Category Archives: Book News

Do you believe in fairies?

Before I started writing about fairies in my Guardian of the Isles series, I hadn’t really given fairies much thought, though I have always believed them to be real. And yet, upon reflection I realized fairies have always been an integral part of my life, and perhaps yours as well.

When I was little, my mom told me that if I left a tooth beneath my pillow, the Tooth Fairy would come during the night and exchange it for a few coins. The first time that happened, I was utterly amazed! Of course, I passed the tradition onto my own children, leaving them not coins, but a crisp new dollar bill and sometimes a note from the Tooth Fairy when they started to have questions.

Then there was Cinderella, which has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. I always wanted to have a Fairy Godmother who could transform my fate, as she did Cinderella’s, from drudgery to enchantment. It’s no surprise that the word “fairy” derives from the Latin fata meaning “fate” and Old French “faerie,” meaning “enchantment.”

Other influences that fostered my belief were works of literature from James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Elves of Middle Earth, and Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. So, when I came across a snippet of an article while researching the Isle of Skye that talked about the Clan MacLeod and their precious artifact, The Fairy Flag, I had to know more. Thus began the Guardian of the Isle series which focuses on the MacLeods of Dunvegan Castle and the real-life Fairy Flag which still resides within the castle, hanging in the drawing room for visitors to see and admire.

While all the books in the series have dustings of fairy magic within their pages, A Little Highland Magic, book five in the series, is where readers get to know Aria MacLeod more fully, and where she faces her toughest challenge yet—to bring a MacLeod babe stolen by the fairies back home to his family.

Join Aria as she returns to Fairyland with the Fairy Flag to barter for Keiran’s release along with Graeme Duff, the man whose duty it is to protect The Fairy Flag above all else. Aria and Graeme’s fantastical journey will hopefully have you believing in fairies, fairy magic, and all sorts of other enchanted beings.

The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan

Am Bratach Sith or The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan Castle is the most treasured possession of the MacLeod clan. Legend has it that this sacred banner has miraculous powers. When unfurled in battle, the clan would invariably snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

There are many tales of the flag’s origin but the one the MacLeod clan chooses to believe is this:

Once upon a time the MacLeod chief, Iain Cair, stumbled upon a fairy dwelling where he met a fairy princess. The two fell in love, married, and had a child. But after a year in the mortal world, the fairy princess had to return to Fairyland. After promising his wife never to let their child cry, the laird did just that. Hearing her son’s cries from the fairy world, the fairy princess returned to her son, wrapped him in a fairy shawl, and sang him a fairy lullaby. Years later, the child told his father that the shawl his mother had given him had magical powers. That magic could be used at a time of great need, but only three times, before the flag, and the flagbearer would return to the fairy world.

The Fairy Flag and the legends surrounding it are woven into the storyline of The Return of the Heir.

Black Cats: Lucky or Unlucky?

Black catsI am the owner of four black cats. Or do they own me? I’m never quite sure. Pictured here are Indy and Tye, two brothers we adopted three years ago. In A Temptress In Tartan, a black cat is mistaken as a witch’s familiar.  In the sixteenth century, it was largely believed that  black cats were affiliated with evil because they are  nocturnal and roam at night. They were thought to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves.
In celebration of my release, I wanted to share a little of the folklore surrounding black cats. Depending on the location and century in which one lived, black cats either symbolized good or bad luck.
In 16th-century Italy, people believed that if someone was sick, he or she would die if a black cat lay on the bed. Today, in Asia and the United Kingdom, a black cat is considered lucky. In Yorkshire, England, it may be lucky to own a black cat, but it’s unlucky to have one cross your path. Completely opposite of that in North America, it’s considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path, and good luck if a white cat crosses your path.
Other beliefs about black cats that exist around the world today are:
  • To dream of a black cat is lucky.
  • Finding a white hair on a black cat brings good luck.
  • A strange black cat on a porch brings prosperity to the owner.
  • A black cat seen from behind portrays a bad omen.
  • If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune.
  • If a black cat walks away from you, it takes the good luck with it.
Black cats have played a major role in folklore, superstition, and mythology for centuries. Today they are most closely associated with Halloween and used in costuming, decor, and as a party theme.
What do you believe? Lucky or unlucky?

The History of Chamomile Tea

In Romancing the Laird, my warrior-hero, Reid Douglas, enjoys a cup or two of chamomile tea every day to help him relax and recover from physical fatigue,. Which got me wondering about the history of chamomile tea. Here’s what I discovered. The name chamomile comes from the Greek word meaning “ground apple.” Records of its… Continue Reading

The Witches’ Well

I always think it’s fun to find out where writers get ideas for their books . . . that one thing that makes them pause and ask the question, “What if . . .?” That’s what happened to me while passing through Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade. I came upon a bronze plaque and a fountain featuring… Continue Reading

New historicals are coming!

So happy to announce the sale of a new historical romance series set in the Scotland of James I featuring three brothers to Meghan Farrell at Tule Publishing as part of a three-book deal. The series entitled ALL THE KING’S MEN begins with THE KING’S WITCH. More details, especially a publication date, will be coming… Continue Reading

Along Came Mr. Right Cover Reveal

My latest book cover is here! Along Came Mr. Right will be out in three short months, but I couldn’t wait to share the beautiful cover design. Feel free to check out the book details to read an excerpt or visit the exciting Pre-order button on Amazon. I’m looking forward to sharing Olivia and Max’s… Continue Reading

Flirting with Felicity in the News

My first contemporary novel has gotten some fun press I wanted to share. The Boca Raton Observer included FLIRTING WITH FELICITY in an April 2015 article entitled, “Happy Endings” by Linda Haase. Ms. Haase writes, “This sweet tale includes all the requisite ingredients for love and…the journey is a good, lighthearted read.”     Luxury-themed magazine DuJour… Continue Reading

Flirting With Something New

Hi Readers, The holidays are over and the new year begins. I hope your celebrations were peaceful and joyous. For me, 2015 started with a bang as my first contemporary romance, Flirting With Felicity, launched as a Kindle First selection for January. Don’t worry, I’ll still be writing historical romances, but sometimes things happen that… Continue Reading

A Laird for Christmas Release Day

A Laird for Christmas is loosely based on the hit TV series The Bachelorette. Though I must admit that I have never watched an episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, I found the high concept of the show fascinating. I started thinking about women over the ages and how they approached finding that special… Continue Reading