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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Scrolls of Cridhe: A Tear For Memory by Kathryn Lynn Davis!

A Tear For Memory
A Scrolls of Cridhe novella


How can a seer paint ‘Truth’ when she’s lived a life of lies? Will she allow a man who has twice deceived her to open her heart to the truth?
In the Highlands of Glen Affric, years after The Forty-Five—the Jacobite rising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie—Celia Rose lives happily in Faeries’ Haven, where the lies that protect her from the past keep the magic and the faeries away. She finds her only magic when she paints, and “sees” things she cannot possibly know: she has been blessed with the Sight.
When a stranger comes on a mysterious errand, he threatens those who want to keep her safe at home. Little by little, he shows her new colors, new worlds and, most compelling—new passions. But he also brings danger, for he, too, lives a lie and is not what he seems. Still, danger comes in many forms, and the truth he offers leaves Celia with a difficult choice: to believe in those who loved and raised her; or trust this man, and learn the dark secret that could both destroy her innocence and forge in her a woman’s heart.
AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | ITUNES


KATHRYN LYNN DAVIS






Kathryn often speaks and teaches creativity workshops in public schools in an effort to encourage students to read, write and dream. Recently she was invited to read at the James Joyce Cultural Centre in Dublin as their guest, and to speak to the high school level students at Sullivan Upper School in Belfast for their Bicentenary celebration. She has re-released four of her traditional bestsellers as e-books, including the Too Deep for Tears Trilogy, and will add to those her novel SING TO ME OF DREAMS this summer. She has recently joined with six other Scottish historical romance novelist; The Guardians of Chride (‘heart’ in Gaelic) and is currently at work on a new novella set in late 18th century Scotland-A Tear for Memory-to be included in The Scrolls of Cridhe, Volume I: Highland Winds.

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Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your books.


My name is Kathryn Lynn Davis and I have always been a writer in one way or another. I’ve had 8 historical novels traditionally published, and four –e-published, including the New York Times bestselling Too Deep for Tears Trilogy. After the stress of traditionally publishing, I went on hiatus until asked to join the Guardians of Cridhe. These women supported, encouraged, befriended and inspired me, and because of them, I have just finished my novella for SCROLLS OF CRIDHE: Volume 1, Highland Winds—the first book I’ve written in 15 years. I’d forgotten how incredible it feels to finish a book I’m proud of: A Tear for Memory is the title of that book.


How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?

My books are quite emotional. I just open my heart and soul and let them flow onto the page. I have a deep love of Scotland: the mist and the magic and the power of history and the compelling landscape to shape lives and characters. Almost every book is partially or wholly set in Scotland; I’m also fascinated by China and India and the natives of British Columbia. My stories are of the bonds between lovers, mothers and daughters, the unique bonds among sisters, the bonds of friendship and family and passion and growth. If you love Scotland, if you love hunger from the soul, if you love the lure of history…you might want to read my books.


What inspired you to start writing? What age did you start?



My grandfather was a writer and my mother yearned to be one; it was in my blood. I began when I was about 10, making up TV shows (The Mod Squad, Star Trek) and telling them to my younger sister at night. She became very good at pretending to listen while sleeping soundly. I wrote two novel (85 pages each) when I was 12.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?



I love reading, which feeds my love of writing; listening to music, which inspires me; going to the theater, where I’ve plotted whole novels and heard every word and every song; watching dance—another inspirational activity; going to art shows; visiting with like-minded people; traveling.


What advice would you give to an aspiring author?



You have to believe in yourself, no matter what others say. Learn to listen judiciously, and most important, keep working and never give up on reaching your dream. Persevere.


What’s your favorite scene/line from your works?



The Beltane scene in TOO DEEP FOR TEARS, where Ailsa and Ian jump over the fire.


What's the hardest thing about writing? The easiest?



The most difficult thing about writing for me is starting a book. I take that back; the most
difficult thing by far is marketing. I’ll do almost anything to avoid it. The easiest thing is revising. Many writers don’t like it, but I love editing, honing, making the manuscript as good as it can be (I hope).


What are you currently reading?

Madame Picasso by Anne Girard.


What are you currently working on?



I’m preparing my 8th historical, SING TO ME OF DREAMS for e-book publication in December, and writing another novella for SCROLLS OF CRIDHE: Volume 2, Highland Beasties, featuring animals.


What books did you read as a child?


Betsy-Tacy books, The Bobbsey Twins, Patricia Beatty’s books, and many others that I can’t remember. 



How has your life changed since you began writing?

I used to be considered weird; now that I’m a successful author, I’m considered ‘eccentric’ instead. I’ve learned what it means to have a large audience read my books, and to hear their responses—both good and otherwise—to what they’ve read. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world to realize I’ve touched the lives of people I’ve never seen and will never know. But now, with Facebook and e-books, it’s so much easier to be in touch with readers, to hear their thoughts and responses in real time. It’s a new kind of inspiration and a new kind of friendship. I’ve gained a beach house, lost a beach house, made a lot of money and used that money up. But most of all, I’ve made friends who will last a lifetime, and I’ve learned so much about myself that I never knew before. It’s been an exciting journey so far. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Do you listen to music while you write?


Yes, Celtic music in particular, because it lifts me out of this world and into another time and place.


What's been your favorite moment as an author?

When a reader wrote to me after TOO DEEP FOR TEARS (which is all about mothers and daughters, the bond between sisters, fathers separated from daughters) and told me that she and her sisters had not spoken to their 80-year-old mother in over 20 years. She said that because they read my book, they were going to re-unite with her before she died. I always said I wanted to move readers with my words, but I never imagined a response like that.


Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?



Ailsa Rose from TOO DEEP FOR TEARS. She is the woman I would be if I could choose.


What do you want readers to take away from your books?

A strong sense of life in another time and place, a sense of the emotional bonds between people, a feeling that they know my characters as if they are real people. I hope they will be sad to turn the last page.


You’re stranded on a desert island. What books do you take with you?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Green Darkness by Anya Seton, anything by Nora Lofts, anything by Nancy Pickard, Beach Music by Pat Conroy, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearseley, Elizabeth George’s Lynley mysteries, before she made what I consider an unforgivable choice.


What book(s) do you wish you would have written?

Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George, Beach Music by Pat Conroy, Penmarric by Susan Howatch, some of Anne Rivers Siddons’ books.


Favorite book character?

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.


What is your dream vacation destination?

The Isle of Skye in Scotland.


Do you have any interesting dreams or goals?

I would love to become successful enough to create a getaway for writers, where they would be allowed to work in peace and occasional communion with other writers, at no cost to them. I would also like to set up a grant to help artists and writers get started on their journeys of discovery—which will eventually lead others to discover themselves through the inspiration these artists provide.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still writing. I will always be writing. I will have written at least five novellas for the Guardians of Cridhe, in addition to several books of my own, including a long-promised sequel to SING TO ME OF DREAMS.


If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Once Around: Twice Discovered


“There was a man,” Caelia sputtered.
“What do ye mean, a man?” Her aunt Clare’s apron and gown were dusted with flour, and some raisins had stuck where she’d splashed water.
Caelia suddenly realized how ridiculous she sounded, how ridiculous her aunt sounded—and looked. What do ye mean, a man? What was happening to her? A moment ago she’d been angry and afraid, and now laughter was bubbling up inside and she could not push it down again. “Ye know, of the usual sort. A head, two arms, two legs, silken stockin’s for his fancy buckled shoes. I’m no’ sure what the russet breeches were made of, but they looked aye lovely to the touch. And then there was the silk embroidered waistcoat—very fine work, it seemed to me. Frock coat of superior wool. A strong man, muscular arms and legs, and rather handsome as well. Hazel eyes and curly dark brown hair.” She said this last longingly, then blushed when she realized what she had done. She giggled again with tears in her eyes, feeling she might fragment with the weight of her conflicting emotions.
Clare attempted to take a deep breath, but the air wouldn’t go down. “Exactly how long were ye with this man?”
“Five minutes at most. I barely had time to notice him.”
“Really?” Clare was skeptical.
“And I was no’ with him. He simply stopped to say ‘hello’. Although he said he’d been askin’ about me in the village, and he had, too.” She met her aunt’s eyes, then quickly looked away. “He asked the most impertinent questions.”
Clare was still considering the implications of Caelia’s too thorough description of the gentleman’s garments. “Did he touch ye?”
“Do ye think I’d allow it and no’ call for help, or stick a brush in his eye, or a charcoal? Ye taught me what to do wi’ men like that.”
Of course she had. Ye know the goodness in our Caelia, Clare chided herself. “Caelia, my lass, twas just…I was frightened for ye and I lost my head. But tis back again where it belongs.” She turned it from side to side to demonstrate. Some flour sifted from her hair to her shoulders, and from her hands to her simple dark gown.
A hint of a smile banished the concern from Celia’s eyes and replaced it with tears. “I know.” All at once, she threw her arms around her aunt, holding on as if her life depended on it. “He asked about my mother. Whether she was dead, or if I even knew who she was. Why did a stranger ask me those things? Why did he talk about me in the village?”
Clare tried to suppress the emotions that filled her. She had managed to do that for what seemed like forever, because her niece had believed in her, always. She had been more or less happy these 19 years, hidden away at Fairies’ Haven—ridiculous name that it was. Anyway, Clare didn’t believe in fairies. She wished she did; she could use their help now. To protect the girl she and her brother-in-law kept strangers away. And this one sounded dangerous, with his disrespectful questions. There were countless perilous questions in the dusty corners of the manor house, in the cobwebs, and the light filled with dust motes filtering through the windows. In Clare and Malcolm Rose’s hearts. And Celia must never hear the answers to those questions. That Clare could not allow.



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Friday, November 21, 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Touch of Desire by Lia Davis!

Touch of Desire (Ashwood Falls, #4.5)
By Lia Davis
Releases November 18th

As the wolf senior enforcer, Torin Fisher’s job is to protect the pack and each of its members. That includes the beautiful submissive wolf, Cora Rivers. He’s known for a while she belongs to him, but he decided to wait for her to come to him willingly. Since her brother’s death, he’s watched her withdraw from the Pack little by little. Tired of sitting by watching her suffocate her wolf, he decides the time has come to claim her.
Cora Rivers is no stranger to pain. Just as she comes out of her mourning over her parents’ brutal murder, her brother—and best friend—suffers the same horrifying death. Grief cripples her and in attempt to learn to be independent, she inadvertently stifles her wolf by not letting her out to play on a regular basis. When Torin Fisher, begins the mating dance, her only choice is to run.
Together they have a chance to not only release her wolf, but find the connection and future they both deserve.
Preorder links:

Ashwood Falls reading order:


Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and three equally special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, and a lover of romance. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it's her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very active imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing is stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.

Website: www.authorliadavis.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mBWx5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lia.davis.52
Facebook Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/368820509920377/

Twitter: @novelbylia


The familiar scent of spring lilies invaded Torin’s senses, enticing and alluring. His wolf began to pace and whimper when the man made no move toward the door their female stood behind. Why would she seek him out here of all places?
The door to the new temporary computer central opened, and the scent intensified. Turning toward the entrance, he met the stare of his mate and instantly grew hard. Whether Cora knew she belonged to him or not, he remained uncertain. He’d known since she’d come of age at eighteen. Though he had every intension of claiming her, he and his wolf had to wait until she came out of her grieving period over the loss of her family.
He ground his molars together and inhaled deeply through his nose. Felix and his band of fucked up minions were going to pay. Someday, somehow. Torin was going to be there to witness the fall.
Straightening fully, he studied her. Strawberry blonde curls fell in unruly waves around her shoulders as if she rolled out of bed. Maybe she had. He roamed his gaze over the rest of her. She wore a faded pair of gray sweatpants and a pink tee with a coffee stain above the hem. His cock hardened even more, pressing painfully into the zipper of his jeans.
She held onto their eye contact for only a brief moment, but long enough for him to see the distress and sadness she fought to hide from the world.
He stalked toward her, and, when he got within a foot from her, she retreated a step. Then Keegan flattened a hand on his chest. Torin glanced down at the leopard’s hand, then met his stare. “What’s up?”
Keegan chose to answer him telepathically—a skill the former Alpha shared with all the enforcers and sentries. I know she’s your mate, but she needs time.
I’ll give it to her, but she needs….
She needs to heal and become independent. If you push her, she’ll run.
Torin let out a low growl, then focused on Cora. She watched them as if expecting an attack. Sighing, he dropped his shoulders and held out his hand. “Good morning. What has you so upset?”
“Just a dream. What are you doing?” She indicated Alec and the five-screen computer system.
After a quick glance over his shoulder, he studied her closer. Her attention focused on Alec and the monitors. “He’s trying to figure out the new security layout, but he’s not having much luck.”
“Fuck you, Tor. If it was easy, they wouldn’t need me and Dane to work on it,” Alec growled.
Torin laughed. “He’s having so much fun. You should stay and join us.”
“I think I will.” Cora pushed past him to stand next to Alec at the computer.
Torin stared, shocked her sudden change in mood and interest in what Alec was doing. A low growl rumbled from his chest. He meant it as a joke, not expecting her to give her attention to another male. His wolf paced and snarled, demanding Torin grab her and leave the building.


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Scrolls of Cridhe: Spirit Stones by Kate Robbins!

