Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A NEW HIGHLANDER NOVELLA SERIES



MY HISTORICAL BLOG

Yes. Another Blog. 

On this site I'll be taking you behind the scenes. How a writer gets hooked on research and writing historical novels. And why, in my case, humorous historicals? 

I began writing in the historical genre almost twenty years ago and was published in the traditional New York Publishing Industry way.  Thirteen books published in five languages. Today, it's a different publishing industry and I'm more or less on my own. My current work-in-progress is a new three-book Highlander Novella Series titled, MARRYING THE MACALISTERS. 

The premise of the first novella is the universal desire to create a family dynasty.  Well, indeed some families desire a dynasty. Usually driven by a tenacious woman. A woman like strong-willed matriarch Jeannie Macalister.  The woman requires grandchildren. She's insisting her three sons marry and furnish her with more than an armful of bairns to love. Jeannie may be meddling. But you know it's for their own good.

Following is an excerpt from the first book, Angus Macalister's story. Hope you enjoy!


'Twas when the Angus Macalister came upon the overturned carriage just outside of Gretna Green that the big Scot's plans went awry. "Och! What have we here?"
He pulled his horse to a stop at the scene of the accident. One of the huge spoke wheels of the coach had broken off and rolled to the side of the road. The team of horses appeared to have been cut loose from the carriage and he saw no signs of a driver.

"Let's have a closer look," he said, talking more to himself than to Percy. He was used to talking to himself or his horse, but not to a pesky companion. 

His pesky companion grunted in agreement. 

Dismounting, Angus strode toward the coach. 
"Oooooh."
The low moan caused him to stop in his tracks.
Percy cocked his head. "Sounds as if there is an injured passenger, sir." 
"Aye." A female passenger at that. Angus hurried to the coach.The only visible door on the overturned vehicle was not within easy reach. He was forced to push his body up and against the side in order to open the door. Sprawled awkwardly against the coach he feared he looked more like a praying mantis who'd flown against a wall—and stuck. 'Twas a mortifying position for a fierce Highland warrior. He pulled at the handle vigorously. 
"The door is stuck, sir." 
"Aye! And ye can stop telling me what I already ken."
"Do you require my help?" 
"No!" Angus took a deep breath, mustered his strength and pulled with all his might. Which he'd been told was considerable. With his second attempt, the door gave way, nearly flinging him backwards. Maintaining his hold, he forced the door back with his last burst of strength and peered inside. 
A young woman lay in a heap on the floor wedged between the two benches. She looked like a sleeping rag doll; her feathered bonnet askew. 
He leaned in toward the unlucky passenger, speaking softly so as not to frighten her, "Lass…canna ye hear me, lass?" 
Her long dark lashes fluttered against porcelain cheeks. A large purple bruise bloomed on her left cheek and a bright pink lump graced the center of her forehead putting him in mind of a bulls-eye. A narrow turned up nose gave her an air of impertinence even in her present state of semi-consciousness. Her lips, perfectly formed possessed the color of a pale pink rose. The tiny woman moaned. 
"Aye, now. You're alive. 'Tis a good sign." 
Her eyes went wide, her mouth opened, she squeaked and passed out. 
He'd frightened the poor lass. He knew the look of terror in her eyes. 
Even with her bruises, 't'was plain she was a bonnie young thing. Bonnie women caused Angus's nerves to fail. He'd had a few scream at the sight of him. As this lass came near to doing. 
"I'm…I'm going to pull ye out no'," he said, speaking in what he hoped to be soft comforting tones. He sought to soothe her fears in case the beauty might be feigning unconsciousness. Catching the petite passenger beneath the arms of her dark blue plisse, he slowly pulled her toward him through the open door. "I'll try to be gentle in case you've broken any bones." 
He slowly slid down the side of the coach holding her carefully. The moment his feet hit the ground Angus swept the girl into his arms. 
Her eyes fluttered open, she blinked rapidly. He could do nothing but stare at what seemed to be an angel in his arms. She raised her brilliant blue gaze, misted with tears, to his. Her eyes were the soft blue of the Wedgewood china he'd admired in London. Angus could not guess whether her tears came from pain or fear. He gave her an encouraging smile. She trembled and lowered her gaze. 
"Who…who are you?" she asked in not much more than a whisper. 
An English woman by the sound of her, Angus thought. Just his luck. Once again he'd come to the rescue of the bloody English. Had he no other purpose in life? 
He heaved a heavy sigh. "Angus Macalister, mistress. I mean ye no harm." 
She rubbed her head, pushing her bonnet even more askew. "Wh…where am I?" 
"Ye've been in an accident but ye'll be fine," he assured her. Definitely dazed, she looked like a lass who'd had one wee dram too much. 
"The coach…" 
"Aye. One of the coach wheels broke off causing the accident." 
"Ooooh," she moaned softly in reply. She drew in a shaky breath before her gaze flickered up to his. "Why are you holding me?" 
Because it felt guid to hold her small body, curvaceous and soft in his big arms. And she smelled as sweet as the lavender blooming on the hills of his home. Aye, but he couldnna say. "Ye swooned." 
"Directly into your arms?" 
"Aye, as it happened. Canna ye stand now?" 
"I…I think so." 
Taking great care, Angus set the lass on her feet, keeping safe hold of her by wrapping an arm around her waist. 
She wavered. She raised her chin in the way of royalty. "You may release me. I am a strong woman." 
But when Angus let go, her knees buckled. He caught her before she fell, pulling her tightly against him. 
Her eyes darkened in confusion. "Oh, my. My head is spinning." 
Angus did not doubt it. "What's your name lass?" 
"Clarinda … Carswell." She looked around as if searching for someone. 
"Were ye travelin' alone no'?" 
Plainly bewildered, the English mite of a woman searched the area of the wreckage. "Reggie. I…no, my fiancĂ©, the duke…" Her voice trailed off and her slight frown deepened. 
Of course a bonnie maiden wouldna be traveling alone. Angus did a quick survey of the area. "More 'n likely your man went for help." 
But she seemed not to have heard him and looked around wildly. "Reggie. Where is Reggie?" She turned a frightened gaze on Angus. "Did you kill Reggie?" 
"Nay, lass. I've not killed anyone today." 
His attempt at a jest fell wide of the mark as Clarinda Carswell's eyes went wide with fresh terror.
                                             Breathtaking SKYE...we canna wait to return!