Spotlight on A Highland Pearl

Author Brenda B. Taylor spotlights the first book in the Highland Treasures series, A Highland Pearl. The book tells the story of a sweet romance that blossomed amidst feuding and war and a Christmastime wedding. Leave a comment to win an ebook copy of A Highland Pearl.

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Blurb:

A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the16th century Highlands of Scotland.

 Excerpt:

The Village of Drumainn, Ross-Shire

Scottish Highlands 1508 A.D.

Maidie rode behind the young warrior on a horse galloping toward the castle. She removed one hand from around his trim waist to pull her wrap closer against the biting wind then secured the kertch trying to fly from her head. The old Cameron scarf was the only one she could find before rushing out of the cottage when Tavish pounded on her door. She replaced her hand, trying not to mind his grimy clothes and gamey smell, and held her bag of precious herbs with the other. Tavish guided the horse between several tenant crofters coming and going from the castle.

The wind whistled through large birch and oak trees lining the road. Leaves of gold, red, yellow, and brown rustled in the wind then floated to the ground. Maidie enjoyed the walk to the castle this time of year, when a lass needed a midwife, but today she could not think about the beauty. She looked back at Sven, who rode behind Maighstir Tam, and held to a small leather bag filled with various implements she used in her work. A chill ran through her, not only from the wind, but also from the dread of seeing the terrible wounds of the injured.

They pulled to one side of a wide wooden bridge leading to the outer bailey of Fàrdach Castle to let a wagon pass. Tavish waved to the guard in the barbican as their party entered through the large, steel-studded oak gates, under the portcullis, and into the outer bailey. The bailey teemed with the life of humans and animals. Their various buildings, dwellings, and shelters lined the curtain wall.

Tavish steered his horse dodging roughly dressed people, went through a second gate in the curtain wall, then across a bridged moat to the quieter inner yard. He waved to a guard on the rampart, and guided his horse to the door of the castle’s keep. Stable boys rushed to take the reins of both horses. Tavish quickly dismounted, then helped Maidie to the ground. She held her bag with a firm grip. He then assisted Sven and Tam from their horse. Large green eyes in the ashen face of her wee son searched hers. She patted his small hand and rubbed his mass of red hair. He tried to smile, giving her a small gift of comfort.

“All will be well, Sven,” she said to reassure him. Not since watching his father die from wounds he received in a battle with Clans MacKenzie and Cameron had she seen such fear in her son’s eyes.

“I dinna wish to go inside, Mam.” The boy drew back from her touch.

“You may stay out here then. Just dinna leave the bailey.” Maidie took Sven’s bag then handed both to Tavish. She cupped the small boy’s chin in her fingers and kissed the lined forehead. “Stay close. Mayhap there are other children close by.”

“Yes, Mam. I will.” His half-smile gave her a sense of relief.

“Just stay close.” Maidie turned and walked toward Tavish who held the heavy wooden door open. Tam followed as they entered the great hall of the keep.

Tavish closed the door with a thud. Maidie stood for a moment so her eyes could adjust to the dimness. Light rays from the small upper windows glinted off the weapons, armor, and heraldry displayed on the stone walls. Lifeless eyes in the heads of boar with long tusks and red stags with huge racks of antlers stared at her from above the weapons.

Although a large fireplace with a glowing fire stood on each of the four walls, the air felt cold and damp. The smell of dirt, blood, human waste, and unwashed bodies blended together into a noxious odor causing a revolt in her stomach. She swallowed a rush of nausea with a gulp. Wounded warriors lying atop rush pallets lined the floor. A servant rushed to the maighstir, pulling him toward a blood-soaked pallet where an unconscious man lay.

Tam began administering last rites to the warrior. Loud groans and cries came from the wounded. One pallet lay apart from the others. Angus MacKay, the castle physician, hovered over it. The laird must be lying there. He made no sound.

Tavish pushed her toward the pallet. “The laird needs your help, Madam.”

She hesitated. “Angus is there with him.”

“His brother asked for you. You must help now.” Tavish grabbed her arm with his free hand and pulled her toward the stricken laird.

She resisted. “So many others need my help.” She counted only three other servants and the laird’s sister, Davina, caring for the wounded.

“Angus can help them.” Tavish tugged on her arm once more. She reluctantly followed. “The tanist said Laird Andrew asked specifically for you to come to his aid.”

“He asked for me?” Maidie pulled against the arm holding her. “He looks unconscious.”

“He’s only resting now. Angus gave him a potion to ease his pain.” Tavish jerked once more.

Maidie reluctantly let him pull her to the pallet that held Andrew Munro. Angus turned to her when they approached, his face covered with a scowl. The castle physician left quickly, making his way to another of the wounded men.

A voice came from the darkness on the far side of the bed. “Thank you for coming Maidie Cameron Munro. As you can see for yourself, my brother needs your attention.”

Maidie’s hand went to the very first thing a Munro noticed— her kertch of Cameron colors. The large form of Gavin, tanist of the clan, rose from the shadows. Filth caked the russet hair tied away from his grimy face with a leather thong. A dirty linen léine hung in shreds from his shoulders and arms. The upper end of his great plaide, now stained with gore, wrapped around broad shoulders with a long dagger sheathed on a wide leather belt at his waist.

“I fought many wearing those same colors this verra day,” he said with heavy brows knit together in a dark, frightening scowl.

