Several weeks back you presented your readers with an
interview of a member of the infamous MacFearann clan. I read the interview
with interest because the man you featured, Caibre MacFearann, spent the winter
here. His presence was a mixed blessing, for he managed to bring our Laird,
Baron Steafan MacKai, back home. He also managed, and I cannot begin to imagine
how, to return the Brother Blade to Clan MacKai. Your readers may not know that
the Brother Blade is a legendary sword that represents the close relationship
between Clan MacKai and the Earls of Strathnaver. But that’s where the
This horrible man, for everyone knows MacFearann’s are kin to the devil, took shelter under our roof, ate from the MacKai clan’s table, and pretended to have our clan’s best interests at heart, and all the while he was seducing Baron Steafan’s sister, Miss Aisla MacKai. Why our own Mrs. Grogan caught him kissing Miss MacKai. Miss Aisla protested of course that nothing untoward had occurred, but we all know that kisses are only the beginning. And with a MacFearann involved, a kiss is more than enough to ruin our beloved Aisla.
What will become of her, I cannot say. Her brother may be home, but he is very ill and cannot look out for his sister as he should. Someone must step up and compel the nefarious MacFearann to do the right thing. It is my hope that exposing his devious seductions will result in MacFearann offering for her hand so that Miss Aisla’s good name is restored. Public opinion is a strong force, and is desperately needed in this case. I beg you and your readers to demand Caibre MacFearann take the appropriate action and make an honest woman of Aisla MacKai,
Allow me to introduce you to Caibre
MacFearann, hero of Forever Hold My Heart, an historical romance novella by Rue
Welcome to The Teatime Tattler Mr. MacFearann. I’m Samuel Clemens, editor and owner of this periodical.
Thank you for inviting me, Mr. Clemens.
Please call me Ciabre.
Tattler: As you
wish. The Tattler is well acquainted
with Miss Allyn’s work and interviewing her heroes is a constant delight. Please,
if you will, confirm the following information about your story.
Tattler: The title is Forever Hold My Heart by Rue Allyn, an historical romance novella that one would politely call steamy; that is not to be read by children under the age of seventeen?
Caibre: “Och, I
suppose so, Mr. Clemens. T’ tell the truth, I concern myself no so much with
the story as I do with makin’ sure t’ author gets m’ character right, and that
she doesna malign Miss Aisla MacKai in any way,
that’s forthright. I gather you and Miss MacKai are lovers?
grinning.) I’d no say anything to damage Aisla’s reputation. Let’s say that I
intend to propose to the lady and pray she’ll accept me.
Tattler: I wish
you the best of luck Mr. MacFearann, er Caibre, as I’m sure our readership does
Tattler: Are you
aware of the expression “kicked the bucket?”
aye. That and a number of other, ah, quaint expressions are used in the Wyoming
Territory where I make my home now.
Tattler: Then it
would make sense to you to say that a list of things a person wants to
accomplish, places to go, situations to experience, and so on have become known
as a “Bucket List.”
that does make sense.
Tattler: I’ll be
asking you some questions about what you might include in your bucket list. But
let’s get some basics out of the way first.
Tattler: What is
Caibre: Twenty seven or there abouts.
Tattler: You are
Caibre: Are ye
blind or daft? D’ye wish me to prove it to ye?
Tattler: No, no.
Forgive me, please. Let’s just pretend I didn’t ask that.
Tattler: Thank you. Where were you born?
MacFearann Castle on the northeast tip of Scotland’s coast.
would you say is your profession?
Caibre: I’m a ranch
owner. I raise beef cattle and horses for sale to a number of different
the son of a nobleman. Does it embarrass you that you work for a living?
Caibre: Does it
Caibre, but I’m not of the nobility.
Caibre: I never
had patience with that nonsense. Luckily, I’m a second son, and I dinna have t’
concern m’sel wi’ it. Proud I am that I’ve made a good life for m’sel in a hard
describe yourself for our readers.
dark hair, some might call it black. My eyes are blue. I’ve a muscular build
and am considered tall.
Tatter: Tell us a little about yourself, please.
Caibre: Because my spendthrift da gave me naught with which to set m’sel up in life, I left the woman I love and Scotland for the western territories. As I said, I’ve no patience with the idea that a man should not earn his way simply because of his birth. I never thought to return to Scotland, but my older brother asked my help with our father’s funeral.
Tattler: Who is
that woman you left behind, and have you seen her since your return to Scotland?
Caibre: Her name
is Aisla MacKai. And no I havena yet seen her. So, ye must promise me ye’ll no
publish this interview until after ye hear from me that all is well between
Aisla and I or that all is finished.
Tattler: I so
promise. Moving on, if you haven’t made a bucket list before, perhaps now would
be a good time. Who knows? It might inspire another story from Miss Allyn.
While you’re thinking about that list. Please tell us about some of your other
favorite things, starting with your favorite toy as a child.
Caibre: Oh tha’s
an easy one. My brother Eric and I were fascinated by all the old suits of
armor and weapons scattered about MacFearann Castle. Whenever we could, we’d
don as much of the armor as we were able and play at attacking each other with
any of the weapons we could lift. We were in our teens before we were capable
of using most of the weapons, and we weren’t very expert, so we dinna do much
damage to each other. The castle walls, however, bear a number of chinks and
gouges that resulted from our play.
Tattler: That is
truly amazing and dangerous. Didn’t your father or your tutor stop you?
Caibre: Our da
was never home, and we dinna have a tutor.
Tattler: Tell us
about your best friend.
be Aisla MacKai.
Tattler: Isn’t she the woman you said you loved but never expected to see again?
She’s also the one I told you I plan to ask to marry me. I’ll be seeing her
again, whether she accepts my proposal or no. My da stole something from her
family, and I’m honor bound to return it.
Tattler: So, if
you’ve been apart these many years, what makes her your best friend?
Caibre: Simple. I’ve never had a better. I’ve many friends and acquaintances in Wyoming, but none of them share the kinds of memories and experiences I share with Aisla. We learned to ride together. We explored the highlands together. Until we got too old for it, we spent long days and nights out under the highland skies sharing stories and dreams. We always thought we’d marry, but we dinna count on my da’s feckless ways leaving me as penniless as she was. She deserved so much more than I could offer her as a younger man. I did the only thing that was right. I left her behind. I honestly thought she’d forget me. Seems I may have been wrong.
Tattler: What are
two places you would like to visit before you die, and why?
Aisla is. I love Wyoming. Like the highlands it’s both harsh and beautiful. However,
I’ve already been to both. For some place I’d never been, I think I’d like to
visit Austria and Australia. I hear that they too are places of difficult
is a place you would never like to return, and why?
that’s your home?
Caibre: Nay any longer. ‘Tis my brother’s home, and I wish him joy of it. Whether I want to return to MacFearann Castle or not, I’m sure I will. I’ll no allow a little thing like stones and mortar to stop me seeing my brother.
Tattler: Who is
someone you would like to meet, and why?
Caibre: I wish
I had been in a time and place when I could have met Mr. Abraham Lincoln. From
all I’ve heard he seemed a wise and canny man. A conversation with him could
have yielded much to think on and much to learn.
Tattler: Who is
someone you would like to avoid, and why?
be rude of me to say.
there is someone?
Caibre: Aye, but sharing that person’s name would be wrong. I’ll no do it.
Tattler: I can
accept discretion and courtesy. Last question. If you could time travel to any
date, what would it be, and what would you do there?
Caibre: I’d go
back in time to when the second Lord MacFearann committed a crime so heinous
that it has tarnished the MacFearann name to this day.
a centuries old scandal. Do tell us the details please. What did he do?
Caibre: That ancestor
disagreed with a bishop over the boundary between his lands and where the
Bishop wished to build a new abbey. Deeds and other documents show that my
ancestor was in the right. But the Bishop claimed that the needs of the church
were more important than the papers of men, and he started construction of his
abbey on MacFearann lands.
Opposing a land-grabber, be he prelate or king, seems the right thing to me and
Caibre: Had the
second Lord MacFearann left it at that and let the courts decide, all would
have been well and our name would no equal that of the blackest criminals. But
he was no accustomed to waiting on the pleasure of anyone regarding what was
his. He invited the bishop and his brethren to dinner. He and the bishop went
apart, supposedly to resolve their dispute. They were gone a very long while. When
my ancestor returned, he was alone. He told the brothers the bishop was
indisposed and begged that they should partake of the meal. Their leader would
join them anon.
Tattler: And did
expression is grim.) Aye, in a manner of speaking. The brothers praised the
skills of the MacFearann cook and asked why my ancestor did not partake. He
explained that the meat was not to his taste but they should eat their fill.
They cleaned their plates twice over—for the clergy were always hungry. When
they thanked Lord MacFearann for the delectable dish, he told them they should
thank the lord for allowing the Bishop to make their meal for them.
Tattler: You don’t
mean . . .?
Caibre: Aye, I
do mean. That while the second Lord MacFearann and the bishop were alone, my
ancestor killed the man then had him roasted over a spit in the kitchens,
carved and sauced and served to his holy brothers. Interestingly, every one of
those holy men died within the year.
confess dear readers at this point I found myself unable to continue the
interview. Mr. MacFearann was kind enough to leave me with a short summary of
his story and some information about the author, which you will find below.
Blurb: The last thing
Caibre MacFearann wants is to return to Scotland let alone be forced to stay
there. But the chance to rekindle the lost love of his youth is too tempting to
Losing Caibre MacFearann’s love once hurt so
much that Aisla MacKai wants nothing to do with him when a blizzard brings the
man to her doorstep. Kindness and human charity require that she give him
shelter, no matter that her poor heart had never mended.
Where to buy Forever Hold My Heart: Forever Hold My Heart cannot be purchased. It’s release date is May 20, 2019. On that date the novella will be free to all of Miss Allyn’s newsletter subscribers and the members of the RAVON FB Community. The link for newsletter subscription is: https://www.rueallyn.com/ravonsubscribefhmh/.
About Rue Allyn: Hi, I’m
Rue Allyn, I write heart melting romance novels. Books about characters and
adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful,
steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like
to read. Hope you will too
It has come to my
attention that your readership extends to nearly all of London, from the most
noble and high to those who must have your articles read to them. While I am
certain this gratifies you greatly, I would never sink to the moral quagmire of
writing to what is essentially a gossip rag, were I not in most desperate case.
For the past two years, I
have searched diligently for the heirs to the estate of a very wealthy
gentleman, a Mr. J. B., who has been my client, and whose estate I now
represent. It is of the utmost urgency that anyone believing he or she might
hold claim to the honorable J. B.’s estate come forward, via letter to me at
your papers address, and therein present a means for contact, as well as such
evidence of being a legitimate claimant as he or she may be able to provide.
The evidence so provided
will be investigated, and upon satisfactory proof that the claim is valid, I
will personally contact the potential heir or heiress with further
instructions. I give one warning, that spurious claimants will be prosecuted to
the full extent of the law on charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
I thank you sir, for your
willingness to assist me in this matter. Your discretion is most sincerely
Mr. T. C. Solicitor
NOTE TO OUR READERS: Obviously Mr. Solicitor is very concerned with discretion. While we cannot appreciate his opinion of our paper, it is his opinion, and his generous contribution compels us not only to publish his plea but to act (with the discretion he so values) in capacity of liaison. All replies to Mr. Solicitor received by this paper, will be forwarded to him directly and no information (not even initials) published without prior consent from those involved. The Teatime Tattler appreciates the support of all of its readers and thank you for your support.
I have been researching love and St. Valentine’s day for a work in progress and came across this somewhat erudite opinion piece. I thought your readers might find intriguing, this writer’s opinions about St. Valentine and the traditions we associate with him. I do hope the Tattler’s audience will let you know what they think. The opinion article begins below.
Thank you very much for the service you provide to our community. Lady C.
Two things struck me as I did research for this piece intended to be about
St. Valentine’s day, but which turned out to be about much more. One amazing
item is that Valentine was sentenced to die by beating, stoning, and finally
decapitation, because he performed marriage ceremonies in defiance of an edict
against marriages by Roman Emperor Claudius the second.This according to Father
O’Grady’s article about the Real St. Valentine http://www1.cbn.com/st-valentine-real-story.
The other compelling item is that the lives of Christian saints were first
recorded by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275—later ‘Englished’ by
William Caxton in 1483—in a book called the Golden Legend or Legenda Aurea. It
is not so much this book that is remarkable in relation to Valentine’s Day, but
the reason the book was produced. The prologue exclaims in a variety of ways
that the Archbishop produced the book to avoid the perils of idleness. “THE holy and blessed Doctor S. Jerome
saith this authority: Do alway some good work, to the end that the devil find
thee not idle. And the holy Doctor S. Austin saith in the book of the labour of
monks that, no man strong or mighty to labour ought to be idle.” http://www.catholic-saints.net/saints/the-golden-legend/prologue.php.
How many of us actually associate labor, or
work, with today’s version of St. Valentine’s day? Do gardening, chores, office
work, teaching, investigation or any other form of work leap immediately to
mind when Valentine’s Day is mentioned? Or do you perhaps imagine lolling on a
romantic beach, relaxed dining in a five-star restaurant where customers do
nothing more than lift a finger to get their smallest desire fulfilled
immediately, or perhaps simply spending hours on end making love—where your
greatest task is to bring your partner pleasure? These are traditional image of
Valentine’s Day, images not normally associated with work.
For what reason(s) did that medieval archbishop take such great effort to emphasize that idleness is perilously close to sin? In part, I suspect, Jacobus de Voragine prefaced his ‘work’ on saints’ lives with this warning, because he saw work as an expression of Love—Love in the sense of God’s love for man and when we are at our best, our own love for our fellow man. So, it may have been St. Valentine’s sacrifice that eventually became the reason for associating him with the kind of idleness we see today as passion and devotion, even carnal loving.
Valentine died not
because of his own love for a woman, but as Father O’Gara says [and I
paraphrase] there comes a time when he [Valentine] had to lay down his life
upon the line for what he believed. “And with the power of the Holy Spirit we
can do that—even to the point of death.” Indeed, every faith that I know of
contains some version of ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he should
lay down his life for another. [Paraphrased from John 15:13, King James version.]
What then does all of this talk of sacrifice and keeping busy mean for those of us who love romance, and often idle away hours with reading romance novels?
First of all, I do not believe that reading romance is idle in any way. I prefer to think of my recreational reading is purposeful. It helps me to learn new things. It keeps my mind active and my imagination and my faith healthy. This is so because romance novels are most often stories of sacrifice. Whether the sacrifice is a life, a hope, a dream, a love or some other thing highly valued by readers, authors and characters does not at all diminish the fact of a sacrifice being made for love.
Valentine sacrificed his life so that lovers could marry in the church of their choosing. Romeo and Juliet gave their lives for each other. Readers of romance sacrifice hours of their time to gain the benefits of reading our favorite kinds of stories. Almost everything of value comes at some cost, and I’m not writing about the exchange of money and goods. The prices paid in life and in romance novels are much greater than a few coins or a little cash. This is why romance is celebrated on St. Valentine’s Day, because of all that has been given to make love between two people possible. To recognize not simply the pleasures of physical love, but the worth of the emotional give and take that each person in a relationship shares.
This is what I believe. I’d be interested in your thoughts about Valentine’s Day and how it came to be what it is today, so please leave a comment below.
About Rue Allyn: Hi, I’m Rue Allyn, I write heart melting romance novels. Books about characters and adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful, steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like to read. Hope you will too.
You can find Rue at the following social
I am in desperate need of assistance and hope that your generous readers will come to my aid. I must begin a new story and have no clue what to name my characters.
Many authors speak of their books and the characters therein as their ‘children’ or ‘offspring.’ This is true for me but only in the sense of having an emotional attachment to and an investment in the development of those characters. When I named my children, their father helped. No one ever helps me name my fictional characters. I knew before my kids were born what I wanted to give them and a specific name that represented that. Not true early on in a book. I haven’t spent nine months gestating with these characters so I rarely have any idea what to call them.
For some authors, characters come to mind full-blown, complete with names, cultural and family backgrounds, back-stories, and all sorts of other information. I, however, usually start writing a book with no clear idea of who the characters are other than the role that character plays. Take the following paragraphs from a work in progress as an example.
HERO paused in the doorway of his gentleman’s club and surveyed the room. Good he nodded to himself. Not a friend or family member in sight. He ambled toward a row of tall wing-back chairs near the fireplace. It was beastly cold outside, and the chance for a few quiet moments to warm himself and consider his circumstances was irresistible. He sat, propped his cane against the chair-side table, and held his hands out to warm in the heat of the fire.
“Hullo coz,” WHATZIZNAME’S
voice floated from behind the chair. “Mind if I join you?”
HERO repressed a growl. Of course, I mind, but I doubt saying so would stop you. The last thing he needed now was one of his many cousins pouring out their latest family troubles and seeking their wealthy relative’s advice. Advice which without fail proved to be expensive, for him. However, this time he would turn the tables. This time he would seek advice—not that he would follow it—before WHATZIZNAME could even hint at a personal problem let alone that cash would solve it for him.
“By all means, cousin,”
HERO gestured to the chair flanking his. “I could use your help.”
WHATZIZNAME paused in the act of sitting, his bum poised a good twelve inches off the chair. His face paled, and his eyes went wide. “Y . . . you wish my advice?”
HERO waved a hand in the
air. “Well, I thought, since you are a man of the world, you might have
experience with the kind of trouble I’m in.”
WHATZISNAME finished sitting. He looked about as comfortable as a fat monkey that had stumbled upon a tiger’s lair. “Ahem. And what sort of trouble might that be? I can’t imagine that a man of your reputation and, ah, sangfroid would have any difficulty not easily resolved.”
HERO allowed himself to
heave a sigh. “My problem is of a delicate nature.”
“Ah, woman trouble,”
WHATZIZNAME sat back and made himself comfortable.
WHATZIZNAME’S frequent difficulties with women made him a horrible source of good advice. HERO knew he could successfully follow the opposite of his relative’s counsel to resolve the issue with his current mistress.
“What is the exact nature
of the problem?”
“As you know, LADY X, and
I have enjoyed a pleasant dalliance for several years.”
“True, every man I know
envies your success with the widow.”
“Well, she’s decided she
no longer wishes to be a widow.”
“Ah, and she wants you as
her next husband?”
“She said as much to me.”
“So buy her off.”
“She’s wealthy enough not
to be interested in money. That’s is reassuring to my vanity, for I know her
interest is in me and my title rather than my fortune. However, even if I could
purchase my way free of her, it wouldn’t work.”
“Because . . . .”
As you can see, dear readers, I really must name these two gentlemen and the lady involved. Progress in drafting this novel will be next to impossible if I cannot find suitable names. To help you help me, here’s a little background on the story. It takes place in 1815. While the story opens in a London gentleman’s club, the bulk of the story takes place at the country home of a recently deceased relative. Lady X will play a very small part, but she is a motivating force in HERO’s decision to obey the summons to the reading of the will. Anything you can provide in the way of suggestion will be most sincerely appreciated. However, my most desperate need is names for these three characters. Please comment below with any suggestions and accept my grateful thanks.
Rue Allyn is a Bluestocking Belle and the award winning author of both contemporary and historical romance. You may find her on line at the following links: