Glenmoriston Footprints

Glenmoriston Cairn

The cairn marks the site of the Glenmoriston Footprints.

 

Footprints

Close-up view of the Glenmoriston Footprints.

 

At Torgyle, Glenmoriston, Scotland is a set of footprints on which no grass grows. From the Torgoyle Bridge, head towards Invermoriston. About a quarter of a mile beyond a cluster of houses on the right is a short stone wall on the right where the verge widens enough to park a car. Opposite this is a small gate and a path leading in about thirty yards to a stone cairn. Immediately behind this are two “footprints”, bare patches of earth about the size and shape of footprints.

They are said to be the footprints of Finlay Munro, otherwise known as the Highland Evangelist, a native of Tain. After a productive ministry on the island of Lewis, he made a tour of the southern Highlands during which he preached in Glenmoriston in 1827. His sermon, on the text “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12), was generally well received but some in the congregation from Glengarry heckled him, calling him “a cheat and a liar” Munro is supposed to have closed his Bible and retorted that the ground on which he stood would bear witness to the truth of what he said until the Day of Judgement comes. Thus the marks on the ground are said to be his footprints, where nothing will grow.

 

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Aine almost drowns in the Moriston River while crossing Scotland from the Isle of Mull to William’s home on the Cromarty Firth.

Excerpt from A Highland Emerald:

Our party broke through the ominous passage without incident, and I thanked the Lord for keeping us safe. We arrived at a grassy meadow with a bubbling river flowing toward the loch. Sheep grazed amidst the protruding rocks. A shepherd with his dog and staff walked amongst the animals. Word came from William to stop, so the guards in front of us led the way off the trail to the river’s bank.

Sion helped Breda and me to unhorse. Finding a nice soft spot on the grass, we stretch our legs, stood for a time, then spread our arisaids and sat. Sion filled the water skin with cool sweet water and brought it to us. I drank long and deep as did the maid. The noon sun felt hot, so I removed my wool jacket and riding cap. A sweet breeze blew through my hair and across my face with a refreshing coolness.

Guards led their animals to drink. Sion did the same with ours. I looked down the line of thirsty horses, spotting Lachie standing with those under his care. The wagon master unhitched the two sumpters and watered them. After their heavy work of pulling the wagon over rough steep terrain, the draft horses took a long drink. I wished to rest at this lovely place for the remainder of the day. The sweet smell of grass and broom wafted in the air. The river gurgled and bubbled, falling over rocks. Small white clouds danced across the blue sky, carried by the breeze, and leaves rustled in the tall birch and pine trees.

Sion brought a leather bag filled with bannocks, cheese, haggis, and dried figs. He learned the river was named River Moriston and a village called Invermoriston was close.

“Perhaps we’ll stop there for the night.” I felt exhausted already and did not cherish the thought of riding until dark.

Breda and I shared the meal with Sion who sat beside the maid. Each time she glanced the warrior’s way, he returned her gaze with a smile. I felt the current of attraction flowing between them. I reckoned they would soon be lovers. Watching them set my mind on Ellic and his sweet passionate kisses that made butterflies flutter in my stomach. I missed him so.

After eating my fill, I stretched out on the arisaid to watch the puffy clouds make images in the sky like I did on occasion at home. A bird and hare formed, then the wings of an angel.

Of a sudden, two large leather boots stood beside me. I looked up into William’s daunting face. Did the man smile anymore? His expressions after our meeting at Dunollie were grim with clouds covering his grey eyes. I smiled up at him, but his countenance didn’t change.

“’Tis time to depart. You should make ready now.” He extended his hand.
I grasped the proffered hand, and he helped me stand. He pulled somewhat harder than necessary, so I landed against his broad chest. Large arms encircled my waist and held me against his beating heart. I returned his embrace, needing his warmth. He then caught my arms and pushed me away. My soul yearned for acceptance, but his expression remained hard, unchanging. His shattered affection for me would never mend, but mayhap we could be friends.

“May we call a truce, Sir William, and be friends?” I searched his face.

“Certainly, Lady Aine.” He paused returning my gaze. “We will remain friends. Now, ’tis time to be about our journey. My home awaits and I’m anxious to be there.” He looked toward the horses. “Come, I’ll help you mount.”

I took his hand as Breda and Sion gathered up the food bag, water skin, and arisaids. William lifted me to the side saddle with ease. He could squeeze the life from me with those powerful hands if he had a mind, but the strict code of conduct for a knight of the realm demanded he treat a lady with respect. Sion assisted Breda. The warriors mounted with William in front of Breda and me and Sion following. I turned, trying to find Lachie at the rear, but could not see him.