Maidie could only shake her head in response. Her stomach churned at the sight and sound of him. Then she looked down at the man lying on the pallet. His face held the green pallor of death she had seen before on the dying. His body, covered with a filthy plaide, trembled. Long black hair, fanned about powerful shoulders. She knelt beside the trembling form, and lifted the plaide. A hand went to her mouth when she uncovered the gaping wound across his abdomen.

A loud gasp escaped between Maidie’s fingers. “Ach! Saints in Heaven! Why didn’t Angus stitch this wound?” She pushed the plaide away from the open wound, leaving it to cover only the lower part of the chief’s torso.

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Author Brenda B. Taylor

Author Bio:

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

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Posted in A Highland Pearl, historical heartbeats, Inspirational Romance, Scottish historical romance, Sweet Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACFW New Releases ~ March 2019

March 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Children’s:

The Case of the Missing Firehouse Dog by Daphne Self — Majesty, the firehouse dog, is missing. Willie and Jax are on the case to discover who is the dognapping culprit. Could it be their neighbor, Mr. Applebee? Or maybe it is Ms. Thornton? Join the Pintail Duo, Wilhelmina van der Coup and Jackson Barnaby, as they follow the clues to rescue Majesty in The Case of the Missing Firehouse Dog. (Children’s from Ambassador International)

Contemporary Romance:

When He Found Me by Victoria Bylin — With his career and faith in tatters, a disillusioned baseball player falls for an optimistic single mom secretly battling cervical cancer. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

His Secret Daughter by Lisa Carter — He just found out he’s a father… But is he ready to be a dad? When veteran Jake McAbee learns he has a daughter, he’s determined to raise the adorable toddler. But Maisie’s foster mom, Callie Jackson, insists Jake stay at her orchard until he’s prepared for fatherhood. While Jake and Maisie bond, the trio begins to feel like family. Could the best home for Maisie be the one Jake and Callie create together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Finding Love on Whidbey Island, Washington by Annette M. Irby — Liberty Winfield lives with loss every day. She’d rather leave her history behind her, but when faced with moving back to her hometown, the past becomes unavoidable. She takes a job at the florist shop owned by her ex-boyfriend’s family from a decade ago. Now he’s unavoidable. Clay Garrison knows the pain of ruing his mistakes. Most of his regrets center around Liberty. If he could undo his poor choices, he would. Liberty is back. He has one more chance to make things right. She doesn’t believe anyone could love her unconditionally, so he sets out to prove her wrong. He must also try to right the biggest wrong of their past, knowing that in doing so, he could lose her forever. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Whatever is True by Pamela S. Meyers — Bullfighter and ranch hand Clint Palmer yearns for a family of his own and desires a relationship with barrel racer Lacy Roberts, a fellow ranch employee. But what would she want in a guy who was abandoned by his father and has a mother who is an alcoholic? If he’s ever going to be seen in a different light by Lacy, he needs greater financial security than what a ranch-hand position provides. Lacy’s parents have scorned her ever since she opted for ranch life rather than pursuing a business career. She’s attracted to Clint, who has shown enough interest in her that she reveals a secret about her past—only to be rejected by him. She’s about to move on when Clint learns a secret related to his own life that changes everything. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Her Colorado Cowboy by Mindy Obenhaus — Lily Davis agrees to take her children riding…despite her fear of horses. But now widowed cowboy Noah Stephens is determined to help her get comfortable in the saddle. And, at her children’s insistence, Lily finds herself promoting his rodeo school. As Noah and Lily work together, will Noah continue to shield his heart…or can they discover a love that conquers both their fears? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Her Last Chance Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe — When pregnant single mother Hannah Vincent shows up professing to be the half sister of the Maxwells of Big Heart Ranch, horse trainer Tripp Walker is wary. Wounded before, he doesn’t trust easily. If only Hannah and her feisty five-year-old daughter weren’t so impossible to resist. Now, despite his doubts, joining this little family is quickly becoming the cautious cowboy’s greatest wish. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Buried Mountain Secrets by Terri Reed — Desperate to find her missing teenage brother, Maya Gallo ventures into the Colorado Rockies expecting rough terrain–not deadly treasure hunters. But when she’s caught in their crosshairs, rudely handsome mounted patrolman Alex Trevino come to her aid. The deputy sheriff knows what these bandits are capable of, so getting Maya–and her brother–home safely may be his hardest mission yet. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:

Like a Tree by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey — The movie making industry spreading across Georgia has finally made its way to the little foothill village of Adairsville. Bookseller and police chaplain Davis Morgan along with a young female clerk discover the body of a member of the movie company on a historic site at the foot of a large oak tree. Davis despite his promise to his wife cannot resist investigating the mystery. He and his young friend, policeman Charley Nelson, quietly dig into the case even though it is officially under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. There is no shortage of suspects: the mysterious red headed man, sister of the victim, the fiancée and others. During the investigation an already troubled Charley is framed for a drug crime, and Davis receives word that an old enemy is on his way to Georgia after escaping from prison to make good a threat against him. Late one afternoon it comes to an astounding conclusion beneath the same sprawling oak where it all started. (Cozy Mystery from CrossLink)

General Contemporary:

Within This Circle by Deborah Raney — After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness! With tragedy behind them and their children grown, they’re looking forward to a new and promising era in their lives. Only, such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a moment. The Brightons’ lives are turned upside down when John’s daughter Jana abandons her husband, Mark, and three-year-old daughter. John and Julia reach out to young Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but how can they help this child, so confused and longing for Mommy? And how much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure? (General Contemporary from Raney Day Press)

