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.

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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

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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

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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.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: G is for Gaelic

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-gI’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.

G is for Gaelic, one of the many languages and dialects spoken throughout history in Scotland, Ireland and other Celtic regions.

799px-WelcomeToQueenStreetFailteGuSraidNaBanrighinn_Glasgow

 Scottish Gaelic is still spoken, often along with English, in the Highlands and the Western Isles, and to a lesser degree elsewhere in Scotland. There are also small Gaelic-speaking communities in Canada. 

Gaelic may have been brought to Scotland around the 4th century AD from Ireland. It spread throughout Scotland but began to retreat north and westwards from the 11th century onwards.  

From Celtic-Scotland on Facebook.

From Celtic-Scotland on Facebook.

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: F is for France

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-fI’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.

F is for France.  Yes, France.  Scotland and France have been allies since the 1200s under a treaty called the Auld Alliance.  Yes, I could have done ‘A is for Auld Alliance’ on the first day of this challenge, but I liked ‘Alba’ better to set the theme.  

Anyway, The Auld Alliance held that Scotland and France would defend each other from incursions by the hated Sassenachs – the English.  When either was attacked by England, the other would invade England, to split English forces.  The battle at Flodden Field in 1513, which became the historical background for my Highland Talents books, was the result of this alliance.  

The Scottish court fled to France several times during Scotland’s history.  Scottish soldiers fought for France for hundreds of years, and Scottish nobles went to French universities and to the French court, bringing French words, culture and cuisine back to Scotland.  And of course, Scotland traded with France, so wine and other French goods were often available, especially in the cities.

The 700th anniversary of the Auld Alliance was celebrated in 1995 in both Scotland and France.

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 signup list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: E is for England

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

a-to-z-letters-eI’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.

E is for England, Scotland’s main enemy throughout its history – when the Scots weren’t fighting among themselves.  The conflict between Scotland and England goes back hundreds of years, most violently along the border.  I’ll just give you a few of the key points.

Scotland and its monarchy suffered much at the hands of the English, from Robert the Bruce’s attempts to gain the throne of Scotland and  independence from England’s Edward 1; to James IV, killed at Flodden Field, the historical time period for my Highland Talents books; to Mary, Queen of Scots, beheaded by her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I.  

Flodden MemorialAttribution: Stephen McKay

Flodden Memorial
Attribution: Stephen McKay

Flodden Field TodayCourtesy of Jody Allen

Flodden Field Today
Courtesy of Jody Allen

 It wasn’t until a Scottish king, James VI, moved his court to London and assumed the English throne as James I in 1603 that the two countries shared one monarch. But they remained separate states.   In 1707, the Acts of Union formed the basis for today’s United Kingdom, and continued Scottish attempts to restore the House of Stuart to the throne ended  at Culloden in 1746.  As a result, Scottish language and culture were forbidden and brutally suppressed.

Religious differences within and between the two countries fueled much of the discord throughout their history.  But politics and economics also played important roles, culminating in the Highland Clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, when evictions forced many to the lowlands, Ireland or the American colonies.

Are you 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 signup list.