We reached a shallow place in the river where our party intended to cross. Melting snow on the bens filled the river causing a swift flow. The three guardsmen at the head of the column traversed single file, taking a measure of the depth and water current. The water came to their horses’ flanks. One animal stumbled but regained its footing.
When all three arrived safely on the opposite shore, one called above the noisy water,

“’Tis safe, Sir William, but a verra rocky bottom. Be careful of your horse’s footing.”
William jerked the garron’s reins from my hand and held them with those of his steud’s. Sion, moving in front of Breda, did the same to her reins. They intended to guide our mounts across the swift water. I immediately thought of Lachie with my dowry horses. He would have a difficult time guiding them through the current without reins to hold, but I felt confidence in my brother’s keen sense of horsemanship.

The water rose to cover my thigh, entering my riding boot and wetting my wool split skirt and stocking on the dangling leg. I clutched the saddle horn. My garron stumbled onto one front knee and I went over his head to land in the icy river face down. I heard Breda scream and William call my name, then all went black until great strong hands dragged me from the cold water.

I awoke on the grassy bank lying face up toward the sky. Suddenly a large nauseating surge rose from my stomach, up my throat, and out of my mouth. William, who knelt beside me, immediately turned my head to one side so the stream of water mixed with stomach contents could flow to the ground. I coughed several times. Breda came rushing toward me with a damp cool rag to wash my face. William helped me sit up and rest against his broad wet chest. He stroked my wet hair whilst Breda washed at the mess on my clothing.

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Posted in Brenda B. Taylor, historical heartbeats, Moriston River, Scotland, Scottish historical romance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Christmas Child ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats welcomes Author Darlene Franklin introducing her new release, The Christmas Child. Read the book to find out if the Christmas child is rescued. Darlene will giveaway an ebook copy of The Christmas Child to a commenter.

Blurb:

A year ago scandal ruined the annual Nanepaushat Cotton Mill Christmas Masquerade—the owner’s son tarried with a mill worker and she left, shamed and pregnant.

Tragedy strikes this year when the same son dies in a tragic accident. Can supervisor Preston Marshall and the shunned woman’s cousin redeem the flailing Masquerade and rescue the Christmas child? How will they overcome the difference in their positions?

Check out Christmas Child to read this imaginative retelling of Herod’s massacre of the innocents of Bethlehem.

Excerpt:

Tap, tap, tap. Eliza Lambert snapped to attention at the sound of hammer and nail, only faintly audible over the rhythm of the cotton machines.

All around her women, Adelaide Brewer and Samantha Cole among them, had heard the same noise. Mr. Orson Sr. wouldn’t forgive them quitting their shift half a second early, so Eliza imagined the possibilities in her mind as she went through her final repetitions at the spinner.

What would the theme of the 1878 Nanepaushat Cotton Mills Christmas Masquerade be? The festivities had started before the War as a sales gimmick to get people to buy more cotton in the winter. Now it had become a highlight of the Christmas season.

When the final bell sounded and the machines ceased, bells jingled throughout the hall. Preston Marshall, the shift supervisor, stood on the mezzanine. Even at this distance, Eliza could see the merriment in his face.

Adelaide and Samantha joined Eliza. Last year, they’d done everything together. Walked to the mill together, worked together, eaten together, and celebrated together. There’d been four of them, Eliza, Adelaide, Samantha, and Eliza’s cousin, Marina Dowd.

When scandal had struck not quite a year ago, Marina had dropped from sight. The remaining three friends now worked in separate departments. They headed to a spot below the mezzanine.

God willing, no cloud would darken this year’s celebration.

Buy Links for Book:

Amazon

http://amzn.to/2x85WPq

 

Author Darlene Franklin

Author Bio:

I live near my son’s family in central Oklahoma—in a nursing home! I recently published my fiftieth book (Mermaid’s Song) and would love for God to give me 50 more! He’s fulfilling a lifelong dream for me to write devotions through the Bible.

Contact Darlene:

Website and blog

Facebook

Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

Pinterest

 

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Researching A Highland Emerald

Read the interesting tale of Author Brenda B. Taylor’s research for the Highland Treasures series. Watch the book trailer here:

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/5-mYnAJd_Hc

After retirement I became interested in genealogical research and began researching family ancestry. The lives of my ancestors grabbed my interest and curiosity. I researched and traveled to their homelands then wrote about those in post-Civil War Missouri and 16th century Scotland. I found my Scots Munro ancestor who immigrated from Scotland to North Carolina in the early 19th century. Immediately, a story began to turn over in my mind about the adventurous Clan Munro of the Scottish Highlands. Historical romance was my favorite genre to read, so I crafted romances into the plots of the stories.