Grace & Lavender by Heather Norman Smith — Recently retired Colleen Hill is always busy, constantly on a quest to make life more interesting. When the ladies’ group at her church partners with the local children’s home, Colleen jumps in as usual, volunteering to share her passion for cooking with a troubled teenager named Grace. Colleen must balance the new project with her pursuit of becoming a contestant on a television game show, along with all the other ideas her brain continually spins out. Colleen’s daughter Melody is quite different. She lives a calm, simple life and is content with who she is. That is, until an unexpected opportunity to work with Grace, too, pushes her to reevaluate life and dare to take on bigger dreams. The path starts with a newly-found interest in soap-making and leads her to responsibilities she didn’t even know she wanted. (General Contemporary from Ambassador International)

Historical Romance:

The Erie Canal Brides Collection by Johnnie Alexander, Lauralee Bliss, Ramona K. Cecil, Rita Gerlach, Sherri Wilson Johnson, Rose Allen McCauley, Christina Miller — Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Hudson River, and soon other states like Ohio created canals linking Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Suddenly the Midwest was open to migration, the harvesting of resources, and even tourism. Join seven couples who live through the rise of the canals and the problems the waterways brought to each community, including land grabs, disease, tourists, racism, and competition. Can these couples hang on to their faith and develop love during times of intense change? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

This Daring Journey by Misty M. Beller — The only hope to keep her newborn baby alive is to reach the safety of her Indian people… This mountain man is the last person she should trust to get her there. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin — In spring of 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries at the front, receives an unexpected message by carrier pigeon: it is an urgent summons from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life—a woman he believed to be dead. Leaving Britain’s shores to return into war-torn France, he hopes his reunion with her will ease his guilt and this mission restore the courage he lost on the battlefield. Colin is stunned when he arrives in Paris to discover the message came not from Jewel, but from a stranger who claims to be her half sister, Johanna. Johanna works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence; having found Jewel’s diary, she believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them. When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, however, that trust is at stake, as danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot — As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. Her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying and trying for another child. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it. Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated — and that he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks. (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy — City dweller John McCall never expected to be out in the High Sierras of 1868 on a wild-goose chase to find the Chiltons’ supposedly lost grandson. But now that he’s out here, things have gotten even more complicated, mostly due to wildcat Penny Scott. She’s not like any woman he’s ever met–comfortable in the woods, with a horse, and with a gun. When Penny and John are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don’t have, both realize they’ve stumbled into something dangerous and complicated. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape. When they emerge back into the real world, they are confronted with a kidnapper who just won’t stop. They must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, even as this city man and country woman fight a very inconvenient attraction to each other. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

To Win Her Heart by Candee Fick — Despite Emma Richards’ fanciful dreams growing up in the shadow of King Arthur’s castle and the manor on the cliff, the orphan is now trapped inland serving her wealthy cousins with no hope for her own future. Sir Grayson Wentworth spent his years at Cambridge dreaming of the Cornwall coast and wishing he could return to the happy days of his youth. Called home to his father’s deathbed, the young baron soon learns he has inherited a title, a neglected estate, and a betrothal agreement he knew nothing about. When the new Lord Danvers travels to execute the last matters of his father’s will, he finds himself promised to one woman and falling for another. Can he keep his vow to find a wife and win her heart? Or will honor be sacrificed in the name of love? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The White City by Grace Hitchcock — While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Ian Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard. Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Highest of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason — After her beloved grandfather’s death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her “deceased” father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren’t thrilled by her arrival, fearing her sudden appearance will hinder his chance at becoming mayor of Toronto in 1919. Despite everything, Emma remains determined to earn their affection. Jonathan Rowe has secretly loved Emma for years and hopes that during their trip he can win her heart. Concerned that Randall might reject her, Jonathan is ready to console Emma and bring her home. When she informs him that she has no intention of returning to England, Jonathan begins to despair. Can he convince Emma to find value within herself rather than seeking it from a virtual stranger? And will she ever come to see that Jonathan is her true home? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Katelyn’s Choice by Susan G Mathis — Katelyn Kavanagh serves the famous George Pullman and President Grant in the enchanting Thousand Islands. Yet the transition proves anything but easy when she falls in love and can’t tame her gossiping tongue. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller — Can a very proper young lady of noble birth find love with a mysterious, fossil-hunting scientist in the smuggler-plagued coasts of Devon, England? (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications)

Sand Creek Serenade by Jennifer Uhlarik — Dr. Sadie Hoppner is called upon to nurse the gunshot wound of Cheyenne brave Five Kills after tensions erupt between the braves and the soldiers at Fort Lyon. Even as Sadie and Five Kills form an unlikely bond, danger threatens the fragile treaty that ensures peace for both their people…and their hearts. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Posted in ACFW New Releases, Children's, contemporary romance, Cozy Mystery, historical heartbeats, Historical Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beauly Priory

By Brenda B Taylor

Ruins of Beauly Priory

Ruins of Beauly Priory

The ruins of many churches are located in Scotland. Congregations moved on to other locations, and some like the Beauly Priory, were dismantled during the Reformation of the 16th century. The ruins tell a story of the people who served and worshiped there. Memories are preserved on the grounds, in the old walls, floors, and tombs still intact.

Ancient Elm

An ancient elm and cemetery on the grounds of the priory

The ruins of Beauly Priory lie at the east end of the main square in Beauly, Inverness-shire, Scotland. The reclusive Valliscaulian order of monks from the Burgundy region of France founded the priory in the years following 1230. Despite vows of poverty, the impressive church betrays the wealth and power they had acquired.

West end of the nave

West end of the nave

In the 1230’s the monks referred to Beauly as Prioratus de Bello Loco, which is Latin for “Priory of the Lovely Spot”. This suggests the name Beauly, from the French beau lieu or “beautiful place”, dates back further than the comment made by Mary Queen of Scots during her visit in the summer of 1564. Beauly’s monks were later supported by the Frasers of Lovat.

Interior looking west

Interior looking west

 

Interior Looking East

Interior Looking East

The church, whose ruins still stand, was part of a complex including a cloister and accommodations for the monks.

Exterior of the Priory

Exterior of the Priory

In about 1510 the priory changed its adherence to the Cistercian order. Substantial work on the buildings took place under Prior Robert Reid in 1541. Reid held many other offices including the Bishop of Orkney and the founding of Edinburgh University.

The Chancel

The Chancel

After the Reformation the priory fell into disuse, and the lead was removed from the roof in 1582. Much of the stone was used in the construction of other buildings in the town. Rumor says some of the stone was carted off for use in the citadel built in Inverness by Oliver Cromwell’s forces in 1652.

Entrance to the Monks' Quarters

Entrance to the Monks’ Quarters

In 1901 architect Alexander Ross rebuilt the north transept to serve as a mausoleum for the Mackenzie family. Beauly Priory has been in the care of the state since 1913 and is now looked after by Historic Scotland.

 

Mackenzie Mausoleum

Mackenzie Mausoleum

 

Tomb of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie

Tomb of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie

In August of 1818, John Keats and his friend, Charles Brown, stopped at Beauly on their way to Cromarty. Their visit produced a collaborative poem, On Some Skulls in Beauley Abbey, near Inverness. The majority of the lines are by Brown with Keats contributing the first line of the poem, the first four words of the second line, and three stanzas.

Memorial to Alexander Chisholm

Memorial to Alexander Chisholm

A memorial to Alexander Chisholm who died in 1793 and his wife, Elizabeth Wilson, who died in 1826.

 

A Memorial Stone

Memorial Stone

 

Macrae Headstones

Macrae Headstones

Double Piscina Sinks

A double piscina (sinks) where the communion vessels were washed.

 

Double Ambry Wall Cabnet

A double aumbry (wall cupboards) where the sacraments were kept

 

Beauly Priory

Beauly Priory

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Beauly Priory is mentioned in the Scottish historical romance, A Highland Emerald. Aine MacLean Munro, Sir William Munro’s new wife, becomes ill with a fever when her horse stumbles while fording the River Moriston and she almost drowns. William secures shelter at the priory for their party, and Maighstir Gregory, a priory monk, gives Aine a potion, restoring her back to health.

 

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Our party rode into the outer yard of the priory. A monk, dressed in a brown linen cassock adorned with a rosary and large gold cross, opened the iron gate and approached William. My husband dismounted. “Maighstir, I am William Munro of Fàrdach Castle, Chief of Clan Munro. We are on our way home and desire to shelter with you for the night. My wife, Lady Aine, has been ill and needs rest.”

“Aye, Sir William. I ken of ye. Ye are laird of Ferindonald on whose lands we border. Ye are welcome to rest here as our guests for as long as ye need. I am Maighstir Edan, prior of Beauly.” The priest bowed his tonsured head with folded hands. “We are at yer service, Sir.”

“Thank you, Maighstir. My lady is verra tired.” William assisted me in dismounting. My legs wobbled, so he held my arm, giving me strength to walk into the priory.

I clung to my husband’s strong arm, barely able to make my legs move forward. The priest led the way into a gated yard, smelling of herbs and flowers. Blossoms of red, yellow, blue, and purple bloomed in profusion. When we walked by the beds, I caught the odor of thyme, rosemary, basil, and lavender mixed with the sweet scent of heather. One bed carried the pungent smell of wild onion. Maighstir unbolted a large iron studded door then motioned us ahead. We entered a cloister, a colonade on one side opening into a large quardangle with a fountain and flowers to match the herb garden. The quiet cloister seemed void of life until a monk approached from the opposite end of the corridor.

Maighstir Gregory, we have guests for the night. Sir William Munro, his wife Lady Aine, and his entourage. Please find suitable quarters for them.” The priest motioned to our party with a sweep of his hand.

Gregory nodded. “I have a private room for Sir William and his lady and a place in the priests quarters for the others.”

“What of Breda?” I asked concerned she would have to sleep with the men.

“One small room is vacant in the servant’s quarters off the kitchen where she will be welcome.” He glanced at Breda. “However, she will be away from you for the night, Lady Aine.”

Breda looked alarmed. “Lady Aine has been verra ill. She may need me during the night.”

“I will sleep in the priests’ quarters with my men and let Breda share Lady Aine’s room.” William’s voice sounded with disappointment. I felt certain he looked forward to spending the night with me.

I searched his face. “Thank you, Sir William.”

He lifted a brow. “You’re welcome, M’Lady.”

Posted in A Highland Emerald, Beauly Priory, Brenda B. Taylor, historical heartbeats, Scottish historical romance, Sweet Romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fearann-Domhnuill

The Highland Treasures series takes place in the Highlands of Scotland on the ancient lands of Clan Munro during the 16th century. While engaging in genealogical research, I became intrigued by my Scots heritage, so I located the ancestral clan on a map. A few months later found me eagerly planning a trip to Scotland. During that first trip connections were made with members of Clan Munro and I visited Foulis Castle, the ancestral seat of the clan. The seeds of a Scottish historical romance took root in my imagination and a story entitled A Highland Pearl became a publication.

Duncan Munro, my Scots ancestor, left Scotland in the early 1800′s and journeyed to North Carolina. But long before Duncan, another ancestor left his homeland and made the trip across unknown seas to a far and distant land. His name was Donald O’Ceann, and he journeyed from Ireland to Scotland where he became the progenitor of the Highland Clan Munro.

Fearann-Domhnuill Fearann-Domhnuill

Legend says Donald O’Ceann arrived in Scotland as a mercenary soldier during the time of Malcolm II, King of Scots, in the 11th century to help expel the Danes from Scottish shores. He received the lands of East Dingwall in Ross-shire for his services. These lands later became a barony and were named Foulis, from Loch Foyle in Ireland. The chief of the clan was designated of Foulis, with his residence in the parish of Kiltearn near the mountain called, Ben Wyvis. Ferindonald is the anglicized name of the lands of Clan Munro on the north shore of Cromarty Firth in the Scottish Highlands. The Gaelic name is Fearann-Domhnuill and it means, The Land of Donald.

Crofts in Ferindonald Crofts in Ferindonald

The clan name, Munro, which in Gaelic is Rothach, Roich, or Mac an Rothaich, means Ro Man  or Man from Ro, and supports the traditional origin that the clan emigrated from the River Roe area in Ireland.

Hugh Munro, the first of the family authentically designated of Foulis, died in 1126 A.D. He seems to have been the grandson of Donald, the son of O’Ceann, progenitor of the Clan. Robert, reckoned the second baron of Foulis, was actively engaged in the wars of David I and Malcolm IV. Donald, heir to Robert, built the old tower of Foulis.

Entrance to Foulis Castle Entrance to Foulis Castle

A monument to the Battle of Clacknaharry is located on Munro clan land. The battle was fought between Clan MacIntosh and Clan Munro in 1341 A.D. John Munro, the tutor or guardian of Foulis, was treated with indignity as he passed through MacIntosh land with a herd of cattle. The MacIntosh demanded a toll of the plunder. The guardian offered a share, but MacIntosh demanded nothing less than half. Munro would not yield to the demands and went on his journey homeward. MacIntosh convened his forces to follow John Munro. A battle ensued in which John Munro was seriously injured and left for dead. The Lord Lovet of Clan Fraser carried Munro to his house and cured John’s wounds. One of Munro’s hands was permanently mutilated.

Monument to the Battle of Claknaharry

The Eagle Stone, an ancient Pictish stone with the carving of an eagle, is located in Ferindonald. It is said to commemorate a Munro battle.

Ancient Pictish Eagle Stone Ancient Pictish Eagle Stone

 

Another Pictish stone is located nearby and is thought to be a boundary stone.

Ancient Pictish Boundary Stone Ancient Pictish Boundary Stone

Knock Farrell is a village in Ferindonald where and ancient henge was located. The henge was made of wood and has disintegrated over time, but the remains date to a time before the druids. Remnants of the wooden henge can still be seen.

Site of Ancient Wooden Henge Site of Ancient Wooden Henge

 

Stone Cottage in Knockfarrell Stone Cottage in Knock Farrell, Scotland

 

 

Click to Purchase: A Highland Pearl

 

 

Excerpt from A Highland Pearl

Tavish pushed her toward the pallet. “The laird needs your help, Madam.”

She hesitated. “Angus is there with him.”

“His brother asked for you. You must help now.” Tavish grabbed her arm with his free hand and pulled her toward the stricken laird.

She resisted. “So many others need my help.” She counted only three other servants and the laird’s sister, Davina, caring for the wounded.

“Angus can help them.” Tavish tugged on her arm once more. She reluctantly followed. “The tanist said Laird Andrew asked specifically for you to come to his aid.”

“He asked for me?” Maidie pulled against the arm holding her. “He looks unconscious.”

“He’s only resting now. Angus gave him a potion to ease his pain.” Tavish jerked once more.

Maidie reluctantly let him pull her to the pallet that held Andrew Munro. Angus turned to her when they approached, his face covered with a scowl. The castle physician left quickly, making his way to another of the wounded men.

A voice came from the darkness on the far side of the bed. “Thank you for coming Maidie Cameron Munro. As you can see for yourself, my brother needs your attention.”

Maidie’s hand went to the very first thing a Munro noticed— her kertch of Cameron colors. The large form of Gavin, tanist of the clan, rose from the shadows. Filth caked the russet hair tied away from his grimy face with a leather thong. A dirty linen léine hung in shreds from his shoulders and arms. The upper end of his great plaide, now stained with gore, wrapped around broad shoulders with a long dagger sheathed on a wide leather belt at his waist.

“I fought many wearing those same colors this verra day,” he said with heavy brows knit together in a dark, frightening scowl.

Maidie could only shake her head in response. Her stomach churned at the sight and sound of him. Then she looked down at the man lying on the pallet. His face held the green pallor of death she had seen before on the dying. His body, covered with a filthy plaide, trembled. Long black hair, fanned about powerful shoulders. She knelt beside the trembling form, and lifted the plaide. A hand went to her mouth when she uncovered the gaping wound across his abdomen.

A loud gasp escaped between Maidie’s fingers. “Ach! Saints in Heaven! Why didn’t Angus stitch this wound?” She pushed the plaide away from the open wound, leaving it to cover only the lower part of the chief’s torso.

His powerful dark-haired chest lay bare, rising and falling with labored breathing. Maidie noticed the large legs bulging with muscles from the constant training for battle and fighting required for survival. The same dark hair spanning his chest covered his legs and arms. She understood why the local people called this laird, An t-Seabhag Dubh Ferarann Dhòmhnaill, The Black Falcon of Ferindonald.

 

 

 

Posted in A Highland Pearl, Brenda B. Taylor, historical heartbeats, Inspirational Romance, Scottish historical romance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACFW New Releases ~ January 2019

January 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Amish Romance:

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston — Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Courting Her Prodigal Heart by Mary Davis — Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Contemporary Romance:

Her Hope Discovered by Cynthia Herron — Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, Missouri, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery. Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course? Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined. A new place to call “home,” the possibility of what might be, and the answer to someone’s prayers unite this unlikely pair with the help of the town’s residents. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Cozy Mystery:

Murderous Heart by Lynne Waite Chapman — Freelance writer, Lauren Halloren pens popular magazine articles extoling the comfort and security of small town America. And Evelynton, Indiana treasures its wholesome small town values. Ask anyone. Streets are safe to walk. People look out for one another. Marriage vows are treasured. Murders are solved. In this third volume of the Evelynton Murder series, Lauren, along with friends, Clair and Anita stumble over another body. The partially mummified remains turn out to be an Evelynton resident. But how, in this close knit community, could a woman be deceased for over six months without being missed? (Cozy Mystery from Winged Publications)

Historical Romance:

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham — Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Homeward Journey by Misty M. Beller — Finally free from her dead husband’s addicted lifestyle, Rachel Gray and her young son set out for a new life in the wilderness of the Canadian territories. She is reluctant to accept help from another man, but after a bear threatens her son’s life, she agrees to accompany two God-fearing brothers who are traveling to the same area. Slowly, she begins to trust the one named Seth. Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to Seth—until a secret from his past proves he had more in common with her husband than she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Stepping into the Light by Candee Fick — With war looming and a madwoman in their midst, the only hope for a peaceful future may lie in a marriage alliance between a disfigured recluse of the Gunn clan and the overlooked second son of Clan Sinclair. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse — Tayler Hale is ahead of her time as one of the first women naturalists. She has always loved adventure and the great outdoors, and her remote job location also helps keep her away from the clutches of the man to whom she once made a foolish promise. It seems she must keep running, however, and in secret, her boss from Yellowstone arranges for a new job . . . in Alaska. The popular Curry Hotel continues to thrive in 1929 as more visitors come to Alaska and venture into the massive national park surrounding Denali. Recent graduate Thomas Smith has returned to the hotel and the people he considers family. But when a woman naturalist comes to fill the open position and he must work with her, everything becomes complicated. The summer brings unexpected guests and trouble to Curry. With his reputation at stake, will Thomas be able to protect Tayler from the danger that follows? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Devotion by Olivia Rae — Injured and unable to make his living by the sword, Sir Theo de Born needs to secure his keep by becoming an educated man. As he finds himself falling for his reluctant teacher, he learns of her plan to leave England before the winter sets in. How can he convince her to stay and fulfill her promise while protecting his heart? Denied her true love and sent away to a convent, Lady Rose de Payne has no choice but to accept to become Sir Theo’s teacher. However, she has a plan to escape the confines of her new prison and start fresh in a different country. As the chilly winds blow, her resolve begins to waver. Will she abandon Sir Theo to a miserable fate or will she give up her dreams to make his come true? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

 

Posted in ACFW New Releases, Amish Romance, contemporary romance, Cozy Mystery, historical heartbeats, Historical Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Winter Solstice

Stonehenge, England

Today is a special day in the Northern Hemisphere, because it is the shortest day of the year—the winter solstice. The hours of daylight will gradually increase until we reach the summer solstice, or first day of summer in June which is the longest day of the year.

My husband and I had the opportunity to travel to England and visit the great stone circle of Stonehenge, and also to Ireland for a visit to the ancient passage tomb of Newgrange. Both sites are temples and calendars built in ancient times for pagan worship and ceremonies. They also mark the the winter solstice or rebirth of the sun.

 Newgrange, Ireland

(Hover your mouse over a photo for the caption.)

Today is also special because we will experience a Cold Moon and meteor shower. The following article explains all three phenomenon. The article was taken from WSLS Newschannel 10 of Roanoke, Virginia web site.

(CNN) – For six months now, the days have grown shorter and the nights have grown longer in the Northern Hemisphere — but that’s about to reverse itself.

Winter solstice, the shortest day of 2018, is Friday, December 21.

The solstice this year will be extra special because it will be followed the next day by a full moon known as the Cold Moon, and you might be able to see a meteor shower to boot.

First, CNN meteorologists Dave Hennen, Judson Jones and Brandon Miller help us understand the science behind the solstice.

Then we’ll take a closer look at that special moon. Finally, we’ll explore some traditions and celebrations around the world that could inspire a travel adventure:

The science behind a winter solstice

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun appears at its most southerly position, directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn. It marks the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

When exactly does it occur?

The solstice usually takes place on December 21. The time that the solstice occurs and the day itself can shift because the solar year (the time it takes for the sun to reappear in the same spot as seen from Earth) doesn’t exactly match our calendar year.

If you want to be super-precise in your observations, the exact time of the 2018 winter solstice will be 22:23 Universal Time. That would be 5:23 p.m. ET (for parts of Canada, the United States and Latin America). The website EarthSky has a handy conversion website for your time zone. You might also try to the conversion chart at WorldTimeBuddy.

What causes the winter solstice to even happen?

Because the Earth is tilted on its rotational axis, we experience seasons here on Earth. As the Earth moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it’s tilted away from the sun and summer when it’s tilted toward the sun.

Wait. Why is the Earth tilted?

Scientists are not entirely sure how this occurred, but they think that billions of years ago, as the solar system was taking shape, the Earth was subject to violent collisions that caused the axis to tilt.

What other seasonal transitions do we mark?

The equinoxes, both spring and fall, mark when the sun’s rays are directly over the equator, where we have equal length of day and night. The summer solstice is when the sun’s rays are farthest north over the Tropic of Cancer, giving us our longest day and summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

So what’s going on with this full moon?

Our last full moon of the year will come less than a day after the solstice. Again, for those of you who love precision, it will occur on Saturday, December 22, at 17:49 Universal Time (that’s 12:49 p.m. ET), EarthSky says.

However, when you’re looking out into a clear sky on Friday night, the moon will appear full to you — and could be so bright that people with pretty good eyesight could read by it.

Over many centuries, this moon has been called several names: Cold Moon, Cold Full Moon, Long Night Moon(by some Native American tribes) or the Moon Before Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon lunar calendar).

If you’re wondering how special this Cold Moon is so close to the solstice, it will be 2029 before it happens again. So it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime event, but still, you don’t see this too often.

Now what about that meteor shower?

The annual Ursids meteor shower is expected to peak a day or two after the solstice. You might be able to see up to 10 “shooting stars” per hour depending on your location.

The website In the Sky has a great feature that helps you figure out where to watch and how many meteors you might see. For instance, people in South Florida might expect just three per hour while people in Juneau, Alaska, might expect seven per hour.

One caveat: That Cold Moon will be so bright that it could outshine some of the meteors as they streak in, making them harder to spot.

Winter solstice traditions and celebrations

It’s no surprise many cultures and religions celebrate a holiday — whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or pagan festivals — that coincides with the return of the sun and longer days to come.

Ancient peoples whose survival depended on a precise knowledge of seasonal cycles marked this first day of winter with elaborate ceremonies and celebrations. Spiritually, these celebrations symbolize the opportunity for renewal, a casting off of old habits and negative feelings and an embracing of hope amid darkness as the days once again begin to grow longer.

Many of the ancient symbols and ceremonies of the solstice live on today. Here are five extraordinary places to experience something magical during winter’s relentlessly long night:

UNITED KINGDOM: Cornwall and Stonehenge

Better known for pirates than the solstice, the town of Penzance on the southwest coast of England has revived a delightful array of Cornish solstice events leading up to December 21. The Montol Festival is a fun mix of pagan customs and more recent Christmas traditions that were once common throughout Cornwall.

Early in the week, join in caroling and other events. On the solstice, referred to here as Montol Eve, get your dancing card ready for the Guise, a community dance in which people dress in masks and other “topsy-turvy” disguises based on a 19th-century tradition of the rich dressing in rags while poorer citizens effected a “mock posh” look.

You can also don your finery for torchlit processions. The merrymaking only continues when the revelers disperse to pubs around town.

With some planning, it’s also possible to incorporate a trip to Stonehenge, the UK’s most famous site for solstice celebrations. On the winter solstice, visitors have the rare opportunity to enter the towering, mysterious stone circle for a sunrise ceremony run by local pagan and druid groups.

The trip from Penzance to Stonehenge takes less than four hours by car, making it entirely feasible to spend the night of December 20 in Salisbury, the nearest town to Stonehenge, and rise before dawn for the ceremony among the stones.

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Christmastime in Old Scotland

Nativity by Scott 1872

Nativity by William Bell Scott, 1872

 

The canvas above was painted in 1872 by the Scottish artist, William Bell Scott. He gives the story a local Aryshire setting. The barn is an old one near Penkill where Scott was then living. Notice the shepherd playing bagpipes. I took a photo of the painting in the National Galleries of Scotland and lightened it to better see the detail. Click on the photo to enlarge.

 

Yuletide Traditions of Scotland

Elements of Yuletide traditions in Scotland are the same in other Celtic countries, but Scotland has those particular to the country. Many of the Scottish traditions are rooted in the customs of ancient Celtic culture and the Roman Catholic Church practices. During the reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries, Presbyterian Scots did not allow holidays at Christmas. Christmas Day was another work day as you can see in the Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit worked through Christmas Eve.

For Yuletide decorations, Scotland tended to hang evergreens, the holly particularly. A pretty modern Scottish Tree may be decorated with bows made from many different tartans. A strip of cloth is all that’s needed, from 1″ to 8″ widths and around 18″ to 4′ long. Select plain enameled baubles in different sizes to compliment to colors of the tartans, from black (yes they do work!) to rich greens, reds, deep gold, and blues. For the tree top, put a teddy bear with a tartan beret! But you could use a large tartan bow, or a simple star.

Next the music. The most traditional one is Hogmanay Party by Jimmy MacLeod and his band. Rousing and foot-tapping, you can sing , dance or just turn this one down for background music. A must for a Scottish Christmas party!

A good all-rounder with carols like Taladh Chriosta, Scottish songs and music such as New Year’s Day and Bottom of the Punch Bowl, well blended with some of the more popular carols such as God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen. Many of which you can hear a sample of at the Amazon.com music site.

Your reading may include, Silver Bough vol.3. Calendar of Scottish National Festivals – Halloween to Yule. This one has all the customs for you to follow, many of which are very old. A must for anyone who is of Scottish ancestry and wishes to live the seasons as their forefathers did!

Also, if you can find it, The Scottish Yule an American publication by Francis Thompson, who has written many other Scottish books.

You must have a Scottish Shortbread on your table. You can make it, or buy the real McCoy. Black Bun, and a Venison Stew would set the right feel at the table.

 

SCOTTISH BLACK BUN

This cake in a crust is the traditional New Year cake in Scotland. Every housewife has her own variations. This one is from a family recipe book.

Preparation First make a 1lb weight of short crust pastry your usual method. Leave to chill.

Take a springform (if possible) cake tin, and line with baking parchment. Set aside.

Mix together

1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground ginger, 1/4 fresh grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

Weigh into large bowl 10oz plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda, mix well. Add 4oz sugar, then the spices, and weigh in 1lb currants, 1lb raisins, 4oz broken or flaked almonds, 4oz mixed candied peel.

Mix altogether well.

Add two beaten eggs, 5 tablespoons buttermilk (or milk will do) & two or three tablespoons whisky. Mix to a stiff sticky dough.

Roll out 2/3 of the pastry and line the cake tin with this. Press the fruit mixture into the pastry shell so that it is filled densely. Roll out the rest of the pastry to form a lid, and put on top in the usual way, moistening the edges with water to make then stick.

Take a long skewer, and pierce several times, right through the cake till you feel the tip touch the tin bottom. Brush the lid with a mixture of egg and milk, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 Fahrenheit; 170 Centigrade for about three hours. Test with skewer, when it is done, the skewer will not have any cake mix sticking to it.

***

 

Read about a Christmas wedding in A Highland Pearl.

 

Click HERE to purchase

 

Excerpt:

All heads turned toward the door when a hard knock rang out. Nellie rushed to answer the knock, and held the door open for Andrew to enter, then curtsied. Flora and Anne followed Nellie’s lead, curtsying to the laird.

“Leave us.” Andrew motioned with his hand toward the door.

The three women looked at Maidie. She nodded and they hurriedly left the chamber. She smiled at Andrew when he stood before her. He looked dashing in a great plaide of Munro colors—muted red with stripes of dark blue and gold—and a wide leather belt girded around his hips holding the plaide in place. The long end of the plaide passed under his right arm then over a cutaway blue wool jacket that reached his waist with a matching waistcoat, and bound together on the left shoulder with the large crystal brooch. A sporran made of black leather with a gold buckle hung from the belt. White wool stockings held up by black garters reached his knees with black brogans covering his feet. His ebony hair, tied in a queue at the back of his neck, sparkled with drops of water from a recent bath and washing. He looked every bit the chief of Clan Munro.

“’Tis bad luck to see your bride before the wedding,” Maidie managed to say while watching him walk closer.

“I don’t believe in luck.” Andrew’s eyes searched hers and then moved down the length of her body and up to her face again. They seemed to take in every detail. “You’re beautiful, Maidie. The most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time.” He held her arms and put his nose close to her neck. “Aye, you smell of roses. The odor I crave now.” He raised his eyes to pierce hers. “I have no’ said this to any mon or lass in a long while, but I apologize for my rude behavior of last eve.”

She smiled with love for him filling her heart to brimming over. “You’re forgiven, M’Laird. And you’re verra dashing this day.”

With a broad smile, he stepped back, took a small green silk bag from the sporran, and placed it in Maidie’s hand. She considered the small heavy bag.

“Open your gift.” He kissed the tip of her nose as she opened the bag and pulled out a shining gold necklace. Holding the beautiful ornament up to the light, she observed it carefully. “What say you of your wedding gift?” Andrew’s handsome face glowed as the corners of his mouth lifted.

He took the necklace from her hand before she could answer, walked around, moved the train of her dress, then fastened the heavy gold chain around her neck. On the chain lay a large teardrop-shaped pearl. Maidie felt the pearl. She had never seen anything so beautiful. Andrew planted a kiss on the back of her neck, sending chills down her spine, then walked back to face her.

“’Tis beautiful, M’Laird. Where did you find it?” she asked while watching him and fingering the smooth pearl.

“Someday, I’ll tell you, a ghràidh, but not now. ‘Tis Christmastime and our wedding day. We have guests waiting, only a few, but those who count the most—our friends and family. My heart overflows with love for you, and I am in a hurry to make you mine.”

He moved closer, wrapping his arms around her waist. Her lips longed for his kiss, but instead of a kiss, he spoke. She felt his hot breath fan across her face and inhaled the freshness of his scent. “I’ve searched all my life for you, Maidie.” He looked into her eyes with shards or light flashing through his. “I have indeed found the pearl. MaighstirTam read the story to me from the abbey’s Bible. He said Jesus considers each of His own a pearl of high value, but I consider you, Maidie Munro, the pearl of great price.”

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*Taken from the Christmas Archives of Countess Maria Hubert von Staufer

 

 

Posted in A Highland Pearl, historical heartbeats, Inspirational Romance, Scottish historical romance, Yuletide Traditions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment