Tag Archives: historical romance

Interview with Scruffy

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

Thru the 25th you can enter to win free e-books. Go to www.dawn-ireland.com

 

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

BuccaneerBeautyBuccaneer Beauty

By Viola Russell

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: Sensual

BUCCANEER BEAUTY is the story of Grace, Graínne, O’Malley, the beautiful daughter of a powerful Irish chieftain and a conventional mother. At the age of eleven, Graínne cuts her hair and sneaks aboard her father’s galley ship, determined to follow a life at sea and to seek the company of a handsome Scottish gallowglass, Bruce Donnel. Graínne proves herself a budding warrior when Spanish marauders invade her father’s vessel, but her parents have other plans for her. Though she proves an able sailor, Graínne is forced to marry Donal O’Flaherty, another powerful chieftain. Though enamored of Bruce Donnel, she nonetheless obeys her parents and proves an able helpmate to her violent and rash husband, continuing her own adventures at sea while raising children and supervising her husband’s home. Her heart, however, still belongs to a handsome Scot who she can never have.

Upon Donal’s death by ambush, Graínne continues her adventures along the Irish coast and Europe, secretly battling England’s growing power in her country. Alternately sleeping with the devil or manipulating the British authorities to her own ends, Graínne is determined to save her family and people from the tyranny imposed upon them by England. To make her family stronger, she weds Richard Bourke, one of the most powerful men in the region, but she can never forget Bruce Donnel and the passion he incited within her soul. Richard proves Graínne’s most stalwart supporter and she his, their minds and bodies uniting in an almost mystical union. Together, they faced the English with no fear—with only audacity and boundless courage. Still, the shadow of a youthful gallowglass intrudes on Graínne’s peace.

BUY LINK:  http://www.amzn.com/B010MOFENQ/

Excerpt:

“I wish you could come with me to Bunowen.” Grainne heard Bruce’s footsteps when he stepped on the hay spread along the barn. She looked up from grooming her chestnut horse.

“Now what would I be doing there?” Bruce ambled toward her and began stroking the mare’s nose. The horse stomped on the ground with her right front hoof and let out a fierce snort. The Scot took a step back.

“She thinks you mean to dishonor me.” Grainne grinned at him as she combed the horse’s mane. “My da gave her to me after that first voyage. Before that, I’d only had a pony. He said I could handle Anu after that.”

Bruce had regained his courage. He searched within the folds of his cloak and offered the horse a carrot. Anu gazed at him with what looked like suspicion, sniffing the tempting vegetable. “She’s a wild one.”

Grainne laughed and threw her arms around the animal’s long neck. “She’s a smart one, you’re meaning.” She stared at the now fully-grown man before her. His fair hair fell lightly onto his shoulders, and he wore the tartan trews typical of his people. She glanced at the way his muscular legs bulged within the tight material of his tartan trews. He’d spent most of his life yielding an axe, and Grainne didn’t want to admit to herself how lonely the months were when he returned to his native land with the rest of his men. “How old are you now, Bruce Donnel?”

Bruce watched as Anu took a generous bite from the carrot, then he lifted it to his own lips, grinning. “Older than you, Lady Grainne.” He studied her for a few minutes. “Twenty.”

“So no Highland Lass has won your heart, has she?” Grainne swept the coarse mane from the comb and tossed it aside. She wiped her hands on her trews and pushed a stray strand of hair from her face.

“No, my heart’s been stolen by an Irish goddess, but I can’t have her.” He turned to the pawing horse and shared the rest of his carrot.

Grainne’s heart hammered inside her breast. She took a deep breath and forced levity into her voice. “Who is she, pray tell?”

Bruce was suddenly so close to her that she could feel his hot breath feathering the slight hairs on her neck. “Don’t play with me, Grainne. It hurts too much.”

Grainne swallowed hard as her very being lurched with desire and aching need. Every sinew in her body wanted to wrap him within the all-consuming fire of her passion. She forced a laugh into her voice. “What hurts? By what I hear aboard ship you waste no time pining for the chieftain’s daughter. You’re quite the man about port. Many a Spanish and French lass can attest to that.”

“They mean nothing.” His fingertips lightly touched a strand of her hair, but he jerked away as if an electric jolt raced through his body. He added bitterly, “But you’re the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Connaught, and you’re soon to be the wife of another. I’m a poor mercenary.”

“Not so poor by what I’ve heard.” Grainne struggled to control her own rapid breathing. The heat of his body infiltrated her very pores. “Rumor has it you’ve farmland in the Highlands.”

Bruce’s face was very close to hers as he moved closer to her, his breath fanning against her lips as they lightly touched hers.  Grainne involuntarily touched his cheek, her fingertips on fire and her own breathing sounding loud in her ears. “You’ve heard right. It would be a great place to raise sheep, if I had the right woman.”

“Aye. It would be in a place with the right woman.”

Grainne looked away, but she still felt his heat. He cupped her chin under with his thumb and forefinger, forcing her to look at him. His brown eyes bore into her soul. Grainne’s whole body grew hot, and she gently slapped away his hand. Turning from him, she replied softly over her shoulder, “I have to finish with Anu.”

“Would you leave with me, my wild rose?” Suddenly, Bruce’s powerful arms encircled her waist. He ran his lips along her neck as his hands shifted to her breasts.

Grainne turned to him, almost against her as though she couldn’t help her conscious will. In his arms, she wasn’t possessed of a mind at all, only an aching body that longed for sexual release. During her long journeys at sea, Grainne had acquired many unsavory sailors’ habits. She loved to game and swore in such a way that made her mother cross herself before flailing her only daughter, but Grainne had never given of herself to man. She’d purposefully withheld her sexual favors from the men inhabiting her father’s ships. Grainne was a chieftain’s daughter. She wouldn’t disgrace him or herself.

Viola Russell

Thursday Threads

THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE by Cathy MacRaeHighlander's Reluctant 10-9-14

Genre: Scottish historical romance

Heat level: Sensual

Book cover blurb:

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 4-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:

So, the king forced Eaden to wed,” she murmured. Her gaze caught Ranald’s. “What will he do to me?” Ranald noted Riona’s sudden pallor, her gray eyes widening until they were naught but huge silver orbs glowing against her skin. Now was as good a time as any to tell her what King Robert intended for her, but he could not force the words. “Ye are a laird’s daughter,” he reminded her. “And an heiress. Yer mother’s dower lands north of here are of great value to the king.” “And I am of little worth, aye?” Riona flared. “Nae. Ye are of great worth.” “But a pawn to the king.” Ranald sighed. This was not going as he planned. “We are all pawns in one way or another, Ree. The king willnae let ye stay on yer own. Ye are a ward of the crown, now.” “So, he’ll marry me off to some rebellious laird he wants to drag over to his side, using me and my lands to hold him?” “Nae. No’ so bad as all that.” “Mayhap to a wealthy laird who’s all but doddering in his cups, hoping I’ll no’ breed an heir before he dies, giving title of the land to the king and my next husband?” Ranald lifted an eyebrow. The lass was getting worked up over nothing. “Marriage, yes. Doddering auld man, no.” Riona snapped her head to one side, a glower on her face. “Then, who?” Ranald swallowed and offered a crooked smile. “Me.”                                           * * * Amazon Buy Link: www.amzn.com/B00J1PNPPC/ Website: www.cathymacraeauthor.com

Blog: www.cathymacraeauthor.com/bits-n-bobs/

Facebook: Cathy MacRae or Cathy MacRae Author email: cathymacrae@cathymacraeauthor.com I love to hear from readers!

Thursday Threads

perf5.000x8.000.inddTitle: Taming Miss Tisdale
Author: Jessica Jefferson
Series: 2nd in the Regency Blooms Series from Soul Mate Publishing
Heat Level: Sensual

A bit about the book –

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

A little bit of the book –

Marc watched the faint outline come across the dense morning fog, becoming more discernible as it approached. The tall, thin figure was riding along at a perilous speed, given the morning’s lack of visibility. He thought perhaps it was some gangly young man misguided in the fog. It wouldn’t be the first time someone accidentally stumbled upon the vast property that made up his family’s immodest estate.
Then the fog parted in an almost biblical manner, revealing his gross inaccuracy.
Were those … breasts?

Marc closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Typically, women didn’t ride alone at such an hour and they certainly didn’t wander unexpectedly across his property. It’d been quite a while, his last birthday to be exact, since his last intimate encounter with a woman—a gift, compliments of St. Regis—so there was always the possibility that perhaps his half-drunk, sex-starved mind had conjured up the sensual image.
He shook his head, opened his eyes, and looked back again toward the horizon.

Yes, those were most certainly breasts.

And she was most definitely not a young man. The woman’s riding habit pulled taut against her body as she raced toward him. Her hair was blowing behind her—various hues of auburn and gold, like wild flames curling about in the wind. Then a decidedly feminine voice burst through the morning’s silence, interrupting his self-doubt.

“Oh, thank goodness I found you!”

This was no mirage. She was indeed very real.

And very loud.

A bit about the author –

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novel-but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.

http://www.JessicaJefferson.com
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