The research for A Highland Emerald was difficult but interesting and exciting. I traveled to Scotland three times for first hand experience of life in the Scottish Highlands. Scotland’s museums, ancient castles, and other points of interest are filled with history and artifacts. On the first trip, my husband and I traveled from Edinburgh to Inverness in a rented car on the wrong side of the road. What a journey, but we arrived safely at our destination and enjoyed the stay in a lovely bed and breakfast. While there, I noticed an advertisement on the bulletin board for Munro Highland Tours and immediately got in touch with George Munro, the tour guide. George took us on a beautiful tour of the land called Ferindonald, the clan lands of Clan Munro. He arranged a meeting with the chief’s mother at Foulis Castle, seat of the clan and home to Chief Hector Munro and his family. Mrs. Timmie Munro took us on a lovely tour of the castle and grounds. I cannot describe the wonderful time my husband and I enjoyed on the first trip to the Scottish Highlands.

George remained the tour guide on two subsequent trips to Scotland that I took with cousins. We traveled from the east coast to west and from the most northern point on mainland Scotland to the south. Truthfully, I have been all over the country, but haven’t seen everything I wish to visit. Mayhap another trip is in the making.

Blurb:

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. It tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro, and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

Watch the book trailer here:

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/5-mYnAJd_Hc

Excerpt:

Isle of Mull

Scotland, 1486

My father sat in his usual chair in front of the crackling fire, staring at the flame with dim eyes and a fur robe wrapped around his broad shoulders, the deerhound curled at his feet.

“Where are you going, Aine?” he asked with his back turned toward the stone, spiral staircase where I stood. “Come, sit with me for awhile.”

I pushed the arisaid from my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor, then stepped over the wrap. Making my way to the stool where my mother’s embroidery frame stood, I took a seat and watched the flame.

Without turning his head, my father, Lachlan Og MacLean, eighth chief and fourth Laird of Durant Castle, asked, “Where are you going?”

“How did you ken ’twas I?” He never ceased to amaze me with his uncanny knowledge of events around him although his eyes, so dimmed by injury, saw very little.

“I heard the rustle of your skirts.” He extended his hand for me, so I rose and hugged his neck.

He smiled, embracing my arms. “And I ken your scent, lass. ’Tis so like your mither’s. You use the same scented soap as she.”

“Aye, but from so far away and with the smell of burning wood and dog in your nostril’s?”

“Your odor is a different pleasantry among the usual burning wood and dog. It stands out in my memory as does the pleasant odor of your mither.” He smiled broadly, showing still straight, white teeth beneath a greying beard. I could almost feel his penetrating gaze upon me as in the days before his sight was taken in battle. He asked, “Where are you going this dreary night?”

“Here, Da. To sit beside you and talk of the feast on the morrow.”

“Don’t try to deceive me, lass. I heard the sound of your arisaid dropping to the floor. You are planning a tryst, I feel certain.” His dimmed gaze pierced through to the depths of my soul. “I could see the turn of your head toward him each time he spoke at the evening meal.” A line formed between his brows and a shadow darkened his face. “You are to marry the Munro.”

“I dinna love William Munro.” My voice began to rise, and I struggled to control the cry climbing from the depths of my heart. “I wanna marry him, Da. You promised I could wed for love, not convenience.” The cry emerged from my lips. I buried my head on his shoulder and sobbed.

He caught my chin bringing my eyes back to his, “You made the decision to stay with me instead of going with Garvie. I shall hold on to that, a ghràidh, and pray someday you’ll love me with the passion you love him.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

iBooks

Smashwords

 

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

A Highland Emerald ~ Spotlight

A Highland Emerald, third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series, is now available at most ebook vendors.

Watch the trailer for A Highland Emerald HERE!

 


Blurb:

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. It tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro, and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

Excerpt:

Isle of Mull
Scotland, 1486

My father sat in his usual chair in front of the crackling fire, staring at the flame with dim eyes and a fur robe wrapped around his broad shoulders, the deerhound curled at his feet.

“Where are you going, Aine?” he asked with his back turned toward the stone, spiral staircase where I stood. “Come, sit with me for awhile.”

I pushed the arisaid from my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor, then stepped over the wrap. Making my way to the stool where my mother’s embroidery frame stood, I took a seat and watched the flame.

Without turning his head, my father, Lachlan Og MacLean, eighth chief and fourth Laird of Durant Castle, asked, “Where are you going?”

“How did you ken ’twas I?” He never ceased to amaze me with his uncanny knowledge of events around him although his eyes, so dimmed by injury, saw very little.

“I heard the rustle of your skirts.” He extended his hand for me, so I rose and hugged his neck. He smiled, embracing my arms. “And I ken your scent, lass. ‘Tis so like your mither’s. You use the same scented soap as she.”

“Aye, but from so far away and with the smell of burning wood and dog in your nostril’s?”

“Your odor is a different pleasantry among the usual burning wood and dog. It stands out in my memory as does the pleasant odor of your mither.” He smiled broadly, showing still straight, white teeth beneath a greying beard. I could almost feel his penetrating gaze upon me as in the days before his sight was taken in battle. He asked, “Where are you going this dreary night?”

“Here, Da. To sit beside you and talk of the feast on the morrow.”

“Don’t try to deceive me, lass. I heard the sound of your arisaid dropping to the floor. You are planning a tryst, I feel certain.” His dimmed gaze pierced through to the depths of my soul. “I could see the turn of your head toward him each time he spoke at the evening meal.” A line formed between his brows and a shadow darkened his face. “You are to marry the Munro.”

“I dinna love William Munro.” My voice began to rise, and I struggled to control the cry climbing from the depths of my heart. “I wanna marry him, Da. You promised I could wed for love, not convenience.” The cry emerged from my lips. I buried my head on his shoulder and sobbed.

“Come here, lass.” Da rose, grabbed my hand and pulled me to face him, wrapping his powerful arms around my shoulders. He stroked my hair and planted a kiss atop my head. Disturbed, the great dog stood.

My heart ached to please Da, I loved him so. His tender embrace brought back memories of my childhood when he comforted me after a fall or some aggravation caused by my three older brothers. We stood for a long while.

He pushed me away, looking into my eyes and planting a kiss on my forehead. “I only want the best for you, sweeting. Your my heart, you ken. I dinna wish to leave this world without you being in the care of a good mon. The Munro is a good mon.” He hesitated then added, “With wealth and title.”

I looked into his faded blue eyes that once shone with the brilliance of the azure sky on a sunny day. He could only see the outline of my face while standing close, now. “If you truly desire the best for me, you’ll let me marry the love of my heart, not some bloat because of his title. Titles mean naught to me, Da.” Tears streamed from my eyes, wetting my cheeks. I pulled away from his grasp, swiping at the wetness with a smock sleeve.

“The Munro is a good mon and a fierce warrior. ’Tis nae better for a husband. He’ll be here on the morrow. We’ll have a feast to celebrate your marriage.”

“He’s old. I’m only eighteen summers. I shan’t attend.” Sometimes the stubbornness of my nature overtook good sense. I knew not to speak to my father in such a manner. He also possessed an immovable streak, and his word overruled my desires.

“He’s no’ old, Aine. A few years your senior, but no’ old by any means. When he’s my age, then he’ll be old.” I continued to sniff, wetting the front of his léine. All right, Aine. If that’s the way this game is to be played. You’ll be watched until after the celebration and the Munro departs.” The words spewed from Da’s mouth. A sinister, dark shadow cloaked his face. Muscles twitched in his jaws and his hands clenched in tight fists. I stepped back.

He abruptly turned and made his way up the stone steps to the upper story bed chambers, feeling the wall for security. When his foot struck the arisaid I dropped on the stair, he reached down, seized the garment and flung it with a vehemence I rarely witnessed from him, and continued up the staircase. The large dog followed at his heels. Not knowing what to do, I grabbed the arisaid, wrapped it closely around my shoulders, pulled the hood over my head, then ran toward the door of the great hall. Ellic waited in the garden. I wanted to be near him, feel his embrace, and listen to the sweet words he would whisper in my ear.

AHighlandEmerald_Huge

 

Buy Links:

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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.

Author Contact Information:

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

Readers Giveaway

Enter the giveaway for fantastic prizes, gift cards, and more.

 

https://www.booksuperstars.com/giveaway

Book Superstar - Targeted NL giveaway

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Highland Treasures Trilogy ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats is featuring the Highland Treasures Trilogy by Brenda B. Taylor. The third book in the series, A Highland Emerald, is now on pre-order at most ebook vendors. Order your copy now, and the book will be delivered to your ereader on the release date, September 26.

I am giving away two Munro Dread God lapel pins to a commenter on this page. The pins came from Scotland in my suitcase. I will ask for the mailing address of the winners.

The Highland Treasures Trilogy
 Click on the book cover for redirection to the book page and
read the first chapter.

A Highland Pearl

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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 the 16th century Highlands of Scotland.

 

A Highland Ruby

A Highland Ruby

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

Available for Pre-Order

AHighlandEmerald_Medium

          

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. It tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro, and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

Posted in A Highland Emerald, A Highland Pearl, A Highland Ruby, historical heartbeats, Inspirational Romance, Scottish historical romance, Sweet Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ransom in Rio ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats welcomes Author Theresa Lynn Hall introducing her international mystery, Ransom in Rio. Private Investigator, Braden McCoy only wanted to go fishing and Lexi Ramos only wanted answers to her brother’s death. In an international race against time, they both learn that life and love come with a price.
Ransom in Rio
Theresa Lynn Hall

Author Theresa Lynn Hall

Posted in Book Spotlight, historical heartbeats, International, Mystery | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments