Terry Spear ~ For the Love of Highlanders
Another guest author Wednesday is here (Where has the week gone?!) and my dear friend Terry Spear is with us. Yippee!! Terry is one of my “old” author friends, both of us getting started with Sourcebooks at about the same time. Over the years we have been fortunate to connect in person at several events, our friendship strengthening along the way. Now Terry is here to share her talents.
Terry writes of paranormal shapeshifters, as well as contemporary and historical Highlander romances. She’s all over the map, as it were! But one thing ALL her novels have are really, really hot fellas! Sound interesting? I sure hope so! Join in the conversation with Terry, and comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of Highland Rake, Book 3 of her series. Deadline: June 30.
Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and four medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance, continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, and having fun with her young adult novels.
Visit Terry on her website & blog: www.terryspear.com
Facebook Page: TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
and email at: [email protected]
For the Love of Highlanders
By Terry Spear
I love everything historical and that was my favorite kind of movie and books to read. No matter the time period or location—knights in shining armor, Egyptian queens, Roman legions, westerns, Highlanders, if it was historical, it caught my attention.
I started writing English medieval, but I had been doing a lot of research into my mother’s Highland background—the Duke of Argyle’s daughter eloped with a commoner MacNeill, and they ended up paying for passage to the Carolinas. Only the MacDonald ship captain took them to Prince Edward Island instead and ran aground. His brother had been gifted land by the English king, but he needed settlers to settle the area if he was to keep the land.
Their father was the minister from the same town, the church the Highlanders all attended in Scotland that had encouraged the families to go to the U.S. Yes, not P.E.I.
So Lady Elizabeth had two small sons and a young daughter and according to all oral history, she died due to the harsh conditions. Her middle son was raised by one family, and we descended from him, and her daughter was raised by another. I believe the oldest son, who might have been 8-10 years of age, was raised by his father.
And so, having felt badly that they had loved each other so greatly that she had left her comfortable life to be with the man whom she loved, and then died, I have written the Highland medieval novels of an even earlier time period (my ancestors time period was around 1746 or so), about the MacNeills, and how they find their true loves and live happily ever after.
In Winning the Highlander’s Heart, I set the story in King Henry I’s time period, 1100, because he was the first king who was well-educated, and because I was fascinated with the way he schemed and though he was the youngest of William’s sons, he ended up being king. He had married a half-Saxon, half-Scottish princess to try and tie the Saxon and Scottish kingdoms together after his father, William of Normandy, had conquered England. William gave a lot of lands and castles to his loyal Norman lords, and then they raised one of the Scottish kings, who later gave several acres of land to his Norman friends. So the history is fascinating to me.
I have where Malcolm and Lady Anice, who in the story is a cousin to King Henry’s wife, stay with a Saxon lord. It was unusual that a Saxon retained his castle, but in this case, he had sided with William during the war. William had arranged for one of his cousins to marry a Norman baron who had turned on him, and so that was the end of him. But then William offered her in marriage to the Saxon. Can you imagine that even after you’ve been made to marry one man, you could be used as a pawn in another marriage? Like chattel? As a prize for a lord’s loyalty?
She said she did not like that he had a halting in one leg and wouldn’t marry him. Which was a big mistake. She and her daughter were sent away to an island where conditions were not the greatest and the lord received her properties. The daughter agreed to marry the lord, and she ended up being the lady of the manor instead.
One of the men they met on the road was a knight who was on his way to serve King Henry in a fight against his brother. So it’s fun for me to add some realism to the story.
In the border region between England and Scotland, there was a lot of strife, though King Henry of England and King Alexander of Scotland were on fairly good terms because of the marriage of his sister to Henry, and Alexander married one of Henry’s illegitimate daughters. Another of Alexander’s brothers, David, who eventually became King of Scotland, had lived with Henry’s court for years. But still, the Scots and the English at the borders continued to have a lot of skirmishes.
And so in Her Highland Hero, the heroine is living near the border, where King Henry gave permission for some of his loyal lords to build castles and try to quell the border problems. Lady Isobel is in love with a Highlander because her mother was one. Laird Marcus McEwan is the Highlander she wishes to marry and no other, as their mothers had been close growing up, and she and Marcus have known each other for years. She has always dreamed of returning to her mother’s homeland to live among the Highlanders as Marcus’s wife.
But her father, Lord William Pembroke, needs Isobel to marry an English lord and their child will carry on the earldom—in England. Having loved her mother, and adoring his daughter, he has no plans to ever allow her to leave there to live in the Highlands.
And so begins the trouble—Marcus is too honorable to steal her away, and too concerned that Lord Pembroke will get both kings involved if he did, and bring death and destruction on his own clan, and yet, he would do nearly anything to have the lass for his wife. Isobel is of like mind—she will do anything to wed Marcus, short of causing his own people strife. Soon, not only is her father an impediment to the marriage, but others as well. No matter what path they take, danger awaits the star-crossed lovers.
Highland Rake, Book 3
Dougald MacNeill takes Lady Alana Cameron to his laird brother James’s Craigly Castle when he finds her roaming the heather on the MacNeill lands. But who has sent her there and why? Her uncle, laird of the Cameron clan, and warring with the MacNeill for years, has made a marriage arrangement with another clan and now that is even at stake.
Having witnessed her father’s death, and even believing he had returned her home when all along he had been dead, Alana discovers she has the gift, or curse, of seeing the newly departed and sometimes those who should have long ago passed over. Her own deceased brother continues to plague her, the rake, and now another, who is very much of the flesh, Dougald MacNeill, has her thinking marrying a rake might just have its benefits. Dougald’s sister, who is one feisty ghost, has offered to help Alana keep Dougald in line if he thinks of even straying.
But who sent Alana on a fool’s errand in the first place to remove her from the Cameron’s lands and set her squarely in Dougald’s care, and who really killed her father and her brother, and what has it all to do with Alana? Will she and Dougald learn the truth before it is too late?
Excerpt from Highland Rake by Terry Spear
Shrieking in startled surprise, Alana fought the man who yanked her onto his lap. She tried to hit him and jump free. His arm was like a steel band gripping her tight against his body as he headed back toward the rest of his men still trying to catch up to him.
“Let me go, you barbarian!” she screamed.
He laughed, nuzzled his face in her hair, and laughed again. “‘Tis a bonny lass I find this bright day seeking my pleasure, eh?” His voice was dark and filled with merriment.
“I seek naught of the sort from you, sir,” she ground out. He was holding her so tight as she tried to wriggle free, she felt she was wearing a léine two sizes too small and could barely take in enough air to fill her lungs. “My horse,” she rasped out, attempting to put some distance between her and the muscled Highlander, but he only tightened his grip on her, pressing her indecently against his hard chest and his groin.
“You will fall, lass. Sit still. My cousin, Niall, has reined in your horse. Although I must say I am certain he wished he would have been the one to rein you in instead.”
“I am not a horse!”
“Of that I am well aware.” He squirmed a little beneath her as if she was making him uncomfortable.
That’s when she noticed just why he had the need to reposition himself beneath her. Though she’d attempted not to look at that part of him that had been growing in size when she had observed him naked at the loch, she imagined his staff was doing the very same thing now beneath his plaid. Beneath her!
She tried to move away from him, to not incite his desire for her any further, yet he let out his breath in a whoosh and said, “Lass, quit your wiggling. You are making me want you something powerful.”
That made her sit stock still, her back as stiff as his staff pressing against her in such an indelicate way.
“If you were a gentleman, you wouldna be having such thoughts.”
He gave a hearty laugh. “It has naught to do with being a gentleman, lassie, but the way your arse is seated against my…”
“Say no more,” she quickly said. “I wish to hear no more.”
He chuckled. Then he grew serious as his men joined him, and they began to ride back over the hill.