RWA 2014: Literacy Signing

The Romance Writers of America’s 2014 National convention took over the Riverwalk this past weekend in San Antonio. RWA brings together a great gathering of romance authors from all over the country–and the world–where we recharge our creative batteries while meeting and talking shop with other authors.

IMG_0233I’m local, so I didn’t have to comply with those pesky airline regulations to keep two bags under fifty pounds. Instead, I got seriously nostalgic for the golden age of travel while trying to pack most of my clothes and all of my shoes.  A steamer trunk or two would have come in handy.  But I did manage to keep it to one suitcase. And a hanging bag. And a roll-around carry-on bag. And a shopping bag of gluten-free goodies.

The big event of the conference, the RWA “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, took place Wednesday evening. Readers lined up hours before the doors opened for the chance to meet their favorite authors and to bid on fabulous baskets in the silent auction. Over 450 romance authors signed their books.  Proceeds exceeding $53,000 were donated to ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Texas, Restore Education, and Each One Teach One San Antonio.

The Literacy signing was crowded and crazy, but so much fun! If you were there, thanks for coming out.  If not, see you next year in New York City!


 

Boxed Set News and Cover Reveal!

On July 17, Highland Healer is coming out in a boxed set with three other Scottish romances from the Wild Rose Press! You’ll get four great books at one great price!

A HIGHLANDER’S DESTINY

Strength, Love and Courage

This digital boxed edition contains 4 complete novels.

AHighlandersDestiny_w9303_750

Highland Healer

Willa Blair

He needs her for his clan. He wants her for himself. Can he have both?

Toran Lathan never expected to become Laird, and never expected to meet a woman like Aileanna Shaw. Her healing ability is just what his people need, but Toran cannot resist her beauty. Yet will loving him destroy her ability to heal?

Aileanna Shaw has a healing touch–and a special talent she must keep secret. Stolen from her home by a marauding army, she’s kidnapped again by the Highland Laird she heals. Is she a prize of war, or the prize of his heart?

While Toran battles the invading lowland army, he also battles his desire for Aileanna. And Aileanna must decide if she can trust her secrets to this fierce warrior who needs her talent, but wants her love.

Beyond a Highland Whisper

Maeve Greyson

The last time Latharn MacKay walked among his kinsman was in Scotland of 1410. Sensuous and charismatic, all the women wanted him, but none could capture his heart. Latharn’s charm became his curse when a dark sorceress didn’t take rejection well. She snared his soul into a crystal globe until the one woman destined to be his love whispered his release. Now all Latharn has to do is find her and guide her to him without speaking a word.

One of the youngest archeologists in St. Louis of 2010, Nessa credits one thing for this achievement: the recurring dream of a heart-stopping Highlander since the summer she turned eighteen years old. Little does she know, he’s not some fantasy cooked up by her subconscious. He’s a trapped soul determined for Nessa to end his six centuries in hell. Can love prevail over the dark magic of a woman scorned?

Into The Scottish Mist

Beth Anne Miller

Abby Sanders returns to her beloved Scotland after a long absence, seeking peace after a terrible tragedy. A chance detour reunites her with Ian Mackenzie, the love she left behind four years ago. Their attempt to rekindle their romance along the shore of Loch Ness is cut short when Abby vanishes.

After a desperate search for the woman he’s spent four years trying to forget, Ian is forced to believe the unbelievable: he must travel through the mists of time to find Abby. But finding her is just the beginning. Trapped four hundred years in the past, Abby and Ian must find a way to end a bitter clan feud or sacrifice their return to the present and their future together.

Immortal Justice

Faith V. Smith

Over a millennium ago, Highlander Darach MacRath was murdered. Resurrected by the Archangel Michael to fight demons as an Immortal Executioner, Darach now opposes all evil in the mortal world. His life is solitary—but when he rescues a young woman who not only sees demons but battles them herself, he is captivated by her courage and beauty.

Abigail Dupree is not looking for love. But when a tall, dark demon fighter with a sexy brogue intervenes in her hunt, she’s fascinated. She should run away—but then his gentle yet sizzling touch ensnares her heart.

When a demon from Darach’s past sets his sights on Abby, Darach will do anything to protect her—but for Abby, losing him would be worse than death. Together they must fight the demons of past and present, and the possibility that evil could destroy them both, before they find the gift of love.

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 1362
Word Count: 361988

On sale from The Wild Rose Press.  Get your copy today!

And while you’re at it, check out the Scottish romance boxed set that came out last week:  A Highlander’s Legacy – Fiercely Loyal, Passionate and Powerful.

RomCon 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalists!

8048ea2d28f90da4fa4ded1f585d5778-1.image.383x550 36841b084a7ba0f35d0f751223ddf148.image.383x550Two of my books, Highland Healer and Highland Seer are 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown finalists in the Medieval category!  If you don’t have them already, here are two ways to get them: 

1. Place a Bid in Brenda Novak’s auction for Diabetes Research for a signed set of my books, including Highland Healer, 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown Historical Finalist and Highland Seer, 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown and InD’Tale Magazine RONEAward finalist (Historical Medieval), plus a signed copy of my latest release, The Healer’s Gift (a Highland Talents novella).  If you place the winning bid, you’ll not only get a great prize, but you’ll have the satisfaction of helping a worthy cause.  

2. Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a signed set of my books. And other prizes.  And goodies.  For instance, my May newsletter, coming out late this month, will include a never before seen excerpt from Highland Troth (Highland Talents Book 3) — exclusive for my newsletter subscribers!

Don’t wait another minute.  Place your bid and sign up now for your chances to win.  

Love That Scottish Burr? You’re In Luck!


486078_348901101886782_1994720705_nDo you love the sound of a Scottish accent? Can you feel those r-r-r-r-r’s rolling off the tongue and across your skin? Especially if the speaker is hot, male and wearing a kilt? 
You’re in luck! Highland Healer is now an audiobook! You can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tantor.com and audible.com — today!

The Healer’s Gift Early Release Day!

It’s Early Release Day for The Healer’s Gift (A Highland Talents Novella)!  Coira’s story is available exclusively on Amazon (Kindle) for the next 90 days.  Read an Excerpt from my latest addition to my Highland Talents series!

imageCoira MacDugall paid with her life for her attack on the Highland Healer.  But her victim did more than heal Coira’s fatal wound that awful night.  Now drowning in the unwelcome emotions of others, Coira wonders if her new empathic ability was meant as a gift or a curse.
Logen MacDugall must discover who killed three previous lairds if he hopes to survive for long in the position. He believes Coira’s new sense can help him root out the conspirators, but after her disastrous time in the Highlands, the last thing she wants is to get involved with another laird.
Logen must help Coira gain control of her talent in time to save him and their clan from those intent on destroying MacDugall. Can Coira accept that this laird truly loves her?  Or will her memories lead her to madness again?

 The official worldwide release day will be 2 July, when it will become available in Ebook format to B&N (Nook), Kobo, AllRomanceEBooks, iBooks, and The Wild Rose Press, and In Print from Amazon and The Wild Rose Press. 

CONTEST! Win Highland Healer’s Audiobook CDs

And the Winner is: Melody Gonser!  Congratulations, Melody.  And thanks to everyone who entered!

CONTEST!

B1895_HighlandHealer_DWould you like to win the audiobook CDs of my bestselling Scottish historical romance?  I’d love to give a set away!  The set contains eight CDs and is guaranteed to give you hours of those sexy Scottish accents you love.

What do you need to do to win?   Four things (yes, all four things):

1. Join my mailing list (click on the Newsletter envelope icon on the top right side of this page). Already on my mailing list? That counts!

2. Like my Facebook Author Page and leave “Liked” as a comment.  Already “liked” my author page? That counts!  Not on Facebook?  Like my Goodreads Author Page.  Of course, you’re welcome to do both!

3. Like my Amazon Author Page and share it on Facebook or Twitter (or both).

4. Leave a comment on this page telling me that you’ve done the first three on this list, and where you shared my Amazon author page – Facebook or Twitter?

I’ll pick a winner at random and announce it here in two weeks.  Ready?  Set?  Go!  Good Luck!

Release Day!

It’s release day for the Highland Healer audio book! Now you can hear those lovely Scottish burrs instead of just imagining them!
B1895_HighlandHealer_D
When do you like to listen to an audiobook? Driving? Exercising? Dreaming?

You can get the audiobook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tantor Media, Audible.com and probably a few more places I haven’t found yet.

Cover Reveal: The Healer’s Gift!

Look what arrived today!  

I’m thrilled with my new cover.  I hope you are, too!

image

THE HEALER’S GIFT

A Highland Talents Novella

The Healer’s gift changes everything Coira thinks she knows about herself and her future.

The Healer’s Gift will resolve the story of one of the most tormented characters in HIGHLAND HEALER. Coira MacDugall deserves the harshest punishment for her actions in the Highlands.  But her clan’s new laird, Logan, defies her expectations.  And the Healer’s gift changes everything she thought she knew — about herself and the people around her.    Coming soon!

Love That Scottish Burr? You’re In Luck!

Do you love the sound of a Scottish accent? Can you feel those r-r-r-r-r’s rolling off the tongue and across your skin? Especially if the speaker is hot, male and wearing a kilt?

486078_348901101886782_1994720705_n

You’re in luck! Highland Healer has been produced as an audiobook and comes out on 3 March. You can preorder it at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble right now.

Burns Night Blog Hop

burnsupper

Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains has joined forces with Kilts, Cravats and Chivalry to host a fun Scottish-themed blog hop for Burns’ Night on the 25th.

January is a cold dreich month in Scotland. The strains of Auld Lang Syne have long since drifted over the heather. We need to keep ourselves cheerful somehow. So on the 25th of January we celebrate the poetry of our bard, Robert Burns. 
We pipe in the haggis, toast it with a dram (whisky), eat it and then we consider the life of the man behind the poems. He was a bit of a ladies man for sure and so that is why the speech, known as “The Immortal Memory” is followed with a toast to the lassies and a reply from the lassies. There is poetry and singing and dancing to follow and we all stagger home with our bellies full, our hearts renewed and the knowledge that we only have another 11 months of rain to go this year.

Hop from blog to blog to read our posts and have several chances to win some great prizes. First and foremost, join the  RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY for chances to win a $50 Amazon gift card and  one of five $10 Amazon gift cards!  Next, follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ my Amazon Author Page today to be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card directly from me. Once you’ve done that, use the form on the Contact tab, above, to report back and send me your email, or you won’t be entered.

burnsnightbloghop-1

Burns is so venerated in Scotland and around the world that his birthday, January 25, is a holiday in many areas and is celebrated with a special dinner.  With Haggis.  More about that in a minute.

His most famous poem in the United States is certainly Auld Lang Syne, sung every New Year’s Eve just at midnight.  

But his next most famous might be Address to a Haggis, recited during the Robert Burns birthday celebration dinner.  I won’t quote it here (it’s quite lengthy).  The haggis is then slit open with a very sharp ceremonial dirk – or a kitchen knife – and dinner is served.  

After dinner, more singing, quoting Burn’s works, and of course, consuming ale and whisky, the evening ends with Burns’s Toast to the Lasses, Reply from the Lasses, a recitation of Burns’s Tam o’Shanter and singing – you guessed it – Auld Lang Syne.

If that sounds like fun, you’re in the right place!  

Now if you’ve taken advantage of my prize opportunities here,  hop on over to the other authors participating tonight.  There are more prizes up for grabs at each of their websites.  

1. Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains 9. Inner Goddess 17. Nina Mason
2. Samantha Holt 10. Hunter S. Jones 18. Kate Robbins
3. A Dirty Book Affair 11. Christina Phillips 19. Scenes from a Chaotic Mind
4. Anne Conley 12. Andrea Bellmont 20. Sarah Bella
5. Em Taylor 13. Isobelle Cate 21. Joanne Wadsworth
6. Kirsten S. Blacketer 14. Storm Chase 22. Anne Stenhouse
7. Willa Blair 15. Ceci Giltenan 23. BJ Scott
8. Nicole Hurley- Moore 16. Tarah Scott

LAST DAY! Get Your Copies TODAY!

TODAY IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO GET HIGHLAND SEER FOR FREE

AND HIGHLAND HEALER FOR 99 CENTS!

Love Scottish Romance?  

Want to spend a few delicious hours in the Highlands of Scotland?  

Have a thing for Men in Kilts?  

Lucky You!  My publisher has put both HIGHLAND HEALER and HIGHLAND SEER on sale!

Here’s the scoop:  

The sale runs 3-7 September.

HIGHLAND HEALER – 99 cents!

HIGHLAND SEER – even better, FREE!

Click on the book links to get over to Amazon and get your copies today!  My books make great gifts, too! 

PRICE DROP! Get Your Copies This Week!

Love Scottish Romance?  

Want to spend a few delicious hours in the Highlands of Scotland?  

Have a thing for Men in Kilts?  

Lucky You!  My publisher has put both HIGHLAND HEALER and HIGHLAND SEER on sale!

Here’s the scoop:  

The sale runs 3-7 September.

HIGHLAND HEALER – 99 cents!

HIGHLAND SEER – even better, FREE!

Click on the book links to get over to Amazon and get your copies today!

SALE! Get HIGHLAND HEALER for $2.99

To celebrate the release of my sizzling new Scottish romance, HIGHLAND SEER (Highland Talents #2) on Kindle, HIGHLAND HEALER (Highland Talents #1) is now on sale for $2.99!  Get them both and enjoy action, adventure and  romance in the highlands of Scotland this weekend!

HIGHLAND HEALER

HIGHLAND SEER

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: M is for Makar

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-mI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

M is for Makar.  Yes, I thought we’d learn a new word today.  Makar.  A poet, a bard, a school of poetry begun in the Middle Ages in Scotland, often meant to refer to the royal or court poet.   

In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Makar innovations in poetry included bringing into the local language new and greater variety of poetic structures from Europe.

James I, the likely author of the Kingis Quair, describing the King’s capture and imprisonment by the English in 1406, is said to be the first Makar.  He ruled in the 15th century.   

Dunbar's The Goldyn Targe in the Chepman and Myllar Prints of 1508. (National Library of Scotland)

Dunbar’s The Goldyn Targe in the Chepman and Myllar Prints of 1508. (National Library of Scotland)

But the court of James IV, who was something of a Rennaissance man (see J is for James), is said to be the high point of the Makar movement. For example, The Thrissil and the Rois is a poem composed by William Dunbar to mark the 1503 wedding of James IV to Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.  Dunbar is commemorated in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh.

When James VI took the Scottish court to London in 1603 (becoming James 1 of England), the form began to fall out of favor.  But it did not fade away completely.

Edinburgh instituted a post of Edinburgh Makar in 2002.  Glasgow, Stirling and Aberdeen also have Makar posts.  A position of national poet laureate, entitled The Scots Makar, was established in 2004 by the Scottish Parliament. 

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

tax_day_blog_hopToday is also the one-day-only Tax Day Relief  Blog Hop by RomCon. Leave a comment HERE and you might win a Kindle copy of Highland Healer!  Click on the RomCon link to find the other blogs participating. Comment at romcon.com and you are automatically entered to win one of twenty-five 50% off coupons to RomCon® 2013!

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: L is for Loch

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-lI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

L is for Loch, the Gaelic word for lake.  Sea inlets can be called a firth or a sea loch.   

View across Loch Lomond, towards Ben Lomond.

View across Loch Lomond, towards Ben Lomond.

Loch Lomond from just below Beinn Dubh and Creag an t-Seilich, by wfmillar

Loch Lomond from just below Beinn Dubh and Creag an t-Seilich,             by wfmillar

Scotland has many lochs and smaller lochs called lochans, as well as firths.   Some of the most famous are Lommand, Awe, Rannoch, Tay, and of course, Ness.  

We’ll get to Loch Ness tomorrow.

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: K is for Kilt, of Course!

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-kI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

K is for Kilt.  Scottish_mercenaries_in_the_Thirty_Years_War

What else could it be on my blog?  That storied garment, favored by braw Highlanders of the past in romance novels, and more than a few Hollywood actors of today – on special occasions, of course.    

Modern kilt - From www.alphakilts.com

Modern kilt – From alphakilts.com

And does he or doesn’t he? Oh, the memes on Facebook – “It’s a kilt.  If you wear anything under it, it’s a skirt.”  It’s up to the whim of the wearer, or the weather, I suppose.  

Before the modern stitched kilt, there was the belted plaid – yards of fabric, laid out on the ground, pleated and folded.  

Belted Plaid - Courtesy David Ball

Belted Plaid – Courtesy David Ball

The wearer would lie down on it, wrap it around, secure it with a belt and pull a length up over a shoulder.  A lot of work, but handy as a ground cover or blanket if the need arose.  

Nowadays, the pleats are stitched down, and there are buttons to make donning the kilt easy.  As I overheard one kilt fitter explain to a customer at the Highland games I recently attended, it’s good to fit it to the tightest button now, leaving ‘ease’ in the waistband to make room for his wife to feed him up in the future.  Kilts are meant to last!

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: J is for James

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-jI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

J is for James.  James IV to be exact.  There were several King Jameses during Scotlands history, as well as pretenders to the throne.  The term Jacobite (from the latin for James – Jacobus) comes from those attempts to restore James II, a Stuart, and his descendants to the thrones of England, Scotland and Wales in the 1600s and 1700.  

But before that, there was a series of James, 1 through VI, who ruled Scotland, or attempted to, one right after the other in the 15th and 16th century.  James VI become James 1 of England and united the two countries under one crown, if not one state.

James IV was an educated man, interested in the arts, literature, and science.  He spoke seven languages, built up the Scottish navy, and attempted to make peace with England, forging a treaty with Henry VII and marrying his daughter, Margaret, sister to Henry VIII.  

James IV of Scotland

James IV of Scotland

But James was also bound by the Auld Alliance, the mutual defense treaty with France dating back to the 1200s.   When Henry VIII  invaded France, James IV invaded England and was killed in the battle at Flodden Fields, just over the Border in northern England.  Most of his nobles, lairds and their heirs died with him that day.  

The heir to the Scottish throne, James V was a toddler.  The power vacuum left in the wake of this disaster affected all parts of Scotland for years to come.  

This time period is the setting for my Highland Talents books.  The first, Highland Healer, is available at most retailers.  The second, Highland Seer, is due out later this year.

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: I is for Islay

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-iI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

I is for Islay, pronounced “Eye-la,” an island on Scotland’s southwest coast in the southern Hebrides, home to several whisky producers and known for strongly flavored, peaty single-malts due to the water on the island filtering through peaty ground, as well as salt spray from the surrounding ocean.

From islayinfo.com

Bunnahabhain Bay – From islayinfo.com

The distilleries currently operating on Islay are Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain (see B is for Bunnahabhain), Caol Ila,  Lagavulin, and Laphroaig.  Bunnahabhain on the north coast draws its water from a spring, so it lacks the pronounced peat and salt flavors.

The number of distilleries on Islay has varied over time to as many as 23.  

From Wikimedia Commons - Mortendreier

From Wikimedia Commons – Mortendreier

Islay is also home to Scotland’s first wave-power station.

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: H is for Hogmanay

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-hI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

H is for Hogmanay, the Scottish celebration of the New Year.  Besides cleaning the house and hearth to start the new year fresh, one of my favorite traditions is the one called “First Footer.”

The first visitor on January first is called the First Footer.  It’s considered good luck if that person is male, dark haired, and arrives bearing gifts – coal or peat, shortbread and whisky.  

Gerry would do nicely, don't you think?

Gerry would do nicely, don’t you think?

We adopted this practice from a Scottish neighbor years ago.  We’d celebrate New Year’s with a progressive dinner around the neighborhood (so no one had to drive anywhere). Appetizers at one house, dinner at another, dessert at a third, and “Bells” at the last – the champagne and whisky part of the evening.

 At five minutes to midnight, the tallest, darkest-haired, male neighbor got thrown out into the cold.  Occasionally,w e’d remember to give him a glass of whisky to warm him while he waited, especially if it was snowing.  Once the ball came down in Times Square, we’d let him back in and the party would continue, good luck having been bestowed on the home hosting “Bells.”

What New Year’s traditions do you celebrate?

Champagne Pop

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.