we were married.

Samuel Clemens: Married? I don’t understand?

Alex: Wait a minute, Love. You didn’t exactly make it easy.

Lisbeth: Love— (She shot Alex a glance that could turn him into a pillar of salt.)

Alex: (Alex faced the Mr. Clemens) I won a bet with King James. If I held Lisbeth’s Glen Kirk Castle safe for one year it would be mine. Having an estate of my own has been a goal of mine for some time.

Lisbeth: (Foot tapping.)

Alex: (Rakes his hand through his hair.) After meeting my part of the bargain, I went to London to collect my winnings and ended proxy wed to Lady Lisbeth by order of the king.

Samuel Clemens: He what? And you didn’t tell her for weeks?

Lisbeth: (Folding her arms in front of her glaring at Alex.) Exactly.

Samuel Clemens: Perhaps we should move on. Lisbeth, I understand you come from a long line of healers and that you are quite gifted. My sources tell me you’ve used that gift to save Alex more than once.

Lisbeth: (A humbled look crosses her face.) Yes, I work hard to keep the people I love safe.

Samuel Clemens: (Shows Lisbeth a charm.) I understand you place these charms in the trees around Glen Kirk.

Alex: (Takes the charms out of Mr. Clemens’ hand.) My wife has a notion that the pretty bits shine and distract. (He gave Mr. Clemens a cold stare.)

Samuel Clemens: I understand there are rumors that your wife… [shuffle papers] uses incantations—

Alex: (Stands dragging Lisbeth with him.) This interview is over.

Samuel Clemens: (Obviously upset.) I’m sorry m’lord. I meant no disrespect to your wife or you. But sir, your wife’s special talents are common knowledge far and wide. It is to be honored sir, not reviled as some may think.

Alex: I clearly told your man that those questions were not to be asked.

Samuel Clemens: M’lord, Alex, this woman was ready to risk everything for you. She was in the midst of conjuring up the true criminal responsible for the treason for which you were accused. She was using her magic in front of the king and his court, all to protect you. Surely you know what a grave risk she was taking.

Alex: Don’t you think I know that. (Alex took his wife in his arms.) I cringe each time I think of how close she came to being judged a witch and the consequences that would have been metered out.

Lisbeth: Alex, (she pulls gently away from his embrace) come sit down. No harm was meant, surely you know that. (She pats his arm.)

Alex: (Regaining his composure.) I will not dwell on it, Lisbeth. I will protect you always.

Lisbeth: Yes, Alex. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But all here know who and what I am. There is no longer a need to hide that I am a witch.

Samuel Clemens: We have a little more time. Alex, I understand that your wife is very talented. Her dreams of the future appear to come true.

Alex: (He looks at his wife and does all he can to contain his smile.) My wife has many talents. Her dreams are–exceptional.

Lisbeth: Shhh Alex.(She leans close to him.) No one else will understand.

Alex: (Totally forgetting Mr. Clemens for the moment.) You call me into your dreams and we… Faith, (A smoldering look passes between them and he rakes his hand through his hair.) I want to spend the rest of my life in your dreams…

Samuel Clemens: Well, thank you both very much. (Pulling on his shirt collar.) A bit more information than I wanted. Is it warm in here? (Mr. Clemens turns to the audience) You can find out more about Lord Alex and Lady Lisbeth and what Lord Alex references in The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie.

Before we go any further, I’d like to acknowledge our stage crew for their commitment and fortitude to see this project to fruition. Many technologies had to be developed to make this happen and credit must be given where credit is deserved.

General Manager — Norma Leigh Lucid
Theater Manager — Helen Back
Maintenance Supervisors — Earl E. Bird and Ella Vada
Musical Supervisor — Kerry Oki
Lighting Engineers — Flint Sparks and Les Volt
Sound Crew — Mike Rafone and Constance Hum
Traffic Manager — Joy Rider
Legal Advisor — Sara Bellum
Researchers — Paige Turner and Rita Booke
Commissary Director — Jasmine Rice
Security Directors — Barry Cade and Anna Conda

Funded by donors Hy Price and his wonderful wife Lois Price

About The Guardian’s Witch

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

Available for Nook, iBook, KOBO or Kindle

Look for other stories in the Stelton Legacy Series

About the Author

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

Ian Mackintosh Tells All

Your reporter was fortunate enough to spend a sunny afternoon with a handsome young rogue named Ian Mackintosh. Ian is one of many sons of John chief of Clan Mackintosh. Although it can be said young Ian is a devilishly handsome rogue renowned for ruining more than one young lady’s reputation, it can also be said that he is a man of honor and courage. While men despise him, women love him. A tall, well-muscled and handsome man with big blue eyes and a smile that makes most members of the female sex swoon, it is easy to understand how women are so drawn to him.

Is it true that you fell in love with Rose before she fell in love with you?

I think not. She was in love with me from the beginning. She simply refused to admit it

Is is true, young Mackintosh, that not long after you asked for Rose’s hand, you broke that troth?

To a certain extent, yes, that is true. But when I saw the error of my ways, I immediately sought out Father MacBrodie to rectify the situation.

Was that before or after the sweet young woman took your clothing and left you stranded in the loch?

 I fail to see where that is important. We were married that afternoon.

The readers of our daily paper do find it important. Again, I ask you, was it before or after she took your clothes?

After.

Why did she leave you sans clothing in the loch? Was it because you had broken her heart and had left her to suffer the indignity of being known as another of your conquests?

That most certainly is not true! If anything, I was her conquest. The woman is as stubborn as the day is long.

By Sonja Pieper from Karlsruhe, Germany (Eilean Donan Castle) [CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

By Sonja Pieper from Karlsruhe, Germany (Eilean Donan Castle) [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

But she is such an innocent young woman, a widow and very tiny young woman. How did she do it?

My wife might be a wee slip of a woman, but I challenge you to find anyone who is as determined as she, or as stubborn. I was swimming in the loch after a slight misunderstanding –

That misunderstanding being the breaking your troth?

 Yes. That misunderstanding. I was swimming when she took my clothing. I had to walk all the way back to the keep without so much as a leaf to cover my manhood. I ask you, is that something an innocent young woman would do?

I suppose not. However, Rose tells me that you are quite stubborn and set in your ways.

 I am but a meek and mild pup in comparison to my innocent wife.

Is she more stubborn than you?

I am not stubborn. I’m simply determined.

I think your wife would beg to differ. But on to my next question. Is it also true that you took Father MacBrodie away from giving last rites to Seamus and demanded he marry you and Rose immediately?

No, that is not true! He was done with last rights. Seamus did not mind. He was already dead.

Is it also true that you went to the altar wearing only a plaid and nothing else?

 That is also not true. I had my sword.

ians-rose-genericAbout the Book:
Ian’s Rose: Book One of The Mackintoshes and McLarensThey should never have stolen his wife.Ian Mackintosh and his bride, Rose, return to McLaren Lands to rebuild all that was destroyed by the previous laird. Believing bad times and evil men are behind them, they’ve let their guard down. Ian’s world is turned upside down one cold winter’s night when Rose is kidnapped.Desperate, he is willing to make a deal with the devil himself in order to ensure her safe return. And he may have done just that when he agrees to work with the brother of the man responsible for tearing his world apart.Is there a price too high to save the woman you love?

Ian’s Rose: At iBooksNookKobo, and Amazon.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, storyteller and cheeky wench, SUZAN TISDALE lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband. Her children have all left the nest. Her pets consist of dust bunnies and a dozen poodle-sized groundhogs – all of which run as free and unrestrained as the voices in her head.

You can visit Suzan at her website: http://www.suzantisdale.com

You can visit Suzan at her website: http://www.suzantisdale.com

Get text messages on new releases! Text CheekyWenchUS to 24587

You can find her blog here: yourcheekywench.com

Follow her on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/suzantisdaleromance
Twitter@suzantisdale

 

 

 

 

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