The Patriot and the Loyalist ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats welcomes Author Angela Couch introducing her new release, The Patriot and the Loyalist. She’s laying a trap for him and the men he rides with. She’s laying a trap for his heart.

 

Blurb:

Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home-not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain-so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.

Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope-if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes. . .

Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded. . .and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.

Author Angela Couch

Bio:

To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.

Website: www.angelakcouch.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaKCouch

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angelakcou…

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Loya…

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pat…

 

 

Posted in historical heartbeats, Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, Sweet Romance, The Patriot and the Loyalist | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Characters with Jennifer Lowery

Download for FREE May 23-25!!!-2

Hi Historical Heartbeats and all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! I’m super excited to be here! I have a couple giveaways and a free book to offer you so read on to find out how to take advantage of fun, free books!

 ***

Ever since I picked up my first Suzanne Brockmann Navy SEAL book I’ve been in love with these tough, incredibly intelligent men. I knew I had to write my own series with my own SEAL team. A SEAL’s Song is the first book in my SEAL Team Alpha series and what an incredible journey it was for both me and my characters! Today, I’m bringing you a special interview with the hero and heroine from A SEAL’s Song. I hope you enjoy meeting Jack and Darci as much as I enjoyed writing them. 

P.S. A SEAL’s Song is FREE on Amazon May 23-25 so be sure to grab your free copy HERE!

Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Jack: Hell, no.

Darci: No, but it’s flattering.

What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?

Darci: *smiles* The romance. I already know what Jack is going to say.

Jack: *grins* Sorry, hun. The action. And the sex.

*Darci rolls her eyes*

What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Jack: Take my sailboat out deep-sea fishing.

Darci: I’m not much for fishing, that’s Jack’s thing. I’m usually in my studio writing and composing songs. But, when he gets home… *she smiles at Jack who grins back*

Do you like the way the book ended?

Jack and Darci in unison: Yes.

Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?

Jack: Not if it means putting Darci in more danger.

Darci: Agreed. Although, with Jack at my side, I wouldn’t be as afraid of what Jennifer threw at us. *leans in and whispers* She likes to torment us.

What do you do for a living?

Darci: *laces her fingers through Jacks* Jack is a Navy SEAL and the bravest, strongest man I know. I’m a singer.

What is your most prized possession?

Darci: A Celtic necklace given to me by my grandmother. Had it not been for that necklace, I never would have met Jack.

What do you like most about where you live?

Jack: Darci approved of my house. That’s all that matters to me.

Darci: He lives in this cute gingerbread house on the ocean. I adore it.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?

Jack: *grins* Stay in bed.

Darci: *nods* Definitely.

What is your least favorite word?

Darci: Classified.

What sound or noise do you love?

Jack: Sorry, that’s between me and my wife. *an intimate look passes between Jack and Darci*

What other profession would you like to try?

Darci: I’ve considered becoming a music teacher. Jack, he’s right where he was meant to be.

Jack: *nods*

Download for FREE May 23-25!!!-2

Did you get your FREE copy of A SEAL’s Song? Yay and thank you! Want a chance to win an e-book off my backlist? (told you I like to give stuff away!) Just click on the rafflecopter link below and enter to win!! Good luck! Oh, and keep reading for a BONUS offer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***

Jennifer Lowery Author pic

Meet Jennifer:

NY Times & USA Today bestselling author, Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer. Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers. She loves everything there is about romance. Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines. She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

 

Connect with Jennifer:

Read more about her books on her website: http://jenniferloweryauthor.com/

Join her on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenniferlowery/

And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JLoweryauthor

Please “like” her Facebook author page! https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferLowery/

Sign up for Jennifer’s Newsletter and get a FREE book: http://jenniferloweryauthor.com/join-my-newsletter/

Join Jennifer’s Street Team: http://jenniferloweryauthor.com/join-my-street-team/

***BONUS***

For everyone who signs up for my NEWSLETTER you will receive an e-book copy of my short story, Taking Chances ($.99 value) for FREE!

 

Thank you for having me today, Historical Heartbeats!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one-day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support! 

All my best, 

Jennifer

Posted in A Seal's Song, Book Spotlight, Giveaway, historical heartbeats, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heaven Must Wait, Part II ~ Spotlight

Heaven Must Wait, Part II, a new novella by Brenda B. Taylor, is the fourth book in the Wades of Crawford County series, and is the sequel to Heaven Must Wait. The story continues the courtship of Ralph Wade and Leann Clark. The novella is available on most ebook vendors. Grab your copy for $0.99.

 

Heaven Must Wait, Part II

Heaven Must Wait, Part II

 

Blurb:

Times are difficult in Missouri after the Civil War. Families struggle to keep their property from creditors and outlaws. The desire of Ralph Wade’s heart is to marry the girl of his dreams, beautiful Leann Clark, but many obstacles stand in their way. Ralph finds love is not enough to persuade Leann’s father to give his permission for their marriage. John Clark wishes more than love for his daughter. He wants her husband to provided a good living with a secure future. Ralph is much too hot-tempered and unreliable in John’s eyes. Leann desires the dashing Ralph and defies her father to be with him. She believes her love is strong enough to see them through the hard times. Through adverse circumstances, the young couple struggle to keep the fires of their love and faith burning.

 

Excerpt:

They reached the copse of willow, oak, and hickory trees beside the creek. Limbs of the willow hung low over the water, sporting light green and yellow leaves. The majestic oaks stood tall with the hickory nested close by. Brown hickory nuts in their hard shells covered the ground underneath. Leann had a favorite spot in a clearing that gently slopped to the water. The boys and Pa had worn the grass down from their fishing excursions. Sometimes the family brought a picnic lunch and spent the day. During the summer months they waded and swam in the water. Pa let the girls go without petticoats and swim in a blouse and light skirt. The boys swam in short cutoff pants without shirts. Leann thought this arrangement was unfair. She had seen swimsuits for women in Godey’s Lady’s Book, but Pa would not let them have one. He said they were immodest.

The creek water looked cool and inviting after the swift walk, so Leann sat down on a log and began removing her shoes. Ralph did the same, rolling up his pants legs. They waded the cold, shallow waters and listened to a robin sing in a willow. Leann held Ralph’s hand with one of hers and pulled up the bottom of her dress with the other. She bent to watch the minnows nibble at her toes. A fish splashed in the deeper middle pool.

“I need my fishing pole,” Ralph said when the fish splashed the second time.

“Pa and the boys caught four big bass and several small perch the other day. They seem to be biting now. We had a great fish fry.” Leann’s mouth watered just thinking about the good fried fish and potatoes.

“You’re making me hungry.”

“Did you eat supper before you came?” She stopped and turned to look up at Ralph.

His eyes met hers, lingering for a while, then he looked around. “I wonder if John followed us? Because I’m about to kiss you right now.”

Ralph bent his head over hers and found her lips with his. He released her hand, pulling her close. She closed her eyes, letting her skirt fall to the water, then put her arms around his neck and returned his ardent kiss, matching the fervor. They lingered in the kiss and embrace for longer than usual, until the sound of a throat clearing broke the silence. Both dropped their arms and turned toward the sound. Tom, her oldest brother, stood on the bank with a fishing pole in his hand.

 

Heaven Must Wait, Part II

Heaven Must Wait, Part II

 

Buy Links:

Historical Heartbeats

Posted in Brenda B. Taylor, Historical Romance, Part II, Sweet Romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Author Laura Libricz

 

Welcome to Day 2 of my #RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour. I’d like to thank my host and the RRBC for this great honor. Today I’d like to talk more specifically about writing historical fiction. History is my passion right now and I’d like to share some of the sources I use when I research.

Now, judging by the images and the books that are popular today, can you imagine how someone 400 years from now will view our society? How will they reconstruct our day in age based on the records we leave behind? That is, if they can even access our information.

What impressions will they have of our culture?

I take this into consideration as I research and write my 17th century historical novels. I have a good idea of what the time period looked like from paintings like those from the Dutch Golden Age. Objects and artifacts that survived the passing of time help illustrate how people lived their daily lives. But what people thought, what they felt, can only be taken from the work of those who wrote down their experiences. Even then, we only get the point of view of individuals with a certain standing in the community. We are subject to see history based on their beliefs and more importantly, what they wanted the reader to believe.

So, as I reconstruct the Thirty Years War and the impact the war had on the Aisch Valley in Franconia, Germany, I choose sources that give me a more realistic version of the world I am recreating. These include local historical almanacs, autobiographical accounts that survived over the years and current research of the Early Modern Period. I’d like to tell you about my most important ones.

The Thirty Years War was considered The Great War by the Germans up until WWI. The devastation it left behind was up until that time unmatched. The population was reduced by a third, some believe by half. Great tracks of land were left untouched by the war but other areas were set back 100 years in their development. Some of the villages in my area died out completely for more than two generations. And a surprising number of events that transpired there were written down and collected.

Germans call them Heimatbücher; village historical almanacs, written by local residents, village officials and clergy. Many small communities have them. Full of church records, local weather chronicles, tax records, marriage, birth and death registers, maps and photographs, you’ll find one on almost every bookshelf in Germany. They recorded everything from the Hussiten Wars to the Little Ice Age, the natural catastrophe believed to help fuel the Thirty Years War. Many of the troop movements that stain Germany’s war-torn history and the damage left behind can be found in these books. They tend to be overlooked by ‘real’ historians but they are a wealth of knowledge and now our little secret.

Around the time of the Thirty Years War, the early 1700’s, literacy in Germany was supposedly 2% to 4% of the population, without taking into consideration the difference between those who read regularly and those who could read at all. The reported literates were either of a high standing or involved in the church. More Protestants were known to be able to read than Catholics. Yes, there were those women who were learned but the majority of these were men. And some of these people felt the need to write their memoirs.

A local hero from the town of Uehlfeld in Franconia, Veit von Berg was a young Protestant pastor who was in the city of Neustadt an der Aisch when it was sacked in July 1632. After the war, in 1648, he was commissioned to serve the Evangelical parish in Uehlfeld. Thirty-five people survived the horrors that left this village in ash and rubble, a village that once had population of over 600. Veit von Berg spent his free time rebuilding Uehlfeld, teaching the savaged farmers how to sow seed and live life. And writing his autobiography. This is a touching, explicit, insightful story of his fight to live through an unjust war.

A more famous story is Simplicius Simplicissimus by Grimmelshausen, considered to be the first German novel. It is the story of a peasant boy torn away from his family by marauding mercenaries. We follow him from the abduction, to the life with a hermit, to military service, to wealth and excess back to the life of a hermit. The adventures he experienced are considered to be the autobiographical account of Grimmelshausen’s life.

In 1988, Jan Peters, a German historian, found a hand-written document in the Berliner Staatsbibliotek, the Berlin Library. Peters set out to decipher the writings and search for the author, whose name is nowhere in the writings to be found. After much detective work, the writer is believed to the mercenary soldier, Peter Hagendorf. Hagendorf recorded his 25-year career as a mercenary and the 22,500 km travels that took him from Italy to Germany, to the Spanish Netherlands and France. He also took part in the famous Sack of Magdeburg in 1631.

Now, most of my reference books are in German and most of them are written by men. But I want to recreate this time period for an English-speaking audience and keep the language contemporary. I want to get close to the characters, inside their heads, and I also want to do this from the viewpoint of a woman. And I want to stay true to the events documented in my sources.

American historian, Joel Harrington, http://as.vanderbilt.edu/history/bio/joel-harrington professor at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, specializes in the Early Modern Period in Germany and has written numerous books concerning this time period in the English language. In 2009, he published The Unwanted Child: The Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Harrington studies the situation of abandoned children in Nuremberg, Germany, their mothers and the role society played in all of this in the early modern world.

Over the years, the more information I searched for, the more I found. This is only a small outtake from all the sources I have collected. For me, the love of research equals the love of writing historical fiction. And as I reconstruct the Thirty Years War, these books and documents are as instrumental to my writing as my computer and a pad and paper. The stage is set and I can bring in the actors and raise the curtain.

What sort of research do you do for your novels? As a reader, how much accuracy do you want in a novel?

* * *

 

THE MASTER AND THE MAID

Buy Link:

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Maid-Heavens-Pond-Trilogy/dp/0996817786/

BLURB:

She’s lost her work, her home and her freedom. Now, harboring a mysterious newborn, she could lose her life.

In 17th Century Germany on the brink of the Thirty Years War, 24-year-old Katarina is traded to the patrician Sebald Tucher by her fiancé Willi Prutt in order to pay his debts. En route to her forced relocation to the Tucher country estate, Katarina is met by a crazed archer, Hans-Wolfgang, carrying a baby under his cloak. He tells her an incredible story of how his beloved was executed by a Jesuit priest for witchcraft right after the birth and makes Katarina—at sword point—swear on her life to protect the child. But protecting the child puts Katarina at risk. She could fall in disfavor with her master. She could be hunted by the zealots who killed his beloved. She could be executed for witchcraft herself. Can Katarina’s love for the baby and Sebald Tucher’s desire for her keep the wrath of the zealots at bay?

Set in Franconia, The Master and the Maid is an accurate, authentic account of a young woman’s life in Germany in the 1600’s, her struggle for freedom and her fight for those she loves.

* * *

Laura Libricz

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem, PA, and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

 She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing, she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

Laura’s Contact Links:
Twitter – @lauralibricz
Facebook – @LauraLibriczAuthoress
Website – http://www.lauralibricz.com

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Historical | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments

The Celebration of Beltane

Visit Historical Heartbeats to learn about the Celtic Feast of Beltane on May Day in the 15th century Scottish Highlands. Beltane played a prominent role in the life of the ancient Highlander. The day marked the beginning of summer and lengthened daylight after the long, dark days of the Highland winters.

Coming Soon

A Highland Emerald, the prequel to A Highland Pearl, begins the first of May at the celebration of Beltane or May Day. The book tells the love story of William Munro and Aine MacLean. Theirs is an arranged marriage, and Aine’s heart belongs to a brave warrior in her father’s slaugh (army). Will the passage of time soften her heart toward William so she can love and accept him as her husband? The novella may be ready for publication in the fall.

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bonfire

Beltane

Beltane is mentioned in some of the earliest Celtic literature and was associated with important events in Celtic mythology. The special day marked the beginning of summer when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth.

Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire or between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over the flames or embers. All household fires were doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. These gatherings were accompanied by a feast, and some of the food and drink offered to the aos sí (spirits). Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves were decorated with yellow May flowers, perhaps because they evoked fire.

In parts of Ireland, people made a May Bush—a thorn bush decorated with flowers, ribbons, and bright shells. Holy wells were also visited, while Beltane dew was thought to bring beauty and maintain youthfulness. Many of these customs became part of May Day or Midsummer festivals in other parts of Great Britain and Europe. Beltane celebrations had largely died out by the mid-20th century, although some of its customs continued and revived as a cultural event.

Hawthorn Tree

 

Excerpt:

I looked around the great hall for the last time. The festive decorations from the Feast of Beltane still graced the tables, mantles, and windows. The hawthorn branches and yellow flowers, now somewhat wilted but still pretty, glistened in the early sunlight of a new morn. This eve every hearth fire would be extinguished and a huge bonfire lit on Castle Hill outside the walls by striking two flints together. Folks would come from near and far to the blaze, bringing a bunch of straw to light from the flames and restart their hearth fire. They would sing the ancient songs, divide the fire in two parts or make two bonfires, then for purification, cause themselves with their animals to pass between the two fires.

Sion, dressed in leather trews, boots, and hauberk with a claidheamh, secured to his waist, dirk tucked into his belt, and targe strapped to his back, opened the door. Although I hated the warrior for his constant presence, his appearance gave me comfort. I felt well protected with Sion as my guard. William and the remainder of his luchd-taighe followed Breda and me out into the bailey where horses stomped and pranced, eager to be on their way after several days of stable life. Their blankets of Munro colors looked bright and cheery, and the sliver trappings on their harnesses and saddles glinted in the morn’s sunbeams.

Sir William’s steud, black and menacing, stomped and snorted when he approached. He quietly spoke Gaelic into the large ear, calming the stallion while he mounted. Lachie, already astride his large steud rode at the head of five fine horses. Three MacLean guards surrounded the prize horses. They must see my dowry safely to Ferindonald. Pack animals under the care of servants brought up the rear. One wagon, loaded to the hilt and driven by the cook lumbered among the pack horses.

Sion held his hands in stirrup fashion to assist me into the sidesaddle on my garron. I wished to wear trews and ride astride like a man, but Mam insisted I act like a lady and endure the sidesaddle. The journey promised to be long and tedious. On the morrow, I planned to don the trews I insisted Breda pack, and ride astride my horse. Breda, always a lady, could ride as she wished. Lachie didn’t care, because often when I rode with him, I rode astride with only a blanket on the horse’s back.

I turned to find my family who stood waving and calling their farewells. I blew Mam and Da a kiss. Tears flooded my eyes as I searched the bailey for Ellic. He stood in the castle’s shadow at the back of my family. Da had not sent him away as I feared. My father sent me away instead. I waved then blew a kiss to Ellic. The others would think the gesture for them, but my love knew of my intention. He nodded, not taking a chance on the Munro seeing him send me an intimate farewell.

We rode through the inner bailey with my people and friends waving and calling farewells. I tried to return their farewells, but tears streamed from my eyes until I couldn’t see. William who rode next to me, handed me a large hand kertch. I took the cloth and rubbed it across my eyes, then tucked it into my skirt pocket.

He came close as we rode through the outer bailey. “Lady Aine, I ken you are having a difficult time leaving your home and family. I pray you shall come to love Ferindonald and Fàrdach Castle as I do. ’Twill be a happy day when you arrive. We’ll celebrate with feasting and cèilidh. Do you enjoy games?”

I could only nod the affirmative.

He continued, “My people will love you like these.” He motioned toward those who waved and called to us. “And you will come to love them also. They are a fine lot, the people of Clan Munro.”

Posted in A Highland Emerald, Brenda B. Taylor, Scottish historical romance, Sweet Romance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Highland Ruby by Brenda B. Taylor

NOW ON SALE FOR $0.99!

 

Blurb:

She must choose between a life of adventure with the man she loves or a settled, secure life with her betrothed. Flora Vass forced Gavin Munro out of her heart and mind until he returned to Scotland after an adventurous five years in the New World. Gavin leaves no doubt he returned to make the bonnie Flora his own and intends to fight for her. Flora’s betrothed, Iain MacKay, and Gavin’s brother, Chief Andrew Munro, have other plans. Andrew needs her to marry the MacKay and bring peace between the two clans. Iain MacKay desires an heir. War with England looms on the horizon, forcing Flora to make crucial decisions.

Excerpt:

Scottish Highlands, 1513

Ferindonald, Easter Ross

Late July

He watched her through the grey mist, walking along the shore of Cromarty Firth. The hood of her arisaid covered her bonnie russet locks, but he imagined them bouncing with each step she took. She came every morn, sometimes with the wee curly-headed laddie in tow, but now, she walked alone. His heart beat a fast rhythm like a lad watching his first love. How foolish to be hiding behind a rock when he could speak to her, hold her hand, and look into her dark eyes.

Gavin gathered courage and stood to his full height when Flora walked past the rock where he hid. “Flora,” he said in a quiet voice. She continued to walk, not hearing him above the moaning wind.

Quickly, he took a place beside her, then grabbed her arm. She screamed as she turned to face him. Her eyes widened with fear, she tried to jerk her arm free, then beat his chest with the fist of the other hand, and kicked his shin with the toe of a pointed boot.

Gavin jumped from the boot’s path, but kept her arm secure. “Stop. ‘Tis I, Gavin.” She stopped kicking and the free hand went to her mouth while she studied his face. A small squeak emerged from between full red lips. He watched her lips for a moment, then bent to place a kiss on the inviting mouth. She became rigid with no response.

He released her arm then backed away. She continued to stare as though he were a stranger, and he very well may be to her now. After all, five years in the wilderness of the New World can change a man beyond recognition.

Flora’s hand raised for an instant then came across his face with a stinging blow. He rubbed at the burning cheek. “How dare you,” she screamed above the wind. “You left me. You left me.” She hit his chest with both fists now.

Gavin grabbed her wrists, bringing her close. “Stop. I only want to see you, be near you once more. May I walk with you? Just a short distance?”

Flora stared. Her brown eyes larger now with surprise or mayhap shock. She stopped struggling and rested her head on his chest. A seagull called overhead and waves lapped against the shore of the firth. Gavin pushed the hood of her arisaid back, stroking her hair while wrapping an arm around her slender waist. The russet locks felt soft to his fingers. They smelled with the sweet fragrance of heather and salt air, just as he remembered and dreamed. The mist had damped one small curl so that it clung to her neck. He touched the softness of her skin where the curl lay. They stood for a long time. Flora now seemed reluctant to move and Gavin did not wish to spoil the moment.

Finally, she stepped back and looked into his eyes. A line creased her fair brow. “Why did you come back? I made a life without you.”

“I wanted to see you and the lad. Andrew sent a message while I was still in Barcelona waiting for a ship to the New World.”

Flora searched Gavin’s face. “You look older, tanned, hardened.”

“Aye. I’ve been living in a wilderness, defending myself from the wild natives and animals. Searching for gold while starving for food. Takes a lot out of a mon.”

“I am betrothed to a fine mon. One who loves and wants me and my bairns. I wanna have you back, Gavin. You left me carrying your bairn. I wanna have you back.” She beat his chest once more. Tears spilled over to her cheeks.

He grabbed her wrist. “I understand, Flora. I understand. I’ll leave you alone, I will. But I do want to see my son.” He kissed each tear-filled eyelid, then her cheeks, and not being able to resist the temptation, her tempting lips.

Flora didn’t resist and, when the kiss grew more passionate, responded. Her arms went around his neck, her body melted into his so her warmth reached his very soul.

She pushed away. “Why did you go without a word?”

“I dinna ken. I canna explain why.” He lied, not exactly an untruth, but an exaggerated one.

“Well, I ken. You fancied yourself to be in love with your brother’s wife. Now what are you gonna do about that? They’re happily married with a bairn of their own and another on the way.” Flora’s eyes flashed then she turned away, watching a crab crawl away on the sand.

Gavin grabbed her hand so she faced him. “I was wrong. I dinna love Maidie, ‘twas you I carried in my heart. I ken that now.”

Flora snatched her hand away. “I must go. My bairns are waiting. Phillip is readying for work in the fields and Ishbel is attending Gavy. Aye, I named him for his da, but call him Gavy.”

“I’m keen to see him.” Gavin didn’t want to beg, but he would if necessary.

“I live in Leslie Manor no’ far from Fàrdach Castle. Laird Andrew provides well for your son. He pays me a good wage as nanny for his bairns.”

“What of Phillip?”

Flora smiled with the mention of her oldest child. “Phillip is growing like a weed and favors his da so much I hurt to look at him. He helps with the land and sheep on the estate and trains with Laird Andrew’s slaugh.”

“A fine lad, indeed.” Gavin hesitated. “And what of my brother, the Laird of Fàrdach Castle?” An image of his brother popped into mind. Would Andrew welcome him back to Fàrdach Castle after all these years? Gavin doubted he would receive a warm welcome.

“The Laird of Fàrdach Castle grieved for his lost brother and tanist, but he’s happily married and in good health.” Flora gazed into his eyes. “I must go. You’re welcome to visit Gavy, but only visit, naught more.”

Gavin returned her gaze. “Aye, I’ll visit, nae more.”

With a nod of her head, Flora replaced the hood of the arisaid, turned, and walked in the direction of the house, not far from where they stood. Gavin watched until she took a path from the shore to the manor, his heart heavy with rejection. He didn’t expect, but hoped for more. Maybe she would turn back and accept him into her life once again. He watched, but she didn’t look back. Now the task of facing his brother, Sir Andrew Dubh Munro, Laird of Fàrdach Castle.

 

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Historical Heartbeats

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Author Brenda B. Taylor

Author Bio:

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

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Posted in A Highland Ruby, Book Spotlight, Brenda B. Taylor, Scottish historical romance, Sweet Romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Highland Pearl ~ Spotlight

AHighlandPearl200

Blurb:

A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the16th century Highlands of Scotland.

 Excerpt:

The Village of Drumainn, Ross-Shire

Scottish Highlands 1508 A.D.

Maidie rode behind the young warrior on a horse galloping toward the castle. She removed one hand from around his trim waist to pull her wrap closer against the biting wind then secured the kertch trying to fly from her head. The old Cameron scarf was the only one she could find before rushing out of the cottage when Tavish pounded on her door. She replaced her hand, trying not to mind his grimy clothes and gamey smell, and held her bag of precious herbs with the other. Tavish guided the horse between several tenant crofters coming and going from the castle.

The wind whistled through large birch and oak trees lining the road. Leaves of gold, red, yellow, and brown rustled in the wind then floated to the ground. Maidie enjoyed the walk to the castle this time of year, when a lass needed a midwife, but today she could not think about the beauty. She looked back at Sven, who rode behind Maighstir Tam, and held to a small leather bag filled with various implements she used in her work. A chill ran through her, not only from the wind, but also from the dread of seeing the terrible wounds of the injured.

They pulled to one side of a wide wooden bridge leading to the outer bailey of Fàrdach Castle to let a wagon pass. Tavish waved to the guard in the barbican as their party entered through the large, steel-studded oak gates, under the portcullis, and into the outer bailey. The bailey teemed with the life of humans and animals. Their various buildings, dwellings, and shelters lined the curtain wall.

Tavish steered his horse dodging roughly dressed people, went through a second gate in the curtain wall, then across a bridged moat to the quieter inner yard. He waved to a guard on the rampart, and guided his horse to the door of the castle’s keep. Stable boys rushed to take the reins of both horses. Tavish quickly dismounted, then helped Maidie to the ground. She held her bag with a firm grip. He then assisted Sven and Tam from their horse. Large green eyes in the ashen face of her wee son searched hers. She patted his small hand and rubbed his mass of red hair. He tried to smile, giving her a small gift of comfort.

“All will be well, Sven,” she said to reassure him. Not since watching his father die from wounds he received in a battle with Clans MacKenzie and Cameron had she seen such fear in her son’s eyes.

“I dinna wish to go inside, Mam.” The boy drew back from her touch.

“You may stay out here then. Just dinna leave the bailey.” Maidie took Sven’s bag then handed both to Tavish. She cupped the small boy’s chin in her fingers and kissed the lined forehead. “Stay close. Mayhap there are other children close by.”

“Yes, Mam. I will.” His half-smile gave her a sense of relief.

“Just stay close.” Maidie turned and walked toward Tavish who held the heavy wooden door open. Tam followed as they entered the great hall of the keep.

Tavish closed the door with a thud. Maidie stood for a moment so her eyes could adjust to the dimness. Light rays from the small upper windows glinted off the weapons, armor, and heraldry displayed on the stone walls. Lifeless eyes in the heads of boar with long tusks and red stags with huge racks of antlers stared at her from above the weapons.

Although a large fireplace with a glowing fire stood on each of the four walls, the air felt cold and damp. The smell of dirt, blood, human waste, and unwashed bodies blended together into a noxious odor causing a revolt in her stomach. She swallowed a rush of nausea with a gulp. Wounded warriors lying atop rush pallets lined the floor. A servant rushed to the maighstir, pulling him toward a blood-soaked pallet where an unconscious man lay.

Tam began administering last rites to the warrior. Loud groans and cries came from the wounded. One pallet lay apart from the others. Angus MacKay, the castle physician, hovered over it. The laird must be lying there. He made no sound.

Tavish pushed her toward the pallet. “The laird needs your help, Madam.”

She hesitated. “Angus is there with him.”

“His brother asked for you. You must help now.” Tavish grabbed her arm with his free hand and pulled her toward the stricken laird.

She resisted. “So many others need my help.” She counted only three other servants and the laird’s sister, Davina, caring for the wounded.

“Angus can help them.” Tavish tugged on her arm once more. She reluctantly followed. “The tanist said Laird Andrew asked specifically for you to come to his aid.”

“He asked for me?” Maidie pulled against the arm holding her. “He looks unconscious.”

“He’s only resting now. Angus gave him a potion to ease his pain.” Tavish jerked once more.

Maidie reluctantly let him pull her to the pallet that held Andrew Munro. Angus turned to her when they approached, his face covered with a scowl. The castle physician left quickly, making his way to another of the wounded men.

A voice came from the darkness on the far side of the bed. “Thank you for coming Maidie Cameron Munro. As you can see for yourself, my brother needs your attention.”

Maidie’s hand went to the very first thing a Munro noticed— her kertch of Cameron colors. The large form of Gavin, tanist of the clan, rose from the shadows. Filth caked the russet hair tied away from his grimy face with a leather thong. A dirty linen léine hung in shreds from his shoulders and arms. The upper end of his great plaide, now stained with gore, wrapped around broad shoulders with a long dagger sheathed on a wide leather belt at his waist.

“I fought many wearing those same colors this verra day,” he said with heavy brows knit together in a dark, frightening scowl.

Maidie could only shake her head in response. Her stomach churned at the sight and sound of him. Then she looked down at the man lying on the pallet. His face held the green pallor of death she had seen before on the dying. His body, covered with a filthy plaide, trembled. Long black hair, fanned about powerful shoulders. She knelt beside the trembling form, and lifted the plaide. A hand went to her mouth when she uncovered the gaping wound across his abdomen.

A loud gasp escaped between Maidie’s fingers. “Ach! Saints in Heaven! Why didn’t Angus stitch this wound?” She pushed the plaide away from the open wound, leaving it to cover only the lower part of the chief’s torso.

AHighlandPearl200

Buy Links:

Historical Heartbeats

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avatarbrenda_2

Author Brenda B. Taylor

Author Bio:

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Author Contact Information:

Historical Heartbeats

Book Bub Author Page

Amazon Author’s Page

Facebook

Twitter

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Tumblr

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Posted in A Highland Pearl, Book Spotlight, Brenda B. Taylor, Inspirational Romance, Scottish historical romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments