Highlander Warriors and Native Heroes

Welcome and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

I’m thrilled and delighted to have two dear friends as my guests this week!  I feel blessed to know both of these lovely ladies and talented authors, Beth Trissel and Lane McFarland!  But that’s not all . . . This is a special post for all my visitors too!  This is your chance to leave a comment, and share what “Heroes” you like to read about, and don’t forget to mention which characteristics you think makes the “perfect Hero”    (find out how to win a prize at the end of the post)   .

Please help me welcome my first guest, the talented . . .

The Perfect Hero 

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but my favorite hero is bigger than life.

Honest and trustworthy, he fights for what he believes in, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Confident in his abilities, he is held in highest esteem by others. His men would die for him.

Although hardened from prior experiences, he has a soft spot for his lady love and treats her with respect and kindness.

Click here to find out more about my heroes  at  Amazon


For a chance to win one of my ebooks, tell us about your perfect hero.


Patty having to add just a “wee bit” about Lane’s books I’ve read . .  I “Loved” reading Lane’s series, The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall.  All her characters not only come to life the instant you meet them, but touch your heart thru to the end . . . you won’t want to miss reading the next book!  Now’s the perfect opportunity to win one of Lane’s fabulous ebooks!  Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win . . .

I have to say, two of Lane’s heroes in particular that became my favorite, were Brandon McLeod and Laird Alec Campbell . . . . with the ladies Elsbeth and Heather . . . .  oh my,  you’ll have to read these books and discover how fast you’re fall in love with these brave heroes for yourself.   I can’t wait to read these next two books in Lane’s newest series  . . .

And now for my next guest, please help me welcome the talented:

Red Bird’s Song is inspired by events that occurred to my ancestors in the colonial frontier. This historical adventure romance centers on their conflict with Native Americans during the French and Indian War and has a The Last of the Mohicans flavor. Research into my English/Scots-Irish roots in colonial America led to my writing Red Bird’s Song. My fascination with this era, particularly stirring tales of the frontier and the Shawnee Indians, is an early and abiding one. My forebears had interactions with this tribe, including family members taken captive. I have ties to Wicomechee, the hero of Red Bird’s Song, an outstanding Shawnee warrior whose real-life story greatly impacted the novel. More from the true account of Wicomechee is included at the end of the novel, as a bonus for those who read it.
In Red Bird’s Song, Wicomechee is not without compassion for the white settlers but he is fiercely loyal to his people. Beneath his sometimes stern exterior, lurks a sense of humor and a poetic soul. He’s a crack shot. His hunting skills provide food for the others and fell opponents in battle. He also wields the tomahawk and knife with deadly accuracy. He’s a sharp-witted, skillful fighter. Everything a warrior should master, he excels at, and he’s well-liked by his peers–not by his rivals. Wicomechee is certain of his place in the tribe until he meets the Scots-Irish beauty, Charity Edmondson.
The encounter between Wicomechee and Charity at the beginning of Red Bird’s Song was born in a dream I had on New Year’s Eve–a propitious time for dreams–about a young warrior taking an equally young woman captive at a river and the unexpected attraction between them. That dream had such a profound impact on me that I made the leap from writing non-fiction pieces to historical/paranormal romance novels and embarked on the most amazing journey of my life. That was years ago and the saga continues.
At the start of Red Bird’s Song, I also met the prophetic warrior, Eyes of the Wolf (Wicomechee’s grandfather), in another dream. When I describe him in the book I’m envisioning a character I know. Eyes of the Wolf became a spirit guide and spoke to me throughout the writing of this book, and others. He’s there still in various guises. My journey with him is not complete.


The attack at the opening of Red Bird’s Song in the Shenandoah Valley is based on one that occurred to my ancestors and is recorded by Historian Joseph A. Waddell in The Annals of Augusta County. A renegade Englishman by the last name of Dickson led the war party that attacked them. I’d initially intended to make Colin Dickson in Red Bird’s Song the historical villain that he was, but as soon as he galloped onto the scene I knew differently. He is Wicomechee’s blood brother.
Regarding the setting for Red Bird’s Song: In the early-mid 1700’s, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (where I live) and surrounding mountains was the colonial frontier. Only hardy souls dared to settle here.


The bulk of these were the tough Scots-Irish, among them my ancestors. If 18th century warriors only had to fight regular British troops, they might ultimately have prevailed. They terrified men trained for conventional warfare. But the long knives were born fighters, and not easily intimidated. They learned from their cunning enemy and adopted their methods, weapons, and clothing.

The ruggedly beautiful Alleghenies are also the setting for some of my other historical-paranormal romance novels, Through the Fire, Kira, Daughter of the Moon, The Bearwalker’s Daughter, and my short historical romance, The Lady and the Warrior. I see these ridges from our farm in the Shenandoah Valley. The foothills are only a hop, skip and a jump away from us. The ever-changing panorama of the seasons never fails to inspire me. My Young Adult/Native American Wolf Shifter romance series entitled The Secret Warrior is also set in the mountains.


Red Bird’s Song is part of my Native American Warrior Series. The series loosely ties together based more on time and place and strong Native American characters than as a traditional series that follows the story line. However, Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the actual sequel to Through the Fire, and there may be other sequels. In addition to Native Americans, hardy Scots-Irish frontiersmen and women, colonial Englishmen and ladies, and even a few Frenchmen also play an important role in this series. It spans the the dramatic era of the French and Indian War, through Pontiac’s War, The American Revolution, and shortly afterwards.

Blurb for Red Bird’s Song:
Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl.
George III’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.

Excerpt from Red Bird’s Song:
Charity swiped angrily at a tear. She’d run away, if she had anyone to run to.
It wasn’t right they were all dead.

On impulse, she jumped to the ground. “I’ll go anyway,” she muttered. “Eat nuts and berries and live in the woods.”

“Will you go alone?” a low voice asked. Sucking in her breath, she whirled around. Less than twenty feet away, grasping his musket, stood a tall young brave. Stripes of red and black paint blurred his striking features. His dark brown eyes riveted her in place. This warrior was like no other and the most savagely handsome man she’d ever seen.
God help her. She should flee now, but could only stare, open-mouthed. She swept her disbelieving gaze over the loose black hair brushing an open buckskin vest that revealed his bronzed chest and shoulders molded into contours of muscle. An elkskin breechclout left a great deal of his hard thighs exposed. Despite the dread hammering in her chest, a fiery blush burned her cheeks. But it was the sheathed knife hanging on his left side and the lethal tomahawk slung on his right that snapped Charity from her near-trance.
In a rush of memories, she recalled the stories of her father’s death under the scalping knife and neighbors who’d suffered the same violent fate. No Indians had been spotted in their settlement since the Shawnee grew hostile and war had erupted nine years ago, but the warfare had ended. Hadn’t it?
Clenching ice-cold fingers, she dug her nails into her palms. “What in God’s name are you doing here?” she forced past the dry lump in her throat.
“Watching you.”~

“A beautifully written story filled with adventure and suspense…This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating.” –Night Owl Book Review by Laurie-J
“I loved the descriptions…I felt I was there…Many mystical episodes are intermingled with the events…The ending is a real surprise, but I will let you have the pleasure of reading it for yourself.” –Seriously Reviewed

For more on Red Bird’s Song and my other titles, visit my Amazon Author Page:
For more on me, visit my blog

Patty would like to add, Red Bird’s Song will always be one of my favorite reads!  I read several of Beth’s wonderful books before I had the pleasure of becoming Beth’s friend.

***Beth is giving away free kindle copies of Red Bird’s Song to 3 lucky people that leave her comments.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

And finally, for a “wee bit” about my “magical/paranormal heroes” whom I love writing about  . . . the one trait I make sure they all have in common – is compassion.

I remember growing up watching “Mighty Mouse”,  Zorro, Tarzan, Robin Hood, Superman, and in later years, the new stars along with new movies such as “Willow” (which I still adore) and the list goes on  . . I soon discovered no matter what their size, they all fought for the “under dog” and others in need. To me, that takes someone special with a good heart and passion for all living creatures. . . Since I love everything Irish, Scottish, and Native American, I concentrated my first two books in my Highlander Magick Series, both time travel fantasy romance set in the mystical, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

I’m pleased to share my lovely covers . . . which are shown here on display at Nora Roberts,  Turn the Page Bookstore, located in Boonsboro, Maryland 

I must admit, my favorite hero of the two, is Duncan McCord in Mortal Magick.  This is a beauty and the beast story, beginning in Thurmont, Md and ending up in Scotland.  (my readers seem to enjoy him as well)

Here’s  a wee peek inside:

Trotternish ∙ Isle of Skye, Scotland ∙ October 7th, 1797  Duncan McCord wanted a woman. His entire body and soul hungered for a special lass’s touch. The one destined for his love who he would call, kindred spirit. His stomach tightened with a pain ripping through him like the slice of a broadsword. This canna’ happen. Not now, not ever. Reality hastily slapped him back to his senses. He vowed never to be foolish enough to let himself fall into another vixen’s treacherous traps. . . .

The peculiar garb was unfamiliar to him.  There wasn’t time to wonder about her clothing now, not if the wee lass were to make it alive through the bitter cold night.  Chills ran through his veins as he realized the sudden challenge. Now more than ever, he must keep his beast under complete control. His hands trembled for a moment before reaching down to pick up the strange young woman. Like holding a wounded yearling, he cradled her cold body safely against his chest. The young lass’s eyelids fluttered. Her eyes opened wide, her stare glued to his beastly face. . .

Currently, I’m working on Dragon Fae Magick, set in a majestic old castle, nestled in Northern Ireland.

If you’d like to win a free kindle copy of either of my books, please leave me a comment.

Ok, it’s your turn everyone!  For a chance to win a free ebook from Lane, Beth or me . . . Please make sure you leave those comments on heroes you like to read about, and what characteristics makes your “Perfect Hero”.  Don’t forget to write, Lane, Beth, or Patty so we know which author you’d like to receive a prize from if your name is drawn.  

Winners names will be drawn and posted Sunday, Feb. 18th at 7pm est.

A special thank you to Beth and Lane for joining me, and to all my visitors that stop by . . .  so until next time . . .   bye for now . . .  from Patty



Welcome Miriam Newman

Hello Everyone! We’re delighted you stopped by! I feel honored to have Miriam Newman, a special lady and dear friend, as my guest today.  Miriam was the first author on Celtic Hearts Romance writers who reached out to welcome me, and gave me encouragement to pursue my goal. (At the time, I wasn’t, and continue “not” to be a huge fan of “grammar”).  So please help me give Miriam a warm welcome on my site, by leaving your comments!

Miriam:  I am so happy to be visiting my friend Patty’s beautiful blog to share my latest release, Dark Child.

I heard this story from my Irish grandmother in the 1950s. It has been told many, many ways over the years, but this is her version.  I can still remember sitting at the oilcloth-covered table in her warm kitchen, drinking tea poured from her orange-and-white glazed tea pot into bone china cups she brought with her from Ireland. 


She and my grandfather traveled to the U.S. on one of the first steam-powered ships to make the voyage, with her china and crystal safely packed into the hold.  I still have two of those cups and a lovely hand painted bowl and wish I had more.

We sat like conspirators, brewing loose-leaf tea, pouring through cup-sized strainers from a pot that had been carefully pre-rinsed and nestled in a tea cosy. Everything about that scene was cozy, even including Petey the canary who always serenaded us.  There were a lot of birds named Petey because Nana never told me when one died.  She just hustled off to Woolworth’s to buy another, transported home in a little cardboard box she was careful to throw out because she didn’t want me to know my friend Petey was dead.

Those were the days.  From them came Dark Child:


“Born at a royal banquet for King Conor MacNessa of Ulster, Deirdre is predicted by Conor’s own druid to be blessed and cursed with a beauty that will make kingdoms contest over her.  He names her “Deirdre of the Sorrows” and urges the king to slay her.  But Conor, unwilling to murder a babe, takes her under his protection only to fall prey to the curse when she is nearly grown.  Captivated by her youth and beauty, the aging king will go to any extreme to possess her.”

You can find more about Miriam’s books at the following links:




AUTHOR BIO:  Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at www.miriamnewman.com.

Thank you for joining us today, Miriam!  What a lovely story about your Irish grandmother!  I’m sure everyone looks forward to having you return to share more of your stories with us.

Please feel free to leave a comment for Miriam below.  And as always, thanks for stopping in, and until next time,  bye for now . . .


My Irish Mum was a war bride

People seem to enjoy hearing about my Irish Mum, and recently,  I’ve had several requests to share more about her.  So with  admiration and dedication to my beloved mother, Evelyn Vance Taylor, I decided to share some old photographs and a few fond memories about my Mother, and the fact she was known as a War Bride during WWII.

My Mum, in Northern Ireland

In Belfast, Northern Ireland – 1942,  my Mum (at the young age of 17) was recruited by the British Army. From what I was told, my grandmother wasn’t at all pleased hearing my Mum had enlisted without her consent.  In those days, there wasn’t too much my grandmother could do to stop this. I found an entry listed in her Army pay book stating her first year was classified as “training”.   Everyone remarks about my Mum’s beautiful, long and thick auburn hair. I remember her telling me about the day she went to the barber to have her hair cut.  The man was so impressed by my Mum’s hair, he felt it a pity to cut it off. My Mum remembered how he sighed, shaking his head, and then put the razor down and pulled out a drawer. He quickly handed her a hairnet, and taught her how to tie her thick hair and hide it neatly beneath the netting.

My parents in N. Ireland

Doing a wee bit of research of my own, I discovered that Northern Ireland was known as the first place American troops landed and stepped foot, in WWII.   During the war, there were approximately 70,000 British immigrants with one thing in common, they were war brides.  Many of these women fell in love with the idea of going to a strange, new world to begin an exciting and better life than what they were used to.  I remember my Mum telling me about the many nights of “blackouts” due to the bombings.  The majority of women expected better living conditions in the States, and in reality – and to many dismays, these women moved to living conditions much worse than they grew up in.    (my own Mum came to a home without any indoor plumbing, but my American grandfather soon fixed that)




I feel fortunate to have this photograph of my parents wedding cake, 

notice the “good luck” horse shoe with the black cat, at bottom of cake.


                                                       A few photos of my Mum holding me

Mum holding Patty, at 3 days old

Daddy in Belfast

I’ll always remember how my Daddy would sit and smile, listening to my Mum tell me how they met. There was food and a dance offered to the troops at a nearby center in Belfast (which unfortunately, I don’t have the name of).  A handsome private asked my mother to dance, but in the middle of the dance, she remembered her arm being lifted higher in the air – my father had decided to “cut in”.  He had been watching my mother from the sidelines and decided to introduce himself.  My father was a 6’4 tall, quiet man, and my mum, only 5’1.   I believe it was love at first sight for the both of them. He gently took her hand and led her outside, under the full moon – and was introduced to her family within the next few days.  My father was much liked, treated very well, and soon welcomed into the family.  My grandparents finally gave their blessings to both my parents for their future marriage.


I can’t imagine the courage it took to travel to a new world, with no friends of family of her own, to begin a new life. She traveled by ship with other women coming to the states, for approximately 2 weeks.  The first thing in this country to welcome her, was the Statue of Liberty.  I’m proud to share photos of the handwritten letter my Mum wrote and read to the judge, the day she became a citizen of the US.  She received her citizenship in the local court house in Carroll County, Maryland, in November, 1949.



My grandfather, Thomas Vance

My grandmother, Alice McMasters Vance holding Mum

To this day, I have many regrets that I didn’t pay more attention to my Mum’s heritage.  I believed my parents would always “be there”, but unfortunately they both died when they were still young and I was in my thirties.  I never wrote down, or found more information on my grandparents and uncles, other than what my Mum would reminisce. It’s not as easy in Northern Ireland to get records as it is here.  Most records during the time periods my grandparents lived are only available at churches.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to track anything down during my visits, even with my Mum’s birth certificate, and army papers.


My Mum came from a family of avid storytellers, and I’m proud to be able to carry on that tradition.  I own three photographs of my grandparents. I’m honored to share one of my grandmother (Alice)  holding my mother as a wee babe, and the other of my distinguished looking grandfather, Thomas Vance.  And yes, my Mum did believe in the wee people and fairies. She told me stories of how her father and uncles would leave a bottle of whisky out on the porch at night for the leprechauns, and how it was gone by the next morning.  Of course my Daddy always laughed and said he knew how it disappeared . . . and my Mum’s pretty face would blush before getting her Irish temper riled up, and with her thick brogue, she moved on to another story . . . . about the wee fairies . . .

Continue reading →

Celtic Women Warriors

Myth or Reality?   how will you decide . . . . .

Facts verses Fiction . . . . Did you know . . .

In “Mortal Magick“, I included a wee bit of the legend of the famous ruins of the “Fort of Shadows” within Dunscaith Castle, located on the south end of the magical Isle of Skye.

Fairy Pools in Isle of Skye

The warrior queen, Sgathaich, was told to once reside in the fortress and train her own academy of warrior women.  To this day, Skye legends rumor the once grand castle, was built by a witch or fairie on one single night, then surrounded by a pit occupied with snake and beaked toads.

Female warriors began training at an early age, and were known as, Ban-gaisdegaig, meaning band of warriors. For centuries, Celtic women have been portrayed as goddesses, warriors, Druidesses, pirates; and of course we can’t forget those magical beings such as healing witches, old hags, and Selkies.  Today, women warriors still appear on Celtic coins.









FACT – In London stands a bronze statue of a warrior queen and her daughters, riding a chariot into battle. Known as Boudicca, ruler of the Celtic Iceni, this woman was most recognized for leading a major revolt against the Romans In Britain.

Queen Maeve (Medb) – In Ireland, the ancient female ruler,  Medb (or Maeve) was known as the warrior queen of Connacht, and is best remembered for the legendary Cattle Raid of Cooley. (Ulster Cycle)  It was told that “her word was rule”, even over her own husband.  There is still question to whether she was real or not . . .

Ancient Sister Rivals –  Aye, ’tis told that, Scathach (pronounced “skya”) was famous for training one of the greatest Irish hero legends, “Cuchulainn”.  Her rival, Aife, happened to be her sister and considered another one of the finest warriors – both women were told to lead armies.    You decide whether this was fact or fiction . . .

True Viking Discovery  We definitely can’t deny the fascination for women warriors over the centuries. I adored watching old TV series of amazon women leading different lives, in enchanted places. To think of the mysterious and courageous lives they led, protecting what they stood for.  I was thrilled to read about the latest discovery last fall, regarding the Viking skeleton unearthed in 1889, in Birka, Sweden! Can you imagine – the skeleton proved to belong to a woman warrior!   A “Shieldmaiden”, buried with a sword, shields, ax, a spear and even the remnants of two horses.

(***Celtic women resources, warrior women, and Viking warrior woman searches can direct you to more information on the above mentioned, if  you’re interested to find out more)

Not all of us can be “warriors” in the old sense of the word, as  we face other challenges in this ever changing world!   But we can still “dream” and “imagine” what it might have been like.  I love creating new characters for my stories . . . The women I write about are pure at heart, go after their dreams, “love their man”, and never give up. . . .


Thank you for joining me, and I hope you enjoyed a wee peek at both fiction and reality . . .

Please feel free to leave a comment, and I invite you to join me again the end of this month, when my next post will be about a “real woman”. One I highly respected and admired for her courage and beliefs . . . entitled,  “My Irish Mum was a War Bride”. 

My next book, “Dragon Fae Magick” is currently in the works . . .   bye for now . . .

Looking back over 2017


Looking back over this year, I have much to be thankful for!  My family, loving pets, dear friends, and celebrating 40 years of marriage! And I can’t forget, a dream of a lifetime come true . . .  a book signing with Nora Roberts at Turn the Page Bookstore, back in February!  I can’t thank everyone there enough for their help, and kindness they shared with me.







I feel fortunate to announce and celebrate the release of 2 of my new children books, in “Wee Darby and his Magical Friends”, written under my married name, Patty Koontz, as my whimsical characters travel through Scotland, Ireland and even the North Pole in time for the holidays! These books are geared towards children of “All Ages”   so make sure you stop by my other blog, and visit Wee Darby here: 

This year has also brought back fond memories of my beloved parents; my beautiful Irish Mum, and American Father, who met during WWII – fell in love, got married and raised a family of their own, here in the States.  I’m very proud of my Mum – she not only served in the British Army, but it takes courage to travel by yourself to a strange new land to start a new life.  I still have her citizenship papers . . .

Evelyn Vance Taylor


My parents photographed in Northern Ireland


As a child, I dreamed of fairies, dragons, castles and the wee people.

Patty wearing kilt

I inherited my love for fantasy and magic from my beloved Irish Mum. I cherished the many stories of her home and heritage in Northern Ireland. In later years I dreamt of winged horses gliding over towering fairy trees, and mystical Selkies and mermaids surrounded by playful dolphins and singing whales, leading to the sea . . . and I remind myself how fortunate I am to have been given a gift of imagination and have the opportunity to share with others . . .

I wanted to do this post, as a special “thank you”, to all my friends and everyone that has continued to support me during my writing journey.  I had a wee setback this year with my legs, and being able to get around, but with the help of my recent surgery and the skills of my doctor, and the blessing of the Good Lord, I look forward to a full recovery and to getting back on track in 2018.  There’s more stories in the works . . .

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a magical and joyous new year!!!!

Fairy Pools in Isle of Skye

***For a special “thank you”,   I’m giving away a free Kindle download of both my Highlander Magick series, “Mortal Magick” and “Sea Wolf Magick” to someone that leaves me a comment, (who would like an opportunity to read my stories”.     I’ll post the winner’s name on January 1st!


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


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.


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.



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’.


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:



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.


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!


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.



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?


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.


Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness


Isle of Skye


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


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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