Sheona MacLeod has a gift.Connected to the spirit world, Sheona engages with souls long departed. Caught in the middle of the most vicious battle she has ever witnessed, she is captured by her bitter enemy. Armed with only her gift, can she escape his clutches and return to the safety of her clan?Malcolm MacDonald seeks change.Exhausted from the centuries old feud between his clan, the MacDonalds, and the MacLeods, Malcolm sees no future for any of them. His enemy’s intoxicating daughter stirs a need for peace within him that drives him to risk everything—except her.Together, they can change destiny—if they dare.At the climax of one of the bloodiest feuds in clan history, Malcolm and Sheona forge a powerful bond strong enough to break the shackles of prejudice and hatred.



KATE ROBBINS


Kate Robbins writes historical romance novels out of pure escapism and a love for all things Scottish, not to mention a life-long enjoyment of reading romance. Kate loves the research process and delving into secondary sources in order to blend authentic historical fact into her stories. She has travelled to Scotland twice and visited the sites described in her Highland Chiefs series. Her Highland Chiefs series is set in the early fifteenth century during the reign of
James Stewart, first of his name. Kate is the pen name of Debbie Robbins who lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada with her man-beast and two man-cubs.



Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your books.

I write Scottish historical romance novels set primarily in the 15th century, though the novella I wrote for the Scrolls of Cridhe bundle, Spirit Stones, is set during the early 17th century. I find the research fascinating and love stumbling across a piece of history that sparks a fresh story.

I have three books written in my Highland Chiefs series, Bound to the Highlander, Promised to the Highlander, and about to be released, Enemy of the Highlander.

How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?

My books are politically driven, but with the love story as the central focus. I enjoy creating stories that show the tangly political web of Scotland at various points throughout history.



What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I’m an avid reader and I enjoy walking. Both help clear my head.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

I would tell them to think about their author brand and start building an online presence on social media and connecting with other authors and potential readers as early as possible.

What’s your favorite scene/line from your works?

I really like the prologue, The Boy and the Boarhound, in my second book, Promised to the Highlander. I happened across an old legend about a young MacKay warrior who had to prove his worth and rewrote it to suit the story and the hero in my book.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a novella about secondary characters from my first book, Bound to the Highlander. Calum and Gwen have a fun, but romantic, story to tell.

Do you listen to music while you write?

I have a ‘relaxation’ playlist I listen to when I write. The track I play the most is 90 minutes of heavy rain. Puts me in the zone every time.



What's been your favorite moment as an author? 

The first time I had a reader I had never met, contact me, praising my book. I think that was when it really hit me that my story really was out there for the world to enjoy. 



Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?

Oh that’s easy. Fergus MacKay from Promised to the Highlander. He is the ultimate alpha male hero and I have been smitten with him since the first time I typed his name. He’s flawed in all the right ways, but as loyal and true and the day is long. It also helps that he’s totally hot!



What do you want readers to take away from your books?

I want them to just come along for the ride, laugh a little, smile a little, and enjoy the time they spend in my fictional world.

You’re stranded on a desert island. What books do you take with you?

The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride and Prejudice, Life of Pi, and A Gentle Feuding

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Queen of the world

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Has Anyone Seen My Keys? Or How to Trip in One’s Own Feet

Where can fans find you?

They can’t whilst I’m wearing my invisibility cape. ;-) Ahem, linky poos below.

@KateRobWriter


Chapter One
Bracadale, Isle of Skye, 1604

She tugged at her hair, her fingers moving furiously to hide her braid. Tucking it beneath her cloak, she left the cottage where the brush had grown over the old doorway in back. Her eyes burned from the smoke. Screams filled the air. Sheona pushed gnarled branches away with trembling hands until she found the stone wall, stopping to catch her breath and quell the fire in her chest.
They had attacked hard and fast this time, leaving no chance for the poor souls imprisoned in the fiery tombs they once called homes. Swords clanged and men shouted. No one appeared to notice her creeping along behind the wall. The old midwife she’d come to heal had died before her arrival. Sheona had been in the village and away from the protection of the castle only moments before the fighting began.
The MacDonalds had been warring with the MacLeods for years. But recently, the attacks on both sides had become more frequent and more ferocious.
Sheona scanned the area. A root cellar was several dozen yards away, its door open. She dashed toward it, stumbling only once. Climbing inside, she closed the door and bolted it, praying no one had seen her.
She listened for sounds outside the cellar, some sign of retreat. A noise somewhere behind her drew the hairs on the back of her neck to rapt attention.
A single puff of breath.
A second.
Feet shuffled in the dirt, spreading a sick burn into her belly.
She was not alone.
Powerful arms engulfed her, squeezing tight and forcing the air from her lungs. The body behind her was huge!
“Do not scream,” a male voice whispered in her ear.
She couldn’t if she wanted to. Terror churned inside her, twisting until she was sure it would strangle her.
He turned their bodies and pressed her against the cold stone wall, securing her hands above her head. His free hand explored her back, her waist, her hip. Somewhere between exploring her hip and the inside of her thigh she stopped breathing.
“What do we have here?”
Her mind searched for an appropriate answer, but her tongue was firmly lodged in her mouth.
“Are you mute then, lass? Well then, no one will hear you scream.” His breath was hot as he whispered the words, fanning her hair.
Now that his arms did not pin her, her head felt light as air rushed back into her body. She needed to say something, try to reason with him, plead even. Above all, she could not tell him who she really was, or else she would surely find his blade across her throat.
“My name is Maggie. I’m the blacksmith’s daughter. Please, my father will give you everything we own if you do not harm me.”
He chuckled. “Maggie, is it? Well, Maggie, my name is Malcolm MacDonald, son of the chief and Lord of the Isles. As long as you do not have a dagger tucked under those skirts, you will come to no harm in my presence.”
“And how long will I be in your presence?”


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scrolls of Cridhe: Stealing Moirra's Heart by Suzan Tisdale!

STEALING MOIRRA’S HEART

Moirra Dundottar needs a man. Much as she hates to admit it, it's true. With a reputation for losing husbands, her prospects are slim, her outlook bleak. Until the morning she sees a strange man on the town square--a man who's accused of being a thief and is locked in the pillory.
"Something tells me ye be no thief."
The strange man gives her a quick glance up and down, flashes a brilliant white smile and laughs. "I am many things, lass. All around bastard, ne'er-do-well, and rakehell. But I be no thief."She didn’t believe he was a thief when she rescued him … until he stole her heart.


SUZAN TISDALE

  
Award winning author, Suzan Tisdale, lives in the midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband and the youngest of their four children. They are currently accepting monetary donations to help feed their 16 year old, 6’3”, built-like-a-linebacker son. They live in a quiet little hamlet where the only traffic jams occur in the very early morning hours when they must wait for the wild deer and turkeys to cross the road.
In her distinctive voice, Suzan combines history, romance, and adventure to create epic tales filled with Highlanders, intrigue, romance, and laughter. Her first series, The Clan MacDougall Series, includes four books: Laiden’s Daughter, Findley’s Lass, Wee William’s Woman and McKenna’s Honor. In her Clan Graham Series, you will find Rowan’s Lady and Frederick’s Queen. This fall (2014), Suzan will begin her Clan McDunnah series with the book, Caelen’s Wife. Each of her novels are on Amazon’s Best Seller’s list and she has sold nearly 200,000 copies of her books around the world. Suzan is also one of Amazon’s top 100 Best Selling Authors. 



Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your books.

Author. Storyteller. Cheeky Wench.

How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?

  My books are not your typical historical romance and are definitely not ‘bodice rippers’. You’ll find lots of humor and suspense, lots of passion, but not graphic sex. And bad guys whose comeuppance you look forward too.  

What inspired you to start writing? What age did you start?

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

What’s your favorite scene/line from your works?

What's the hardest thing about writing? The easiest?

What are you currently reading?

  I’ve been writing since childhood. I was a horribly, painfully shy and introverted child. In my ‘stories’ I wasn’t so painfully shy and had lots of friends. Plus, we usually ended up saving the world from one bad guy or another.

My advice to aspiring authors? Just write the book. Don’t worry about covers, formatting, etc., until after you’ve written it. Write from your heart, with passion, fervor, and zeal and you can never go wrong.

What are you currently working on?

 What books did you read as a child? How has your life changed since you began writing? 

Currenlty working on the sequel to Stealing Moirra’s Heart, titled Saving Moirra’s Heart. It is the second part of the novella I wrote for the Guardians of Cridhe Anthology. I’m also working on Caelen’s Wife, Book One of the Clan McDunnah Series.

My life has changed in so many wonderful ways! I published my first book in December of 2011. By October 2012, I was able to give up my day job. I now write full time. I also get to nap whenever I want. I fib and tell family I’m trying to work out a scene or a plot, but husband knows the truth – I’m napping.

Do you listen to music while you write? What's been your favorite moment as an author? Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite? What do you want readers to take away from your books?

No music. I need silence and solitude to write, which is not easy with the current amount of construction taking place at our home, lol. We’ve added on a 24 x 30 room addition that will house my new kitchen, a dinning room, and my office. Husband is sound-proofing the office and hanging a red light over door to let people know ‘do not enter’ – kind of like what photographers do. He drew the line at installing a retinal scanner and key pad.

I simply want to take my readers away from everyday life for just a little while. My stories usually have an underlying message that good always conquers evil and happily ever afters are real.

Do you have any interesting dreams or goals?

I want to write until the day I die. I have dozens upon dozens of stories in my head. Sometimes, I wish I could insert a gig-stick into my brain and just download the books straight to my computer. :D

Where do you see yourself in five years?

If it is wintertime, then on a beach somewhere, writing.
If it is summertime, then in the lovely landscaped yard tucked away behind my Scottish Manor or Castle, writing.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Welcome To My World

Where can fans find you?

www.suzantisdale.com, https://www.facebook.com/SuzanTisdaleromance, or in my office with a bottle of Gentleman Jack. 


Moirra Dundotter needed a man.
As much as she hated to admit it, ’twas true.
But not just any man. She needed one with a strong back and, preferably, a malleable mind.
With a dispirited heart, she made her way through the winding streets of the small town of Glenkirby. Paying no attention to the beautiful, bright summer morn, her mind was elsewhere engaged, focused on finding a man who would suit her needs. The longer she thought on it, the more frustrated she became for her options were few.
At nearly thirty years of age and widowed three times now, she was not considered a fine catch by the men of her clan or the little town she was now making her way through. The men who knew her thought her far too stubborn for her own good — not one to bend easily to a man’s will — and far too blunt, no matter how pretty they might consider her to be for a woman of her advanced age.
The fact that her first two husbands had died and the last one had been missing for months now did nothing to help her current situation. Moirra had a reputation for losing husbands.
’Twasn’t that she needed the comfort or love of a man. She’d had that once, with her first husband. Passion and lust with the second. Her last husband she tried very hard to forget.
Nay, she simply needed a man who could help her tend to her fields and animals. A husband would also keep the arrogant farmer to her north from offering another proposal. A husband who might also keep Sheriff Wilgart from asking more uncomfortable questions as they pertained to her aforementioned missing husband.
If she could not find a husband here in Glenkirby, she’d have to travel some three days to the next town. The pickings here were slim at best. Any unmarried man was either too young or far too old. Or worse yet, put off by her reputation and unwilling to enter into marriage with her. Even Malcomb McFarland wouldn’t have her and he was widowed with five children at home in desperate need of a mother.
Entering the town square, Moirra was ready to give up hope, return home and pack her things, when a commotion ahead caught her attention. Making her way through a small crowd of people, she was finally able to see clearly what was — or more specifically who — was making the commotion.
’Twas an odd scene before her. A large, well muscled man, was locked in the pillory. That in and of itself was not so odd. What was odd was the fact that he was dressed in fine clothing and was currently swearing at the auld woman who had just tossed a rotten cabbage at his head. From the look on the auld woman’s face, she neither spoke nor understood the French words that flew from his mouth.
But Moirra understood every word. Her mother, God rest her soul, had been French. “Vieille sorciere ride. Vous estes en cooler parce que vows avez perdu botre ta jeunesse.” Wrinkled auld hag. You’re angry because ye lost yer youth.
Moirra studied him closely for a time. Even locked in the pillory as he was, there was an educated air about him. Although he was quite dirty at the moment, what with bits of rotted cabbage dangling from his dark hair and his muddy trews and boots, it didn’t appear to Moirra that that was his normal state of dress. With her curiosity piqued, she drew closer.
A young boy, mayhap no aulder than ten summers, began taunting the man. “Dunnae where ye be from, ye big lout, but here, we do no’ steal!” The boy threw something unrecognizable at the man’s head before running away.
Les puce son trop bon pour ton cul.”  Fleas are too good for your arse.
The man hid his anger behind a big smile that showed straight white teeth. ’Twas all Moirra could do not to giggle. Though his French was impeccable, something in his countenance — if one could have such a thing whilst locked in a pillory — told her French was his second language. She’d always been quite good at sizing up a person’s character. Well, almost always. She’d been quite wrong about husband number three and did her best to push the thought of him from her mind.
Moirra might not know who this man was, but she sensed he was no thief. She took a step closer. Exceedingly handsome, even if he was dirty and covered with bits of rotten food. ’Twas his smile that pulled her in even closer. His full lips, when drawn back as they were, revealed beautiful, straight white teeth.
His large hands were balled into fists, and she could just make out the faint line where a ring had once been worn, on the small finger of his right hand. A signet ring mayhap? ’Twas possible when she took all the bits and pieces as a whole.
’Twas quite possible that he was a man of means, or had been at one time. Mayhap he had fallen on hard times, for she couldn’t think of another reason why a man who appeared to be educated and affluent — again, when taken as a whole — would be locked in a pillory in the center of Glenkirby. The scenario made perfectly good sense to Moirra. Wanting to know if she was correct in her assumptions, she drew even closer.
Another small boy, friend no doubt of the first, decided that he, too, wanted to taunt and torment the man. “Thief, thief, thief!” he teased. “And no’ a verra good one, neither!”
The man growled at the child and lunged forward. The pillory shook and rattled as he fought to be free of it. The little boy looked ready to wet himself, his eyes growing as wide as wagon wheels. He stepped back and stumbled, landing on his rear end with a thud. The man growled and lunged a second time. The boy scrambled to his feet and ran away.
A loud, nearly melodious laugh filled the air. ’Twasn’t the laugh of a tetched man, but rather one who was quite enjoying himself. Odd, but not the least bit off-putting or terrifying in her way of thinking. Moirra bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing out loud as she enjoyed the scene playing out before her.
’Twas then that an idea began to form in her mind. A former man of means, down on his luck, ending up in Glenkirby of all places, now locked in a pillory for stealing, cursing at auld women and terrifying little boys, and he seemed to be taking great enjoyment from it.  If she were correct, the man was harmless.
If her instincts were off, as she had been not long ago, well, things could end up going ghastly wrong again. Still, the man in the pillory was as good as any other choice she might have at the moment. What she needed was a chance to look into his eyes and see. Moirra was a firm believer that one could gain a sense of a person’s character just by looking into their eyes.
She searched the immediate vicinity for the bailie and found him leaning back in a chair, his eyes closed. Good.
While the man continued to laugh and watch the small children fleeing, Moirra quietly made her way to the pillory. She leaned in and whispered, in perfect French, “Somethin’ tells me ye be no thief.”
The man turned abruptly, his bright green eyes flashed with a hint of confusion before he masked it with air of nonchalance. Those bright eyes sparkled in the sun, and something in their twinkle warned her that she would have to tread very carefully with this man. He was dangerous. Och, not the he’ll slice your throat whilst ye sleep kind of dangerous. Nay, he was the kind of dangerous that made women do foolish and stupid things.  
He gave her a quick glance up and down, flashed that brilliant white smile and laughed. They were close enough that she could feel his warm breath on her cheek. “I am many things, lass. All around bastard, ne’er-do-well, and rakehell. But I be no  thief.”


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scrolls of Cridhe: The Taming of Mairi MacKenzie by Sue-Ellen Welfonder!

The Taming of Mairi MacKenzie
A Scrolls of Cridhe novella

  
A forbidden love so powerful it could destroy them both.
Mairi MacKenzie can bring the dead back to life. But her fame as this special healer is a curse too much to bear, and she takes refuge in the ancient broch of Dunwynde, the Glen of Winds, her secret, well-guarded home. Many are her reasons for hiding from the world, allowing folk to believe she’s a banshee. Clan MacKenzie protects her as one of their dearest treasures. Only Mairi knows how unworthy she is of her clan’s devotion.Sir Gare MacTaggert only desires redemption. Once counted amongst Scotland’s greatest warriors, he hasn’t lifted a sword in years because of a battlefield tragedy that broke his soul. All that is left to him is his clan and his home, and now he stands to lose them as well. Scotland’s crown wants his corner of the realm strengthened and so a King’s writ has ordered him to forge an alliance – through marriage.Yet his honor won’t allow him to wed any woman, dead as he is inside. He seeks the aid of the Glen of Winds banshee, but before she can restore his will to live, they must face a greater challenge: the forbidden love that could destroy them.

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SUE-ELLEN WELFONDER


USA Today bestselling author, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, is most defined by her passion for Scotland.  She also loves animals, medieval history, and the paranormal. She puts her pen where her heart is, writing Scottish romance with a touch of Highland magic. A former flight attendant, she’s proud of her Hebridean ancestry, spent fifteen years in Europe, and visits Scotland as often as she can. She’s devoted to her Jack Russell terrier, enjoys living quietly, and shares her desk with her alter-ego, Allie Mackay, who writes Scottish-set contemporary paranormals. Sue-Ellen is married and resides on  Florida’s Gulf Coast



KBM: Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your books.

SEW/AM: Here’s a mini bio:

USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder aka Allie Mackay writes Scottish historical romance and contemporary paranormal romance. Whether writing as herself or her alter-ego, her tales always have a touch of Highland magic.


Anyone interested in more detail can visit my website: www.welfonder.com


KBM: How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?

SEW/AM: Under my real name (Welfonder), I write Scottish medieval with alpha heroes and strong heroines. As Allie Mackay, I write Scottish paranormal romance (mostly time travels) with modern day American heroines traveling to Scotland where they meet their medieval Highland heroes. My Allie Mackay stories are light-hearted with a touch of humor. Anything I write, under either name, will have Highland magic and lots of atmosphere. A powerful sense of place is important to me and my favorite reader compliment is that reading my books transports the reader to the world of my stories. That they feel as if they’d actually been to Scotland through reading the books.


KBM: What inspired you to start writing?

SEW/AM: I just sort of fell into writing about 15 years ago when a published author friend encouraged me. She was the late Becky Lee Weyrich, time travel queen of the 80s and 90s. At the time I was a flight attendant. (flying was my dream job) I’d send Becky long letters detailing my adventures in far-flung corners of the globe. She told me that reading my letters ‘made her feel as if she were right there with me,’ and so she urged me to write. I did, on a fluke, really, and my first book sold, totally surprising me. That book was DEVIL IN A KILT, a Scottish medieval, which remains a reader favorite.


KBM: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

SEW/AM: Laughing too hard to answer this. Writing is so all-consuming that very little time or energy remains to do anything else. One thing I do daily is walk several miles. I also cycle a lot. It is very, very important to me to get away from my desk, out in the fresh air and nature. (I am a tree-hugger, animal nut, and nature lover)

I used to love gardening and cooking and baking. Alas, these days I have little time to enjoy these pleasures.


KBM: What books did you read as a child?

SEW/AM: I devoured Childcraft books, then Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. I even formed and ran a Nancy Drew fan club in my neighborhood. My mother read to me in the cradle and so I have always loved books and reading.

KBM: Do you listen to music while you write?

SEW/AM: Yes, but only without words. Singing distracts me. I love classical and New Age music. Celtic, too, but only without singing, which isn’t easy to find, sadly.


KBM: Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?

SEW/AM: Devorgilla, a magical and meddlesome crone (Highland cailleach) who is a recurring character in all my books. She even helps me on FB now and then.

KBM: What is your dream vacation destination?

SEW/AM: Scotland. Been many times, always love returning.


KBM: Where can fans find you?

SEW/AM: 

Website: 
or 


Twitter: 

Newsletter: 


(A wee glimpse at the hero and heroine’s first meeting.)

     “I must ask you to leave.”  There, she’d said what she must.
     Go before my heart yearns for you as fiercely as my woman’s body already does.
     Dear heavens, he smelled of sandalwood, clean wool, leather, cold air and man, and the heady blend was fuzzing her wits, making her vulnerable.  Worse, he had a way of looking at her that made her feel as if he’d actually touched her, and in intimate, sensual ways!
     Mairi’s pulse quickened, a tingling, long-forgotten warmth pooling low by her thighs.
     No virgin, she’d once loved well and had never denied herself passion.  She recognized the danger of this man, with his alluring scent and potent virility.  His tall, well-muscled body, surely hard as iron.  His strong, beautiful hands that reminded her of the pleasures a skilled lover’s questing fingers could give a woman.
     Joys she hadn’t known in so long.
     “See here, I can do nothing for you,” she started again, sure she was glowering.  “Nor can you sleep here.”  She indicated the rock-sided glen, the boulder-strewn ground.  “Even if I wished you to stay, there isn’t enough bracken to make the thinnest pallet.”
     His gaze locked with hers, and something in his expression told her she was losing.  “My dog and I can sleep on the ground.”  He spoke as if everything was settled.  “We have done so most nights of our journey.  I need no more than my plaid, and Troll is well-furred enough to no’ feel the rocks beneath him.”
     “Very well.”  Mairi nodded, sure resistance was futile.  “But you’ll leave on the morrow.”
     “If you say you cannae help me, aye.”
     “I’m telling you that now.”
     “It is said you have brought back the breath of life to the coldest of the damned.”  His words pierced her heart, making her soul ache.  “Your fame is on every bard’s tongue, the wonders you have wrought, the miracles-”
     “The tales are untrue.”  Mairi tucked her hair behind an ear, kept her chin raised.  “No one can bring the dead back to life.”
     “Yet you have done so.”
     “Aye, but-”
     He stepped closer and gripped her arm, his touch sending ripples of awareness through her.  “I wouldn’t be here if my request wasn’t dire, my lady.  All I ask is that you restore-”
     “I regret you’ve lost someone.”  She did, especially that she couldn’t do what he wanted.
     She knew the pain of heartache.
     So before she could think better of it, she lifted her hand to his face and touched his cheek, slid her fingers along his beard.  “I do wish I could help you, but all I can offer is my sympathy.”
     “You misunderstand.”  He caught her hand, lacing their fingers, squeezing tight.  Determination burned in his eyes.  “The dead I want you to revive is a man who hasn’t truly died.  He stands before you.”


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