Tag Archives: Highland Romance

Interview with Scruffy

This appeared on the Creatively Green Write at Home Mom  blog on July 20, 2016 http://creativelygreen.blogspot.com/

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I’ve always wanted a West Highland Terrier. My husband is fond of large dogs, and I’ve fallen in love with the homeless pups we’ve adopted, but I’m hoping someday…  

Scruffy in kilt One of the great things about being a writer? You can give your characters the pets you’ve always wanted. That’s how Scruffy ended up in Highland Yearning. I made him a Westie mix, with a torn ear and bedraggled fur, but his personality more than makes up for what he lacks in grooming.

 Adding a dog as a character was a new experience for me as a writer. I always had to wonder, where was Scruffy while Caden was kissing Ariel? Then I had to consider who the dog liked, or didn’t. Animals are as particular as people, and you can always tell how they feel about a person. With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to “interview” Scruffy.

Today, I have Scruffy with me, one of the characters from my latest book.

Scruffy, you weren’t allowed to speak in Highland Yearning. (Barking doesn’t count.) So I thought I’d ask some questions about the story and get the answers from your point of view.

Scruffy’s whole body moved, even his backside followed his wagging tail. “Finally, I get to tell what really happened.”

And it was quite a story. Did you know you were going to be sent back in time with Ariel?

He settled down and stared at me. “No one ‘sent’ me back. I chose to go.  A few days before we ended up in Scotland I was visited by one of the Ring of Belief’switches. The witches are okay. This one, Elspeth, is beautiful by human standards and unlike most humans, she had no trouble understanding me.

The witch asked, very politely, if I wanted to go back to 1775 with Ariel, or stay in this time. I told her I wanted to go back, Ariel needed me.” Scruffy raised his bushy eyebrows. “Actually, we needed each other.”

I had the feeling you weren’t over-fond of Caden, the hero in the story.

In spite of what some readers may believe, I want to state, for the record, I am not jealous of the hero. Human women are always sighing over Caden, but I consider him an acquired taste. Oh, he’s big, and can hold his own in a fight with other humans, but his sense of smell is terrible. It’s a good thing he doesn’t lose Ariel on a regular basis. I’m used to the Mackay, and Ariel loves him, so I have to make allowances.

A little bird told me you found your own ‘lassie’ in Scotland.

Birds talk too much. But yes, I met Ellie there. You won’t come across a finer West Highland Terrier this side of the Dornoch Firth. She likes to think she’s ‘domesticated’ me, but that’s only because I let her believe I’ve been tamed.

She must love you.  I understand you have pups of your own.

“Aye.” Scruffy stuck out his chest. “They’re fine little lads and lassies. One of them, Scout, has huge paws for a little pup, but he’ll grow into them. No doubt, he’ll be bigger than his father.” He cocked his head. “My pups aren’t nearly as much trouble as Ariel and Caden’s. I don’t envy them their helpless offspring, they have to keep them around for years.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Highland Yearningwhile you have the chance?

Scruffy’s eyebrows raised, and his liquid brown eyes twinkled. “I like what you did with our story. Now, will you write me back to the Highlands? My family’s waiting.

 

Excerpt From Highland Yearning:Highland Yearning _505x825

“Are we done, lassie?” Caden’s voice sounded tight. Almost as if he were speaking through his teeth.

“I guess so.” She turned and leaned back against the rough stone. “We’ve searched all the rooms in this part of the tower.”

“And thanks to you, every person we came across thinks I’m bedding you.”

“Would you rather I let them know we were searching for what they consider to be an imaginary ring?” She inclined her head. “I had to come up with some reason for us to be alone in the upstairs bedrooms.”

“They’ll never truly believe I’d bed a Sutherland.”

Ariel reined in her anger. “Yes, they will. After all, your brother is about to marry a Sutherland.”

He came to within a foot of her. “Nay, he will not.” His tone softened. “Don’t you ken what other men will think of you, lassie?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“They’ll believe they can take liberties, and you’ve no one to protect you.”

“You’re worried about my safety?”

“Aye.”

When was the last time someone worried about her? Her heart did a little twist. “That’s sweet, but I can take care of myself.”

“But your reputation—”

“Isn’t a problem. After all, I’m not staying. If anything, you need to worry about your reputation.” She bit her lip to keep from laughing at the mixture of frustration and confusion on his face.

She shook her head. “We left some of those rooms in five or ten minutes. Word could get around that you are . . . shall we say, less than adequate.”

He smiled, amusement crinkling the corners of his eyes. “Then I’d have to prove otherwise to every lassie who questioned it.” His voice lowered and he studied her face. “Would you be wondering about my capabilities?”

 

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Thursday Threads

thehighlandersreluctantbrideThe Highlander’s Reluctant Bride

Author: Cathy MacRae

Genre: Scottish Medieval Romance

Heat level: Sensual

Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a four-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?

Excerpt:

Absently Riona brushed a wayward strand of dark auburn hair from her face as she took two quick paces to catch up with him. The movement reminded Ranald of her as a child.

“I don’t suppose ye were too anxious to come here,” she said.

He formed a rueful expression. “Nae. ‘Twas no’ my first choice.”

“I know ye dinnae like it here. Ye always seemed relieved to depart.”

Ranald laughed. “‘Twas ye I dinnae like.”

Rather than take offence, Riona nodded again. “Nor I ye.”

“Ye were a difficult lass.”

She drew up short, staring at him. “Me? Difficult? All I ever wanted was to be included. Ye were forever running off, trying to leave me behind.”

Ranald did not check his pace. “Ach, we did let ye play sometimes.”

With a huff, Riona scrambled to his side. “Oh, aye. Ye let me play ‘princess.’ The princess ye kidnapped and held for ransom by tying me to a tree all afternoon.” She grabbed at her skirt again as she stumbled and caught herself.

Ranald paused and his horse tossed his head at his master’s sudden halt, but Riona didn’t slow her stride. With one long pace he was even with her again.

“And what about the time ye let me go fishing?” she tossed at him. “Except I had to sit in the bottom of the boat and use my skirt to hold yer catch. I smelled of fish for a week.”

Ranald chuckled and shook his head. “That wasnae me, lass.”

She bit her lip, and Ranald wondered why her straight, white teeth fascinated him so. He stared at the reddened mark her bite left behind.

“True,” she allowed. “Ye dinnae like the water, do ye?”

Ranald swallowed back his wayward thoughts. This was Riona, his childhood nemesis, not the sweet widow he’d left behind at Scott Castle.

He caught her sideways glance at him and realized he’d not answered her. “Nae. ‘Tis all that up and down and sideways motion. Makes my stomach churn.”

“How do ye intend to be laird of a people who live by the sea?”

“I cannae say if I’ll ever be much of a sailor, but I will be laird.”

Cathy MacRaeBUY LINK: http://www.amzn.com/B00J1PNPPC/

Author’s links:

Website: www.cathymacraeauthor.com.

Twitter: @CMacRaeAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathy.macrae.58

Thursday Threads

TheHighlandersAccidentalbrideThe Highlander’s Accidental Bride

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

Heat level: sensual

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Blurb:

Chaos reigns between the Scott and Barde clans in 14th century Scotland. To end the generation’s long feud, King Robert II of Scotland decrees Eaden, Laird Scott, and Lady Miriam Barde wed with all haste. When marriage negotiations break down, King Robert threatens Eaden with the loss of his lands and title. Forced to take matters into his own hands, the laird kidnaps his bride, only to find the young woman he mistakenly drags to his marriage bed is not Laird Barde’s daughter, but her lady companion.

Mary Marsh fights for her freedom from the laird and the unwanted marriage, refusing to accept her new life as Lady Scott. Realizing his error, Laird Scott develops an attachment to the feisty young woman he has accidentally married. Can he win her heart and convince her she is more than just a ‘duty’ to him? Or will the bond forged between the lady’s companion and the laird be destroyed by secrets and a feud that will not be laid to rest?

Hook: Shocked to find herself married to the laird, Mary sees little to recommend her new life as Lady Scott. Until Laird Scott sets out to prove their accidental marriage was no mistake.

Excerpt:

King Robert frowned fiercely. “What have ye done?” he asked, his voice hard.

“I’d tried speaking to Barde and doing things the traditional way. He was less than enthusiastic and mentioned hell freezing over as the only possible wedding date. His daughter was equally certain she’d no’ marry into the Scott clan.” Eaden shrugged. The feud between their families was generations old. He hadn’t wanted a Barde bride, either. “So I kidnapped her, carried her back to Scott Castle, and we married the same day.”

King Robert sat bolt upright in his chair, shocked surprise clear on his slack-jawed face. “Ye kidnapped her?” He wheezed, unable to inhale a proper breath, and pointed an accusatory finger at Eaden. “Ye actually forced her to marry ye?”

“Nay, Sire. I simply saw ‘twas done in a timely manner and without bloodshed.”

“How certain are ye her father is not, this instant, standing before the walls of Scott Castle, demanding his daughter be returned to him? Are ye trying to promote peace or war?”

Eaden gave an exasperated snort. “He cannae cry foul. I have the papers ye signed. And I have men keeping an eye on Barde.” He shifted in his chair uncomfortably. “The marriage is irrevocable. She is now well and truly my wife.”

King Robert collapsed back into his chair. “Do ye no’ ken the ruinous upheaval yer actions could provoke? ‘Tis true I commanded the marriage. I know how ye dinnae favor the alliance. But kidnapping the lass is a far cry from having the marriage properly planned and executed!”

The king stewed for a moment, as if consumed in vigorous contemplation. At last he shrugged. “Scott.” His voice invoked not Eaden’s friend, but Robert II, King of Scotland. “Inasmuch as ye have followed my orders to the letter, if not their actual intent, I hereby commit yer title and land to ye and to yer descendants.”

He leaned forward and clasped Eaden’s shoulder. “I hope ye dinnae have cause to regret yer hastiness.”

Eaden winced. He already did.

* * *

Cathy MacRaeBuy link: http://www.amzn.com/B00BMFPT12

Website: http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cathy.macrae.58

Twitter: @CMacRaeAuthor

Thursday Threads

TheHighlandersOBrideThe Highlander’s Outlaw Bride

Genre: Scottish historical romance

Heat level: Sensual

Blurb:

Thrust into the role of laird upon his father’s unexpected death, Connor MacLaurey returns home to find his cousin has usurped his lands and title. Furthermore, his betrothed–a lass he barely knows and certainly did not agree to marry–is hunted by the sheriff, accused of stealing cattle. His plan is to petition the king for clemency for the foolish chit, break the betrothal, and take his castle back from his treacherous cousin. Marriage is not in his plans.

Brianna Douglas has no use for men. Widowed young, berated daily for failing to give her husband a child, and sent home in subsequent disgrace, she devotes her life to holding her family’s land for her young brother as their sotted father drowns his sorrow in whisky over her mother’s death. Raiders have hit her clan hard, and to save them, she finds herself betrothed to Laird MacLaurey’s absent son to seal a pact of protection with the MacLaurey clan.

Forced into a marriage neither wants, it will take a king’s edict and sacrifice from both to discover what love means. But can they accept their losses and learn from their mistakes before Brianna marries another?

* * *

Excerpt:

“Explain why ye hate me so.” Conn’s voice sounded soft and low, both gentling and demanding at the same time.

Brianna glanced past him, her gaze darting from side to side, judging the possibility of escape. There was none, and after a moment she lifted her chin a notch, refusing to answer him. He hid a grin at her courage and pride. And stubbornness.

“Have ye always disliked the idea of marriage, then?”

A disdainful breath escaped her. “I was married once before. It dinnae interest me much then, either.”

“Yer previous husband was only a lad. Heir to a sizeable bit of land, but still just a lad.”

“And ye can do better,” she tossed at him, repeating his earlier boast to the king.

“Ye know I can.” He touched the backs of his fingers to her cheek and she gasped, her skin darkening beneath his touch. “I cannae get our love-making out of my mind.”

Brianna shrugged. “Och, there was nothing to recommend it to me. I have already put it from my mind.”

“I apologize for that, dearling. Ye willnae feel so bereft the next time, I promise ye.”

“Dinnae bother. All I want from ye is Morven’s protection for Wyndham.”

He met her steely stare. “Ye dinnae want me?”

“Nae,” she ground between clenched teeth, her nostrils flaring.

“Ye werenae married long enough to appreciate a man in yer bed. I bet ye still have yer dowry chest.” He teased her lightly, wanting to see a smile on her lips.

“I burned the wood to warm my cold bedroom,” she snarled in reply.

“Yer wedding dress?”

“Rags for the stable!”

He leaned closer, his voice a raw whisper in her ear. “I would settle for marrying ye the way I found ye.” Brianna eyed him in puzzlement, and he knew the instant she remembered he had pulled her from the burn as naked as the day she was born.

With a snarl of either rage or despair, she flung herself away from the wall. Before he could stop her, she darted beneath his arm and fled down the darkened hallway, her billowing silver hair the last thing to fade into the darkness.

* * *

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Cathy MacRae

Author Bio:

Cathy enjoys weaving tales of romance in the Highland mists. Her stories feature strong heroes and feisty heroines in pursuit of their happy-ever-afters in medieval Scotland.

When not writing, Cathy can be found curled up in a chair with a book or enjoying the outdoors with her corgis and newest member of the family, Freki. A member of RWA and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, she is currently working on another Highland romance novel and planning her next trip to Scotland.

Check out her website at www.cathymacraeauthor.com for book updates, writing and author posts, as well as her thoughts on gardening and dogs. She would love to hear from you!

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