Magick of Trees with Wee Darby

Trees are nature’s oldest living magick.

I’ll always treasure the grand memories of my Daddy taking me by my hand and letting me tag along on the many strolls we took through different forest paths. A true  highlight of my childhood, while I learned about the different trees. I’d  watch the squirrels and other creatures scurry about and make nests in the towering giants these critters called home. 

canstockphoto19039282Whether strolling thru the enchanted woods where I envisioned the fairies playing and hiding beneath the caps of acorns, and knew the wee people and leprechauns lived; or else riding thru a shaded tunnel of mystical towering splendors – their magick has played a gigantic role in my imagination.canstockphoto12754661

 A few favorite fairy trees:

The Sacred Oak is not only king of the forest, but considered the most favored “home” of the fairies.  The golden flowered shrub called Gorse (also known as furze) is most definitely a fairy favorite. They love to hide among the thorny limbs, a treasured safe haven.

Dark Hedges in N.Ireland

Dark Hedges in N.Ireland

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The Hawthorn was once used for decorating May poles, and is still used in the making of wands for protection. It was also once considered as the witches tree.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve attached a photo I snapped of a fairy tree in Northern Ireland – the stone is placed around the bark to keep sheep and other animals from rubbing against the bark. These trees are not to be cut down for fear of angering the fairies and bringing bad luck upon yourself.  canstockphoto5509628

Lilac and wisteria is also favored by wood nymphs as well as fairies.

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With the arrival of spring, I’d love to share my latest venture – a clipping from my new children’s book, called “The Magick of Wee Darby” which we hope you enjoy.   You can find Wee Darby‘s book available on Amazon, under my married name of Patty Koontz, available in Kindle and Print.20170312_114712 - Copy

“A brisk breeze rustled the large oak tree’s golden brown leaves. The sun’s bright rays filtered through the swaying branches. Darby stood quietly and admired the vibrant colors of the spectacular forest harvest. They shimmered in rich earth tones of reds, yellows, oranges, and purples. Mother Nature had certainly outdone herself this year as she speckled beauty through the woodland with her magical brush painting on a live canvas.”canstockphoto16258063Patty's Wee Darby - Copy

Wee Darby has a surprise for an extra special post we’re putting together for the month of May. 20170401_133334For a wee hint . . . .    click below to continue to find out what’s in store Continue reading →

Welcome Mairi Norris

I’m thrilled to have my dear friend, and talented author, Mairi Norris with us today!  Please help to welcome her by leaving a wee comment or two! 

Oh, it’s lovely to visit with you and your readers today, Patty! Thanks so much for inviting me. I’m celebrating the release on March 28 of Scent of Wild Roses, Book Four in the Ballads of the Roses.

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Tell us about yourself. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer? Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

Well, let’s see. I’ve been a practical nurse, a homemaker, and I’m a Navy vet (hospital corpsman) and now I’m a full time writer. All of these careers were dreams come true and I enjoyed every one, but I have to admit, this last one is something very special. Writing lets me explore all the ‘other’ dreams I had, the ones time did not permit and others which cannot exist except in my imagination (like healer to a Highland clan or chatelaine of a Norman Marcher lord’s castle as his cherished wife!)

 

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Growing up, history was always my favorite subject in school, which is probably why I adore writing historical romance. While my books are set from the Dark Ages to early modern, my favorite era is early medieval. There is simply something so stirring and fascinating about life so long ago, it’s impossible to resist. That interest is also piqued by family genealogy (German, Irish, English, Scottish). Some years ago, I learned a direct ancestor immigrated from England in the early 1600’s and married a woman who lived just a few miles from where I live now. How cool is that? From the familial standpoint, I feel like I’ve come ‘full circle’.

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What are your current (and future) projects?

My newest book, set for release on March 28, is Scent of Wild Roses, Book Four in the Ballads of the Roses, is due for release March 28. I’ve already started a Roses novella, Taming the Pale Rose, that will be a prequel, of sorts, to The Stones of Rose, Book Five in the series. There will be at least one more full-length Roses novel, A Rose Most Deadly. I also have a low-fantasy medieval romance, Winds of Carthanna, in the works, and do hope to get back to the Viking Brothers series once I’ve finished  Roses.

 

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Apart from a hearty “thank you for supporting authors”? Aye, if you love a book, if you enjoy it enough to finish it, tell other readers about it. Leave a review. Even a short review helps the author, and yours  might be the one that keeps a good author from giving up.

 

Where can your readers contact you or find information on your books and newest release?

Readers can learn more about Scent of Wild Roses (release date 28 March) or my other books, or contact me at:

http://mairinorris.com

http://romancingyesteryear.com

I also adore Pinterest. In the various book boards on my Pinterest page, readers can find glossaries, background information, character lists, series timelines, maps and layouts and inspirational images.

https://www.pinterest.com/mairinorris/

Thanks so much for joining with us today, Mairi!  Your post was truly enjoyable and fascinating! And I love your new cover!  Wee Darby and I send you all the best wishes and many sales on your new release! Please come back and visit with us again soon!

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Dreams can come true

To this day, I’ll always remember two of my Mum’s favorite expressions, “Never give up on your dreams,”  and  “Some times you have to take life’s struggles,  one tick at a time.”

Evelyn Vance Taylor

Evelyn Vance Taylor

Because of her and my beloved husband, and the encouragement from a few of my dearest friends – one of my biggest dreams DID COME TRUE!  20150926_102157

I want to thank Alicia, at the Herald Mail Papers for doing the following, lovely article on me:  http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/life/invitation-to-book-signing-is-author-s-dream-come-true/article_a5e3e8b5-a52a-5e96-a09c-2388ab612e73.html

Invitation to book signing is author’s dream come true

As a young girl living in Carroll County, Md., Patty Koontz heard tales of wee people and fairies, of magic and enchantment.

Koontz’s mother, Evelyn V. Taylor, whom she refers to as “mum,” grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and passed on her Irish and Scottish heritage.

“My mum served in the British Army during World War II,” Koontz said during a phone interview from her home. “She met my daddy, who was a U.S. sergeant. She came to this country not knowing a soul and started a new life here. I grew up listening to these stories. She believed in the leprechauns. She was very superstitious.”

Koontz, 59, of Westminster, Md., took those stories and tucked them away, long past the passing of her her mum when Koontz was in her early 30s. She kept busy with her marriage and full-time work in the accounting and project-management end of construction. Eventually, she began to write.

“Honestly, I have been writing since I was a child, but I put it on a back shelf until about five years ago,” she said. “That’s when I seriously started to pursue it, and then I got published about two years ago.”

Koontz, who writes romance under the name Patty Taylor, will be among the authors at a book signing from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro. Other authors will be Kristen Ashley, Lori Foster, Laura Griffin, Kristan Higgins, Suzi Weinert and New York Times best-selling author Nora Roberts, who also writes as J.D. Robb. Roberts’ husband, Bruce Wilder, owns and operates Turn the Page. Roberts will be celebrating the release of “Echoes in Death.”

Hated grammar, loved telling stories

Teachers told Koontz she had a knack for writing stories since she was little, but in her mind, there was an obstacle.

“I hated English. To this day, I hear ‘grammar’ and I freeze,” Koontz said laughingly. “Teachers told me, ‘You have a gift. You need to buckle down.’ I made good grades, but I hated English. They would get me to stand up and tell stories or write stories, but I never thought I was good enough.”

Her husband was instrumental in giving Koontz the nudge to write the stories she heard. During 2012, he encouraged her to go to Ireland.

“It took me more than 50 years to get over there. My husband sent me over. That’s been a dream all my life. I love it over there,” Koontz said.

She has since returned two more times, finding unbridled inspiration there for her writing. She stayed with a cousin who took her all over Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“I saw the countryside and it brought the stories to life for me. I actually got to see the place where mum met my daddy, where they walked along the beach,” Koontz said. “You go over there and it’s just like stepping back in time. There are castles everywhere. My mind, my imagination, just run wild. It brings to life what my mum was telling me in all those stories when I grew up.”

Koontz’s first romance novel, “Mortal Magick,” was published by Soul Mate Publishing in 2015, and her second, “Sea Wolf Magick,” was published the following year. She is working on the third of the “Highlander Magick” trilogy, which she hopes to release next year.

The spelling of “magick,” she said, is symbolic of “old-time magic.”

“‘Magic’ is like a magician that gets up on a stage. True old-time ‘magick’ that goes centuries back is spelled with a ‘K’ and it gives me a brand that people recognize,” she said.

The trilogy contains adult themes and romance, Koontz said, but not erotica.

“I was inspired by my mum, and I use a lot of my own imagination. What I do is a lot of enchantment and magic and lore, and I combine it with romance and time travel. I try to mix some lore with some of my own ideas and fantasies. I include mythical creatures like dragons and selkies, witches and fairies,” Koontz said.

Some of the stories and mythical elements of her books lend themselves to children’s literature, she said, and many people who read them suggested that she should also write for that genre. This year, she self-published a children’s book, “The Magick of Wee Darby.”

Koontz, who has spinning wheels and has worked in ceramics and fiber arts over the years, crafted a needle-felted doll depicting the main character of the book. Wee Darby, she said, has been enthusiastically received on the Facebook page “Wee Darby and his magical friends.”

Living a ‘dream come true’

Just two years ago, Koontz stood in line for hours at a Turn the Page Bookstore book signing.

“I have read Nora’s (Roberts) books. I’ve been a fan of hers for many years,” she said.

The day before she first met Roberts, Koontz was sick and at a hospital.

“My husband said, ‘You can’t go up there.’ I said, ‘I am going to meet this woman.’ It took me three hours. I stood in line until I got to meet her,” Koontz said. “I told her I just had a book published, I gave her a business card, and she congratulated me. I got my picture taken with her.”

Koontz connected with the store manager, who invited her to take her book to the store. When she took the second book in the trilogy, she received an invitation to participate in a signing.

“You don’t say ‘no’ to something like this. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, a dream come true for me. I cried about it, happy tears, to be honest with you,” Koontz said. “One thing I regret is that I put writing on the back shelf for so many years. I wish I would have pursued it a long time ago. All that time was lost because I didn’t pursue my dream. And now I’m glad I did.”

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Welcome Lane McFarland

We’re in for a special treat this week! LaneMcFarland

Please help me welcome my dear friend and talented author, Lane McFarland!  Lane is sharing some gorgeous photos of her most recent trip to Scotland!   I have also had the pleasure of reading Lane’s first series, “My Daughters of Alastair MacDougall ” and highly recommend them!  Make sure you leave a comment at the end of the post for a special chance of winning one of Lane’s books!

Wee Darby and I are thrilled to have you with us, Lane! 

Thank you for having me, Patty!

Tell us about yourself. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer? Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

My background is actually in accounting and computer systems. I worked as a financial systems analyst for a large corporation for many years, but left that life to sell financial software. During the day, I travel around the country giving presentations, but at night in the hotel room, or on the airplane, you’ll often find me writing. What a wonderful stress reliever to escape into worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

My passion is historical romance. Throwing my imagination into years gone by, researching dark periods of strife and violence, justice and quests for freedom, and dreaming of what it might have been like to live and survive during these hostile periods have been the most fascinating aspects of writing historical romance.

TheDaughtersOfAlastairMacDougall

 

My Daughters of Alastair MacDougall series begins in May 1297, a time of unrest between Scotland and England. It has been such fun to research this period and imagine living amongst the clans.

Set in late thirteenth century Scotland, this series tells the stories of Laird Alastair MacDougall’s four independent and oftentimes, headstrong daughters coming of age in a country fraught with war and feuds amongst rival clans. Follow his daughters as their lives become intertwined with four fierce, rebel highland warriors bent on eradicating the English soldiers from their homeland. You can find out more about my series here:  http://tinyurl.com/hmwsz5d

 

What do you like best about the writing process?

DouneCastle

Doune Castle

One of the best things about being a historical romance writer is I just have to visit Scotland and do research for my books! Or at least that’s what I told my husband. :0)

I was fortunate to travel to Scotland in October! The country is steeped in history, has unbelievable landscapes, and the people are so friendly and welcoming. We toured from Edinburgh to Inverness, to Skye and Glasgow, and many places in between where I was able to do some research for my new series.

Here are some of the places we visited.

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Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

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Isle of Skye

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Isle of Skye

*** Of course I have to interrupt here for a second 🙂   The Isle of Skye is where “Wee Darby” lives 🙂  I LOVE this area!!!!  I’m thrilled Lane could share a few photos of this gorgeous country!

                                                                                                 The dramatic cliffs of Skye

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Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

Since my trip to Scotland, my writing muse has been pinging off the charts! I’m diving into my new series, THE TURNBERRY LEGACY. The first book, To Support a King, will be out next year. It is set in northern Scotland, near Inverness and the book takes you through Skye and into Ireland.

Here is a little bit about it:

The Turnberry Legacy Series

At the turn of the fourteenth century, danger abounds with Scotland’s leadership in flux. Amidst rumors of King Edward reinstating John Balliol to the throne, Robert the Bruce commands his most trusted men to resurrect The Turnberry Bond, a pact specifying loyal Scots and Irish nobles band together in resistance against all adversaries. Follow the rebel warriors fighting for the rightful king of Scotland and their struggle with honor and love as their lives become intertwined with the brave women who challenge them. Continue reading →

The Magick of Irish Castles

Dunluce Castle steps to ocean
For a special treat for the holidays, I thought I’d share some photos of a few castles I got to explore on my visits to my Mum’s home in Northern Ireland

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Happy Halloween with a wee bit of herbal magick

 

Happy Halloween! canstockphoto1235603  Don’t forget – there’s still time to leave a message for a chance to win a free ebook download of Sea Wolf Magick from my earlier post on Sunday!  If you missed it, go back and check out a few excerpts I shared from my new Highlander Magick Series in time for some Halloween Magick!

Click here:  Samhain and Halloween in the Highlands

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In the meantime – I wish to thank my dear friend, and talented author, Beth Trissel for allowing me to share her wonderful post and expertise  on a few herbal plants for Autumn!

Beth Trissel writes:

Samhain (pronounced sow-en or sam-hayne) is from the Celtic ‘Samhuinn’ which means summer’s end. For Wiccans and Pagans, it’s a Sabbat to honor their ancestors. Samhain is believed to be the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and séances often held. 

Since approximately the 8th century, the Catholic Church declared November 1st as All Saints Day which became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have their own day. The mass conducted on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually evolved into Halloween.beths'

 

Some of the herbs associated with Samhain from Morbid Outlook (Ask Witch Hazel): “Calendula (comfort, health, psychic dreams and protection), mandrake (money, love, sexual potency and fertility, protection and exorcism), mugwort (healing, protection, psychic powers, and strength), oak leaves (prosperity, protection, health and fertility), rue (health and comfort), sage (aiding memory, wisdom, protection and purification), and wormwood (divination, love and protection).” (sage and larkspur in our garden)

From The Scot’s Herbal by Tess Darwin: “All Hallows (traditionally the first day of the Celtic year) was a curious mixture of Pagan and Christian belief. In a fertility ritual enacted at Aberdeenshire until the last century (19th) farmers gathered the year’s first seaweed crop on New Year’s morning and placed a small heap at the door of each farm building, then shared the rest between the fields.”beths 2

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She goes on to say, “Hazelnuts were used in divination rites on Samhain (Hallowe’en). The feelings of one’s sweetheart could be ascertained by asking questions of the nut, then throwing it into the flames and watching the way it burned or jumped to reveal the answer.”  

 

“Hazel was also sacred to witches, who sometimes used it for broom sticks, because it symbolized female wisdom. On the other hand, finding two nuts naturally joined together, called St. John’s nut, was a good omen and it could be thrown at witches, presumably to protect oneself against the evil eye.”beths 3

 

“Elder, often known as boun-tree in Scotland, and second only to rowan for protection against witchcraft and evil spells, was often planted at the back of a house and rowan at the front. A cross made of elder was hung on stables and byres to protect the animals within.” (Elderberries)

Extra safety precautions were taken during Samhain because of the thinning veil between the natural and supernatural worlds and fear of evil powers or enchantments slipping through. Prudent persons used every sacred tree and herb available for protection.

Also interesting from The Scot’s Herbal: “Hallowe’en rituals such as apple-dooking and throwing apple peel, removed in one long strip, over a girl’s shoulder to reveal the initial of her future husband, are the survival of Celtic Samhain rites of divination and prophecy.”

 Please help me thank Beth Trissel, for allowing me to use this wonderful post to share on Halloween, by leaving your comments!

 

And don’t forget – for a chance to win a free download ebook copy of Sea Wolf Magick, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you love about mythical creatures and this magical time of year! 

 The winner will be chosen on  Monday, October 31st- HALLOWEEN by 8pm EST. 

[ File # csp6709725, License # 1390852 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / AtelierSommerland

 

Celtic Samhain and Halloween in the Highlands

fall fairy

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I LOVE Autumn, colorful fall leaves, pumpkins, Indian corn, scarecrows and yes, Halloween! What a perfect time of year to center the first two books of my new Highlander Magick Series!

I always loved hearing the fairytale “Beauty and the Beast” and with my love of animals and all creatures, I created two handsome Highlander heroes with beauties of their own!

Between Duncan (a cursed night beast for eternity), and Quinn (the seafaring Lycan),   I still can’t decide which one I like best!  I hope you enjoy a few excerpts.

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From Mortal Magick – Book 1

Doomed for eternity to wander nights as half man and half creature, rugged Highlander Duncan McCord discovers his curse is the least of his problems when he sets out for a cure and rescues the beauty determined to help tame his beast.

Duncan lunged from the damp forest floor. His splayed hooves clip-clopped on top of a boulder. His nostrils flared from the irresistible lingering lavender scent. He cocked his head to the side. His keen hearing caught her every breath as each step she took brought her dangerously closer. “Aye, the fool-headed woman! She’s done wandered off again.”

He snarled at a shooting star plummeting to the ground. Like a bubbling cauldron of fire, it spit an outburst of flames across the moonlit sky. “Aye, the bonny wee lass is headed straight for a trap.” Clenching his fists, he veered back his head and wailed.

When a modern-day reluctant witch, Keara, gets whisked back to the 18th century mystical Isle of Skye to learn lessons in magic, she faces the true test of love when she meets the man beyond her wildest dreams burdened with dark secrets from his past.

Keara’s fingers sank into long, soft tassels and she tucked the cover tighter under her chin. She was freezing. She snuggled deeper beneath the heavy blanket. Beth must have the air-conditioner turned on full blast. Her nose and cheeks felt as cold as icicles.  The mattress was a lot firmer than normal. Her nose wrinkled. What in heaven’s name is that damn smell?

She rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Instead of the vanilla-cream-painted ceiling in her bedroom – her eyelids fluttered open to discover cotton-ball clouds floating in the mist of a clear-blue sky directly overhead. She bolted upright. In place of the pretty, quilted comforter  –  she stared at the shaggy animal pelt draped over her. And it reeked.

She closed her eyes and concentrated, trying to recall what happened. The last thing she could remember was discussing Highlanders and romance novels with Beth and getting a terrible headache. She must have blacked out. Her fingers gently rubbed the substantial lump on the back of her scalp. Everything else seemed a fuzzy blur except the strange dreams about a gigantic beast carrying her in his arms.

Nothing appeared familiar. There were no signs of people, houses, or roads close by. Just herds of sheep grazing in open green meadows filled with wildflowers. The perfect setting for a picture postcard. Thick forest glens and snowcapped velvet mountains in the distance stretched for miles.

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Keara jumped when she heard the warm, rich sounds of laughter. The heavy pelt fell from her grip.  A faint gasp escaped her quivering lips. A bulky nightshirt that had obvious seen better days now covered her. She eyed the sharp rock she’d just discarded. It lay in front of a small, crackling fire. She grabbed the stone and hid it beneath the sheepskin for the time being. It might come in handy as a weapon.

She scanned the area for her clothes. Strange animal tracks led away from the fire toward a boulder. The hoofmarks were soon replaced by human footprints.

Something weird was definitely going on here. There had to be a logical explanation for this. She was probably just hallucinating.

 

 

More Gorse More sheep in Glens

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Welcome Maeve Greyson, talented guest author

MAEVE2014[1]Please help me welcome a dear friend and talented author, Maeve Greyson, as my special guest today!  I not only feel honored to have her here, but Maeve is sharing a rare and special treat with everyone!  Today we have the wonderful opportunity for a wee  glimpse inside an author’s “writer’s cavern”!    I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I did!  Make sure to grab that cup of herbal tea, or hot coffee, and grab a pastry – and get ready for a terrific post from a very special lady!  Please feel free to leave a comment or two, and let Maeve know how much you enjoyed her lovely photos and post!

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I’m sure most of you are familiar with the term “man cave” but have you ever heard an author say, “See ya later. I’m holing up in my writing cave until I finish this scene.”? Our creativity caves can be anything from a super-organized home office to our favorite recliner or spot on the couchPIC1

 

My cave was once my youngest daughter’s bedroom. She’s in her thirties now with a preteen daughter of her own but as you can see in the pictures, part of her childhood is still alive on the walls of my writing cave.

Forever ago, when my daughter was a preteen, she asked that I paint a jungle scene on her bedroom walls, complete with a waterfall and an assortment of flowers, birds, and animals. Blessed with the gift to envision, sketch out, and then paint just such a sanctuary, I have since been forbidden to ever paint over it even though she left the nest long ago.PIC6

And I must admit. I kind of like pausing in my writing, looking up from the screen, and letting my eyes rest on the not quite so bright as he once was yellow bird or the slightly faded panthers. If you’ll look closely at the panther stretched out over the top of the closet door, you might notice a crack in his right paw. The earthquake we had a few years ago left that little reminder. This room is filled with years of memories.

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In the picture of the ceiling with the leaves and tree branches, you’ll see where my daughter stuck little plastic stars that we found at the craft store. To this day, they absorb enough light during the day, to emit a soft greenish glow for a little while once nighttime falls. She was scared of the dark as a little girl. Those glowing stars eased her to sleep many a night.

I love my little writing cave. Not so orderly. Not so neat. But filled with many of the things that make me smile and trigger a happy wander into my imagination to see what I can find.PIC4 (1)

 

 

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I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting my writing cave today. I know I’ve very much enjoyed visiting Patty’s lovely cyber-home and sharing my pictures with you.

 

 

 

 

I’ve got a new release coming up on October 11th that was born in my little corner of make-believe. If you like time-travel, hunky Highlanders, and the feisty women who tame them, you might enjoy my Highland Hearts series. My Seductive Highlander is the finale of the four book series.

My Seductive HighlanderMy Seductive Highlander_Greyson (1)

http://www.randomhousebooks.com/books/534714/

In this scintillating novel from the author of My Tempting Highlander (“Another exciting and heartwarming time-travel romance.”—Vonnie Davis), the ladies’ man of Loch Ness meets a hot-tempered lass who sets his heart aflame.   Though part of a legacy of time-traveling sisters, Lilia Sinclair is planted firmly in twenty-first-century Edinburgh. Her granny’s matchmaking with thirteenth-century Highlanders isn’t about to lure her into the past, especially as ancient Scotland enters troubled times. After all, Lilia is blessed—or cursed—with dire prophetic visions. To protect herself, she’s put up an icy emotional wall no man could cross—until a pair of gorgeous, rippling arms breaks right through.   Graham MacTavish is pure trouble. Once the dragon bound to Loch Ness, he’s transformed into a philanderer of the first order. In fact, because of his dalliances with other men’s wives, a rival clan wants his head on a pike. Before he provokes an all-out war, Graham is banished to the twenty-first century, where he must win Lilia’s hand—or return to die. But after meeting a lass as fierce as any Highland warrior, Graham knows one thing: life with Lilia, in any century, is a fate to embrace.   Praise for My Seductive Highlander “Ms. Greyson pens a masterpiece of visions, kilted passions, and humor to cast a spell of utter delight over her readers. My Seductive Highlander is a perfect romance you won’t want to miss.”—Vonnie Davis, author of both the Highlanders Beloved and the Black Eagle Ops series

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Fire and Ice Magical Adventure

Thanks for joining me! I’m delighted you’ve stopped by to help celebrate the release of Sea Wolf Magick – Book 2 of my Highlander Magick Series PT_SeaWolfMagick_600x900So grab a spot of tea or coffee, and make yourself comfortable, while I share a wee preview of a few of the places and “creatures”, Beth and Quinn come in contact with on this magical journey fueled by Fire and Ice – Join them as they travel from the Mystical Isle of Skye Scotland to the enchanting land of Iceland, in search of a magical cure . . .canstockphoto8204278canstockphoto23036043

I was fortunate to find some photos of things I pictured in my mind, while writing this story

Of course with adding new characters . . . .

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  I’ve included new mythical creatures along with other animals I’m sure you’re already familiar with –

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there’s still more to see . . . Continue reading →

Talented guest, Vonda Sinclair

Wee Darby and I are thrilled, and feel honored to have the very talented author and photographer,  Vonda Sinclair, as our special guest today! Vonda has been kind enough to share some of her gorgeous photographs she’s taken on a few of her visits to Scotland.

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Stonehaven Dunnottar

So grab a spot of tea (or coffee), and a scone or piece of shortbread, and get ready for a real treat! Please help me welcome her by leaving comments.  Vonda has also been gracious to offer one lucky commenter, one of her free audiobooks! (Calm down, Wee Darby, 🙂  No, I’m afraid this offer is for our “guest commenters” only 🙂      So make yourself comfortable and get ready to meet, Vonda Sinclair!

I wish to take a wee moment to thank you for being with us and doing this interview!  Since Vonda writes historical romance – I thought we might have a wee bit of fun by doing something different today . . .

1st –  If you had to pick “just one” of your books – which would you choose as your favorite and why?

First of all, thank you for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog! As for the question, it’s a difficult one. LOL I love different things about each of my books. My Fierce Highlander is the first book in the series and I love it for several reasons. The hero, Alasdair, is not only fierce in battle and in his passion for the heroine, he is also sincere and feels things deeply. He’s a serious, caring and compassionate leader for his clan. Gwyneth is an unusual heroine for the genre of historical romance. I enjoyed writing them both. Her son Rory is a cute lad, a wee warrior in training. The bond that develops between Rory and (his future stepfather) Alasdair is touching. The book is free right now for those who would like to read it.MyFierceHighlander_UPDATED 300 wide

 

The second book in the series, My Wild Highlander, was a lot of fun to write because of Lachlan (Alasdair’s younger brother.) He’s a charming rogue used to seducing all the lasses. What happens when the king convinces him to marry a prickly half-French lass? Lots of fun watching them clash. My last release, Highlander Unbroken, is a bit different in that both the hero and heroine have endured extremely difficult times in the past. The hero, Neacal MacDonald, was tortured by an enemy clan, and the heroine, Anna, endured the deaths of her first husband, her unborn child and watched her sister be abused and horribly injured. Both are survivors and have discovered a strength they never knew they had but both were still hurting. Together, can they better heal from their past traumas? It’s a story with a lot of darkness and emotion but also healing and hope.

2nd – Through all your travels, do you have a specific location (or castle), you enjoy visiting the most?

Scotland 2015 3950 Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan

It’s difficult to choose only one. Eilean Donan is a favorite I’ve visited a few times. The location, sitting in the middle of three lochs, is spectacular. I love photographing it from different vantage points and in different types of light. I also love Dunnottar near Stonehaven. The highlight of my most recent trip to Scotland in September was visiting Castle Tioram, in the Lochaber region on the west coast. This castle is the inspiration for the setting in two of my recent stories, Highlander Unbroken and My Captive Highlander. I fictionalized it and changed the castle’s name to Bearach. Visiting this castle was a dream come true. I had been looking at photos of it for many years, but it’s so remote I feared I wouldn’t get to visit it. I figured out if we could stay in Glenfinnan, which in itself is slightly remote, then we could visit Tioram, taking a whole day to do so. The drive out from Glenfinnan to the castle is about 25 miles on narrow, curvy roads, a lot of them single track. The scenery is so stunning multiple stops for photo ops were required. LOL The castle is in a derelict and ruined state. It’s dangerous to go inside because of falling masonry and stones. We walked all around it taking photos. It’s an inspiring and beautiful place.

Castle Tioram

Castle Tioram

3rd –  If  you found yourself transported back, centuries in time – what time period and location would you hope to find yourself in?       

The early 1600s Scotland so I could do first hand research for the time period I write about. 🙂

and –  Which one item from the present would you take back with you?

If I knew I wouldn’t be able to return to present day, I would take a photo album containing pictures of all my loved ones, pets, and places/ things I love.

and 🙂   Which 2 characters in your books would you enjoy meeting, live in person once you reached your destination?

I don’t think I could choose just two. 🙂 I would want to meet the whole gang from my Highland Adventure series. They are all linked by family or friendship and they all care about one another. They share a great bond and help each other when needed.

Castle Tioram 2

Castle Tioram

4th – Your photographs are gorgeous!  (I have learned in the past – cameras are definitely not my friends when I “really” want/need them to be 🙂   Are there any other hobbies you enjoy?

Thank you! Yes, I enjoy gardening, especially growing flowers. I also love hiking or walking in nature, on trails through the woods, up mountains, and visiting waterfalls or other beautiful or interesting sites. I also love traveling.

 

(Patty chiming in here for a wee minute)   Thanks for sharing with us, Vonda, and Fantastic answers 🙂   I’m like you, I would want the opportunity to meet all my characters too! I’m sure our guests might have questions they would like to ask you as well 🙂

 

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